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Kaymer's lacklustre performances deny him top spot

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Iain Carter | 15:47 UK time, Monday, 7 November 2011

As we toasted the first occasion that the European Tour Golfer of the Year award was shared by two people, the continent's outgoing Ryder Cup captain posed the question of who would be the world's top player by the end of 2011.

Colin Montgomerie was speaking almost 12 months ago as Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer celebrated becoming the first joint winners of the Tour's most prestigious accolade.

Both men had played a massive role in a landmark year for European golf - McDowell with his inspired US Open win and Ryder Cup heroics, Kaymer with no fewer than four tournament victories including his first major, the US PGA.

Monty challenged those golf journalists and broadcasters sitting around the table at that celebratory lunch to name the man who would be world number one 12 months hence. There was unanimous agreement that it would be Kaymer.

Martin Kaymer

Kaymer's three-shot victory at the Shanghai Open moved him into fourth place in the World golf rankings: Photo: Getty

This was the player who seemingly had it all - a stellar long game with a touch on and around the greens to match.

He was about to turn 26 and, within a month, the German won for the ninth time in his young career with a successful title defence in Abu Dhabi.

Before the first buds of spring could be found he was blossoming further by reaching the final of the WGC Matchplay, which was enough to take Kaymer to his appointed position at the top of the world rankings.

Everything suggested he would be a commanding figure at the head of the game and that he would remain number one for a considerable period.

He seemed so at ease with all that comes with being at the top of the rankings.

The only question was over how soon he would win again and whether that victory might come at the first major of the year, the Masters.

And this was the point at which Kaymer hit the buffers. To win at Augusta, the man from Dusseldorf believed he would need to learn how to alter his preferred ball flight from that of a left-to-right fade to a draw in the opposite direction.

It was a mistake and one that had him going backwards for the first time in his career.

As Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy were making big progress towards the top of the golfing tree, Kaymer was regressing fast from the moment he shot 78 in the first round of the Masters.

Throughout the meat of the season he did not genuinely threaten to win a strokeplay title, struggling to make the top 40 at the US Open, finishing 12th at the Open and missing the cut in his US PGA defence.

Kaymer's results were not calamitously bad but they were far from what he had expected at the start of this year, and it is only now he has won again that he is able to rationalise the frustration of much of this season.

"This year a lot has happened," Kaymer said on Sunday after claiming the WGC Champions title in Shanghai. "Many people don't realise what it takes to be number one in the world and you are just 26 years old.

"For me, my manager and my family, we were not used to that. A lot of people around me didn't know how to react and handle those things and then there was my little swing adjustment that I did.

"It was just a combination from a lot of things that maybe was the reason for not such a great season. But with this win here, I think it has now become a good season," said the man who rose back two places to number four in the world with what was his first World Golf Championships win.

"It was a little overwhelming all of a sudden being number one. I became so huge in Germany and more famous in America and everywhere you go more people recognise you.

"You have to understand I have not been on tour my entire life. It is only five or six years and being number one had only ever happened once to a German guy and that was Bernhard Langer, about 25 years ago.

"So it was a completely different situation that I had to get used to."

Now he has the air of a man who knows what to expect should he go back to the top of the golfing world and there must be every chance of that happening given that he has now rediscovered the art of winning.

Kaymer and McIlroy are the future of world golf and there is the potential for both to share one of the game's great rivalries. At 22, McIlroy is four years younger and he has three victories at tour level compared with the German's 10.

Kaymer has proved himself a brilliant finisher while McIlroy is still discovering the way of making the most of winning opportunities.

We were wrong with our prediction to Monty that Kaymer would top the year-end rankings in 2011 but there is every chance of that being the case next year.

Of course, McIlroy and the present incumbent Luke Donald will have other ideas but both know that their biggest threat lies with the man who has just won in China.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Well done Martin Kaymer, you have had your critics all year, people like Don247 and Iain Carter slagging you off left right and center, but me and BiloMct had faith and new you would bounce back, looks like you will be back in the majors again next year! Well done!

  • Comment number 2.

    Good blog Iain, good to finally read about golfing issues.

    Kaymer's had an indifferent year - probably affected by Don247's criticism more than anything. Good to see him back at his best and hopefully he'll have a good year next year leading up to the Ryder Cup. I'd expect him to seriously contend at least a couple of majors next year.

  • Comment number 3.

    Good Blog Iain, glad we're back onto Golf debates instead of that nonsense thats went on with Steve Williams.
    Kaymer was awesome, on top form he is a class act. Hope he keeps it up, i love watching him. Its clear that when he and McIlroy play well boys like Westwood and Donald cant get near them in terms of performance. Also Westwood totally bottled it again on the final day. Every day that passes cements him to being the new Monty

  • Comment number 4.

    People bang on about Mcilroy, Bottlewood and Donald but Martin Kaymer is the "real deal"! Yes he as had an indifferent year but we will se him back to his best next year and i would certainly say he will back in major contention, Don247 its all about keeping the faith in your golfers! Just look at what Kenny Ferrie did with people like me keeping faith in him!

  • Comment number 5.

    Good blog Iain,

    Watch out for kaymer, he is going to do very well, in the upcoming majors.
    I hope Don247 is eating his words now....

  • Comment number 6.

