Is Woods the true No. 1 player in the world?

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 2, 2012, 10:00 pm

Tiger Woods won the AT&T National Sunday at Congressional C.C. by two shots over Bo Van Pelt. It was his PGA Tour-leading third victory of the season, all of which have come in his last seven starts. He is currently fourth in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood. But, is he the true No. 1 player at the moment? senior writers weigh in.


Tiger Woods entered the AT&T National as the fourth-ranked golfer in the world, then won the tournament and rocketed all the way up to … you got it – No. 4.

Treading water may sound like a curious byproduct of a victory, but the fact is, you can’t argue math. And the Official World Golf Ranking is all about math, with no room for thoughts and feelings and opinions mixed in.

That’s probably why we’re being asked this question right now. Forget the statistical formulas and numerical breakdowns. Is Woods the No. 1 player in the game today?


If I had a vote in some sort of world ranking-type poll, he would certainly sit atop my list right now. The reason is twofold. First, Tiger owns three wins in the past three-plus months, a claim which no other player on any major tour can make. Second, nobody else is making a serious run at that title right now. It’s not like the three players ahead of him on the OWGR – Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood – have been tearing it up. And those who have played well – Hunter Mahan, Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson, to name a few – have seen success only in spurts.

So yeah, naming Tiger Woods as the “true” No. 1 player in the world is sort of a process of elimination from the competition, but it’s also a testament to his recent play. Don’t be surprised if the real world ranking – you know, the one that uses math – follows suit soon enough.


With three victories in three months, yes, Tiger Woods has reasserted himself as the top player in the world today.

But with so much history at Woods' fingertips again as his game and confidence come back, what the Official World Golf Ranking says seems inconsequential.

No. 1 Luke Donald, No. 2 Rory McIlroy and No. 3 Lee Westwood aren’t the players Woods must see standing out in front of him.

Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead are the guys who stand in the way of what Woods wants most. Nicklaus is there with his record 18 major championship titles, Snead with his record 82 PGA Tour titles.

So now it gets fun.

With Woods practically stepping out of the way for three years, we have seen the confidence and games of a number of players grow. We have seen Donald, McIlroy and Westwood take turns at No. 1. We have seen Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson, Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler step into bigger games.

It’s as if Woods’ shadow moved out of the way so these other players could grow into their games. Now, if Woods keeps building this run, we get to see how those other growing games really measure up. We get to see if any of these guys can become what Tom Watson and Lee Trevino became for Nicklaus, formidable thorns in Nicklaus' side in his run at history.

There could be as much fun watching the emergence of the next Watson and Trevino as there is the re-emergence of Woods.


With all due respect to the world golf ranking math, not to mention the foursome of Europeans who have split time atop the world pack ever since the spot came vacant in October 2010, Tiger Woods is the world’s best player.

The ranking’s two-year rolling window may guard against unrealistic spikes and unfair free falls, but on this it seems to ignore the red-shirted elephant in the room.

Woods now has three victories in his last seven starts. If one tracks back to last November, when his body and swing finally began working in tandem, he has four wins (although the Chevron World Challenge is not an official Tour event it does receive ranking points) and seven worldwide top-10 finishes.

During that same time frame, current world No. 1 Luke Donald – who has, in all fairness, been the game’s most consistent player for some time – has two worldwide victories and seven top 10s. You do the math.Or, take it from Bo Van Pelt, who went the final 36 holes at last week’s AT&T National with Woods.

“I'd have to say (Woods),” said Van Pelt when asked who he thought the world’s best player is. “No offense to any of those other guys, but I think he's the only guy to win three tournaments on Tour this year, on three demanding golf courses, and he was leading the U.S. Open after two days. So I'd say that he’s playing the best golf in the world right now.”

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Lauren Thompson and a giant 'gator eating a turtle

By Grill Room TeamApril 19, 2018, 4:53 pm

Really, the headline says it all.

"Morning Drive" co-host Lauren Thompson was playing the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes on Thursday in Orlando, Fla., when her threesome turned into a foursome, with the appearance of a giant alligator. Techincally, it was a fivesome, as the 'gator had a turtle in its mouth.

Hey, it's a slow news week for Grill Room.

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Sources confirm Charles Schwab to sponsor Colonial event

By Rex HoggardApril 19, 2018, 2:42 pm

Multiple sources have confirmed to that officials at Colonial are poised to announce a new sponsorship agreement with Charles Schwab Corporation.

Tournament officials scrambled this year after Dean & DeLuca ended its sponsorship of the event just two years into a six-year agreement, pulling together an assortment of local sponsors and renaming the event the Fort Worth Invitational.

Colonial’s status on the PGA Tour schedule became even more uncertain when the PGA Championship announced it would move from August to May, beginning in 2019 as part of a major overhaul of the circuit’s schedule.

According to the Dallas News, and confirmed by multiple sources at the club, officials plan to announce the new long-term agreement with Charles Schwab on Monday that will begin in 2019.

News of a long-term sponsorship deal would also suggest the event will remain in May in 2019 and beyond. The Tour has indicated it plans to announce the ’19 schedule at next month’s Players Championship.

