Welcome to the Monday Scramble, brought to you today by the letter “R.”
By the way, have we told you we’re thinking of changing our name to the Ronday Ramble?
Really? Really. Ruh-roh.
If your name happens to be Robby, Randy, Raymond, Rex or even Mr. Roboto, we are jealous – no, resentful.
You, on the other hand, are most likely one radical, remarkable, rockin’ dude – especially if you are a young lad, chap or whippersnapper (if a relative synonym exists that begins with “R,” we couldn’t find it).
You want proof? Just take this weekend in golf, for example.
It was R-rated for all the right reasons:
• Ryo (Ishikawa) shot 12-under 58, the lowest score ever on a major tour, to win his seventh Japan Tour title Sunday. The 18-year-old, who has already played in a couple Masters, missed a 15-footer for birdie on 18.
• Rory (McIlroy) rolled in a 42-footer for birdie on 18 to shoot a final-round 62 at the Quail Hollow Championship and win his first PGA Tour event. The 20-year-old (he turns 21 on Tuesday), who jumped to No. 9 in the world, made the cut on the number and ran away from one of the best non-major fields of the year that included other first-name guys like Phil, Tiger, Padraig and Rickie (see below).
• Rickie (Fowler) shot one of the better (humanly) final rounds Sunday at Quail Hollow and finished sixth, adding another couple-hundred thousand dollars to the already $1 million-plus he’s made this year. The 21-year-old, who moved to 51st in the Official World Golf Ranking, is already one of the most popular guys on Tour, not to mention one of the most daring. Have you seen that all-orange Puma getup he wears on Sundays to honor his Oklahoma State Cowboys?
Ryo and Rory and Rickie, oh my!
And that’s just golf!
• Rajon Rondo, 24, point guard for the Boston Celtics, had 27 points, six rebounds and 12 assists in a Game 1 loss against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday night. Monday morning, a headline in the Boston Herald read: “This series all about Rajon Rondo.”
• (Cristiano) Ronaldo, the most popular athlete in the world at least if you go by Facebook (he has more fans than Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Michael Phelps and David Beckham) scored a header in the 89th minute for Real Madrid Saturday to keep his team’s championship hopes alive in La Liga. The 25-year-old currently holds the distinction of being the most expensive player in football history after having transferred to Real Madrid from Manchester United in a deal worth £80 million.
Ryo, Rory, Rickie, Rajon, Ronaldo. Go ahead, say that five times fast.
And just because the NCAA men’s golf postseason is almost here, we would be remiss not to mention that the current No. 1 player in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings is a kid named Russell (Henley).
Now as for 17-year-old Matteo Manassero, the low amateur at this year’s Masters, turning pro this week?
Well, at least he’ll start as a rookie.
• • •
On the 16th tee Sunday, playing in her home country in an event she helped create, Lorena Ochoa sat one shot back of retiring as the No. 1 player in the world.
What does that feel like?
After the round, Ochoa said she didn’t know she had to finish fourth or better to stop 22-year-old Jiyai Shin from taking over her top position in the Rolex World Rankings.
Ochoa bogeyed the par-5 16th hole, one of three bogeys she made on par 5s on the day, and eventually finished sixth.
“Maybe they should have told me,” she said.
Do we feel bad for Ochoa? Of course. We hate to see her drop to No. 2 just about as much as we hate to see her drop out of golf.
She is, and always will be, one of golf’s best people.
But Ochoa’s subpar play on the golf course is old news. Her previous four LPGA finishes were T-18, T-38, T-52 and fourth. In the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, the best barometer for consistency, Ochoa is currently No. 8. She dropped out of the No. 1 spot in February; Shin has been No. 1 for weeks.
The tough reality is that Ochoa, who held the top spot for 158 weeks since overtaking Annika Sorenstam on April 23, 2007, isn’t leaving us on top of the game, or even on top of her game.
She said Sunday she is leaving as No. 1 in her mind.
Of course, in the end, that’s all that really matters.