In 1953 writer Ian Fleming created the fictional sensation, James Bond. Since then, 007 has become a pop-culture icon across the globe being the feature character in the second longest running and second most successful film franchise to date.
Today, the 22nd Bond film, Quantum of Solace, releases in the UK with actor Daniel Craig starring as Mr. Bond for the second consecutive time.
Now there’s no need to debate whether Craig is a suitable Bond, but with the European Tour’s season winding down this weekend, I thought it would be interesting to argue which of the top four Order of Merit golfers would be best fit to call themselves, “Bond – James Bond,” this Halloween.
Order of Merit Ranking: 1
Bond Ranking: 4
Since he turned pro in 1989, Karlsson has been steadily progressing his game, turning into one of the most respected golfers on tour. In fact, his play this year has him poised to win his first career Order of Merit, barring any major collapses. As for his Bond credentials, Karlsson is the proper age, 39. He has the look and the physique to play Bond. He stands in at 1.96 m., which would make him the tallest 007 ever, but it’s highly doubtful that would hinder any success. So with so much going for him, why is he only fourth in the Bond rankings? Easy. He’s of the “wrong” nationality, Swedish, plus his professional resume just doesn’t quite match up to any of the other three contestants. James Bond is the best at what he does, so for this contest, our winner needs to be a little more accomplished.
Order of Merit Ranking: 3
Bond Ranking: 3
Westwood is one of the more skilled golfers vying for the Order of Merit and that is obvious when you look at his career accomplishments as well as his current position in the Volvo Masters. Westwood has 29 professional wins to go along with six Ryder Cup appearances. Like all of the contestants, Westwood has good looks, but unfortunately for his Bond career, he looks younger than his actual age – 35. And in order to be a proper 007, you must have what I like to call the, “George Clooney Factor” or “GCF,” which basically encompasses any man who appears even more cunning and suave due to the embracing of his “aging” features. Although Westwood is very accomplished and even of the proper nationality, English, to be the perfect James Bond, he just doesn’t carry the proper physical features to beat out the competition.
Order of Merit Ranking: 2
Bond Ranking: 2
Here’s where is gets tough. Harrington is Irishman. He’s having one of the best years of his career with back-to-back major wins at The Open Championship and the PGA Championship. He’s currently second in the European Tour’s Order of Merit Rankings. He’s of the proper age, 37, has the right physique and even has the “GCF.” “So why is he second in the Bond Rankings? – He has no obvious flaws.” Well the answer does not lay with Padraig Harrington, because he would make an incredible James Bond. Unfortunately for Harrington, though, there’s a man by the name of Miguel Angel Jimenez who simply beat him out.
Miguel Angel Jimenez
Order of Merit Ranking: 4
Bond Ranking: 1
Miguel Angel Jimenez encompasses everything I think of when I think, “GCF.” He always appears smooth, calm and polished. Even more importantly, however, whenever I see Jimenez, I automatically think, “ladies man,” and no Bond should ever be without that title. Jimenez is also the oldest of the four contestants, 44, making him the most experienced. He’s had great success on the European Tour with 15 career victories and four Ryder Cup appearances, including one year as the assistant captain. Perhaps one of the most interesting things about Jimenez in the Bond debate is his love for high performance vehicles, another trait no 007 should ever be without. In fact, Jimenez is known as “The Mechanic” for his interest and work with cars, especially his Ferrari. Like Bond, Jimenez also seems to get himself into many tight spots in his career, but usually finds modesty in the situations and typically finds himself bouncing back and, like today, ranking amongst the best in the game. Although Jimenez is a Spaniard and of “improper” nationality to play James Bond, his other credentials speak for themselves and he is in my humble opinion the most suited golfer to take his Martini’s shaken, not stirred.