Adam Scott could have packed it in after starting Sunday’s WGC-Cadillac Championship finale with two double bogeys in his first five holes. But while the 2013 Masters champ (and a favorite to claim a second green jacket in April) was flop-shotting his way to back-to-back PGA Tour wins, other guys were having a heck of a time trying to navigate Trump National Doral — perhaps for the last time in competition, given the track owner’s predilection for controversial windbaggery.
The Trump jinx is real and it’s spectacular.
Speaking of The Donald, the frontrunner in the Republican presidential race choppered into Doral in time to greet defending champ Dustin Johnson and 54-hole leader Rory McIlroy before their afternoon tee times. DJ proceeded to tank, carding four doubles and a final-round 7-over 79.
Dustin Johnson doubles 10, doubles 11, bogeys 12, doubles 13 . . . then asks if he can use Trump's chopper to leave before playing 14.— Jim McCabe (@GolfweekMcCabe) March 6, 2016
In the meantime, Rory could get nothing going and blew a three-shot lead to finish two shots back and in a tie for third after a closing 74.
Blame the damn bag.
Sergio Garcia set the pace for temper tantrums on Friday when he let his golf gear know he Was. Not. Amused.
Don't worry Sergio, we've all been that soldier! pic.twitter.com/2gItcqyfCb— GolfCentralDaily (@golfcentraldoc) March 3, 2016
The former El Nino earned a tsk-tsk for his behavior from a notorious Tiger Woods basher and responded by throwing some grenades back at Brandel Chamblee.
You must be right Brendal Chamblee @GolfChannel according to you my bad attitude has made me a top 17 player 15 out of 17 years, sorry!— Sergio Garcia (@TheSergioGarcia) March 5, 2016
He's so important in my life that I can't even write his name right, haha. Well, maybe next time— Sergio Garcia (@TheSergioGarcia) March 5, 2016
Despite the Olympic-level thrust and parry, though, the gold medal for golf-bag bashing goes to Victor Dubuisson, who would probably be just as happy if the PGA Tour goes ahead and dumps Trump National Doral from the rotation.
When you find out Trump is going to be on the property. pic.twitter.com/PJ0Ri6QdW6— Adam Sarson (@Adam_Sarson) March 6, 2016
‘Hey, it’s just golf.’
If you considered DJ’s 79 a gaudy number for a professional, consider Steven Bowditch. The 37-year-old Aussie set a WGC record for futility by chalking up four scores in the 80s and ending up DFL at 37-over par. We’ll let that +37 sink in for a moment.
Steven Bowditch shoots 83. He is the only player in the last 30 years on the PGA Tour to shoot 80 or worse in all 4 rounds of a tournament.— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGC) March 6, 2016
And if you thought Bowditch could not wait to wave bye-bye to the Blue Monster, think again. After all, he got paid $48,000 to stink up the joint in the no-cut, limited field tourney.
"I shot 37 over par and still made a paycheck. All's not that bad," Bowditch, the winner of two tour contests, told reporters after the round. "Hey, it’s just golf."
Me and my shadow, Bubba-style.
Bubba Watson is a self-acknowledged "head case," but what happened on the 72nd tee was bizarre even for him. After setting up for his tee shot, Watson stepped back a few times, clearly perturbed by what he seemed to believe was a spectator’s shadow but perhaps was his own.
Bubba just got upset with his own shadow. No one is safe.— Trevor Reaske (@TrevorReaske) March 6, 2016
Whatever it was, Bubba, who came up one shot shy of Scott after a par on 18, declined to elucidate.
"I'm going to go with this: I'm just a head case and I had to back off to get refocused," Watson said. "I'm going to get blasted if I say what the true answer is, so I'm just going to say I had to back off because I'm just a head case, and I tried to get the cobwebs out of my head."
Bats**t crazy or not, Watson’s runner-up finish may augur a third green jacket for Bagdad Bubba.
Bubba 2012: 2nd at Doral, won Masters. Bubba 2014: 2nd at Doral, won Masters. Bubba 2016: 2nd at Doral...— Brian Wacker (@pgatour_brianw) March 6, 2016
Golf rules are hard.
The world No. 1 baffled the pundits with his indifferent play (69-72-73-73 = T17) as well as an unusual rules request. Jordan Spieth conferred with a tourney official during Saturday’s third round about whether he could spit on the sole of his putter to gain better purchase on Doral’s lickety-split greens. Spieth was denied his bid, with Slugger White, the tour’s vice president of rules and competition, pledging further discussion even while acknowledging to GolfChannel.com that "the intent was there. His intent was to keep the putter from moving around."
No harm, no foul for Spieth, but J.B. Holmes was not so fortunate. After his first tee shot on Sunday splashed down into a water hazard, he took an improper drop and played two more shots before reaching the green and learning of his "serious breach" of the rules:
Hopefully this is the most confusing thing we see today on PGA TOUR LIVE. https://t.co/nLKhWcrkmH— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 6, 2016
It could have been worse. Had Holmes teed off on the second hole before incurring the two-shot penalty and a double-bogey seven, officials would have disqualified him. Instead, Holmes’ 80 brought him to 13-over for the week and a 59th-place ending.