Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Top 10 Golf Stories of 2009

2009 had a lot of things that happened. It is kinda like every other year. We took a lot of time to put together the list of top-10 stories in the golf world this season, and present them now. Enjoy.

10.) McIlroy Wins in Europe, Ishikawa Wins In Japan -- We are always looking at who can be the next big thing in golf, and it appears two non-Americans might be the leading candidates. Rory McIlroy, 20, won his first professional tournament at the Dubai Desert Classic in February, and made the cut in all four major championships, including a T-3 at the PGA Championship, while 18-year-old Ryo Ishikawa won three times on the Japanese Tour. Ishikawa missed the cut at the Masters and British Open, but made his first major cut at the PGA Championship, finishing t-56.

9.) This --

8.) John Daly Loses Weight -- You mostly remember John Daly as this, but the guy got Lap-Band and is a fragment of his previous overweight self. Daly's game might not have reflected the change (he made just three of six cuts on the PGA Tour) but he looks better and seems to be happier. Oh, and he wants Matt Damon to play him in a movie. Yeah, can't forget that.

7.) Tiger's Return -- It was as anticipated a return in sports as MJ when he wore number 45, and Tiger Woods didn't disappoint. Out most of 2008 because of knee surgery, Tiger returned at the Accenture Match Play in Arizona as the top seed, and in typical Woods fashion, birdied the very first hole. He went on to have the second hole conceded after two brilliant shots that had him starring at eagle, but lasted just two rounds at Dove Mountain. That didn't matter to golf fans. It was just nice to have Tiger back on the course.

6.) Kenny Perry loses the Masters -- Par-Bogey. Bogey-Par. Either one would have worked for the then 48-year-old Perry, who had dominated Augusta National for 70 holes. Perry birdied 15 and 16 to give himself a comfortable cushion, but Angel Cabrera also made a sneaky birdie on 16 to give himself a tiny shot at coming back. Perry bogeyed his final two holes in regulation to put himself in a playoff with Chad Campbell and Cabrera, who got one of the luckiest breaks in major championship history when his punch-out on the first playoff hole hit a tree and redirected itself in the fairway. Cabrera won, Perry lost, and one of the best drawers of the golf ball might never win at Augusta, which is a shame.

5.) Tom Watson Loses The British -- You couldn't write a story like this. 59-year-old Tom Watson was leading a British Open at a venue he won at back in 1977. He was striking the golf ball brilliantly all week, and the club that had often let him down, the putter, was doing its job. Watson came to the 72nd hole needing just a par, but hit his second shot too good, skipping past the pin and nestling in an awkward position over the green. The five-time Open winner couldn't get it up and in and lost in a three-hole playoff to Stewart Cink.

4.) Michelle Wie Gets Her First Win -- If the word "relief" came with a video, it would be Michelle Wie's expression after her bunker shot on the 72nd hole at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, the site of her first victory as a professional. A year before, we were hoping Wie would just qualify for another season on the ladies tour, but her breakthrough victory was great for a struggling LPGA.

3.) Amy Mickelson Gets Breast Cancer, and Phil Almost Wins the U.S. Open -- Breast cancer sucks, and we all hate it, but it took a serious beating when Amy Mickelson, wife of Lefty, was diagnosed with the disease this summer. Pink shirts and ribbons were abound, and players and fans alike supported Phil and his family through it. Then, Phil nearly won the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, coming up two shots short of Lucas Glover. It was a defining moment for Phil, showing that even after a loss, he can be lovable and a family man. Also, Amy is doing well, which is great news for everyone. Also, screw you breast cancer. We hate you.

2.) Y.E. Yang Hands Tiger His First 54-Hole Loss -- It was over. Y.E. Yang missed a must-make par putt on the 71st hole, and Tiger had that chance that always comes for him. He makes par, he is tied with Yang heading to the final hole, and history would repeat itself. Only, Tiger missed his par putt as well, Yang birdies the 18th after an incredible hybrid shot over a tree, and Woods was left to clap for a rather unknown. It was a weird tournament all around, and to see Tiger fail in the clutch was hard for most golf fans to swallow.

1.) Tiger Woods Scandal -- Not sure if you heard, but Tiger is in a bit of a scandalous situation. Maybe check a couple of other websites about it, because this one hasn't posted much on what has happened.


Cathy said...

Very good list. I was surprised that the Carolyn Bivens ouster/English Only Policy story didn't make the cut.

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