    Great win no doubt, but let him back it up soon to confirm that he is back at the very top. I think Donald's consistency has to be applauded as he won a pressure tournament recently. I think a quick mention of Garcia would not go amiss since he won back to back (any win at Valderrama is special). I hope he is back to his very best to compete with all these European golfers.

  • Comment number 7.

    Well done Martin...what a great win and fantastic final round.
    McIlroy will have some competition for the number 1 spot next year if he keeps playing like that. It will be good to watch the 2 of them battle it out for the top 2 positions.

  • Comment number 8.

    So who will the top 5 in the rankings be this time next year? For me

    1 McIlroy
    2 Kaymer
    3 Donald
    4 A Scott
    5 J Day

    Also fancy Tiger and Sergio to get back into the top 10 next year, and if Webb Simpson maintains the kind of form that he had this year, then he'll be pushing to get into the top 5.

  • Comment number 9.

    Powerhitter - I think the Top 5 rankings next year will be

    1. Donald
    2. McIlroy
    3. Day
    4. Scott
    5. Westwood

    Tiger won't get back into the top ten, but will defo move up.

  • Comment number 10.

    Its a bit premature to talk about a Mcilroy - Kaymer rivalry. Theres an awful lot of great young players knocking about. I'm sure the likes of Mannasero, Ishikawa, Fowler, Lewis, Day and quite a few others will be determined to make sure the next 10-15 years isnt a two horse race at the top of the golf tree.

    I personally think we're in for an awfl lot more excitement than was provided in "The Tiger Woods Era"

  • Comment number 11.

    My Top 5:-

    1.McIlroy
    2.Kaymer
    3.Dustin Johnson
    4.Jason Day
    5.Luke Donald ( will slip down by choking in big events )

    The future world beaters / stars of the game are McIlroy, Kaymer and Day

  • Comment number 12.

    @6 lorus59...well said about Garcia. How good would it be if he came back strong and won a major. He really deserves one.

  • Comment number 13.

    BiloMcT - Will you make your mind up on Donald???
    One minute your hanging out the back of him, the next your calling him a bottler?

  • Comment number 14.

    CHUMBAWUMBA12:

    I've already eaten my over-sized slice of humble pie as well as congratulating and apologising profusely to the superb Martin Kaymer on the "Stevie Williams' racist slur" blog (against all odds and sods, I might add.) Hopefully my sharp criticism over the last few months helped to spur the aforementioned Martin Kaymer into action.

    In fact, I see the same thing has now happened with "our" Darren and G-Mac .... I slag them off for not living up to their "major" billing, they become totally embarrassed about their respect performances, put in the necessary hard work and turn their games around in a short space of time.

    I feel that it is due to my unremitting efforts on this BBC golf blog that these guys have got their games/careers back on course!

    Don't slag me off because I (the glory-seeking megalomanic that I am) have done an outstanding job cleverly applying my reverse psychology techniques - all designed with one aim in mind - to motivate "my chosen subjects" on their unrelenting climb towards the top of the world rankings!!

  • Comment number 15.

    Great Golfing blog and well done martin kaymer, a class performance and greatly deserved. I said on a recent Mcilroy Blog that along with rory and possibly jason day that martyin kaymer will be at the pinnacle of the game for years to come. Iain alraedy mentioned that he knows how to win and his steely determination and cool manner on the golf course only enhances his chances of adding to his already impressive tally of tournament victories. Golfing rivalries are sure to develop and with charachters like the three iv'e just mentioned and others like Fowler, Johnson, Mannassero e.t.c... the current era looks very promising indeed.

  • Comment number 16.

    @9 "Powerhitter - I think the Top 5 rankings next year will be

    1. Donald
    2. McIlroy
    3. Day
    4. Scott
    5. Westwood

    Tiger won't get back into the top ten, but will defo move up."

    Interesting you dont think Martin Kaymer wont be there??

  • Comment number 17.

    Top 5 next year...NO Doubt

    1: McIlroy
    2: Kaymer
    3: Day
    4: Garcia
    5: Scott

  • Comment number 18.

    @simmotee123 the first three names you mentioned will certainly be up there for years to come and i can see them winning many of majors but the final 3 names you mentioned are shocking! The only thing Fowler, Johnson, and Mannassero will be fighting out his who is going to make the cut, three of the most over hyped bottlers i have seen on the tour apart from Westwood that is!

  • Comment number 19.

    @BiloMct yeah i seen Westwood bottle it again, i mean who would have thought that Westwood only had to finish in front of Mcilroy to claim number two! Oh and look what happened a bit of pressure and Lee lost his a**e again. Think Your right were looking at the English version of Monty.

  • Comment number 20.

    Interesting lists guys but we cant debate who the top 5 ranked will be. you never know what happens in Golf. I noticed somebody has opted for Garcia to make the Top 5 but he hasnt a chance if you look at his points average it nearly impossible to make up that much ground in a year. Also the Rankings are based on a 2 year rolling period so Garcia will have to wait till the tail end of 2013 before he even gets a sniff of Top 5 in the world.

  • Comment number 21.

    Simmotee123 - I honestly don't think he'll be up there next year, i'm not going to slag him off because i like Kaymer and think he's a great player, but i think a few others will excel next year and surpass the likes of him and johnson.
    He played brilliantly in the WGC but it still doesn't hide the fact that he's been a bit hit and miss this year, it may be hard for him to get his momemtum back, but i suppose we'll see in the next tournament.

