Ws Alone Dont Measure Worth

By George WhiteAugust 3, 2006, 4:00 pm
The query came again this week, this time from a reader that Ive grown to respect. In truth, rarely a week has gone by that I havent received the question in one form or another.
 
How, the reader asked, can Michelle Wie be ranked No. 2 in the world when she hasnt won anything?
 
So I am going to answer once and for all. And here it is:
 
Because, by virtue of the results of her tournament play the past two years, she actually IS the second-best player in the world.
 
I didnt say that its because shes anybodys favorite. Its not because Rolex (the rankings sponsor) happens to really like Michelle Wie. Its not part of a sinister plot to put her in the No. 2 position, waiting for that day when No. 1 Annika Sorenstam retires. Its not because the rankings have been rigged in her favor, not because she made $10 million dollars when she turned pro.
 
And despite what you might think about her personally, or her father, or her repeated invites to play against the men and her repeated acceptance of same ' she has performed better than anyone save Annika for the past two years.
 
The women are about to play their final major this week - the Weetabix Womens British Open - and Wie has excelled in the first three. In fact, she has excelled more than anyone, which is largely the reason she is ranked second.
 
Wie finished in a tie for third at Kraft Nabisco, a tie for fifth at McDonalds, and in the U.S. Womens Open, she also tied for third. That is an average finish of 3.67.
 
Sorenstam, No. 1, has a T6 at Kraft Nabisco, and T9 at McDonalds and a win in the Open. Her record also is very good ' 5.33 for the three majors. But it still isnt as good as Wies.
 
Now about the woman ranked immediately beneath Wie, No. 3 Karrie Webb? Webb won the Kraft Nabisco, was second in the McDonalds - but tied for 37th in the Open. Her average finish? 13.3.
 
OK, how about No. 4, Lorena Ochoa? Lost in a playoff at Nabisco, finished T9 at McDonalds, T20 at the Open. Her average finish is 10.3.
 
Nos. 4, 5 and 6 ' Paula Creamer, Cristi Kerr and Juli Inkster ' arent on the same page as Wie, either. Creamers average finish is almost 30, Kerr is 22.7, Inkster is 15.
 
And, the fact is that Wie only plays in the toughest tournaments ' her high school studies in Hawaii wont allow for a full LPGA schedule, and she is limited to just eight tournaments because of LPGA restrictions. She plays in the Hawaii events, which are the weakest fields in which she competes. But otherwise, her schedule thus far this year has included all three womens majors, the World Match Play and the Evian Masters ' all against the toughest fields womens golf can muster. Her worst finish of all, incidentally, is the tie for fifth that she recorded at both McDonalds and the Match Play.
 
Can there be any argument that she shouldnt be ranked second in the world? Last year, when the rankings started, she finished second in the SBS Open, second at McDonalds, tied for third in the Womens British, tied for second at Evian, and finished T23 at the Open after leading going into the final day.
 
Nowhere, incidentally, does it say anything about counting only victories. Morgan Pressel is ranked No. 16, Natalie Gulbis 17th, Brittany Lang 18th and they own nary a victory, either. I have never been asked why these players are ranked so high without posting a win, incidentally. The fact that all three are 23 or younger ' yes, they are still girls if you will ' is indication that all will eventually break through with a victory. And if that is true of that trio, it is even more true in the case of a 16 year old - Wie.
 
This is quoted verbatim from the Rolex Rankings website: The Rolex Rankings will share the established men's world rankings philosophy of awarding points based on the field strength and evaluate a player's performance over a rolling two-year period
 
Hmmm see anything in that explanation about this being a ranking only of tournament winners? You dont? I dont, either.
 
The original gripe was that Rolex set up the 15-tournament for two years just to make sure that it included Wie. Untrue, said LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens.
 
The 15-tournament rule was instituted at the behest of the Japanese and Korean tours, both of whom play far fewer than the 32 tournaments the LPGA will play in 2006. Those tours were concerned that, if it took more than 15 events to be ranked, the Far East women might never be included.
 
Michelle Wie was never a factor in making the rule 15 tournaments. And, incidentally, Bivens would hardly gain anything by saying otherwise ' Wie is not a member of the LPGA. The stipulation, incidentally, has been changed this week to denote that there is NO mininum now listed - play one pro tournament and you are eligible to be ranked.
 
Wie has heard the garbage, read the criticisms, and it has cut deep. You cant be just 16 years old and not have it hurt, especially coming from adults who are twice, three times her age. She has steeled herself against it, however.
 
People have their right to talk, Wie says. I mean, everyone is going to have their own opinions. I have my opinions of everyone else. But, you know, it's just - that's the way the world is.
 
And thats the way the Rolex Rankings are, pure and simple. The rankings measure who is playing the best golf ' not who has or has not yet won a tournament. And like it or not, that means Michelle Wie.
 
