Sunday's Birdies and Bogeys
May 12, 2012
Birdie: The PlayersIt may never garner the respect of the four major championships, but this tournament always seems to deliver as exciting a finish as any event in the game. This year was no different, with as many as 10 different players contending on Sunday's back nine. And while some may complain about a lack of memorable holes on the first 80 percent of the Pete Dye track, it's tough to beat the Stadium Course's closing stretch of 16, 17 and 18.
Bogey: The Players At The PlayersOnly one golfer ranked inside the top 15 of the Official World Golf Ranking, Luke Donald, finished in the top 10 on the leader board at TPC Sawgrass. More amazing, less than half of those golfers even made it to the weekend if you include no-shows Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen. Part of this course's charm is that it doesn't seem to favor any type of player, but not having more elite players contending on the weekend caused the tournament to lose some of its buzz.
Birdie: Matt KucharA month after nearly winning at Augusta, this time, Kuchar didn't let a big prize slip from his grasp. The clincher was a 15-footer for birdie on No. 16 just moments after being within earshot of Rickie Fowler's clutch birdie on the island-green 17th. The moment was evidence of a killer instinct that occasionally seems to be lacking from the ever-smiling Georgian. Always known as a nice guy and one of the game's most consistent players, Kuchar's win at Sawgrass could propel him to true elite status.
Bogey: Kevin NaThe good news is that the 54-hole leader picked up his pace of play during the final round. The bad news? It didn't help his quality of play. Na admitted to rushing at times following his 76, which dropped him into a tie for seventh place. Certainly playing TPC Sawgrass with the Players on the line is no easy task, but he still shot six shots worse than anyone else in the final three groups on Sunday.
Birdie: Rickie FowlerHe may have come up just short in becoming the first back-to-back winner on the PGA Tour since Tiger Woods in 2009, but the 23-year old offered more proof that he has what it takes to be a superstar. Fowler's 66 on Saturday was arguably the round of the tournament considering the conditions, and he flirted with the lead all day on Sunday. When he fell back, he responded with birdies at 16, 17 and a brilliant approach at 18. His final attempt narrowly missed, but it's tough to find anything to critique about his game over the past month.
Birdie: Ben CurtisTwo months ago, Ben Curtis was having to try to Monday qualify for events on the PGA Tour. Now he's one of the hottest golfers on the planet. Curtis won for the first time in nearly six years last month at the Valero Texas Open and he hasn't slowed down since. He added a T-13 in New Orleans, a T-5 at Quail Hollow, and now a T-2 this week.
Bogey: Tiger WoodsAnother year, another disappointing finish for the 14-time major champion at TPC Sawgrass. Woods bogeyed his opening hole, added a double bogey at No. 4 and never put together anything resembling a charge while wearing his customary Sunday red on his way to a one-over 73. On a positive note, at least he finished this event in one piece after withdrawing with injuries the past two years.
Birdie: David TomsA playoff loser to K.J. Choi here a year ago, Toms was never in serious contention this week. So what did he do on Sunday? He started firing at flagsticks of course. He holed out from 123 yards on No. 6 and added six more birdies on his final 12 holes. His 65 matched the low round of the tournament, and led to his biggest paycheck of the year.
Bogey: Sergio GarciaIf you needed any proof that momentum doesn't always carry over from one round to the next, look no further than Garcia. After going six under over his final 10 holes on Saturday, the 2008 Players champion promptly bogeyed his first hole Sunday, made a snowman on No. 4 when he put two balls in the water, and shot a front-nine 42. That win at TPC Sawgrass four years ago must seem like ancient history for a guy looking for his first PGA Tour win since.
Birdie: Carl PetterssonEven with a closing double bogey, the big Swede continued his big season with a T-10 finish here. Apparently, he's also a big fan of Pete Dye, having recently won at the famed course architect's Harbour Town. The good news for Pettersson is the year's final major, the PGA Championship, will be held on another Dye design: Kiawah Island's famed Ocean Course.