Players end 2010 with worldwide events

Tiger Woods during the 2010 HSBC Champions.

Tiger Woods during the 2010 HSBC Champions.

So it’s nearing mid-November, and much of our country is preparing for winter’s approach and insufferable holiday commercialism. But if you think it’s time to savor some tranquility in golf’s offseason, think again, because “golf” and “offseason” should never be used in the same sentence.

Here we are on the threshold of Thanksgiving, and we already can see the start of 2011 – the European Tour begins Dec. 9 in South Africa, the U.S. Tour Jan. 6 in Maui.

And just how are the boys preparing for next year’s workload? By still going at it in 2010, in all corners of the globe. This week, for instance, more than half of the world’s top 100 players – 54, to be exact – are playing in tournaments in four different countries.

The best tournament is the Barclays Singapore Open, where 26 top-100 players are signed up – including Nos. 3 (Martin Kaymer), 4 (Phil Mickelson), and 10 (Graeme McDowell). Padraig Harrington, Francesco Molinari and Adam Scott are just a few of the other marquee names.

There are 13 top-100 players in two other tournaments on the other side of the world. Ryo Ishikawa and six others ranked inside the top 100 are aboard at the Taiheiyo Masters in Japan, while Tiger Woods (No. 2) headlines the Australian Masters, where he’ll be joined by five others who sit inside the top 100 (including Sergio Garcia, fresh off a brief retirement).

Shifting to Orlando, there are 16 top-100 players teeing it up at the season finale, the Children’s Miracle Network Classic. Rickie Fowler and Sean O’Hair (Nos. 28 and 32, respectively) are the top-ranked players in the field.

All of which makes you look again at the calendar and shake your head. Apparently, golfers do what hockey players and baseball players do on their offseasons: they play golf.

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