On the day that Rory McIlroy officially became the world’s No. 1 male golfer, the mailman delivered my copy of April’s Golf Digest magazine with Tiger Woods on the cover. Arms folded across his chest, the signature red shirt and a slight smile that seemed to hint, “I shot sixty-two yesterday.”
Sure this copy of Golf Digest went to press approximately two or three months ago and there was no way of knowing that the weekend before it would find its way into my mailbox, Tiger would rediscover his putting stroke and post a 62 on the field. Nor could it be known that on that day, a new No. 1 would be crowned. Perhaps it’s all just one big coincidence — or is it?
There are a lot of people in the ABT (Anyone But Tiger) crowd that I predict will be extremely disappointed this golf season. Tiger Woods’ last win, albeit unofficial, was at the Chevron World Challenge against the top eighteen golfers in the world. Woods came from behind to defeat former Masters champion, Zach Johnson by one stroke. Will the addition of 32 more golfers make a difference to Tiger after finishing second last week?
This weekend at the WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral, the top fifty golfers in the world are present. That’s common knowledge and I hate stating the obvious as a writer, but this weekend, Rory McIlroy won’t be paired in a final round with —no offense — Harris English and Tom Gillis. If the golf gods smile upon us, we will see McIlroy, Woods, Mickelson, Westwood, Kaymer, Garcia, Stricker and my sleeper pick, Jason Day in the final groups, battling for the trophy on Sunday.
The world golf rankings are calculated by stats over a two year period. Luke Donald’s consistency helped him gain the No. 1 spot last year. For me, that doesn’t define a champion. The golfing public wants McIlroy in the group with the biggest names in golf, going birdie for birdie on the back nine on Sundays and win — like that guy in the red shirt used to do.
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