The Topsy-Turvy World of Golf
Remember when Tiger Woods dominated the world of golf?
Everything seemed to be so much in order.
Woods was No. 1 in the world. Mickelson was a distant second and the United States had won back the Ryder Cup at Valhalla.
America won the President's Cup at San Francisco's historic Harding Park with Fred Couples at the helm.
All seemed to be right in the world of golf heading into 2010, literally the year of the Tiger.
With majors at Augusta National, Pebble Beach, the Old Course at St. Andrews and Whistling Straits it seemed destined for Tiger to narrow the major gap with Nicklaus by at least one or two, maybe even three.
Expectations did not become reality and the door to change was open more than ajar.
Of course that is when the apple cart was toppled and world of golf became topsy-turvy.
Sure Mickelson won a glorious Masters with that heroic second shot out of the pine straw and through the trees on the 13th at Augusta National. The entire golfing world rejoiced with him as he strolled up the hillside to a triumphant embrace with his wife Amy.
As CBS' Jim Nantz called it- "a win for the family."
Golf seems to mirror life or life seems to be reflected in the game of golf.
Trials and tribulations sometimes, well mostly caused by one's own decisions and abilities.
"I am an idiot," with grace and growth becomes destiny. "A great shot is when you pull it off. A smart shot is when you don't have the guts to try it."
The remaining three majors of 2010 would be captured by the youth of tomorrow from all over the world- Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa and Martin Kaymer of Germany.
Lee Westwood continued his impressive play in majors becoming the first "best player to not have won a major (yet) but who cares" as he rose to the World No. 1 position.
Westwood has finished second or third in five of the last ten majors through the 2010 Open at St. Andrews.
Will he win his major in 2011?
Wouldn't that seem too orderly in the now topsy-turvy world of golf?
Kaymer continues to win after his calm, cool and collective breakthrough victory at Whistling Straits.
The 26-year old became World No. 2 pushing Tiger to No. 3 after his win in Abu Dhabi.
Could Tiger drop to 6th in the world rankings this week?
Another young kid named Johnny Vegas from Venezuela has burst onto the scene with a rookie win in only his fifth PGA TOUR event.
What makes golf so topsy-turvy these days is where top players are putting the tee in the ground.
Ian Poulter, Oosthuizen and Kaymer have all said yes to play in America in 2011.
Near rookie-of-the-year Rory McIlroy and Westwood have said no to the PGA TOUR.
Now the world golf tour swings through Asia and Middle East in addition to Florida.
Phil Mickelson started his year in the desert as always but this time in Abu Dhabi, not Palm Springs.
Steve Stricker after starting with two Top-10s in Hawaii is playing this week in Qatar.
Change is good. Growth is good.
The trends in the game of golf seem to be heading for a glorious climax in the Olympics in Rio de Janiero in 2016.
South America is featured this week in Phoenix with the pairing of Vegas, Argentinean Angel Cabrera and Colombian Camilo Villegas.
Topsy-turvy is good- this process will bring the golf to a new shiny standard of excellence, competition and fellowship throughout the world.
Perhaps Tiger Woods will surprise many and win a couple of majors this year.
In a topsy-turvy world, who knows what to expect?
Andy Reistetter is a freelance golf writer covering all four major American golf tours- the PGA TOUR, Champions, Nationwide and LPGA Tours.
Reistetter resides in Pont Vedra Beach, Florida near the PGA TOUR headquarters and home of The PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
A lifetime golfer, Andy enjoys volunteering at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida and pursuing his passion for the game of golf and everything associated with it.
Please comment directly on this article or email him at AndyReistetter@gmail.com
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