It’s been a tough year for the most recent batch of major champions.
Angel Cabrera (Masters), Lucas Glover (U.S. Open) and Stewart Cink (British Open) have failed to win a tournament since capturing their majors in 2009. Y.E. Yang (PGA Championship) went 17 events without a trophy until he won the Volvo China Open a week after the Masters, and he recently added the Korea Open for his second win this year.
Even so, none of the major winners from last year is among the top 35 in the world ranking. Yang is the highest at No. 40, followed by Cink (46), Glover (52) and Cabrera (53). They have combined to earn 343.11 world ranking points in 2010, which is 2.7 points more than Martin Kaymer has earned by himself.
BIG WEEK OF GOLF: The strongest week in golf after the majors might be the week right after Thanksgiving, with four tournaments around the world running from Dec. 2-5.
Phil Mickelson will be the only player from the top 10 in the world not playing. The two fields have combined to produce 25 of the top 30 in the world, with the others on the sidelines being Francesco Molinari, Rickie Fowler and K.T. Kim.
Most of them will be at the Chevron World Challenge, hosted by Tiger Woods. The field at Sherwood Country Club features 13 of the top 20 in the world. Over in South Africa is the Nedbank Challenge, which has new No. 1 Lee Westwood. All but two players in its 12-man field -- Tim Clark and Anders Hansen -- are among the top 30.
Meanwhile, the Australian Open will be held in at The Lakes in Sydney, and will feature defending champion Adam Scott and recent Australian Masters winner Stuart Appleby, along with Geoff Ogilvy, Aaron Baddeley, Greg Norman, Fred Couples and John Daly.
That same week also sees the cream of the women’s game playing the LPGA Tour Championship at Grand Cypress outside of Orlando. That event will decide the money winner as well as honors such as player of the year and rookie of the year.
DIVOTS: British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell and Charl Schwartzel have taken up PGA Tour membership for 2011. … John Merrick, Joe Ogilvie, James Nitties and Ted Purdy were among those who finished out of the top 125 on the PGA Tour money list to play in at least 30 tournaments. … Ron Balicki, with Golfweek magazine since 1983, will be the first noncoach inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame. Balicki was selected for his contributions to college golf. … Four players who won PGA Tour events in 2008 and earned two-year exemptions failed to get past the second stage of Q-school—Daniel Chopra (Kapalua), Parker McLachlin (Reno-Tahoe), Chez Reavie (Canadian Open) and Greg Kraft (Puerto Rico Open).
STAT OF THE WEEK: Of the top 10 players on the PGA Tour money list this year, Matt Kuchar was the only one to play in more than 25 tournaments. He played in 26.
FINAL WORD: “All he has to do is play like he did before and he’s going to be tough to beat.”—Phil Mickelson, on whether Tiger Woods can get back his aura.