Notes: Dubuisson's injury; Woodland's surge; more

Victor Dubuisson has been suffering from a shoulder injury since missing the cut at the 2014 Masters (shown here at the WGC-Match Play earlier in the year).
Victor Dubuisson has been suffering from a shoulder injury since missing the cut at the 2014 Masters (shown here at the WGC-Match Play earlier in the year). ( Associated Press )

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Frenchman Victor Dubuisson was expected to return to action for the first time since missing the cut at the Masters. Instead, the world’s 23rd-ranked player has withdrawn from the BMW PGA Championship. Seems he’s been bothered by nagging pain in his right shoulder, which also led him to withdraw from The Players Championship a couple of weeks ago.

He seemed prepared to play at Wentworth, but thought otherwise when the tournament approached.

Dubuisson has reset his return for the FedEx St. Jude Classic, the week before he is set to tee it up in his first U.S. Open.

• • •

THE SURPRISES CONTINUE: Brendon Todd’s triumph at the HP Byron Nelson Championship continues a 2013-14 trend. He was ranked 138th in the world order, meaning six of the last 10 PGA Tour winners were outside the top 100.

He’s also the eighth first-time winner this season and the fifth in the last nine weeks.

• • •

STILL NO. 5? Since winning at the WGC Cadillac Championship and declaring himself one of the top five players in the world, Patrick Reed has hit a rough patch. In five tournaments he’s missed three cuts and finished T-52 and T-48 in the others. He’s gone 26 over for those 14 rounds.

• • •

A RE-APPEARANCE: How stunning was Mike Weir’s second-place finish at the Nelson? Consider that he had played 87 tournaments since his last runner-up effort (the 2009 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am) and missed the cut or been a WD in 59 of them.

Weir, 44, earned a check for $745,200 at the Nelson. His total earnings for 69 tournaments between 2010-13 was $776,914.

• • •

POSITIVE SIGNS: Speaking of resurgences, there’s a mild one going on with Robert Allenby. He’s struggled mightily the last few seasons, but has shown glimpses of his old form this season. Presently, he’s riding a streak of four straight cuts made, something he hadn’t done since 2011.

• • •

STEADY HAND: One of the steadiest players in recent weeks has been Gary Woodland. His last seven tournaments have seen him finish T-16, T-8, T-20, T-26, T-18, T-11, and T-7, and he’s 19 under for those 28 rounds. The hard-hitting Woodland has broken par 16 times in that stretch and been in the 60s seven times.

No secret where he needs to improve, however. His scoring average over those 28 rounds is a tidy 69.82, but he’s at 71.57 for Sundays.

Still, it’s been a solid campaign for Woodland, with nine top 20s in 14 starts. Presently he’s ranked 42nd in the world, improved from 82nd when he concluded 2013 at the Tour Championship.

• • •

CHOICES, CHOICES: The battle to get top players was pretty much a draw between this week’s two marquee tournaments – the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, and the PGA Tour stop at Colonial.

Colonial did get a last-minute commitment from No. 1 Adam Scott to go with No. 4 Matt Kuchar and No. 9 Jim Furyk. The BMW, meanwhile, got four top 10 players – Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, and Rory McIlroy.

In all, the tournament at Wentworth has nine top 25 players, Colonial has eight, but when depth of field and other factors are considered, the BMW will enjoy a higher event rating. Last year it’s edge over Colonial was 403-278, and Matteo Manassero received 64 world-ranking points for winning at Wentworth, as opposed to the 46 Boo Weekley got for prevailing at Colonial.

• • •

FORWARD PROGRESS: A former staple at the BMW PGA Championship, Englishman Paul Casey, is teeing it up at Colonial, looking to continue his improved play. The 36-year-old has been inside the top 20 in five of his eight starts and is now up to 92nd in the world ranking.

It’s a far cry from No. 3, where he was in August of 2009, but troubled by various injuries, Casey had fallen from view before his win at the Irish Open last summer showed he had turned things around.