  • Comment number 22.

    @18 Intersting How youre always calling lee westwood a bottler yet youve included him in your top 5 for the rankings next year??

    interesting......

  • Comment number 23.

    Keegan Bradley to progress from his PGA win to become one of the top players in the world? Early days but he looks to me to have everything.

    Happy to see Garcia getting a bit of love. Arguably the best ball striker in the world, both off the tee and with his irons. Shame he's probably the biggest choker of the lot ;)

  • Comment number 24.

    mickysausage...i dont want to get involved in a Westwood debate again. It seems to cause too much anger amongst our fellow bloggers. Everyone knows my feelings on him as a choker and a bottler so ill leave it at that. I'd rather know what you think about Kaymer. I think he's a cert to get about 6/7 possibly even more Majors. His putting is class ( with a normal putter i might add! ) and his temperment is perfect for winning

  • Comment number 25.

    I think it's a bit unfair on Monty to describe Westwood as 'another Monty'. OK, Monty never got to no. 1 but he was genuinly unlucky not to win a couple of majors. The only one he could seriously be accused of 'choking' was when he took a 6 from the middle of the fairway at the last hole of Winged Foot to let Ogilvie slip in the back door.

  • Comment number 26.

    @21 It will certainly be interesting to see who will be up there come next year, I just dont think you can expect a player of Kaymer's quality not to be in there.

    Out of interest who are the few you think will surpass him and johnson next year??

  • Comment number 27.

    @simmotee123 COMMENT 22 - can you please show me were my top 5 is that includes Lee Westwood????????????? Because i dont seem to remember writing this list anywere!

  • Comment number 28.

    BiloMcT, Kaymer will definitely win more majors. There's not too many people in history who've got 6/7 majors under their belt and if I'm honest I don't see anyone in the current crop who I think will get to that milestone either.

  • Comment number 29.

    Its nice too see a golf blog talking about golf instead of the colour of my skin!!

    Well i think Kaymer will challenge next year but i dont think he will win a major, he will win a few tour events though, my major winners for next year are as followed:-

    Schwartzel
    Day
    Scott
    Woods

    Not sure which majors though, i think Woods will win the US OPen

  • Comment number 30.

    sorry mickysausage got you mixed up with sumo82 who has nothing to do with our discussion - my mistake!! i apologise.

  • Comment number 31.

    First thing, I'm a little bit tired of reading claptrap like this:

    "... boys like Westwood and Donald cant get near them in terms of performance..."
    "... Westwood totally bottled it again on the final day. "

    (quoted from post #3)

    That just shows me that the poster (BiloMcT in this case) hasn't got a clue what he or she is talking about.

    Firstly, bandying about the terms 'bottled' or 'choked'. Just because someone fails to win a tournament when leading, or shoots a 1 or 2 over par final round doesn't mean that they've choked. I doubt very much that Bilo knows the meaning of the word. I think you could possiblay argue that McIlroy choked at the Masters, not because of the bad swing off the 10th (?) tee, but the subsequent bad shots on that hole that led to a triple, and the next two holes on which he 3 and 4 putted. I think perhaps he let the situation get to him, lost control of his thoughts and played some bad shots. Maybe that's 'choking'.

    However in Westwood's case I don't see how you can say that he has choked or bottled it, unless of course you don't know what you're talking about. He shot a final round 75. So what? Why is that choking? If you knew anything about golf you would know that the score that these guys post is dicatated by very small margins. On a given day you might make 5 putts that you normally wouldn't, or conversley you might miss them and miss 5 that you'd normally make. So you could be 9 or 10 shots different without really having played any better or worse. And of course you have good and bad days. but is that 'choking'? I think not.

    Furthermore, to say that Donald or Westwood 'can't get near' McIlroy or Kaymer is absolute garbage. Maybe people say things like this because the latter pair appear to have more 'natural talent', but it's about results. Both Donald and Westwood have shown over several years that they can compete week in week out, and can win too (don't get started on the 'you don't deserve to be No. 1 if you haven't won a major' debate, either).

    Any of these 4 guys could suffer a relative slump in 2012, and someone could burst through and become No. 1. Who would have predicted that Donald would make the top spot after his wrist surgery a few years back? He was labelled as the perennial journeyman - a short hitter who couldn't win but might get a few top tens. Now look at him. Look at Webb Simpson - who'd heard of him 2 years ago?

    I agree that McIlroy in particular is a prodigious talent who makes the game look easy at times, but the difference between the top 100 or 200 or maybe even 500 players is so small right now. All of them have strengths and weaknesses in their games and to say that McIlroy and Kaymer wipe the floor with the other two is in my opinion a lot of nonsense.

  • Comment number 32.

    Adam Scotts caddy singlehandedly won 13 majors for Tiger Woods so he has to be a show in for a major next year, maybe even the grand slam

  • Comment number 33.

    Westwood and Donald will gradually slip down the rankings next year when the likes of McIlroy, Day and Kaymer are winning majors.

    Im looking forward to having a real number one back at the top.

  • Comment number 34.

    Post #32 - top class!

    Post #33 - "Im looking forward to having a real number one back at the top"

    What complete drivel. What exactly is that supposed to mean, and why aren't Donald or Westwood 'real' number ones?

