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Friday, October 15, 2010

The Tournaments So Far

While I was working on the tempo posts, golf was still going on around the world... so I thought I'd better take a quick look at where those tournaments stand.

Over on the European Tour they're playing the Portugal Masters. Robert Karlsson (from whom we haven't heard much lately), Johan Edfors, and Maarten Lafeber are tied at -8... but I suppose the biggest news is that Martin Kaymer isn't playing this week so he can't win a fifth tournament and take over #1 in the world rankings. (A personal rant here: I couldn't believe the Golf Channel's 19th Hole guys were arguing that Kaymer was just "hot" and should not be #1. Let's see... he won no tournaments in 2007 and 2008, then won 2 tournaments in 2009 and 4 tournaments -- one a major -- this year. His Top 10s have improved pretty much every year, as has his stroke average. Just what does he have to do to establish himself as the best player right now? It's not as if the OWGR tells you who is the best player -- it just tells you who's playing best. And that's Martin Kaymer. At least Frank Nobilo could see it.)

On the PGA Tour, the big news is that Rocco Mediate is leading the Open at -7. He was -5 in his first 7 holes, then cooled off. Since this is the first time the Tour has played this course (CordeValle Golf Club) it's supposed to make this a "flat playing field" for everybody since nobody has previous knowledge. I'm not sure I buy that argument, what with experienced caddies checking out the lay of the land and the pros getting two or three practice rounds... but that's what they say.

The Miccosukee Championship on the Nationwide Tour has two tied at -8 (a popular score Thursday!) -- Andrew Svoboda and Brandt Jobe. This is an important week for both of them, as Svoboda is barely within the Top 60 (to keep his card) and Jobe is barely in the Top 25 (to get his PGA Tour card)... and there is only one more tournament after this one to qualify for the Nationwide Tour Championship. Almost anything could happen there.

Ironically, the big news was on the LPGA at the CVS Caremark LPGA Challenge, where Brittany Lincicome shot an 11-under 61, putting her 4 shots ahead of everybody. I don't think she broke the course record, but it was a tournament record by 3 shots. (It also beat her best score by 3 or 4. What a nice way to spend your day...)

As I said, the next closest player is Wendy Ward at -7, which is pretty newsworthy because she hasn't played particularly well since 2005 when she got the last of her 4 wins. Also newsworthy was Carling Coffing's T23 at -2. Carling won the last Big Break series -- she's supposed to tee it up in Lorena Ochoa's tournament next month, as part of her prize -- but she was offered a sponsor's exemption into this tournament basically because she played so well on Big Break. Carling has diabetes and has to wear an insulin pump. She didn't play particularly well on the Futures Tour this year (I think she's a third-year pro), but a good showing here and at Lorena's tournament could give her some more options.

And that's where we stand going into Friday. I'm particularly interested in the ladies, simply because they're barely into a 6-week stretch that goes from Alabama (last week) and California (this week) to Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, and Mexico before it ends in mid-November. The Tour Championship is in early December and, in the meantime, the races for Player of the Year and World #1 are changing weekly. But a lot of players are playing to keep their cards on all the tours, so this month should be interesting for everybody.


  1. Just to get the statistics right: Martin also won 2 tournaments in 2008: Abu Dhabi and the BMW International.

  2. My mistake, Wilfried -- I misread the year for those victories as 2006. Thanks for the correction!