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The Grind

Rory kicks it into another gear, Tiger's jeans improve, and Miss America shows off her tan lines

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we're starting to think this Rory McIlroy guy might turn out to be a decent player. If these last few weeks have taught us anything, it's that Rory has more of an MJ/Tiger competitive streak in him than we thought. Those guys could find a way to be motivated by even the slightest of slights to destroy their opponents, and it appears McIlroy has found that gear since Jordan Spieth's Masters victory prompted many to question the Northern Irishman's future as the World No. 1. On behalf of everyone who was foolish enough to think that and every other golfer in the world. . .

WE'RE BUYING

Rory McIlroy: For years, the Tiger comparisons seemed silly. No one could ever be as dominant as Tiger Woods, right? But McIlroy, at least in spurts, is doing just that. Consider his past 12 months: Seven wins (five on PGA Tour), two majors, and two World Golf Championships. With his latest victory, a seven-shot rout at Quail Hollow, McIlroy has opened up a lead in the Official World Golf Ranking reminiscent of Woods in 2000. McIlroy broke his own course record on Saturday with a 61 and set just about every tournament scoring record with his brilliant performance. With all apologies to Jordan Spieth, we are very much in the Rory Era right now.

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If you don't think this guy is going to win a green jacket at some point...

John Daly "30 for 30": Look, we would have settled on ESPN doing a "30 for 30" documentary on anything involving golf, but John Daly? This should be extra fun. The raw talent/power. The major wins. The gambling. The slew of wives. Playing golf shirtless. Playing golf with the most hideous pants ever. The on-course meltdowns. Is one episode enough, or should ESPN consider a Daly mini-series? 


Behind the camera: Riding around TPC Sawgrass with Roger Maltbie

Tiger's jeans: We've given Woods a hard time over his choice of jeans through the years, but from what we can tell, his denim game was much improved at this year's Tiger Jam:

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Now about that shirt. . . But onto more positives! Woods had Ed Sheeran as the musical guest, just adding to the charity event's impressive list of musical acts over 17 years. In other words, we're also buying Tiger Jam's concert lineup. We ranked the 17 best acts to ever play the Vegas event because, well, we just did. Check it out.

Golden State Warriors: We love that the NBA's best team just happens to be the most golf-friendly franchise in the league also. After the team lost to go down 2-1 in its second-round series against Memphis, head coach Steve Kerr urged MVP Stephen Curry to go play some golf. Curry and teammate Andre Iguodala obliged and the Warriors responded by crushing the Grizzlies in the next three games to make the franchise's first conference finals since 1976.

WE'RE SELLING

Leaving putts for 59 short: Congrats to Roland Thatcher for shooting 60 on the Web.com Tour on Sunday, but when you have the chance to shoot a 59. . . well, you just can't do this:

To sum up, a 38-year-old journeyman pro shot the best round of his life and he's still getting knocked. Man, golf is rough.

Adam Scott's Olympic views: The Aussie was asked about potentially playing golf in the Olympics next year and he didn't hold back. Scott called it an "exhibition" and said he "wouldn't miss it" if he didn't qualify. Ouch. There are probably plenty of other players who feel the same way, but for the overall good of the game, shouldn't everyone just go along with this? Especially one of the game's biggest stars who is basically a lock to qualify?

Michelle Wie's hip: A bad hip caused Wie to WD in Williamsburg and get a cortisone injection on Monday. On the bright side, it led to one of the tweets of the year:

No twerking, but what about working? And as for Wie's new purple hairdo? The jury is still out.

Photos: Meet the WAGs of the PGA Tour

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads back to Texas for the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, aka that event with the big Ben Hogan statue.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Random tournament fact: There was no tournament in 1975 because Colonial hosted the Tournament Players Championship (now the PLAYERS) instead. Yes, they used to play the Players without an island green.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- ESPN will make a "30 for 30" on Roland Thatcher: 1 MILLION-to-1 odds

-- Rory McIlroy will win the U.S. Open: 5-to-1 odds (actual updated odds)

Related: The top 25 golf viral videos in 2014

-- Rory McIlroy will be an even bigger favorite at the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow: LOCK

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

What did Kevin Kisner do after losing two playoffs in three events? "Drank." That and more in this fun interview with a new Grind favorite, the KIZ:

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"What's Mike Davis' handicap?" -- Rory McIlroy when asked about the USGA executive director's claim players need 10 practice rounds under their belts at Chambers Bay to prepare for the U.S. Open. Rory sounded a bit cocky with that one, but can you blame him? He's Rory McIlroy. Great. Now he might go out to Chambers Bay, play no practice rounds, and win by 10 shots just to prove a point. (By the way, Rory, Davis' handicap is 3.4 according to GHIN).

THIS WEEK IN MODELS PLAYING GOLF

Not just any model, but MISS AMERICA:

Kira Kazantsev played in the BMW Charity Pro-Am on the Web.com Tour, her third charity golf event in the past month. Notice how she mentions her golf tan lines. Apparently, she's got some game and she's also a big fan of re-popularizing the "raising the roof" celebration. Good. We miss that one. And here is Kira dressed up for a night out during the tournament.

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THIS WEEK IN RICKIE FOWLER-ALEXIS RANDOCK PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

How do you have a better week than winning the Players if you're Rickie Fowler? By taking your model girlfriend to the Bahamas to celebrate, of course.

THIS WEEK IN FORMER PGA TOUR WAGS

Lindsey Vonn looks to be in good spirits following her breakup with Tiger. She used the free time she had from not attending Tiger Jam to work on her equestrian skills and it looks like she fared better than the horse I bet on at the Preakness Stakes:

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THIS WEEK IN JUSTIN ROSE MAKING US FEEL BAD WITH HIS TRAINING

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That looks painful.

THIS AND THAT

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Minjee Lee, 18, won her first LPGA Tour event at Kingsmill. Wait, she's already 18? What took her so long? . . . Speaking of firsts, congrats to Jeff Maggert on winning his first Champions Tour major at the Regions Tradition. What took him so long? . . . Lost in Rory's dominant win was the superb runner-up performance by Patrick Rodgers, 22. A former World Amateur No. 1, he's another young gun who has been mentioned as a guy who could potentially challenge Rory in the future. Sorry, Patrick. Rory has you in his sights now. . . . And check out this beautiful painting of Rory decked out in Nike. Just look at that powerful, but balanced follow-through. Oh, wait, that's me! Thanks to my dad for painting this fantastic portrait of me hitting yet another pure shot at North Berwick. He's retired and has plenty of time so Rory, I'm sure he'd paint one for you too if you'd like.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

How often does Jeff Maggert think about the 2003 Masters?

When will Rory not be ranked No. 1 again?

When is that John Daly "30 for 30" coming out?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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The Grind

Rickie (and Alexis) steal the show at the Players, Amanda Dufner resurfaces, and hanging with Johnny, Rog and the NBC gang

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we've never been more jazzed up about a non-major. As a golf tournament, the Players may rank a distant fifth in terms of prestige, but when it comes to drama -- especially when you factor in TPC Sawgrass' three finishing holes -- it might be No. 1. We've been fortunate enough to cover the event the past five years and never felt compelled to buy any merchandise, but this time? We returned with a hat, a polo and a T-shirt. Yep, we've officially got Players Fever and the only prescription is . . . well, let's just talk about everything like usual and see if that doesn't help.

WE'RE BUYING

Rickie Fowler: How out of the mix had Fowler fallen in the final round? His own mom gave up hope and headed for the airport. But Fowler made one of the PGA Tour's all-time great rallies, becoming the first player to ever shoot five under on the final four holes at the Players. He also became the first player to birdie No. 17 three times in one day. Well, in competition at least. Notorious practice grinder Vijay Singh is a member there after all. Fowler's 2014 of close calls was nice, but this big win really puts him in the conversation among the game's best.

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Apparently, Rickie really likes his new champion's locker at TPC Sawgrass.

SI player poll: Despite what Fowler claimed all week, we're not buying that being labeled "overrated" by his peers didn't provide him with extra motivation for claiming the biggest win of his career. On the flip side, Bill Haas nearly won to back up his colleagues' belief that he's the tour's most underrated player. Say what you will about its results, but it certainly got people talking.

Rickie electrifies the crowd -- and silences the critics -- with Players victory

Kevin Kisner: My middle name is Kinser, a nod to my mom's maiden name. And after hearing this guy do interviews all week, I've convinced myself that he spells it wrong and we're actually related. Kevin, aka "The Kiz," is that cool. And he's also that good. This was a second playoff loss in three weeks for the Kiz, but it's tough to fault him when his winning opponents have birdied four out of the six extra holes.

