In this week’s edition, we applaud some much-needed clarity in the rankings debate with LIV Golf, celebrate fame and play golf’s newest superstar, and question Phil Mickelson’s attempt to light the gas.
Truth to power. Whatever the score between the golf world rankings and LIV Golf, the precarious position of those who jumped into the Saudi-backed league is, to be clear, of their own making.
While several LIV players argued this week at the circuit’s penultimate event that any ranking not including the likes of Dustin Johnson and Cam Smith could not be considered “official,” Harold Varner III provided the most relevant context.
“For me, I think we knew what we were going to get into. I think it’s easy to sit here and talk about what could happen and what should happen. But obviously, to me, I knew what was going to happen,” Varner said. will happen. I knew what could happen in my career and accept that.”
The arguments for including LIV Golf events in the world rankings – most notably from Graeme McDowell who said, “The word ‘official’ should disappear from OWGR if they don’t care about the players here” – some merit does hold, but every player who jumped into the new league knew that There will be risks. Those who claim otherwise are only trying to deceive themselves.
awesome tom. It’s easy to be drawn to the hype surrounding Tom Kim, the genius who became the first player since Tiger Woods to win twice on the PGA Tour before turning 21 last week in Las Vegas.
The South Korean is now 15th in the world rankings, up from 149th at this point last year, and has quickly established himself as one of the game’s brightest thanks to his gameplay and personality.
“I’ve been playing on the PGA Tour when I was 20. It’s hard to get tired of this. I’m a 5-year-old at Disneyland for sure,” he said.
The Tour created a Player Impact Program to identify and reward those players who move the needle competitively and collectively using all kinds of ratings and indexes, but if the Circle wanted to simplify the process, they could just use Kim as a benchmark going forward.
Making unfinished pieces (MDF)
back seat. Unlike other professional sports, golf doesn’t lend itself to second-guessing, but Sunday’s finish at the Shriners Kids Open appears to have created an opportunity for some honest quarterback on Monday morning.
Patrick Cantlay linked up with Tom Kim at age 24 when he shot a 3-wood tee into the 72nd hole on the left of the fairway and into the bush.
Instead of pulling out of the bush, Cantlay tries to play the original shot and only advances his ball to the next bush. By the time he finished, he had signed a Ghost 7 triple and a tie for second place.
Awful, isn’t it? Especially for a player who nearly hit 59 the day before and is one of the best strikers of the round – but consider the process.
“I thought if I could get him back in the driveway I’d have a chance, and I thought it was worth the risk because I didn’t think I’d have much of a chance of getting him up and down the brush there,” Cantlay said.
As much as it would have made a worthy discussion, it was neither Cantley’s decision nor his process that was the problem. The case was the death penalty.
El Nino. Earlier in his career, before he became a catalyst for outrageous behavior, Sergio Garcia was “El Nino”, the spirited and calm young man who pushed Tiger Woods to the brink at the 1999 PGA Championship and became a pillar of the European Ryder Cup team room.
It seems that that time is over.
Garcia is set to lose his European Tour membership after failing to meet the minimum requirements of four matches this season. Without European Tour membership, he won’t be able to play the Ryder Cup next year.
“When I see that a lot of people are against [Garcia playing] … If the team is better without me, I’d rather get out of it,” Garcia told SI.com.
Garcia has become a largely unsympathetic figure in recent years, but El Nino, a young man with limitless potential and a passion for life, will be missed.
war of words. It was interesting this week that while some on the LIV side of the pro golf gap continue to call for a compromise and an inclusion, Phil Mickelson doubled down when asked about his thoughts on the current rift.
“Almost all the best players have played on the PGA Tour, at least in the last 20 years. That will never be the case again. I think going forward you have to choose a side. You have to choose which side you think is going to be successful,” Lefty said. I firmly believe that I am on the winning side of how things will evolve and shape in the coming years for professional golf.”
Mickelson went on to say that the tour is “heading down” and given his status as the unofficial front man of LIV Golf and his frequent attempts to create some kind of forays between the two tournaments, the scene suggests that it’s too early for a victory tour.
Tweet of the week:
Remember when the biggest problems in golf were with playing speed and distance?