Listing To Star Boards


Golf and lists have always gone together like milk and cookies. Like eggs and butter. Like rock and roll. Like gutta and percha.
Lists of best courses. Lists of best equipment. List of best golf resorts. Lists of best golf tournaments.
Best golf books. Best golf movies. Et cetera. Et cetera.
Then there are statistical lists.
For the longest time the list I looked at first was always the PGA Tour money list. Not any more. Not for a long time now. Ben Hogan was the PGA Tours leading money winner in 1948 with a whopping, year-end total of $32,112. Right now Rory Sabbatini is No. 1 on the current PGA Tour money list'just two months into the season'with $2,219,294.
This is clearly apples and oranges. And these kinds of anachronistic comparisons, no matter what branch you hang them on, bear nothing but rotten fruit. Besides, the PGA Tour money list is predictable. Tiger Woods, Ill wager, will be No. 1 on this list by mid-April, if not sooner.
The PGA Tour money list fully engages me now only in October when the so-called quest for the card is in full bloom.
There are at least three golf statistical lists that get my attention more immediately these days. They are, in no particular order, the American Ryder Cup standings; the Official World Golf Ranking and the brand-new Rolex Rankings for Women.
Lets start with the last one first. The Rolex rankings came out last week and ignited a firestorm of controversy because 16-year-old Michelle Wie was No. 3 and has never won a professional event.
Then Wie went out Saturday and finished third at an LPGA event in Hawaii. And for that the Rolex computer, in its infinite byte-size wisdom, bumped her up to No. 2.
Needless to say the debate continues to rage over the legitimacy of the Rolex rankings. And that wont go away any time soon. Maybe the buzz is a good thing. People are talking, even more, about womens golf.
Oh, and one more thing, for those of you who insist that Wie must have some kind of deal with Rolex, forget about it. She endorses Omega watches.
The American Ryder Cup points list is most compelling at the moment because the American captain, Tom Lehman, sits at the No. 10 spot. Lehman has said if he makes the team and he is playing well, he will participate in the matches. Too many people have their undies in a bunch over this. They think the concept of a playing captain is heresy.
Pish, pish.
I say let Lehman lead his troops into battle. Let him play the first match on the first day. Something to be said for valor, courage, bravery and all that. To be sure, this is golf not war. And captaining is, in the end, about making a list. It is not the science of rocketry. But, hey Tom, go for it.
Lehman has said he wont play if his game isnt sharp when the Ryder Cup rolls around in September. Even if he makes the team. Instead, he says, he will give up his spot to the No. 11 man on the list. But what if No. 11 is playing poorly at that time?
He cant go to No. 12. Thats against the rules. This scenario is one Lehman has to hope wont come to be.
Finally, the mens world rankings. I note that Woods, unseated by Vijay Singh in 2004 at the top of the list has now moved back into position with almost double the total of No. 2 Singh.
Geoff Ogilvy won the match play and moved up to No. 26 from a spot closer to 60th. David Howell has now passed Luke Donald as the low Englishman at No. 13. Nick OHern, you might be surprised to know, is the No. 2 ranked Australian in the world. Jesper Parnevik has slipped to No. 72. Theres always something noteworthy on that list if youre willing to look hard enough.
Incidentally, the Sagarin Golfweek world rankings are always worth a look, too. I dont always agree with their current numbers'Luke Donald was No. 4 going into the Match Play. But the Sagarin numbers can be pretty good predictors. Ogilvy ranked 16th BEFORE he won at LaCosta last week.
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