1:29 PM ET
If Dustin Johnson felt any pressure playing for the first time as the world's top-ranked golfer, he sure didn't show it during his victory at the WGC-Mexico Championship.
Has Johnson reached a level where sheer intimidation gives him an advantage? And what about the tournament itself; was the WGC's first foray into Mexico a success?
Our expert panelists answer these questions and more in this week's edition of Monday Four-Ball.
1. Fact or fiction: Dustin Johnson possesses an intimidation factor on the PGA Tour.
ESPN SportsCenter anchor Jonathan Coachman: Fact. The only time he makes mistakes is on the greens, and he is barely doing that. He has become a player for whom par is 68. And if you play against a player that in your mind is starting four shots ahead of you, that is hard to deal with. He makes most courses look like a pitch and putt. Two straight wins proves my point.
ESPN.com senior golf analyst Michael Collins: Fact. This win at the WGC was DJ's B-game. That's five wins in his last 15 official events, starting with last year's U.S. Open. When his name goes up on the leaderboard, the others in the field better start feeling scared because it's not going to end well for them.
ESPN.com senior golf writer Bob Harig: Fact. It is tough not to be spooked by a guy who can get it around so effortlessly. His length overcomes many mistakes, and even on a course that he can't overpower, he is able to take advantage by having shorter shots into the greens.
ESPN.com senior golf writer Jason Sobel: Fact — sort of. I've never really liked that word — intimidation — because it implies that other players are scared of one of their peers. That was never the case with Tiger Woods, and it's not the case with DJ. But yes, there's something to be said about the guy who mashes the ball and maintains perfectly calm demeanor being able to hold a serious mental advantage over the field.
2. What do you make of Rory McIlroy's game after his return to competitive golf after an injury layoff?
Coachman: I was surprised that he admitted to being nervous Sunday. His game was where I thought it would be. I felt that he got tired and lost his focus at altitude over the weekend. A lot of players started missing putts Sunday and putting the ball on the wrong side of the fairway. That didn't happen the first two days. I will say this: I believe Rory will be more than ready come the Masters.
Collins: Rory's game looks good. There's work to do, but I would definitely be hopeful for him as we get closer to the Masters. I expect him to be in the final group at the WGC-Match Play in Austin in three weeks if his game continues to progress coming back from the rib injury.
Harig: He was disappointed with the finish, but to be in contention after having played so little was encouraging. He's got this week off before the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he can build on what he did in Mexico.
Sobel: It was the opposite of what I'd thought. I figured he'd start with a few baby steps and step on the gas pedal during the weekend rounds; instead, he started strong and finished with a whimper. No matter, though. If we learned anything from Rory this week, it's that his rib injury shouldn't impact his chances of reaching the career Grand Slam at Augusta next month.
3. How would you rate the PGA Tour taking a WGC to Mexico?
Coachman: I can admit when I am wrong. I give the PGA Tour and Mexico a 10. It was a spectacular event with everything you could want. The crowds were amazing, loud and respectful. I also really enjoyed the course. I thought it was great for a no-cut event, and there enough chip-ins to last a lifetime. I haven't heard any players complain about much other than the stomach virus that went around.
Collins: I have to admit I was wrong on my initial reaction to going to Mexico. Huge crowds, and (most importantly) knowledgeable, excited kids made the PGA Tour's decision to go to Mexico a great idea. Yes, there were some digestive issues for players and caddies, and the schedule needs to be tweaked if they're going to stay there, but the event was a huge success overall.
Harig: It exceeded expectations. The golf course was a refreshing change, one that offered plenty of strategy. The players enjoyed the course and the hospitality, and the crowds were excellent. As tough as it is to see Doral lose a tournament, going to a place outside of the U.S. proved to be a good move.
Sobel: Great course, good fans, terrific leaderboard. Other than a few cases of weak stomachs, what wasn't there to like about this event? The W in WGC stands for World, after all. It's about time these things started going international.
4. Inbee Park (and her flatstick) led her to victory (again) this week. With one putt to save your life, who do you take: Park or Tiger Woods in his prime?
Coachman: This one is easy for me: Tiger. He made more clutch putts when he had too than anyone on the planet. If he was inside 10 feet, it was absolutely automatic. I am a big fan of how Park gets it done, and she is the silent assassin. But sorry Inbee, I am going with Tiger.
Collins: Having been with them both on the course when they dominated, my answer may surprise many people. If my life depended on one putt from any distance on the green, I'm going with Park. I love Woods, and his dominance will never be questioned, but we're only talking about one putt. If that putt is 30 feet away, Park's icy demeanor on the greens mean I will be alive at the end of the day.
Harig: As good as Park is and has been, it's got to be Woods. At his best, in the biggest moments, he never missed.
Sobel: I've always said if I needed one putt to save my life, the person I'd pick to putt it would be me — not because I'm a good putter, but just because no one else would care as much to save me. That said, if I need to pick between these two choices, it's a no-brainer. I'm taking Tiger in his prime. I just hope the putt that would save me is a big one down the stretch at a major. (If not? I'll make sure Brad Faxon is on standby.)