Leaving Marksby Brian Hewitt
Rory McIlroy smiled so much for 54 holes last week while dominating a strong field at the Honda Classic that his teeth hurt.
(A toothache had been the admittedly wisdomless mistake of an alibi McIlroy had concocted for withdrawing at this same event last year.)
Then came Sunday when he gummed up the works with a 74 that was like watching a root canal.
Rory’s collapse paved the way for a four-way playoff won on the first hole by a birdie from a bulldog named Russell Henley.
Then there was the inglorious exit of Tiger Woods.
The reason the slumping Woods withdrew Sunday had nothing to do with dentition. But lately the world No. 1 has been, well, rather toothless under the gun.
A bad back was the reason given by Woods’ spokesman for the WD. Woods, seven behind at the outset of the final round, skied to an awkward and outward 40 before departing after 13 holes.
Strangely enough, a 67 would have gotten Woods into the playoff on a day when the only real bite was provided by the golf course.
The Tiger bashers, of course, will have a field day with all of this. The Woods apologists will attack the bashers. And if you’re anywhere near Twitter, run for cover.
Given all this sudden drama, the larger question emerges: Who’s the favorite for next month’s Masters now?
Meanwhile in Singapore, American Paula Creamer’s 75-foot magical mystery tour slam dunk of a winning eagle putt on the second playoff hole energized the entire LPGA while simultaneously breaking the heart of runner-up Spaniard Azahara Muñoz.
It was Creamer’s (hard to believe) first victory since the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open.
Reproduced with kind permission of Global Golf Post - Subscribe now for free
IN THE MARCH 3 2014 ISSUE