Let’s be honest, we’re all incredibly busy. Nobody has time to sit down and watch four rounds of golf coverage — unless, of course, you watch TV for a living, and if that’s the case, please email us your number. So in an effort to condense the tournament coverage for you into a few quick hits, here are five things we learned from the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
Jason Dufner runs out of gas — One of the most impressive runs we’ve seen on the PGA Tour in recent memory. After winning twice in the last month, Jason Dufner finally looked human on Sunday, hitting a number of wayward shots and missing a couple of key short putts. The double-bogey on the ninth hole and triple-bogey on the 12th had a lot to do with him losing by a single shot, but Dufner made it incredibly hard on himself from the start. He managed to hit only 21 percent of his fairways on the day, leaving himself with a number of difficult approach shots. And after three days of leading the field in putts per GIR (1.579), he ballooned to 1.833 on Sunday, needing a total of 31 putts to get around Colonial. Blame it on whatever you want, but Dufner looked like he just ran out of gas (even though he said after the round that he felt pretty good). He went from hitting fairways and greens to loose shot after loose shot. You can look at the loss in a number of ways. The positive is he only ended up losing by three (you can’t count Johnson’s penalty gaffe) with a couple of big numbers on the card. On the other hand, he was given a bunch of opportunities to seize the tournament and never managed to capitalize on any of them. Regardless, a second place finish to go along with a couple of wins is an impressive way to cap off a month.
Zach Johnson is a huge fan of Texas— Before 2008, Johnson probably could have cared less about the Lonestar state. After winning his first three PGA Tour events in Georgia, it’s was clear which state was a favorite. But over the last five years, he’s become a huge fan of Texas after winning his fourth PGA Tour event in the last five years in the state. Johnson, who’s a low-ball hitter, loves the strong Texas winds and even admitted on Saturday that he hoped “it would blow like crazy” over the weekend. While it didn’t gust like many predicted, Johnson still managed to win his second Colonial plaid jacket. He’s never finished outside the top-30 in seven starts at the historic course. Don’t be surprised if he shows up next year wearing a shirt with the Texas flag on it.
[Brian Murphy: Johnson overcomes bizarre rules violation on final hole]
John Huh continues to impress during his rookie season — When you finish seven shots behind the leaders you rarely get any accolades, but considering John Huh’s five-under finish was good enough for a T-5, he deserves a spot on our five things. The PGA Tour rookie, who won earlier this year in a eight-hole playoff at Mayakoba, now has a victory, a second-place finish, 4 top-10s, and 7 top-25s this season. Even better, he’s only halfway through his first year on tour and already has over $ 2 million in the bank. That’s beyond impressive, folks.
Rules violations, rules violations, rules violations — Seriously, it feels like we can’t go a week without having to discuss a rules issue. From Tiger Woods getting a free drop because a fan stole his golf ball to Graeme McDowell incurring a penalty because his ball moved slightly when he tried to assess his ball in a bed of branches, this is been the year of the bizarre when it comes to rules violations. Well, we had another one that ranks right up there with the craziest of the crazy on Sunday, after Zach Johnson received a two-stroke penalty for failing to replace his ball mark after he moved it out of the way so playing partner, Jason Dufner, could putt on the final hole of the tournament. It didn’t end up costing Johnson the tournament, but his lead went from three shots to one because of the mistake. With another bizarre rules decision in the books, it makes you wonder what’s in store next week at the Memorial.
Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey finally gets a good break — You have to feel bad for Tommy Gainey. He’s one of the nice guys on tour, but so far this season his finishes have been anything but pretty. After posting one top-10 and only seven made cuts in 17 tournaments, Gainey backed his way into a third-place finish at Colonial that earned him just over $ 435,000 for the week. His 3-under 67 wasn’t pretty — it included a double-bogey on the 12th and bogey on the 18th — but it got the job done. And after struggling for most of the year, he finally had a chance to smile on Sunday.
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