When it comes to men’s World Player of the Year, Sobel feels that Rory would get his vote over Luke Donald if McIlroy were to win both the Dubai World Championship and the Race to Dubai this week. If Donald were to still win the Race to Dubai, Donald would get his vote because of the historic double Money List titles despite the fact that Rory won a Major in 2011 while Luke Donald did not.
Anthony Kim and Camilo Villegas are playing in Naples this week to close disappointing 2011 seasons and Sobel says that he thinks A.K. will have the better 2012 because he is starting to see encouraging signs that he is healthier than he has been in the last year or so and that he is playing more consistently. The main problem with Kim over the years is that he has not spent enough time practicing and right now he is actually moving too far in the other direction and getting too technical. Kim needs to find a practice routine that works for him and a routine that has purpose.
With Rory’s possible diagnosis of dengue fever, he thinks that Rory is worn out but he is not too worried. 22-year-olds are very resilient and he gives Rory a lot of credit for fulfilling countless commitments in 2011 and would not blame Rory for pulling out of the Thailand Golf Championship next week.
If Rory were to pull out, it would make the Race to Dubai much less exciting as Luke Donald will achieve history on Sunday. A lot of people criticize the FedExCup for having a points system and being complicated but it does provide a lot of excitement and when you compare the two, you find that the European Tour rewards the best player while the PGA TOUR rewards the fans with their respective season finales.
He feels that we are now past the point of no longer having a distinguishable end to the year-long golf season and proof of this was seen on December 4th when you had Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood, and Rory McIlroy win on the same day. It happened in December but it was still one of the best days of the entire golf year.
Sobel does not have an issue with the idea of a 3-event series but would support the idea of improving the paths to the PGA TOUR without eliminating one of them. Q-School over the years has provided some of the best young players in the world over the past several years and he does not want to see this outlet eliminated. His concern is that you will end up giving certain players weighed benefits for playing well in certain events while other great performers do not play well at a certain moment on a certain course.
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