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February 01, 2011

Truth and Rumors: Trump promises not to evict Scots

Trumped...again
As you may remember from past posts, the Donald's plan to build a Trump-tastic course in Aberdeen has been lambasted by a group of both local residents and celebrities including Queen guitarist Brian May. The latest rumor was that some home owners would be forced to sell their property (against their own wishes) in order to make the course a reality. As Aberdeen's Press and Journal reports, that's at least one complaint against Trump that can be dropped.

Donald Trump has lifted the eviction threat hanging over families living around his planned £750million Scottish golf resort – declaring that he will not ask for compulsory purchase orders to be used against them.

After nearly two years of speculation, the US developer has said he will not request local government intervention to secure four homes – Mill of Menie, Menie Fishing Station, Hermit Point and Leyton Cottage – which he has included in his plans for the Menie Estate, in Aberdeenshire.

Mr Trump was granted planning permission to add the properties to his proposals in May 2009, despite the absence of an agreement to buy them.

However, he insisted that talk of compulsory purchase orders, or CPOs, should be shelved while his team negotiated with the owners.

Even without this hot button issue off the table, the protest groups (including the alliterative "Tripping up Trump" campaign) are still looking for ways to keep the "Apprentice" star from forming his Scottish beachhead. In the meantime, expect both sides to provide plenty of fodder for the papers (and, hopefully, for this blog).

Movement at the Top
Remember the good old days, when you could practically recite the OWGR Top 5 from memory every week? Those days are officially over. Since Lee Westwood wrested the No. 1 spot away from Tiger Woods late last season, we have entered a new age of rankings uncertainty.

On the PGA Tour side, most people looked at Phil's Sunday birdie on 18 as a near miss at winning the Farmers. But as Ryan Ballengee reports, that approach shot meant more than just a second-place finish for Lefty:

Phil Mickelson‘s hold on fourth place in the Official World Golf Ranking has been under some assault from Graeme McDowell in the last several weeks.

McDowell tied Mickelson for 4th two weeks ago. After Paul Casey won the European Tour’s event in Bahrain on Sunday, Mickelson could have slipped to sixth if he had finished worse than second place at the Farmers.

So while that putt for birdie at the finishing hole at Torrey Pines did not earn him a win, or even a spot in a hypothetical playoff, it was an important one as far as the rankings go. Mickelson held onto fourth place, albeit by a slim margin over both McDowell and Casey – less than a tenth of a point.

Speaking of those pesky Europeans, the fourth spot on the list isn't the only one under assault. After a 64th-place finish in Abu Dhabi, Westwood is barely holding onto his No. 1 ranking, and if Martin Kaymer plays well this week, the German could very well be the third top ranked player in just a few months. Long live the King.

P.S. If you're not a huge fan of the Official World Golf Rankings, you're not alone, that's why SI GOLF has put together our own rankings. Check out our first ranking list here.

Tweet of the day:

Here's a double Tweet from reigning U.S. Open champion and part-time English tutor Graeme McDowell.

Gmac @Graeme_McDowell: Haha most of you guys figure I'm going to be stupider (not possible) and have very large swollen cheeks after this wisdom tooth comes out!

  Gmac @Graeme_McDowell:Apologies to all you literary geniuses out there. I will be more stupid as opposed to stupider. #pointproven

Apology accepted, Mr. McDowell.

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