Whos No 1 Well Whom Do You Like

By George WhiteSeptember 9, 2004, 4:00 pm
Oops! Check that! Vijay Singh is NOT the No. 1 golfer in the world yet. Not if you believe Golfweek Magazine.
 
Huh?
 
Golfweeks ranking says the No. 1 position is still the domain of Tiger Woods. This is rather confusing, considering that the Official World Ranking says that Tiger was deposed Monday of his five-year perch. Golfweeks poll is weirder still when it considers the activity of the past 12 months only ' a period in which Singh has a large margin in victories.

Maybe Golfweek is prejudiced for Woods, you might say. Well no. The mag was the first to proclaim Singh as No. 1, way back on March 29.
 
The World Ranking covers a two-year period, a time when Woods has seven wins. Over those same two years, Singh has 11 victories.
 
Wait a minute, though. Believe it or not, there are some arguments here for Tiger. Pull up a chair for a minute and ponder these statistics:
 
Would you believe that in 20 head-to-head meetings between Singh and Woods, Woods still has a slight advantage over the past year? Tiger has prevailed 11 times and Singh nine. And Woods average finish over the past 12 months is 10.6. Vijay averages 17.6.
 
Trying to rank anyone No. 1 is a major headache, though. Throw Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson into the mix, and it seems there is an argument for any of the four, depending upon how you tilt the stats.
 
First of all ' Singh. Those six wins this year make a powerful argument for No. 1. Despite the fact he's won one Masters and two PGAs, he historically has fattened up on the non-majors, while not doing so well in the biggies. And dont forget ' he has already played 24 times on the PGA Tour this year, six times more than Mickelson, seven times more than Woods, and 10 times more than Els.
 
But, Singh has won a major this year ' the PGA Championship. His other wins were in lesser events ' Pebble Beach, Houston, New Orleans, the Buick Open and the Deutsche Bank. But should we penalize Singh just because he plays a lot? Or because he wins a lot? If you like Vijay Singh for No. 1, you have lots of company.
 
OK ' how about Tiger? Hes played 17 times, but he has 12 top-10s. Thats pretty good.
 
The downside? Hes been quite mediocre, relatively speaking, in the majors. His best result was a tie for ninth in the British Open, the other three hovering around 20th place.
 
Where Woods has come up strong has been in the other top tournaments. He won the Accenture Match Play, tied for second at the NEC, tied for fourth at the Mercedes, and finished third at Memorial. Do you still like him at No. 1? Youve got company, if you jigger the statistics just a little.
 
How about Els? His 14 PGA Tour tournaments show eight top-10s. Hes won twice, finished second twice and finished third once. His record in the majors is impressive ' lost a playoff in the British, edged out in the Masters on the last hole by Mickelsons 18-foot putt, and a tie for ninth in the U.S. Open after sitting in second going into the final day. In the PGA, he finished T4.
 
BUT ' and this is a big but ' Els has also excelled in Europe. Hes played there seven times, and seven times he has finished in the top 10. He won the Heineken Classic and has finished in the top 3 two other times. This, despite having to travel through multiple time zones just to tee it up. Surely that would make a man No. 1 in the world ' wouldnt it?
 
Finally, theres Mickelson. All hes done is finish in the top 10 13 times, despite playing just 18 events. His record in the majors is better than anyones ' won the Masters, finished second at the U.S. Open after a double bogey on the 71st hole, finished third in the British, and tied for sixth in the PGA.
 
In addition, he finished in a tie for third at The Players ' which may have the best field of them all. And he came close in the Match Play, finally losing to Davis Love III, 1-up, in the quarterfinals.
 
With all these superlatives, surely Phil is No. 1. No, its Vijay with his six wins. Er, Tiger with his over-all excellence. I mean, Els, who has played to such a high standard all over the world.
 
Stop it! Stop it, for goodness sakes! Do you see my point ' that its impossible to pick a world No. 1? You can argue for any of these four, and if you make the right point, surely you can tout your guy. But in this crazy year, there are no No. 1s.
 
Or - there are four No. 1s.
 
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McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

 

 

Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.