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Weekly Recap: Rainy Days and Mondays

Len Hochberg

Hochberg covers golf for RotoWire. A veteran sports journalist, he contributes to Sports on Earth and was an editor and reporter at The Washington Post for many years.

We all know about the Monday morning blues. And, of course, Monday Night Football. And Cyber Monday isn't too far off. Then there's "Manic Monday" and even "Monday, Monday." But in the case of the PGA Tour, it's all about "Rainy Days and Mondays."

For the second straight week, weather forced an extra day of play, and then some. After 72 holes were finally completed at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, they weren't done yet. Jason Bohn, who hadn't won in five years; Graeme McDowell, who hadn't won in two; and Russell Knox, who hadn't won in a week, went to a playoff.

It was McDowell who came out on top, birdieing the first playoff hole to emerge victorious at El Cameleon Golf Club in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. And even though it was by far the weakest stand-alone even on the PGA Tour's calendar, with just three of the top 60 in the world competing, McDowell will take it in a heartbeat.

The 2010 U.S. Open champion had fallen to No. 85 in the world (after beginning this year at No. 15) and was winless on tour since the 2013 Heritage. He hadn't had so much as a worldwide top 10 in nine months. He didn't even qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs a couple months back.

"I dreamed of this day coming again," McDowell told reporters. "I thought it would be maybe not quite as soon as this, and I said to myself that I was really going to appreciate it. And I do appreciate it. This feels really nice."

Last week's Sanderson Farms Championship also ended Monday. It's the one event in four starts this season in which Bohn hasn't had a top-3 finish. The 42-year-old veteran is a two-time winner, his most recent victory coming at the 2010 Zurich Open. Knox, on the other, broke through with his maiden win just last week at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.

Knox had a chance to become the first golfer since Camilo Villegas in 2008 to win his first two tournaments in consecutive weeks, but missed a 12-footer for par on 18 to force the playoff. Once there, McDowell drilled a 5-iron approach to two feet for a tap-in birdie, and victory.

With a five-year exemption for winning a major soon to expire, McDowell now can rest easy. But for gamers, don't read too much into his 14th worldwide win, especially in this weak field. McDowell may not have been bad as No. 85 in the world -- he and his new wife have a 1-year-old at home -- but the 36-year-old Northern Irishman is no longer a top-20 golfer, either. Now up to No. 62 with the win, McDowell is a short hitter in these days of 7,500-yard-plus behemoths, and there are simply too many young guys who have passed him by.


Jason Bohn

If anyone thought last season's out-of-nowhere success was a fluke, Bohn is doing a good job of proving otherwise. In four starts in 2015-16, he has two seconds and a third, leaving him fifth in the early point standings and now 58th in the world rankings. Bohn hasn't qualified for the majors as yet, so his value is tempered a bit, but he's still more valuable than we ever could have imagined.

Russell Knox

Knox is a top golfer, no doubt about it. But two wins in two weeks half a world apart is asking a bit much. It was remarkable he even came so close. The Scot got into the WGC field only after J.B. Holmes withdrew, and then he decided to keep his OHL commitment. On top of all that, this was the fifth successive week that Knox played. Like Bohn, he's skipping this week's RSM Classic (formerly the McGladrey). But Knox will be in all the big tournaments next year, and has shown he can be a factor.

Derek Fathauer

Fathauer stumbled in his rookie 2014-15 season, after more was anticipated from the big winner on the previous season's Tour. He also stumbled with his first PGA Tour lead on Sunday, taking a one-stroke advantage into the final round. While McDowell, Knox (66s) and Bohn (68) all went low, Fathauer played even-71 for solo fourth, two strokes back. Still, it was an incremental step in a golfer's advancement. Let's see what he does with that knowledge.

Harold Varner III

The graduate registered his first top-10 in his seventh career PGA event, tying for fifth with Scott Brown. Varner picked up an invaluable 105 FedEx Cup points to move to No. 31 in the standings. He was one of the rookies we had our eye on, and now we should keep our focus on him to see what's next. He's in this week's RSM field.

Keegan Bradley

One of the golfers most affected by the upcoming anchored-putting ban, Bradley debuted a new putter this week, to great success. He shot a closing 66, completing his round on Sunday, to tie for eighth with Johnson Wagner. Bradley switched to a Matt Kuchar-style putter -- it's longer but not anchored -- and he told reporters, "This is the best I've putted through a week in a long time." Surely something to keep in mind when considering Bradley, who has fallen to No. 64 in the world yet has qualified for all 2016 majors.

BMW Masters

It was like old home week on the European Tour, with Justin Rose, Paul Casey, Ian Poulter, Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson and even Ross Fisher on the leaderboard in Shanghai. But unheralded Kristoffer Broberg of Sweden won the third of the four Euro Final Series events, defeating Patrick Reed on the first playoff hole.

Sergio Garcia

The veteran Spaniard had a share of the lead on the back nine before a bogey-double bogey finish left him tied for 11th. Garcia managed to find the water twice on 18, so it was a minor miracle he escaped with a double. But in watching Garcia, you see someone who still has immense talent but not a lot of drive. He is skipping this week's season-ending Race to Dubai event, the DP World Tour Championship. He says he's happier than he's even been, and that's most important.

Ian Poulter

The Englishman played some of his finest golf in months -- until the back nine on Sunday. He tied with Garcia for 11th four shots back, and that was after bogeying two of the final four holes when birdies would've meant a playoff berth.