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Golf Barometer: Signature Win for Bubba

David Ferris

David Ferris

Ferris covers the PGA Tour for RotoWire. He is an award-winning sports writer and a veteran fantasy columnist. He also is a scratch golfer.

The tour just left San Diego for Arizona, while I move 14 inches of snow in my Midwestern hell. Sometimes life isn't fair. Let's get to the movers and shakers.

UPGRADES

Bubba Watson:
He's got a reputation as a home-run hitter on the tee who can't always be trusted elsewhere on the course, but his win in San Diego had plenty of signature moments - consider the clutch 10-foot par saver he made on No. 17 in the final round, or the 12-foot birdie drop to clinch it. Watson's having fun out there no matter what the scoreboard says, and we need more players like that on the circuit.

Phil Mickelson:
He was oh-so-close to a win, and it was just good to see Lefty's gait back on the fairways, his smile and mischievous grin, the way he interacts with the galleries. If Mickelson could crank out a year befitting of the best player in the world, he would absolutely own this sport.

Jhonattan Vegas:
Learn how to spell his name, because he's going to be around for a while. Another Top-3 check for the kid, another week of bombs, another week of daring play. And he didn't fizzle at the challenge of playing with Tiger Woods on Saturday - he beat the slumping Woods by five shots. No one tell Vegas the PGA Tour isn't supposed to be this easy.

Dustin Johnson:
He wasn't in his best form for three days, then he almost swiped in and stole the tournament with his final-round 66. Johnson's that good, someone who can grab trophies even without his A-Game. He's the logical top choice for the Phoenix Open this week. I'm giving him a 40-percent chance at a major this year.

Anthony Kim:
He says he's fully healthy again and the checks back it up: T19, T13, T6. It was nice getting him at a discount, at least this once.

DOWNGRADES

Tiger Woods:
It's just one event and we don't want to jump to any crazy conclusions, but Woods didn't do anything to quell our concerns in his opening event. He had one good day of putting. His ball-striking came and went. There wasn't any magic on the weekend (74-75), and the T44 finish was his worst seasonal debut ever. The carping about the Pro-Am time was unfortunate as well. Maybe we'll go follow Phil and Dustin until you sort this out, Eldrick.

Camilo Villegas:
Is he allergic to the color red all of a sudden? Villegas went out with a 69 the opening round, then fluffed it around at a 70-75-73 clip the rest of the way. He's now got three starts on the year: a DQ, an MC and a T44. Meh.

John Daly:
Say this for him, he's never boring. But the 67-69 opener got our hopes up, only to be dashed by the 76-79 crash landing out the door. Does Daly still have enough on-course resolve to handle a round that doesn't start promisingly? The heart says one thing, but the head comes to a different conclusion.

HOLDING STEADY

Rickie Fowler:
You don't want to bash someone who grabs a T20 check in his initial event, but it was a little disappointing for Fowler considering that he opened with a blistering 65. Look for another deep run this week in the desert; he was second at last year's Phoenix Open, and the atmosphere of the event seemed to agree with him.

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