The Reuters global sports blog
Luke Donald’s complete dominance of Wentworth’s brutal West Course has led the world to sit up and take notice, while his chanting fans have also made their mark.
Not that people were not aware of Donald before, just that his latest victory and the fashion in which he won Europe´s PGA have raised his profile in his native England and made him the golfer to beat again.
“That was a huge win for Tiger Woods today. Our game just got a whole lot more interesting,” scribed world number 11 Dustin Johnson on Twitter on Sunday after his fellow American dominated the field at Bay Hill to clinch the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
This theme is already being discussed just hours after former world number one Woods won his first PGA Tour event since September 2009 after a much publicised fall from grace towards the end of that year and at the beginning of 2010.
Rory McIlroy became the second youngest number one golfer on Sunday after Tiger Woods when the Northern Irishman survived a final-round special from the 14-times major winner at the Honda Classic in Florida.
Golf is in fine fettle. 22-year-old McIlroy can do no wrong, Woods is showing signs of a resurgence and the pair will meet again at next week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship in nearby Doral for another elite-field event.
The photos depict it, Rory McIlroy’s been saying it, now it’s up to the Abu Dhabi Golf Club to confirm that at long last, Tiger Woods is happy and fighting fit again.
That the 14-times major champion should choose the European Tour’s first big event of the season to make his 2012 debut in favour of one of his favourite courses at Torrey Pines in California is one thing.
from Tom Pilcher:
So, those statistics. 25 tournaments entered, two money list titles (he became the first person to win both the PGA Tour and European Tour order of merit honours in the same season), four victories, 19 top 10s (including wins), and three top 20s. Crucially however, no major title.
One of the most riveting final rounds at the Masters left Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy dealing with bitter disappointment, although they each appear to have bright prospects going forward.
Woods, without a tournament win for nearly 17 months, looked like the Tiger of old as he charged into contention over the front nine at Augusta National on Sunday, banishing any thought he might be a spent force.
Professional golf has benefited from two refreshing developments over the last year-and-a-half: the stunning impact made by some of the younger guns and a preponderance of first-time winners in the majors.
Sensational victories in the United States and Japan by Rory McIlroy and Ryo Ishikawa in early June served notice a new guard may be emerging to dominate the game over the next decade.
This week’s Memorial tournament, an elite PGA Tour event in its own right hosted by golfing great Jack Nicklaus, is sure to offer several pointers toward the likely contenders at this month’s U.S. Open.
Many of the game’s leading players are making their final appearances on the circuit before switching focus to the second major of the year, which takes place at majestic Pebble Beach from June 17-20.
It is fair to say we all expected an American with a surname beginning with W to be soaring up the British Open leaderboard but everyone has been shocked that it is 59-year-old senior Tom Watson topping the strong field and not a certain Tiger Woods.
Whilst the world number one toiled in calm conditions at Turnberry’s Ailsa course on Thursday, five-times Open champion Watson was recording a bogey-free five-under-par 65 to take the early clubhouse lead.