Martin Kaymer’s Rise to No. 1 Overdue
Finally. Martin Kaymer garnered enough points and the rest of the top five lost enough points that what was plain to anyone with working eyes is now fact: Martin Kaymer is the number one player in the world, a place he should have taken as of last fall.
The reason he did not is because of the overbearing lag in a contrived world golf ranking system that badly needs an overhaul. It is so flawed, so out of step with the times that golf writers at one of the US top sports publications, Sports Illustrated, decided to take their own weekly poll to bridge the credibility gap between the supposed “official” World Golf Rankings and reality.
Tiger Woods, who many believe will go down in history as the world’s greatest player, held the number one spot for an entire year when he was either not playing golf or playing poorly. From the end of 2009, when Woods was clearly number one, all through the winter of discontent and disillusion in 2010 and through the rest of the 2010 season until the 31st of October, even though his best finish was 4th in a major championship, Woods was still number one.
Then Lee Westwood, who had one victory in the US and no victories on the European Tour in 2010, and who was sidelined with injury for several weeks, mysteriously became number one. Westwood finished second at the Masters and The Open Championship in 2009.
This discontent with Woods and then Westwood becoming number one is one of the reasons that the Official World Golf Rankings need a redo. A facelift. Intellectual liposuction. A new calculator. Something.
Martin Kaymer won the PGA Championship and three European Tour events in 2010, a European Tour event in 2011. He also won twice on the European Tour in 2009. The rankings, until Kaymer was promoted to number one, have to be based on the fuzziest math in history. Nobody with half a brain understands how this could be. When a system keeps someone who has not played and not played well at the top, then elevates someone who has played less well than others to the top, it’s time for a new system or new math.
This is nothing against Lee Westwood, who was once at the top of the game only to fall into the depths. The fact that he was able to climb back up and get himself into a discussion of being world number one is testament to his great work ethic, never mind his considerable skill as a professional golfer. Lee Westwood certainly deserves to be ranked among the top players in the world right now. This situation with the world rankings needs to be personalities aside.
Martin Kaymer is now the new World Number One taking over from Lee Westwood who had held the top spot for 17 weeks. Kaymer reached the final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play, losing 3&2 to Luke Donald, but 2nd place was enough to make him the 14th player to earn the number one ranking.
The other players who have had official World Number 1 status in the 24 year history of the Ranking are Bernhard Langer (3 weeks), Seve Ballesteros (61 weeks), Greg Norman (331 weeks), Nick Faldo (97 weeks), Ian Woosnam (50 weeks), Fred Couples (16 weeks), Nick Price (44 weeks), Tom Lehman (1 week), Ernie Els (9 weeks), David Duval (15 weeks), Vijay Singh (32 weeks) and Tiger Woods (623 weeks).Written by Kathy Bissell
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