by Jeff Skinner
I need some help. I am no genius, as anyone who reads this blog or knows me will tell you. So for the life of me I can’t figure out what happened in the Official World Golf Rankings last week. After Phil Mickelson’s dismantling of Pebble Beach with his Sunday 64 and two stroke win he was awarded 38 world ranking points. The same week on the European Tour Rafael Cabrera-Bello earned 48 points. To add insult to injury Phil’s 38 is six points less than Tiger Woods earned last season for his win at the 18 man field Chevron. Can someone explain that to us? Phil beats a full field on a classic course and gets less than Tiger does for a handpicked “silly season” event. I am no genius but I know something is wrong there, very wrong.
Annika Sorenstam told Morning Drive viewers that she won’t be the 2013 Solheim Cup Captain. Annika had been asked to fill the captain’s role but needed time to see if she could make the time commitment. She cited the delay in naming the Olympic course design team as part of her reason to decline. “I’m just not ready for this big commitment at this time. I can’t commit to anything until I know what will happen in Rio. With the decision being (pushed back) I didn’t want them to wait on me,” she said.
Believe it or not we are seeing a new Tiger Woods this season. No, he hasn’t turned into an autograph signing, media loving, happy go lucky golfer but he is playing more golf. So far this season he has added two events so far. He went back to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and has announced that he’ll play at the Honda Classic for the first time as a professional. We can speculate on his reasons (cash and endorsements) but having Tiger in the fields is always a good thing. Just ask Phil Mickelson.
The best golf tour that no one is watching is back in action this week as the LPGA Tour is playing in Thailand at The Honda LPGA Thailand 2012. Ai Miyazato leads by one stroke after round one and the Golf Channel is showing it on a time delay. Paula Creamer had an ace at the twelfth hole and she joins a large American contingent that includes Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie, Natalie Gulbis, Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel among others.
It seems fitting that Phil Mickelson and Fred Couples are teeing it up at The Northern Trust Open this week. Both have a great history there with two wins apiece at Riviera Country Club and they rave about the “old school” layout. Phil is hot off his win last week and Fred is playing his first PGA Tournament of the year after having that blood spinning procedure to help his chronically ailing back. Phil was asked about playing on such an historic track, “It is cool for us as players to play the same courses that many of the great players of the past have walked and played, Hogan, Snead, looking back on their playoff that they had after Hogan’s accident here at LA, at Riviera. It’s fun. It’s a cool thing. It’s a great compliment to the golf course to see it withstand the test of time the way it has, the way it’s still a challenge for the best players today, regardless of decades of technological advancements. It still tests the players of today.”
Couples called it his favorite tournament, “Well, it is my favorite tournament. Everyone talks about how great a course it is, and I just always liked it from the day I got here. 30 years later, I’m much older, but I still feel like I can play here. And last year I had a great shot at winning, actually, on Sunday. I birdied the first three holes and then played very poorly from then on in, but still managed to have a great week, and I look forward to the same thing this week.”