Golf's New Age Revolution: Is Anyone Going to Stop It?
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Since Tiger Woods shocked the world in 2008 by winning the US Open at Torrey Pines on a broken leg, we have seen a semi-revolution in golf.
But I wouldn't expect the revolutionaries to win out. After Woods won the '08 US Open, he called it quits for the year, leaving the FedEx Cup and two majors more up for grabs than ever.
In 2008, Padraig Harrington took over the PGA Tour while Woods was sidelined. He won Player of the Year honors in '08. However, he was not the only player to benefit from Woods' injury.
Sergio Garcia had four 2nd place finishes and a win in 2008. The Open Championship, the PGA Championship, the Barclays and the Tour Championship comprised his second place finishes that year: the two majors behind Harrington, the Barclays behind Singh, and the Tour Championship behind Camilo Villegas.
He claimed a huge victory winning the Players Championship that year in his biggest win on tour. He also claimed the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average.
Vijay Singh won the FedEx Cup after taking two playoff events to run away in points. Camilo Villegas also won the Tour Championship and made a run at Singh's lead in the closing playoff tournaments.
The world of golf seemed to be opening up to so many bright and promising stars.
When Woods returned in 2009, he won six tournaments and came in second three times. However, of those six wins, none were majors. It seemed stunning that he had been shut out, especially since he held a lead in the PGA Championship at Hazeltine. But Woods fell for the first time when holding a lead to Y.E. Yang.
Although many golfers took advantage of this "less dominant" Tiger, it seemed as though the world had come back in to order, with the king assuming his throne again. However, this year, amongst personal problems and swing issues, the king lost possession of the throne to Lee Westwood.
This year has seen the low point of Tiger Woods' career, including one of his highest competitive PGA Tour round scores. The golf world has seen breakthrough victories from people such as Louis Oosthuizen, Martin Kaymer and most of all the players, Matt Kuchar.
The victory of Jim Furyk in the FedEx cup, and as Player of the Year, proved that any kind of swing can work if you believe in it. It has also fostered a newfound love for the heartbreak golfer of the year: Dustin Johnson.
The long baller's struggle in the final rounds of majors have created a question of his capability to close, but there is no doubt that we will see more of him. All of these golfers owe Tiger a huge thanks, as, if he had been clear of mind, they most likely would not have cashed the checks they did.
This year is the time where any golfer could win, except Tiger Woods. However, Tiger's history suggests he does not plan on letting that remain.
With Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, and Martin Kaymer not committing solely to the PGA Tour, Woods will have three less threats. But that does not take out of the equation those who blossomed this year.
We will see if next year is another year of revolutionaries or back to the centralized power ruling.
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