Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy top off best golf weekend of the year
Were their wins in the BMW PGA Championship and Crowne Plaza Invitational the springboard to improving a lackluster golf year?
I'll say it, I'm not afraid.
This golf season has been disappointing.
After last season with Tiger Woods winning five times and Phil Mickelson winning the British Open and Adam Scott jostling for No. 1 position and Rory McIlroy seeking the light at the end of the tunnel, this year had a chance to be an all-timer.
And it's fallen flat. As in John Daly-playing-golf-with-Barry Switzer-qualifies-as-one-of-the-more-exciting-moments-of-the-last-month flat.
Sunday, though, anything but flat. In fact, it might have been the jump start this season needs.
Let's look at what went down.
1. Rory shuts down Wentworth: Rory McIlroy was tremendous down the stretch at a tournament where he traditionally has not fared well.
A 32 on the back nine with plenty of up-and-down saves and one final birdie dagger to the heart of another heartbroken fella -- Thomas Bjorn, who dropped a final-round 75.
It all added up to an emotional first trophy-raise in 18 months for McIlroy. That's important (stay tuned for why below..)
2. Scotty does the same at Colonial: Adam Scott played some pretty amazing golf over the final 63 holes of the Crowne Plaza Invitational. After going out in 39 on Thursday, Scott was 13 under the rest of the week.
He hit two big-boy putts in the playoff, too. Including a long birdie putt on No. 17 to send it to another hole after Dufner had just stuck his second shot to about six feet. His 3 under on the back nine turned into 5 under on the back 12 with three playoff holes and all that added up to his 11th career PGA Tour win.
"I felt like I certainly played like one of the best players in the world out there on the back nine," said Scott.
That he did.
3. The Texas Slam: Some poor sap is going to whiff so badly in 25 years on Jeopardy at who the first golfer was to conquer the four Texas tournaments -- Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Fort Worth -- 13 others have won three of four, by the way.
Who is Ben Hogan?
Who is Phil Mickelson?
Who is Adam Scott?
Come on, Aussie.
Scott is soaking it up, too.
"I got the boots over in San Antonio when I won. So I've got that. But maybe I should get a hat. I got a belt buckle today too. I'll be looking good tonight in Fort Worth."
4. Henrik Stenson nearly rises to No. 1: Stenson finished T7 at the BMW PGA Championship and needed something leaky from Scott to take over No. 1. Instead Scott shoved a win in his face and won't be caught for a while.
When he is, I'm guessing it won't be Stenson doing the catching, though. It'll be that kid from Northern Ireland.
5. Welcome back, Duf Daddy! Jason Dufner, who hasn't been heard from much since his PGA Championship win last fall, reappeared from out of nowhere with a Sunday 66 to get into a playoff with someone whose looks Dufner must look down upon (Scott).
The Duf Daddy only has two top 10s on the season but looked strong Sunday as he was running in putts from everywhere (all while wearing a quarterback play chart on his forearm):
6. Let's talk about these Rory McIlroy quotes: "I think it's the start of something. I could feel my game sort of bubbling and it was getting there -- a win validates that."
He has six top 10s on the PGA Tour (in seven stroke-play events) and four in five on the European Tour so that talk of it "bubbling over" is for real.
"The game is waiting for one or two guys just to kick on. I'd like to be that guy and I'd like to think this is a springboard to doing something like that."
He said this at the Masters and couldn't win there -- will he leave Pinehurst, Hoylake, and Valhalla empty-handed? I think not.
7. Colin Montgomerie finally gets his major: Montgomerie won the Senior PGA Championship -- the first major of his career on any level -- with a final-round 65. Then he gave the most Colin Montgomerie quote ever.
"I learned today to concentrate on me, and possibly I haven't in the past."
8. Even Miguel Angel Jimenez's look-alikes are interesting: This guy is the guy.
9. This tweet should be in a museum:
Playoff rooting dilemma: do I root for the dreamy, studly, handsome stallion, or do I root for Adam Scott?— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) May 25, 2014
10. Jason Dufner cannot believe how good-looking Adam Scott is: Dufner joked after his round that Scott's looks might have factored in to the loss.
"It’s tough to concentrate, he's so good looking."
11. (a bonus) The winners on Sunday? All of us. Like I said at the start, it's been a poor year in terms of high-end golf drama.
That ended (perfectly) on Sunday as we got from a 7 a.m. (ET) start to a 6 p.m. finish, high-quality golf and clutch performences from the world's best.
Forget what the OWGR tells you, Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy are the two best golfers on the planet right now and they shot a combined 8 under in their final 21 holes (including the Scott-Dufner playoff) Sunday.
That's awesome, just what golf needed ... and, hey, look -- the US Open is right around the corner.
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