Former top 10 golfers pick up slack before the US Open

Recent former world No 1s Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer had barely created a ripple, but the past three weeks changed the landscape completely.
Adam Scott got married in a very quiet affair and came back to win the Colonial title in Fort Worth, Texas. Scott Halleran / Getty Images
Adam Scott got married in a very quiet affair and came back to win the Colonial title in Fort Worth, Texas. Scott Halleran / Getty Images

Forget the matrimony baloney. The bigger development last weekend was that, for the first time in six months, some of the familiar faces atop the world ranking began to play to their reputations.

Just in time, too.

With the perpetual fan fixation, Tiger Woods, on the shelf after back surgery, the world top 10 had underwhelmed in 2014, to say the least. The four players ranked behind Woods when the year began – Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson – had barely contended all year, much less won.

Recent former world No 1s Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer had barely created a ripple.

The past three weeks changed the landscape completely, just as golf sails headlong into the most-crucial portion of the schedule, with three major championships set over the next 10 weeks.

It began when Kaymer, who had fallen out of the top 60, won the Players Championship.

Last weekend, Scott and McIlroy won for the first time in 2014, with Stenson threatening on Sunday to dislodge Scott as world No 1. Donald, with his best display in months, finished joint third. Speaking for fans everywhere: About time, huh? The US Open starts in two weeks.

“Knowing that I am playing well going into the second major of the season, I can’t be happier about that,” McIlroy said.

After months of leaderboards filled with obscure names, many of his marquee brethren are humming the same melody.

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Published: May 28, 2014 04:00 AM

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