    Presumably you disgree with the current ranking system, in which case perhaps you could explain how you think it should work?

  • Comment number 35.

    Further to post #32 about Stevie Williams influence on his players, maybe we can get an insight from what he said recently:

    "just because I make a remark regarding my former EMPLOYEE it gets blown out of all proportion"

    Maybe Williams is the person most likely to break Nicklaus's record of 18 majors???

  • Comment number 36.

    @31 and 34...The Boike-Meister General...firstly i am a girl, thank you for asking. Its not only lads on here you know. I think we just disagree on bottling and choking. In my opinion i feel they are chokers who dont have the mental game under the highest pressures of the game....like the majors...hense they havent won one between the two of them. I appreciate they are good golfers but by no means amazing world beating major winners. anyway, lets agree to disagree on this one and move on?
    Don247, what do you think about what The Boike-Meister General has said??

  • Comment number 37.

    The Boike-Meister General - My Hero!!!

    at last someone on here who understands a bit about golf, your opinion on the slight margin between the majority of players is bang on. Golf is a lot about confidence and getting results as regularly as possible, fair enough the major argument does come into it - no doubt, but for golfing ability who can deny that westwood and donald are not on par with anyone on the tour??

    I hope they win a major soon, mostly to stop the repetative drivel that always seems to enter every topic that is wrote on every BBC Golf blog!!!

  • Comment number 38.

    #The Boike-Meister General

    A real number has the game to win a major and dominate in the big events.

    Neither LW or LD have this.

  • Comment number 39.

    The Boike-Meister General, I don't buy into the 'Westwood is a bottler' argument either. People who say that forget the pressure that these guys perform under at the Ryder Cup, and Westwood generally plays pretty well at it. However, he must have lost a bit of sleep over his 3 putt on the final green at Turnberry to miss out on a play-off - he'll possibly never get such a good chance again, so a little like Monty having thrown away his golden chance at Winged Foot, Westwood has probably thrown away his golden chance too.

  • Comment number 40.

    james mathew, your comment lacks any logic.

  • Comment number 41.

    #40

    check their records...there is my logic

    Im big Lee Westood and Luke Donald fans but they lack what it takes to win a major...and for that reason dont deserve to be called number 1

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    @35

    That must make him the first man in history to have been sacked by an Employee.

    Also i'm with you on the rankings issue. Majors are weighted with more rankings points than regular events. If a major winner isnt top of the world rankings then in just shows that weeek in week out he isnt performing to as high a level as the likes of Westy & Donald.

    I'd love them both to win a major next year but the problem is that the Majors are far too random to be sure of anything (Hands up who picked Schwartzel, Clarke or Bradley to pick one up this year). I dont think it'd result in a huge ammount of humble pie being eaten anyway.

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 45.

    Where are the Steve Williams Fans?

    Not sure Tiger is all that good a role model to be honest, Fantastic golfer though.

  • Comment number 46.

    @44 - Im sure steve williams did a little more than carry tigers clubs for him!! , however a man in his position should not be making those sort of remarks - full stop!! Tiger seems to have done the right thing and agreed to move on with an apology, i hope it alters his mindset and makes him more determined, it would be fantastic to see him surge back into the game.

  • Comment number 47.

    I have to back BiloMcT on the Westwood and Donald debate. Those boys need to get the job done in Majors. There are loads of great players out there plying their trade but bar the odd surprise package in a Major like we've seen a few times it is generally only the true best that win a Major or Majors.
    BiloMcT do we know mickysausage?!!!

  • Comment number 48.

    there goes james mathew again with his magical crystal ball. While the rest of us offer opinions and view points james mathew offers us "hard facts" and "glimpses" into the future as to what exactly "IS" going to happen. He assures us there is "NO doubt" that the top 5 in the world rankings next year will read as he outlines.

    Agree with the guys re: Garcia. If I were writing this blog I think his recent return to form following last years self enforced layoff, his full blooded attack on one of Whistling Straits' many many bunkers (there can be no doubt that he grounded his club), and his apparent rediscovery for his love of the game would make a fascinating story to write upon. I do hope Sergio gives plenty to write upon in the coming years as he is a fascinating character with a raw talent and flair that is quite rare these days.

  • Comment number 49.

    I think anyone that uses Tiger as a role model will be in a sorry state.
    As a person he is one of the worse role models I can think of, I think kids would do much better looking up to someone like Luke Donald and forget Tiger.

    Whatever about Luke....Lee Westwood will never win a major...he has crumbled too many times and thats not likely to change.

  • Comment number 50.

    A few points on the above.

    1. Kaymer is like a machine. When he's on form, I think even young Rory (on form) would find it hard to compete.

    2. BiloMcT - how are YOU doin'!?

    3. End of season rankings next year:

    - McIlroy
    - Kaymer
    - Donlad
    - Day
    - Ronan Rafferty (big come back season... just wait!)

  • Comment number 51.

    Luke Donald is clearly intending on changing his surname to a more boyish moniker in an effort to appeal to the masses, ahem...

  • Comment number 52.

    36 and 38. Thanks for the rather polite responses to my points. What a nice civilised blog this is!

