We know it's always better to give than to receive, but European Ladies Tour pro Beth Allen took that to the extreme on Tuesday, donating a kidney to her brother, Dan. Golfweek's Beth Ann Baldry shines some light on the Allen's story, and the decision she describes as "a given."
Beth Allen: living donor. Such an extraordinary descriptor.
Allen, a relatively unknown American professional who plays in Europe, tries to downplay the gift as “a given.” Allen and her older brother, Dan, haven’t talked much about the kidney she’s scheduled to give him March 1.
“He doesn’t even know what it’s like to do what we take for granted,” said Beth, a graduate of Cal State-Northridge.
At age 26, Dan Allen went to see his physician for a bout of hay fever. His doctor came to the golf course where Dan worked to tell him that his kidneys were the size of a 13-year-old’s. In 1999, Dan received his first transplant.
From the looks of Allen's Twitter account, all went well yesterday, and she's resting and already on the road to recovery. This sort of donation is always touching and brave, but is particularly so from a professional athlete, who literally makes her living with her body. If you didn't know (and I didn't), March is national kidney month, so if you're feeling the spirit, check out the National Kidney Foundation's website. Ranking UnravelingWhen Luke Donald won the WGC-Accenture Match Play title on Sunday, it was his second win in the last five years–which made a lot of people wonder how the heck he managed to jump all the way to third in the Official World Golf Rankings. Thankfully, NBC's Ryan Ballengee has put together an explanation of Donald's sudden rise in the standings.
First, let’s remember that the OWGR is calculated over a rolling 2-year period. That means that points – and performance – only matter to the end of February 2009…
From a pure points perspective, Luke Donald won in 2010. He was among the leaders for points accumulated before their depreciation is accounted for by the OWGR formula. How’d he do it? Consistency – the thing that the ranking formula rewards most.
In 2010, Luke Donald had thirteen top ten finishes…By and large, Donald’s top tens were – especially top sixes – were in strong events: Northern Trust Open, TOUR Championship, Deutsche Bank, BMW PGA Championship and HSBC Champions. He may not be winning like Charlie Sheen, but he is doing well enough.
It's no secret that people have stopped taking the OWGR so seriously in the last year or so, as Tiger stubbornly held onto the top spot while his play deteriorated. For a more subjective (but also more timely) ranking system, check out our SI GOLF Rankings, where Donald still sits firmly behind a certain southpaw. Ich bin Not a Role ModelMartin Kaymer finally made it to the top of the mountain this week, becoming the official World No. 1 for the first time in his career. According to Supersport.com, Bernhard Langer (and the rest of Germany) think a lot more of the accomplishment than Kaymer does.
New world No 1 Martin Kaymer is 'just what German golf needs', according to Bernhard Langer, but the 26-year-old himself insists he is not golf's version of Boris Becker, Michael Schumacher or Franz Beckenbauer.
"From a golfing standpoint, he can do anything," Langer told pgatour.com. "I think it's wonderful. It's what German golf needs. He's a great role model. I hope he stays up there for many, many years."
But while Germany may need a golfing hero to rejuvenate interest in the sport here, Kaymer says he is nothing like tennis' Becker, Formula One's Schumacher or football-legend Beckenbauer.
"Those three dominated their sports for decades and inspired a whole country," said Kaymer when the Cologne Express asked if he could spark the same interest in his sport as the trio did in theirs. "I am only at the beginning of my career and have still have many years ahead of me in which I must prove that I belong amongst the best golfers.
"Such comparisons do not honestly sit well with me at all."
You have to respect Kaymer's level of modesty, and he seems absolutely genuine in not wanting to be elevated to "role model" status. But I can't help but be disappointed by his refusal to allow himself to become a quintessential German superstar. Kaymer has already had a great career and there should be plenty more to come–he belongs in the pantheon of German heroes: Becker, Schumacher, Hasselhoff, Kaymer…it's what's meant to be.