by Jeff Skinner
As Steve Williams continues to bask in Adam Scott’s spotlight let’s revisit the “Questions at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational” that I proposed last week.
First question was “What will Tiger gives us?” The answer: not much. For any rational player, coming off an injury and a long layoff, four rounds of healthy golf would have been satisfactory. But not in Tiger’s eyes. He may have been disappointed by his one over par finish but he shouldn’t be. Baby steps, baby steps…play four rounds on legs that don’t fail you and build from there.
Second question was “Can G-Mac shake off is poor season?” A nine over par, 65th place finish is a resounding no. He finds the fairway but can’t hit the greens and that putter of his that won him fame and fortune may as well be a shovel.
“Can Phil Mickelson make a two foot putt?” He didn’t miss any gimmies this week but his game was pathetic. We expect him to miss fairways, he did, but we also expect him to hit the greens and make some birdies, he didn’t. Nine birds all week.
“Will Lee Westwood’s quickie (with Rotella and Stockton) pay off? It looks like he was rewarded for his quick sessions with the gurus of golf. He finished T9, drove it well, hit plenty of greens and his putting, while not spectacular, was very acceptable. He may be primed for this week’s PGA championship.
“Will Rory Tweet?” Rory had his Twitter filter on and he concentrated mostly on golf. He had a fine week and finished T6. He was tied T3 in driving accuracy and T4 in GIR. That’s a great combination. He’s right: he does like playing over here.
“Will World Number One get some respect?” Luke Donald’s reign as number one is like a stealth bomber: it sneaks up on you and lowers the boom. Donald finished T2 with two great closing rounds of 64-66. As usual, he drove it straight and led the field in GIR. If not for a balky putter in the first two rounds he may have challenged Scott on Sunday.
“Can Ian Poulter salvage his PGA Tour season?” Short answer, not this week. A T68, 12 over par finish which included a third round 80 keeps Poulter in his season long funk.
“Rickie or Matteo, who wins the battle of the kids?” If it was a match play it was over early. Matteo struggled early with opening rounds of 70-72 and finished T37. Rickie opened well with a 68 to start and slammed the door with his second round 64. He played well all week and he led the field in putting. His bogey free final round 66 jumped him into a T2 finish and showed he is getting close to breaking through.
I had no idea that this question would be so appropriate. “Can Adam Scott handle the pressure of playing with Tiger’s caddy?” I guess he answered that with a resounding yes. Scott looked calm, cool and focused all tournament. Sunday he looked like a Ferrari hitting on all cylinders. A bogey free 65 to pull away from a great group of youngsters put an exclamation point on Scott’s victory. Now the question is: Can Scott handle his caddie’s new found celebrity?” Maybe Adam will ask Stevie to cool it on the post victory interviews.
Last question was “Has Darren Clarke stopped partying yet?” Silly question.