The Year In Retrospect
Contributor: Doug Ferguson
Golf in 2015 will be remembered for one of the most exciting seasons for years and ended with two new world No. 1 players who showed the games shift towards youthful brilliance. Jordan Spieth, 22, who won two major championships and led a new “Big Three” in men’s golf ahead of Jason Day and Rory McIlroy. Lydia Ko, still a teenager at 18, topped the Rolex Rankings after becoming the youngest ever winner of a women’s major. All this and more feature in the prestigious 50th edition of the annual founded by Mark H. McCormack, Rolex Presents the World of Professional Golf 2016.
Mr. McCormack, the founder of IMG, passed away in 2003 at the age of 72, but this publication continues in his memory. Spieth led from start to finish in dominating the Masters and then defeated Dustin Johnson in a thrilling finish to the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. The charming Texan then finished just one stroke outside of the playoff won by Zach Johnson at the Open Championship at St. Andrews before being runner up at the PGA Championship. He won five times in all and claimed the PGA Tour’s FedExCup but was challenged strongly by PGA champion Day, who also won five times. An emotional victory at the Australian and at Whistling Straits followed his battle with Vertigo throughout the summer.
McIlroy had his season interrupted by an injury that forced the Northern Irishman to miss The Open, yet he still won four times, including a WGC event, and retained his Race to Dubai title on the European Tour. Rickie Fowler was another to grab some of the glory by winning The Players Championship in a dramatic playoff, the Scottish Open and a FedExCup Playoff event. Nor did Ko have everything her own way on the women’s circuit despite winning the Evian championship by six strokes with a closing 63.
The New Zealander won six times around the world as well as the LPGA’s Player of the Year and CME race to the globe titles. But Inbee Park won five times, including the KPMG Women’s PGA and the Ricoh Women’s British Open, and compatriot In-Gee Chun eight times around the world, including U.S. Women’s Open. In two exciting team contests, America launched a record come back to win the Solheim Cup against Europe in Germany, while they survived the nail-biting finish against the internationals at the Presidents cup in South Korea.