At Last Vijay All Alone at the Top
Vijay Singh ascended to the throne ' officially ' by easing past Woods Monday in the Duetsche Bank Championship. Since sometime around the end of the West Coast swing, it was glaringly apparent that there was something wrong with Woods swing. That was way back in February, and by the time the Masters rolled around in early April, two, possibly three, golfers had steamed past Tiger in peoples opinions.
Vijay, Phil Mickelson and maybe Ernie Els have all played better, even considering Tigers victory in the Accenture World Match Play in February. The Match Play was pure intestinal fortitude prevailing over a faltering golf game, Woods just refusing to lose in all six matches.
But this was Singhs sixth win. Hes won a major ' the PGA Championship. He won five times last year, too. Eleven wins in two years should be enough to get you the No. 1 ranking ' unless you are Tiger Woods and you have a couple of years like 1999-2000.
By the time Singh won his third tournament of the year, Houston in May, he was convinced. He was No. 1 in his own mind.
Yeah, I feel I'm the best player in the world, I feel that all the time, I've got to feel that, he said.
But you cannot really go out and emphasize that because it's not true; the ranking shows. But I've been playing good enough golf to be No. 1 player in the world.
Woods played his best tournament of the year, finally managing to hit fairways with some consistency. His short game was, as usual, brilliant. That aspect of his play is unquestionably the best in the world ' if it werent, he never would have showed his head above water this year. But if he can continue to drive the ball as well as he did last week, it looks like the No. 1 position is going to be a dogfight between him, Singh, Mickelson and Els.
Yeah, there's two ways to look at it, said Tiger. This is the best ball-striking week I've had all year, and unfortunately I didn't win because I didn't play the par 5s well at all today.
Singh realizes, though, that its a very tenuous hold he has on the top spot. He knows that there are three guys that can logically lay claim to the best in the world on any given week ' and there are four if Tiger is really back.
Golf is such an incredible game that any one time, anybody can be No. 1 player in the word, said Singh.
You've got Ernie. You've got Phil right now; he could say he's the best player in the world; and Ernie, it's the same thing. It's hard to really go out there and say, hey - you have got to follow some criteria, and the ranking is the only way that we can do that.
He's played incredible golf for last five years, six years, said Vijay. Who knows, he could go out there next time and regain that. And taking nothing away from anybody, but Tiger has proven that he has been No. 1 player in the world for a long, long time, and even today.
Youve heard the phrase used so much its been a clich for a long time now, but its still true ' the current system to designate a world No. 1 may be bad, but no one has come up with a better one. Now that Woods has abdicated the throne, there isnt a clear No. 1. The best in the world changes every day. Sometimes its shared by two or three players. Sometimes its shared by two or three tours.
We're not out trying to be No. 1 player in the world; we are out there every week to try to win golf tournaments, and that is our real goal, said Singh. I'm going to tee it up next week and I'm going to have the same thing I did this week - trying to win the golf tournament.
You know, in the meantime, there's the World Ranking and like Tiger said it very well, you play good enough and win golf tournaments, everything is going to take care of itself.
Woods agreed. Hes been No. 1 for five years, it was an unbelievable run, but now there may not be a clearcut No. 1 who will continue undisputed week after week after week. And that isnt a major setback to his psyche.
No, I'm not disappointed about the ranking, he said. I'm disappointed in not winning. As I said, the ranking takes care of - winning takes care of the ranking.
And golf may be the better for it, he concedes.
Yeah, we are both 1 and 2 in the world and it's both to go out there and play at a level - we both played well, said Tiger.
You know, Vijay and I have gone head-to-head many times, and hopefully we can do it again.
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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.