Rory Has 11.3 Million Reasons As To Why His Season Didn’t Suck
He came. He Saw. He stole 10 million dollars from Dustin Johnson’s retirement fund and gutted Kevin Chappell and Ryan Moore in the process. When he’s on he’s a stone cold killer, and he was on Sunday at East Lake en route to a final round 64. Rory McIlroy was nearly flawless and capped his fireworks with an eagle two at the 16th hole when he needed it most. Down by 3 shots with 3 holes to play, his eagle got him within 1, then he dodged a bullet when Ryan Moore missed his tournament winning birdie putt on the final hole. In the playoff he disposed of Moore and Chappell after 4 grueling holes in which all three players hit it all over the lot. The death blow to Moore came back on the 16th green when after holing a clutch long par putt to stay alive he had to watch Rory do this.
That was 3 holes after Rory missed a 5 footer for eagle on the first playoff hole. Rors had his chances too, and came through again on the 16th to make sure he didn’t give Moore another chance. The tournament within the tournament with 10 million clams on the line made Sunday’s action at East Lake even more interesting than normal. Dustin Johnson was poised to win the Fed Ex trophy. Once Jason Day withdrew Johnson’s odds of winning the $10 million bonus more than doubled. He started to take apart East Lake like he was back at Oakmont in June. He had a 2 shot lead through 54 holes on everyone not named Kevin Chappell and fell on his face during the final round to finish T6.
Of course Dustin’s situation meant the Fed Ex trophy was there for Rory to take, along with the truck full of cash. The equation was a simple one. Rory wins the tournament, he wins the Fed Ex Cup. Anybody else wins and Dustin takes the big prize back to Paulina and Wayne. A normal Tour player would probably be on the edge of their seat watching the playoff. Dustin probably knew he’d blown it and didn’t even watch, especially after this:
So does the Fed Ex Cup title erase a year without a major for Rory? Not a chance in hell in my mind. The Fed Ex Cup and its wealth of riches are a nice consolation for Rors. He gives zero fucks about the money, but winning twice in September and adding a Fed Ex Cup to his trophy collection is a nice shot in the arm going into the Ryder Cup and the 2017 season. I wouldn’t want to play him in a Ryder Cup match this week if I was on Team USA.
Ryan Moore told Davis Love he didn’t want to go to Hazeltine last weekend while the Tour was off and practice with the current 11 team members and other potential members because he wanted to rest and focus on the Tour Championship. His goal for the season was to win the TC and the Fed Ex Cup, making the Ryder Cup team was an ancillary goal. He almost pulled it off and will probably lose a bit of sleep over the 8 foot putt he missed on the final hole of regulation play that would have given him the win.
I had counted Moore out of the Ryder Cup mix when he skipped practice in Minnesota, but everything he did at East Lake made him almost a lock to be picked by Love for the final spot. Exhibit A, he went toe to toe with Rory on his A game all day on Sunday and nearly knocked him off. As for DJ, homie’s game was off to the lost and found on Sunday from the early going. He never got it back. A 73 at the Tour Championship under great conditions isn’t going to win you shit. I’m glad he didn’t back into the Fed Ex Cup trophy with that performance. Who knows what we’ll see from him at Hazeltine this week.
Kevin Chappell has had a few 54 hole leads in his PGA Tour career. He was tied with Johnson this week and shot 66 on Sunday. That’s far different from the results he’s produced with 3rd round leads in the past but it still wasn’t good enough to get his first Tour win. He was one sloppy bogey on the easy 17th hole from making it happen. Would he have been Love’s pick had he snaked the Tour Championship? I doubt it. Don’t cry for Chappell, just making the final tournament for 2016 gets him in the field at the Masters next year. I’ll bet he wins an early 2017 event this fall, maybe even his next start.
Shot Of The Day
This one is too easy. When the most electric player in the game today holes out for eagle on the 70th hole of the tournament to help him come from behind to win, what else could top that for the Shot of the Day? Nothing.
And that’s a wrap on the 2016 PGA Tour season. Rory’s back, Dustin broke through, and Day kept on keeping on (getting injured). Will Spieth bounce back in 2017? Will Tiger or Phil finally win again? Can Stenson or Walker snag another major? I can’t wait to find out. If only the 2017 season could start…..what…what’s that? Oh yeah, it starts in two weeks….right after we get done with this silly exhibition match.
Ryder Cup Pick’em
In the end Love’s choice was easy. Moore outplayed Kevin Chappell over the Fed Ex events, even if just by a smidge. Moore dueled with Rory and put up a great fight to validate his recent play. Berger, Bubba, and Justin Thomas were almost no where to be seen. How could Love have picked anyone else? I like Ryan Moore. I love his match play record, as an amateur (he won the U.S. Am, Western Am, and U.S. Publinx all in the same year back in 2004). But he’ll be one of the first players I point the blame at if the US loses again assuming he doesn’t go 3-0-0 or something. He’s not a great putter. He’s not a long hitter. He’s kind of aloof and doesn’t get too fired up. Maybe that’s exactly what the team needs. Time will tell.
What I don’t get whatsoever is the omission of Watson, as a player. He’s 7 in the world. He was 9th in points. Yet he was completely overlooked in the captain’s picks selection process, or so it seems. Love said he would have been the pick had Moore played average at East Lake. Well why then wasn’t Bubba picked in the first place? Why Holmes? There’s something there that made them take this route. Is it Bubba’s demeanor or just the state of his game, or both? Whatever it was, if you had an inkling of doubt of picking him initially, why pick him after Atlanta? And even worse, why would you make him a vice captain after not picking him?
It doesn’t add up. It makes no sense to me and it has to have Watson scratching his head, or maybe his level of self awareness isn’t elevated enough to realize what just happened right in front of his face.