Webb Simpson hadn't won on the PGA Tour since the 2012 U.S. Open. Does Simpson's six-stroke victory at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas signal a breakthrough for the four-time PGA Tour winner?
Our scribes tackle that topic and more in this week's edition of Monday Four-Ball.
1. Over/under: two Webb Simpson victories in the 2013-14 PGA Tour season.
Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: Over. This is win No. 1. Win No. 2 will come before the Masters, then he's got the rest of the year to get at least one more. For Simpson, contending in majors next year will be the focus, and winning regular tour events will actually get a little easier.
Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: I don't know much about the over/under, but I do know that Simpson has the self-confidence and ability to win multiple times consistently for the next several years.
Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: How about right at two? Simpson has four victories total in his career and went all of the 2013 season without one. Does he build on his Las Vegas victory? Perhaps. But to say he'll win more than two? Only one player did that in the 2013 season.
Kevin Maguire, ESPN.com senior golf editor: A reluctant over. Two more victories during the next 12 months on the PGA Tour won't be easy, but it's not like Simpson hasn't been close. He posted four top-5 finishes last season, so if one or two things had gone his way, his year-plus without a victory could have been very different.
2. Who has surprised you the most early this season?
Collins: Vijay Singh. How is this guy playing so well with a lawsuit against the people depositing the money in his account? This also from a guy who's already made his Champions Tour debut. A second-place finish followed by a T-23 and it's OK to imagine Singh winning a tournament this year.
Evans: It was surprising to see Vijay Singh get a second at the Frys.com Open after not doing much in a year where he's been distracted by the fallout over his admission to Sports Illustrated that he used deer antler spray, which it turned out had a negligible amount of a banned substance.
Harig: Ryo Ishikawa. He had just one top-25 finish in 2013 on the PGA Tour and had to go through the Web.com Tour Finals to regain his card. In two starts, he's been in the top 25 both times, including a tie for second in Las Vegas.
Maguire: Ryo Ishikawa. His $528,000 from his second-place finish in Las Vegas is $150K higher than any official paycheck in his PGA Tour career. He's reasonably close to locking up his card for next season, so with a couple more good weeks here before the end of the year, Ishikawa could start off 2014 playing a much freer brand of golf, knowing he won't have to grind to keep his job.
3. This week's Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship will hand out a Masters invite. How would you rate this event since its inception?
Collins: Starting in 2011, when the Masters gave the winner an exemption ... Hideki Matsuyama and Guan Tianlang have both proved their worth. I'm sure at some point there will be a miss, but so far the winner is proving they're ready to compete at the highest level.
Evans: The Asia-Pacific Amateur is made important by virtue that its winner gets a Masters invitation. It's by no means an event with a deep field on par with the U.S. Amateur or the British Amateur. Without the Masters carrot, it's a very marginal event. Yet last year it produced, with Guan Tianlang one of the biggest stories in Masters history. So it definitely has done some good for the game in Asia and around the world.
Harig: It has done exactly what its founders intended -- shining a spotlight on an emerging golf market while adding the perk of a Masters invite (not to mention a spot in final qualifying for the Open Championship). The stories of Hideki Matsuyama, a two-time winner and now an impressive pro, as well as defending champion Guan Tianlang highlight the event's merits.
Maguire: After being skeptical at the start, the first few years have produced worthy champions. The simple fact that 21-year-old Hideki Matsuyama made the cut in all five majors he's played -- including two Masters that he got into because of winning this event -- proves the quality of golf being played in that part of the world.
4. Rory McIlroy earned his best finish in months and Caroline Wozniacki notched her first victory of the year -- both within days of news that they had reportedly broken up. Coincidence?
Collins: No. He still had a really sloppy round that kept him from a chance to win the tournament. But, from all of the rumors and reports of the turbulence at the supposed end of the romance (and neither of them is going to trash the other in public), when things in a relationship go bad, being single clears the head considerably.
Evans: No coincidence. These are both young people struggling with fame and the pressure to grow their brands and fortunes while still needing to perform at a high level in their sports. Wozniacki doesn't have the standing in tennis that MciIlroy has in golf. No one seriously believed she would be a rival to Serena Williams. So the pressure for her has been quite different from McIlroy, who has two major titles. This weekend was a bigger triumph for Wozniacki to show that she's recommitted to her own career.
Harig: Given that McIlroy tweeted congratulations following Wozniacki's victory with the hashtag #mygirl you have to wonder about those breakup reports. Still, it might be more than coincidence that they both fared so well. Perhaps there was a bit more resolve with all of the negativity swirling.
Maguire: A clear mind fixes all. Just ask anyone who's played professional golf when they've had to deal with turmoil away from the game. Even if the reports are not true and Wozilroy are still an item, it's good to see both of them returning to how we all know they are capable of competing.