Sunday, February 26, 2012

Is a New #1 on the Way?

Since I can't bask in the knowledge that I'm any good picking winners this week -- even Katie Futcher has gone +3 on the day at the LPGA event in Thailand -- I've been musing on how much the world golf scene has changed.

Either Lee Westwood or Rory McIlroy will face Hunter Mahan or Mark Wilson in the finals at the Accenture today... and both European players will have a chance to take over the #1 spot on the OWGR. I didn't believe it would be possible so soon. Back in the first week of January Luke Donald had more than a 2 point lead on Westwood and a 2.5 lead on McIlroy, yet both players have gotten close enough in the last couple of months to pass him this week.

It made me wonder why I was so surprised.

Perhaps I got lulled into thinking it was hard to get the #1 spot because I got used to Tiger winning 5 or 6 times a year.

Perhaps I got lulled into thinking it was easy to keep the #1 spot because it took Tiger so long to fall out of that spot despite poor play.

Or maybe Tiger was an anomaly in the OWGR. Maybe we all made the mistake of thinking that the OWGR wasn't a good ranking system simply because Tiger figured out how to beat it.

I'm starting to wonder if choice #3 is the correct answer. Tiger rewrote the record books in so many ways that maybe he also strained the OWGR's boundaries. Maybe the system isn't as weak as we thought.

Maybe the man who routinely made $6 million every year was simply too strong to be bound by a few calculations.

At any rate, it looks like the #1 spot isn't as secure as I thought it was... and I'm realizing it may never be secure again.

But I'm not so sure it'll change hands this week. Now that our bionic golfer is in the shop, nobody's a sure thing.

I'm picking Mark Wilson to win it all today. I can't come up with one good reason why he should be the favorite against any of the other 3 players. That's why he'll probably win. Welcome to 2012 and a golf scene with no clearly defined leader...

Unless your name is Yani Tseng, that is.

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