    36 - I agree that we should probably agree to disagree (!), however my point is that I don't think us laypeople (!) really have any idea what tournament golf is like (let alone majors ), so how can we know how the players react and whether they choke and what that really means? It's so easy to say 'he choked' just because someone lost. How about an example I hear you cry.

    Firstly, and this possibly answers 38 too, Luke Donald's last vistory when he sewed up the US money list. He made 6 birdies on the bounce, overhauled Simpson (who was ahead of him with 9 holes to go) and won. Not only was the tournament on the line, so was the US money list and so was the chance to make history and win both money lists in the same year. And he won it. Maybe he won't be remembered for that to the same extent as a major winner, but can he really be called achoker after that performance. Ask any pundit what they think - the tv commentators were in awe of his performance. Now you'll probably say he choked if McIlroy goes and pips him to the European list!

    Secondly, #38 - you haven't really answered my question. A real number one is (as it stands currently) in fact the person who gets to number one based on the ranking system. That's it. Clearly, then, you don't agree with the system. So what system would you have? Should it be majors only? Should it be 'top events' only? I think perhaps your judgement is skewed by the way Tiger dominated golf for a decade. his dominance of having double the points of the second ranked player and winning so many majors is not the norm, and I think the next few years or even decades will see the no 1 spot change more often and also it will probably be held by several players who don't have a major win.

    A few final thoughts on this choking thing:

    Did Van der Velde choke in the 99 Open? Well, possibly. Perhaps he made a bad decision but again is that choking? But compare that to Harrington when he won at Carnoustie. He played the 18th almost as badly as Van der Velde, arguably worse. He went in the drink twice and entually holed a clutch putt for a 6. Garcia on the other hand lipped out a putt to win - a putt that he hit almost perfectly and most people were astonished that it didn't take the usual break. So Harrington wins the playoff, then two more majors, yet Garcia is still searching for his first.

    Lets just say that Harringtons putt had missed, or Sergio's had dropped. Harrington could have been labelled a choker - he even admitted afterwards that he would have considered packing the game in had he not won! That's how small the gap is between sucess and failure in golf.

    Did Norman choke in the 1996 Masters? I don't think so, he just played poorly and then got a bit tight. Is that choking?

    Did Scott Hoch ('the choke') choke in the 89 Masters? Probably not - he missed a 2 or 3 foot downhiller that would have won him the Masters. Is that choking?

    Is Paul Lawrie more mentally tough than Westwood? Well, Lawire shot a great final round in the 99 Open and came in a couple of hours before Van der Velde. He even said after his round that someone would beat him. He probably felt very little pressure because he never really thought he was in contention. Had he been leading it might have been different.

    My point is that Donald and Westwood have won enough times and played well in enough big events (try the Ryder Cup) to prove that they are not mentally fragile. Winning a major is largely a matter of peaking at the right time, and that's hard to control. Maybe Donald or Westwood will win a major, maybe they won't, but to say that they won't win a major, or that they are not a real number one, because they are 'chokers' is rather fatuous in my view.

  • Comment number 53.

    How can you say that any aspiring GOLFER would be unwise to look up to tiger woods???? if you are trying to imply that if kids look up to him they may want to follow suit with regards to his personal life you are talking nonsense!!

    Any golfer at any level has got to admire tiger woods regardless of his life off the course, which btw i think is totally irrellevant. If you are looking for a rolemodel on the golfcourse youd be hard pushed to find 1 better than tiger.

  • Comment number 54.

    @35 & @43 - I think Williams has proved on many occasions how uneducated he really is. I think he went the same school as james mathews.

  • Comment number 55.

    I would have thought a pro like Kaymer could easily draw and fade the ball... most of the pro tour have these shots in the bag, right?

    I understand that everyone has a favoured side and that these guys are operating at the highest level of ball flight control.

    Anyhow, Kaymer is a likeable golfer with a very cool temperament, something that will win him more tournaments in the future.

  • Comment number 56.

    @50 Golf_Geezer....haha alright there! i'm fine thank you

    @52 The Boike-Meister General....i do see your point. supose it is just an expression fired about too easily by people. I do respect those lads as good golfers but for me they need to seal the deal in the big ones.

    jeffkenna....what do you make of mickysausage disgrwaceful post yesterday? he shocked us all with that one. He seems to be redeeming himself now though.

    Sumo82, have you forgiven mickysausage yet? I have forgiven him, he's a sweetie really

  • Comment number 57.

    @53

    Woods isnt really a great on course role model either. The bottom lip came out when he wasnt playing well too many times, he was often curt and unresponsive in press confrences where the media weren't just lapping up the Tiger Woods show and actually posed him some tough questions. His reaction after the PGA when Yang beat him was particularly ungraceful.

    When things were going his way however he was charm itself and came accross well and his determination and dedication are certainly something that should be followed by any aspiring golfer.

    Personally i'd rather try to be more like Lee Westwood who takes victory and defeat with good humour. Maybe its precisely this which is the reason he's never been in the winners circle in a major though

  • Comment number 58.

    post #41 'check their records...there is my logic'.

    Huh?

    I think you need to refer to post #40 which says it all.

    Post #39 - agree about Westwood 3 putting 18 at Turnberry. That said, if he'd two-putted it would only have got him in the playoff. I would put that down to a bad thought process. By all accounts he thought he had to make it - rather like Parnevik when he bogied the last thinking he needed birdie. I still dont think that's choking though.

