Safe to say winter has arrived. That groundhog better have good news next month.
New year, new concept for your Friday newsletter. Today marks the first installment of “Will’s Official Weekly Golf Ranking,” WOWgr for short. Every Friday, [*breaks fourth wall*] I, Will Knights, will rank (very accurately) the best golfers in the world at that particular moment.
The first WOWgr will consist of 10 players, but that number may change in future editions. It may be five; it may be 20. Everything depends on what happens that week.
Some other guidelines:
… is extremely subjective, but unimpeachably correct. (In other words, don’t take it too seriously.)
… includes golfers of all kinds, from tour pros to amateurs. The occasional non-human may even make the cut.
… takes many factors into consideration. Quality of play is not the only criterion.
… is extremely volatile. One week’s No. 1 could be the next week’s not-mentioned.
… welcomes feedback. If you see something, say something: @willknightsTFE on Twitter.
WOWgr, Vol. 2022.1
No.1 – Viktor Hovland – The death-metal-loving Norwegian won his final two starts of 2021, both in tropical locales. Yesterday, he opened with a 69 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, in spite of an unnamed airline losing his bag and breaking his driver beforehand. Island Vik + #overcomingadversity = No. 1.
No. 2 – Jin Young Ko – Nelly holds the top spot in the Rolex Rankings, but JYK had the better finish to 2021, and WOWgr has a short memory. Ko has done worse than T-6 only once in her past eight starts. (It was a T-9.)
No. 3 – Anyone who didn’t post about new drivers this week. Enough said. [Ed. note: Pain.]
No. 4 – Nelly Korda – Toward the end of 2021, Korda watched the LPGA Tour Player of the Year title slip out of her hands and into Jin Young Ko’s. Still, no one would be surprised if the 23-year-old American won five times this season.
No. 5 – Jon Rahm – Until someone else stacks high finishes as consistently as Rahm does, we’ll consider him the best player on the PGA Tour. That doesn’t mean he’s a WOWgr No. 1, but he’ll get there.
No. 6 – Co11in Morikawa – The only reason the best iron player in the world is this low is that he failed to crack the top 10 in the 2021 Player Impact Program. On the bright side, his Twitter bio now says “Co11in” as a nod to his 11th-place finish. There’s always 2022.
No. 7 – Rose Zhang – It’s been a while since the No. 1 amateur in the world has competed, but let’s not forget her incredible hot streak in the fall. She dominated her first three starts as a Stanford freshman, won the Spirit International, and went 4-0-1 for the United States at the Curtis Cup.
No. 8 – This Australian guy – It’s amazing how calm this man was throughout his encounter with a giant “robber crab.” If that happens to me, the bag belongs to the crab. No more golf.
No. 9 – Cathryn Brown – In 2020, University of Kentucky golfer Cullan Brown tragically passed away at the age of 20, just one year after being diagnosed with bone cancer. This week, his sister Cathryn verbally committed to play for UK and will undoubtedly make her older brother proud.
No. 10 – Min Woo Lee – Admittedly, I’ve bought a lot of stock in MWL, so I may not be unbiased. But I really think 2022 will be his year! He rattled off three top 10s and a T-16 to end the European Tour season and earned an invite to this spring’s Masters. Plus, he has an engaging personality and is easy to root for. Join me on Min Woo Island! It has a ton of potential!
The Latest from The Fried Egg
Golf, the Environment, and… Beekeeping? – The future of golf depends on developing sustainability practices. Parker Anderson and Greener Golf hope to lead the charge.
Cameron Smith (65), Daniel Berger (66), Jon Rahm (66), and Patrick Cantlay (66) lead the Sentry Tournament of Champions after one round.
Kyle Rowland of the Toledo Blade reports that Inverness will host the 2027 U.S. Women’s Open.
Joel Dahmen, a participant in the Sentry Tournament of Champions, received some friendly advice from his shuttle driver on how best to navigate the course… as a fan. Dahmen fired a first-round 68.
ESPN+ is still working out the kinks in its golf coverage. At least in the math department.
Patrick Cantlay’s cringeworthy nickname has taken on new life thanks to a very high-effort piece of PGA Tour social media content.
Has Bryson DeChambeau ditched the dumb driving cap? Maybe he just forgot to bring one to Hawaii. Either way, we’re counting it as a win.