WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?

November 29 — There can’t be much more at stake in a golf tournament than what’s up for grabs at this week’s LPGA Tour Championship. Unfortunately for Jiyai Shin, Suzann Pettersen, Cristie Kerr, and the other top women players, the golf world will be watching Tiger Woods try to get off the schnied at his Chevron World Challenge.
The top six LPGA players will go after the No. 1 ranking, Player of the Year, lowest-scoring average, and money title in the season-ending event at Grand Cypress Golf Club in Orlando, Fla., from December 2 through December 5. Shin, Pettersen, Yani Tseng, Na Yeon Choi, and Ai Miyazato are all in the race for the top spot, with Shin a slim .49 margin separating Shin from second-ranked Pettersen.
Parity. The LPGA has been all about parity this season, as the top position has ping-ponged nine times among Shin, Kerr, and Miyazato since May. Tseng, Miyazato, Choi, Kerr, and Shin are all in the running for Player of the Year honors as well, with Tseng leading the way on the strength of two major championship wins (Women’s British Open, Kraft Nabisco) this season.
While the women duke it out for bragging rights, Woods will headline the  limited-field Chevron tourney that was the first event he missed last year because of, well, you know why. In a sign of things to come, Europe’s new No. 1 Martin Kaymer decided to eschew the U.S. tourney; Nick Watney, cousin of NESN’s Boston Red Sox sideline reporter, Heidi Watney, will play in his place.
* (For extra credit: what golfer stepped in for Woods at last year’s Chevron? Hint: he played his way out of obscurity and went on to major glory; answer below.)
What will Tiger do? With nothing official on the line at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., golf fans will be curious to see if Woods can put together four solid rounds and end his 0-fer-2010. A ho-hum Tiger Woods, however, won’t hold viewers’ attention when he’s up against Saturday’s college football and NFL Sunday.
Meanwhile, back at Disney, Michelle Wie won’t be around, opting instead to play in the Ladies European Tour finale in Dubai the following week, but other fan faves will be in attendance. U.S. Women’s Open champ and 10th-ranked Paula Creamer will play, as will defending LPGA Tour champ Anna Nordqvist and the always-popular Natalie Gulbis.
Oh, yeah — Golf Channel will generously let you watch the final rounds long after the last putt drops, from 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. (EST), on Saturday and Sunday.
Why the tape delay for the the LPGA’s 2010 swan song? Well, you got your previously scheduled and extremely time-sensitive Golf Channel Academy, Golf’s Amazing Videos, Golf in America, Big Break, and Golf Now programs. Yeah, yeah, contracts, blah blah blah.
* (Answer: U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell.)

(Emily Kay is a regular contributor to New England Golf Monthly. Check her out at the Waggle Room, Boston Golf Examiner, and National Golf Examiner websites.)

WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?