Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Player of the Year Comparison: PGA vs. LPGA

Brent Kelley adds some context to Doug Ferguson's story that Tiger Woods has clinched the PGA Player of the Year Award, noting that this will likely clinch his winning the PGA Tour's Jack Nicklaus Award for POY, which is voted on by the players rather than determined by a point system (which takes into account, among other things, wins, winnings, and scoring average). Ho-hum, right? It's only like the 10th time Tiger has done this.

Contrast this situation to the LPGA's fall pennant races for POY, money list leader, and scoring average leader, on which Alan Shipnuck kindly answered my question over at the Press Tent blog. I find his "blame TV/blame the fans" approach to explaining the lack of U.S. media attention a trifle disingenuous, or perhaps more accurately, too nice to his peers.

But this disappointment pales beside the mystifying news that the now-8th-ranked player in the world of women's professional golf (and #6 according to Golfweek's system) will not be playing in Korea next week, as I had assumed yesterday (thanks for the tip, IceCat). I can't account for the fact that with Mika Miyazato and Momoko Ueda breaking the unofficial Korean embargo on Japanese players in the joint KLPGA/LPGA fall event, Ai Miyazato will be giving her top competitors for the LPGA's top honors a 1-tournament head start in the LPGA's home stretch.

Why?!!! Is it an injury? A typo? What's going on? If the surrealist stylings of google's Japanese translation system can be trusted, Ai-sama left for the United States on October 19th--and may not even play the Mizuno Classic! If this is right, it makes her last bizarre scheduling decision--to skip the LPGA Championship for the Suntory Ladies Open--look like a stroke of genius. I'm crushed, devastated, perplexed.... More on this after I've made a few inquiries.

[Update 1 (4:46 am): After reading Ai-sama's post and comments, the Full Metal Archivist has more details. Ai-sama is indeed taking a 2-week vacation in the United States, but plans to return to Japan in time for the Mizuno Classic. Reading between the lines, we've decided that she's either exhausted/burned out, has a boyfriend back in the States, or has a health issue that's more serious than she's been letting on. I'm leaning toward the selfish boyfriend theory, myself.]


Anonymous said...

Good job by Brent pointing out yet another ridiculous article by Dougie Ferguson. Tiger Woods can't possibly have the PoY award "mathematically" tied up when it is based on a vote that hasn't been taken yet. He can't confirm anything - but that never stops ol' Dougie, does it. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

So - Ai spends most of the season here in her home away from home - the US of A, goes home to Japan for a quick visit, then needs a vacation, so she returns to where she works most during the year in order to rest up from...being home ?

Is it any wonder we men walk around with confused looks on our faces after dealing with women ? :-)

The Constructivist said...

There are 2 PGA POY awards, CG! One by PGA of America and one by PGA Tour!

Anonymous said...

But you have to be a member of the organization. I didn't know that Tiger was a member of the PGA of America.

The Constructivist said...

I guess I don't care enough about men's golf to look that up. Bad me!

phjgrp said...

I would not bet for the selfish boyfriend ... Rather say that November will be tough : Mizuno then the Lorena Ochoa' then the LPGA Tour Championship and probably ending by the LPGA Tsuachanpionshippurikokappu ... So ... Some rest and training might be a better hypothesis to work on ...