YES, MICHAELBRADLEY, an unassuming 42-year-old with two other Tour wins (1996 BuickChallenge and '98 Doral-Ryder Open) birdied the 72nd hole to win the PuertoRico Open with a 14-under 274. The more interesting story was whom he beat. Asthe rest of the world was catching Rory McIlroy fever—which causes the suffererto fawn over the 19-year-old from Northern Ireland, who finished 20th atDoral—21-year-old Jason Day of Australia almost won at Trump International GolfClub in Puerto Rico. For those who have forgotten, Day is the Tour sophomorewho arrived last year with dreams of one day being the best in the world and noshortage of accolades raining down on his game. His résumé included a scorching'07 season, during which he became the youngest winner in Nationwide tourhistory while finishing sixth in driving distance (306.8 yards) and ninth inputting average. He struggled a bit during his first year on Tour but had twotop 10s and earned $767,393, which put him 136th on the money list and gave himpartial status this year. His tie for second last week automatically put himinto this week's Transitions Championship. It's too soon to say that Day isready to make a move up the Tour ranks, but he's still young and only gettingbetter. A few more high finishes and he could take the "everyone'sdarling" title back from McIlroy. Some day the two might battle forsomething even more interesting: the No. 1 World Ranking.... Manuel Villegas,Camilo's 25-year-old brother, finished 44th in Puerto Rico in his Tour debut.He shot a three-under 285, while Camilo, 27, shot a 13-under 275 to tie forfifth at Doral.
• WITH HIS win atthe CA Championship, Phil Mickelson leapfrogged Sergio García to become No. 2in the World Ranking, but how close is he to catching Tiger Woods for the topspot? After missing 8½ months, Woods has seen his ranking points fall to 9.14,while Mickelson's score is now 8.62. Tiger is expected to play next week at BayHill, but Phil won't tee it up again until the Shell Houston Open, the weekbefore the Masters. According to the guys who run the ranking, if Woodsfinishes outside the top two at Bay Hill and Phil wins in Houston, thenMickelson will go to Augusta as the No. 1 player in the world.
• GOING INTO thefinal round of the AT&T Champions Classic five shots down, Dan Forsmandidn't think he had much chance to win, but he should have studied his history.The AT&T has been held 20 times, and on 15 occasions it has been decided byone stroke or in a playoff, and in four of the last five years someone hascharged from three or more shots back on the final day to win. It seems lessthan surprising then that Forsman shot a final-round, six-under 66 at Valencia(Calif.) Country Club to get into a playoff with Dan Pooley (11-under 205),which Forsman won with a birdie on the first hole. The win was the 50-year-oldForsman's in 12 senior starts and the continuation of a trend at theAT&T.
Alan Shipnuck'sHot List appears exclusively at GOLF.com.
March 22, 2009
"Man, did he have the needle out for mypartner."
—MY SHOT, PAGE G16
KEY STAT 99
Putts taken by Phil Mickelson at the CA Championship, tying his careerbest.
Jim Furyk's Hawaiian getaway goes on the market
Jim Furyk's House •
This 4,085-square-foot, three-bedroom house with a guest apartment over thegarage sits in a gated community and offers views of the Pacific Ocean and thePlantation course, home of the Mercedes-Benz Championship.
No threat of running into Tiger or Phil, because they never play in theMercedes.