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Friday, January 7, 2011

The PGA Tour in 2011

Golf.com asked their senior writers to project the “who”, “what”, and “why” for the PGA tour and its players in 2011. As we move into the New Year, one of the most obvious items that was addressed in the article was: What does the future hold for Tiger Woods? Also, coming in among the top 5 questions posed were: If Tiger isn’t number 1 who will be, Is Phil Mickelson the king of Augusta, and will the U.S. ever be able to regain the lead on the LPGA Tour.

Tiger Woods had quite a tough 2010 season to say the least. However, he did come out toward the end of the PGA season to play at the AT&T National event in Pennsylvania, to show what he had, or rather what he had lost, in his playless months of controversy. It was hard to ignore the downfall which his game took as a result of the constant media attention and the overbearing, ever present opinion of the media and the golf world. The AT&T National event, which he had won in 2009, he only tied for 46th in 2010. So we now ask ourselves, is this the end of the Tiger era? The guys at Golf.com seem to think, not yet. Even though Tiger managed to turn it around a bit in the later months of 2010 it cannot go without mentioning that many of the young guys have been able to significantly step up their game so even if Tiger can get back to where he was in 2009 and earlier the end of an era may soon be in sight.

So if Tiger isn’t number one, who will be? Golf.com writers have suggested it will remain the current number one, Lee Westwood. Although, Westwood is going to need to increase the frequency in which he wins events in order to keep his ranking. Martin Kaymer, however, has been hot on Westwood’s heals so it looks like it will be quite the battle for him to keep his number one spot if Kaymer keeps up his game. Kaymer has quite the game in and around the greens and Westwood is going to have to pick up his short game it he wants to stay number one. Westwood will be 38 in April so needless to say, at only 26 years of age Kaymer’s game is only getting better.

Will the U.S. ever be able to take back the lead in the LPGA? It seems with the large number of tremendously skilled golfers coming out of Asia, a golfer from the U.S. being number one will not be anytime in the near future. According to the Rolex World Rankings, there are only 19 Americans in the top 100 and only 6 of them are among the top 25. There are a few names out there that are definite competition but not anyone that appears to be number one ranking material, at least not yet. The names being thrown around are Paula Creamer, Alexis Thompson (who is a mere 15 years old), Michele Wie, and Cristie Kerr (who actually was ranked number one back in June of 2010 following her win at the LPGA Championship).

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2011 PGA Tour

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