Mike Glasscott

The Takeaway

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He Loves L.A.!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


 

Bill Haas is the winner of the 2012 Northern Trust Open after a two-hole playoff-victory over Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson.  

The running theme on Tour this year has been guys coming from off the pace on Sundays to catch and pass the leaders.  This weekend was not any different as Haas began the day two-shots behind overnight leaders Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley

Haas played Sunday two-under-par 69 to post seven-under in the clubhouse.  Both Mickelson and Bradley, who were the last group on the course, were forced to make clutch putts on 18 to join Haas in the playoff. 

In the playoff, the 2011 FedExCup Champion rolled in a 43-foot birdie putt to put the pressure on Mickelson and Bradley, who both missed the 10th green, the second playoff hole, in regulation.  After Phil’s bunker shot came up short and Bradley’s putt burned the edge, Haas collected his fourth victory on Tour.

 

 

Déjà vu All Over Again?

 

Holding a 54-hole lead must be tougher than it looks because for the fourth week in a row, the leader(s) on Sunday could not hang on.

Haas quietly went about his business on Sunday as he played the front nine in two-under 33.  A birdie on 10 got him to eight-under before consecutive bogeys on 12 and 13 drug him back to six-under.  The going got tough as the weather cooled and the wind picked up, yet Haas birdied 17 and made a solid par on 18 to post seven-under. 

Haas made only three bogeys on the weekend as he fired the only two rounds in the 60’s with 68-69.  The amazing part of those rounds in the 60’s was Haas was T58 in GIR.  His putter and short game bailed him out as he was third in strokes gained-putting, T1 in putts-per-round and 12th in putts-per-GIR. 

Haas beat the best field assembled to this point in 2012 at the 10th hardest course on Tour from the 2011 rankings.  Haas also only has one round over-par in 2012.  That’s excellent golf.

Bill Haas becomes the first winner of the FedExCup playoffs to win on Tour. Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk have not won on Tour since winning the FedExCup.

 

 


Young Guns vs Old Guns

 

In seven tournaments this season, the Young vs Old argument is now 4-2-1.

For the young, Johnson Wagner (31), Brandt Snedeker (31), Kyle Stanley (24) and Bill Haas (29) lead the way for the Young guys.

Mark Wilson (37) is in the middle, a half-point for each.

Steve Stricker (44) and Phil Mickelson (41) are flying the flag for the old folks on Tour.

That’s seven-for-seven for US players winning on Tour in 2012.  Watch out Euros! 

 

 

 

Hindsight:

 

Phil Mickelson“Lefty” looked poised to win in back-to-back weeks on Tour for the first time since 2006 (BellSouth & Masters) but his putter went cold on the back nine on Sunday.  After scrambling and putting lights out for the last two weeks, Phil made consecutive bogeys on 14 and 15 to relinquish the lead.  Nonetheless, he gathered his nerve and made a clutch 27-footer on 18 to force a playoff.  After failing to hole his bunker shot on the second playoff hole, Phil wrapped up his West Coast swing with P2. 

 

Keegan Bradley:  Bradley’s hot 2012 continues with his fourth-consecutive event finishing in the top 22.  Bradley’s putter was the key this week as he led the NTO in all three major putting categories, strokes gained-putting, putts per GIR and putts per round.   The biggest putt of his day came on 18 as he sank at 13-footer to join Mickelson and Haas in the playoff.  The PGA Rookie of the Year and PGA Championship winner must continue to be on your radar in 2012. 

 

Sergio Garcia:  Coming into NTO, Garcia had been playing some of the best golf of his career.  After winning twice last fall in Spain, Garcia opened his 2012 European season with a T12 and a T5 before heading across the pond to Riviera.  After an opening round of two-under, the “old” Sergio returned in round two:  putts weren’t falling and the driver was loose in a second-round 76.  Garcia finished the weekend eight-under including a tournament-low 64 on Sunday.  Garcia had a ton of momentum but ran out of gas as his three-footer on his 13th hole spun out and he had to take bogey.  Save for one round, Garcia was excellent as he lit up the field with T2 GIR.  Don’t forget for this week that he has an excellent match-play record!

 

Jimmy Walker:  After finishing T4 here last year, Walker kept his West Coast mojo heading in the right direction with another “Dynomite” T4 this week.  Torrey Pines (T8), Pebble Beach(T9) and Riviera seem to suit Walker’s steady putting stroke and solid iron play as he’s hit the top 10 in three of these starts.   Gamers take note:  It was 14 more events before Walker hit the top 10 again from this point in 2011.   Nobody can argue his West Coast play, though, in 2012.

 

Jarrod Lyle:  The Aussie, who was added as the first alternate on Monday, made the best of his opportunity to makes some cash before his expecting wife gives birth next month.  He finished the week T5 GIR, only made four bogeys on the weekend and kept it together to finish T4. He’s looking at playing right up until the due date in March, so keep an eye out.

