Another PGA Tour season has come and gone, and now it’s time for the holidays, good food and family, and of course, silly season golf. The offseason golf schedule can be fun and filled with drama. I’m looking forward to following Q-School. It’s always fun to watch and follow people you know and whom you are rooting for try to make their dreams come true. It’s pure excitement for me, but for now I want to take a quick look back on the year 2010 and the golf stories that dominated my mind.
Obviously, we must start with Tiger Woods. I don’t need to rehash all his personal troubles here on View From the Fringe, because we are all too familiar with them. I have to say that I’m a little surprised that he didn’t win this year, even in his limited appearances. It’s usually dumb to ever bet against Tiger to come out on top, even amid swing changes, family changes or media frenzies. Tiger is certainly good for golf, or at least has been good for golf, and it’s exciting to watch him compete, especially when he’s in the hunt. I would expect him to have a little more adjustment period this offseason, with lifestyle changes and swing changes, and then I believe we’ll see the Tiger of old return early next season. His swing is looking the best it has in years, and his putting will certainly come around sooner than later. I just hope he’s learned some valuable lessons and maybe he will be a different person for the future.
I was impressed with the tour’s young guns this year. First to come to mind was the great play of Dustin Johnson. It seems as if he’s here to stay. He’s a great talent, and I imagine he’ll only get better. He could potentially win all four majors in his career, and be a future Hall of Famer. Like others before him, such as Tom Watson or Nick Price, there is normally some major heartaches to be endured before the major victories. Johnson is learning and winning, for the time being, and his time will come. Others young stars to play well this year include Bill Haas, Rickie Fowler, J.B. Holmes, Anthony Kim and Camillo Villegas. The future looks good for the PGA Tour!
The Majors were exciting and surprising. Europe looked great in the majors as well as in the Ryder Cup (which I consider a major). Martin Kaymer may go on to win majors and McDowell was certainly a worthy U.S. Open champion. Louis Oosthuizen was, of course, the real wild card, but after watching his swing, it’s not too surprising that he can win a major. He has a gorgeous swing (there’s something about those South Africans and their easy, fluid swings). It’s not come as a shock that Mickleson would contend and win the Masters, but what is schocking is how poorly he played the rest of year. Phil is far too talented to not have taken over the top spot in the world this year, while Tiger was finding himself.
Speaking of top golfers, I can’t complain about Lee Westwood. He’s played wonderful over the past couple of years, and despite not winning a major, he’s been perhaps the most consistent golfer on the planet for some time now. In addition, he seems like a real class act, and knowing that he’s been to the top of the world after having experienced the depths of professional golf, makes him easy to identify with, because we’ve all had those bad rounds, tournaments, weeks, months and years. Golf is a hard a game. Congrats to Lee!
photo credit: Eugene Goh