Monday, November 3, 2014

Inbee Holds Of Stacy In In A Battle Of The Best

- After jumping out to a monster lead, Inbee Park held on to win the Fubon LPGA Championship the same week she took over the top spot in the Rolex Rankings. Heading into Sunday, I was wondering if Inbee was going to break the LPGA scoring record, but the conditions became more difficult and was not nearly as comfortable as she was the rest of the week. Still, Inbee showed that she can close the door when she needs to, and now she has her third victory on the season and has suddenly made the Player of the Year race a lot more interesting.

- The golf writers wanted a rivalry, and now we have one. When Stacy Lewis got within one of Inbee on Sunday, a part of me thought Lewis was going to leap past Inbee and take this tournament from her. This was incredibly entertaining to watch, and the LPGA is better when these two are competing against each other on a week to week basis. Is this the greatest LPGA rivalry in recent memory? It's certainly the best we've seen since Annika Sorenstam and Se Ri Pak of the late 90's and early 2000's.

- It wasn't just the top two in the Rolex Rankings that performed well in Taiwan. Lydia Ko had the round of the day Sunday, shooting a 66 in the worst conditions of the week to vault her up the leaderboard and finish third. That means the top three players in the Rolex Rankings finishes 1-2-3 on the leaderboard. I can not remember another time when the top three players in the Rolex Rankings finished on the leaderboard in the same order they were placed in the Rankings.

- There is something about Malaysia that agrees with Ryan Moore. After struggling down the stretch last year and missing the cut in his first event this season, Moore returned to Malaysia and put on an absolute clinic, defending the title by three shots after hitting some absolutely beautiful shots. Moore has always been the kind of player that can pull out victories the moment you forget about him, but next time the Tour returns to Malaysia, I'm sure he will be on everyone's short list of contenders.

- I hope Kevin Na remains healthy, because if he does, he will start winning a bunch of tournaments. He has the talent to be one of the best players on Tour, but his physical issues have held him back in recent years.

- Davis Love III said recently that he was rededicating himself to playing golf in an effort to get back into the field at the Masters and the Players. Love is 50 years old and two years removed from major neck surgery, but he has no interest in limping around the Champions Tour for a few years. He wants to win on the PGA Tour again, and you can see how this new dedication has lead to improvements in his game. After making the cut at the McGladrey Classic, he flew around to world to Malaysia and notched a top 10. Love will be a story to watch all season.

- After finishing T5 in Malaysia, Sang-Moon Bae has retaken the number one spot in the FedEx Cup. Is he this year's Jimmy Walker? He is certainly better than he was last season, but we will need to see how he performs in China and in Hawaii in January to really know what his season projections should be.

- Three Asian tour players finished in the top 10, granting them a spot in a PGA Tour event (I believe they are pushing it back to the Mayakoba due to travel, but I am not sure.) Congratulations to Cameron Smith, Prom Meesawat, and Angelo Que for making the most out of their invitation into this event. Smith was by far the most consistent and he finished bogey free on Sunday in his first PGA Tour event.

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