WHO: Bart Bryant
WHAT: Drive down the middle of the fairway
WHERE: Par-4 13th at East Lake Golf Club
WHEN: Tour Championship
Bart Bryant's six-shot win was the result of superior ball-striking. Bryant, 42, led the field in driving accuracy and greens hit in regulation. Over the four rounds he hit 16 approach shots to within eight feet, resulting in a tournament-best 20 birdies. Bryant, who ranks sixth on Tour in driving accuracy, beat the best players in the world by playing to his strengths.
Find What Works, Then Stick to It
Bryant may be accused of having a one-dimensional game, but he has been successful by sticking to an unorthodox swing that consistently produces a low fade that takes the left side of the course out of play. By bowing his left wrist (right), Bryant shuts the face and lays off the club--the shaft points to the left of the target--at the top of the backswing. (The textbook position is shown in the inset.)
Mitchell Spearman, a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, works at Manhattan Woods Golf Club in West Nyack, N.Y.
... AND ANOTHER THING
"Phil Mickelson shouldn't bite the hand that feeds him. He had no contractual obligation to play in the Tour Championship, but he had a moral one."
Phil Mickelson would only say that he skipped the Tour Championship for "personal reasons," but Tour insiders weren't buying it. Here are their top 10 guesses as to why the 2005 PGA champ WD'd.
10. He had to rest up for the Chargers' bye week.
9. There are no In-N-Out Burgers in Atlanta.
8. Post-Halloween nougat hangover.
7. The Tour has already Driven to a Billion, so what's the point?
6. When commissioner Tim Finchem said the schedule would end in September, Phil thought he meant this year.
5. The NBA season has begun. Five-team parlays are back!
4. Phil needed another week to decide if he should go back to a visor in '06.
3. Have you seen the price of jet fuel? He would've had to fill up the Gulfstream.
2. Tiger didn't stick around for the finish of the PGA, so why should Phil be there when Woods wins the money title?
1. He needs the time to concoct an excuse for skipping January's Mercedes Championships.
Top 100 TEACHERS POLL
Did Phil Mickelson have a responsibility to show up for the Tour Championship?
"The players are independent contractors. They can determine when and where to play."
--PETER KRAUSE WINDSONG FARM GOLF CLUB
TOMMY ARMOUR III on ...
WOMEN IN THE GALLERY
DO Give them a great big smile.
DON'T Assume that they're there to see you.
FRED VUICH (BRYANT); PORTER BINKS (SPEARMAN, 3); JIM GUND (BACKGROUND); KEVIN LAMARQUE/REUTERS (MICKELSON); ROBERT BECK (ARMOUR); CARYN LEVY/PGA TOUR/WIREIMAGE.COM (EAST LAKE)