KJ Choi wins The Players Championship in the first hole of a sudden death playoff against David Toms on the signature 17th hole of the TPC Sawgrass Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
I will be the first to admit that I have won wagers on the golf course with birdies, and I have won wagers on the golf course with bogeys. When the wager is with a familiar playing partner that always gives you a run for your money, any win feels great; however, I would bet that the average golfer feels much better about winning a match with a birdie on 18 than winning a match after an opponent falls apart with a double on the final hole that allows you to limp into the clubhouse with a win and the feeling that you didn’t really earn it. I will never know what it’s like to win a PGA tour event, and I can tell you right now that I would without a doubt take a PGA victory no matter how it came to me, but you can’t tell me that KJ Choi, or anyone in his situation today, feels a little bit like the win was handed to him and not earned completely.
Having said that, KJ did shoot a two under 34 on the back nine, the best score of the top 5 finishers in the tournament, to get himself into a playoff and give himself a chance to win the tournament…Having watched KJ over the past decade and witnessed his consistency prove fruitless for years on end, it is great to see him win the “fifth major” of the year and finally establish himself as a player capable of winning the big one. It will be exciting to see if KJ can turn this victory into the confidence he needs to finally bring home a major championship.
There were a few other performances that caught my eye this weekend. Nick Watney, although finishing a stellar T4 in The Players, continued his streak of promising golf without a meaningful win…am I the only one getting frustrated with Watney’s success that seems to be coupled with mediocrity when he puts himself in position to win a tournament?..Graeme McDowell’s 79 on Sunday dropped him 32 places, while Luke Donald continued to be the most consistent European with a T4 finish that bumps him up to the number 2 player in the world.
Six American’s finished in the top 11 of the tournament, a number that seemed highly unlikely as sunset fell on Saturday. Hunter Mahan, JB Holmes, Chris Stroud, Zach Johnson, and Brian Gay all made American’s proud with rounds in the 60′s on Sunday that fueled the American push into the top ten.
The Players proved to be an exciting finish that may have left some viewers wishing for some better golf; however, sometimes, par is good enough to win…until next time..
Hit ‘em Straight.