Sometimes it is the player not in the field that makes news that overshadows the tournament.
In this instance there are two notables not playing the Byron Nelson, namely current World No. 1 Tiger Woods and Australian Adam Scott, currently runner-up as the best golfer on the planet.
Woods has been out since the end of March after having back surgery. There’s no timeline for his return, though he said on his website that he’s chipping balls and doing some light practicing.
Scott, on the other hand, finished 38th in the Players Championship last week, but would have ascended to No. 1 had he not played. Such is the strange math associated with the Official World Golf Ranking where players gain and lose points over a two year “rolling” period.
Click here for Global TV’s coverage of the PGA from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday/Sunday
“It’s just the way it is, I guess,” Scott said last week at the Players. “It’s a very hard system to perfect, I think. With tours all around the world, people playing everywhere and awarding fair points for everything, I think they have come up with the best they possibly can and they have been fairly accurate over the years.”
Scott will become the top player in golf this week by watching the Byron Nelson on his TV. In doing so he’ll join the likes of Players champion Martin Kaymer, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy, all of whom have risen to the top following Woods’ sex scandal at the end of 2009 after which the current superstar suffered a number of injuries.
Scott, who married his longtime girlfriend soon after the Masters, says that he won’t tire of discussing the notion of emerging as the top golfer in the game. Sure, it is a little odd to rise to that level when not playing, but the former British Open champ is planning on being in the mix for some time.
“It’s not a bad thing to have to discuss,” he told reporters. “I hope I’m keeping myself in a similar kind of position for awhile. But I haven’t really thought about it too much. I’m really just into the process of trying to get my game better all the time. Pretty much wins take care of all the rankings and all the questions.”
This week on the PGA Tour:
HP Byron Nelson Championship
Television times: May 17-18 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Global
Players to watch:
Keegan Bradley—No. 21 in the world, Bradley has three Top 10 finishes this season, including a runner-up at Bay Hill, and looks poised to make a run at the Byron Nelson, where he finished second last year.
Matt Kuchar—The fifth-ranked player in golf is a human ATM, with more than $3-million in winnings already this season. He was T33 last year at the Byron Nelson, but is coming off a win at the RBC Heritage and four Top 5 finishes in his last five tournaments. That’s a hot hand.
Jordan Spieth—Now the 8th ranked player in golf, at 20 the sky seems the limit for the talented Spieth. He finished T68 at the Byron Nelson last year, but that seems a long time ago for a player who has risen so quickly.
Other notables: Martin Kaymer, Jimmy Walker, John Daly, Oosthuizen, Louis
Canadians: Graham DeLaet, Mike Weir, Stephen Ames, Brad Fritsch
© Shaw Media, 2014