Got a new guy in the world’s Top 50.
He got there by holing a 40-foot putt for eagle on the last hole of the Indonesian Masters.
Then he had to wrestle with a tough Christmas-time decision.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat is pretty easy to spot if you’re watching a European Tour event. In this day of work-out routine guys, he’s the one who doesn’t. He’s on the portly side but slimmed down a bit this year. Still his midsection does tend to spill over his belt a bit.
Kiradech was prepared to give the locals in Thailand some excitement. There was a small event in his country that he was prepared to enter. There was only one problem. If he somehow finished outside the top 10, he’d drop OUT of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings.
Why is that No. 50 so important? Automatic invite to The Masters and a host of other golf tournament perks.
Fifty is where you want to be and Kiradech was finally there. He was also informed of the possibility of falling out without a top 10 in the local event.
He did what we’d all probably do. He withdrew and went home.
He’s now No. 49 and the 50th spot went to Yusaki Miyazato from Japan. He moved up a spot by NOT playing in his local event.
American Peter Uihlein, a new member of the PGA Tour, found himself at No. 52 at the end of the calendar year.
What about Tiger Woods? The man who spent 683 weeks as the No. 1 player in the world had drifted below 1,000. His comeback in the Hero World Challenge jumped him all the way to No. 659 and without playing since then, has moved up three spots to 656.