Chris Kirk comes up clutch, Bubba gets dunked, Miguel dances, and Keegan/Jillian go to a wedding
Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we are just coming out of our annual Memorial Day hot dog coma. Or maybe it's more of a spicy brown mustard hangover. In fact, if we were ranking condiments, we'd go 1. Gulden's spicy brown mustard; 2. Trader Joe's spicy brown mustard; 3. French's spicy mustard; 4. All other kinds of spicy brown mustard we haven't tried yet; 5. All other condiments.
In any matter, we might have given Kobayashi a run for his money this weekend. It's a good thing hot dogs are so healthy. . . OK, so that's not true, but it was certainly a healthy weekend for golf. Let's get cooking.
Chris Kirk: Two weeks after a disappointing finish at the Players, Kirk finished off his fourth PGA Tour victory at Colonial with a clutch up-and-down on the final hole to avoid a four-man playoff. The 30-year-old University of Georgia product is now up to 17th in the Official World Golf Ranking. He's easily No. 1, though, among tour pros with two first names.
To the Colonial victor goes a plaid jacket and one of the biggest trophies in the world.
Colin Montgomerie: Monty couldn't win a major during his prime, but now he can't seem to lose one on the Champions Tour. With a four-shot win at a difficult Pete Dye Course in French Lick, Montgomerie repeated at the Senior PGA Championship and won his third major in his last six attempts as a senior. He is 0 for 71 at majors on the younger circuit.
Byeong Hun An: Six years after winning the U.S. Amateur, An finally claimed another big tournament, winning the European Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA, by six shots. In other words, maybe there's still hope for guys like Bubba Dickerson. The difference with An is he's still only 23. Do we need to add him into the "Era" conversation?
J.R. Smith: Unfortunately for the Cleveland Cavaliers guard, his team's success is keeping him from playing much golf these days. But on the bright side, Smith is playing the best basketball of his career. Smith made eight three-pointers in Cleveland's Game 1 win in the Eastern Conference Finals, but his mind remains on golf as evidenced by this tweet about divots. Hang in there, J.R. you'll be back to playing 36-a-day soon.
Kevin Na: In the past three months, Na has finished out of the top 20 once while racking up five top 10s. However, his play on Sundays has let him down. In contention, Na shot 72 at the Masters to fall to T-12, 71 at the Players to fall to T-6 and now a 72 (with preferred lies through the greens) at Colonial to fall from being the 54-hole leader to a T-10. He's on pace to have his best season ever, but oh, what could have been.
Sinkholes: These things are positively horrifying. In case you missed it, one opened up at the Top of the Rock Golf Course just a month after the Champions Tour was in town. The course is known for it's stunning practice range, but how could you not be scared of falling into one of these the next time you're there?
Francesco Molinari: After having at least a share of the lead at the BMW PGA after the first three days, Molinari shot a final-round 74 at Wentworth to drop into fifth. The Ryder Cupper hasn't won in more than three years. At least he still has bragging rights over brother Edoardo, who hasn't won since 2010.
Rory McIlroy: Just kidding! It's one bad week. He'll be OK.
The PGA Tour stays in Texas for the AT&T Byron Nelson. This year happens to mark the 70th anniversary of Nelson's incredible 1945 campaign that consisted of 18 wins, including a mind-blowing 11 in a row. We'll probably hear about that a few times during the TV broadcast.
Random tournament fact: I found a golf ball with the event's course, TPC Las Colinas, while playing on Monday. Of course, this doesn't mean anything.
RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK
-- Someone will win 11 PGA Tour events in a row this year: 1 MILLION-to-1 odds
-- Webb Simpson will be a captain's pick over Chris Kirk again this year: 10-to-1 odds
-- J.R. Smith would trade eight three-pointers in a game for eight birdies in a round: LOCK
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Miguel Angel Jimenez celebrating after making his third(!) hole-in-one of the year to set a new European Tour career record with 10.
The 51-year-old also finished runner-up. Not surprisingly, he's perfected his celebratory dance:
One more look at Miguel's record-breaking hole in one last week. http://t.co/zaPDfIkFf2
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) May 25, 2015
VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Bubba Watson goes in the dunk tank:
— PensacolaBlueWahoos (@BlueWahoosBBall) May 23, 2015
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"You get the right distance, the right club, hit a good shot and that's the ingredients you need to make a hole in one." -- Miguel Angel Jimenez. Sounds easy enough.
THIS WEEK IN MODERN-DAY TOUR PROS BEING MODERN-DAY TOUR PROS
Billy Horschel challenged Brandt Snedeker to a bet on Twitter involving their alma maters' baseball teams. But when Snedeker proposed the stakes -- loser wears their rival school's colors at the U.S. Open -- Horschel couldn't because his U.S. Open outfits had been scripted six months in advance.
— Billy Horschel (@BillyHo_Golf) May 24, 2015
Florida wound up beating Vanderbilt making Horschel the winner of the bet. If Snedeker wears blue and orange at Chambers Bay, that's why.
THIS WEEK IN NATALIE GULBIS MAKING US FEEL BAD WITH HER TRAINING/TAKING SELFIES
Gulbis may have also just set the record for shortest shorts.
THIS WEEK IN RICKIE FOWLER-ALEXIS RANDOCK KEEGAN BRADLEY-JILLIAN STACEY PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION
Keegan and Jillian were in NYC for the wedding of one of Keegan's friends. We hope to see them at their own wedding some day. (What are you waiting for, Keegan?!)
THIS WEEK IN WILD HOLE-IN-ONE REACTIONS ON THE EUROPEAN TOUR (NON-MIGUEL ANGEL JIMENEZ EDITION)
Not to be outdone by the Mechanic, Andrew Johnston, aka "Beef," made an ace of his own at the BMW PGA on Thursday. Beef reacted to his shot and winning a new sports car by pulling off an impressive running chest bump:
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) May 21, 2015
THIS AND THAT
Alabama's Emma Talley birdied the final hole to win the NCAA women's individual golf championship. She also won the 2013 U.S. Women's Amateur. If not for Lydia Ko, we'd probably be saying the LPGA is about to enter the Emma Era. . . . Peter Uihlein, the 2010 U.S. Amateur champ at Chambers Bay, will not be making a return trip there to this year's U.S. Open after failing to qualify. Too bad because he was one of the few potential players in the field with Mike Davis' recommended 10 practice rounds under his belt. . . . Congrats to Wake Forest men's golf coach Jerry Haas on finishing as low club pro at his first Senior PGA. Jerry, Jay's brother and Bill's uncle, put up with me for four years of covering the Deacs while I was in college. . . . Pictured are the cute farm boxes of golf balls on the range at Baltusrol. Yes, this is my cute way of telling you I got to play Baltusrol ahead of the 2016 PGA Championship. And yes, it was glorious.
RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Which pro would I most like to nail in the dunk tank?
Who has the best nickname in pro sports?
How can anyone prefer regular mustard to spicy brown mustard?