NBC/Golf Channel: Once again, the best coverage team in golf shined and this time, I was fortunate enough to see all that goes into the broadcast of a tournament. From being in the booth with Johnny Miller and Dan Hicks to riding around with Roger Maltbie to hanging from a crane 120 feet above the 17th hole, it was quite a week.

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Behind the camera: Riding around TPC Sawgrass with Roger Maltbie

Thanks for letting me tag along, guys, and kudos to all the names everyone knows and the 200-or-so ones everyone doesn't who are responsible for putting on such a great show.

WE'RE SELLING

The Rory/Jordan rivalry: This past week was the latest example of why rivalries are so hard to find in golf. Tour pros, even great ones, don't usually play well at the same time as evidenced by Spieth missing the cut and McIlroy dusting him by seven shots in the two days they were paired. There's still hope for this to materialize, but for now, it's not there.

Ted Bishop's Twitter skills: The man who was pushed out as PGA of America President for referring to Ian Poulter as a "lil girl" on Twitter in October bashed Poulter again on Twitter on Sunday to draw more criticism. Ted, let's just lay off the Poulter tweets for awhile.

Photos: Meet the WAGs of the PGA Tour

Sergio Garcia's luck: This guy just can't win. Even at a place where he plays better than anyone else. For a third straight year, Garcia seemed to have that crystal trophy within his grasp only to get beat. On the bright side, there was no two-balls-in-the-water-on-17 meltdown this time, but Garcia still lost in a playoff after having a two-shot lead on the back nine.

Bill Haas' putting: The three-man playoff was exciting, but it shouldn't have been necessary. If Haas converts two tap-ins on the front nine on Sunday, he wins the Players instead of leaving with a stinging loss. Haas also missed a nine-footer for eagle on 16 and his long attempt on 17 came up a rotation short of dropping. Bill's son didn't seem thrilled by dad's performance on the greens, either:

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ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to Quail Hollow for the Wells Fargo Championship, aka that event that used to be known as the site of Rickie Fowler's lone PGA Tour title.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Random tournament fact: Anthony Kim still holds the tournament scoring record with a 16-under total of 272 in 2008.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- I'll go up in that crane again: 1 MILLION-to-1 odds

-- Rickie will go another three years in between his next win: 100-to-1 odds

Related: The top 25 golf viral videos in 2014

-- Anthony Kim won't win this week at Quail Hollow: LOCK

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

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Just look at that setting. The Players! Catch the fever!

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Meet Marie Bos, a senior marketing research manager for Golf Digest, who made an ace that was caught on tape at the inaugural U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball Championship. That's pretty Bos!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"If there was any question, I think this right here answers anything you need to know." -- Rickie Fowler.

THIS WEEK IN RICKIE FOWLER-ALEXIS RANDOCK PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

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These two had such a strong showing, it inspired other tour couples to step up their PDA game.

THIS WEEK IN FORMER PGA TOUR WAGS

Amanda Dufner -- make that Amanda Boyd -- has resurfaced! Jason Dufner's ex-wife posted a photo and a video from her dog's Instagram account:

Not letting anyone mess with my mom. #mamasboy #watchdog #instadog

A photo posted by Prince Louie (@louiedufner) on

Got to spend #mothersday practicing my swimming with momma.

A video posted by Prince Louie (@louiedufner) on

Apparently, Jason was in charge of the Prince Louie Twitter account. It hasn't been updated since the beginning of February.

THIS WEEK IN FORMER LPGA TOUR PLAYERS WITH MBAs

After a trip to Vegas for the big fight, Anna Rawson went to Puerto Rico. Not a bad post-graduation celebration.

✌🏿ᅬout PR!

A photo posted by Anna Rawson (@annarawson) on

THIS AND THAT

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John Daly's fiancee, Anna Cladakis, is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to dismiss a lawsuit by his ex-wife that she broke up their marriage. Yeah, this is what our founding fathers had in mind when they set up the Supreme Court. . . . The PGA Tour's Palm Springs stop is switching sponsors and will now be known as the CareerBuilder Challenge. Everyone still just refers to this as the Bob Hope, right? . . . The Players received its third-highest Sunday TV rating in the past decade. Guess we're not the only ones that caught Players Fever. . . . My personal Players/Chili's streak is still intact, reaching a whopping 25 consecutive nights. For good measure, I even went to this Chili's in the Jacksonville airport on Day 6 before flying back. Man, I really outdid myself on this trip.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Does this mean we're in the Rickie Fowler Era now?

Why aren't there more tournaments with island greens?

Why aren't there any Chili's near where I live?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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The Grind

Rory KOs the field, Miguel/Keegan nearly come to blows, Tiger/Lindsey split, and Anna gets her MBA

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we never expected the most entertaining fight of the week would come from the golf course. We joked about the WGC-Cadillac Match Play taking on title-bout hype last week and on Friday, two players -- and a caddie -- almost came to blows. In this corner, wearing Aviators, Miguel "The Mechanic" Angel Jimenez! And in this corner, wearing Jordans, Keegan "Stink-eye" Bradley! The best part? This dustup happened during a meaningless match. On second thought, the best part was that it was free to watch. Hey, Floyd, Manny, any chance we can get a refund on that $89.95?

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But there was no money back needed for another wild week in golf. Here's all that went down:

WE'RE BUYING

Rory McIlroy: Perhaps, we should hold off on that Jordan Spieth Era talk. McIlroy answered Spieth's Masters win with a victory at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play, which joined him with Tiger and Jack as just the third player to win 10 PGA Tour titles before turning 26. Incredibly, he trailed heading to the 17th hole in three of five elimination matches before switching into, well, McIlroy mode. What a week for Rory -- even if he had to give his Mayweather/Pacquiao tickets to Lee Westwood and watch in the media center. Here's sad Rory:

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But he wound up watching it on a really big screen and in good company. Here's happy Rory:

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Inbee Park: WINBEE seems back to her winning ways by pulling away from Lexi Thompson and others at the North Texas Shootout. The bad news for the rest of the LPGA? Park says she's re-found the putting stroke that led her to three straight major titles during the 2013 season.

Related: Why Rory's 10 wins are even more impressive than you think

Lydia Ko: Even in a rare off week, Ko impressed everyone by announcing before the tournament that she'd donate all of her winnings to Nepal earthquake relief. Unfortunately, the golf gods didn't go along with the plan. Ko had a flop shot get stuck in a tree on Thursday, which led to a triple bogey, and she had to rally just to make the cut on the number (She's now made 51 of 51 cuts in her career). The $6,241 for finishing T-41 wasn't what Ko, 18, was hoping to send to Nepal, but it was still a generous gesture.

Ian Woosnam: The 5-foot-4, 57-year-old Woosnam averaged 275 yards off the tee in winning the Insperity Invitational, his first Champions Tour title. Yes, even the Champions Tour can have late bloomers. And yes, you should probably be a little depressed that a 5-foot-4, 57-year-old golfer can hit the ball a lot longer than you can.

WE'RE SELLING

Match-play complainers: Last week, everyone seemed on board with the new group play stage that was incorporated into this year's event. Then on Friday, whiners came out of the woodwork to complain. "Ohhh, but there are so many meaningless matches today!" Actually, 24 of the 32 matches that day still had tournament implications. "Ohhh, but you can't have golfers come all the way to California, play three matches, and go home!" How is this any different than someone missing the three-day cut at Pebble Beach? Could some tweaks still be made to make this event even better? Sure, but it's still really good as is.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Keegan Bradley: Overshadowed by the dust-up with Miguel Angel Jimenez -- Bradley freaked out pretty quickly and looked silly getting in the face of a guy nearly twice his age -- was Bradley's 0-3 performance at TPC Harding Park. That drops him to a dismal 1-9 career record in match play singles as a pro. That's ONE win and nine losses. If he were an actual pro fighter and he had that record, he'd be dead.

Big breakups: First it was the Dufners and now, "Tigsey"? Or was it "Woodsonn"? Hmm, guess we never came up with a good couples name for Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn. In any event the two are splitting up just weeks after that happy day at the Masters Par 3 contest. Sad stuff, especially for Woods' kids. Apparently, it was a lot easier for Woods and Vonn to spend time together when they were injured. We wish them both the best going forward.

Related: Golf's all-time biggest breakups

PGA Tour cologne: The PGA Tour is releasing its own fragrance for men. This is actually happening. You know, because of all the people out there who have thought, "Man, I really want to smell like a PGA Tour player." Mom, please don't get me this as a stocking stuffer.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to TPC Sawgrass for the Players, aka "the fifth major," aka "that tournament with the island hole."

