US OPEN, Shinnecock Hills, Brooks Koepka - $2.16M

Persevere, persevere, persevere, in all things persevere.  Congrats Brooks.  But before that all eyes were on Tom Fleetwood trying to set a record with a 62. He admitted as much later and maybe that caused him to hit a somewhat less firm putt than was needed but one has to wonder if there weren't more important matters in his mind. Like the near one-million dollar difference between first and second place. With that he could have afforded a hair cut... or at least a brush.

ATT Byron Nelson, Trinity Forest, Dallas, TX - Aaron Wise $1.386M

It appears that the PGA Tour and its media partners are catching on that their audience is virtually the same week in and week out and at least one of us really appreciated the new type of venue. A refreshing change of pace that matched the winner.  21, playing a game for love, and walking away after four days hard fun with a big fat check of more than one million dollars. Color me jealous.

The Masters, August, GA - Patrick Reed, $1.98M

A Grand Stage - So many big names on the leaderboard, but what struck us most were the epic optics that showed us who was really the master of the Masters; Augusta National itself.  The biggest names in the sport seemed positively diminutive, dwarfed as they were by the expansive fairways, vertiginous bunkers, and sweeping vistas. They appeared to stand proud but small in the infinite hand of a golf god.

Arnold Palmer Invitational, Bay Hill FL - Rory McIlory, $1.6M

Two points to make - both about cults of the personality. One, nobody wins four majors and drops off the radar screen forever.  Unless they suffer injury, catastrophe or simply age out, any talk of a pro's demise is premature.  Rory suffered a few years of poor performance but there was just never any question he would come back.  Second, it is wonderful that Tiger is back and totally reasonable that the broadcasters focus on him. But there is a marketing lesson to learn here which is that putting all your eggs in Tiger's basket can have negative effects if he goes south.  More people will automatically watch when Tiger is playing; broadcasters don't need to overly hype this fact. if they are looking out for their long term interests, they need new and broader narratives that will keep loyal fans tuned in and persuade light viewers to become medium viewers. 

The Honda Classic, PGA National, FL - Justin Thomas $1.18M

There's no greater pressure than the announcer's curse.  Luke List is walking up the 18th Fairway looking to capture his first win. As if that is not pressure enough... in addition to a million dollar check, a winner on the PGA tour gets a slew of automatic invites. In addition to playing any event he wants, he gets Augusta, US Open, British Open, and the PGA.  But alas he succumbed with some wayward shots while JT piped 'em.  Wait'll next Sunday

Waste Management, Phoenix Open - Gary Woodland $1.24M

We need a hero. Parity is great and it is democratic to spread the wealth, but it is a natural human desire to get behind a winner. Except of course the New England Patriots. We like the underdog in team sports but a dominating individual fires us up.  Until it does not of course. Just hard to understand how fan favorite, Lefty, pushes it into the church pews on an easy tee shot. Ricky looked gut punched from the 10th hole on. Chez spewed the chicken bone… let’s face it, all these guys have talent but first and few time winners have to, just have to, get it right between their ears. Congrats Gary W.