Monday, January 23, 2012

Johnson Wagner is PGA Tour's hottest player

   Johnson Wagner is taking this week off from the PGA Tour, choosing long ago to use this week to kick back with his family here in Charlotte.

   Perhaps the rest of the PGA Tour players should send him a thank you note with the postscript 'Take as much time as you need."

   Wagner is the hottest player on the tour right now. It started with a tie for ninth at the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions, was followed by his victory at the Sony Open in Hawaii and capped by his tie for second Sunday in the Humana Challenge.

  No wonder a group of fans from Calgary were sporting mustaches as they gave Wagner his first tour groupies in Palm Springs, Cal.

   Wagner now finds himself ranked 68th in the world, up 24 spots from last week thanks to his runner-up finish and it brings the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship into his scheduling equation.

   If Wagner can climb into the top 65 in the world he'll miss his turn as defending champion at the Mayakoba Classic to play in the Match Play event in Tucson, Az. The field is open to the top 64 in the world rankings but Phil Mickelson has already announced he won't be playing because of a family vacation that week.

   Wagner will take this week off then play in Phoenix and Los Angeles. If he's close to qualifying for the Match Play Championship, Wagner may also add the Pebble Beach event to his schedule.

   The mustache, Wagner's version of Rickie Fowler's clothes or Charley Hoffman's hair, isn't going anywhere, at least not for a while.

   "I'm looking forward to Phoenix," Wagner told reporters Sunday night. "I'm sure I'm going to get my fair share of criticism."

   He'll be smiling all the way to the bank.


Anonymous said...

Good for Johnson, representing Charlotte. Also promising is the performance of fellow Hokie and Charlottean Brendon de Jonge, who had a top 10 finish last week and a T12 this week. Maybe with Johnson at home, BDJ can finally pull off his first tour win.