Why Arent Champions Ranked
But where do we place Craig Stadler, who has won eight times in two years on the Champions Tour? How about Hale Irwin, who has won 42 times on the Champions Tour? Or Jim Thorpe or Des Smyth, each of whom has won twice this year on the Champions Tour? Shouldnt they be in at least the top 100? The top 150?
Stadler does have a ranking - 265th. But that comes solely on his appearances on the PGA Tour. Alas, the elders by and large arent even listed in the top 1,000. The World Rankings hasnt figured out a formula that would equalize the seniors with the juniors. That seems a pity, since every other professional male tour in the world has a method for ranking. You cant tell me that the Champions Tour isnt every bit as competitive as the South African tour, for example, or the Australasian Tour.
This is just what the gents who hole up in London want to hear, Im sure. Those people meet once a week to figure out these standings. They are criticized unmercifully by a number of people ' and add me to the list of those who cant fully understand the manner in which golfers are ranked. The bean counters whose job it is to slot in 1,170 pros who are grade-able certainly wouldnt be happy to hear that they are being hammered once again because they have left a large number of seniors out. But Im sorry, fellas ' your list is incomplete.
Irwin is adamant in believing there should be a method of ranking the older players in with the youngsters.
Ive said this many times - I think there should be a way a Champions Tour player should be ranked in the World Rankings, said Irwin. I think its a terrible disservice to a number of players who are terribly effective and who can still play circles around some of the other guys that are being ranked. And there should be a way in which that happens.
What it is (that should be done), Im not going to be the one to say. I just think it is an abominable situation.
The Official World Golf Rankings cant possibly be official when there are a number of very good players who arent ranked. I know what the problem is ' no one knows how many points should be apportioned to the Champions Tour tournaments. But cant the powers-that-be make the same assumptions that they do with the tours throughout the world ' the U.S. and European tours, the Japanese Tour, the Australian Tour, the Australasian and South African (Sunshine Tour), the Canadian Tour?
It seems like a Craig Stadler should certainly be ranked ahead of, for example, Henrik Stenson, who is No. 67. Is Stadler not better than No. 82 ' Yang Yong-Eun? Steven Conran, No. 94? Nothing against these gentlemen, but its stretching reality a bit much to think that Stadler isnt superior. Why couldnt he be slotted in at, say, No. 66?
To be 50 (years old) and to all of a sudden be dropped out of it altogether, I just dont think it is a fair shake, said Irwin.
It isnt, of course. And Im not one who complains wholeheartedly about the World Rankings, because the people who attempt to figure it out have an awfully difficult job. They pore over 1,200 players and try to come up with some method of placing them in an order of strength. You think their job isnt difficult?
But if you happen to be a Champions Tour player, you know long beforehand that when you turn the magical 50, youre going to be ignored from then on throughout eternity by the OWGR. And its the same with the European Senior Tour. Somehow, some way, it doesnt seem fair.
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Garwood (64) leads Dick's Sporting Goods Open
ENDICOTT, N.Y. - Doug Garwood birdied the final three holes for an 8-under 64 and the first-round lead Friday in the Dick's Sporting Goods Open.
The 55-year-old Garwood had nine birdies and a bogey, playing his final nine holes - the front nine at En-Joie Golf Club - in 6-under 31.
''Drove it well, hit the irons well, pitched well, putted well, thought well,'' Garwood said. ''I got to a point I was just making birdies and I kind of lost track of how it was going,'' Garwood said. ''That's always a good thing.''
He won the 2016 SAS Championship for his lone PGA Tour Champions title.
"I haven't been playing great this year, but I've been working hard on my game and things I've been working on are paying off,'' Garwood said. ''My golf, I take it a shot at a time, don't think about too far in advance because you really can't control, you know, the 13th hole tomorrow. It's just about the tee shot on No. 1.''
Michael Bradley and Marco Dawson shot 65, Woody Austin and Clark Dennis followed at 66, and Bob Estes and Tom Gillis were at 67.
''It was a good day,'' Bradley said. ''I've traditionally not driven the ball well here and you've got to drive the ball good here to shoot a good score. I drove the ball well and made a few putts, so that was that.''
Kenny Perry, the 3M Championship winner two weeks ago in Minnesota, had a 68. Bernard Langer and Miguel Angel Jimenez each shot 70. Langer won the 2014 tournament. Jimenez is coming off a victory at St. Andrews in the British Senior Open.
Defending champion Scott McCarron had a 72. Kevin Sutherland also had a 72. He shot the only 59 in PGA Tour Champions history in the 2014 event. John Daly, the winner of the PGA Tour's 1992 B.C. Open at En-Joie, opened with a 73.
Kaymer: Don't deserve Ryder Cup spot even with win
Martin Kaymer is one of the most decorated Europeans of this generation, and one of the most thoughtfully honest as well, as he is demonstrating yet again at this week’s Nordea Masters.
