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Carl Spackler was nowhere in site when a renegade gopher tried its best to change the course of golf history at The Barclays.
Carl Spackler was nowhere in site when a renegade gopher tried its best to change the course of golf history at The Barclays. (Courtesy of Orion Pictures)

Gopher Supremacy Rankings hail Vijay Singh and renegade rodent

William K. WolfrumBy William K. Wolfrum,

Here at the Golfer Supremacy Rankings, we've spent all our time recently campaigning to get the FedEx Cup playoffs into the Olympics. Because while some believe that golf should be an Olympic sport, we're willing to take it much, much further.

You see, after we spent the better part of 2007 questioning (and occasionally mocking) the FedEx Cup, we now believe that the PGA Tour's intricate playoff system - which contains enough new numbers to choke a statistician - is the greatest sporting event in the history of round objects.

Because if the Beijing Olympics have taught us anything, it's that money defines greatness. And the folks at the PGA Tour and FedEx Cup are hurling wads of cash at the world's best golfers to make this playoff system work. And, hey, it's working. The best golfers - sans the injured Tiger Woods - are battling for the ultimate gold medal of golf. And in this case, that gold medal is literally piles of gold.

Nonetheless, the golfer currently on top of the FedEx Cup standings is Vijay Singh, a man who would likely tee it up at a tournament where the payout was a handful of turf. Despite being despised by some in the media for not giving them every quote they want whenever they want it, Singh is a serious competitor, and his thrilling win at The Barclays has given the FedEx Cup the kick start it needed - even though a renegade gopher tried to change everything.

Golfer Supremacy Rankings

1. Vijay Singh

Comments: No human on the history of the planet has hit more golf balls that Vijay Singh. In winning The Barclays for a record fourth time, registering his 33rd-career PGA Tour victory, taking home $1.26 million and vaulting to the top of the FedEx Cup playoff standings, Singh again showed that his legendary practice schedule pays dividends. His 26-foot putt for birdie on the first playoff hole was as clutch as they come, and his ability to stay focused while all else around him lost their heads was proof that at 45, the Fijian star is the perfect combo of experience and ability. Start etching his name on the FedEx Cup Trophy, because it will be his. But we somehow doubt that PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem will request he kiss the trophy.

2. Sergio Garcia

Comments: While we still believe Garcia will retire from professional golf as a multiple major winner, he's starting to test our patience. The Spaniard was once believed to be the one who would challenge Woods, but examining a couple numbers shows exactly what his problem is: He can't put away a tournament. Sergio is playing as well as, or better than, anyone in the world at this moment, but looking at his last three years tells the tale: Garcia has played 52 tournaments and broken the Top-10 an impressive 16 times. But he's won once. To put that into perspective, 23-year-old Anthony Kim has played 38 times with 11 top-10s in the same time period - but has won twice. Luckily for Sergio, the Ryder Cup Matches are coming, and he'll be experiencing victory again soon.

3. Danny Lee

Comments: After all these years, it appears New Zealand's Bob Charles has some company. Lee brought extreme Kiwi pride to the U.S. Amateur Championship at Pinehurst, overtaking Tiger Woods as the youngest winner of the prestigious event at the age of just 18 years and one month. While Lee has a ways to go to topple the records of the great Charles, he's sure off to a good start.

4. The Ridgewood Country Club Gopher

Comments: Here's really the main difference between auto racing and golf - if a gopher makes an appearance at an auto race, it normally disappears in a poof of fur. In golf, a gopher gets you a free drop. Such was the case on the final hole of The Barclays, when Garcia hit behind a tree but was able to get a free drop to a much better lie due to a burrowing mole. Sure, it ended up making no difference, but the fact that it made any difference at all shows conclusively that it was a gopher of greatness. Sadly, neither the gopher nor Bill Murray were available for comment.

5. Michael Phelps

Comments: Yeah, we know, he's a swimmer. But a new Federal law demands that Phelps be included in every list of top athletes in any sport. And, in the time it took to write that, Phelps won 17 more gold medals.

Random Quote: "I convinced myself I'm the best putter in the world. I came out here with a different attitude, and I putted great this week." - Vijay Singh, on the power of positive thinking.

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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