Rory McIlroy's attempt to take over No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking was the main story heading into Sunday afternoon's championship match at the WGC-Accenture. By Sunday evening, though, the focus had shifted to Hunter Mahan, the latest player to grab the title of "the next great American golfer."
In recent years, among others we've seen the likes of Anthony Kim, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Nick Watney and Bill Haas lay claim to that distinction. Thinking Mahan, who climbed to a career-best No. 9 in the rankings, is now the guy may be a bit premature, but at 29 he now has the best resume of that bunch with four PGA Tour wins, including two World Golf Championships. Here are the highlights from his latest conquest:
Mahan, who made 35 birdies in the event, was the best player for the entire week. And not even McIlroy, the heir apparent to Tiger Woods as golf's next superstar, couldn't stop him. Getting to No. 1 is just a matter of time for the 22-year old from Northern Ireland, but as John Strege points out, he still has a ways to go in proving he will win at a rate that even approaches what Woods has done in his career.
Meanwhile in Mexico, an even younger player broke through for his first PGA Tour win. John Huh won the Mayakoba Golf Classic and he nearly had to play as many holes as the finalists in the Match Play to do it. Huh defeated Robert Allenby, who double-bogeyed the final hole of regulation, on the eighth hole of a sudden-death playoff. It was the first PGA Tour event to need that many extra holes since the 1993 Phoenix Open and it fell three holes short of the record set at the 1949 Motor City Open. Here's how it happened:
Watered-down field or not, Huh winning in his fifth-ever PGA Tour event is impressive. If he plays anything like this the rest of his rookie campaign, he'll probably be teeing it up in Arizona at this time next year rather than defending his title.
-- Alex Myers