TROON, Scotland -- Final round means final grades. If memory serves, this is the first time all 10 ranked players made the cut in a major since I started doing these! These grades are a reflection of the players' tournament performance on a whole, not just about what they did on Sunday. What a great Open Championship, even if nine of the 10 best in the world didn't perform like we thought they would.
World ranking: No. 1
Score: 73-70-71-71 (+1)
It's easy to see the pressure Jason is dealing with being world No. 1. Anxiety and trying too hard are what cost him in Round 1 when conditions were perfect and it seemed like everyone was going low. Overall, he had an average performance except for Round 2, which was what earned him the plus.
World ranking: No. 2
Score: 71-69-72-70 (-2)
In the toughest conditions, he shined the brightest on Friday. A T-9 finish is nothing to scoff at for DJ, but the triple-bogey mess of the 11th on Saturday -- after the double there Friday -- left me hoping traits of that old DJ aren't sneaking back. I don't believe they are, but the feeling makes me nervous. Once the putting gets consistent, more major titles will have Dustin Johnson written in their history.
World ranking: No. 3
Score: 71-75-72-68 (+2)
A nice grinding final-round 3-under 68 got Jordan close to a B grade, but he finished the tournament over par, and I just didn't feel comfortable when so many others -- 17 of them, 21 if you count those at even par -- found a way. While I sympathize with the weather conditions they had to play in Friday, one of the things that makes him so good is his ability to find a way. This week, he didn't. In the future, he will.
World ranking: No. 4
Score: 69-71-73-67 (-4)
Three out of four isn't bad. That seems to be Rory's MO with all those backdoor top-10s. You can't say Rory doesn't care on Sunday, but it sure does seem like when he doesn't have a chance to win he plays a lot more "free." Regardless, McIlroy had the second-best finish of everyone in the top 10 and beat third place by two. Well done.
World ranking: No. 5
Score: 70-76-72-70 (+4)
I struggled with this grade because Bubba finished in the bottom half of the top 10 players, but I wouldn't feel right giving him a below-average grade since he broke par twice during the week -- on Thursday and Sunday. Bubba made 17 birdies and an eagle this week, so even with lots of bogeys, two doubles and a triple, his entertainment factor was worth at least the C average.
World ranking: No. 6
Score: 68-65-68-63 (-20)
One man broke 70 every day. One man stared down a five-time major champion two days in a row. And one man became the first male Swede to win a major. Just like when he got on the run to win the FedEX Cup, I expect at least one more big win this season from Stenson. Anyone who says there's now a "big five," I will personally choke with Swedish fish.
World ranking: No. 7
Score: 69-72-76-73 (+6)
As high as Fowler's final score is, two holes with a score worse than bogey is what did him in. The quadruple-bogey on the 11th hole on Friday was what Rickie used to be known for doing at least once a round in majors. Every round he played the front nine in par or better, which is good but not great. Playing the back nine a combined plus-11 does not work.
World ranking: No. 8
Score: 69-73-76-71 (+5)
One bad round ruined everything. Saturday was the collapse of Adam, which sounds like a movie, but overall he didn't play terribly. The putting was below standard for someone ranked so high in the world. One good day with the driver, however -- Friday, 71 percent FIR (fairways in regulation) -- didn't produce good scoring, and that's not OK.
World ranking: No. 9
Score: 71-75-74-71 (+7)
As happy as I was seeing the Masters champion make it into the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking, I can't help but feel disappointed at the end of The Open. The plus is for the bookend 70s because they're something positive to take away. And averaging 28.5 putts per round says it was his iron play that left much to be desired.
World ranking: No. 10
Score: 70-74-76-77 (+13)
I guess we can say Branden was the runaway loser. Last place by six full shots is easy to do when you play three straight days of missing fairways and greens. It'd be easy to use the weather as an excuse, but if others in the top 10 figured it out, you shouldn't have to.
World ranking:No. 19
Score: 63-69-70-65 (-17)
How many ways is Phil going to lose majors? He definitely did not lose this one -- he got beat by a guy who played unconsciously. How fast did a 46-year-old man make people forget about "the young trend" on the PGA Tour? Playing this good now makes me wonder: If that other guy didn't play in his era, how great would we be saying he is?
Thank you ma'am. This week was everything, weather-wise, The Open is supposed to be. Sunshine and warmth one minute, sideways rain with people wearing ski caps and gloves the next. The best part? Mother Nature decided the finest golfers in the world would have to play this golf course in a wind they hadn't seen in any practice session!
I noticed no one complaining about how the course was too easy or too hard. I couldn't find one bad thing on social media about the scores being too low even though 21 players finished at par or better. You know why? Because the R&A allowed Royal Troon to be itself and let whatever was going to happen, score-wise, happen. What the course gave us was an amazing week of golf and a Sunday finish that is an instant classic.