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Top 10 report card (cont.)

Posted: Thursday November 9, 2006 1:03PM; Updated: Friday November 10, 2006 7:21PM
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8. Ernie Els
He was pretty much out there just taking up space, with the exception of the British Open, where a rousing first two rounds turned into another disappointing weekend. This one-time boy wonder turns 38 next year and is running out of time to add all those missing lines to his resume. GRADE: F

9. Sergio Garcia
Winless in the U.S. and Europe, the defining round of his year was Sunday at the British Open, when he yipped his way around the front nine and got run over by playing partner Woods. The Tour stats -- 176th in putts per round, 181st in final-round scoring average -- tell the grim story for a 26-year-old who seems to shine only at the Ryder Cup. GRADE: D-minus

10. Geoff Ogilvy
It was a breakthrough year for this mega-talent from Oz. His par-saves down the stretch to win the U.S. Open was the gutsiest golf of the year. Bracketed by a win at the Match Play and solid performance at the PGA, the national championship established Ogilvy as the best player in the world under 30. GRADE: A

Mail Call

Sheesh, you take one little jab at St. Tiger in the Hot List and impassioned e-mail pours in for days on end. To wit:

"Dude ... Even a nimwit like you realizes that the strain physically and mentally from a casual event pales in comparison to a competitive event."
  -- Devin Gray

Well, the HSBC in Shanghai is an official Euro tour event with a pretty good full-field and 36-hole cut. I'm not sure it's less taxing than the Tour Exhibition, er, Championship.

"Alan, weren't you being a bit unfair calling out Tiger for his trip in Asia? He loves his mom and is mostly of Asian descent. Sure, he's getting paid well, but if we're going to say Tiger can't be motivated by money, we've got to stick by it. I think the guy genuinely likes celebrating and experiencing his roots overseas."
  -- Jon, Orlando

Hey, I love pan-Asian cuisine as much as the next bloke, but Tiger's mom is from Thailand, which is about as close to Shanghai as New York City is to Des Moines. I don't think Tiger is motivated by money except in November and December.

"The U.S. press gives weak attention to the Asian tour, but given the boom of golf in Asia and Tiger's Asian ancestry, don't you think that the Asian events are arguably MORE important than The Tour Championship in the grand scheme of things?"
  -- Scott Edmiston

If by grand scheme of things you mean drumming up business for the newly formed Tiger Woods Design firm -- suspiciously announced just as he was leaving for Asia -- then yes, I have to agree.

"Why do you constantly insult mister Woods, guy? Are you like millions of other white men jealous of a black man dominating a so called white sport? You're the weak one buddy. Get a grip, pal."
  -- Hollis Baptiste, Toronto

Just when you're losing all faith in humanity, along comes Al Gardner of Milwaukee, who writes, "The guy had done more for the game than any other golfer in history. What's so wrong with doing something for himself once and a while. Have you seen his house? Bills don't pay themselves. But seriously, you do have a point here. C'mon Tiger, us fans in the U.S. are the ones who pretty much pay your salary. Play for us, not the money."

Finally, a voice of reason, which I define loosely as anyone who agrees with me.

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