A new golfing year is upon us, and as we have done in the first week of every year, here is my wish list for 2017…
Tiger Woods stays healthy and plays for the whole season:
Really, this has to be top of every golf fan’s wish list. My career as a golf journalist started at almost the same time he made his debut in a professional tournament – in the 1995 Masters – and I have relished the brand of golf he has played over the years and the impact he has had on the sport.
His comeback event was exciting – especially with him making so many birdies – but I am still not wishing for him to turn back the clock in 2017 and win loads of tournaments. Instead, the bestcase scenario would be gradual improvement in form, coupled with no further setbacks in the form of injuries recurring.
At 41, age is not an issue for Woods, but injury is. With Henrik Stenson showing last year that majors can be won after one has turned 40, a healthy Woods has plenty of time left to contend in majors in the future.
Rory McIlroy to win the Masters and completes his grand slam:
It’s been a continuous theme for the past two years, but there is no doubt that the build up of the first major of the season will once again be centred around the Northern Irishman.
There are only two current players who have the chance to complete a career grand slam with another major win – McIlroy at Masters and Phil Mickelson at the US Open. And there is no doubt that both deserve to have that honour.
McIlroy ended his PGA Tour season on a high, winning the FedEx Cup, but a career grand slam is a much better validation of his career. He will surely get many more chances, but why wait when it can be done this year?
Mickelson to win the US Open and completes his grand slam:
We alluded to this earlier, and after finishing second or tied second six times in the US Open in his long and illustrious career, the American will hopefully deliver this year when the tournament is played at Erin Hills.
Mickelson’s case is more urgent than McIlroy’s, simply because he is now 46 years old, and we have seen that if there is one major that is not kind to age, it is the US Open.
A better Sunday finish than last year’s Open at Royal Troon, if that’s possible! Having watched the ‘Duel in the Sun’ in the 1977 Open Championship at Turnberry only in videos, I will take the words of the legendary Jack Nicklaus himself as the gospel truth when he said the Sunday battle between Henrik Stenson and Mickelson was even more dramatic and exciting than the one he was involved in against Tom Watson.
Stenson (63) and Mickelson (65) were a combined 14-under par that day, which in itself was amazing considering that the rest of the quality field wasn’t really going crazy.
"It's very difficult to work and improve your body throughout the year, you really have to do that in the off season." -PM on his training pic.twitter.com/ZwY8njjNt8— KPMG Mickelson (@MickelsonHat) January 4, 2017
The Internationals to win the Presidents Cup:
Right now, given how strong the Americans are, it looks like a Mission Impossible scenario, but the Presidents Cup needs the Internationals to win just as much as the Ryder Cup needed an American victory last year to give the tournament a boost.
Right now, there are three players – world No1 Jason Day, No6 Hideki Matsuyama and No7 Adam Scott – who look more than capable of taking on the best of Team USA.
However, the top-12 American players are ranked inside the top-30 of the world rankings, while the Internationals will have to dig to No55 Hideto Tanihara to get their dozen.
Aditi Ashok to win Rookie of the Year on LPGA Tour:
India’s 18-year-old Aditi Ashok was the toast of the Ladies European Tour last year with her sensational performances, which included her winning back-to-back titles and finishing second in the Order of Merit. That
also won her the Rookie of the Year honour.
The confident youngster has secured a card on the LPGA Tour this year. And even though the difference between the two Tours is massive, Ashok is more than capable of surprising the top stars with her strong short game.
If that is what worked for Lydia Ko, now the world No1, there is no absolutely no reason for Ashok to struggle just because she is not the longest off the tee.
Happy New Year. Bring on 2017! pic.twitter.com/xjvqcHdq1O— Ladies European Tour (@LETgolf) January 1, 2017
Know more about Sport360 Application