Before withdrawing with a supposed wrist injury, Michelle Wie was playing her worst round as a professional.
Scott Halleran/Getty Images
By Alan Shipnuck
Tuesday, January 20, 2009

1. K.J. Choi, who is known on Tour as Tank, stole a thrilling victory at the Memorial with one of the season's most macho rounds, a closing 65 chock full of brilliant shots and clutch up-and-downs. Amazingly, he's only the third Korean to win a tournament this year, if you count the LPGA.

2. Nicole Castrale To beat the world No. 1 in a playoff for your first victory is pretty sweet, although Meaghan Francella also pulled it off in March when she dusted Annika Sorenstam in Mexico. Kids today.

3. Richard Sterne Just when we were ready to pronounce Charl Schwartzel the future of South African Golf, the 25-year-old Sterne shot a back-nine 29 on Sunday to win the Wales Open and secure a place in the Open Championship. Maybe for the next Ryder Cup, Europe could take on a team of Aussies and South Africans. Now that's something I might get excited about.

4. Loren Roberts With a smooth closing 65, Boss o' Moss earned his first Senior win of the year. Now that's something I have trouble getting excited about.

5. Se Ri Pak Assuming she can make it through two rounds at this week's LPGA Championship, Pak will officially qualify for the Hall of Fame. Not just a standout player, she is a truly revolutionary figure who launched the LPGA's Korean juggernaut, a sea change in women's golf that has begun to affect all of Asia. Pak belongs in a special wing along with Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods and Nancy Lopez as one of the game's most important popularizing personalities.

1. Michelle Wie She's turned into the Lindsay Lohan of golf: famous for being famous but always making headlines for the wrong reasons. Hopefully the only rehab Wie will have to endure is on her wrist, though I'm not sure what the treatment is for a phantom injury.

2. Lorena Ochoa You gotta respect that she's always there, but after another gaffe-filled Sunday, including driving into a hazard in sudden death, the supposed world No. 1 is now only 1-for-4 in converting 54-hole leads in '07, and she's a tragic 0-4 in playoffs in her career. Ochoa won't have truly supplanted Annika until she learns how to win more efficiently.

3. Adam Scott It's swell that Maria Sharapova is flirting with him electronically, but I'd be more impressed if he'd start closing the deal on the course, not off.

4. Golf writers With Jean van de Velde failing badly in his first attempt to qualify for an encore at Carnoustie, it looks increasingly like we will collectively been denied one of the wackiest, most refreshing personalities in the sport. At least...

5. Bradley Dredge With a chance to become the first Welshman to win his national championship, Dredge made a mess of the 72nd and missed a playoff by a shot. "I really feel this is a kick in the nuts," he said afterward, so we can only imagine how he feels about making the Not List.

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