Deutsche Bank: Young Americans Making Strides and 4 Takeaways
It's no longer the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson dominating the PGA Tour anymore from an American standpoint. The young guys have really taken over, and that was no different in this weekend's Deutsche Bank Championship event.
In winning the Championship on the second playoff hole over Chez Reavie, young American Webb Simpson grabbed the top spot in the FedEx Cup Point Standings. The win comes just a few weeks after rookie Keegan Bradley captured the PGA Championship.
Simpson made two lengthy birdie putts in a row on the 18th hole to stay in contention, and that was a theme of his all day long. He came up clutch all day long to nail down his second career title on the PGA Tour.
In a leaderboard full of the biggest names in golf, it was surprising to end up with the relatively unknown Reavie and Simpson battling it out at the end. But that has been a recurring story throughout the last two seasons in golf, as there hasn't been that one player to distance himself from the rest of the pack.
In addition to the young Americans starting to make a name for themselves, there are a few other things to take away from this tournament.
Sportsmanship Is Still Around in Sports
It was quite a refreshing scene on the 18th green of the first playoff hole as Simpson was getting ready to attempt his birdie putt. It was a putt that in all likelihood he needed, as Reavie was in position just a few feet from the cup for his birdie.
The crowd was a bit rowdy and serving as a distraction to Simpson, who even backed off just before it looked like he was going to take the shot. Reavie, noticing that, motioned to the crowd to settle down and let Simpson focus on the task at hand.
It was quite a surprising move by a player in the middle of such a big moment in his career. It proves that sportsmanship is still very much a factor in professional sports today and that not all athletes are just focused solely on No. 1.
All Mickelson Needed Was a New Putter?
Mickelson's championship will be remembered for his tournament-best 63 in the third round that gave him a chance to win. It may also be remembered for his experimentation with the belly putter.
Mickelson was nearly automatic on shorter putts with the new putter throughout the weekend, and that success may be something he can build on in the near future.
Lefty has had a pretty subpar 2011 campaign and has been looking for any kind of spark to propel him upwards. After almost missing the cut, he nearly ended up taking the lead in this tournament, and this might get him back to where we are accustomed to seeing him.
The PGA Tour Needs McIlroy
Reigning U.S. Open Champion and budding superstar Rory McIlroy is not currently on the PGA Tour, but has said that he would like to join the tour in the future.
With the slippage of Tiger Woods, men's golf currently lacks the big star that serves as an ambassador of the game. McIllroy has an electric game and could evolve into that role.
In the Deutsche tournament, many different players had the lead and had looks to win it. But no one currently in the FedEx playoffs seems to possess the killer instict.
Donald Is a Consistant Non-Winner
Luke Donald is No. 1 in the world, but only has three career titles. It's amazing to watch him threaten to win tournament after tournament, only to come up empty in the end.
The Deutsche Championships were no different, as he held the lead in the final round but ended up finishing tied for seventh place. It was his 11th top 10 finish of the season.
Donald's failures to win titles provides another example of the game missing a dominant force. Consistency is nice and that's why he's made it to No. 1, but people only remember who wins the titles.