U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)

The Loop

Random thoughts

November 24, 2009

-- If the LPGA decided its player of the year via a vote, as the PGA Tour does, as opposed to computer, Jiyai Shin might have won rather than Lorena Ochoa. Winning and money are the two most important considerations, and Shin and Ochoa each won three times and Shin earnings exceeded Ochoa's by more than $300,000. The only advantages Ochoa had were minute -- in scoring average (70.16 to 70.26) and top 10s (13 to 12).

-- Michelle Wie's ankle injury flared up at a most opportune time, sparing her the fits and starts of the LPGA Championship that eventually was reduced to 54 waterlogged holes and ended on Monday. Moreover, it allowed her to attend the Big Game, Stanford's annual clash with rival California.

-- If there could be a bright spot to a bad economy, this is a candidate: No Skins Game. No sponsor stepped forward to resurrect this tiresome event, thus putting it out of our misery, at least for a year.

-- Robert Allenby: "You know, Americans play for so much money, and when you've got a purse where...a million plus is first prize, not to say that they are spoiled, but it's a little bit that way. It's like, well, why would I want to travel, when I can make a million bucks instead of going to Europe and only making $500,000 or $600,000?" That logic tends to argue on behalf of Americans staying home. Why would someone go overseas to make $500,000 when they can stay home and make a million bucks?

-- John Strege