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Random tournament fact: The winning score has been -13 in each of the past four years. Freaky! In each of those past four years, I've also gone to the local Chili's for all five nights I've been in Ponte Vedra Beach to cover the tournament. For you non-math majors out there, that's 20 straight dinners at Chili's during the Players.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- A PGA Tour player will wear PGA Tour cologne on "date night": 1 MILLION-to-1 odds

-- Rory McIlroy will watch Grey's Anatomy in the TPC Sawgrass media room: 10-to-1 odds

Related: The top 25 golf viral videos in 2014

-- There's a better chance of me going to Chili's every night than the winning score being -13 again: LOCK

PHOTO/TWEET OF THE WEEK

Lee Westwood looked like he had a good time in Vegas at the fight. European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke looked like he had too much of a good time:

Think Team USA is going to use that as locker room material at Hazeltine next year?

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

When your boss used eight different caddies during her rookie season, it's probably wise to put in some extra effort. That's what Jason Hamilton did when Lydia Ko's ball got stuck in a tree on Thursday:

Not bad for a 45-year-old caddie. It was reminiscent of Newman's tree-climbing skills shocking Kramer in "Seinfeld":

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"More than 50 years since I was born," then he points a finger southward, "but I'm only 20 down there." -- Miguel Angel Jimenez in an interview with Sports Illustrated's Alan Shipnuck.

We're pretty sure the phrase, "He's a lover, not a fighter," was coined with this guy in mind.

THIS WEEK IN BUBBA BEING BUBBA

Watson posted this video of him lip syncing "Tip-toeing In My Jordans" to get in Keegan Bradley's head before their match on Thursday:

Be careful, Bubba. It turns out Keegan's actual theme song is "Going toe-to-toe in my Jordans."

THIS WEEK IN RICKIE FOWLER-ALEXIS RANDOCK JUSTIN ROSE-STEPHEN CURRY PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

These two admirers randomly bumped into each other in San Francisco, which wound up being the highlight of Rose's week at the Match Play:

Can't you just feel the love? What a sweet photo amid such a testy week.

THIS WEEK IN NATALIE GULBIS ANNA RAWSON MAKING US FEEL BAD WITH HER TRAINING WORK ETHIC

Anna Rawson is a pro golfer, a model, a TV analyst, and a former host of Golf Digest's "Sexiest Shots" video series:

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And now, she's an official businesswoman:

Last class done! Thank you @columbia_biz for an incredible 2 years. #MBA❿ᅬ

A photo posted by Anna Rawson (@annarawson) on

Congrats, Anna!

THIS AND THAT

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Less than a decade after winning the U.S. Open, Michael Campbell is retiring from professional golf. Because, well, golf. . . . An SI Golf+ survey found that 73 percent of PGA Tour golfers don't believe Dustin Johnson's six-month leave of absence from the tour was "voluntary" like he claims. Only seven percent said they thought it was actually voluntary. Shocking! . . . The PGA Tour is unveiling a cool new fantasy golf game beginning at this week's Players. Yay! Another way to lose at fantasy golf! . . . Defending Players champ Martin Kaymer kindly left these delicious-looking chocolate-covered pretzels in the press room at TPC Sawgrass. Since I don't arrive until Wednesday afternoon, could someone set aside one two 10 of these for me? Thanks.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Who would be the best boxer on tour?

How many "Fights of the Century" have there been?

What did Lee Westwood give Rory for those tickets?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

... Read
The Grind

Golf gets its own big-fight hype, Natalie throws out a first pitch, Tiger meets Yao, and an all-time best tour WAG match up

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we wish every week had the build-up of this year's WGC-Cadillac Match Play. A 90-minute selection show? Bingo machines spitting out ping-pong balls? Big boards?! Forget about the NFL Draft, this was exciting stuff (if you're really, really into pro golf). We're surprised "Group of Death" wasn't trending on Twitter. Maybe next year, the PGA Tour and Golf Channel can even take it a step farther and stage some promotional pre-match photos like the ones you see in boxing:

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Man, Jordan Spieth looks intimidating. . . OK, time to shift from thinking about what's going to happen to what already did. There's a lot to get to -- and we don't have Golf Channel's army of analysts to break it all down.

WE'RE BUYING

Justin Rose: Rose was one over through six holes Thursday at the Zurich Classic and only shot 69. Then he posted rounds of 66, 65 and a 66 to win his seventh career PGA Tour title. Speaking of 66, that's how many holes in a row Rose finished without making a bogey -- the longest streak to close out a tour win in 25 years. With a runner-up at the Masters and this victory under his belt, Rose looks poised for a huge season.

Lydia Ko: On Friday, Ko turned 18. And on Sunday, Ko kept doing what she's been doing since she was 15: winning on the LPGA Tour. Ko defended her title at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, beating Morgan Pressel in a playoff for her seventh career LPGA Tour title. To put it in perspective, Rose was also a 17-year-old phenom once and it took him until he was 34 to win seven PGA Tour events. By the time Ko is 34, she's going to need a separate house just to hold all of her trophies.

Related: The Match Play selection special retro diary

Match Play format: We love the group-play/round-robin concept. Having guys fly all the way to this event only to get knocked out after 10 holes (Sorry, Stephen Ames) isn't fair or fun for the fans. This new format ensures we'll see a lot more golf from the biggest names and even more great match-ups. While picking the juiciest match or deciding on a "group of death," the best tour WAG match up is easy. In the opening round, we'll get former Miss Idaho Melissa Jones vs. Paulina Gretzky:

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Their husbands might have pretty big crowds on Wednesday.

Jake Olson: If you haven't read John Strege's story on this young man, you should. Here are the broad strokes: Jake is a blind senior in high school who has shot a 78 and who will walk onto the USC (Yes, as in the Trojans) football team in the fall as a long snapper. We're all rooting for you, Jake!

WE'RE SELLING

Erik Compton: Speaking of inspirational stories, on Saturday night the two-time heart transplant recipient went to bed with a share of the lead and in great shape to pick up his first PGA Tour victory. But on Sunday, he only shot three under for his 30 holes to fall to T-12. Compton keeps coming close to being perhaps the most unlikely winner in tour history. Stop getting our hopes up and get it done, Erik!

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Excavators as prizes: This was what a player would have won had he made a hole-in-one during the Volvo China Open:

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First off, Volvo makes excavators? Secondly, unless you're a tractor nut like Louis Oosthuizen, I'm pretty sure a typical tour pro would much rather have a sports car.

Sitting on gators: Donnie Kuhlman is a PGA Professional and a world-class daredevil. Here he is sitting on a gator in the middle of a golf tournament he was playing in Tampa:

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This brave foolish man lived to tell the tale, but we wouldn't advise you trying the same thing.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to San Francisco's TPC Harding Park for the WGC-Cadillac Match Play, aka the most unpredictable event of the season.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Random tournament fact: Victor Dubuisson made the greatest back-to-back up-and-downs of all time from the desert in the final against Jason Day last year. That may sound like an opinion, but it's a fact.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- Justin Rose will wind up with more career wins than Lydia Ko: 1 MILLION-to-1 odds

-- NBC's Roger Maltbie will say "(Insert player name) would have a better chance of escaping Alcatraz than getting this up-and-down": 10-to-1 odds

Related: The top 25 golf viral videos in 2014

-- Roger Maltbie will say "vagaries of match play": LOCK

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

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Sorry, Yao, but when you're that tall, that joke never gets old.

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Rory McIlroy may be the world's best golfer, but apparently, he's not the sport's top-ranked arm wrestler. McIlroy got dusted by 17-year-old golfer Brad Dalke.

OK, so Dalke isn't your typical 17-year-old golfer. Even McIlroy, who spends as much time in the gym as he does in the golf course, was impressed by his biceps. Still, that's got to be a blow to the reigning Men's Health cover boy.

THIS WEEK IN MODELS PLAYING GOLF

Meet Katrina Brodsky:

#kellerrose x @nikegolf

A video posted by Katrina Brodsky (@keller_rose) on

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"I felt like I had gone cold in my round. I started off hot, had gone cold and [my caddie] said, 'Come on, just remember Steph Curry.' He went cold, but he kept wanting the ball. He kept shooting threes. He kept believing in himself. That was our mentality." -- Justin Rose comparing his strong finish to Curry after attending a Warriors-Pelicans playoff game on Friday in which the Golden State star hit a clutch three-pointer to send the game to overtime. Guess we know who has Justin's vote for NBA MVP.

THIS WEEK IN JORDAN SPIETH LIVING THE LIFE

The Dallas native was honored by Mark Cuban at a Mavericks game with a personalized jersey, which he used to rile up the team and the home crowd in Game 4 of Dallas' first-round playoff series against the Houston Rockets:

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It worked. After losing the first three games of the series, the Mavs won Game 4 to keep their season alive. Jordan Spieth is so hot right now.

