In this week’s edition, Jon Rahm finds much-needed form in Mexico, Tiger Woods keeps us guessing and Phil Mickelson remains undecided about his future with the PGA Tour or LIV Golf.
A reset. Since getting off to a strong start in 2022 with a second-place finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and a third-place tie at Torrey Pines, Jon Rahm hasn’t exactly looked like Jon Rahm.
He finished with rounds of 74 over the weekend at Bay Hill, tied for 55and at The Players, his worst result on the PGA Tour since last May, and was never in the conversation at the Masters.
Along the way, he also lost top world rankings and momentum ahead of the busy part of the major championship season, but rounds like Thursday at the Mexico Open are why he will remain one of the players the most explosive in the game.
Full Mexican Open Scores at Vidanta
After starting his day at No. 10, he birdied at Nos. 12, 13 and 14 and added another at 18and hole before driving the green to the par-4 seventh and rolling in a 41-footer for an eagle and a 7-under 64.
Getting back to hunting is a good step. Playing bogey-free golf is encouraging. But picking up shots on the greens (he had over 1.48 strokes in strokes gained: put on Day 1) is all the reason for optimism.
tiger watch. In the extremely small sample size of Tiger Woods’ latest comeback, an on-site visit is the closest thing to a guarantee we’re going to get from the 15-time major champion.
Woods flew to Tulsa, Okla., Thursday for a practice round at Southern Hills ahead of next month’s PGA Championship. He made a similar trip to Augusta National before playing the Masters, his first official tour on the Tour in over 18 months.
There has been no official word from Woods’ camp, but barring any setbacks, he appears set to play at Southern Hills, where he won the 2007 PGA Championship. He has also signed up to play at the US Open and has committed to playing the Open Championship in July, which for Tiger is probably as close to a full schedule as he will ever get.
Made Cut-didn’t finish (MDF)
Indecision. Whatever limbo Phil Mickelson finds himself in, mandated by the PGA Tour or his own competition clock, it’s time to make a choice.
Last week Mickelson signed up to play both the US Open and next month’s PGA Championship, where he is the defending champion, and his manager also announced that Lefty had requested an event exit. conflict to play the first LIV Golf Invitational Series event in London. All of this is notable because it was the Tour and LIV Golf that Lefty grilled in an interview late last year with the Fire Pit Collective that began his unraveling.
Shortly after Mickelson’s “reckless” comments were published, he announced he was stepping away from the game in a statement filled with mixed messages: “Golf is in desperate need of change and real change is always preceded by disruption. “, he wrote.
After the curious choice to do battle with the Tour and LIV Golf, it seems Mickelson is still unsure which side he wants to land on.
Tweet of the week:
DeChambeau underwent surgery on his hamate bone in his left hand earlier this month, which several Tour coaches say requires a 10-12 week recovery. Hopefully the right time is when his body is finally in shape.
The great white enigma. Earlier this year, Rory McIlroy took what had been largely a business conversation about LIV Golf and made it personal: ‘I don’t think they put the right management team in from the start’ , did he declare.
As CEO of LIV Golf, Greg Norman has been a curious figure throughout this process as the missteps have piled up. LIV Golf’s brainchild of an 18-event, Formula 1-style team schedule has been whittled down to an eight-event invitational series that begins in June.
Even this lite version contains curious elements. After the first event in London, the next four tournaments are set to take place in the United States, a move that will directly challenge a Tour rulebook prohibiting conflicting event exits for events played in North America.
It may be that tipping point and the legal battle that is sure to follow that Norman is hoping for, but with the Great White Enigma it always feels like there’s a fine line between strategy and stumbling. .
Choose fights. Unlike last year’s Twitter spat between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau, this seemed sophomoric and self-centered.
It started on Twitter, like most things do these days, when Grayson Murray tried Kevin Na (he plays slow) via a quote tweet and Na fired back at Murray (he plays badly).
This week at the Mexico Open, the two revisited the dispute. Murray told The Stripe Show podcast that Na called him out in a blasphemous challenge.
“I went up to his face and held on, and told him if I wasn’t going to be suspended now, I would drop his a– right there on the shooting range,” said Murray on the podcast.
Na later told Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis, “That’s not exactly how it happened, but I’m done with it and moving on.”
A few things: 1) you are grown men, act like one. 2) you are professional golfers, leave the hard stuff to the NHL, MLB and NFL. And 3) It’s Twitter, if violence is your 280 character reaction, then you’re exactly the type of person who shouldn’t be on Twitter.