PGA Postmortem: The Winners and Losers
By Paul Laubach
With the Wanamaker trophy now firmly entrenched in the Day household, we take a look at a great final “Major” championship of 2015.
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Jason Day: He now how the monkey of his back, although I believe his “cannot close” reputation was undeserved. Absent a case of vertigo at Chambers Bay he may well have won two majors this year, in addition to tying Jordan Spieth at the British. The good guy Aussie stared down the wunderkind, despite a surprisingly hostile gallery. (His son needs a haircut.)
Jordan Spieth: He just keeps on coming at you. Had he not been on the wrong side of the draw on Thursday, who knows what might have happened? Brilliant innate public relations ability figures to make him the highest paid spokesman in the sport. Not only that, he is now deservedly Number 1 in the world. A truly amazing year.
Dustin Johnson: Have to give DJ credit for coming back after that horrendous start on Sunday. I was glad he did not “phone it in.” Not sure this will lead to him winning a major, but he still flashes the most impressive game when he is on.
Branden Grace: One time may be a fluke, but challenging in two majors suggests big things ahead.
Phil Mickelson: Still a crowd favorite, still can go low and is great at sliding downhills. Must be the best guy to play with in a pro-am.
Whistling Straits: Phenomenal looking, fun golf course. This Pete Dye design is one of my personal favorites. The course played tough, but fair, allowing for the best in the world to show off.
The PGA of America: Great tournament, but even better, the game of golf looks to be in a great place. Maybe they can finally give up the Tiger ghost.
The Young Guns: Aside from the obvious (Spieth, McElroy and Day) the tour has some amazing new talent coming of age. Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Tony Finau look to be the real deal, and should compete for major titles in the near future. Add in Ricky Fowler, Robert Streb and Danny Lee, amongst others, and it going to be extremely difficult to win on tour next year. This does not even include the “pseudo greybeards” like Bubba, Kuchar, Snedeker, Rose, Garcia, etc.
Tiger Woods: Not relevant in the big events. Too much young competition to expect much in the future. Regardless, he is still “must see TV”.
Adam Scott: Two birdies to start, then into the tank. The last major with that long putter. Great ball striker, but can he still compete?
Zach Johnson: Followed up the British Open win with a missed cut on a course he played well in 2010.
John Daly: His behavior on the course seems to match his attire.
With all the great young players peaking at this time, I am really looking forward to the Fed Ex Cup.
Spieth ran away with the points and, given his toughness, has to be considered the early favorite. While he completely deserves the Number 1 ranking I tend to side with most experts that believe Rory is the more complete package. I probably should not underestimate the young Texan.
Paul Laubach is completely unqualified to provide expertise with respect to golf course rankings and design, however, he is a highly opinionated golf addict who believes everyone should be entitled to his thoughts. He has recently released Confessions of a Golfaholic: A Guide to Playing America’s Top 100 Public Golf Courses; now available in hardcover, kindle and Nook editions. Please visit tophundredgolf.com regularly for more (im)practical information.