Back again! Another week of golf, another tournament in the books so we’re back at it again with a recap. Let’s get into it.
Name: Arnold Palmer Invitational
Dates: March 19th-March 22nd
Golf Course: Bay Hill Club & Lodge
Location: Orlando, Florida
2014 Winner: Matt Every
Here’s how the Top 10 finished
Ahhhh the Arnold Palmer Invitational. One of the great tournaments on the PGA schedule. For one thing, when this tournament rolls around it means the Masters is just a few weeks away. A lot of the players use it as their final tune up before Augusta. Another reason it’s looked at as one of the best is because of the moments that have happened there. And when I says “moments” I pretty much mean Tiger Woods moments. The guy has won there 8 times and some times in dramatic fashion on the 18th green on Sunday. So much so that it almost came to be expected that Tiger would sink a clutch putt on 18 on Sunday then walk up the hill and shake Arnold’s hand. Those were the days.
Maybe that’s why the tournament lacked some buzz heading into the week. No Tiger always means there’s going to be less hype around a tournament but it still ended up being a good one. Despite Tiger’s absence the top 5 players in the world were gonna be there (until Bubba Watson had to bow out because of the death of a close friend). And this was to be Rory’s first time ever playing at Bay Hill so that helped hype the event where part of it was lacking without Tiger. Any time you can get 4 of the top 5 players in the world (including the #1) in a tournament it’s going to be a good one, with or without Eldrick.
Henrik Stenson started the final round with the 54-hole lead. That lead evaporated QUICKLY when 25 year old Morgan Hoffman came outta the gate, birdied 5 of his first 8 holes and took over as the tournament leader with a two shot lead. But as hot as Hoffman was on the front 9 he was equally as cold on the back 9. He bogeyed 12 and 13 and double bogeyed 18 which left him at -15 and virtually no chance of winning the tournament. This left it between Matt Every (the 2014 champion) and Henrik Stenson to battle it out. As Hoffman was fading down the stretch with a string of bogeys, Stenson retook the lead with birdies on 11 and 12 at -17. Every’s group finished first and it led up to this moment on the 18th green. Every staring down a 16-footer on 18 for birdie with a chance to post a -19 as the leader in the clubhouse
Stones. We saw stones last week from Jordan Spieth and we got more stones this week from Matt Every. That left it up to Stenson to try and stop Every from winning back-to-back at Bay Hill at Arnie’s place. It didn’t happen. Stenson bogeyed 15 and parred 16, 17 and 18 to finish at -18. It was Every’s 2nd PGA Tour victory (both at Bay Hill) and he successfully defended his title and got to shake Arnold’s hand for the second year in a row.
Here’s the winning scorecard from Matt Every:
Shot of the Week:
Tie this week. It’s a tie because if one of them doesn’t happen then it’s not the SOTW. Both of these are the shots of the week because of the pure lack of chance that they would happen during the same tournament. An albatross from Daniel Berger on Saturday at the par-5 6th and then another one from Zach Johnson (Cedar Rapids stand up!) on Sunday at the par-5 16th. Two albatrosses, two players, one tournament. Incredible. Double eagles almost never happen and here we are seeing two in the span of 24 hours. How rare is it for two to happen in the same tournament? See the graphic below (spoiler: it’s super fucking rare).
And in case you missed it in the video, here’s Zach Johnson’s caddy properly celebrating his golfer’s double eagle
Here are a few of the other candidates for Shot of the Week:
Matt Every’s birdie putt on 18 that put him at -19 and would eventually win him the tournament. Oh, and fuck Johnny Miller for calling it an easy putt. Yep. Super easy. Just a simple 16-footer for birdie to win a highly regarded tournament, take home over 1.3 million dollars and be personally congratulated by one of the best golfers to ever live. Super easy! Fuck Johnny Miller but we’ll get to him later.
Brandt Snedeker’s second shot on the par-4 18th on Thursday. Probably the two luckiest bounces you’ll ever see on a golf course.
Rory’s Around The World chip-in on the par-4 9th on Saturday for birdie.
Matt Jones sinking a 75-foot birdie putt on the 18th green during Saturday’s round. I mean I guess that’s impressive but I used to sink putts like that on a daily basis when I played Tiger Woods 2007. Still awesome I suppose.
