By Matt Cohen
When we look back at the 2015 Farmers Insurance Open, the winner of the championship will almost be an afterthought. Instead, it’s those who came back, played badly or didn’t really play at all who grabbed headlines.
Three names stand head and shoulders above the rest. Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, and yes, Tiger Woods. In a comparison to Sergio Leone’s epic Spaghetti Western, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, here’s a look at who was good, who was bad, and who was well – ugly.
The Good – Dustin Johnson
Ok, so he didn’t make the cut. But considering he hadn’t played on the PGA Tour in six months, Dustin Johnson looked pretty good at the Farmers Insurance Open. After an opening round 74, Johnson came back nicely the next day to card a 2-under 70. He finished even par and missed the cut by one stroke.
Asked after missing the cut where he thinks his game is, Johnson had this to say: “I think that the last two days, I think normally I probably would be at least five or six under right now, instead of even par. But I’m happy with where it’s at. Just a little rusty, that’s all.”
It shouldn’t be long before the 31-year-old and new father is back on top of the leaderboard.
The Bad – Phil Mickelson
What’s up with Lefty so far this year? After an opening round 74, Phil came back the next day and shot 72 to finish 2 over par and miss the cut by three strokes.
You can’t compete out here putting the way I did,” said Mickelson, who three-putted five times through 36 holes. “It was one of the worst putting performances and the first few weeks really have been the same way and you simply can’t compete at this level putting like that.”
After his worst season in more than 10 years, Mickelson, 44, entered 2015 optimistic about turning things around. But after a tie for 24th at the Humana Challenge, Mickelson has back-to-back missed cuts and won’t play again until the Honda Classic beginning Feb. 26.
Maybe Lefty is saving his best for Augusta?
The Ugly – Tiger Woods
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. 2015 has gone from bad to worse for the 14 time major champion. For the third time in his past nine tournaments, Woods had to withdraw from competition with a back injury. Woods was 2 over par when he withdrew on the 12th hole.
Woods said his back stiffened up and later blamed it on the lengthy fog delay that pushed back the start of his round by more than two hours.
It was the sixth time Woods has withdrawn from a tournament due to injury in 304 PGA Tour starts, but all of them have occurred since 2010. Last year he withdrew during the final round of the Honda Classic with back problems, and a few weeks later he had surgery to repair a disk in his lower back.
It’s sad to see what’s happened to Tiger’s career. At this point, catching Jack Nicklaus seems like a pipe dream. Heck, even one more major at this point sees far fetched. Hopefully Tiger can get things straightened out. The sport still needs him.