Christmas is the time of year when the child comes out in all of us. It’s a time for joy, happiness and of course a little bit of dreaming.
So, as an avid golf fan, I began thinking about what my Christmas wish would be for the 2013 PGA Tour season and quickly came up with one answer: an epic, history-making, classic major championship.
This dream was not hard to come by, as all the pieces are currently in place for this type of tournament to occur. One might even call it more of a hope than a full-on dream.
I’m not talking about just a great major here; I’m talking about a major that will immediately be put on a golf fan’s mantel alongside the 1913 U.S. Open, the 1942 Masters, the 1950 U.S. Open, the 1960 U.S. Open, the 1977 Open Championship and the 1986 Masters. I’m talking about a true classic that golf fans will be talking about for decades to come. A tournament which books will be written about and numerous documentaries will be created.
Although the ground has now frozen over in most of the country, we are still only four months away from the first major of the year, and all of the pieces are in place for one of those epic, history-making majors to occur.
The game has a new top-dog in 23-year-old Rory McIlroy.
We have an aging champion—Phil Mickelson—who still finds a way to put himself into contention at Augusta every single year and is one of the most popular players in Masters’ history.
We have a strong supporting cast of players such as Adam Scott, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood—all looking for their first major championship titles.
We have colorful, yet highly talented players such as Ian Poulter and Bubba Watson who have the ability to bring some flare to the tournament.
We have a string group of up-and-comers such as Keegan Bradley, Dustin Johnson, Nick Watney and Rickie Fowler.
Then of course we have we have Tiger Woods, arguably the greatest golfer of all time who has likely turned down the backside of his career mountain but has also won four Masters and has seemingly found his game again over the past 12 months.
If there was ever an ideal cast of characters for one of golf’s greatest major championships, this is it.
Perhaps we could be looking at a 1960 U.S. Open-type major where there is a true meeting of the past, present and future similar to the battle between Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus at Cherry Hills.
Perhaps we could be looking at another 1942 Masters-type major where Woods and McIlroy face off in a playoff just as Hogan and Byron Nelson did back in 1942.
Perhaps we could be looking at a 1977 Open Championship where two players, be that Woods and Mickelson, Woods and McIlroy or McIlroy and Bradley, separate themselves from the field and have a true, 18-hole duel through Augusta National’s rolling fairways.
Based on the quality of players in professional golf at the moment, golf could be entering a four-to-five year golden age where Woods finds his top form again, McIlroy continues to mature and wins big time events, Mickelson pulls out his best game a few more times at the majors and some of the supporting cast such as Scott, Westwood and Donald begin winning majors as well. It could very well be the first time in more than 30 years that a handful of truly great golfers face off against one another on an almost-weekly basis.
So, call it a wish, a dream or simply hopeful optimism, but if there was ever a time for a major for the ages, it’s now.
For golf fans, April 11, 2013 can’t come soon enough.
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