Fan of the Week:
This lady. It’s this lady because it has to be this lady. That is a RIDICULOUS sign. Listen, I love Rory almost as much as anybody. He’s a phenom, he’s a 4-time major championship winner, he likes to party and slay smokes and he seems like a genuinely good dude. But I don’t think even I like him enough where the thought of, “Hey, you know those Fathead things people have? Well what if I took one of those, put it on a giant lollipop stick and walked around Bay Hill with it? How great would that be!” And I’m only making fun of her because of how funny it is. More power to her. She is absolutely the FOTW and may be the Fan of the all the Golf Recaps even though this is only the third one I’ve done.
Rory as the new cover boy of EA’s golf game
I blogged this when the news broke early in the week but wanted to reiterate the vicious tomahawk dunk Rory unleashed on Tiger’s face with this. Just unreal. Rory takes his spot as the most dominant golfer in the world, takes his spot as the golfer everybody talks about, takes his spot as the golfer who is bedding all the women in the world and then takes his golf game. Pretty much the definition of “passing of the torch”. Or maybe it’s more like “give me that fucking torch, it’s my time now.”
Camilio Villegas had the weirdest birdie of the week on 18 on Sunday
This isn’t a category like Shot of the Week or Fan of the Week but maybe it should be. Weirdest Birdie of the Week. If it were a category, Camilo Villegas would be the hands down winner this week. Erratic drive. Somehow gets his second shot to land on the green but it rolls into the bunker. Then hits a PERFECT bunker shot and holes it. Ho hum. Just another birdie on the scorecard.
Johnny Miller is a soundboard
How is Johnny Miller still employed? That’s an honest question. There’s always certain announcers that some people hate for whatever reason but they’re still relatively good at their job. Joe Buck comes to mind. People HATE Joe Buck because they think he roots against their team and he’s a bit of an asshole. I don’t love Joe Buck either but I’d say the prevailing opinion is that he’s, at the very least, good at announcing baseball games. Nothing of the sort can be said about Johnny Miller. He’s terrible and everybody hates him. EVERYBODY. It’d be easier to find a US politician who publicly supports ISIS than to find a golf fan who enjoys Johnny Miller on broadcasts. He brings nothing new to the table from week to week and is constantly just shitting on the golfers like he won every major when he played.
That’s when I realized, Johnny Miller is a soundboard. He literally is a soundboard. He says the same things week in and week out. He has no new material. So much so that you can predict what he’s going to say. For example, a golfer who is on the leaderboard with a chance to win it on Sunday hits a bad shot? Nerves. There’s simply no other explanation in Johnny’s world to why it happened. Bad shot = nerves 1,000 times out of 1,000. He said it so many times yesterday in regards to Morgan Hoffman I wanted to reach through my TV. When he says it that many times it loses meaning. Maybe Hoffman did succumb to nerves yesterday. That’s surely what Johnny thought. But say anything enough times and you’re bound to be right every once in awhile.
Another thing he always does is say putts are super easy when they aren’t. He’ll say it’s nothing but a straight putt and that the guy should knock it down easily. The putt goes in? Johnny says he told you so. The putt lips out (because there was a bunch of break in it despite Johnny telling you it was straight)? Missed opportunity for the golfer and nerves more than likely had something to do with it. Soundboard soundboard soundboard. That’s all he is. Johnny “Soundboard” Miller. He must have some incriminating photos of the big wigs at NBC Sports or something because his continued employment makes zero sense.
JOHN DALY WATCH
Uhhhhhhh JD didn’t play this week. How the hell am I supposed to know what he did when he doesn’t even play? He just disappeared off the face of the Earth for a week? Oh wait! There’s this newfangled social media website called Twitter that allows people to talk about where they are and what they’re doing at all times. Even when they’re seemingly off the grid.
*checks John Daly’s most recent tweet*
Yes! He’s John Daly all the time! He’s not John Daly 60% of the time. He’s not John Daly 80% of the time. He’s not John Daly 99.9% of the time. He’s John Daly 150% of the time. If I gave you three guesses and asked you, “Since John Daly isn’t playing golf this week, what do you think he’s doing?” you’d have two guesses left over after you got it right on the first try. Because of course he’s sitting at a Waffle House complaining about the service. John fucking Daly. As pure and as genuine as the driven snow (that’s not the saying but fuck it).
Normally the gallery at the end is reserved for the wife/girlfriend of the winner but I found about two pictures of Matt Every’s wife. Instead, since it was Rory’s first time playing at Arnold’s event, let’s go with one of Rory’s ex-girlfriends. Sasha Gale.