Stricker's a different kind of pro


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Tommy Gainey and His Putter Lead The Wyndham Championship
by Jeff Skinner Tommy ?Two Gloves? Gainey continued to work his magic at The Wyndham Championship.  Although he had trouble finding the fairway his putter and short game more than made up for it.  Gainey shot a 65 to back up his opening round 63 to get to twelve under and lead a quartet of [...]


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The Measure of a Man

A favorite song of mine by a group called 4Him, is called Measure of a Man?

It?s been on my mind lately as I have been hearing bits and pieces about the upcoming President?s Cup and the selection process that will happen in about a month.  The ?filler version? of the Ryder Cup in off years definitely has its share of great players, drama, and talent, but it?s felt to me like it was almost ?gimmicky???the Tie?, Michael Jordan, I don?t know?maybe it just hasn?t been around long enough to be revered yet, at least not in my mind anyway.

My whole thought process seems completely ironic to me because:

1.       I love team play!

2.       Have you seen the current standings?  1. Stricker  2. Kuchar ? what?s not to love??!!

3.        Captain ? Fred Couples   and Captain ? Greg Norman (more faves!)

4.       Matching outfits.

There?s been some discussion around the golf world about the selection process for the President?s Cup.  In case you didn?t know, the top 10 players who qualify to get on the team start accumulating points beginning with the Barclays in 2009 and ending with the BMW Championship in 2011.  The points are determined from the money a player earns at the event.  1 point for every $1 from 2009 to the end of 2010, and 2 points for every $1 won in 2011.  It might seem like a long stretch to get points, but it does weight accomplishments in 2011 more, for those that gripe that wins in 2009-10 are irrelevant.  I think point system is a decent one if you felt you needed to have one.

The team is made up of 12 players in total, so the appointed Captain gets to select 2 additional players to round out the team.  This is cause for great speculation in the golf fan world and it seems like we?ve been in the midst of it already even though the picks won?t be announced until September 26.

Golf fans have probably heard that Captain Fred Couples has made no secret of the fact that Tiger Woods pretty much has a lock on one of the picks if he commits to playing before the President?s Cup event. (Which is in Melbourne, Australia, November 14-20 if you didn?t already have it on your calendar!)  The opinions on this run the gamut?he?s the best there ever was ?to ?are they nuts?!?  I?m not sure how I feel about it?on the one hand he ?is? Tiger Woods?but is he really better than the 18 other guys in front of him on the current qualifying list?  It?s hard to say.

Speaking of 18, a guy that moved up to 18th on the President?s Cup standings a few weeks ago was Keegan Bradley?after his tremendous win at the PGA it?s hard not to like the guy and he definitely showed us some great golf, and a great resolve after struggling early in the round.  But in the week or so following his win I?ve read a couple of articles that say Bradley should be a lock for a captain?s pick.  My reaction was, Say What?  Hey, I?m as happy for him as the next gal, but I?m not sure winning the PGA makes you a lock for a team that will be playing 3 months later. There are 8 higher qualifying guys right now, and if someone gets hot during the FedEx Cup playoffs he might find himself outside the Top 20.  A lock?  I just don?t see it.  Potential?  Absolutely.

And since I?ve mentioned a few guys, I might as well give you the rundown of players as of August 21?Top Ten automatically qualify (at the end of the BMW) and 2 Captain?s picks.

1.        Steve Stricker   2. Matt Kuchar   3. Phil Mickelson    4. Nick Watney    5. Dustin Johnson    

6.      Bubba Watson   7. David Toms    8. Webb Simpson   9. Hunter Mahan   10. Bill Haas

11.   Jim Furyk   12.  Rickie Fowler   13. Bo Van Pelt   14. Brandt Snedeker   15. Zach Johnson

And I mentioned Bradley at 18th and Tiger at 28th.  In my opinion, other worthy candidates might include Jeff Overton (22), Gary Woodland (25), Ryan Moore (17), and the laid back PGA Runner Up Jason Dufner (16).  I just don?t think Woods or Bradley seem like a lock at this point.  Do you?

It would be really interesting to see whatever notes Fred and his team have as they determine who will be the final addition to the squad.  What will be the final measure of each man that makes them worthy of being on the team or not?  Points?  Personality?  Stats?  Streakiness?  Fashion sense? (just kidding)  World ranking?  Heart?

