Hopes, Resolutions and Dreams for 2020 Vision
And so, a new year begins. Most of us will have made resolutions, many of which will have already been broken. And our guess is that the world’s best golfers will have done the same thing. Here, we take a look at a few of their hopes and aspirations and wonder who will end up discovering that they have 2020 vision.
Captain America must surely have reached the point in is career where he wants to put all the controversy behind him. Bunkergate refuses to go away, despite his protestations that he did not deliberately improve his lie in the sand at the Hero World Challenge. He was roundly booed during the Presidents Cup in Australia and has still being given a hard time at the Tournament of Champions, when he lost in a playoff. And there’s the thing with Reed - he has this uncanny ability to shrug it all off and keep playing fabulous golf. He may never win any popularity contests, but it is to be hoped that he can just focus on his play this year. Don’t put any serious money open it though.
When it doesn’t really matter, McIlroy is at times unbeatable. OK, maybe it is a trifle unfair to describe the Players Championship and Tour Championship as occasions when it doesn’t matter. And the Northern Irishman did win four times in 2019 and was named PGA Tour Player of the Year. He is a majestic driver of the golf ball. He strikes wonderful, towering iron shots. He conjures awe-inspiring recovery shots. And there are even occasions when he putts like he knows what he is doing. And then along come the majors. He has won four of them, the most recent of them in 2014. So, Rory just wants one thing for 2020 - a major. He would take any major, but the one he really wants is The Masters, which would give him a career grand slam.
Do you honestly believe that Woods will be happy to rest on the laurels of what he achieved in 2019, when he won The Masters and led the USA to a memorable fightback win at the Presidents Cup? Of course not. He also went under the knife again and won the ZoZo Championship upon his return. He is now 44 years old and has 15 majors to his name. Ask him if he believes he will add to that tally and he will reply with a one-word answer: “Absolutely.” And if he can remain fit, it is difficult to argue with him.
The Irishman does things his own way. Always has done. And some eyebrows were raised when he was named Ryder Cup captain. But make no mistake about this - Harrington may be a tad eccentric but he will leave no stone unturned when trying to give his players an advantage when they travel across the Atlantic to defend the trophy. Don’t be surprised if there are some left-field decisions when he names his wild-cards, but rest assured that Harrington has Europe’s best interests at heart.
He has one Race to Dubai crown to his name and came so close to adding a second in 2019. He finished second at The Open Championship and looks like a potential winner every time he tees the ball up. And he went though an entire season without missing a cut on either the European or PGA Tour. It is only when you sit down and consider how different are all the courses used on those tours that you begin to understand the scale of that achievement. But all courses are the same to Fleetwood. His big hope for 2020? Another Ryder Cup victory and success at The Open at Royal St George’s.
How good can the Spaniard become? How long is a piece of string? He finished last year as Race to Dubai winner, and has become a serial champion. He will surely become a Ryder Cup legend. The question is: will he become Spain’s greatest ever golfer? Can he enjoy a more successful career than Seve Ballesteros? All the evidence suggests that he can and that he will. He has a volcanic temper but is finding ways to cope with it, and it doesn’t throw him off track. We all know about his power. But he is also a wonderful putter and will be targeting his first major this year.
When he won The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in 2017, Spieth had the world in his hands. It was his third major victory and it seemed certain that he would carry on winning them for fun. But Spieth has always been a wayward driver and it has finally caught up with him. It put extra pressure on his incredible putting stroke and all of a sudden, he was struggling to make cuts, far less win tournaments. It is difficult to believe that his most recent victory was that Open, when he produced one of the most astonishing finishes ever witnessed. For now, Spieth will settle for remembering how to win again in 2020.
The best player never to have won a major. How that must hurt Fowler. And the worst thing is that there is no getting away from it. He is good enough to represent his country at the Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup and Olympic Games; he wins big tournaments in front of big galleries, beating the biggest names in his sport. But still that major victory eludes him. He would dearly love to put that right in 2020. Will he? Probably not.
The German is a former world number one. He won the US PGA Championship. And he won the US Open by a country mile. He holed the putt that won the Ryder Cup at Medinah, completing the greatest comeback in the history of the competition. He had always been a streaky player but who would have believed that his most recent victory would have been the 2014 US Open. In 2015 he led the Abu Dhabi Championship by 10 shots with 13 holes to play. The wheels came off in the most spectacular fashion and he ended up finishing third. He hasn’t looked like winning since. Hopefully the golfing gods will give him a victory this year. Any victory will do.
To be able to find a way to complete 18 holes in under five hours. That’s it. Period!
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