Tigers No 1 Days Numbered
Now comes the possibility that Woods may lose his vise-like grip on the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking ' a spot he has owned since June of 2005 ' as early next year.
Since his knee surgery earlier this year Woods has lost Official World Golf Ranking points from six 2006 victories and one second place. Points will continue to fall off his record because that system counts performance over a two-year span.
Depending on how OWGR No. 2 Mickelson, and possibly No. 3 Vijay Singh or No. 4 Padraig Harrington play prior to Woods return ' which may not be until Aprils Masters ' Mickelson could replace Woods by the middle of March.
Woods current OWGR points average is 15.05. According to Golf Channel numbers crunchers, that average should shrink to somewhere between 8.5 and 9.0 10 weeks into the 2009 season.
The prediction here is Woods will end 2009 atop the OWGR; that he will win his 10th Player of the Year award; and his fellow players will vote him Comeback Player of the Year.
CURED HAND LUKE
Another early candidate for a big comeback in 2009 is Brit Luke Donald, who hasnt played since pulling out of the U.S. Open in June after three rounds. He subsequently underwent August surgery on his left wrist to repair tendon damage.
Donalds eyes ' Northwestern golf coach Pat Goss ' said Donald is on schedule with his rehab and extremely antsy to begin hitting golf balls again.
Donald has spent a lot of time in the gym since the operation. He has spent some time painting with his right hand ' he is an accomplished artist. And his current plan is to begin his competitive comeback at Woods tournament in December. Donald won that event in 2006. Donald began the year ranked No. 17 in the world and, surprisingly, has only dropped 10 spots.
Donald watched the broadcast of Europes recent loss to the U.S. in the Ryder Cup from his Evanston, lll. home. He has been able to practice his putting for some time now. And Goss says right now Donald is the best putter on a putting green Ive ever seen.
Representatives for Michelle Wie said Wednesday that an apparent schedule conflict that has her finishing LPGA Q-School finals on Sunday Dec. 7 and starting Stanford academic finals Monday Dec. 8 will not be a problem.
Juggling, said her agent, Jill Smoller of the William Morris Agency in Los Angeles. Shes been doing this all her life.
Mostly, Smoller said, Wies courses at Stanford involve oral finals or projects or classes that require turning in papers in place of taking a written test. None of those, Smoller said, will require Wie to power-study in her room every night at Daytona Beach, site of the LPGA Q-School.
Marc Turnesas Sunday victory in Las Vegas didnt go unnoticed by the good folks at the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Hall COO Jack Peter reports that, while his organization normally focuses on individuals, Turnesa and his grandfather and great uncles have produced a unique body of golf work.
Between them, the Turnesa family has won more than 20 PGA Tour titles, one major championship, two U.S. Amateurs and has one Ryder Cup appearance.
We will, Peter informed GolfChannel.com, put this on our list ' might be an interesting way to reach more fans.
BRIDGE TO SOMEWHERE
The PGA Tour statisticians have noted that if you took Zach Johnsons final two rounds at the Valero Texas Open (which he won) and combined them with Johnsons first two rounds in Las Vegas last week, you would have 62-64-62-65. That four-round total of 253 would have been good enough to break Tommy Armour IIIs 72-hole PGA Tour record of 254, posted at the 2003 Valero Texas Open.
To which we would add, if you took Michael Allens front nine 29 Saturday at Vegas and cobbled it together with Chris DiMarcos back nine 30, you would have had a 59.
Thing is, it doesnt work that way.
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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome
Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)
The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...
And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.
Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas
He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.
Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.
Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.
In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.
Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.
Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.
Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic
Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double
Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open
Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open
Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row
Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow
Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship
The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ
Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year
And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season
Photo Galleries: Best of ...
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com counted down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below. And click here for the full collection of articles.
Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge
ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.
The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.
They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.
Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.
Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.
Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.
''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''
The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.
In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''
Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.