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The 2014 Players Championship: Your Kneejerk Reactions?

A wacky finish in the dark has Martin Kaymer back and now a Players Champion.

Any and all thoughts on a fascinating week...

The putt that may have saved him, and the rest of us from a Monday playoff.

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Reader Comments (54)

Kaymer was in a tailspin and if he doesn't make that putt on 17, I'm thinking there is no way he pars 18 to get into the playoff. What an awful run after the delay - snap hook drive, dumb and risky punch, too cutesy of a chip, bad bunker shot, terrible eagle putt decision on 16, terrible wedge on he got into the house with the win after all that is beyond me.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid
David-- you'd be surprised at what kind of talent winners on the PGA tour have.
Plenty of choking after the horn sounded. Kaymer looked as shocked as anybody that he made par on 17. I think we can all agree that TPC Sawgrass is a tough place to finish the last four holes after a rain delay. A lot of pucker points.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered Commentertlavin
Not sure what exactly that means. I'm a scratch and my step-dad has won on tour before so I think I have a pretty good idea of how good they are. Care to enlighten me as to what your point was supposed to be?
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid
How modest of you David!
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAdam S
I'm sure anonymous message boards are very impressed with my handicap and my mother's marriage ability. My point was that I'm pretty aware of how good tour pros are since I've been around a lot of good golf. I'm still not sure what Geraldo's point was, bit I'm certain it was an unnecessary shot at me. Thanks for your input on the discussion as well Adam. Good contribution.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid
Why the shots at David ? Kaymer was clearly in meltdown mode until that putt dropped.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Gentleman, there's no fighting in the war room!
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBob
We are starting off well tonight. David makes a lucid analysis of Kaymer's last four holes, and then we have seven posts about David. I guess in order for us to talk about Kaymer, Martin himself will have to post?

Maybe we should get back to our wives and mothers for the rest of the evening and start over in the morning.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterLouis Friend
I think that the guy who was playing the best golf this week, won.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterGreg V
how he got into the house with the win after all that is beyond me to David. Thanks for your thoughts.

05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJim beckner
I thought today's coverage underscored NBC's professionalism and what will be missed come future US Opens. Say what you want about Johnny, but NBC knows how to cover a golf tournament.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMGDC
Great weekend for golf a bit north of PVB. All I saw of the entire thing was Kaymer's last three shots in the dark. Looked like he knew what he was doing to me. Chalk up the short approach to the darkness. The chip-with-putter and final putt were pure. Young Mr. Spieth will learn, or he won't. I'm betting on the former.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
Greg V, couldn't agree more.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
I agree wth David. I have no clue what NY&G's point was.

And I dpn't think David said anything other than trying to represent his background offering him a true veiw of knowng how good the players are.

Kaymer was awesome, and deserved to win.

Speith is close/ Reminds me of DD.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
(I apologize to all about the thread jack-- I will take the heat for that one. Let me try to right the ship).

Hard to believe Kaymer won the PGA that long ago!! Glad to see him back in top form.

Question for Shackland: who is most likely to win a major this year?

Jason Day
Bill Haas
Martin Kaymer
Definitely a question for Del! Of those three, Kaymer. But Phil will win this time at Pinehurst. You heard it here first ;-)
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
All good discussion. If Watson doesn't hole the pitch at Pebble, does he win the Open? Was it luck? He may have been in a meltdown but Kaymer holed the putt, and wins on 18 with a par. Interesting decision on putter on 16 and 18. Venturi, I think, said a bad putt is better than a bad chip. Up the grain into Bermuda with a putter is tough. Was it out of fear of a wedge? Only Martin knows and that's what makes the game great. To NY&G question, doesn't it have to be Kaymer, based on past performance? But will any of the three win a major?? To MGCD, NBC is on top, sad to see them without the Open.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMashie
I think you can thank the 3 shot lead Kaymer entered the post-rain delay with. The putt at 17 was difficult and amazing. Really 15 was the only total train wreck. On 17 that was semi-bad luck, if it had bounced into the water that would've been terrible luck.

Interesting to see where Kaymer goes from here but seems like a nice guy.

For what it's worth, I thought David first comment was ok, the 2nd came across a little arrogant/defensive.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy
Feeling the love guys - no hard feelings. Moving on, I think Kaymer was scared to death of chipping into the grain on 16 so he went with the safer option. The first close up of the lie on tv showed how extreme it was against the grain. So easy to chunk so I understand the shakiness. And it just killed the speed of his putt. Surprised he played it so cautiously because he obviously has the short game to hit it, but he was reeling from the double and I think he knew that a chunk or frisky chip into the water would have been mortifying.

Still maintain the punch out was the main problem, as it essentially cost him two shots. Why he didn't go way right where there is so much room and 5 is the worst that can happen we will never know.

Nice comeback with the putt on 18. Again, I think he was scared of the grain. That is a routine up and down for just about all of those guys, so the putt is an odd choice in my mind. Half expected him to overcompensate for 16 and gun it by 10 feet, so all credit to him for not doing so and hitting a nervy three footer.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid
Aren't Haas and Day both coming off injuries? Maybe the best thing that could happen to them, U.S. Open-wise, would be to get into contention, then slightly re-aggravate their boo boo on the 2nd hole. Just like that character in "Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy" who wore a "broken arm simulator" because it helped her to focus more on her work and be more productive. Or like Olin Dutra, I guess, if you're not into fine literature.
Had Kaymer made one or two of the four birdies that he left SHORT before the rain delay he wouldn't have needed to hang on (and if my aunt had balls...).

If we ignore 2010, Kaymer looks more likely to win a major than Haas. When we add-in 2010 with Kaymer's win and two other top-10s the comparison looks silly.

