Sergio Garcia did not get his first major championship this season, but he picked two very good tournaments to win. The Players Championship and last weekend's HSBC Champions featured talented fields and offered bushels of cash and world ranking points.
The wins were key steps in Garcia overtaking Phil Mickelson and attaining the No. 2 ranking in the world. But with all due respect to Garcia and his accomplishments, it's hard to believe that Padraig Harrington does not occupy that position. In fact, Harrington is all the way down at No. 5.
Harrington has won three of the last six majors. He snatched two of those victories – the 2007 British and the 2008 PGA Championship – right out of Garcia's hands. In the absence of Tiger Woods, the Celtic Tiger has been the golfer who's roared the loudest.
This season Harrington won at Royal Birkdale and Oakland Hills, tied for third at Riviera, and tied for fourth in both New Orleans and Memphis. He also tied for fifth at the Masters, where Garcia failed to make the cut.
But Garcia has successfully compiled strong finishes in non-major events. In addition to winning the Players and the HSBC, he won the Castello Masters in Spain two weeks ago and was the runner-up at the Tour Championship, the Barclays, the PGA Championship and the European Open. He tied for fourth in Memphis and at the Volvo Masters, and he tied for fifth at the Deutsche Bank.
His performance is exactly what the computer that determines the world rankings is programmed to reward. The ranking system is the same for everyone, but consider this: On April 12, 2009, with everything on the line, who do you think would be more likely to come through and win a green jacket in Augusta?
Right, and he's really the world's second-best player. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)