Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here’s what’s weighing on our writers’ minds.
On Sergio Garcia’s seemingly interminable rules consultation Sunday:
The six-month input period for the USGA and R&A’s modernization of the Rules of Golf recently ended, but after watching Sunday’s action at the BMW Championship, there was just a single message that needed to be sent to the rule-makers.
Nothing served as a better example of everything that’s wrong with the Rules of Golf than the ruling Sergio Garcia needed on the 72nd hole after hitting his second shot into a hazard.
It took nearly 20 minutes for the Spaniard to receive a ruling that was both overly complicated and wildly confusing. Whatever the rule-makers decide, they better do it fast. – Rex Hoggard
On the LPGA’s major season of major controversy:
Mike Whan has accomplished many great things since taking over as LPGA commissioner in 2009, but this week he took one of his first major losses.
On Thursday, Whan and Co. decided not only to scrub first-round scores at the Evian but also to turn the final major of the year into a 54-hole affair. Remember, this move was made on Thursday, and it was made, in part, because of a poor Sunday forecast. At the time, it seemed woefully premature. (Let’s just see how the rest of the week goes, no?) By Sunday afternoon, it was indeed horribly miscalculated. Weather was not an issue Sunday, at least not until the raindrops (and hail) began to fall as the final group made its way up 18.
Here’s what I would have done: Play until dark Friday and Saturday. And then play as many holes as possible on Sunday and, if necessary, Monday or Tuesday, since there is no tournament this week. It would have been messy, yes, but at least it’d be a 72-hole tournament.
Instead, Whan, three days too early, decided to make an LPGA major 54 holes for the just the second time in 20 years, diminishing the credibility of the event.
A major season that began with a rules controversy ended with poor decision-making from its top officials. Shame. – Ryan Lavner
On the rapid re-emergence of Patrick Cantlay:
We have spent much time this season lauding the accomplishments of Jon Rahm and his ability to adjust on the fly to life on Tour while seeing courses and playing against the toughest fields for the first time. That praise was all certainly legitimate, but it shouldn’t cause us to lose sight of the similarly impressive season compiled by Patrick Cantlay.
It was only seven months ago that Cantlay returned from more than two years away from the game. He was armed with a major medical extension and unsure as to whether he could even make it out on Tour. He cobbled together a schedule aimed at simply earning full-time status for 2018 and beyond.
Fast forward a few months, and Cantlay still has not missed a cut this year. He salted away his card with a runner-up finish at the Valspar Championship, challenged again at the RBC Heritage, and thanks to a T-9 finish this week at the BMW Championship, he’s headed to East Lake. There will be no scheduling concerns for Cantlay next year, when he’ll return to the Masters for the first time since 2012.
Each player creates a unique path, and some need more time to adjust than others. But Cantlay belongs in the same class as Rahm among rising stars who have demolished any notion of a learning curve – and will likely stick around for years to come. – Will Gray