Hunter Mahan’s fateful putt rolled just past the cup on the 17th hole at the Ryder Cup three weeks ago like the signifying bell concluding a brutal, boxing brawl. The bitter loss indicated the unofficial finale to the PGA Tour season as the valiant efforts of the Americans evaporated into the brisk Wales air.
But prepare for another competitive bout among the world’s best as they travel to TPC Summerlin, an oasis secluded in the Nevada desert, for the Justin Timberlake Shriners Open.
Make no mistake, TPC Summerlin is a ball-striker’s sanctuary. Last year’s winner, Martin Laird, finished T3 in Greens in Regulation and put on a clinic with 23 birdies over the four days. Just over 7, 200 yards, this golf course demands accuracy off the tee and precision into the predominantly large, two-tiered greens.
From Rickie Fowler, the most impressive young player currently on tour, to Hunter Mahan, who is searching for his third victory this season, there’s no shortage of flare or ferocity in this bunch. But who knows if the parity that has defined 2010 will continue to be as unfettered and capricious at this week’s event.