"Big Five" No More

SI's Alan Shipnuck comes out firing with several stellar zingers in his 2007 preview, starting with this reminder of yesteryear's desperation-for-stars media coverage:

5. Will any golf writer be able to use the term "Big Five" without breaking into hysterical laughter?

It's gonna be tough. Vijay Singh, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen combined to win one Tour event in '06. Singh is approaching the precipice of the mid-40s, when performance drops off dramatically. Goosen has never been the same players since his final round self-immolation at the 2005 U.S. Open. The guy to watch is Els.

His season-ending victory in South Africa was a huge boost to his fragile psyche. Afterward, Easy even had some fighting words for Tiger, as Els said his goal is to reach No. 1 in the World Ranking. I'm not convinced he believes he can do it, but it at least sounded good. A return to Oakmont, where he broke through with his first major championship at the '94 Open, should inspire Els to reassert himself as one of the game's elite players. It's about time.

I did catch Alex Micelli wondering how it is that Goosen remains in the world top 10 despite a pretty lousy year in 2006. But why would I want to start a world rankings debate? It's not that slow of a week.