Now, on with the show.
Imagine the possibilities: Kenny Perry slipping on a green jacket, Phil Mickelson winning one for Amy at Bethpage Black, Old Tom Watson going Young Tom at Turnberry and Tiger Woods maintaining the status quo at the PGA.
Based on historical possibilities alone, Cink gets the hardware because as golf writing great Dan Jenkins once wrote, a Watson victory would have been “too big to write.”
It’s Not You, It’s Us Award. As breakups go, Carolyn Bivens’ fall from LPGA graces was a long time in the making.
Players and officials tried to maintain the high ground, the parties split the CD collection and tried to keep things civil, but some remarks left little to the imagination. “I think that we should be commending (interim commissioner Marsha Evans) for making a difference in getting some relationships back on track,” said tour veteran Lorie Kane.
Roadkill Award. We almost retired this category after the Stephen Ames-Tiger Woods hit-and-run at the 2006 WGC Match Play Championship – although a severe defeat is now regularly referred to as a “9 and 8” – until Alex Cejka squandered the largest 54-hole lead in Players Championship history.
The Czech-born German played his first six holes in 5 over on Sunday, signed for a 79 and discovered that fleeing communism across the Rhine River is nothing compared to a Sunday lead on a demanding golf course with Woods watching.
Mistaken Identity Award. Mark Twain was almost correct, there are four kinds of lies – lies, damned lies, statistics and PGA Tour administered doping results.
How else could a rational adult look at 40-year-old journeyman Doug Barron and seriously consider him a threat to the competitive integrity of the Tour because of his use of performance-enhancing drugs?
If Barron is the face of doping on Tour, do we really have a problem?
Trick or Tweet Award. The Twitter phenom swept the Tour in ’09, so in 140 characters, or less, the winner is: PGA_JohnDaly demands attention, because he’s JD; ianjamespoulter and geoffogilvy are thoughtful, but stewartcink is the best (booya, 125 characters).
Best example of Cink’s Tweeting prose: “(Picture of a) machine at T’berry locker room can meet ANY need that arises. 2nd to last one is condoms.”
Doppler 2000 Award. Glover won the Endless Open thanks in large part to an army of workers who watched, rinsed and repeated Bethpage Black into soggy shape.
Glover undoubtedly enjoys the real thing, but officials should have swapped the traditional trophy out for a squeegee to celebrate a triumph of muscle over mud.
Told You So Award. Since the 2003 U.S. Women’s Public Links Championship the golf world has waited impatiently for Michelle Wie to find a winner’s circle, any winner’s circle would do.
The sometimes student finally delivered at this year’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational. At this pace Wie, who played her first full year on the LPGA in 2009, will catch Kathy Whitworth on the all-time victory list in 2096.
Cellophane Man Award. Another tight race considering that Sergio Garcia and Vijay Singh dropped out of sight faster than Bobby Ginn, but the nod has to go to the big Fijian.
Although Garcia narrowly made the FedEx Cup playoffs and had just a single top 10 through the PGA Championship, time seems to have finally caught up with Singh, who went from the cover of the PGA Tour Media Guide to his worst finish on the money list (68th) since 1992. Proving once and for all that 46 is the new 46 on Tour, regardless of how much time you spend in the gym or on the practice range.
Bad Timing Award. With just a single nominee, the stopwatch keepsake goes to Paramore who became the first official in golf history to ride a correct ruling straight to infamy.
Not that the likeable European Tour rules official had much of a choice – the stopwatch, apparently much like the Tour’s performance-enhancing drug policy, is blind – but putting Woods and Padraig Harrington on the clock on Sunday at Firestone drew, well, a firestorm directly from the world No. 1.
In a fateful twist, however, Woods is likely wishing Paramore and that watch were around right now to mark time during his current 15 minutes of infamy.
Christmas in September Award. Starting at the Tour Championship, Phil Mickelson gave us a reason to look forward to 2010 and tried on a new title: Mr. September.
The guy who used to shut it down after the PGA Championship and seemed uninspired at each year’s international team bouts (that 0-4-1 record at the 2006 Ryder Cup comes to mind) finished an emotional season on a roll at East Lake, hoisted whatever project Fred Couples had on his shoulders at Harding Park and put a bow on ’09 with a “W” at the vowel-deprived WGC-HSBC Champions.
Flypaper Award. We may as well mold the award into Woods’ likeness, hoist a banner into the rafters of the Isleworth gym and retire the honor because not since David slung that pebble in ancient times has a Goliath fallen so far, so fast, so hard.
For a baker’s dozen Woods has been the Teflon kid, always a step ahead of criticism, to say nothing of scandal. Now the allegations and insinuations come with each news cycle and Woods and his team appear unable to wash them all off.