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PNC Extends Title Sponsorship of PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Golf Channel Public RelationsApril 19, 2018, 1:00 pm

ORLANDO, Fla., April 19, 2018 – IMG and NBC Sports today announced that The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. has extended its contract as title sponsor of the PNC Father/Son Challenge, the tournament that pairs the games’ legends alongside their sons, daughters and grandchildren.

PNC’s multi-year extension as title sponsor keeps the PGA Tour Challenge Event in Orlando reflecting the bank’s commitment to Central Florida. PNC has served as title sponsor of the tournament since 2012. The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando, Grande Lakes will continue to play host to the PNC Father/Son Challenge. The 2018 PNC Father/Son Challenge will take place Friday-Sunday, Dec. 14-16, with television coverage on Golf Channel and NBC.

“The PNC Father/Son Challenge long ago became one of my family’s favorite golf tournaments,” said 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus. “I have had the pleasure of playing with my sons, and last year, partnering with my 15-year-old grandson GT was a thrill. I am delighted the event—a uniquely special one to us fathers and grandfathers, and perhaps to the many fans out there watching from home or outside the ropes—will continue for many years to come.”

“After our victory in 2016, I said that this win was as good as anything I have done in my career,” said former World No. 1 and major champion David Duval, who alongside his stepson Nick Karavites captured the 2016 title. “I felt blessed to have Nick inside the ropes with me and to have our family surrounding us all week. That’s what makes the PNC Father/Son Challenge so special, and I’m pleased to hear that PNC has extended its support of the event. This golf tournament means so much to all of us who are lucky enough to have the opportunity to play in this event.”

The tournament also holds three events in qualifier markets per year. This year they will be in Dallas, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

“The PNC Father/Son Challenge allows fans to see golf’s legends playing the game they love alongside those they love most,” said Alastair Johnston, vice chairman, IMG. “We are grateful for PNC’s ongoing support of this unique tournament and we look forward to returning to Orlando to celebrate golf and family for many years to come.”

Community support is a key aspect of the tournament and PNC’s sponsorship. PNC is committed to donating $150,000 annually to local non-profits over the life of its sponsorship. Across six previous years of title sponsorship, PNC has already donated $900,000 to Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation and the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children to support the “Healthy Families Orange” program. Over the years, PNC has also had the opportunity through this tournament to co-host events for local women in business, to put on clinics and provide free access to the tournament for active military, and even provide a service dog for a local veteran.

"PNC's long-standing sponsorship of the Father/Son Challenge reflects the philanthropic values we share with the PGA Tour and the golf community, as well as our focus on strong relationships,” said Bill Demchak, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The PNC Financial Services Group. “As PNC Bank continues to expand its footprint, the PNC Father/Son tournament helps us gain visibility with new audiences and to strengthen the relationships we enjoy today with more than 8 million retail, wealth, and corporate and institutional banking customers across the country.”

“NBC Sports is extremely proud of our heritage as co-founder for the Father/Son Challenge, one of golf’s most special events that closes out the calendar year on the golf schedule,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports. “Our relationship with PNC Bank elevates this event each year as a must-attend and must-see event for players and fans alike, and we look forward to our continued relationship with PNC Bank for years to come.”

Past winners of the PNC Father/Son Challenge include some of the biggest names in golf including Raymond Floyd (1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001), Jack Nicklaus (1999), Bernhard Langer (2005-06, 2014), Davis Love III (2012) and David Duval (2016).  Masters champion Angel Cabrera and his son, Angel Cabrera Jr. captured the 2017 title.

To qualify for the PNC Father/Son Challenge, participants must have won either a major championship or THE PLAYERS Championship in their career. The professional’s partner must not currently hold a Tour card, and while the majority of partners in the history of the event have been the sons of the golf legends, the family-themed tournament has seen daughters, grandsons and one father – Justin Leonard’s dad, Larry – participate over the years.

The PNC Father/Son Challenge is operated in partnership by IMG and NBC Sports.

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Fire damages National Golf Links of America clubhouse

By Will GrayApril 19, 2018, 12:55 pm

A fire broke out Wednesday at National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y., causing "extensive damage" to a portion of the historic course's clubhouse.

According to a report, an initial call was made to the Southampton police department about a fire on the roof of the clubhouse at 11:34 a.m. With the club's gates too narrow to fit a fire truck through, more than 100 firefighters from various departments helped douse the flames by transporting water up a hill to the east side of the clubhouse.

The fire was reportedly extinguished by 2:30 p.m., with no injuries requiring medical attention. According to a Golf Digest report, the club was undergoing construction on its outdoor eating area known as "the Birdcage" and that most of the club's historical documents reside on the opposite end of the clubhouse from where the fire broke out and was contained.

Opened in 1911, National Golf Links of America was designed by C.B. MacDonald and hosted the inaugural Walker Cup in 1922. The biennial matches returned in 2013 to NGLA, which is often rated among the top courses in the U.S. and sits adjacent to Shinnecock Hills, site of this summer's U.S. Open.