Here's a good question to throw out for your next 19th hole discussion: What week of the golf season features the best group of venues? I think it would be tough to beat this past weekend.
First of all, the Champions Tour players and selected juniors from across the U.S. played the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Not bad for openers, but the week also included the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, which was contested on the Old Course at St. Andrews as well as Kingsbarns and Carnoustie. Not a bad trio at all. And just to sweeten the pot a little more, the Web.com Tour Championship wrapped up the finals series on Dye's Valley Course, you know, the other course at TPC Sawgrass.
Speaking of the Web.com Tour, you could say that the Web.com Tour Championship put the seal on the 2013 PGA TOUR season by determining the final card holders for 2014. This week, HtL looks at the Web.com finale, the Presidents Cup, and more.
Hole #1: It's Awards Season
Tiger Woods as named the PGA TOUR's Player of the Year on Friday. Justin Spieth was named Rookie of the Year. Both will be in the news this week as members of the U.S. Presidents Cup team. [Link]
Hole #2: Howell Beats Uihlein
David Howell made a birdie on the second playoff hole to beat Peter Uihlein and win the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. It was his first win in seven years. [Link]
Hole #3: 55 Feet for Your Future
Could you drain a 55-foot putt if a major promotion depended on it? Lee Williams did just that on the 72nd hole of the Web.com Tour Championship to secure his 2014 PGA TOUR card. Chesson Hadley won the tournament, but John Petterson won the Finals money list and a trip back to TPC Sawgrass for next year's Players Championship. [Link]
Hole #4: Triplett Defends at Pebble
Kirk Triplett (-11) closed with a 68 to win his second straight First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. His 2012 victory was his first on the Champions Tour. Michelle Xie (that's not a typo) won the junior division while the team of Egon and Abigail Durban won the Pro-Am team competition. [Link]
Hole #5: Foreign Trees Not Welcome
Trees once planted by European settlers to remind them of home are no longer welcome at the Zimbabwe Golf Club. Aside from simply being "non-native" the foreign trees are blamed for consuming more than their fair share of water, an argument that is sometimes heard in the U.S. in regard to some grasses. [Link]
Hole #6: Character Study
The stories of Moe Norman's accomplishments and antics are the stuff of legend. Here's a brief look at one of golf's most interesting characters. [Link]
Hole #7: Enter the Aquaman
In honor of this week's President Cup, here's a look back to 2007 and Woody Austin's ignominious plunge. [Link]
Hole #8: Olé! vs. U.S.A.!
So what if "Oleé, Oleé Oleé" is not the most appropriate chant for the International (all-but-the-Europeans) Team. It's Presidents Cup week. Jack Nicklaus and his Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, OH, will play host to the U.S. and International squads as they meet for the tenth time. The U.S. team has a commanding lead in the series with a record of 7-1-1. [Link]
Hole #9: Nicklaus Keeps Tweaking Course
When the Presidents Cup contestants get to the 18th tee they'll find over 40 yards of additional golf course facing them than they did at the Memorial Tournament this year, which is held on the same course. Tired of long hitters carrying the corner of the dogleg and its bunkers, Jack Nicklaus has added a new back tee that will force players to hit a narrow fairway framed by a creek on the left and all those deep bunkers on the right. [Link]