The 2015 golf season was like the party you attended that ended at the perfect time. You had a blast, and just as the party had reached its peak, it was over with a bang, leaving you begging for more the next time around.
World No. 1 Jordan Spieth, No. 2 Jason Day and No. 6 Rickie Fowler won the last four events of the season. Spieth took home the Tour Championship finale, 10-million cash, and Player of The Year honors.
Setting up for what should be a thrilling 2016, was Rory McIlroy, who fought an injured ankle down the home stretch portion of the season. These young guns taking over leaderboards by storm, with flair, charisma, passion and class sets up the most exciting start to a golf season in 2016 since Tiger Woods finished off 2007 with a win at The PGA Championship.
I always look to The Tournament of Champions at The Plantation Course at Kapalua in Maui as the start to the new golf year. They’ll get underway on the Valley Isle on Jan. 7. One has to have won a tournament in the year prior to receive an invite to The Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Expected in the field are Spieth, Day and Fowler along with Patrick Reed, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson and one of the very newest young guns, Justin Thomas.
McIlroy has been playing more golf this off-season than in the past but it looks like we’ll have to wait until The Humana Challenge or Torrey Pines, both in late January, before we see him stateside again.
Of course many golf fans, casual and enthusiasts, don’t call it the beginning of the season until we reach that very special weekend in early April when the best in the world compete in the year’s first Major Championship, The Masters, ushering in the Spring season and golf officially.
Will we see Tiger Woods at the 2016 Masters? Tiger turns 40 this Wednesday. He underwent his second back surgery last September and has taken the rest of the year off since. Woods was out three months the last time he underwent back surgery.
My guess is we will see him at Augusta. If I had to today, I would bet him to make the cut but not contend for the green jacket. I still believe Tiger will win one more Major before he’s done.
Woods and Mickelson look to be heading toward the exits sooner rather than later, while Spieth and his posse of Day, McIlroy, Fowler, Reed, Branden Grace, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, and Justin Rose appear to be on the marquee for the next decade.
• Rickie Fowler will win a Major Championship.
• Woods will not win a single tournament.
• Thomas Pieters will win PGA Tour Rookie of The Year.
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