Even though I?m not sure I buy the whole hoop-la surrounding the President?s Cup (as compared to the Ryder Cup), I?m still a fan and I can?t wait to see how it all turns out.   Is it too early for me to request a Stricker/Kuchar pairing??

And before we get too far ahead of ourselves, don?t forget that the FedEx Cup playoffs have started!  Oh, I?m sure Sam isn?t enthused about it, but when Steve Stricker is poised to take a lead this week, you know I care!!  And if you like more than the top 10 or so guys, the drama begins as players get cut-off.  After this week, 100 guys move on and 25 bid farewell to the playoffs?to make it to the BMW Championship you need to be in the top 70 in the FedEx Cup points?and to make the Tour Championship, players must make the top 30.  Remember, for math fans like me, the calculations going into each event to figure who may or may not advance is loads of fun!  What?s not to like about the FedEx Cup playoffs??

Go Steve & Matt!!


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The Sport With the Most Ridiculous Rules


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Presenting the Yahoo! Sports World Golf Rankings, Week 12

Presenting the Yahoo! Sports World Golf Rankings, Week 12It's time for our own golf ranking system for the top players on the planet. Why? That's easy. The one used now isn't good enough. For one thing, it evaluates golfers over a two-year period. Two years! A lot can happen in two years. (Ask Tiger Woods.) For another, the current system gives too much credit to players who prevail against less competitive fields halfway across the globe.

Therefore, every week between May 31 and September 27, two days after The Tour Championship, Yahoo! Sports will unveil the new rankings of players Nos. 1 to 10, using lists submitted by many of the game's most knowledgeable observers.

1. Luke Donald (22 first-place votes), 287 points, Last week: 1
-A late fade at the PGA Championship didn't keep him from holding onto his hammerlock on first place.

2. Rory McIlroy (8 first-place votes), 242 points, Last week: 2
-Root? What root? McIlroy proved that even through injury, he's one of the biggest draws in the game.

3. Lee Westwood, 236 points, Last week: 3
-Another major, another coulda-been for Westwood, who nonetheless is creeping up on McIlroy's position.

4. Steve Stricker, 201 points, Last week: 4
-A promising early outing fell short once again at Atlanta, but Stricker remains a threat every week.

5. Adam Scott, 156 points, Last week: 5
-A few putts here and there and Scott would have been a factor in the PGA. At least there was no caddy talk this time.

6. Charl Schwartzel, 92 points, Last week: 9
-The Masters champ put on a late charge but was too far back to make a difference.

7. Martin Kaymer, 91 points, Last week: 7
-Another major, another missed cut. Not the way Kaymer envisioned this year playing out.

8. Phil Mickelson, 86 points, Last week: 8
-We'd offer him a hearty slap on the back for a major well played, but we've heard he doesn't much like that.

9. Keegan Bradley, 65 points, Last week: NR
-Win a major, get yourself into the top 10. It's the law.

10. Jason Day, 61 points, Last week: 6
-Day's sterling record in majors took a hit, but he still remains a threat to break through soon.

Dropping out of the rankings: Nick Watney

Ratings are tabulated on a 1-10 basis, with the top player in each voter's rankings receiving 10 points, the second-place player receiving 9, and so on.


Michael Arkush, Yahoo! Sports; Shane Bacon, Yahoo! Sports; Al Barkow, golf historian, journalist; Jay Busbee, Yahoo! Sports; Jay Coffin,; Tom Cunneff, Links magazine; Martin Davis, Editor, American Golfer; Steve Elling,; John Feinstein, Golf World/Golf Channel contributor; Bill Fields, Golf World; David Graham, two-time major champion; Melanie Hauser, contributor,; Ryan Herrington, Golf World; John Huggan, Golf Digest; Sal Johnson,; Rees Jones, golf course architect; Ron Kroichick, San Francisco Chronicle; Mark Lamport-Stokes, Reuters; David MacKintosh, Buenos Aires Herald; Andrew Magee, PGA Tour veteran; Scott Michaux, Augusta Chronicle; Brian Murphy, Yahoo! Sports; Jerry Pate, former U.S. Open winner; Geoff Russell, Golf World editor; Stina Sternberg, Golf Digest; John Strege, Golf Digest; Jerry Tarde, Golf Digest editor; Kris Tschetter, LPGA Tour veteran, author; Jonathan Wall, Yahoo! Sports; Sam Weinman, Golf


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