The Best in the World
by Kevin Monroe


Tiger Woods has been the number one golfer in the world for this entire decade.  There were a couple of weeks where he slipped to number two, but for the majority of the 2000’s he has been the man on top.  Between 1998 and 2005, Tiger went an incredible 142 tournaments without missing a cut, destroying the old record of 113 tournaments.  This past weekend, Tiger missed the cut in the U.S. Open after not playing in any tournaments since the Masters in April because of the death of his father.  This was only the fourth cut Tiger has missed in his entire career.  All this being said, there are those that question whether he is the best in the world right now.

Phil Mickelson is being touted as the best in the world right now because he has won 3 majors in the last two years and he as played very well this year.  There is no doubt that Phil is a very talented golfer, maybe one of the most talented golfers ever to play the game, but there is more to golf than just having a nice stroke.  Is Phil ready to be considered the best?  My answer is no!  I am a left-handed golfer, so I have been trying my best to like Phil Mickelson as a golfer since I started playing.  The problem I have is what you saw on Sunday.  Phil just doesn’t have that killer instinct.  For whatever reason, he just does not fair well in the big tournaments when it’s all on the line.  Forever he was known as the best golfer in the world who hadn’t won a major. Now that he has three the media is ready to anoint him the greatest. 

Think about the greatest players in each of the major sports and ask yourself how they performed in the clutch when it really mattered.  In basketball, think back to Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan.  During their eras, they were each considered the best in the game.  When it came down to the NBA Finals they always stepped up and played their best.  In Football, it was Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Emmitt Smith. In baseball, it is guys like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. 

These guys can be considered the best, because when it really mattered, they played their best.  That is why Tiger is so feared on the PGA tour, because his competitors know that he has that killer instinct.  When Tiger has the lead in a major going into Sunday he is virtually unbeatable.  I realize Tiger isn’t playing his best golf right now, but if my life was on the line and someone had to play 18 holes to save it, I would give Tiger the golf bag without thinking twice about it.

Kevin Monroe