THIS WEEK IN RICKIE FOWLER-ALEXIS RANDOCK PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

Happy Birthday My Love @alexis.randock...so much fun!! Taking down SF!!πŸ‘«πŸŒπŸŒ²πŸ€πŸ’

A photo posted by Rickie Fowler (@therealrickiefowler) on

Very sweet. But did the lovebirds visit Alcatraz? Nothing says romance like visiting a former prison and reciting lines from "The Rock" to each other.

THIS WEEK IN NATALIE GULBIS MAKING US FEEL BAD WITH HER TRAINING

Behold Natalie's super-human strength:

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While in the Bay area, Gulbis also threw out the first pitch at the Oakland A's game:

Phew. I know it doesn't show it made it to the plate

A video posted by Natalie Gulbis (@natalie_gulbis) on

Nice toss, Natalie! Good to see all the work in the gym is paying off.

THIS AND THAT

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Rory McIlroy plans to attend the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight in Vegas on Saturday night in the middle of the WGC-Match Play. If he makes it to Sunday's 36 holes, his fitness will be put to the test again. . . . Phil Mickelson won't attend the WGC- Match Play for a fourth straight year, citing "personal reasons." No word on whether "personal reasons" just means he doesn't like the event or whether he'll be at the big fight. . . . Bruce Jenner will address learning to play golf with breasts on an upcoming docuseries. Thanks to TMZ for that bit of breaking golf news! . . . And thanks to the GolfBeer Brewing Company for sending a large shipment of Graeme McDowell, Keegan Bradley and Freddie Jacobson beers to me in the office. In other words, the party for me winning my first Golf Digest major championship rages on!

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

How much are Rory and Phil betting on the fight?

Why hasn't Lydia Ko won a major yet? (Kidding)

Why wasn't there ever a sequel to "The Rock"? (Not kidding)

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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The Grind

A longer drought than Jim Furyk's ends, the surprising best shot of the year, and the best(?) abs in pro golf

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where there's nothing we like more than seeing a long-suffering golfer win. Those years of hard work and waiting just make that payoff all the more sweeter. In other words, I was really excited -- and relieved -- to finally win my first Golf Digest major at the Spring Opener! What, did you think I was talking about Jim Furyk? I'll get to him in due time, but first, this is me sinking the winning putt on our office putting green ("Royal Wilton") in front of a huge gallery:

blog-alex-winning-putt-0421.jpgThen, this is me receiving the Founder's Jacket from defending champ Steve Hennessey and doing my best Jordan-Spieth-clapping-for-the-patrons routine:

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And finally, this is me on Letterman:

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Man, I really had Dave going with my office cafeteria tales. What a wild week -- and that's just my golf! OK, OK, let's get to everything else that happened.

WE'RE BUYING

Jim Furyk: On a more serious note, thank goodness this guy finally won a golf tournament. It was getting rough to watch and had this victory been snatched away by Kevin Kisner, we would have feared for Furyk's well-being. But Furyk won for the first time in 100 starts on the PGA Tour, and more impressively, he did it in clutch fashion at the RBC Heritage. Sure, it's easier to shoot 63 on Sunday when you're coming from behind, but to birdie both playoff holes? Including one after Kisner had already made birdie?

Jordan Spieth: After a media blitz of NYC, a tired Masters champ returned to action at Hilton Head, finally took off his green jacket and promptly shot 74 on no practice, snapping a streak of 16 consecutive sub-par rounds. But looking like he might miss a cut and take some time off, Spieth rallied with a 62 on Friday and finished T-11. It wasn't a fifth consecutive top-two finish, but it was pretty impressive considering the circumstances.

Related: 19 things you should know about Jordan Spieth

Sei Young Kim: Furyk's win was exciting, but it will be tough for any tournament to top the dramatic finish we saw on the LPGA Tour in Hawaii. Kim chipped in on No. 18 to force a playoff with Inbee Park and then holed her approach shot from 154 yards minutes later on the same hole for a walk-off eagle. The 22-year-old South Korean is the first player to win twice on the LPGA this season and she leads the way in the Rolex Player of the Year standings. Not bad for a rookie. And not a bad vertical, either.

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Freddie Jacobson's putting: Lost in the performances by Jim Furyk and Jordan Spieth, Jacobson broke a PGA Tour record by extending his streak without a three-putt to 524 holes and counting. That's more than 29 full rounds of golf since his last three-putt. Most people have never gone 29 holes without one.

WE'RE SELLING

Freddie Jacobson's ball-striking: While he ranks first in three-putt avoidance and third in strokes gained/putting, Jacobson ranks 173rd in strokes gained/tee to green. As a result, he's only 141st on the FedEx Cup standings. Maybe that "putt for dough" bit is a little overrated.

Graeme McDowell: We thought we were finally seeing signs of life from the 2010 U.S. Open champ when he shared the 18-hole lead at Harbour Town. But he only shot two under the rest of the week at a course where he's won before to finish a disappointing T-26. On the bright side, that's G-Mac's best PGA Tour finish of 2015. On the bad side, that's his best PGA Tour finish of 2015.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Swan songs: Even though he made the cut at Harbour Town, Tom Watson said he's thinking about making the 2016 Masters his last one. At St. Andrews in July, Watson will make his last British Open start. So will Nick Faldo. And this comes on the heels of Ben Crenshaw playing his final Masters. These send-offs are kind of cool, but they're also kind of sad. Great players are getting old -- and so are we.

CBS: With Sunday tee times (smartly) moved way up because of a bad weather forecast, CBS (foolishly) only provided tape-delayed coverage. It's 2015, people!!! Anyone who actually cares about following the tournament was getting a play-by-play on Twitter, so why not live stream the action on CBS' website? The network could have still aired the tournament on a delay in its 3-6 window and gotten the same people who haven't discovered the Internet yet to watch. And even that part of the population in Savannah got hosed when their local CBS affiliate cut away just before Furyk's winning putt to show a weather update that the weather was fine. We just hope Jim Furyk's parents weren't watching in Savannah. They can only take so much.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to New Orleans for the Zurich Classic, aka that tournament where that big gator always seems to be hanging out on the 18th hole. Last year, John Peterson, an experienced gator handler, helped keep play going by bravely nudging the large reptile back into the lake so his playing partner could hit a shot. John Peterson should have his own show on the Discovery Channel.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Random tournament fact: This tournament began at City Park Golf Courses in New Orleans, where it was played until 1962. If City Park sounds familiar, that's the place where a man was living in a tree protesting a new golf course being built there -- until he fell out of the tree.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- Someone will go chip-in, hole out from 150 yards again to win: 1 MILLION-to-1 odds

-- John Peterson will get that gator to roll over and do other tricks this year: 10-to-1 odds

Related: The top 25 golf viral videos in 2014

-- This week's winner won't fist pump as hard as Jim Furyk: LOCK

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Jim Furyk with his putter already dropped about to unleash the most vicious fist pump by anyone not named Tiger Woods as his winning putt disappears into the hole. Perfect.

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VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

The Jacksonville Jaguars mascot put everyone to shame at the Players media day by winning the closest-to-the-pin contest on the par-3 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass. The shot -- in full costume, no less -- was so good, it made us wonder if Jags kicker and plus-handicapper Josh Scobee was behind it. Turns out the mascot, Curtis Dvorak, is a scratch player himself. Sorry, Sei Young Kim, but this is the shot of the week and maybe the year:

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK (NOT INVOLVING A MASCOT)

From the graceful to the not-so graceful, this LPGA fan had a rough day in Hawaii when his beloved hat got blown into a water hazard. He wound up retrieving it, but only after he got soaked, lost his beer and had his embarrassing moment go viral.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"That was four-and-a-half years of frustration in that celebration." -- Jim Furyk. I feel your pain, Jim. I worked at Golf Digest for SIX years before finally winning a major and there were plenty of heartbreaking moments along the way.

THIS WEEK IN RICKIE FOWLER-ALEXIS RANDOCK PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

Aww, that's sweet. And now we know the approximate anniversary of these two. That means Fowler played most of his great golf last year at the majors while dating Alexis. There goes the silly "she's a distraction" theory. Haters.

And then there was Jordan Spieth and Annie Verret posing with Jake and Lacey Owen at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday. Sorry, ladies, Jordan still has a girlfriend.

