It seems like every Monday's post I write how enjoyable the golf viewing was over the weekend. If you like intense and exciting golf, not necessarily by the biggest and most popular names like Phil Mickelson or Tiger Woods, then this weekend was yet another great one. The PGA Tour is batting 100% for the season.
Tuscon Arizona should be warm, but the players, media and fans had to adjust to the unseasonably cold weather. In fact, the course was covered with snow on Sunday morning. Play in the final group was even postponed for a few minutes as they had to wait for a passing hail storm and they couldn't putt on the hail covered greens.
There were two primary winners this weekend, Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer, with a few other great stories.
Luke Donald Wins
Luke Donald plowed through the match play field like a buzz saw, destroying every opponent they put in front of him including Ryan Moore, Matt Kuchar and finalist Martin Kaymer. Donald, despite being the global leading money winner in golf last year, hadn't won on US soil since 2006.
Donald's amazing short game and putting proved that being long isn't the only way to win on tour, especially on the host course. The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club is the longest course on the PGA Tour at 7,833 yards.
For his great efforts, Luke Donald moves up to #3 in the world golf rankings.
German Martin Kaymer came into this tournament ranked #2 in the world. With Tiger Woods being knocked out in the first round and world #1 Lee Westwood being knocked out in the second, this opened up the chance for Kaymer to rise to the #1 spot by reaching the finals. That he did. Kaymer is now #1 in the world, pushing down Lee Westwood to #2.
Kaymer is not done either. With a swing that pure and putting so good, it will take quite a bit of high caliber play for another player to dethrone this 26 year old.
Perhaps the funnest, if not most interesting story line, is that of Bubba Watson. The big hitter made it to the semi-finals and barely lost to Kaymer 1-down. Bubba's match with JB (found money) Holmes was epic, like a wild west showdown. The jokes were flying as "Watson & Holmes" were investigating how to tear up the Tour's longest course with their power. That they did.
On one hole during the Watson/Holmes match Bubba teed off first, knocking his drive a massive 338 yards. JB Holmes then "Wal-Marted" Watson by knocking it 75 yards past him! That drive of 413 yards for Holmes is the longest recorded drive of this PGA Tour season.
Watson found himself five down to Holmes, but managed to claw his way to huge comeback 19th hole victory.
Tiger Woods' swing was not working and he was subsequently ousted in the first round by Thomas Bjorn. The bigger story than that, was that when the dust settled Tiger would fall to #5 in the world.
Found Money Holmes
The reason I called JB Holmes "found money," was that he wasn't even scheduled to play in this event. But when Tim Clark pulled out with a bad elbow, the #66 in the world Holmes filled the spot. Holmes made it through Camilo Villegas, Ernie Els and Jason Day to meet Bubba Watson in the quarter finals. Bubba found a few extra bucks this week without a doubt.
Shot Of The Tournament
JB Holmes' 413 yard drive was a candidate for the shot of the tournament yes. But the award goes to Bubba Watson for knocking his 2nd shot on a par-5 onto the green with an IRON from 286 yards. Unbelievable.