Early in the season, I wrote an article entitled Profiles of Donald, Westwood and McIlroy--Top Non-American Golfers: A Fan's Look analyzing the performances of the world's current top ranked players. Here is a check in with the golfers to see how their season has gone up until now.
Luke Donald is the current top ranked player in the world. So far this season, the golfer has only played one event in Abu Dhabi. In his opening round, he was paired with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. Donald's performance was not of the caliber expected of top player. In the tournament, he averaged over 2 strokes than his usual 69 per round. Also, somewhat surprising was his driving accuracy and greens in regulation percentage. Keep in mind, he has only played one event and may still be coming down off his brilliant performance of one year ago when he won both money tours. Donald is set to play his first event as a part of the PGA this upcoming Thursday. Look for the golfer to improve if he is to have another good year.
Lee Westwood is the current second ranked player and has competed three tournaments this season. Last week in Abu Dhabi, Westwood made a charge in the second and third rounds, putting himself in contention during the final round of play. Unfortunately, he could not avoid mistakes and finished in a tie for second place. Westwood has improved in both stroke average and driving distance. If the player continues to compete at the levels he has shown this year so far, he will undoubtedly be a factor and should be watched closely. Lee will be attempting his first major victory again this season. A betting man would be wise to choose him in one of the four big tournaments this year.
Rory McIlroy is the third ranked player in the world and the only of the bunch to have a major win under his belt. The 22 year old from Northern Ireland is extremely well seasoned for being such a young man, having turned professional at only 16. Rory's aggressive style of play makes for very exciting rounds of golf. Often times, he makes more birdies and bogeys on the score card than pars due to his attacking tendencies. Having played in two tournaments already this season, McIlroy has managed to shoot low, but his driving accuracy has suffered. I would advise the player to strive for more consistency rather than hitting the ball as far as he can on every tee. His errant tee shots lead to scrabbling to make par and his overall score suffers. That being said, what he has done so far has seemed to work for him. The golfer will be a true contender for many years to come and I await watching his performances with excitement.
I am an avid golf fan and have been playing for 6 years. I enjoy watching PGA Tour events when professional football is not on television.
- Rory McIlroy