 

Dustin Johnson:  The steady Johnson shot 67 on moving day to get him into the conversation on Sunday.  Unfortunately for Johnson his four Sunday birdies were cancelled out by four Sunday bogeys.  Unfortunately for Johnson, his short game let him down when he wasn’t banging GIR (T5).  Johnson, who I projected to win this week, looks absolutely comfortable now after consecutive top 5 finishes in 2012 after his T4. 

 

Bo Van Pelt:  Back-to-back top 10 finishes for Van Pelt after a quiet start to the 2012 season.  He started off with T54 at Humana and CUT at FIO but has played extremely well the last two events finishing T8 at WMPO and T8 this week.  Led the field in birdies and was in the top 12 in all three putting categories.   Van Pelt was 23rd in the FedExCup rankings last season and won in October in Malaysia.  Pay attention people…

 

J.B. Holmes:  After finishing last week 75-80 at Pebble Beach and only making 4 birdies in three rounds, I was staying clear of Holmes this week.  He proved doubters, like me, wrong by making seven birdies in his opening round on his way to four-under 67.  He didn’t break 70 in the last three rounds but his solid putting (ranked in the top 11 in all three major putting categories) kept him in the top 10 with T8.  This is his first top 25 of 2012 as well.  His game is rounding into shape again and the last time he was completely healthy, 2010, he finished 34th in the FedExCup standings.

 

Jonathan Byrd:  At one point on Sunday, he was tied was tied for the lead at eight-under before making double-bogey six on five.  His iron play and putter cooled off on the back side as he fired 39 coming in.  Only made 8 bogeys on the week, but the three on the back nine on Sunday were the costliest.  After finishing T3 at Kapalua, Byrd was cut in his next two starts before his T8 this week. 

 

Jim FurykFuryk made a quiet start to 2012 last week at Pebble Beach where he was T40.  Tough courses tend to suit Furyk and this week wasn’t any different as he landed T11.  Furyk should take note that Bill Haas broke the FedExCup champion’s jinx by winning this week. 

 

Aaron Baddeley:  Any hopes of the defending champion repeating went out the window with his double-bogey six on 13 Sunday.  Baddeley made all pars after that coming in finishing T11.  Two consecutive weeks of solid play (fourth last week) have shown me that Baddeley is back to comfort zone. 

 

Fredrik Jacobson:  The Swede’s first event back after allowing his wrist to rest was a big success.  One, his wrist isn’t bothering him.  Two, he finished T13 after his lowest round of the week on Sunday, 67.  Before hurting his wrist, he finished 2011 with a third place finish in Malaysia and second at WGC HSBC.  Tour ping-pong players better watch out, Freddie’s back!

 

Bubba Watson:  Have putter, will travel.  Watson’s problem right now is not being able to hole putts as consistently as he would like.  With absolutely no problem off the tee and a GIR machine, Watson has been frustrated with the flat stick.  He remarked on Twitter that he’s “cursed” because he’s left handed.  If he fixes his putting, he’ll be very difficult to beat the way he plays tee to green.  So, with all those “problems” Watson’s worst finish in three full-field events has been T13 (FIO and NTO) along with a T5 at WMPO. 

 

Justin Rose:  His first event of 2012 went pretty well with a T13 finish.  Rose struggled putting but tore it up with his irons finishing T2 GIR.  Rose made only four of his 13 birdies on the back side this week and never could get into contention.  Steady start as he carded rounds of 70-70-71-71.  Rose is another player who excels where par is a good score. 

 

“Hey, what ever happened to…”

 

Adam Scott:  Making his first start of 2012, Scott hit the leader board at T17.  Shaking off the rust, his ball striking was excellent but his putting held him back this week.  After firing 73 on Thursday, he rallied to play the final 54 holes three-under-par.

 

Luke Donald:  The number-one ranked player on the planet bogeyed SIX straight holes on the back nine Sunday.  Donald missed the cut here last year and ended up having a pretty good season so I wouldn’t read too much into his first start in the U.S. this season.

 

Stewart Cink:  After finishing in the top 30 in his first two events, Cink has posted a round in the 80’s in his last two tournaments.  Cink only made two birdies on the weekend and carded 80 on Sunday.  Cink’s first round in his last tournament (WMPO) was 83.  Yikes.

 

Robert Allenby:  Never got anything going and made 10 bogeys to stunt any momentum.  The former champion had made 11 of 13 cuts here career.  Make that 11 of 14…

 

Charles Howell IIIEleven bogeys to three birdies led to a MC for Howell.  Since his win in 2007, he’s finished CUT, T55, T59, CUT and T66.    

 

 



Fantasy Golf columnist Mike Glasscott joined Rotoworld in 2012. He can be contacted via email at RotoworldGlass@gmail.com or on Twitter.
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