There’s an argument to be made that no one in the modern era, Tiger Woods included, has provided golf fans with more entertainment than Phil Mickelson. He’s won forty two times on the PGA Tour, five of which have been major championships, set numerous records while chasing history and along the way, suffered more high profile heartbreak than any other golfer could possibly fathom.
The 18 is a look at eighteen stories from the previous week or so in the world of golf, and they will usually be on stories that I didn’t dedicate a full post towards. Expect a combination of thoughts, GIFs, images and anything else that caught my eye from the past seven days. Some will be longer thoughts, and others will be no more than a line or two.
The 18 will (hopefully) run every Tuesday.
Rickie Fowler won the 2017 Honda Classic on Sunday, firing rounds of 66-66-65-71 en route to a four shot victory over Morgan Hoffmann and Gary Woodland. It’s his fourth PGA Tour win, and seventh as a professional for the 28-year old. He joins a crazy good list of winners in 2017 that already featured the likes of Justin Thomas, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson.
At a maximum of 199 yards, the par-3 6th at Rivera doesn’t play as a super long hole these days and with a scoring average of 2.983, it’s not recognized as being overly easy or difficult. However, it is one of the most interesting holes on the PGA Tour, and we saw exactly why during play on Saturday at the Genesis Open thanks to Phil Mickelson.
If you’re a regular reader of the site or my Twitter feed, you’ve probably noticed that things have slowed down a little bit in the new year and I apologize for that. Things have been a little hectic on my end here in Toronto, but I’m hoping to rectify that going forward. So, while I don’t have a full recap of everything that happened at Pebble this week, I do have some thoughts on what we saw over the past few days.
Over the last little while, I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a mailbag that would run every few weeks, and with Sergio, Tiger and Hideki all in the news this week, it seemed like a great time to take some questions. Shockingly, Sergio dominated the questions I received.
Here we go!
If you’re a fan of the NBA, you’re really doing yourself a disservice if you’re not following and watching The Starters. Their coverage of the NBA is the best combination of insight and entertainment there is, and frankly, I’m not sure there’s a comparable alternative in any sport and when it comes to golf, there’s definitely nothing that comes close to what they are doing. On one of their podcasts prior to the new year, they were taking questions on Twitter, and one of the questions that they answered was about which one player they’d like to take from a prior era and drop them right into the current NBA. It’s a great question, and one that definitely applies to every other sport, so I thought it would be interesting to put together a list of the players I’d most like to see tee it up with Rory and Jordan in 2017.
However, to make it a little more interesting, I did set a few guidelines. The first being that anyone who is still currently active doesn’t count, which means that I didn’t want to say that I’d like to see 2000 Tiger Woods show up and anyone that’s still pretty active on the Champions Tour like John Daly or Fred Couples were also excluded. The other rule I put in place was that they had to be a relatively modern player. As much as I’d like to see Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan and Bobby Jones competing now, I figured it’d look like a list of the best players of all time, and that’s not really what I wanted to get out of this exercise. Obviously I was looking for great players, but I was also looking for some of the most entertaining ones as well because after all, golf is supposed to be fun, right? In no particular order, here are the ten players I’d like to see compete in 2017.
At the end of 2016, incoming European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn made it clear that there were going to be changes to the way players qualified for the European team ahead of the 2018 matches in France. The main reason for this wasn’t so much that the Europeans were just soundly beaten by six points at the hands of the Americans, but more that Team Europe didn’t give themselves the best possible chance to compete with the way the qualification rules had been drawn up.
In case you didn’t realize it, the golf world had a pretty incredible year in 2016. It’ll be difficult to top it in 2017, but the good news is that there are plenty of intriguing players and storylines to follow over the next twelve months, and it all starts this week as the PGA Tour heads to Kapalua for the Tournament of Champions. So, what can we expect? I’ve answered some questions, discussed major storylines to follow and made some predictions below.