Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on Justin Rose‘s quiet excellence, Lydia Ko‘s historic weekend and the early trend of the 2015-16 PGA Tour season.
Justin Rose, while you were probably sleeping on Sunday, won the Hong Kong Open for his fourth worldwide victory since his U.S. Open breakthrough at Merion in 2013.
He doesn’t command the attention of golf’s new Big 3. He doesn’t illicit the ire of a Sergio Garcia. He doesn’t generate any of the drama or controversy of a Dustin Johnson. He doesn’t have the marketing appeal of a Rickie Fowler. He doesn’t play with reckless abandon of a Bubba Watson.
He’s just, as quietly as you can be, a top-10 player in the world. His closest contemporary parallel is probably his former Ryder Cup teammate Henrik Stenson. The difference? Rose has won a major, owns three victories in the last year and a half – to Stenson’s one – and recorded three top-6 finishes in majors last season – to Stenson’s zero. And none of that is meant to knock Stenson.
It’s simply to say there isn’t enough attention to go around for a seemingly nice guy who plays excellent golf. Oh well, there are worse fates. – Nick Menta
Lydia Ko returned to Rolex world No. 1 Sunday after her nine-shot runaway victory in Taiwan. She leads the LPGA in victories (5) and also leads races for Rolex Player of the Year, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the money-winning title and the CME Globe. It’s all especially impressive given Inbee Park is having a great year with two major championships among her four LPGA titles. Plus, the women’s game has never been deeper, with so many gifted international players continuing to flood the LPGA ranks. With the strongest rookie class in tour history, winning has never been more difficult. The fact that Ko is flourishing amid this elevated level of competition is something special to appreciate as the LPGA season winds to a close. – Randall Mell
Two tournaments is not exactly a definitive sample size, but just two turns into the 2015-16 PGA Tour season and there is already a trend emerging.
Rookie Emiliano Grillo won the season-opening Frys.com Open last week in a playoff against Kevin Na, and on Sunday in Las Vegas, fellow first-timer Smylie Kaufman closed with a 61 to beat rookie Patton Kizzire and Na by a stroke.
Based on what has transpired so far, either the new season is going to be the year of the rookie or Na is bound for a breakout season. – Rex Hoggard