Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Who's The Best American Golfer Now?

   The question has been asked in various corners recently and it's a fair one:

   Who is the best American golfer right now?

   And, no, it's not him or him, as in Tiger or Phil.

   That says something about the current state of both of their golf games, neither of which qualifies as sharp. Tiger's game is someplace between lost and found and Mickelson's game is missing its familiar crackle. It's just the first of March, which means the azaleas haven't begun blooming in Augusta so there's still time for them to be ready when the pollen really pops.

  Hold your breath at your own risk.

  So who's the current Yankee Doodle Dandy?

   The world rankings, top-heavy with Europeans at the moment led by the undeniably No. 1 Martin Kaymer, say the top American is No. 5 Woods with Phil at No. 6. We've already excused them from this discussion so we're still looking.

   Steve Stricker comes to mind. What doesn't come to mind with Stricker is a big performance recently. He finished tied for fourth in the season-opening Tournament of Champions but, given the field size, that was close to the middle of the pack. He's among the best but not the best.

   Jim Furyk's game is currently in a state of disobedience so he's removed from the discussion.

   That brings it down to Matt Kuchar, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson.

   So far, Johnson's season has been underwhelming. Maybe he's bothered by the great expectations heaped on his broad shoulders this year (I'm among those who expect a big year from him) or maybe he's just not getting much to happen now. He's moved away from Myrtle Beach to south Florida and maybe it's messing with his mojo.

   Kuchar just keeps rocking along, having turned into a big-time player over the past year or so. He seems intent on staying around for a while and that's a good thing. Fowler is just arriving but still needs to win a tournament though I think he's going to win a whole lot of them.

   Right now, though, I take Bubba as the best American player. He's certainly the most dramatic with all creativity and power. Maybe Bubba gets a little too creative at times but at least he plays golf with flair and he doesn't seem afraid of failure. Seeing him on a telecast is like running across 'The Godfather' on cable. You can't help but stop and watch at least some of it.



Anonymous said...

Bubba is great, so is Rickie Fowler