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THIS WEEK IN BELEN MOZO MAKING US FEEL BAD WITH SHOWING OFF HER TRAINING

THIS WEEK IN NATALIE GULBIS TRAINING TAKING RANDOM SELFIES

Last day in Hawaii. 🌿

A photo posted by Natalie Gulbis (@natalie_gulbis) on

OK. . .

THIS AND THAT

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The USGA announced mobile devices less than seven inches long will be allowed at the U.S. Open. In other words, as long as you don't have Zach Morris' cell phone from "Saved by the Bell," you should be good at Chambers Bay. . . . Olin Browne won on the Champions Tour in an event cut to 36 holes by bad weather. We guess that counts. . . . Kiradech Aphibarnrat won on the European Tour. APHIBARNRAT! A great golfer with an even better name. . . . Rory McIlroy was reportedly in Rochester, N.Y., to visit Erica Stoll. A weekend in Rochester? Sounds like things are getting pretty serious. . . . United Airlines is adding flights from Denver to North Bend this summer, which will make traveling to Bandon Dunes a lot more convenient. My golf group has taken note and this could help Bandon land a future HGGA Championship.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Who has the best abs in pro golf?

Do kids today even know what "Saved by the Bell" is?

Who has worn their new jacket more: Jordan Spieth or me?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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The Grind

A missed sign from the golf gods, a new master in ping-pong, and Jordan Spieth's kiss seen around the world

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where I'm kicking myself for not taking advantage of a sign from the golf gods. On the eve of the Masters, I was locked out of our Golf Digest rental home in Augusta until a housecleaner with the name "J. Speth" saved me. Seriously. OK, so it was a woman (Jennifer) and no, she didn't have an "i" in her last name, but still, what are the odds? And what are the odds I could have gotten placing a wager on Jordan Spieth? It was a huge opportunity missed, but you can bet I'll be paying attention to the names of people I encounter during U.S. Open week. And if I happen across a waiter named Ronnie McElroy, I'll be sure to let you know.

WE'RE BUYING

Jordan Spieth: As if winning the Masters at 21 wasn't impressive enough, Spieth did it in dominant fashion, never leading by fewer than three shots after firing an opening 64. He also used the word "majestic" and the phrase "unlike any other" in his green jacket acceptance speech. This guy is good.

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Phil Mickelson: It can't be a coincidence that Lefty has only two top 10s in the past two seasons, but they're both runner-up finishes at the last two major championships. The guy can still get up for the big events. Unfortunately, the man who will be looking to complete the career Grand Slam at the U.S. Open completed the runner-up slam with his T-2. He now has 10 second-place finishes at majors to go with his five wins. Only 10 more to go to break Jack Nicklaus' mark of 19!

Related: 19 things you should know about Jordan Spieth

Tiger Woods: A brilliant short game. Some big fist pumps. Shouting expletives on the course. Tell us this guy isn't back! OK, not exactly, but how many people thought they'd see his name that high on the leader board at any point on Sunday? How many people thought we'd even see him on Sunday? Overall, this was an encouraging week for Woods, who played pretty well and made it through all four rounds -- barely. He was also the leader in the clubhouse in terms of hugs given out until Jordan Spieth won.

WE'RE SELLING

Tiger Woods' injury: A root in the pine straw? This guy just can't catch a break. Well, unless you count him hurting a part of his body that he could fix on the course. Fortunately, the injury doesn't seem too serious, which is why we can joke about it. Get better Tiger, and good luck with your career as a budding chiropractor.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Impatient pundits: In a matter of months, the Rory McIlroy Era has already morphed into the Jordan Spieth Period. How quickly we forget Rory's run of winning three straight big events last year, including a pair of majors. In any event, the top two players in the world are a combined age of 46. Let's just enjoy it.

Jim Nantz: Despite our helpful suggestions, there wasn't the normal grand/cheesy punctuation to the tournament from the CBS announcer. We think Spieth missing that short putt for the scoring record on No. 18 threw Nantz, but that's no excuse. "Heir Jordan!" or "The Jordan Rules!" or even "A young Master!" would have worked just fine. We know it's a long week with the NCAA Championship on Monday night, but c'mon, Jim. You're lucky "Gentle Jordan" picked up the slack for you at the ceremony. 

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to the RBC Heritage, aka that event after the Masters. Most of the big names take this week off, especially those who have just won the year's first major. That is, unless your name is Jordan Spieth.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Random tournament fact: No one has ever hit that lighthouse behind the 18th hole at Harbour Town Golf Links.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- Jordan Spieth will wear his green jacket to the first tee: 1 MILLION-to-1 odds

-- Tiger Woods will perform an appendectomy on himself: 10-to-1 odds

Related: The top 25 golf viral videos in 2014

-- Under Armour is pleased that in February it signed a deal with Spieth through 2025: LOCK

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Jack Nicklaus, at 75, making his first-ever hole-in-one at Augusta National. Ridiculous.

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Unfortunately, Arnold Palmer's shoulder kept him out of the marquee par-3 group. But don't worry, Arnie, as this photo from a couple years ago proves, you're still the King.

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THIS WEEK IN JORDAN SPIETH LIVING THE LIFE

On Monday morning, Spieth flew to New York with his new favorite item of clothing for a whirlwind media tour:

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This came after a dream week in which he rented two houses (one for hanging out and one for sleeping) to accommodate his friends and family. He also just recently bought this $2.2 million house in Dallas:

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Considering all the money he's poised to earn after winning the Masters, it might already be time for an upgrade. Or maybe Spieth will buy a second house and keep that one as his sleeping quarters.

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

The Masters is pretty serious about cracking down on people using its footage or taking their own video at the tournament, so we present this instead. All due respect to Jordan Spieth, but this might have been the shot of the week in Augusta:

A video posted by @alexmyers3 on

That's me roping a rare shot past human backboard Jaime Diaz during one of the week's many intense matches at the Golf Digest rental house. We heard Jordan Spieth was also playing a lot of of ping-pong (in his "hanging out" house). Funny, though, he didn't dare show his face in our hood.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"There's a reason I have a hairline like this . . . It's stressful what we do." -- Jordan Spieth. That's OK, Jordan. There isn't a male golfer in the world who wouldn't trade his hair for a green jacket.

THIS WEEK IN TIGER WOODS-LINDSEY VONN-AND OTHERS PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

Tiger surprised everyone by playing in the Par-3 Contest. Hopefully, it's the first of many with his kids:

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Dustin and Paulina: A love story

And if you're a fan of tour WAGS, the Par 3 is like Christmas. Here's Alexis Randock with Rickie Fowler and Erin Walker, who did a tour wife diary for us all week, with Jimmy:

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And of course, there was Jordan Spieth and Annie Verret sharing a victory kiss that broke the heart of many young ladies around the country:

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THIS AND THAT

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Hideki Matsuyama finished fifth place at the Masters, tying him with Jordan Spieth for the most top fives (five) on the PGA Tour this season. At 23, he's practically an old man, though. . . . James Hahn called a penalty on himself and missed the cut by one shot. On the bright side, it gave him more time to peruse the Masters merchandise store (true story). . . . An entry named "brettmarino" won $1 million on DraftKings with a team of Spieth, Rose, Mickelson, Hoffman, Henley, and Na. Must be nice. My team finished 39,819 out of 125,950 and made me nothing. . . . By ignoring what the universe was telling me about Jordan Spieth, I finished out of the money, but at least, I was rich in press room food. In addition to being reunited with the Masters chicken sandwiches, I discovered these chocolate chunk cookies. Man, I really can't wait for next year's tournament.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

How many calories are in those cookies?

How many green jackets will Jordan Spieth win?

Is destroying your boss in ping-pong a good career move?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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The Grind

We say goodbye to the Dufners, hello to Tiger Woods, and explain why we need the Masters even more this year

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we need the Masters more than ever this year. First, the New England Patriots win the Super Bowl, and now, Duke wins the national title in basketball? It's enough to make the average sports fan throw up. But the Masters ushers in spring and new hope of seeing an exciting sporting event and a champion that doesn't make us cringe. Dear Augusta National, don't let us down! There's a lot to discuss, though, before another green jacket is handed out. Let's get to it.

WE'RE BUYING

J.B. Holmes: After a couple of close calls at Torrey Pines and Doral, Holmes got a well-deserved win at the Shell Houston Open and climbed to No. 12 in the world ranking. Holmes battled back from six shots down with a final-round 64 and beat Johnson Wagner and Jordan Spieth in a playoff. Of course, that's nothing compared to him battling back from brain surgery in 2011.

