Musical Chairs

By Randall MellApril 25, 2011, 5:15 am

Win something that matters!

Beat somebody who matters!

Give us a reason to believe you really deserve that No. 1 world ranking!

Welcome back to No. 1, Lee Westwood.

The Official World Golf Ranking throne is quite the hot seat these days.

Westwood shouldn’t have to apologize for claiming the No. 1 ranking Sunday in Jakarta, though there are folks who would like him to, folks who think it stinks he overtook Martin Kaymer in the world rankings by beating a bunch of nobodies at the Indonesian Masters. Westwood, after all, was the only player among the top 70 in the world rankings in the Asian Tour event, one of just two players among the top 100 in the field.

There are those who didn’t think Westwood was worthy of the No. 1 ranking in his first 17-week run atop the OWGR and who think he’s even less worthy now. That’s because Westwood has done little beyond winning the Indonesian Masters this season. In eight European Tour and PGA Tour starts this year, he doesn’t have a single top-10 finish. Not one. He has just one victory on the two most important tours on the planet since the start of 2010.

And now he’s the No. 1 player in the world?

Yes, and if you don’t like it, don’t blame Westwood, the honorable Englishman doesn’t deserve the vitriol.

Blame Luke Donald . . . Blame Phil Mickelson . . . Blame Martin Kaymer.

I’ve lost track how many times a player has had a chance to seize the No. 1 ranking with a victory in a PGA Tour event over the last 12 months and failed to take advantage.

You don’t like Westwood at No. 1? Blame Graeme McDowell, Paul Casey, Rory McIlroy, Steve Stricker and Matt Kuchar.

Blame every player who isn’t consistently winning.

If you don’t like Westwood atop the world rankings, your problem isn’t with Westwood or even the world rankings. Your problem is with today’s game. What you really don’t like is parity. You don’t like the fact that since Tiger Woods crashed into that fire hydrant almost 18 months ago, the game’s lacking a dominant force. It’s lacking somebody who can consistently win. It’s lacking a player who wouldn’t allow Westwood to have that top spot.

Do you know who has the most PGA Tour victories within the two-year rolling period that makes up this week’s world rankings?

Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker. They’ve each got five titles.

Since Woods crashed into that fire hydrant, Jim Furyk leads the PGA Tour with three victories.

Ten players have won two PGA Tour titles since Woods’ crash.

It’s also possible you may not like that Westwood gained the world’s No. 1 ranking winning an event where he received an appearance fee, but you’d have to discount a lot of European Tour events with the special incentives allowed on that tour. All the top players take advantage. If you don’t like appearance money, you also shouldn’t like the fact that Woods played in so many of those Buick events when he had an endorsement deal with Buick.

If you don’t like Westwood atop the world rankings, you probably don’t like that the average ranking of a PGA Tour winner this year is 148th in the world. And you don’t like that it’s been 75 weeks since a player has won a European or PGA Tour title while holding the No. 1 ranking.

Kaymer looked like a good fit at No. 1 when he first grabbed the top spot in February. His five European Tour and PGA Tour titles in the last 15 months made him worthy. But Kaymer didn’t seem particularly eager to become No. 1. It’s as if it were happening before he was ready. And in his eight weeks at No. 1, he never looked comfortable with the ranking.

Westwood might not have defeated any big names in Jakarta Sunday, but he achieved something nobody has achieved in six years while chasing the No. 1 ranking. He became the first player to arrive at an event knowing he had to win it to become No. 1 and then won the event. He’s the first since Woods reclaimed the No. 1 ranking from Vijay Singh by winning the Masters in 2005.

The No. 1 seat might feel hot, Mr. Westwood, but nobody else appears to want it more than you do.

Follow Randall Mell on Twitter @RandallMell

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