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Watch: Fleetwood gets emotional with family after Race to Dubai win

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 19, 2017, 5:30 pm

Tommy Fleetwood took home the season-long Race to Dubai title on Sunday after a T-21 finish at the DP World Tour Championship.

He was, understandably, emotional after learning his fate while sitting with his wife and baby following a career year in which he won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship and the French Open and finished fourth at the U.S. Open.

Luckily for us, cameras were rolling:

Matsuyama after Koepka rout: 'Huge gap between us'

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 4:22 pm

Hideki Matsuyama offered a blunt assessment after finishing 10 shots behind Brooks Koepka at the Japan Tour's Dunlop Phoenix event.

Koepka waxed the field en route to successfully defending his title in Japan, shooting a 20-under par total that left him nine shots clear of a runner-up group that included PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele. Koepka's score was one shot off the tournament record, and his margin for victory eclipsed Tiger Woods' eight-shot romp in 2004.

Matsuyama appeared set to make a final-round charge after a birdie on No. 2 was followed by an ace on the par-3 third hole. But he played the next eight holes in 3 over and eventually finished alone in fifth place following a 2-under 69. Afterwards, he stacked his game up against that of Koepka in a telling comment to the Japan Times.

"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said.

The Japanese phenom entered the week ranked No. 4 in the world, though he will be passed in the next rankings by Jon Rahm following the Spaniard's win in Dubai. Matsuyama won twice this year on the PGA Tour, including the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he has largely struggled since missing out on a maiden major title at the PGA Championship, where he tied for fifth.

Matsuyama was a runner-up to Koepka at the U.S. Open earlier this summer, and the 25-year-old seems headed back to the drawing board before defending his title at the Hero World Challenge in two weeks.

"I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well," Matsuyama said. "It seems there are many issues to address."

McCormick to caddie for Spieth at Aussie Open

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 2:21 pm

When Jordan Spieth returns next week to defend his title at the Australian Open, he will do so without his regular caddie on the bag.

Spieth and Michael Greller have combined to win 14 tournaments and three majors, including three events in 2017. But Greller's wife, Ellie, gave birth to the couple's first child on Oct. 13, and according to a report from the Australian Herald Sun he will not make the intercontinental trip to Sydney, where Spieth will look to win for the third time in the last four years.

Instead, Spieth will have longtime swing coach and native Aussie Cameron McCormick on the bag at The Australian Golf Club. McCormick, who won PGA Teacher of the Year in 2015, is originally from Melbourne but now lives in Texas and has taught Spieth since he was a rising star among the junior golf ranks in Dallas.

While Greller has missed rounds before, this will be the first time as a pro that Spieth has used a different caddie for an entire event. Greller was sidelined with an injury last year in Singapore when Spieth's agent, Jay Danzi, took the bag, and trainer Damon Goddard has subbed in twice when Greller was sick, including this year at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational.

Spieth's torrid 2015 season traced back to his win at The Australian in 2014, and he returned to Oz last year where he won a playoff at Royal Sydney over Cameron Smith and Ashley Hall.

Rahm wins finale, Fleetwood takes Race to Dubai

By Will GrayNovember 19, 2017, 1:42 pm

Jon Rahm captured the final tournament on the European Tour calendar, a result that helped Tommy Fleetwood take home the season-long Race to Dubai title.

Rahm shot a final-round 67 to finish two shots clear of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Shane Lowry at the DP World Tour Championship. It's the second European Tour win of the year for the Spaniard, who also captured the Irish Open and won on the PGA Tour in January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

"I could not be more proud of what I've done this week," Rahm told reporters. "Having the weekend that I've had, actually shooting 12 under on the last 36 holes, bogey-free round today, it's really special."

But the key finish came from Justin Rose, who held the 54-hole lead in Dubai but dropped back into a tie for fourth after closing with a 70. Rose entered the week as one of only three players who could win the Race to Dubai, along with Sergio Garcia and Fleetwood, who started with a lead of around 250,000 Euros.


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With Fleetwood in the middle of the tournament pack, ultimately tying for 21st after a final-round 74, the door was open for Rose to capture the title thanks to a late charge despite playing in half the events that Fleetwood did. Rose captured both the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open, and was one round away from a two-trophy photo shoot in Dubai.

Instead, his T-4 finish meant he came up just short, as Fleetwood won the season-long race by 58,821 Euros.

The title caps a remarkable season for Fleetwood, who won the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship as well as the French Open to go along with a pair of runner-up finishes and a fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open.

"I find it amazing, the season starts in November, December and you get to here and you're watching the last shot of the season to decide who wins the Race to Dubai," Fleetwood said at the trophy ceremony. "But yeah, very special and something we didn't really aim for at the start of the year, but it's happened."