Brittany Lincicome: When Brittany Lincicome wins a major, Brittany Lincicome does it in thrilling fashion. For a second time, a final hole eagle propelled her to a win at Mission Hills. This time, she won the ANA Inspiration in a playoff over Stacy Lewis and took another dip in Poppy's Pond:

Related: 13 PGA Tour winners who used to be regular working stiffs

Lydia Ko: The ANA wasn't her best performance -- in fact, the T-51 was one of her worst, but she still tied Annika Sorenstam's LPGA Tour record with 29 straight sub-par rounds. And she's still 17.

Tiger Woods: He's back! At Augusta, at least. We're not expecting much, but we're glad to see him giving his creaky back and a shaky short game a go. Vegas has him making the cut at about even odds. Remember when he was even odds to win?

WE'RE SELLING

The Dufners' divorce: Sad, sad news as one of the PGA Tour's most visible couples officially split. Amanda even shut down her popular Instagram account. Again, so sad. Of course, it also led to millions of men around the world thinking "So you're telling me there's a chance?"

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Stupid rules: Last week, the rules penalized David Frost for dropping his ball on his mark. This week, a non-rule basically gave Stacy Lewis a penalty for hitting a good shot when she had to play out of a divot during her playoff with Lincicome and wound up making a bogey. Why do you have to play from a worse lie in the middle of the fairway than when you're in the rough? It doesn't make any sense. Sort of like this next topic. . .

ESPN best athlete ranking: How the heck isn't Tiger the No. 1 athlete of the past 20 years? And where is Annika Sorenstam? And for those of you smart asses saying golfers aren't athletes, check out this video of Patrick Reed sprinting after making a hole-in-one:

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to Augusta National for the Masters, aka THE MASTERS! Get ready for the first major by listening to Dave Loggins performing the tournament's theme song with its lyrics and playing a ukelele:

On second thought, you should probably stick to the instrumental version.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Random tournament fact(s): It's been 10 years since Tiger Woods had that miraculous chip-in on No. 16 and went on to win his last of four green jackets. It's been six years since I've been to the tournament and enjoyed one of the delicious chicken sandwiches. I'm back at Augusta this year, though, and really looking forward to this reunion.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- Tiger's short game will be better this week than it was in 2005: 1 MILLION-to-1 odds

-- There will be a lot of Tiger prop bets this week: LOCK

Related: The top 25 golf viral videos in 2014

-- I will eat a lot of those chicken sandwiches: LOCK

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

This is what happens when a filmmaker videos a guy playing golf on icebergs in the middle of Lake Michigan:

COMMERCIAL OF THE WEEK

If the Academy doesn't nominate Nike's mini-movie involving Tiger and Rory for best short film next year, we'll be very disappointed:

THIS WEEK IN RORY MCILROY AND LEXI THOMPSON MAKING US FEEL BAD WITH THEIR TRAINING

All that working out resulted in Rory being the first golfer on the cover of Men's Health Magazine.

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And you may have heard Lexi landed a fitness cover of her own. . .

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Golfers aren't athletes, eh? SMH as the kids say.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"For me, it was a bit difficult to watch so many years and think, I'm never going to play in the Masters, just because of other issues that I've had. But yet, I just love to watch the Masters. So it's going to be weird not watching the Masters this year." -- Erik Compton. Something tells us he'll like playing even more.

THIS WEEK IN DUSTIN JOHNSON-PAULINA GRETZKY KEEGAN BRADLEY-JILLIAN STACEY PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

Keegan Bradley proposed to his girlfriend and she said "YES"! . . . to being his caddie in the Masters Par 3 contest.

So excited for next week πŸ’š #masters #bestweekoftheyear #par3

A photo posted by Jillian Stacey (@jillianfstacey) on

Dustin and Paulina: A love story

Not exactly what every little girl dreams up, but it was a romantic gesture, nevertheless.

ARCHIVE PDA OF THE DUFNERS

Of course, nothing will ever top "the butt squeeze."

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We'll really miss that Instagram account seeing these guys together.

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THIS AND THAT

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Austin Cook, who Monday qualified for the Shell Houston Open, had a share of the lead in the final round before finishing T-11. He's now finished T-11 and T-13 in the two PGA Tour events he's Monday qualified for. Clutch! . . . An Arizona man bought a used set of golf clubs and found a loaded gun in the bag. This might be the oddest golf story of the year. . . . Danielle Kang shot 77 on Saturday and then had her life threatened at dinner that night. OK, so this is without a doubt the oddest golf story of the year. . . . Bubba Watson finished last in an ESPN poll of players when they were asked who they wouldn't defend in a parking lot fight. Luckily for Bubba, there aren't too many of those at PGA Tour events. . . . I've learned through the years to get the "cookie" when flying Delta. A.) It's good, and B.) the two you get are a lot more filling than that bag of five mini-pretzels.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Who will be the next golfer on the cover of Men's Health?

What was Tiger dancing to on Augusta's practice range?

Will Amanda Dufner ever re-join Instagram?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

... Read
The Grind

Jimmy Walker vs. Chuck Norris, Goliath the gator vs. a turtle, "Price is Right" clutch putts, and Rickie hangs with the Randocks

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we've come to realize Jimmy Walker is the Kentucky of the PGA Tour. He might not be 38-0 like the Wildcats, but in his past 37 starts he's won five titles -- a career total in this era. His most recent domination made him the only two-time winner this season and ended that nasty nine-event stretch of 54-hole leaders failing to close the deal. And yes, the San Antonio resident won in his hometown and collected a pair of cowboy boots so we can really start calling him:

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Wait, there were six seasons of that show? (*Checks Google*) There were EIGHT seasons?!

That's Jimmy driving home in his own car after his latest conquest. What a badass. The Boogeyman might check his closet at night for Chuck Norris before he goes to sleep, but the Bogey Man fears Jimmy Walker more than anyone these days.

WE'RE BUYING

Jimmy Walker: Seriously, what took this guy so long? After a decade of being a solid tour pro, Walker has morphed into an elite player in the past 17 months. He's won two more tournaments than anyone on tour since the start of last season and he should basically change his middle name to "FedEx Cup points leader."

Jordan Spieth: If it weren't for this guy, Walker would have won by seven shots at the Valero Texas Open. Spieth didn't have his best on Sunday, but he rallied late to almost make things interesting. More importantly, his runner-up finish moved him to No. 4 in the OWGR and he now has eight finishes of seventh or better in his last 10 starts, with three wins. In other words, Nos. 1 and 2 on the leader board in San Antonio might be the top two threats at Augusta National.

Related: 13 PGA Tour winners who used to be regular working stiffs

Jack Nicklaus: The 18-time major winner received a different type of honor when he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal last week. Nicklaus received the country's highest honor for a civilian at the Capital Rotunda in Washington, D.C., for his "excellence," "philanthropy," and dedication to his family. Speaking of the fam, the Nicklaus clan, including all five of his kids and 22 grandchildren, was out in full force. Impressive!

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Aaron Baddeley's birdie: Speaking of impressive, it's not often you can definitively call something the "craziest in history," but that's what we've done with Baddeley's first-round birdie. After yanking his tee shot into the woods and having to take an unplayable penalty, the Aussie returned to the tee and knocked in his second attempt from 336 yards on the par 4. Unfortunately, there was no video because it was so late in the day (lazy Golf Channel), so we have to settle for this screenshot of what it looked like on PGA Tour Shot Tracker:

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WE'RE SELLING

Tiger ranking tweets: Now that he's fallen out of the top 100, can we stop with these mass weekly updates on Twitter? Every week it's "Tiger falls to (blank) for the first time since 1996!" Yeah, we get it. He turned pro in 1996 and he's been really, really good since then, but now he's not really good and he never plays. If he ever makes an Andre Agassi-like return to No. 1, it will be a fantastic story. Until then, we don't need the weekly reminders of how far he's fallen.

Equipment malfunctions: Even getting custom equipment and special attention, these can still happen to the pros. The head of Phil Mickelson's 8-iron snapped off in a fairway bunker and this happened to Troy Merritt's 2-iron:

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Of course, the difference is these guys were rushed replacement clubs, whereas you or I would have to wait until we have time to go to the store and then probably have to haggle over getting a full refund.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Stupid penalties: Especially when they happen late in a tournament. David Frost dropped his ball on his mark on the 17th hole Sunday and received a one-shot penalty even though he knew exactly where to move his mark back to. Fortunately, Frost, who was surprised by the penalty, made a clutch par putt on No. 18 to win his sixth Champions Tour title. Let this be a lesson to us all: BE CAREFUL WHEN MARKING YOUR BALL.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour stays in Texas for the Shell Houston Open, aka that last event before the Masters.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Random tournament fact: Still basking in the glow of being a Ryder Cup star, Anthony Kim won this tournament just five years ago. OK, so this is probably the last time we can say it was "just" (fill in the blank) years ago. AK has been MIA for awhile now.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- Anthony Kim will star in the 2016 Ryder Cup: 1 MILLION-to-1 odds

-- Tiger will break Jack's mark of 22 grandchildren: 100-to-1 odds

-- Jimmy Walker would be a better actor than Chuck Norris: LOCK

Related: The top 25 golf viral videos in 2014

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

This is NFL star Larry Fitzgerald teeing off at Legend Golf & Safari Resort's Extreme 19th hole:

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GATOR PHOTO OF THE WEEK

That giant one in Florida returned last week to snack on a turtle:

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Oh yeah, he's also been named "Goliath" by the Myakka Pines Golf Club. How great is that? "I'm sooooooo over gators," my boss said. Too bad. Goliath is awesome and he should have a weekly spot in this column as far as I'm concerned. Goliath!

