Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth and Bryson DeChambeau in Heroes and Zeros

January 26, 2016
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Sports Illustrated’s Alan Shipnuck breaks down the good and bad — and sometimes even the ugly — of the weekend that was in professional golf. More often than not, someone blew a lead, another player stormed onto the scene and a few others provided us unforgettable moments, for whatever reason. Who is a hero and who is a zero? Find out below, but make sure to check back next week. You never know who will show up.


1. Rickie. Okay, okay, I’m finally starting to get a little excited about this Big Four narrative. But if he’s so obsessed with his wardrobe, might I suggest some green formalwear?

2. The Duf. Golf is waaay more fun with Dufner haunting the leaderboard. And for a guy who has never been a great putter he came up clutch plenty of times on Sunday, which could mean exciting times ahead.  Can’t endorse the buttoned top-button, though.

3. Phil. Sharp, focused, fired-up…heckuva debut for the indefatigable 45-year-old. Does Mickelson have one last run in him? If so, it sure would be fun.

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4. The LPGA. After an actual offseason, my favorite Tour starts up this week in the Bahamas. Must-see TV for some of us.

5. Bryson DeChambeau. His opening 64 in Abu Dhabi introduced this unique character to a whole new part of the world. Pity he didn’t keep going, but there are plenty of victories ahead for this talented iconoclast.  


1. Jordan. He’s burnt out from traveling all over the world scooping up appearance fees. Given that Spieth is gonna be a billionaire by the time he’s 40 in any scenario, why is he killing himself now to make a few extra million? Staying fresh and healthy and pointing toward Augusta is all that should matter.

2. Rickie’s pajama pants. Jeez, I thought the high-tops were objectionable!

3. Tom Watson’s ball. Is this the Senior Tour or the FIFA World Cup?

4. Legs. On the right person — preferably female — I’m a big fan. But I don’t wanna see the pasty, hairy versions that are now going to be on display during Euro Tour practice rounds!

5. David Lingmerth. He played basically perfect golf while shooting a 127 over the weekend but on the second hole of sudden death everything fell apart. That’s what makes tournament golf such riveting theatre. To quote the great Bobby Jones, “On the golf course, a man may be the dogged victim of inexorable fate, be struck down by an appalling stroke of tragedy, become the hero of unbelievable melodrama, or the clown in a sidesplitting comedy — any of these within a few hours, and all without having to bury a corpse or repair a tangled personality.”