Monday, October 11, 2010

World Number One

The World Golf Rankings were a great idea with the game continuing to break international boundaries and players schedules including stops in East Asia, Australia, the Middle East, South Africa, Europe, and the US. However, the extremely complex rankings system can prove to out think itself at times. Experts predict that this Fall will serve as an excellent example of one of those times. With Lee Westwood's announcement yesterday that he plans to not play until late November, experts predict he will overtake Tiger Woods, who is not playing until early next month, as the world number one on October 31. How can Westwood improve in the rankings by not playing? And how can a player with merely one mediocre win worldwide in the past year suddenly be called the best? There is no arguing that Westwood has played magnificent, outstanding golf in the past two years. He has four top three finishes in his last five major championships, and he won the European Tour's Race to Dubai in 2009. However, do these fine accomplishments make him the hottest, most dominating player in the world? I would say if anyone is to push Woods off his perch in the next month it would have to be Martin Kaymer. Now, I believe the current rankings system takes into account players' performances worldwide over the past two years. Germany's Kaymer has six victories since October 2008 including the most recent major and three events (four if you count his solid showing on the winning European Ryder Cup team) in a row since mid-August. Some of those trophies on his mantle are from European Tour events, but most of those tournaments boasted strong fields even with Tiger and Phil. Considering Westwood's strong showing in major championships, Kaymer has not been as consistent on the biggest stages. However, Martin has proven he has what it takes to hoist the Wannamaker Trophy, and he has multiple top five finishes in majors over the past three years as well. Tiger did not win in 2010. Lee Westwood won one time, back in June. Martin Kaymer won the PGA Championship, Ryder Cup, and two other events in the past two months to top off his solid play over the last two years. If I had to pick a winner of a golf tournament right now, I would choose Kaymer over Woods or Westwood.
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