The whole notion of ranking golfers is pretty silly, considering players aren’t seeded like they are in tennis tournaments, and they can’t earn byes, like in the NFL. Rankings don’t determine tee times, they barely affect fields and there is no tangible difference between being No. 10 and No. 1.
Since rankings are meaningless, why not have fun with them? Maybe they should be a poll, like the AP college football Top 25. (Instead, they pretty much imitate the BCS.) It’s all for entertainment purposes, anyway.
Apparently the math works out that Lee Westwood will pass Tiger Woods on Oct. 31 for No. 1 in the world. The timing isn’t really indicative of golf’s current landscape, considering Westwood just announced he is hurt and won’t compete for the next month. And after sucking for the first eight months of the year, Woods is actually playing kinda decent now, but he’s finally going to lose his ranking. Meanwhile, Martin Kaymer just won his third straight start, which also moved him to No. 4 in the world.
But where would Kaymer be ranked in a top 25 poll considering his entire body of work for 2010? Here’s my ballot, using the unscientific concoction of overall year, with a bias toward recent play (and probably Americans):
1. Martin Kaymer – 3 straight wins, including his first major; 2-1-1 in Ryder Cup
2. Graeme McDowell – 2 wins, U.S. Open champ; Ryder Cup clinching point; dream year
3. Jim Furyk – 3 wins (although not in a row), plus the FedEx Cup, even though he slept in
4. Dustin Johnson – 2 wins, could have been 2 more majors; whooped Kaymer in singles
5. Lee Westwood – almost won Masters, second in British Open, finally won in America
6. Luke Donald – no wins in U.S., but 3 seconds, 2 thirds; beast in the Ryder Cup
7. Phil Mickelson – not much to talk about since April, but Masters was special
8. Steve Stricker – 2 wins; bonus points for making Tiger Woods look good in Ryder Cup
9. Matt Kuchar – surprise of the year on PGA Tour; fifth most OWGR points gained in 2010
10. Louis Oosthuizen – win a major and you had a top 10 year
11. Rory McIlroy – British Open could have been his; Quail Hollow was quite a show
12. Miguel Angel Jimenez – won 3 times worldwide; the inspiration behind Cigar Guy
13. Justin Rose – won twice; was hottest player in world earlier this summer
14. Ernie Els – won twice early, but whiffed on golden chance at U.S. Open
15. Ian Poulter – just needs to find more match play events
16. Paul Casey – another British Open runner-up makes the list; missing a win from resume
17. Hunter Mahan – won twice; just hope his year isn’t defined by flubbed chip
18. Jeff Overton – the Boo Weekley of this year’s U.S. team
19. Tiger Woods – had a chance to win 2 majors, so he’s DJ, without the other wins
20. Retief Goosen – quietly piled up nice finishes all year
21. Edoardo Molinari – won twice to force his way onto stacked Euro team
22. Rickie Fowler – 2 seconds, impressive finish at British; inspired U.S. team rally in singles
23. Zach Johnson – won at Colonial; backbone of U.S. Ryder Cup team
24. Nick Watney – if not for PGA implosion, would have had 3 top 7s in majors
25. Anthony Kim – on fire at start of year; the U.S. team missed him
What’s your ballot look like? Who else should be receiving votes?
(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)