By Alex Myers
Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we're happy that talk of a disappointing golf season was laid to rest over Memorial Day weekend. The newly top-ranked player in the world and a former No. 1 both won, another LPGA star was victorious, and a senior got a long-awaited first major -- well, sort of. That's not to mention the NCAA Championships, which featured the triumph of a brave pioneer/trendsetter(?). We hope you're feeling rested after a day off because we've got a lot to talk about.
Rory McIlroy: We could sense a win was coming, especially after McIlroy shot 17 under on just the back nine at TPC Sawgrass during the Players, but to do it on the heels of calling off his engagement to Caroline Wozniacki? That takes incredible concentration. McIlroy used a final-round 66 at Wentworth to come from seven shots behind and claim the BMW PGA, the European Tour's flagship event.
"Wow, I really am a good-looking dude."
Adam Scott: The Aussie got his first win as World No. 1 and as a married man at Colonial, while becoming the first golfer to win all four Texas PGA Tour stops. Scott defeated another 2013 major champion, Jason Dufner, in an entertaining playoff to cap the most exciting day of professional golf thus far in 2014. With the win, Scott ensured he'd stay No. 1 for at least a couple of weeks. We think. Speaking of firsts ...
Colin Montgomerie: Monty is major-less and winless on U.S. soil no more after he pulled away from the pack with a Sunday 65 at the Senior PGA Championship. Of course, the win won't make up for the pain of the 1995 PGA (or the 2006 U.S. Open, or the 1997 U.S. Open, or the 1994 U.S. Open, etc.), but it's got to feel good for Montgomerie to get his first win anywhere in nearly seven years. At only 50, there should be more of those to come on the Champions Tour. He just might want to pick up as many trophies as possible before fellow Euro Ryder Cupper Miguel Angel Jimenez starts playing on the senior circuit more regularly.
Jessica Korda: The LPGA's dream season keeps getting better. This time, it was this rising star's turn to win again with a final-round 65 at the Airbus LPGA Classic. At one point on Sunday, Korda, Michelle Wie, Lexi Thompson and Charley Hull were tied for the lead. Seriously, did commissioner Mike Whan sell his soul to the devil?
Rory McIlroy: Great win and all, Rory, but breaking up with your fiancee after the wedding invitations have already been sent out? That's rough. U.S. Open-level rough. We just hope his victory only days after announcing the end of 'Wozilroy' doesn't set off some sort of trend among committed professional golfers.
Thomas Bjorn: Lost in McIlroy's Sunday brilliance was Bjorn's latest collapse. After opening with a 62 at Wentworth and taking a five-shot lead through 54 holes, Bjorn shot a Sunday 75 to fall to third place. The 43-year-old's comeback from a slump that had him thinking of retiring has been inspiring, but you can add this to the 2003 Open and 2005 PGA as big-time events the big Dane has let slip away.
People knocking pushcarts: Stanford's Cameron Wilson won the NCAA individual championship, but he seemed to draw more heat than praise on Twitter from old-school tough guys for using a pushcart. This brave young lad began using one because of a back injury, but even if he had started using one as a healthy college kid, we'd have no problem with it. In fact, in Scotland -- a place that's pretty old school itself -- using pushcarts is very common. Wilson's teammates also used pushcarts and finished first in match-play qualifying by nine shots. Coincidence? Maybe, but Wilson sure looked fresh after winning his title on the third playoff hole. Good for you, Cameron. Strap that trophy to your cart and roll it slowly by all the haters.
The PGA Tour heads to Ohio for the Memorial at Muirfield Village, aka that place where Kimberly the Streaker and Sammy the Squirrel grabbed headlines at the Presidents Cup last October. Word is, Jack Nicklaus has called for extra security at his course this week.
Random tournament fact: Roger Maltbie won this event in its inaugural year, 1976. ROG! This is what our favorite on-course reporter looked like back then:
RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK
-- Jack Nicklaus will go streaking down the 18th hole: 1 million-to-1 odds.
-- Rory McIlroy's next girlfriend will be Miley Cyrus: 80-to-1 odds (actual odds)
-- Pushcarts will become acceptable, but still won't look cool: LOCK
THIS WEEK IN
DUSTIN JOHNSON-PAULINA GRETZKY SERGIO GARCIA-KATHARINA BOEHM PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION
"Managed to get one more Real Madrid fan tonight!! I'm guessing she won't be as nervous as me!" Garcia tweeted before the Champions League Final. We're guessing neither were too nervous for long as Real Madrid cruised to a 4-1 win. Garcia withdrew from the BMW PGA with a knee injury earlier in the week, but he seemed pretty happy watching his favorite team. In fact, he seems pretty happy quite often these days . . .
UNPLANNED COOL PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Yep, that's Rory McIlroy spraying victory champagne in front of a HUGE poster of Rory McIlroy.
PLANNED UNCOOL PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Poor Adam Scott for having to pose for this one.
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Bubba Watson made a backwards putt at mini-golf and then completely flipped out:
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"It's tough to beat him. He's a great player. It's tough to concentrate, he's so good looking, too," -- Jason Dufner on Adam Scott.
THIS AND THAT
Josh Beckett threw a no-hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers just two days after getting to play a round at Pine Valley. Josh Beckett might be having the best week ever. . . . Keith Clearwater finished dead last in the field at the Crowne Plaza Invitational. But that probably won't stop him from teeing it up again at Colonial next year. . . . Byron Smith, 33, won his first Web.com title at the Rex Hospital Open. Incredibly, Smith never played in a tournament during his two years on the Pepperdine golf team. There's hope for all of us late bloomers. . . . Playing with that hope, I shot a front-nine 33 on Memorial Day, but limped home with a back-nine 46. Sigh. It is believed to be the first such round in golf history.
RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Does Sammy the Squirrel still live at Muirfield Village?
How long will Adam Scott remain No. 1?
Should I start using a pushcart?