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

All due respect to Jimmy Walker, but no one hit a more clutch putt last week than 84-year-old Margaret, a contestant on The Price is Right.

ARCHIVE VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

All due respect to Margaret, we're not sure anything will ever top this Price is Right (side note: how great is that theme music?) moment, which has to be the luckiest putt in golf history:

THIS WEEK IN SUPERMODELS PLAYING GOLF

How about Adam Levine's wife, Brihati Prinsloo, teeing it up while her husband was away?

Nice swing, but more impressive, how about that backyard driving range?!

THIS WEEK IN RORY MCILROY MAKING US FEEL BAD WITH HIS TRAINING

This Nike video is two full minutes of Rory doing ridiculous things in the gym. What a sicko:

TWEET OF THE WEEK

Great analogy, Billy.

THIS WEEK IN KEEGAN BRADLEY/LUKE DONALD LIVING THE GOOD LIFE

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Oh, no big deal. Just relaxing in the Bahamas and playing golf and basketball with Michael Jordan and Tom Brady. In related news, here's Bradley's girlfriend, Jillian Stacey (right), and  Donald's wife, Diane (left), hanging out on the beach:

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"That's not something I hear a lot." -- President Barack Obama when told by Claude Harmon to "lean to the left" to fix his slice.

THIS WEEK IN DUSTIN JOHNSON-PAULINA GRETZKY RICKIE FOWLER-ALEXIS RANDOCK-NICOLE RANDOCK PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

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Rickie and the Randocks would be a great band name. And here's another one of the lovely sisters:

Dustin and Paulina: A love story

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THIS AND THAT

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Cristie Kerr birdied four of the final five holes to win the Kia Classic. It was the 17th LPGA Tour title of her career, but her first in 43 starts and her first as a mom. . . . Tiger Woods reportedly is getting $16.5 million for a couple of design projects in China. It's still good to be Tiger Woods. . . . Dustin Johnson set another course record, this time at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. Man, do pro golfers play a lot of golf. . . . English pro Thomas Curtis won the Grey Goose World Par 3 Championship and its $20,000 prize in Bermuda while on his honeymoon. Thomas Curtis is a hero. . . . A happy/sad work announcement as Luke Kerr-Dineen (pictured) is leaving Golf Digest to go to USA Today/For The Win. Luke has been a great colleague the past two years, but more importantly, he's been a great swing coach -- even if his methods are a bit unconventional at times.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Will Tiger make another $16.5 million in on-course earnings?

How is Jimmy Walker only ranked 10th in the world?

Is there any room for me in Butch Harmon's stable?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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The Grind

Matt Every's good vibes at Bay Hill, golf's March Madness, cheese discrimination, and the tour's new "it" couple

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we were reminded once again that no sport busts brackets like professional golf. Three weeks after Padraig Harrington won the Honda Classic, Matt Every won the Arnold Palmer Invitational. That's the equivalent of a 14 seed and an 11 seed cutting down the nets in the NCAA Tournament. Sorry, Georgia State and Dayton, we're not as impressed as everyone else.

But there's plenty to talk about aside from the PGA Tour's latest big upset, and we've got every region of the game covered. Let's get started.

WE'RE BUYING

Matt Every: With a middle name of King and a daughter whose middle name is Palmer, Every rivals only the King himself when it comes to good vibes at Bay Hill. A final round 66, including a birdie on the difficult 18th, made Every a repeat winner of the event. And he did it after changing his putter before his final round and getting an assist on the read of his winning putt from a fan. Not bad for someone who had one top 10 since his breakthrough win at Bay Hill last year and whose best previous finish was a T-27 in a 34-man field in Hawaii. Congrats, Matt, and we feel the same way about the Oasis song, "Live Forever." We just aren't getting a tattoo of it. Even Arnie looks confused. . .

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Albatrosses/Double eagles: Whichever name you prefer for a score of three under par on one hole, they're pretty awesome. Yet two were made in two days at Bay Hill, first by Daniel Berger on the par-5 sixth hole on Saturday and then by Zach Johnson on the par-5 16th hole on Sunday. Considering there have been an average of less than three per year on the PGA Tour since 1970, the double eagle double dip might be even rarer than you think.

Related: 13 PGA Tour winners who used to be regular working stiffs

Masters "scripting": Yeah, yeah, ogling what golfers are going to be wearing in the year's first major is silly, but it's also fun. Tiger is going to wear a red shirt and red shoes?! Hey, at least for one day, Nike made us focus on something other than TW's recent chipping woes.

WE'RE SELLING

54-hole leaders: We're not even going to pick on Henrik Stenson this week (although those three-putts on 15 and 16 weren't good). If you're a 54-hole leader on the PGA Tour these days, you're just not going to win. Stenson became the latest victim of this Saturday night curse to make it nine straight tournaments in which someone has failed to close the deal. Winning is tough.

Rory McIlroy: The World No. 1 wasn't awful in the three events he played on the PGA Tour's Florida Swing, but he didn't look like the World No. 1, either. McIlroy had a missed cut, a T-9 and a T-11, shot in the 60s just once in 10 rounds, and really struggled with his irons. He's still the heavy favorite for the Masters, but he's no Kentucky when it comes to a lock.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Tournaments in Portgual: For a second straight year, bad weather wreaked havoc with the Madeira Islands Open. Last year, the European Tour event was reduced to 36 holes and this time, it was cancelled after only getting in 18. First, it was wind strong enough to blow golf balls into the hole. And then came torrential rain. Note to self: Do NOT visit Portugal in March. You will wind up having to fill time doing things like this golfer.

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PGA Tour fun police: PGA Tour caddies are allowed to wear shorts during tournaments, but apparently, salmon-colored ones are a no-no. At least, that's what Kevin Kisner's caddie, Duane Bock, was told at Bay Hill. This is not going to ease the tension between the tour and its caddies. It's also not going to help the tour's relationship with the salmon-colored shorts community. We demand an apology.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads to San Antonio for a Texas two-step before the Masters. Up this week, the Valero Texas Open, which is the last chance to play your way into the field at Augusta by way of being in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking. No pressure, guys!

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Random tournament fact: The winner of this event gets a pair of cowboy boots. This makes for some great post-tournament photos, especially when it looks like the winner's spouse isn't too thrilled with her husband's newest wardrobe addition. . .

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RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- There will be THREE double eagles/albatrosses at the Valero: 1 MILLION-to-1 odds

-- Someone will double bogey No. 18 on Saturday just to avoid being the 54-hole leader: 10-to-1 odds

Related: The top 25 golf viral videos in 2014

-- If Matt Every and his wife have another son, they will name him Arnold: LOCK

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Paula Creamer's outfit scripting doesn't stop at the golf course.

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

I haven't played golf in months, but this video shows my short game -- and my over-the-top-celebrating game -- are in mid-season form:

Hmm. Chipping off a tight lie onto lightning-fast greens? Tiger, I'm just a call away.

ARCHIVE VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

In honor of March Madness, a look back at the outtakes from Bobby Knight's old instructional golf videos. Yes, this was a real thing. And yes, The General's language is as NSFW as you might imagine. See you in a few minutes. This is pure gold:

THIS WEEK IN LINDSEY VONN AND MORGAN HOFFMANN MAKING US FEEL BAD WITH THEIR TRAINING

First, here's Lindsey doing pull-ups:

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And Morgan one-upping her by doing pull-ups with 45-pound chains draped around his neck. Show-off.

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THIS WEEK IN RICKIE FOWLER GRAEME MCDOWELL LIVING THE GOOD LIFE

Quick decompress after the day. Had fun out there. Left several shots behind but happy with where game is going. #keepgrinding

A photo posted by Graeme McDowell (@graeme_mcdowell) on

We'll add the obvious observation of the week: The McDowells have a nice pool.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"I told Tiger I'd hold it down for him until he got back." -- Matt Every on winning at Bay Hill for a second straight year with no Tiger Woods in the field. And a bonus one, also from Every, on the tournament's winning putt:

"I walked up to the green and this guy in the crowd kept like coughing like straight putt, straight putt. I was like this guy is a really d*** if he's lying to me because it's a pretty important moment."

