Tip of the Cap to 2008


Editor's Note: In Backspin, the GOLFCHANNEL.com editorial staff takes a look back on the biggest stories from the past week in golf -- with a spin.
HALF FULL/HALF EMPTY: Tiger Woods delivered some crushing news when he announced immediately after his already legendary U.S. Open victory that he will miss the rest of the 2008 season with another knee surgery and rehabilitation on a stress fraction in his tibia.
Backspin You can look at his absence in one of two ways: Tiger treated golf fans to an incredible first half of the '08 season, winning four of his six starts on the PGA TOUR, which included a major and a runner-up at the Masters; or, by pulling the plug on the rest of the year, Tiger has denied golf fans the possibility of witnessing what was shaping up as one of the greatest seasons in history. Either way, he produced more all-time classic highlights in six events than you can shake a stick at. For that we must be grateful.

TRAVELIN' MAN: Stewart Cink held on to win the Travelers Championship after defending champ Hunter Mahan birdied the final two holes to briefly tie for the lead. It was Cink's fifth career PGA TOUR win.
Backspin It was just a matter of time before Cink would again return to the winner's circle after not having visited there since all the way back in the 2004 season. His recent play - a pair of runner-ups and two third-place finishes - indicated his form was setting up for a long-overdue victory. The win vaults Cink to just behind Mickelson and Woods on the money list and also gets him back into the top-10 in the world rankings. Not a bad weekend for Dana Carvey's look-a-like.

THE BALL IS NOW IN YOUR COURT: Speaking of Mickelson, with Tiger now sidelined for the rest of the season, Lefty takes over as the games top-ranked player for the remainder of 2008.
Backspin Taking Tiger out of the equation, Phil is the logical choice to fill the temporary top spot - he's ranked second in the world, second on both the money list and FedExCup points list, second to Tiger in scoring average and second in worldwide fan appeal. Hes also No. 2 in most wins this season and second on the Ryder Cup points list. Like we said, take Tiger out of the equation and Phil is no doubt the BMOC.

BAD MOJO?: Suzann Pettersen, the No. 3 ranked woman in the world, watched her control of the Wegmans LPGA slip away and allowed 22-year-old Eun-Hee Ji to grab the victory in New York.
Backspin Some could see this minor collapse as bad mojo as the ladies head into next week's U.S. Women's Open. But perhaps not for a lady like Pettersen. Remember last season, the Norwegian suffered a heartbreaking loss at the Kraft Nabisco only to bounce back to win her first career LPGA Tour title and then weeks later bust out with her first major championship. We'll see this week if that kind of resiliency is still there.

YOUNG-TIMER: Mild-mannered Jeff Sluman rolled in a monster putt on the final hole to wrap up his first Champions Tour victory at the Bank of America Championship. Sluman finished two-strokes ahead of Loren Roberts.
Backspin The victory was Sluman's first-ever on the 50-and-over set and he has now established himself as one of the players to beat on the senior circuit. Following the win, a less than confident Sluman admitted, 'When I turned 50 last year my game was in tatters.' Tatters no more, my friend.

THE K MAN: Martin Kaymer birdied the first playoff hole against Anders Hansen to win the BMW International Open. The 23-year-old Kaymer nearly wasted his chance at his second victory of the year, blowing a six-stroke lead in Sundays final round before winning it in extra holes..
Backspin Kaymer made history this week in Munich, becoming the youngest player and the first German to win the BMW International Open in the tournaments 20-year history. With the victory, Kaymer moved into sixth place in the Ryder Cup points standings and now trails only Miguel Angel Jimenez in the European Tours Order of Merit..

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Mickelson was added to this year's LG Skins Game, his first appearance in the event since 2003; UCLA's Tiffany Joh put on a furious late rally to win the U.S. Womens Amateur Public Links over Southern California recruit Jennifer Song; Scott Hebert, a former Ferris State player based at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa in Michigan, won the PGA Professionals National Championship.
Backspin Some fans have wondered aloud in the past few years if the Skins Game has become irrelevant - and they may have a point - but throwing Lefty into the mix certainly will spice things up; The Publinx win was the second in three years for Joh, who also was apart of the winning Curtis Cup team as well as runner-up in the women's NCAA Championship just last month; The 39-year-old Herbert earned $75,000, a spot in six PGA TOUR events, and a place in this years PGA Championship.
Related Links:
Full Coverage - Travelers Championship
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