Best of Dubai Desert Classic and Phoenix Open
Tiger Woods in Dubai, Rory McIlroy couldn't close, and two near aces on par-4s dominated a great week of golf.
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy took over Dubai and the biggest party in golf dominated the weekend. I mean, other than the Super Bowl.
Here's everything you might have missed in the last week....
Top three stories
1. Tiger Woods continues his struggles: Woods finished T41 in the Dubai Desert Classic but tried to convince us he'd turned it around. He'll likely be off until the end of February but his next few tournaments before the Masters will be interesting.
2. Rory McIlroy failed to close (Part II): I read nothing into the fact that McIlroy had the door held open for him by Stephen Gallacher (he needed a 69 for the win 70 for the tie, and shot 74) and failed to walk through it. He's so, so close.
3. Bubba Watson tempted the golf gods: On Saturday night Watson said he wanted a fast round on Sunday because he wanted to watch the Super Bowl. He led for most of the week in Phoenix but yanked a five-footer that would have sent Sunday's round to a playoff. Hope he enjoyed the blowout.
Kevin Stadler expanded the 2014 Masters field by one on Sunday with his win at the Phoenix Open. It's his first win in 239 starts.
Stephen Gallacher won the Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday and became the first golfer to win that tournament in back-to-back years. It's his third European Tour win. He won in 2004 and won Dubai the last two years.
Not best shot
Kevin Stadler stabbed his ball with a cactus spine on Sunday. He still won.
John Daly pants of the week
The rarely-seen paisley pattern with skull and crossbones.
Kevin Stadler is known in some circles as "baby walrus." It doesn't get much better than that.
Scorecard of the week
Stephen Gallacher shot a 28 on the back nine in his round on Saturday at Dubai. A 28!
Best quote (Part I)
"Sorry I didn't win you the money. It would have paid for the wedding." -Rory McIlroy to Caroline Wozniacki after he narrowly missed a hole-in-one on a par-4 in Dubai that would have paid $2.5 million
Best quote (Part II)
"It’s going to be great for me because it’s really my last one. I kept saying, 'When he gets in, that’s my last one.'" -Craig Stadler on getting to play the Masters with his son, Kevin (NYT)
Most Phil Mickelson moment (Part I)
Lefty is a man of the people, lest we forget.
Most Phil Mickelson moment (Part II)
Mickelson said he wasn't going to throw footballs into the crowd anymore at the Phoenix Open because it distracted him. Really, that was a thing that happened.
The winners get...
Kevin Stadler gets a cool $1.12 million for his efforts in Phoenix.
Stephen Gallacher gets $409,351 for taking down Tiger and Rory in Dubai.
Stat of the week
Kevin Stadler and Craig Stadler will become the first father-son combo to play in the same Masters in April.
This of Tiger Woods at the Dubai Desert Classic was pretty terrific. Says a lot in one photo.
"Wait, who's the one not named Caroline?" photo of the week
Rory McIlroy's friends are pleased, no doubt.
I don't know what's going on with Ian Poulter here.
Most readable lips
Bubba Watson's after he missed a putt go to to a playoff on No. 18 Sunday.
Closest to a par-4 ace (Part I)
Rory McIlroy would have won $2.5 million if this had gone in.
Closest to a par-4 ace (Part II)
Incredibly there's a part II to this category.
Ben Crane almost made the second hole-in-one on a par-4 in PGA Tour history.
A $100 bet on Kevin Stadler to win in Phoenix would have paid a nice $8,000.
Tiger Woods has finished outside the top 20 in each of his first two events of the season for the first time in his 18-year career.
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