Kaymer, a two-time major championship winner, has helped the Euros win three of the last four Ryder Cups. He won the singles match that clinched Europe’s historic comeback win at Medinah in 2012.
But with his run into contention Friday in Sweden, Kaymer told Sky Sports TV he didn’t believe that even a victory would make him worthy of playing for captain Thomas Bjorn’s Ryder Cup team in Paris next month.
“Do you think I deserve to be on the game after the way I've been playing, and with just one win in Sweden?” he said. “Is that enough? I don't think so.”
Kaymer shot a 3-under 67 at the Nordea Masters, leaving him tied for seventh, five shots off the lead and in position to make a run at his 12th European Tour title. He is hoping to capitalize on the opportunity in a season that has left him unsatisfied. He missed three of his previous four cuts coming to Sweden and has just two top-10 finishes this year.
Kaymer made some thoughtful observations about the nature of golf’s challenges in the same week that LPGA star Lexi Thompson opened up about a personal struggle to build a life about more than golf.
At 33, Kaymer said he feels as if he’s still just beginning to understand the game’s effect on him. Here is what he shared with reporters about that on the eve of the Nordea Masters:
“I'm on the seventh hole, hopefully. You need some time to get to know and place yourself in the world of golf.
“In the beginning you can't know, you have zero experience. Then you play around the world and measure your game with the best in the world. Then you see good results and in my case underestimate yourself a little.
“All of a sudden you win a major. You play a vital role in Ryder Cups. You win your second major. Then you need to adjust, because it's sometimes overwhelming and not understandable. It cannot only be talent, you need to ask yourself how you actually got here.
“That realization took me a long time. That's why I would say I'm on the seventh hole, maybe seventh green.
“It's just understanding who you are, what you do, what kind of life you live. For example, when you try to have a relationship with anyone -- it doesn't matter what kind of relationship -- people see you not for who you are as a person but as the athlete, what you have, what kind of success you had.
“I never understood that, because I don't want to be treated that way, but I also understood by now that is who I am, because I am that athlete. I am the guy who makes a lot of money.
“I never wanted to be seen that way, because I was raised different, and I wanted to be normal. But you are not normal when you do what I did. It took me a long time to understand, but now I can handle it better.”
S.H. Park eyes Indy title, LPGA awards after 'best round of year'
Sung Hyun Park’s hot finish Friday gives her more than a chance to win the Indy Women in Tech Championship.
It gives her a chance to keep Ariya Jutanugarn from running away with the LPGA’s most important awards and honors heading into the final third of the season.
Park’s 9-under 63 left her tied for the lead with Lizette Salas (69) at 13 under overall in the rain-suspended second round at Brickyard Crossing Golf Course in Indianapolis.
“My best round of the year,” Park said through a translator.
Jutanugarn, the Rolex world No. 1, put up a 65 and sits four behind the leaders.
Park is No. 4 in the world rankings and feeling good about her weekend chances.
“I’m going to do really well,” she said. “I feel really good about my game.”
Jutanugarn has won an LPGA best three times this season, including the U.S. Women’s Open. She is dominating, statistically. She leads the tour in money winnings ($2,161,185), Rolex Player of the Year points, scoring average (69.44), putts per greens in regulation (1.72) and birdies (327).
Park is looking to equal Jutanugarn’s victory total for the season. Park won the Volunteers of America Texas Classic and also a major this year, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
Park could overtake Jutanugarn as Rolex world No. 1 with a victory, depending on what Jutanugarn does this weekend.
Park shared Rolex Player of the Year honors with So Yeon Ryu last season, with Jutanugarn winning the award the year before.
Notably, Jutanugarn is giving her driver a rare appearance this week, putting it in her bag in both the first and second rounds at the friendly confines of Brickyard Crossing.
“I like the way [the holes] set up, because I’m ab le to hit driver a few holes,” Jutanugarn said. “I missed some, but I hit a few pretty good ones, too.”
Podcast: Welcome our guest - Tiger Tracker
Host Will Gray calls him “The man, the myth, the legend.”
GCTiger Tracker, aka “TT,” makes his highly anticipated first guest appearance in a Golf Channel podcast, pontificating on everything from Tiger Woods’ run at the PGA Championship at Bellerive to the overall nature of Tiger’s comeback and what breakthroughs may lie ahead.
Tiger Tracker, Golf Channel’s mystery man, continues to rigorously protect his identity as the foremost Twitter tracker of all things Tiger, but he does open up on his intense relationship with his growing legion of followers and his “trigger finger” when it comes to blocking those unworthy of his insight.
“I’m more of a lover than a hater of Tiger Woods, but I’m a tracker,” TT tells Gray. “I call it like I see it.”
Tracker goes deep on what he sees as his role in continuing to document Tiger’s comeback, including a sense of kinship in this journey.
“I had 142,000 followers on the Monday of the Bahamas [late last year], and as we speak now, 296,000, more than double in that short span,” Tracker says. “That shows you what he’s been able to do, what we’ve been able to do together. Let’s be honest about that.”
Listen in below: