VIEWS: On the same ballot that is due Dec. 8 players will also vote for Rookie of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year. Its my view that Ben Curtis, thanks mostly to his victory at the Open Championship will capture the rookie award over Aaron Baddeley, Hank Kuehne, Arron Oberholser, Carl Pettersson and Adam Scott. The player with the brightest future out of that group: Adam Scott. Comeback player? Peter Jacobsen will edge out Woody Austin and Tommy Armour III.
NEWS: Annika Sorenstam is playing in the Tiger (named after the Asian beer) Skins Game in Singapore this week against Retief Goosen, Jesper Parnevik and Lam Chih Bing, Singapores best player.
VIEWS: Perfect. A tune-up for the worlds best female player who rarely plays in an event without a purpose. This event will serve to prepare Sorenstam for the real Skins Game Nov. 29-30 in California at the Trilogy Golf Club at La Quinta. Arguably, her competition in California will be tougher'Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson and Mark OMeara. Trilogy, by the way, measures out to 7,085 yards and a par of 72. Sorenstam will play from the same tee markers as the men.
NEWS: Shigeki Maruyama, a winner on Tour just last month in Greensboro, will spearhead Japans title defense this week at Kiawah Island.
VIEWS: Maru, as his friends call him, would rather be preparing for the Presidents Cup next week in South Africa. A troublesome neck injury is beginning to heal now but the recovery was too late for International team captain Gary Player to make him a Captains pick. Maruyama was the Man of the Match at the Presidents Cup matches in Australia five years ago, compiling a 5-0 record. Dont think Player wouldnt like a mulligan on his picks that include little-known Tim Clark. Similarly, its hard to imagine U.S. captain Jack Nicklaus would turn you down right now if you told him he could substitute Tour Championship winner Chad Campbell onto his team in South Africa.
NEWS: Swedens Fredrik Jacobson, who has rocketed to No. 19 in the Official World Golf Rankings, was the only undefeated player in last weeks Seve Trophy matches.
VIEWS: Freddie Yock is the best kept secret in golf, and almost certain to make the Euro Ryder Cup squad next year in Michigan. No longer is Parnevik his countrys best player.
NEWS: Greg Norman is emerging as the leading candidate to captain the Internationals at the 2005 Presidents Cup in Virginia.
VIEWS: This will be a good thing. Norman, not always popular among the top American players, has been a stalwart promoting and traveling for the sake of the game internationally. Both Ernie Els and Nick Price are in Normans corner on this one.
NEWS: Several Americans opt out of the World Cup because of the long trip to South Africa the week after.
VIEWS: Retief Goosen, on the other hand played the Tour Championship in Houston last week, jetted to Singapore (9,948 miles) for a Skins game there this week and will hustle to Cape Town (6,003 more miles) for the Presidents Cup..Vroomm.
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