FORE QUESTIONS FROM THE WORKDAY CHARITY OPEN
Collin Morikawa won his second career tournament on Sunday by defeating Justin Thomas on the third playoff hole at the Workday Charity Open. Morikawa will join a star-studded field next week at The Memorial Tournament which will include Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. We look at the most pressing questions from the past week and the week upcoming along with other happenings in the world of golf.
Was this Redemption for Collin Morikawa?
Indeed. After a frustrating loss the first week back at the Charles Schwab Challenge when he missed a three-foot putt that would have extended the playoff against Daniel Berger, Morikawa made a clutch 20-footer on the first playoff hole to extend his playoff with Justin Thomas. Two holes later, Morikawa celebrated his second-ever victory on the PGA Tour.
This was a huge win for the 23-year old Morikawa. He was one of the three young stars who was hyped up a year ago when he came onto Tour (along with Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff) and he is living up to every bit of it right now. He now goes from being a regular weekly player to being one of the favorites when the PGA Championship goes to San Francisco next month. Morikawa played college golf not too far away from where they will be teeing it up at Harding Park.
Why didn’t CBS show the Finale Live?
Sadly, many of you may have been watching the incredible finish between Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa and already knew who won. That is because weather pushed tee times up three hours on Sunday. Like many of you, I absolutely HATE taped coverage of golf in the afternoon. I’ve been living it for years and it’s the worst. In today’s technological age, it’s almost impossible to hold off until 6 p.m. EST without knowing who won. So when Thomas made his incredible 60-footer on 18 on the first playoff hole, I and many others already knew Morikawa was going to make that long putt to tie him and send it to another hole. Major buzz kill.
What was more frustrating was The Golf Channel actually showed the tournament live in the morning and then went back to show tape delayed coverage. What the heck was that about? According to The Golf Channel, TV rights were handed over to CBS at that time who wanted to show the coverage on tape delay.
Golf needs to fix this problem. They got it right at the Masters last year when weather pushed up tee times and they showed it live. Granted, the Workday Charity Open isn’t the Masters, but when there’s no other sports going on, more people are interested in golf right now and are being spoiled by already knowing the winner. This is 2020, not 1990. If you have the ability to show a tournament live, find a way to do it on television (not some streaming device).
What Should We Expect from Tiger Woods at the Memorial?
It feels like 10 years since we last remember seeing Tiger Woods in an actual PGA tournament. Woods has struggled in recent years off big layoffs so expecting big things out of him is asking a lot. Of course, it will all depend how his body holds up. If he plays more pain-free, then he should at least make the cut and flirt with the first couple pages of the leaderboard. After all, he’s won this tournament a gazillion times and knows the course like the back of his hand. But we know Tiger’s body doesn’t always act accordingly.
Win or lose, seeing Tiger back in action will be a welcome sight. Like my article a few weeks ago, we’re on borrowed time with Tiger. Enjoy every tournament he plays and sink it in because who knows how many years we have left.
Was cancelling the Ryder Cup this year the right decision?
A definite yes. What makes the Ryder Cup the Ryder Cup is the fans and the atmosphere. If the Ryder Cup was to be played, it would have been with no fans. That takes all the fun out of it. It’s better to wait a year and give the Wisconsin fans their money’s worth at Whistling Straits.
The growing cases over the last week are concerning and I don’t think it’s a slam dunk that we’re going to see the majors played this year, particularly the Masters the way Georgia has seen a major spike with the virus. Already, the Open Championship in England has been cancelled. Let’s hope things get better and we can at least see three majors this year.
Three Foods for Thought
Justin Thomas Is “Oh-So Close” to Being Elite
When we talk about “the elite of the elite” right now on the PGA Tour, I want to put Justin Thomas up there so bad, but I just can’t yet. He’s right there, but come the big moments, he still comes up just short, although his 60-foot bomb in the playoff was definitely making a moment. Thomas had a three-shot lead late and couldn’t hold on. He was also right there at the top a month ago in Texas and faded on Sunday.
Thomas has won 12 times on Tour and twice this season, but has just one major championship and no World Golf Championship wins. He is on the top of that second tier group of players, but I just can’t put him up there with Brooks, Rory, or Dustin yet. But he knocking on that door.
I don’t know what to make of Jordan Spieth anymore
After a great showing the first week back from the coronavirus at the Charles Schwab Challenge, Jordan Spieth has regressed yet again. He missed the cut this past weekend and continues to search for a game that is nowhere near what it used to be in 2017.
Once No. 1 in the world, Spieth has fallen all the way down to 58th in the World Golf Ranking, his worst ranking since he was a rookie in 2014. It’s not just one area holding back Jordan right now, it’s a whole list of them. His driver has been off, his ball striking is sub par, and his putter has gone ice cold. Once the one schooling his buddy Justin Thomas, it’s now turned the other way.
The Memorial Wisely Reverses Course
Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament was supposd to be the first tournament to allow fans following the coronavirus. However, a spike of cases in both Ohio and all across the country has forced the tournament to close off the gates to fans this week. It’s a good decision in what is an increasingly concerning time in America right now where things seem to be teetering on the edge of getting out of control.
I personally don’t mind watching golf without fans, as long as there’s golf and the players are staying safe. It’s not great for those wanting to attend, but it hopefully is just a one-year setback.
Two Picks for the Memorial
The defending champion here comes in with good form. He played at Muirfield Village this past week and posted a top-10 finish. Cantlay has finished T17 or better in 7 of his last 8 tournaments.
He doesn’t have to travel at all and finished 2nd here this past week. That hunger should still be there to win at Jack’s place. He’s already won twice this season and could easily have won five times if he could have just finished a little stronger. He’s a good pick for the upcoming week.
One Final Word
What a field next week!