Lee Westwood

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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Updated Masters Odds

by Derek on April 6, 2011

in Masters

Tom Watson

In the latest Masters odds from Bodog.com, Phil Mickelson remains the favorite at 6-1.  Tiger is 8-1 (again, wtf?). Both Lee Westwood and Nick Watney are 14-1, with nobody else under 20-1.

The odds on my dark horse picks?  Justin Rose is 30-1.  Anthony Kim is 33-1.   Ben Crane is 100-1.  And Gary Woodland and Ryu Ishikawa are sitting at 150-1.

Interestingly Tom Watson is sitting at 400-1.  That might be a good long shot bet.  He came damn close to winning the British Open 2 years ago and was on the leaderboard going into Friday at the 2010 Masters after firing a first round 67.  Yes, at 61, he’s probably too old to realistically contend at the Masters.  But at 400-1 it might be worth a little fun money.

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Last year, Bubba Watson was all that stood between Martin Kaymer and his first major.  Kaymer defeated Watson in a 3-hole playoff to claim the PGA Championship.  Yesterday, Watson was all that was standing between Kaymer and the #1 world ranking.

It took just a little bit longer (a full 18 holes), but after Kaymer won the 16th hole to go dormie, he seemed destined to displace Lee Westwood on top of the world golf rankings, a spot that Westwood has held since Oct 31st.

I’ve stated a number of times that I think Martin Kaymer is currently the best player in the world.  Nobody else has matched his performance over the past year and now the rankings have finally caught up to reality.

Kaymer will now face Luke Donald in the final match of the WGC-Accenture.  The number 1 spot is secure, but I’m sure that Kaymer would love to put an exclamation point on it with a win.  That’s going to be a tough task, as Donald has birdied 13 of his last 27 holes.  But he can’t stay that hot forever can he?

Not only did Ben Crane give Rory McIlroy a serious beatdown today, he also played the fastest round of his life.  Looks like his workout and pre-round rituals are legit.

OK, so I don’t actually know how long it took for Crane and McIlroy to play their match, but since Crane won 8 and 7, that means they only played 11 holes.  So it couldn’t have possibly taken more than… I don’t know… 4 hours?

For Ben Crane, that’s like playing speed golf.

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Tom Watson

The title kind of says it all.  How unusual is it that any given week’s PGA Tour event the 3rd most interesting golf tournament taking place?  Yes, “Johnny Vegas” is doing his thing at the Bob Hope Classic this week and could grab his first PGA Tour victory in just his fifth start.  But despite that, I honestly think both the European Tour and Champions Tour events are more exciting.

On the Champions Tour, we have Tom Watson shooting a 65 on Saturday to make it into the final pairing for Sunday.  I generally don’t follow the Champions Tour, but if Watson is in contention, I’m probably going to tune in.

And in Abu Dhabi, we’ve got the best player in the world showing his stuff. No, not world #1, Lee Westwood.  I’m talking about the best golfer in the world right now, Martin Kaymer.  When you look at his swing, you wonder why he doesn’t win every single event he enters.  He’s only made 1 bogey this week and is 3 clear of the field.  And if he wins, I believe that he will move past Woods into the #2 world ranking spot on Monday.  If that happens, the #1 ranking seems like just a matter of time.

So what do you guys think?  Am I way out in left field on this one?

[Image Flickr/Keith Allison]

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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The Top 50 Earners in 2010

by Derek on December 30, 2010

in International Golf,PGA Tour

Surprise Surprise, even without a win for the first time in his career, Tiger still tops the list of top earners in golf in 2010.  It’s not all roses however.  Even though he earned an estimated $74.2m this year, it was his lowest earnings total over the past decade, and represented a $48m drop from 2009.  Between the divorce settlement, rumored payoffs and the lost income, Tiger was engaged in some very expensive extra-curricular activities.

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Proving that Twitter really is the best place to keep up to date on the latest drama in professional golf (especially for the Europeans), Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood took some time to share their thoughts on Johnny Miller.

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