Tour and News

Hot this week? Tour Championship, talking heads. Not hot? Pavin, McIlroy and fans

Photo: Darren Carroll/SI

<br />The Mexican native during the Corona Championship in April of 2009.

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1. The Tour Championship. For a change it offers real intrigue and a host of storylines. And the greens at East Lake aren't chewed-up, either. Should be a stellar conclusion to the most intriguing FedEx Cup yet.

2. Lee Westwood. He can walk! He can swing a driver! There hasn't been this much attention paid to a gimp since Willis Reed.

3. Talking heads. Given last week's quiet tourney schedule Golf Channel made the bold decision to do a mostly announcer-less Nationwide telecast. It was an interesting experiment but — shudder! — I actually missed the announcers.

4. Laura Davies. The big-bopping, hard-living Englishwoman is one of golf's great characters. And players. Over the weekend, in Spain, Davies won for the 76th time in her illustrious career. Maybe someday she'll even be in the LPGA Hall of Fame.

5. Sick days. The Masters just announced that its weekday coverage will begin an hour earlier in '11, sure to exacerbate the phenomenon of dudes coming down with the flu on certain Thursdays and Fridays in early April.

NOT 1. Player of the Year. Let's say Bo Van Pelt wins the Tour Championship and Matt Kuchar ekes out a win in the FedEx Cup points race. Can you be POY with only one (non-major) victory? Kuchar can. And that's what a weird year it's been on Tour.

2. LPGA players. The tour announced that KIA has re-upped for two more years and that the tourney will be played in the LA area, which is all great news. But that means trading in Torrey Pines or La Costa for Industry Hills Golf Club, which is one of the most-loathed complexes in championship golf. The LPGA obviously needs tourneys in big domestic markets, but it's a shame when the tradeoff is downgrading the quality of the golf course.

3. Corey Pavin. Even The Onion is making fun of him ... and the Ryder Cup is still a week and a half away.

4. Rory McIlroy. The brash youngster recently opined, "If somebody asks me whether I'd rather sink the winning putt in the Ryder Cup or win a major, it's the major every day." OK, fair enough. But then there's this: " World (Golf) Championship or Ryder Cup? Win a world championship." For the love of Pete! Make a huge putt to win the Ryder Cup and you're a hero for life. (Ask Justin Leonard.) Win the Bridgestone and you're the toast of Toledo for a day or two. Kids today.

5. Golf fans. Last week's lack of tourneys was a depressing preview of the lonely months to come. I've come to believe that having an off-season is overrated.

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