We’re a day away from the start of the FedEx Cup Championship, but it’s hard to have The Barclays on your mind when you’re reflecting on this summer of golf.
Rory McIlroy broke off his engagement, then went on to win the British Open, Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship back-to-back-to-back. I bet Caroline Wozniacki is really loving all of this. Nothing like your ex-fiance taking over the golf world in a way we haven’t seen since Tiger’s peak to show how heart broken he was over the split.
Honestly, I’m fine with a couple of hearts breaking if we get to see dramatic Sunday’s like we did at the PGA Championship. All in the game.
While McIlroy stomped out the field like Godzilla on a destructive Sunday stroll in New York City, Tiger Woods did nothing but swear at his clubs and go back on the injured list. I don’t mean to be dramatic, but he’s done right? Outside of a tournament win here and there and maybe a major championship down the line when we really don’t expect him to win it, I think we’re at a point with what we get from Tiger is what we get.
We can talk all we want in the future about how he’s showing signs of “The Old Tiger” and he’s showing sign of sustained health, but those conversations will most likely not yield the results we’ve come to expect from him. Time to shift those expectations and move on.
Thankfully, there’s plenty to move on to. We couldn’t say that a few years ago.
Rickie Fowler has shown the maturity and ability this year to contend for majors. Butch Harmon has polished his game and refined the imperfections of his golf swing to the point that I would be surprised if Fowler wasn’t in the hunt on Sunday’s.
Jordan Spieth didn’t need much refinement or have to suffer through many growing pains when he hit the PGA Tour as a pro in 2012. He took the transition in stride and finished second at The Masters this year. Pretty good for a kid who could only legally buy a beer a month ago.
Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer, Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson (when he’s not partying or philandering) are names we will frequently see in the Top 10 for years to come. And for all of Bubba’s quirks and grumpy moods, he provides a greater number of awesome shots and positive contributions to society.
Woods and Phil Mickelson are becoming the old guard of the PGA Tour. You used to have to go through Woods to win a major, now there’s no “Tiger Toll.” Instead, a golfer will typically have to hold off a Mickelson weekend charge where the momentum can change in an instant.
It was fun watching Tiger dominate for years, but I'd prefer seeing this clash of generations on Sunday's for the forseeable future.