    I agree with #43 - 'I'd love them both to win a major next year but the problem is that the Majors are far too random to be sure of anything (Hands up who picked Schwartzel, Clarke or Bradley to pick one up this year). I dont think it'd result in a huge ammount of humble pie being eaten anyway.'

    So I challenge James 'nostradamus' Matthew to:

    - predict next yeart's major winners, and
    - list the occasions on which Westwood has 'crumbled' and how exactly he crumbled?

  • Comment number 59.

    #The Boike-Meister General

    Well lets look at history...the last few number ones before this era of "number 1s" we had Woods 14 majors, Singh 3 majors, Els 3 majors, Norman 2 majors and Faldo 6 majors....and throw in Kaymer and Duval both major winners.

    So Luke and Lee are the only number ones in history of golf to have failed in 120 majors collectively to win even 1....that tells me they dont have the game or mentality to compete at the highest level...and will never really be considered number 1.

  • Comment number 60.

    The Boike-Meister General...what do you think about John Hawksworth?

  • Comment number 61.

    James Mathew what do you actually mean about logic?

  • Comment number 62.

    BiloMcT - i have forgiven mickeysausage, even if his removed comment was way out of line.
    p.s. - your ability to change sex is amazing!

  • Comment number 63.

    @PeterThehoss - Do i know you? Are you Mickyweir?

  • Comment number 64.

    @57 - Fair comment, I understand what you are trying to say with some of his responses to the press after bad rounds but this was only down to his own dissapointment of how he played (imagine how high he sets his standards) and is only a small flaw to say the least. if you read my comment however his press conferences after the match aren't what im talking about, it was his on course prowess and technique that i said would definately appeal to golfers and if you ask anyone who they would want to emulate tigers name would definately be top.

    interesting analogy about wetwood by the way!!

  • Comment number 65.

    BiloMct i would never have said you was a lady, i will have to watch my language, what do you look like? I hear Jeffkenna's still in the market for a golf loving lady!

  • Comment number 66.

    * analogy was the wrong word, theory would have been better

  • Comment number 67.

    BiloMcT - can you please confirm your sex and nationality? Are you claiming to be a German lady?

  • Comment number 68.

    @simmotee123 "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character".

    Dont Judge people!!

  • Comment number 69.

    @simmotee123 "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character".

    Dont Judge people!!

    what judgements are you referring too??

  • Comment number 70.

    @55 - "I would have thought a pro like Kaymer could easily draw and fade the ball... most of the pro tour have these shots in the bag, right?"

    He could shape the ball both ways, but his "natural" swing was for a fade and so he wanted to change so his new "natural" swing drew the ball instead of having to make a concerted effort to draw the ball every shot.

  • Comment number 71.

    #54 - now THAT was funny!

    #59. James, that comment is completely asinine and barely merits a response. However ....

    They "will never really be considered number 1". Well, I'm sorry to burst your bubble here but they both have been number 1 - whether people like you 'consider' them to be or not. What you are actually saying is that you don't agree with the ranking system. So as I suggested before, why not come up with a better system and convice the powers that be to change it?

    Yes, of course it is likely that the world no. 1 will be a major winner, and history has borne that out. However, just because a player has not won a major does not mean (a) that they are not a worthy no. 1, nor (b) that they do not possess the mental game to win one. To suggest otherwise really just indicates that you don't understand how the golf rankings work, nor do you really understand anything much about the sport as a whole.

    Remember that in the pre Tiger days, there were relatively few good players who could win tournaments or majors, compared to the 100's today who all have a chance. And then Tiger was so dominant that we got used to the idea that the world no 1 had to win 50% of the time including 2 majors per year. That's why, historically, world number 1's have been major winners. Those days are over.

    The rankings reward consistency over 2 years, with weighting towards recent form and big tournaments. Like I said, what method would you suggest instead? Going forward there will be many more players in the running and it will be harder to win a major. That doesn't mean you're not number 1. And who's to say that Westwood or Donald won't win a major, as both are pretty much in their prime?

    What I will say is that John Feinstein sums it up fairly well when he says that you can be a 'good' player without winning a major, but can only be considered a 'great' player if you've won one. If you look at all the players who have one major - Love III, Couples, Woosnam, Azinger, Duval for instance, I'm sure they sleep better at bight knowing that they did manage to bag one.

  • Comment number 72.

    Simontee123, I don't think that LW's pleasant demeanor can be considered the reason for not winning majors. Look at Mickleson for example - always gives an honest and well-mannered interview no matter how disappointed he is. I'm sure there's plenty of other examples and it doesn't mean they lack desire, just that they don't lack class and manners.

    LW's had a few chances, but just been outplayed by Mickleson (at the Masters) and Woods and Mediate (at US Open) rather than throwing it away. I do think he threw away a place in a play-off at Turnberry but not saying that was 'bottling' it...

    The Boike-Meister General, are you Don247?

  • Comment number 73.

    @68

    "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character".

    Dont Judge people!!"

    Surely that quote means we can judge people. Just by the content of their charatcter instead of the colour of their skin.

  • Comment number 74.

    55 - I echo comment 70. I think that some players have a 'natural' shot, and for those players it is therefore a bit unnatural to play the other shot. Montgomerie always hit a fade, and did Trevino and for them, a draw was not natural. With the fine margins between winning and losing, you don't want to be trying to hit a shot that doesn't feel comfortable. It happened to me on Sunday and I nearly shanked my final approach OB!

