The Year In Retrospect
Contributor: Doug Ferguson
The 54th edition of Rolex Presents The World of Professional Golf chronicles. So much was different about golf in 2019 but Tiger Woods wearing a green jacket was not. Even a fifth Masters title, and a 15th major championship, came with a twist, however. In 1997, Woods had walked off the 18th green at Augusta National into the arms of his father. This time he was the one embracing his children. It was an iconic moment that transcended sport.
The story is just one of many recounted in the 54th edition of the prestigious annual founded by Mark H. McCormack, Rolex Presents the World of Professional Golf 2020. Mr. McCormack, the founder and chairman of IMG, passed away in 2003 at the age of 72, but this publication continues in his memory. In 2019 golf saw a huge overhaul of the Rules, the PGA Championship moving to May, the Open Championship returning to the island of Ireland, where Shane Lowry proved a popular winner, the Tour Championship using a radical new scoring system and Masters week opening with the finale of the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
But Woods dominating the golfing scene was not new. After yet another surgery, he returned late in the year to win the Zozo Championship in Japan and tie Sam Snead’s record 82 PGA Tour victories. Then, as a playing captain who won all three of his matches, Woods led America to victory at an exciting Presidents Cup in Australia. Player of the Year honours, however, were fought over by World No.1 Brooks Koepka, who retained the PGA Championship and finished no worse than fourth in the four majors, and Rory McIlroy, who won the Players Championship and the FedEx Cup.
Jon Rahm became the second Spaniard, after Seve Ballesteros, to be the European Tour No. 1 by winning the Race to Dubai. In the women’s game, there was no disputing Jin Young Ko’s spot at the top of the Rolex Rankings after she won four LPGA titles, including two majors, while Japanese rookie Hinako Shibuno made a startling debut on the worldwide scene by winning the AIG Women’s British Open. Suzann Petersen could not have made a more dramatic exit when the 38-year old retired after holing the final putt at Gleneagles to give Europe victory in Solheim Cup. These and other events are fully chronicled in Rolex Presents the World of Professional Golf 2020. There are chapters on each of the major championships and on each of the world tours. There are scoring summaries of every tournament played in the world during 2019, the world rankings, and unique to this publication – the World Money Lists.