Over the past twelve months, golf has been on one hell of a ride.
The highs were absolutely dizzying. Young stars have taken over at the top of the game, but players like Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson proved that they are far from done. Dustin Johnson finally got his major win, Jason Day had a historically good season with the putter, the U.S. Ryder Cup team actually beat Europe and somehow, none of the television networks have started charging us to watch Rory McIlroy hit shots on Pro Tracer.
Still though, as good as all of that was, the lows were depressing. Golf’s governing bodies still have no idea how to control the distance epidemic, Muirfield voted against allowing women into their club and lost the Open Championship as a result, the USGA couldn’t have handled their two biggest events any worse, we don’t really have an idea of what to expect out of the greatest player many of us have ever seen and we said our final goodbye to the most important man in the history of the game.
When I did the 2015 Year In Review posts, I managed to get to sixty stories that I thought were worth mentioning. This year though was too packed with noteworthy items to just stop at sixty. So, for the 2016 Year In Review, I present the top 100 stories from the past twelve months in the world of golf, with an admitted larger focus on the men’s professional game than other areas. They will be broken down into ten individual posts and just like last year, some are fun and light hearted and others are more serious but they all depict the kind of year the game has had in 2016.
Good luck topping this one, 2017.
Tiger Woods entered the NBC broadcast booth on Saturday for a post-round interview with Dan Hicks and David Feherty after a third round 70. Much like the rest of the week, it was a round that featured many highs and lows, but there was definitely more positive than negative to discuss considering the sixteen months that have gone by since he last teed it up. At one point during that round, he sat just two shots back of the leaders but by the end of the day, he was eleven shots behind thanks to a few loose swings and some great play by Hideki Matsuyama. Ultimately, Matsuyama would go on to win the event by two shots over Henrik Stenson, with Tiger finishing fourteen shots back in 15th place.
Well, here we are again.
In a few days, Tiger Woods will (hopefully) make his most recent long awaited comeback at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. The tournament is a small 18-man field that benefits Tiger’s foundation and features some of the best players in the world, along with a good sized purse of $3.5 million and OWGR points up for grabs. It’ll be the first time that anyone has seen Tiger on the course in a competitive tournament in sixteen months, as he last teed it up at the 2015 Wyndham where he finished tied for tenth.
He begins his latest comeback attempt on Thursday, paired with Patrick Reed with a tee time of 12:00 PM ET. Below, I’ve answered some questions on his return and what we should expect this week and beyond.
We’re nearing the end of November, which means that golf isn’t exactly top of mind for a lot of people. Sports is really at its peak at this time of year, with important and entertaining games happening in basketball, football, hockey and soccer. Golf, especially in their “offseason”, just can’t compete week in and week out with that kind of firepower.
However, I’m here to tell you that this week is a little different. The World Cup of Golf, a 72-hole stroke play team event with both foursome and fourball play, is happening this week from Kingston Heath in Australia, and you should absolutely make some time for it.
Hideki Matsuyama won the 2016 WGC-HSBC Champions event in China last night, finishing at 23-under par and cruising to a seven shot win over Henrik Stenson and Daniel Berger. It’s Matsuyama’s tenth win as a professional, and third on the PGA Tour after wins at the 2014 Memorial and 2016 Waste Management. Full highlights of Matsuyama’s final round are below.