    #72 - no I'm not Don247, but I'm intrigued!

  • Comment number 75.

    #60 - John Hawksworth? This presumably refers to a previous blog and some banter between you and someone?

    Judging by his pro record, he must have been a bit of a choker I guess. Not a bad commentator though.

  • Comment number 76.

    I dont know what it is about English golfers...they have such amazing talent but none possess what it takes to win a major...well not since Sir Nick Faldo in 1996.

  • Comment number 77.

    "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their blog posts".

    As said by james matthew's dad, but he's kicking himself now :-)

  • Comment number 78.

    Lee Westwood is a choker, I have witnessed this myself. A few years back a mate and I followed Mr Westwood and Mr Els around Lochlomond at the Scottish Open.
    If memory serves they were on the 10th tee and had to wait for the game in front to move on before they could drive off, at this point LW took an apple out of the bag and began to chomp.
    Well obviously some when down the wrong way because he started to cough and splutter, which resulted in Ernie promptly sklapping him rather hard on the back. So I rest my case.

    But in all seriousness I just happen to think LW has been rather unlucky in the majors and given a bounce here or a lip out there then the results could have been different.

    @53 simmotee123 wrote. If you are looking for a rolemodel on the golfcourse youd be hard pushed to find 1 better than tiger.

    Yeah if you want the younger players to grow up spitting everywhere and lobbing clubs around or effing and blinding when a shot goes awry then yes a finer role model there is not.

    A better role model would be EE laid back and serene whatever the course throws at him, or perhaps LD for the same qualities.

  • Comment number 79.

    If james mathew was to be judged by the content of his blog entries, he'd be locked up in prison and the key thrown away.

  • Comment number 80.

    #daveyboy
    "I just happen to think LW has been rather unlucky in the majors and given a bounce here or a lip out there then the results could have been different."

    The man has played over 60 majors. How can he be "unlucky" in every major and everytime he gets in the lead in a major he crumbles. It has nothing to do with luck.
    Same as with Monty...he had many a chance but missed crucial putts at pivitol times. Lee and Luke are the same. They are the new Montys.

  • Comment number 81.

    Westwood and Donald get a rough ride on here. I like how somebody called him Bottlewood. To be fair he doesnt seem to have the strongest mental side of the game.
    To touch on big perfomances to come next year watch out for a serious return for Harrington. I'm backing him for the Masters next year

  • Comment number 82.

    PeterTheHoss....you wont find much love for those two on here!
    Once again i have to defend my sex! its not always a boys club on here you know!

  • Comment number 83.

    James Mathew
    And the point I was making is that on another day that crucial putt would have been holed, he's just been unlucky that those other days have not vbeen in the majors.
    And luck does play apart in it, whenever you hit a ball from the tee or fairway, or like mine usually from the rough, then it is in the lap of the gods as to what happens to that ball from the second it leaves the club face. No matter how a good a player you are it still boils down to the luck of the bounce.
    But LW is his own worst enemy as he does tend to let bad shots, bounces etc affect him mentally on occassion, and that does not mean he bottles it.

    My tip for number 1 next year, Christy O'Connor Jr
    Now there is a blast from the past, I used to love watching him strolling around the course in his laid back jovial way, laughing and joking.
    Who are your favourite blasts from the past?

  • Comment number 84.

    @PeterTheHoss there is more chance of Lee Westwood and Luke Donald collecting two majors apiece next year than Harrington winning one! Talk about bottlers these 3 guys top the pile!

    @Daveyboy so your saying that Tiger isnt a role model for kids? So why do we have Tigerwoods06,07,08,09,10,11,12 out in the computering world?? Do you think its because he is probably the biggest role model in golf?? Maybe you should suggest making a LukeDonald 13! It would be the most boring golf game in the world!

  • Comment number 85.

    micky
    Does the game have a spitting and club throwing mode, I haven't found it yet?

    Great computer games I give you, but not the real Tiger playing is it.
    Don't get me wrong Tiger was a great player, probably the greatest, after JN, but I would not want my kids behaving like him on a golf course.

  • Comment number 86.

    @83 daveyboy...my favourite blast from the past is Doug ' The Peacock of the Fairways ' Saunders. He was ahead of his time. Apparantly he also had a famous 8 iron called 'Niblick' that he could make talk to him!

  • Comment number 87.

    davydave....ya cant be unlucky 62 times, i agree tho luck does play a part but luck averages itself out over the years and those putts would go in in other tournaments for LW because there would be less pressure on him and he wouldnt yank it. But in majors he yanks it.

    Still an amazing golfer all the same.

  • Comment number 88.

    @Daveyboy AND @Jamesmatthew and @Jimmy your comments sicken me and to put down a man as good as Woods is redicoulous! Its people like you who put a "black" cloud over our great sport, what does it matter what happens in our personal lifes??

    Anyway i think Vijaay will return to form next year along with woods, i also expect YE and Choi to be pushing for prizes along with Ian Poulter. Poulter as been unlucky in recent years but next year we will see him become Englands new number one hero!!

    @Daveyboy AND @Jamesmatthew and @Jimmy "And so this is Xmas for black and for white, for yellow and red, let's stop all the fight"

  • Comment number 89.