As for Day, I won't hope for a major this year until he shows some post-injury success.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson
Kaymer duffed the wedge on 15. When confronted with another wedge shot on 16, he chose the putter. Maybe the tight lie factored into it as well. Then he used the wedge on 17 and although the lie was difficult, ultimately it was another mediocre shot. So when faced wiih another tight lie on 18, once again he was reluctant to use the wedge.

Not sticking up for using the putter, it wouldn't have been my choice.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterLadyH
I like Kaymer's fade. There's no block in it. He lets everything go, but the ball doesn't hook.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered Commenterhigside
David, agree. Lie on 16 appeared to be downhill, over a rise to a green running away toward water. Kaymer admitted after that putter was a bad decision. I've been playing FL Bermuda for 10 years now and try to remember old Raymond Floyd pitching form anywhere off the green, even 2 inches, to avoid the grain. But, it sure is easier to get a putter squarely on the ball than a wedge into the grain. This stuff ain't the same as rolling a putter over 20 feet of closely mown turf in Ireland up to the green.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterMashie
Dig - DD? David Duval?

I'm still can't decide if Spieth is going to get in his own head about not closing these out or if he will figure it out and win a whole bunch. I've had a hard time getting on board for some reason and he keeps performing and proving me wrong. Top 10 machine for sure and he's won at every level. Swing looks awkward to me but I suppose it's refreshing to see someone that's not as robotic as most out there.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid
Not unusual to see Europeans putt from off the green although more difficult on Bermuda. Easier on the nerves as well..
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterNouveau
I have a serious question about Spieth - can can early success like his actually sabotage his career? When a young guy bursts onto the scene like Spieth did, it creates a lot of expectations, and it's impossible for a player to not know about them. Right now Spieth seems hell-bent on winning. Twenty year-olds aren't supposed to expect to win in their first year because they aren't equipped to win, right? Not just in terms of physical skill, but also strategy/experience and maturity. Except that Jordan Spieth did it. Tiger and Phil did it, too, but arguably with more physical skill and less of the other two qualities. The other guys who aren't Tiger or Phil had none of the three in adequate amounts to bowl over the Tour the way Spieth has, and don't get me wrong, he really is special. Spieth's the Tiger Woods of maturity. But even so, can he avoid falling into the traps of frustration, desperation and insecurity that claimed the other "next greats" over the years? Is he mature enough to keep exceeding the expectations that a 20 year-old Tour rookie should have, while failing to meet his own expectations, without eventually losing his richly deserved self-belief?

In short, can a 20 year old Tour player rack up a string of 2nd place finishes, including at Augusta, and end up worse off in the long run - because of it?
@David, Spieth has shown his game elevates in big events. So many players go the opposite way in majors and other big tournaments. Seems to me he's not scared to fail and that's huge. Seems to rely a little too much on putter but so did Tom Watson and we know how he fared. I like his prospects and I like his maturity. Hate his follow through with the right foot but probably not a huge deal.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
Well Chuck, if David Hearn could putt, Speith would have had no wins at this point, but compared to all the other flame-outs by young Americans, Speith appears well ahead of them. But given recent success by Watson / Dufner / Walker, the U.S. will have an awesome Ryder Cup team in about 5 years (just lose the deadwood over-35's). Speaking of which, the top 6's at this tounament gathered about $3.9 million for the European Ryder cup slush fund. Not bad at all, although Westwood's putting is still a horror show.
Well Chuck, if David Hearn could putt, Speith would have had no wins at this point, but compared to all the other flame-outs by young Americans, Speith appears well ahead of them. But given recent success by Watson / Dufner / Walker, the U.S. will have an awesome Ryder Cup team in about 5 years (just lose the deadwood over-35's). Speaking of which, the top 6's at this tounament gathered about $3.9 million for the European Ryder cup slush fund. Not bad at all, although Westwood's putting is still a horror show.
Kaymer was playing the best this week, especially on Sunday. I don't care how he got there after a thunder storm rain delay that completely changed the course and conditions. He won, he deserved to win and good on him. Class act. Really good with the press as well.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
If Bill Haas wins a major I will enjoy watching Del's head explode.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy
I think the US Open is going to be Speith's coming out party.
05.11.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy
Has Furyk hit the putt on 18 yet?
05.12.2014 | Unregistered CommenterNo Longer
The Euro Ryder Cup team is shaping up to be quite strong this year.
05.12.2014 | Unregistered CommenterBert Stammps
The final hour was interesting because the players had a lot to deal with due to the weather. I agree with earlier posts on the short game anxiety caused by grainy bermuda. The margin of error on some of those shots is small and the range of bad outcomes is pretty big. Kaymer won his major on a Dye design and I think his mental approach serves him well on these quirky tracks. Also remember he buried the putt at the Ryder Cup when he was struggling with swing changes. Think of how the media would fawn over his putt on 17 if someone like Phil had made it. I hope Spieth gets over the hump but I keep having to remind myself he is 20.
05.12.2014 | Unregistered Commentermunihack
+1 No Longer.

Here I thought that watching Furyk putt could not possibly be more painful that it has been over the past number of years, what what the pant hitch and the fake out addresses of the ball before backing away, he takes it to a whole new level of insanity. I hope he is just trolling us at this stage, otherwise that man needs serious psychological help. His putting makes be long for the days of seeing Kevin Na on the leaderboard.
05.12.2014 | Unregistered Commenterhslrckt
Anyone else wonder why darkness was even an issue with such a short weather delay? Without a delay, I am not sure they could have gotten a 3-hole playoff in the books.
05.12.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCheeks
You guys realize that Furyk had to wait for the resumption of play before holing out on 18, right? The excessive (even by his standards) rehearsals were done before the horn sounded.
05.12.2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Peterson

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