October 29, 2010
Kaymer, currently ranked third in the world, needed a win or a second-place finish to take over the top spot from Tiger Woods, but his shaky start at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters means that Westwood will most likely be the one to replace Tiger up top.
How big of a deal is this? Well, for us golf fans, it's pretty huge. Having a European atop the rankings is something we haven't seen in ages, and it means that the golf world is really globalizing (not like you couldn't tell that from the recent Ryder Cup win, the Euros' fourth win in the last five matches).
But, it's also something that probably should have happened a while ago. Tiger has been in the top spot for five years, but his play the last 12 months has been anything but No. 1-worthy. He hasn't won on the PGA Tour since last September, and his reign at the top was dwindling quickly.
So, what does this say for our rankings when a guy like Lee Westwood, who has just one PGA Tour win in the last 12 years, is going to be the ranked atop the world in golf? It means that consistency matters over anything else, and this season, Lee has been great.
No matter, there is a good chance that going into 2011, the top-two ranked golfers in the world won't even be full-time players on the PGA Tour. Looks like it's time for those young Americans we've been hearing so much about to finally take a step up and start winning the big events.
If not, the European Tour might become the most talented group of golfers from top to bottom, if it isn't already.