With the FedExCup season and the Ryder Cup in the rear-view, the remaining bit of intrigue professional golf, circa 2010, is this question: Who's the number 1 player in the world? Lee Westwood seems poised to dethrone Tiger Woods in the computer rankings, but that fact underscores the weakness of the system, as does the fact that Tiger held on to the top spot despite the fact that he clearly has not been the best player in the world for about a year or so.
As great as Westwood has been, his only victory in the last 11 months came against a watered-down field at the St. Jude Classic in June. Right now, he's battling a calf injury that is holding him out of competition on the European Tour. He hasn't won in Europe since last November. Top-three finishes in majors are all well and good, but you need to win one eventually to reap the rewards.
Another lingering candidate, Phil Mickelson, failed to capitalize on his Masters momentum and has squandered a summer's worth of opportunities to assume the top spot and seems to be battling health problems of his own.
All of which brings me to the real No. 1 player in the world, whether the computer agrees or not: Martin Kaymer. The winner of a thrilling PGA Championship has an active streak of three straight European Tour wins and has won four times worldwide in 2010. If the 25-year-old Kaymer, currently fourth in the rankings, wins the European Tour event in Valdarrama in two weeks, he'll pass Mickelson, Westwood and Woods into the top spot.
He's already got a stranglehold on the Race to Dubai (the Euro version of the FedExCup), and he's a reigning major champion and Ryder Cup hero. Let's go ahead and add World's Best Player to his bio.