After Further Review: Changing of the guard continues


Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on the end (for some players) of anchored putting, Lorena Ochoa's hall-of-fame limbo and how the PGA Tour can ward off delays due to darkness.

The changing of the guard continues in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Last week, we saw Phil Mickelson drop out of the top 25 for the first time in nearly 20 years. The current leaderboard at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba features Russell Knox and Graeme McDowell at the top, two players whose rankings have been moving in opposite directions all year.

Next week, Lee Westwood will drop out of the top 50 for the first time since 2007, replaced by another rising star – Matt Fitzpatrick. A former world No. 1, Westwood now has work to do to return to the top 50 by the end of the year and secure his invite to the Masters, a tournament he hasn’t missed since 2004.

This week in Mexico, McDowell has demonstrated some form of old and has a momentum-building victory to play for on Monday. Time will tell if Westwood can follow his former Ryder Cup teammate on the comeback trail. - Will Gray

Stop me if this sounds familiar – a PGA Tour round has been suspended because of darkness.

Round 1 of the season-opening Open, Round 1 of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Round 1 of the Sanderson Farms Championship, and Round 1 of the OHL Classic, following a rain delay that spanned more than an hour, were all suspended by nightfall.

That’s every full-field event so far this season forced into a scheduling scramble. Mayakoba marks the circuit’s second consecutive Monday finish, by a combination of dwindling light and poor weather.

Playing golf in the fall after daylight saving time is not going to change, but field sizes can. Instead of continued delays, the PGA Tour should consider more manageable fields. - Rex Hoggard

With Sunday’s victory at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, Rolex world No. 2 Inbee Park set up a potentially dramatic showdown next week with No. 1 Lydia Ko at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

The LPGA’s most important awards are nearly all boiled down to a battle between these two in Naples, Fla. The Rolex world No. 1 ranking, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the money-winning title and the CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot are all within their grasp.

How close is the competition? Ko leads Park by three points in the Rolex Player of the Year race. Park leads Ko by .016 points in scoring average. A win is worth 30 Rolex POY points and a 10th-place finish is worth one point.

It’s a fitting finale as these two players have dominated the 2015 season with five victories apiece. - Randall Mell