Hot this week? Molinari and Westwood. Who's not? Tiger, Poulter, PGA Tour

Hot this week? Molinari and Westwood. Who’s not? Tiger, Poulter, PGA Tour

In his first event as the No. 1 player in the world, Lee Westwood finished in second place behind Francesco Molinari.
Scott Halleran/Getty Images


1. 125. It’s the only number that matters at this week’s season-ending Disney, one of golf’s great stress-fests.

2. Victoria CC. This classic Sand Belt beauty track will get plenty of airtime as Tiger Woods returns to the Australian Masters. Today’s topic: Melbourne is the world’s best golf city. Discuss!

3. Francesco Molinari. Wow, this guy just doesn’t let up. It was already a breakthrough year for Molinari (and his brother, too) but a wire-to-wire win in Shanghai cemented his world-class status.

4. Lee Westwood. Yes, it’s another missed opportunity for the Nearly Man, but beating everyone but one guy by nine strokes is a pretty nice start to the Westwood Era. And, as this video attests, Westy will likely go-down as the most fun-loving Number One ever.

5. Jiyai Shin. With all the rotating atop the LPGA’s World Ranking, it was nice for Shin to remind everyone that she remains the player to beat.


1. The PGA Tour. Westwood and McIlroy have declined membership for 2011, (Kaymer is apparently still undecided), and Fred Couples announced he will no longer be making cameos on the junior circuit. At least the Tour isn’t negotiating a new TV contract amidst Tiger’s travails. Oh, wait, nevermind …

2. Ray Romano. We’ve already been subjected to his tedious cameos at the Crosby Clambake and that woeful Golf Channel show, but now Romano says that his character on the show “Men of a Certain Age” will be trying out for the Senior tour. Why, golf gods, why?

3. Ian Poulter. The biggest buzz this guy has created all season was playing an all-white driver in Shanghai.

4. John Cook. Did you know he just won the Schwab Cup? Me neither.

5. Tiger. His first winless year on Tour and then he grabs only one measly skin in what was supposed to be a triumphant return to his mother’s homeland. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: 2011 will be a defining year for Woods. Either he’ll go back to who he was or we can safely say the era of Tiger’s dominance is over.