Five things to look forward to in 2009

A new year brings a new dawn for golf with plenty to look forward to in 2009.

An epic 12 months has just passed us with Tiger Woods’ incredible victory at the US Open, his subsequent injury-enforced withdrawal from the Tour, the emergence of Padraig Harrington as a genuine star and the United States’ Ryder Cup triumph all coming to mind.

Many golf publications, both print and online, have come up with various lists about what the new year holds for the sport. Not wanting to be left out, here are five things that I’m looking forward to in 2009.

• Tiger Woods’ return – Like him or loathe him, the re-appearance, or not, of Tiger Woods in 2009 is something everybody wants to know about. Woods has been out of the game since undergoing knee surgery soon after winning the US Open in June. The pundits expect him to make a comeback just before the US Masters in April, though the man himself has been very cagey and has not committed to a date.

• The same Tiger Woods? – I thought I might put this in the same category as Woods’ return but I feel it is an entirely different aspect altogether … that of how he performs once he does return. Anybody can come back from an injury. But an ACL injury, which pretty much destroyed former England football player Paul Gascoigne’s career, can be cruel. There is no doubt that, few golfers are as driven and determined than Tiger. But he is only human. If he can come back as the same golfer in terms of tournament success, then he belongs on another planet.

• Race to Dubai: The European Tour is now in a true heavyweight tussle for global domination rights with the US PGA Tour. Its new Race to Dubai, which replaces the Order of Merit and leads up to the $20 million Dubai World Championship, has fired up world golf with many American stars, including Phil Mickelson and Anthony Kim, expecting to play more tournaments on the other side of the pond.

• Jeev Milka Singh: One of the nicest guys you can meet in golf, Jeev, in my opinion, has what it takes to become Asia’s first major winner. That is, if you discount the fact that Tiger Woods, ethnicity-wise, is half Asian and Vijay Singh is of Indian heritage. Jeev and South Korea’s SK Ho are probably the only Asians who have the mental strength to triumph at one of the four majors. Jeev, the Asian Tour’s number one in 2008, had made it his goal to win a major tournament sooner rather than later. He wants to be more famous in India than his father, a former Olympic sprinter.

• John Daly: According to an AP report, Daly has told the news agency that he has been banned from the PGA Tour for six months. No reasons were given but a litany of dodgy behaviour over the past 12 months may have something to do with it. Putting that aside, his sheer talent and his entertainment factor means golf is the poorer without the big American. In certain ways, his come back is more difficult than Tiger’s. I hope both can return stronger and better than ever before.

One Response to “Five things to look forward to in 2009”

  1. Thomas Rooney says:

    I must say that the return on Tiger Woods is something I am really looking forward to. You just know that the script is written for him to win his first tournament back.

    Great site you have by the way. If you would be able to send me an email when you get the chance – that would be great.



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