As the LPGA Tour finished its season with the CME Group Titleholder Tournament this week-nd at the Twins Eagles Club in Naples, FL with 27 other top Americans making the cut for the final rounds, it seems that American Golf has surpassed American Tennis in numbers among the professional ranks. Each tour except the ATP for men's tennis has an American in the top three of world rankings. Golf not only has top players but several players in the top 100 unlike tennis.
Top American Stacy Lewis, at 27 is the LPGA's #2 ranked player and "Player of the Year," and finished the tournament tied for 29th followed by seven other American women ranked in the top fifty in the world. Although, Na Yeon Choi took the title with second going to So Yeon Ryu, also "Rookie of the Year," Brittany Lincicome another American finished third.
There are sixteen female golfers in the top 100 of the world rankings. On the men's side the PGA Tour is led by Tiger Woods at #2 followed by twenty more players in the top fifty, and eleven more in the top 100.
Europe won the 2012 Ryder Cup but not without pulling out all the stops with great team play and spirit. Starting Sunday, the US led the European team by 10-6. Down by two more at one point on Sat., the Europeans made an incredible come back winning four key initial matches and four final matches on holes 17 and 18 on Sunday. Team USA had to get 4 and 1/2 more points to win the Ryder Cup, and Team Europe only needed 4 points as holder of the Cup for the final 12 singles matches. It was a see-saw match with Team USA again on the losing end as Europe retained the Ryder Cup.
Rory McIlroy arrived 10 minutes before his tee time, but still managed to win his point. Nicolas Colsarts four putted on #10 giving Dustin Johnson 1 Up. D. Johnson got the first Sunday points for the USA to make it 11-10. Then Justin Rose made a long birdie putt to go all square with Phil Mickelson, then followed with a birdie on #18 as Mickelson's approach rolled off the green for 11 all.
Four of the last five Ryder Cups have gone to the Europeans with a 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 win in Wales two years ago, and it's time for the Americans to up their game at Medinah Country Club in the Chicago, IL area this Sept. 28-30. The US team has experienced mostly losses, and its counterpart has had just the opposite. Captain Davis Love III and his four assistants including Michael Jordan can find better pairings, line-ups, and strategies to beat the European Team who brought the Ryder Cup Trophy with them this week. Mostly, though, it's time for the American men to step up collectively for pride and home and take back the 39th Ryder Cup in front of a spirited home crowd.
Brandt Snedeker with only 3 tour wins to his career, 1 this year at the Farmer's, came up big today by winning the PGA Tour Championship and FedEx Cup by 3 shots with a 68 and aggregate of 270. Going in with the 54-hole lead, 10th on the money leaderboard, and 5th in FedEx points, Snedeker held the lead all Sun, only being tied once by Ryan Moore. With the win and the FedEx bonus totaling $11.44 million, he added to his season of $3,549,739.
Snedeker during the week had decent rounds. On Fri., Tiger Woods was shaky carding a double bogey, 5 bogeys, and 3 birdies. Jim Furyk took the lead on Fri. with 9 birdies and 3 bogeys for a 64. Bubba Watson dropped like Furyk on Fri. after a double bogey.
On Sat., Woods recovered with a 67 mostly by scrambling with a crucial par save on 16, and a great bunker save on #9 leaving him a 4' birdie putt which he sank. Furyk was sailing along until on Sat. when he triple bogeyed #17 dropping him out of the top five.
The PGA Tour Championship starts Thurs., Sept. 20 through the week-end at East Lake in Atlanta, GA to decide who wins the FedEx Cup with total bonuses of $35 million, and $10 million dollars to the winner. Everyone gets a piece of the pie with payouts like, $3 million for second, $2 million for third, and all the way to the 30th player getting $175,000. FedEx Cup leader Rory McIlroy with 4 wins this season is followed by Tiger Woods with 3 wins for the year. Nick Watney is 3rd; Phil Mickelson is 4th; and Brian Snedecker is 5th. Even though each of the 30 players has a chance to win the FedEx Cup because points are reset for the Tour Championship, odds are that the winner will be from the top five. Can Milroy win three events in a row; Tiger capture that elusive major; or someone else sneak in for the win?