WikiLeaks Award. To John Daly because, to be honest, there is such a thing as too much information and “Long John’s” incessant tweets about Arkansas football and the health benefits of Diet Coke have become the electronic equivalent of dental care.
The easy answer, of course, is not to follow Daly’s electronic babbling, but he still moves the needle which makes him something of an occupational hazard for golf scribes. Still, considering what passes for insight from Daly, the guy who stole his identity on Twitter and Facebook may have been more entertaining.
LeBron James Chalice. The King broke hearts in Cleveland, while his Nike stable mate Tiger Woods seemed to cover the rest of the country.
The fallout from Woods’ sex scandal cost the world No. 2 his marriage, his spot atop the world ranking, an opportunity to add to his major haul and a victory for the first time as a pro. But his broken public image may be the most difficult piece of his legacy to pick up.
Maybe Charles Barkley was right: athletes really shouldn’t be role models.
Shot of the Year. Jonathan Byrd in Vegas? Phil Mickelson from the Augusta National pine straw? Nope, Lee Westwood courtesy Twitter following news that his mate, Rory McIlroy, had been snubbed for the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year award, viewed in some circles as a jingoistic shot at the Northern Irishman for giving up his Tour membership.
“Is this yet another case of protectionism by the PGA Tour or are they so desperate to win something?” Westwood tweeted.
Honorable mention must go to Tiger Woods at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach: “The greens are just awful.” Weren’t they the same greens Woods won on in 2000 . . . by 15 strokes?
Soccer, Eh Football Award. Nothing captivates American sports fans like a nil-nil draw and the European Tour’s decision to name Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell co-Players of the Year has a zero sum gain feel to it, although both players are clearly deserving.
In fact, the concept got us thinking, was a co-Rookie of the Year option not available for the PGA Tour? Never mind.
Brad Childress Trouble-in-Paradise Award. Like football coaches, Ryder and President Cup captains likely get too much credit when a team wins and far too much blame when they lose, but there’s no escaping the thought that Corey Pavin was not up to the task at Celtic Manor.
From faulty rain suits to a simple lack of creative thinking, Pavin seemed to be playing catch up all week to European captain Colin Montgomerie. Modern Ryder Cups are decided by the thinnest of margins, half points in areas where captains can make a difference. Pavin did not.
Luke Donald Award. Doled out annually to the Tour player who is, for lack of a better term, the best opportunist, posting backdoor top-10s with strong Sunday finishes.
Retief Goosen posted 10 top-10s, the most by a player without a victory, and ranked eighth on Tour with a 69.41 final-round scoring average. Some refer to this as “ATM” playing, and with $3.2 million in earnings the Goose is probably fine with that.
Bristol Palin Award. A new edition to the “Rexies” lineup, which will be awarded to the person who has exceeded their 15-minute expiration date. The inaugural edition goes to John Daly.
Your scribe is all about reclamation projects and the power of pulling one’s self up by their FootJoys, but once again Daly failed to finish inside the top 125 in earnings and once again he took a pass on Q-School.
Some will say Daly is assured all the sponsor exemptions he wants and would accomplish nothing at the fall classic, but Billy Mayfair, a five-time Tour winner who took medalist honors last week at Q-School, would probably not be among that group.
UPS Award. The convoluted math of the European Ryder Cup team selection process that kept Paul Casey, who was ranked eighth in the world at the time, off this year’s team was difficult to stomach, but the FedEx Cup math that made him a contender for the season-long race truly stretched the bounds of reason.
Late into Sunday at the Tour Championship Casey had a chance to collect the $10 million FedEx crown despite not having won on Tour in 2010. The Tour has stressed the volatility of playoffs in other sports when questioned about the current FedEx formula, but even the New Orleans Saints had to win a few games before they lifted the Super Bowl trophy.
Lindsay Lohan Chalice. We like Anthony Kim. Truth is, it’s hard not to, and maybe his Las Vegas run-in was a misunderstanding, but we’ve seen this script before.
Kim said at last week’s Chevron World Challenge that he has rededicated himself to golf, even cancelling an off-season snowboarding trip to prepare for 2011, but there have been too many “misunderstandings” in his short career to completely dismiss the most recent reports.
For Kim the talent has always been there. It’s been the dedication and self-control that has been missing. For his sake, we hope there are no more “misunderstandings.”
Waitie Katie Middleton Award. No, not a new nickname for Tim Herron. The inaugural award goes to Tim Clark for his Players Championship victory because few have had to wait so long for their prince of a victory.
The South African had to wait 216 events for his first Tour title and made his breakthrough a good one. Few have held the title “Best Player without a Tour title” longer than Clark.
“Part of me is a bit disappointed because now no one is going to talk about me anymore. At least you had something to write about before,” he said.
Chilean Miner Award. Underground for months following his high-profile implosion in Memphis, Robert Garrigus resurfaced in style at the season finale at Disney.
But his Memphis miscue was just the most recent detour for Garrigus, who once checked himself into drug rehab. Few, if any, Tour types have emerged from such dark places to hoist a trophy, and few are easier to root for.