Elling's Year In Review

Steve Elling inexplicably kicks off the year-in-review onslaught before the Ames-Johnson-Wetterich-Couples Skins Game is even played. Imagine that? 

Here are both parts on a single page. My favorites:

It's the money, stupid

So, if the season is too long and top players need their offseason rest, which precipitated the creation of a FedEx Cup structure that ends in September, what's Mickelson doing playing in two events in Asia this month? If Els is leading the European Tour money list with one week left in the season, why is he playing in Asia instead of trying to fend off Justin Rose at the Euro Tour season finale in Spain? Chinese cha-ching, that's why. Draw your own conclusions about any apparent hypocrisy.

Oh the "H" word. You go!

Worst-course award, 2007 version

This is a crowded field with several deserving contestants, but the winner has to be the new host track for the Bob Hope event, the Classic Club. It was classic only if you happened to be born a camel, a roadrunner or a horned toad.

Built so far out in the desert along Interstate 10 that trees actually grow sideways from the prevailing and persistent winds, the final round was all but unwatchable as scoring skied and six players failed to crack 80. The experience was so awful, the lone top-10 player in the field, Mickelson, gave strong signals that he might not return in 2008. After he got through picking sand out of his eyes, anyway.

Once a popular event featuring the late comedian and his high-powered celebrity friends, the event has deteriorated into the weakest link on the early schedule. The sands of time on this fading event might have run out.

But they have George Lopez.

Speaking of Bob Hope ...

Or established entertainers like Glen Campbell, Sammy Davis Jr., Danny Thomas, Jackie Gleason, Andy Williams or Bing Crosby, for that matter. They all hosted tour events over the years and were huge stars of their era.

Saving one of its most head-scratching decisions for last, the tour this week elected to prop up former boy-band singer Justin Timberlake as the host of the largely overlooked Las Vegas event beginning in 2008. The sparsely attended Vegas event is in dire need of sizzle, but what key demographic in golf is he supposed to be attracting here, 13-year-old girls? To wit, here's a sample of the lyrics from his tune Rock Your Body:
I'll have whatever you have; come on, just give it up girl,
See, I've been watching you, I like the way you move,
So go ahead girl, just do that ass-shaking thing you do."
Ah, remember the painful throes of puberty? For another example of Timberlake's recent pop stylings, do an Internet search for the Saturday Night Live tune he recorded called D--- in a Box, which was so racy, NBC refused to air the uncensored version. Funny, yes. Classy, hardly.

With Timberlake as a front man, I'll never again poke fun at former M*A*S*H star Jamie Farr, even if it is ironic that the dude most famous for wearing a dress now hosts an LPGA event. Actually, it could have been worse. They might have picked their favorite purveyor of mindless Muzak, jazz musician Kenny G, who proved while serenading Players Championship winner Mickelson in May that it is indeed possible for a mediocre sax player to both suck and blow at the same time.