See you at Augusta. That’s the average sports fan’s feelings towards golf after the end of the Ryder Cup, and Tiger Woods delaying his return to the game is unlikely to help that view.
The NFL and college football seasons are in full flow, the NBA is about to start up again and baseball’s World Series is just around the corner.
Europe is preoccupied with its own football, for many of us the weather is getting colder, and even the most avid golf enthusiasts are counting down the six months until their sport is relevant again.
I must admit, last season did go particularly fast. It seems like yesterday Jordan Spieth was chunking a wedge shot into Rae’s creek. The next thing you know, Jimmy Walker is a major champion, Rory is $11.5million richer and the U.S.A. have won only their second Ryder Cup since Brookline.
Spieth’s meltdown at Augusta was one of the most memorable moments of 2016 (Credit: Getty)
However, we aren’t done yet.
Tiger may have postponed his return to action, but there is still hope he will play in his own tournament – the Hero World Challenge, in December.
Disappointing as Woods’ withdrawals from the Safeway and Turkish Airlines Opens are, it is nevertheless very refreshing to hear him be so open about the state of his game. In previous years, the 14-time major champ would almost brag about how well he was hitting the ball after an absence. This was often followed by a few rounds in the 80s and being carted off the course with a recurring injury, not to be seen again for months.
Breaking; Mass evacuation of Napa reported as golf media flee on the back of Tiger's Safeway Open withdrawal. Remarkable.
— Tweeter Alliss (@TweeterAlliss) October 10, 2016
The relaxed, level-headed mentality we saw from Tiger at the Ryder Cup seems to have carried over into his own game. Hopefully he can get back to his best and give some of the young guns a run for their money in next year’s majors.
Aside from that, there is still unfinished business on the European Tour for the likes of Danny Willett, Henrik Stenson and McIlroy, as they fight it out for the Race to Dubai – which concludes at the DP World Tour Championship on November 20. All four reigning major champions have also committed to play in the final World Golf Championship event of the year in Shanghai at the end of October.
For those who enjoyed the Ryder Cup, the World Cup of Golf offers another team event – with Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker scheduled to represent the U.S. team. Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama, Thomas Pieters and Masters champion Willett will also be teeing it up in Melbourne on November 24.
Walker and Fowler played together at the 2014 Ryder Cup (Credit: Brian Spurlock – USA TODAY Sports)
With all of this happening before 2017 is even upon us, there is no excuse for not getting your fair share of golf this fall.