Following Harbour Town, the PGA Tour heads to the Big Easy and the Zurich Classic. This event can be a birdie fest and this year was no exception, with Justin Rose carded 25 birdies, 1 double and 1 bogey (both in the first round) to finish 22-under par, winning by 1-stroke over Cameron Tringale, with birdies on the last 2 holes. I've become a fan of Rose and was happy to see him with a win.
Next it was time for the WGC Match Play. It wasn't hard to pick the #1 player in the world, Rory McIlory to win, but with match play, you just never know! I vaguely remember the mention that the format changed somehow, but I can't really remember the details (I will have to look that up!) All I remember is hearing that Gary Woodland was playing great and so was Rory. Again, I didn't watch much on TV, but from what I read, everyone was impressed with Rory...and would that mean we'd see him winning the Players the next week?
Rory was in the mix, but it would be several other players who would get the story lines come Sunday at The Players. I had read just before the players that the 2 most overrated players on Tour right now were Ian Poulter and Rickie Fowler...I'm not sure who participated in the poll, but I guess both Poulter and Fowler took to Twitter to mock the whole idea of it and each other. But come Sunday, it was Chris Kirk and Kevin Kisner in the final group, with Ben Martin and Bill Haas right behind. As the day went along, there was news that Rickie Fowler was making a move and went -6 in this last 6 holes to finish at -12. Then came Sergio Garcia going birdie-birdie-par in his last 3 holes to also finish -12 and hoping for a playoff.
Ben Martin was +1 on the front nine in the final round and tried to make a charge on the back but had an unfortunate bogey on the last hole to miss a playoff by 1 stroke. Bill Haas also needed a birdie on the 18th hole to make the playoff but came up short. Chris Kirk struggled and was out of the mix, but Kevin Kisner, who I had never heard of before Sunday (because I didn't pay attention to the news at Harbour Town!), birdied the 16th and 17th holes and needed a birdie on the 18th to win. I was following on Twitter (which is the BEST when watching golf) and everyone was going nuts for Kisner - although there was a lot of love for Rickie, too. Kisner gave himself a putt to win, but it just didn't break and he settled for par and then there was a 3-hole playoff. I won't go into the hole story on the playoff, but Fowler's clutch shot on 17 was awesome and the win was so deserving! And maybe there was a little part of me that wanted Kisner to win (you know I love an underdog), but seeing how gracious and happy Fowler was, it was hard not to be happy for him. And then came the automatic SO THERE articles and tweets about the silly overrated article.
The Wells Fargo at Quail Hollow was next and all I need to say is Rory.
Which brings us to the Crowne Plaza at Colonial...again, a busy week meant no golf watching on TV, but a friend in Texas was there to watch Jordan Spieth so I figured he was going to make a run and win...but as I stopped in the clubhouse after playing 9 holes (and losing - that's another story!), I heard Chris Kirk had won! I didn't even know he was in the mix. From reports of those that watched, it was another fun Sunday final round full of jockeying for the top of the leader board. And while I have heard of Chris Kirk, I was surprised to read that this was his 4th win.
And just like that, it's now the Byron Nelson (I guess sponsored by AT&T) and now I've got to start thinking about Fantasy Golf again!! It wouldn't take much to think that Spieth is an easy pick but I'll have to study the field...and then, as usual, I'll go with my heart!
A few other random thoughts before I leave the PGA Tour world...
Where in the world is Matt Kuchar? He did have a 5th at the RBC and a few other top 3's early in the year, but his missed cut at the Players was his first in almost a year of events! Here's hoping he gets his game together for the US Open!
Steve Stricker is back playing a few events after having surgery over the winter. He's made 3 out of 4 cuts starting at the Masters, but he's still looking to get a hot putter. I'm thinking he's going to make another run at the John Deere in July!
I'm still working on getting the Golf Channel so I can feel less out of the loop!
I've got to run...time to get my Fantasy Golf Picks in!