    @83 Remember Christy O' Connor Jr's 2-iron at the Ryder Cup when he beat Couples? Hawksworth's (alleged) 3-iron pales into insignificance in comparison.

    Couldn't beat watching Seve in his pomp, or at the Ryder Cup. Remember him and Ollie were 3 down at the turn to Azinger at Kiawah when Seve pulled them up for changing their ball compression? Took the captains to step in to resolve it and the Spaniards turned the match around.

  • Comment number 90.

    I always used to love Van Phillips. His playoff win against John Bickerton in the 1999 Portugeese open inspired me to go out and buy a set of Zevo Golf Irons

  • Comment number 91.

    TheSorcerer, the 'racism' blog is the other one mate, nobody's making an issue of it except you. Accept that Tiger isn't universally popular and it's nothing to do with the colour of his skin, as others have pointed out.

    Vijay's finished on the main tour, but will be a serious force on the Champions Tour in a couple of years time.

  • Comment number 92.

    TheSorcerer

    All I said was Tiger wasnt a great role model...and for obvious reasons.
    When you are a public figure like him off course your personal life is important. People will always respect Tiger as a golfer no matter what he does but very few respect him as a person.

    I dont see any racism with what I said. I think your too sensitive and its people like you that perpetuate racism by jumping down peoples throat and accusing them of racism at anything they say that involves a person of "race".

    Get off your high horse and learn that not all critism of a black person is racist...some of them are totally warrented...as is critism of some white people.

  • Comment number 93.

    This nitpicking at tigers on-course antics is ridiculous!!! he is hardly to be remembered as being the "bad boy" of golf is he?? (and this is purely as a golfer, nothing to do with his private life!!) NO, He will be remembered for being the golfing legend that he is today and being the dominant force in the game that hasn't been emulated since Nicklaus. Its fair to say that the majority would look rather look up to a legend with countless victories and an amazing major haul, even if he does show his competitive side on the course.

  • Comment number 94.

    BiloMcT

    Blimey mate you're going back a bit there, a little before my time I'm afraid.

    I used to have an old Mashie Niblick, my Grand father gave me, first club I ever had. It was a great little wedge with a wooden shaft, hit the ground too far behind the ball and it snapped. I was heart broken.
    I didn't really get into golf until my mid twenties, so really its the likes of Seve, Trevino, O'Connor Jr, Ronan Rafferty, Sam Torrance etc that shaped my appreciation of the game.

    @91 well said powerhitter

    @88 TheSorcerer - please point out where I have said anything remotely racist against Tiger, I have merely pointed out his behaviour on the course. If that makes me a racist then so be it I am guilty as charged.

  • Comment number 95.

    #83, good point. Luck will come into it. Yes it does balance out of 72 holes but you will get good and bad breaks, and that can often separate the winner from the runner up. again, remember Sergio in the PGA that year Harrington won - his approach hit the pin and instead of stoping clase or even going in, it bounced 39 ft away.

    99% of golfers refuse to blame luck though - you seldom hear any of them mentioning it, because they accept that it's part of the game. I think that's partly down to the recent advent of psychologists, who teach golfers to take responsibility for the things that they can control.

    Another more recent example was this years Open. At a crucial stage of the final round (forget which hole but it was around the turn i think), Clarke hit a low chasing shot which scuttled through a bunker, then he went on to par or even birdie the hole. That ball could have stayed in the trap (and maybe deserved to) but it didn't and he won. McIlroy hit one this year (might have been in the PGA) which hit the wall just over the water, bounced a mile in the air and landed on the green. Had that been the 72nd hole of a major with him one stroke ahead, it would have been the luckiest shot ever. But it was relatively inconsequential so has been forgotten.

  • Comment number 96.

    @92 "I dont see any racism with what I said. I think your too sensitive and its people like you that perpetuate racism by jumping down peoples throat and accusing them of racism at anything they say that involves a person of "race".

    Get off your high horse and learn that not all critism of a black person is racist...some of them are totally warrented...as is critism of some white people."

    well said JM!!! even if i do find some of your entries a little crazy, i think your bang on here as i have seen no mention of racism in this entire blog.

  • Comment number 97.

    so we've already established that Bilomct is German, female, now it appears that she is an elder stateswoman and that she had a bit of a thing for Doug Sanders trousers (or perhaps the contents thereof).

    Powerehitter- dangerous tactics there giving bilo an opportunity to mention "that" 3 iron again.

    My favourite blast from the past- Eamonn Darcy playing on a breezy links- a joy to watch this man strike a ball.

  • Comment number 98.

    For the definitive view on Tiger and race, check this out:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrFa51JU3sM

  • Comment number 99.

    outrageous accusation about Harrington there by mickysausage. not even going to give that the time of day!
    Tiger getting his share of knockers on here too, i take it these people havent noticed where the Open and USPGA are being held next year, made for Tiger to clean up

  • Comment number 100.

    Guys its the word "Black" that i dont agree with, if i was talking to you i would speak to you using your name. We are born "black" you are born "white" but we dont call you "whiteies". Rant over aslong as we are all friends.

    What do people think about that guy Jim Furyk he's got a great swing, i think he will win a major next year, he a nice boy too, i think the middleaged guys will rip it up next year

 

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