Hot? The Buick Invitational. Not? The Golf Press.

Wednesday January 23rd, 2008
Jennifer Rosales celebrates the Philippines victory at the Women's World Cup of Golf.
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Hot

1. Filipinas. Dorothy Delasin and Jennifer Rosales won the Women's World Cup with a stellar final round in South Africa. I'm especially happy to see Rosales back in the spotlight. You gotta love any woman who makes that many birdies while dressed like a tuner car.

2. D.J. Trahan. Yet another young American winner. And I'm still having trouble figuring out which one is Nick Watney and which one is Hunter Mahan....

3. The Buick Invitational. It used to be a nice little event tucked into the West Coast Swing. Now it's the unofficial start of the season, with a blockbuster field and a U.S. Open venue. Mix in out-of-control paragliders, and it's must-see TV.

4. Middling Asian golfers. Liang Wen-Chong (China), Prayad Marksaeng (Thailand) and Jeev Milkha Singh (India) just received special exemptions to the Masters, "another component in our objective of growing the game of golf worldwide utilizing the Masters brand," according to Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne. Sheesh, I remember when you got invited to Augusta simply because you were a really good golfer.

5. Arnold Palmer. When Woods wins the Buick this week, he will have 62 career victories, matching the career total of the King. The number serves as a measure of Tiger's greatness and a chance to marvel anew at Palmer, still relevant (and virile) at 78.

Not

1. Justin Leonard. In the big picture, his second place finish at the Hope continues the career renaissance that began last fall, but it was painful to watch him cough up a four-stroke lead. Especially to Hunter Trahan, or whatever that guy's name is.

2. Phil's lungs. Mickelson appears to be on the mend, but he's been having respiratory problems that include shortness of breath, and for a while this week it looked as if he'd miss his hometown event. The great unknown is the cause — was it the California wildfires, pollution in Singapore or the fact that he took the Packers and the Chargers?

3. John Daly. Another week, another W/D for J.D., but the nuttier news is that he's threatening to sue the Honda Classic due to a freak injury suffered during last year's tournament. Personal accountability has never been Daly's strong suit.

4. Jim Thorpe. In decrying GolfWeek's inexcusable noose cover, Thorpe said of the magazine's ousted editor, "Let him get barbecued." Not racist, but definitely in poor taste.

5. The golf media. It's been a brutal few weeks for all of us. I can't wait for the controversy to dissipate so I can go back to enjoying the free lunches and complimentary logoed polo shirts with a clear conscience.

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