03/22/2015

After Matt Every closed out his second straight win in Arnie’s backyard, I had a storm of thoughts rushing through my mind. Instead of tackling a typical recap story, I think this blog would be best written in bullet point fashion, as I word-vomit my observations.

Let’s fire it up:

Driving Series

1. Henrik Stenson is going to break something

After he was out of the public eye on Sunday, I guarantee Henrik Stenson busted some taillights in the Bay Hill parking lot and might be calling for a few new clubs come Monday morning from his club companies.

Henrik Stenson was the leader after 54-holes at Bay Hill, but following the trend of third round leaders in 2015, he was unable to cinch the noose on the event. He was put on the clock by Tour officials with only a few holes left and he was not pleased by it. He was angry.

The outcome of the day leads me to believe the talented Swede would inevitably lose his anger post-round. Like this:

2. R.I.P. difficult Bay Hill

Over the years, Bay Hill has been a fairly stout challenge for the privileged invitees. For a five-year span from 2007-2011, no player reached 12-under par in the event. This year, the course was soft, receptive and played like the John Deere Classic’s doppleganger. They gobbled it up.

For a second, I thought we were watching the Humana Challenge….

3. Matt Every a Comeback Kid

Last year, Adam Scott was absolutely blowing the field away heading into the weekend, holding a 7-stroke lead after 36-holes. Matt Every chased him down and won the event

Since last year’s win at Bay Hill, Every’s game has been forgettable. Statistics via @Adam_Sarson:

  • Wins: Zero
  • Top-10’s: One (2014 St. Jude)
  • Top-25’s: Zero, outside of the 2014 St. Jude
  • Made Cuts: 13/24
  • One WD and one DQ

Something about this course plays into the former Big Breaker’s hands…

4. Kokrak is a great player in the waiting

The guy is a bomber and possesses the worst smile in golf.

He’s a top-10 player in driving distance on Tour and after 5-under rounds and 7-under rounds on Thursday and Saturday respectively, his highlights were nuts.

9-irons from 176 and 6-irons into the wind from 206 were the norm. From all I’ve seen, he has the ability to be another great competitor on Tour. He needs to convince himself of that.

I’ve got a feeling he will win yet in 2015.

5. I loved what I saw from Morgan Hoffmann

The former Oklahoma State star was Bay Hill’s baby during the crazy days of March Madness basketball on Thursday and Friday.

As Georgia State was going on a 13-0 run to finish an upset over Baylor and the UAB Blazers were avenging the loss of their football team with a tournament win, Morgan Hoffmann was making birdies–and he was making a lot of them. His demeanor all week, (aside from being upset at the conclusion of the final round because of an unruly fan) was impressive. He has a stoic appearance with a strong-looking body and a simple golf swing. A bit of a bulky putting stroke throughout the weekend, but when he was rolling it well, he got a lot of putts to fall in his favor. He’s 3rd on Tour in 3-putt avoidance in 2015.

Morgan Hoffmann has the game for the long-haul out here on the PGA Tour.  I liked what I saw all weekend.

6. Two Albatrosses (Albatri?) in one weekend is incredible

Wow, two of those in one weekend?

Conclusion

I would have liked to see the world number 3 finish off the event over the weekend, but as I alluded to above, I’m sure no one is more upset than Stenson himself. 

Matt Every is a player I’ve never really liked, ever since his episode with weed, Kelly Tilghman and his poor personal PR, but he seems to be extremely liked by his peers on the PGA Tour. He’s growing on me. He still has a cocky aura, with comments like “I told Tiger I would hold it down till he got back,” and “no one in the field is hitting it better than me,” on Saturday. But it’s confidence you need on Tour, confidence Every does not lack. 

I like what he said about his struggles on Tour too, “It’s really easy to get down on yourself out here, but it’s really a waste of time because no one cares.” There’s truth to that statement if you aren’t Tiger or Phil. 

Bay Hill lacked the star power to pull ratings from the NCAA tournament, but for golf fans (outside Darren Rovell) this was another fun event and we now have 19 different winners in 2014-2015. 

On to Texas….