World Golf Rankings

tiger woods beard

Tiger announced on his website yesterday that he would be returning next week at the Bridgestone.  It will be his first round of Tournament golf in almost 3 months. Long-time friend Bryon Bell will be on his bag.  Bell has caddied for Tiger twice before, and was also mentioned in tabloids as a go-between for Tiger and his mistresses:

High-school pal Bryon Bell, president of Tiger Woods Design, probably knew the most, reportedly helping with logistics for more than one affair, multiple sources said.

“He would coordinate my flight itineraries and make sure I was all set up to see Tiger,” admitted mistress Jamie Jungers, 26, told The News. “He was a very nice guy.”

Another source said Bell contacted Hollywood madam Michelle Braun to set up “introductions” between Tiger and her “models.”

“He was definitely the middleman for Tiger,” the source close to Braun said.

The announcement of Tiger’s return is a bit surprising given that his swing coach, Sean Foley, recently said that he hadn’t been hitting any balls with Tiger and didn’t know when he was coming back.

My understanding is that the lack of communication isn’t exactly atypical behavior for Tiger.  And if I had to venture a guess, I would throw out there that Foley isn’t likely to last much longer as Tiger’s coach.

All of this does raise the question though:  Is Tiger really back at 100%?  Even if he’s physically at 100%, if he hasn’t been hitting balls, can he really compete next week?



Luke Donald

Luke Donald defeated Lee Westwood on the first hole of a playoff at the BMW PGA Championship yesterday in Wentworth, England.  With his victory, Donald claimed the #1 world ranking from Westwood.  No, Donald hasn’t won a major (so I guess now he’s the best player in the world to have never won a major – AKA TBPITWTHNWAM), but he’s been playing incredible golf this year.

I also have to give him credit for the fact that earlier this week he told everybody he was the best player in the world and then went out and straight up beat the current #1 to prove it.

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Lee Westwood

Lee Westwood regained the world #1 ranking on Sunday by defeating a power-packed field at the Indonesian Masters after Luke Donald lost to Brandt Snedeker in a playoff at the Heritage.  OK… OK… I’m sorry for the sarcasm. I just couldn’t help myself.

Westwood beat the second place finisher, Thongchai Jaidee (ranked 75th in the world), by 3 strokes. The rest of the leaderboard included such international heavyweights as Hyun-bin Park and Thitiphun Chuayprakong (both ranked outside the top 300), Siddikur (just one name like Madonna – ranked 120th), and Marcus Both (ranked 233rd) and a bunch of other guys who’s names even hard-core golf fans have never heard of (and couldn’t pronounce).

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Tiger Woods

With Martin Kaymer missing the cut 78-72, the #1 world ranking is officially up for grabs this weekend at the Masters.  Lee Westwood (#2), Phil Mickelson (#3), Luke Donald (#4), and Tiger (#7) could all take over the number 1 spot depending on how the other contenders finish.  Graeme McDowell (#5)  missed the cut and because of the math, Paul Casey (#6) can’t move to #1 even if he wins.

You’d have to be a statistician to figure out all of the possible scenarios, but thankfully the Golf Channel’s Randal Mell has laid out the possibilities for the rest of us:

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Phil Mickelson World Rankings ahead of Tiger Woods

Phil Mickelson’s win on Sunday at the Shell Houston Open moved him into 3rd place in the world golf rankings (from 6th) while Tiger, who didn’t play, slid from 5th to 7th.  This is the first time that Mickelson has led Tiger in the world rankings in 14 years (since the 1997 Masters).

Many golf fans probably asked themselves today if Hell had finally frozen over.  Ok, that’s a bit dramatic, but after Mickelson was unable to move ahead of Woods on 15 separate occasions last year, it seemed like it would never happened.  However on Sunday, Mickelson finally pulled out a big win when he needed it and vaulted past Woods.

Mickelson is now just over a point behind world #1 Martin Kaymer.  I’m not sure exactly how the math works out, but if Phil wins at Augusta this week, he would have to be very, very close to the #1 spot.  Last week, I would have told you that it meant he had no chance of winning.  This week, well, I’m not so sure anymore.


Padraig Harrington is delusional

by Derek on January 19, 2011

in World Golf Rankings

Padraig Harrington, currently 26th in the world rankings,  recently told the Irish Golf Desk that he believes he can become the #1 player in the world.

I think Tiger has opened it up to everybody else. In fact, I am closer to being world No 1 now than I was when I was world No 3.

Technically, that is true.  He’s currently less than 6 points behind Lee Westwood compared to almost 11 points behind Tiger in 2008 when he was ranked 3rd.  But does anybody besides Harrington think that he’s got a legitimate shot at becoming the world #1?

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Lee Westwood is now officially the #1 golfer in the world, which I think also technically makes him the best player in the world to have never won a major.

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Okay, okay.  He didn’t use those exact words.  What he actually said was:

“I don’t think it [the OWGR] means anything.  How could it mean a lot? Tiger [Woods] is No. 1 and hasn’t won a tournament all year”

“To me whoever is playing the best right now is the No. 1 player, not a bunch of computer rankings.”

The man has a point.  And as of Sunday night, the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) will have caught up to reality.  Either Lee Westwood or Martin Kaymer will be the new #1 player in the world.  I’ve expressed my reluctance to embrace a world #1 that has never won a major and only has 2 victories in 12 years on the PGA tour, so I’m hoping that Kaymer will pull through with the Top 2 finish he needs this weekend to grab the spot from Westwood.


(image: memoflorez/flickr)

NEWPORT, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Lee Westwood of Europe concedes a putt on the 12th green in the singles matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 4, 2010 in Newport, Wales. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Lee Westwood is poised to take over the #1 ranking after 5 years (279 weeks to be specific) with Woods at the top.  Westwood didn’t finish strong enough on Sunday at the Dunhill Links to take over the spot immediately.  And since neither player is going to be earning new points in the rankings over the next month (they’re both done for the year*), the stats geeks over at the world golf rankings have calculated that Westwood will be the new #1 on Oct 31.  Or will he?

*Well technically Tiger will be playing in the skins match in Thailand on Nov 8.  As an aside, am I the only person that thinks a guy who’s recently been in sex rehab probably shouldn’t be taking a trip to Thailand?


NEWPORT, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Lee Westwood of Europe hits a shot on the ninth hole in the singles matches during the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort on October 4, 2010 in Newport, Wales. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Lee Westwood took over the world #2 spot on Monday.  This weekend he is playing in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and could take over the #1 spot with a 1st or 2nd place finish.

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