We've just scratched surface on Rory
Quick hits of the 2012 PGA Tour season, packed into tidy three-packs for easy consumption:
Best tournaments (non-major/WGC category)
1. Wells Fargo: Young and fearless, Rickie Fowler earns his first PGA Tour win with a scintillating wedge shot to beat Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points in a playoff.
2. Northern Trust Open: Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley birdie the 72nd hole to force a playoff, which Bill Haas wins.
3. AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am: Tiger Woods is no match for his kryptonite in Round 4, as Mickelson steals the show with a 64.
Best stops off the beaten track
1. Travelers Championship: Small-town feel, big-time delivery.
2. Zurich Classic: To win in The Big Easy, Jason Dufner had to go through The Big Easy.
3. Wyndham Championship: Welcome back, Sergio Garcia.
1. Bubba Watson: He tosses a curve ball Bert Blyleven would be proud of to win the Masters.
2. Luke Donald: He stuffs it inside of Tiger Woods at 17th hole in Saturday four-ball at Ryder Cup, helping earn crucial victory.
3. Tiger Woods: He chips in to turn a sure bogey into a birdie at the 16th to win the Memorial.
Never saw this coming
1. Hunter Mahan: Buoyed by wins at the Accenture Match Play and Shell Houston Open, he appears to be a lock for Ryder Cup team, only to fade down the stretch and get bypassed.
2. Tiger and Lefty: Provided with profitable enticements, both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson miss the cut at the Greenbrier
3. Keegan Bradley: He of the undefeated record and gazillion birdies, is rested at the Ryder Cup. Rested? He’s 26.
Never saw this, never will
1. Charlie Beljan: Receives a congratulatory call from President Obama.
2. John Daly: Asks for a smoke-free golf course.
3. Padraig Harrington: Offers a pessimistic view.
Setting themselves up for Comeback Player of the Year
1. D.J. Trahan: In a fitting cap to miserable year, he withdrew at Q School.
2. Lucas Glover: Good news, bad news about early injury. The good: He was in Hawaii, not a bad place to be sidelined. The bad: He just never recovered from it.
3. Stewart Cink: Too nice a guy to be stuck on such a skid.
Three walks worth the effort
1. Monterey Peninsula: Simply breathtaking, with deer grazing, waves crashing and incredible architecture at play.
2. Doral’s Blue Monster: For spectating, it doesn’t come any easier: flat and many chances to cross from front to back and visa versa.
3. Harbour Town: When you can duck in town for a cold drink and return to the course, you’ve got something special.
Need a calculator?
1. Sergio Garcia: Out of contention and out of sorts, Garcia hit four balls in the water and made a 12 at the Blue Monster’s third hole in the fourth round of the WGC Cadillac Championship. “I don’t have the energy to talk,” he said afterward.
2. Camilo Villegas: His year went poorly, but it was especially bad for Villegas in Round 3 of the Memorial Tournament when he closed with a 10 at the par-4 18th.
3. Angel Cabrera: He rinsed three balls into the water at the island-green 17th, making a nine in Round 1 of the Players Championship.
They said what?
1. “You’ve just got to go with what you have in your pants.” — Nicolas Colsaerts, asked to explain how he made eight birdies and an eagle to lift him and Lee Westwood over Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker, 1 up, in a Ryder Cup four-ball match.
2. “What kind of shampoo do you use?” — A fan to Rory McIlroy at the Honda Classic.
3. “I’ve known it’s a cruel game for a long time.” — Jim Furyk, after he made a double-bogey at the 72nd hole to squander his one-stroke lead and hand the WGC Bridgestone Invitational to Keegan Bradley.