Whos No 1 Wait Just a Minute


Now its Vijay. Last month it was Tiger. Ernie and Phil are just biding their time, waiting for an opening. Retief is a longshot, but maybe next year
It makes for great conversation, of course, and not much else. Whos No. 1? Who knows for sure?
It's unbelievable - it's just remarkable, said Joey Sindelar earlier this year.
I'm probably way off base, but I want to say it would kind of be like having the best of the 70s, 80s and 90s all happening at one time. We didn't have that many dominators during those years. There were one or two, and you're seeing five or six and there's more. There are five or six that could be No. 1.
Those are strong words, coming from someone who has been around since way back in 1984, 21 years ago. That was two years before Jack Nicklaus won his last Masters. Tom Watson was still a threat, Greg Norman was still a newcomer to the U.S. Nick Faldo, Fred Couples, Nick Price would be the top players in the world five or six years later, Seve Ballesteros and Colin Montgomerie were the top Europeans.
But Sindelar believes NOW is the time to be following golf. Its a period when several players are jumbled up atop the world rankings.
Tiger doesnt believe now is necessarily a unique time. Probably back in like '98, '99, when you had me, Phil, Ernie, Vijay, (David) Duval, Davis (Love) ' we were all winning numerous tournaments each and every year, he said.
But theres no doubt that this is a very special era, he believes. You know, Phil had a wonderful year (last year), Vijay had a great year and Ernie came as close as close gets to winning three majors in one year. Could have won all four, actually. Just one of those things where I think Goose was up there, as well. There's, like, five guys, Woods said.
Goosen realizes he has a lot of ground to make up, but he sees plenty of possibilities. He discussed the matter earlier in the year.
Yeah, I think there's a lot of players feeling that they have a bit of a chance now to get up there, he said. They know they are going to probably have a very good year or two good years to catch up like Vijay did with Tiger, or that Tiger didn't play his best golf really to keep his points.
Vijay is playing the best golf of his life now. How long he can keep it up we don't know. He's obviously very determined to stay there the way he's working out and the way he's still practicing, but I feel Tiger's going to be a lot better this year than he was last year. I feel he's more set in his game at the moment and he's showing signs of playing better last year.
One player who wasnt mentioned, but who obviously has talent and youth on his side, is Sergio Garcia. Its difficult to believe Garcia is still only a few months past his 25th birthday. Hes been playing a full schedule in the majors since 1999, and has been a regular on the PGA Tour since he was just a 20-year-old in 2000. He has already won 14 times around the world, five on the PGA Tour.
Garcia is still five years or so away from his prime years. But he, too, can see a real battle shaping up for No. 1.
I think golf has been very fortunate for quite a while now. There's no doubt at the moment there's a lot of guys playing well, Sergio said.
Of course probably two or three years ago, Tiger was the one that was standing out. There were some other guys playing pretty well, but I think right now at the moment, there's a bigger group playing quite well. There's no doubt that it's exciting to see what's going to happen and, you know, see how everything is going to go around.
Fasten your seat belts because the ride to No. 1 may get a little bumpy. Too many guys are too deserving. Is golf going through another golden age?
Email your thoughts to George White