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Anthony Kim has given golf (and the Golfer Supremacy Rankings) a reason to live.
Anthony Kim has given golf (and the Golfer Supremacy Rankings) a reason to live. (PGA of America)

Anthony Kim, Rafael Nadal and Lorena Ochoa help Golfer Supremacy Rankings out of a grand funk

William K. WolfrumBy William K. Wolfrum,

Here at the Golfer Supremacy Rankings, 2008 has been a horrible year. We're downing Paxil like they're M&M's and feeling mighty low. We'd invested pretty much everything in Tiger Woods, and with the world's No. 1 golfer out for the season following knee surgery, our portfolio looks roughly the same as those who invested everything in an Enron/Countrywide daily double.

And it's not just Tiger being out that's left us in a pit of despair. Lorena Ochoa has slowed since her great start. Phil Mickelson ... well, who knows what's going on there? And to make matters worse, our sophisticated Golfer Supremacy Rankings supercomputer has had to be shelved for fuel economy reasons. We probably should have known better than to buy a supercomputer that uses premium gasoline.

So we've spent the last month or so in a grand funk railroad of sorts, licking our wounds. Yes, the Golfer Supremacy Rankings team has been reduced to a Tiger-less, super-computer-less group of funked-up wound lickers. It's not a pretty sight.

But we have decided to follow in the footsteps of John McCain and Barack Obama and dedicate ourselves to change. But unlike the two senators vying for the U.S. presidency, we have an actual plan for change, rather than just repeating the word "change" ad infinitum. We have found a way to defunkify ourselves, at last.

And it's all thanks to Anthony Kim, a young man who has started to make it plainly clear that he has higher aspirations than just being a talented golfer who's often in contention. No, Kim is a winner, and he has perked us up to the point of partying. Because if there's one thing we love here at the GSRs, it's hero-worshiping. And Anthony Kim may be the hero we need to turn our lives around.

Golfer Supremacy Rankings

1. Anthony Kim

Comments: He's still a long way from being an AK-47, but the man who wears a diamond-studded belt buckle with his initials on it in the final round has now officially worked himself up to an AK-2. After winning the Wachovia Championship earlier this year for his first career PGA Tour victory, Kim doubled his fun by winning the AT&T National at the Congressional Country Club. At just 23, Kim is now the first American golfer under the age of 25 to win twice on the tour since ... wait for it ... Tiger Woods. With a Ryder Cup spot and a slot in the World's Top-10 beckoning, golf - and the Golfer Supremacy Rankings - has found new reason to live. And that's A.o.K. by us.

2. Rafael Nadal

Comments: As if Tiger Woods' year couldn't get any worse, his super-friend Roger Federer saw his amazing streak of 65 consecutive victories on Wimbledon's grass come to an end at the hands of the talented Spaniard in the longest Wimbledon final match in history. And, ok, we understand that this is the "Golfer" Supremacy Rankings, but times are hard, so we're taking in some work from the Tennis Supremacy Rankings, just to make ends meet. And, heck, we're sports fans, so we know that the Nadal-Federer 2008 Wimbledon final was one for the ages, a block in what's looking to be another great sporting rivalry.

3. South Korean Golfers

Comments: Not long ago, an extremely wise man wrote a column telling the world to keep an eye on the South Korean ladies of the LPGA Tour. Since then, the South Korean contingent has won four of the last five LPGA tournaments. Seon Hwa Lee was the latest, as she won the horrifyingly named P&G Beauty NW Arkansas Championship, her second victory of 2008 and second in the last five tournaments. Add to that a win at the Women's British Open for Inbee Park and a win for Eun-Hee Ji at the Wegmans LPGA, and it's quite clear that the "Seoul Sisters" are back in winning form.

4. Lorena Ochoa

Comments: Sure, Ochoa lost in an exhibition skins match against Annika Sorenstam. But the fact is this: The two biggest stars got together in an exhibition match in Mexico and were paid handsomely for it, with Sorenstam taking home $165,000 and Ochoa $105,000. Without Ochoa, this event doesn't happen. So kudos to Annika for her exhibition triumph, but more kudos to Ochoa for single-handedly making women's golf a popular sport south of the U.S. border.

Random Factoid: To show his respect for Tiger Woods, after winning at Wimbledon Rafael Nadal has pulled out of his next tournament with a knee problem.

William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.

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