1. Suzann Pettersen. With apologies to Zach Johnson, she is definitely the breakthrough player of the year. Can’t wait to watch her and Lorena Ochoa duke it out for the next decade.
2. Jim Thorpe. He rates a spot on the List merely for possessing my favorite nickname in golf: Mofo, the shorter, printable version of his favorite word. Five birdies on the final six holes to win the Charles Schwab Cup Championship were pretty macho, too.
3. Daniel Chopra. With a clutch finish to score his first Tour victory, Chopra affirms his standing as the world’s beset half-Indian, half-Swedish golfer.
4. Richard Nixon. Until now he was the oddest American to visit China. Now comes word that Boo Weekley has been chosen to represent the U.S. at next month’s World Cup in China. If the Scots couldn’t make sense of Boo, what hope do the Chinese have?
5. The Casio World Open. Michelle Wie has announced that she will not play there next month. The ’08 Sony Open should be so lucky.
1. Kevin Stadler. With one week left in this endless golf season, he was bumped from 125th on the money list to 127th. It’s apt that the season finale has “Miracle” in the name, because Stadler and a handful of other scrubs are going to need one to keep their cards.
2. The Hole-in-one. A 14-year-old kid in Florida claims to have made three aces in one round, just the latest whopper involving what used to be a sacred part of the game. Next thing you know we’ll find out the kid was using HGH.
3. Good taste. The PGA of America commissioned Leroy Neiman to do paintings of the current Ryder Cup captains. What, was Robert Kincaid considered too edgy?
4. John Daly. After a sporty third-round 79 at the Ginn sur Mer Classic, he withdrew for unspecified reasons, his sixth — sixth! — W/D of the year. He should get suspended a month for each bogus W/D.
5. Andrew Coltart. The one-time Ryder Cupper (and Lee Westwood’s brother-in-law) is headed to Q School in Europe for the first time after 14 solid years on tour. That ought to make the holidays awkward, considering Westwood has won twice this year and is 10th on tour with nearly £1.5 million.