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WHAT IT MEANS: January 30, 2011

Posted By Jeremy Schilling On Jan 30 2011 @ 7:43 pm In PGA | No Comments

A great week at Torrey Pines kicks off this week’s What It Means:

Bubba Watson Wins His Second PGA Tour event at the Farmers Insurance Open: Bubba is not all about distance anymore. Yes, he led the PGA Tour in driving last year at 314 yards, but his finesse shots — the wedges inside of 100 yards, and especially his putting — have improved so much since he first came out on tour. He was near the top this week in the greens hit in regulation stat, and he used a hotter putter to convert those strong wedge shots into birdies.

He made a 12 footer to win the tournament on the 72nd hole, in an extremely pressure packed situation. Good job, Bubba.

Phil Mickelson’s Second Place Finish: Let’s leave out the layup on 18 for a moment. After a dismal end to 2010 as his arthritis took hold and a so-so showing in the Middle East last week, Phil roared back strong with great all-around play this week, showing that his increased offseason practice regimen may well be paying off.

Now one shot back at 18, Mickelson drove it in the left rough (we’ve seen this script before, haven’t we?) and was left with around 230 yards to the green on the par-5. He chose to layup BEFORE Bubba hit his birdie putt, essentially needing to hope Bubba missed or hole a wedge shot. Bubba made, and while Phil did nearly hole the wedge shot in dramatic fashion it was a questionable decision.

Tiger Woods’ Disappointing Start to 2011: To me, I thought Tiger was either going to have a great start to 2011, or a horrible one. And the latter is basically what this week was. Yes, he didn’t hit it great for all four days but his short game also let him down. That’s what surprised me most. His chipping was bad, his pitching was bad, and especially his sand play — that was atrocious. He talked early in the week about how the offseason allowed him to really work on his putting. But the rest of the short game is what really let him down this week, in my opinion.

That’s what he really should focus on before he heads to Dubai in two weeks.

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