If Every is going to spout gems like these, we'd love to see him in contention more.

THIS WEEK IN DUSTIN JOHNSON-PAULINA GRETZKY JIMMY WALKER-ERIN WALKER PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

These two are quickly becoming the PGA Tour's new "it" couple. Here they are posing for photos in Vegas:

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Dustin and Paulina: A love story

In related news, where have you gone, Amanda Dufner?

THIS AND THAT

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Hyo Joo Kim won the LPGA Tour's Founders Cup at 19. Apparently, she's a late bloomer. . . . After a PGA Tour career that netted him zero wins in 412 starts, Marco Dawson won in his 21st attempt on the Champions Tour. Maybe he's a late bloomer, too. . . . Retired NBA star Ray Allen will play for Fred Couples and Team USA in the inaugural Icons Cup golf event instead of playing with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs. Ray Allen must really love golf. . . . A recent study says nearly 10 percent of Japanese amateur golfers use non-conforming clubs. Something tells us those golfers aren't going to obey the anchoring ban. . . . Why is there a photo of a pepperoni pizza with NO cheese here? Because I feel like I can finally be open about my dislike of cheese now that Adam Scott has come out on this important subject and taken a firm stand. Us non-cheesers have been discriminated against for too long, but hopefully, that's going to start changing. Thanks for being a trailblazer, Adam!

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

Why do restaurants put cheese on everything?

Can any team beat Kentucky?

Will we ever see Tiger in those red shoes?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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The Grind

Jordan Spieth comes up clutch, Rickie Fowler goes "beachin," and Johnny Miller misses out

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we're mad that HBO stole "The Jinx" as a title for a potential golf documentary. Our film wouldn't focus on three chilling deaths surrounding one man, but rather a series of gruesome team losses suffered in the presence of one superstar athlete turned super fan. "The Jinx: Michael Jordan's history as a U.S. Ryder Cup mascot" has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Oh well, back to the drawing board.

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There was no mystery surrounding this week's PGA Tour winner, though, as another Jordan proved he's the real deal once again. So let's get started. We've got a lot of material to piece together.

WE'RE BUYING

Jordan Spieth: With his thrilling Valspar victory, Spieth became just the fourth golfer since 1940 to win twice on the PGA Tour before turning 22 and yet, it seemed like he needed this. Spieth is tied with Matt Kuchar for the most top 10s on tour since the beginning of 2013, but he hadn't won since the 2013 John Deere Classic. To be fair, he had those impressive back-to-back wins in December -- but people generally aren't fair. In any matter, Spieth's win took him to a career-high sixth in the Official World Golf Ranking. We're guessing that won't be the highest he ever gets.

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Patrick Reed's short game: Reed seems to contend on a weekly basis -- even when he's not hitting it well. On Sunday, Reed continuously kept himself in the tournament with clutch up-and-downs, most notably on two playoff holes. And yes, he did all this while dealing with distractions swirling around allegations he cheated and stole in college. Say what you will about the guy, but he's a tough competitor.

Related: 13 PGA Tour winners who used to be regular working stiffs

Sean O'Hair/Derek Ernst: This week's tournament didn't end the way either wanted it to, but there were still positives to take. For O'Hair, it was just the second top-10 finish in 66 PGA Tour starts and the playoff loss vaulted him up more than 200 spots in the Official World Golf Ranking. For Ernst, dropping 14 spots on Sunday to T-17 was rough, but it was still the second-best finish of his tour career in 62 starts.

WE'RE SELLING

Ryan Moore: Look, closing on the PGA Tour is tough. In fact, Moore is the eighth straight 54-hole leader to come up short on the PGA Tour. However, not all of those golfer had a three-shot lead with six holes to play. With a chance for his first non-fall season PGA Tour win in more than five years, Moore let it slip away and fell to a disappointing fifth. Speaking of things slipping away. . .

Tiger Woods' Masters chances: On Friday, Woods announced his game wasn't ready to play at Bay Hill, a course where he's won six times more than anyone else. That's not a good sign. It also means if he tees it up at Augusta National, it might be with just two and a half (ugly) rounds of competitive golf under his belt in 2015.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

Johnny Miller: Despite NBC's coverage, our favorite golf announcer wasn't on hand for one of the most exciting tournaments of the young season. Throw in the fact that Innisbrook's Copperhead Course is a player favorite and the host of the 2012 HGGA Championship (aka my annual golf trip). That's a bad job, Johnny.

ON TAP

The PGA Tour's Florida Swing concludes with the Arnold Palmer Invitational, aka that place, OK, so this one is pretty obvious.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Random tournament fact: Tiger Woods broke the record for hardest hat throw when he made a walk-off birdie in 2008. Here it is in case you've forgotten this guy used to be pretty darn good:

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- Sean O'Hair, Padraig Harrington and James Hahn will all be in playoffs in the same month again: 1 million-to-1 odds

-- This year's Bay Hill winner will break Tiger's hat throw record: 1,000-to-1 odds

Related: The top 25 golf viral videos in 2014

-- The Kentucky Wildcats will make it through more rounds in March than Tiger: LOCK

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Rory McIlroy and Tom Brady pose on the eve of their round at Augusta National.

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A lot has been said about Tom's lack of a belt. But those must be some kind of new super cool pants that don't need a belt. . . right?

HORRIFYING REPTILE PHOTOS OF THE WEEK

We're not sure what's more frightening. This dragon-like gator:

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Or this SNAKE:

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OK, so it's obviously the snake hiding at the bottom of the cup. Now that's an intimidating "Snake Pit." Don't get any ideas, Innisbrook.

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Of all people, two golf club salesmen created the most oddly entertaining rap video you'll see all year. These guys are awesome:

LPGA INSTAGRAMS OF THE WEEK

Eleven holes-in-one? Must be nice, Michelle. Meanwhile, Lydia Ko was being a tourist in San Francisco. Here she is behind bars at Alcatraz:

Let me out... Please??!!!! #Alcatraz @callawaygolf @imggolf

A photo posted by Lydia Ko (@lydsko) on

Hey, Lydia, "Welcome to The Rock." Hopefully, her parents have let her see that Nicolas Cage/Sean Connery classic even though it's rated R.

GOLF WAG INSTAGRAM OF THE WEEK

From show jumping to crushing drives, Erin Walker might be the most athletic golf WAG out there. We'd play a lot more than four times a year if we had that swing.

THIS WEEK IN RICKIE FOWLER LIVING THE LIFE

Beachin with my love @alexis.randock😍 #LovingLife

A photo posted by Rickie Fowler (@therealrickiefowler) on

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"Long and straight. Viagra might be the only one that's going to get you anywhere. I don't know. What else? I don't know what else you take for performance enhancement in golf." -- Henrik Stenson. We doubt that's one of the tour's banned substances considering all the commercials for it that run during an average tournament.

THIS WEEK IN DUSTIN JOHNSON-PAULINA GRETZKY PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

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Dustin and Paulina: A love story

They're back! Good to see these lovebirds/new parents taking some "us" time. If Tatum ever needs a babysitter, let us know.

THIS WEEK IN RORY MCILROY MAKING US FEEL BAD WITH HIS TRAINING

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OK, that's got to be a photoshopped dumbbell, right? Look at the size of that thing!

THIS AND THAT

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A Swedish man was banned for a year from playing golf for hitting into a group in front and will be "flagged" if he tries to play anywhere in his country. Whenever I hear that phrase, "flagged," I immediately think of the Seinfeld episode in which George gets a book red-flagged by taking it into the bathroom with him at the store. . . . The U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship is going to Jupiter Hills in 2018 after being played at Olympic Club, Pinehurst and Winged Foot its first three years. The U.S. Amateur Four-Ball might have a better rota than the U.S. Open. . . . Rory McIlroy has officially replaced Tiger Woods as the face of EA Sports' golf video game. Forget the chipping woes, this is the biggest blow to Tiger's confidence yet. . . . In addition to the M&M-and-Kit Kat-coated chocolate birthday cake I got from my fiancee, I also got this delicious brownie/chocolate chip ice cream/whipped cream concoction from my future mother-in-law. In related news, I've gained my annual "birthday 15."

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

How often does Arnold Palmer drink an Arnold Palmer?

Has anyone made more bad movies than Nicolas Cage?

Does Erin Walker give golf lessons?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.

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