A Game of Hot Potato

By John HawkinsOctober 29, 2010, 2:36 am

For just the second time in 11½ years, Tiger Woods will surrender his position atop the Official World Golf Ranking, although it’s fair to wonder how Woods held onto No. 1 without a victory of any size for almost 11½ months. The situation is nothing like it was in March 1999, when David Duval won 11 times in 18 months before finally unseating Tiger at the Players Championship, or September 2004, when Vijay Singh outdueled Woods at the Deutsche Bank – the sixth of his nine victories that season.

Maybe the Tiger Dynasty is over, maybe it isn’t, but it’s not like anyone brought the empire to its knees. Lee Westwood, pro golf’s king of prime leaderboard real estate, a swell player whose only victory in 2010 came against a weak field in Memphis, will inherit the top spot unless Martin Kaymer wins or finishes second this week in Spain. With the world ranking and its cushy mathematics as our guiding light, it’s not whether you win or lose these days, but how many top 10s you collect.

That said, Kaymer has made a decent case: Triumphs in his last three starts, a streak that began at the PGA Championship, although it’s worth noting that he entered the British Open ranked 13th in the world. If Woods no longer deserves to be No. 1, it’s because the world ranking has assumed a what-have-you-done-lately identity. If you prefer a formula that uses a wide-angle lens, Tiger remains untouchable. If a couple of years is your barometer, Westwood has been the most consistent top-level performer. If we’re talking about the last two months, they don’t get any hotter than Kaymer.

So what is the world ranking? How long a period should points be calculated? At what point does a victory become irrelevant to the here and now? It’s all subjective territory, and thus, a trigger for disagreement – this isn’t Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 or the Billboard Hot 100. Back in the mid-‘90s, the world ranking got ripped on a regular basis by the top players. Greg Norman, who held No. 1 for much of the first half of the decade, was never a fan of the system that deemed him the best in the game.

In 1993, Paul Azinger had 10 top-three finishes and won the PGA Championship, yet never climbed to higher than third. Changes were made steadily over the years, and when each of the four major championships began issuing automatic exemptions to those in the top 50, there was a movement from within to make the world ranking more current, fairness being another subjective premise.

Given the notion that there is no such thing as a perfect system – and the increased emphasis on recent form – it’s hard to understand why Kaymer isn’t No. 1 already. The other way of looking at it probably makes more sense. Woods had been at the top for so long, most of it with no real contenders to his reign, so a dispute over who deserves it now is a good thing. When Duval knocked Tiger off the throne in ’99, it was only after he’d won a third of his starts for a year and a half. Singh earned his No. 1 fair and square, too, but in 2010, the top spot in the world ranking has become a hot potato.

Nobody seems to want it, which is silly, but still, nobody has done enough to deserve it, which is one man’s version of reality.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

Getty Images

Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump