In 2018, just seven days later, drunk with euphoria and joyous joy, golf was defined. First, there was Tiger Woods' superlunary show that was heading for the 18th green of the East Lake Golf Club, the manic slap of "I was there," disciples jumping up and down. The One Aisle Rope to watch the brave 42-year-old player win his first tournament in 1,876 days and complete one of the most remarkable returns of the sport.
Then, five laps later, Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood fell asleep and planted under a shower of champagne in another strip of greens, this time on the outskirts of Paris, while Europe was beating the United States in the Ryder Cup .
It was just one point of the golf calendar in September – 168 hours to be precise – but hid all that had preceded: the two great triumphs of Brooks Koepka, the best rankings of Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson. won for the first time in 101 tournaments.
Even now, as the PGA tour winds back between the alohas and petal necklaces of the imaginable Kapalua Plantation in Hawaii, you wonder how such therapeutic serenity could wake up the sport of hangover.
So we begin the new year in the same obsessional cycle of Woods: the old will be, will not it be really, the oh he surely does not. Twilight time stretched in the days following the victory. The pursuit of a 15th major coveted, which has so much weight in the short run but ultimately little if he does not have to outperform Jack Nicklaus, is only 18 years old, continues. This time, Woods enters every time as a favorite.
Yes, golf is in this helpless situation where, again, no matter what the exploits of its best players – Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and now Koepka – a skillful shot of the old blade and Woods wash them like a sinkhole. Maybe we will accept now that if someone appropriates the game by the skin of his tweed collar in 2019, as Woods did over two decades ago, he will come to the table. a younger generation who turned to Woods' aura rather than the one where she lived. his shadow.
Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau are these princes in pole position. The two Ryder Cup rookies who spent their childhood adoring Woods mounts, Rahm, who has just turned 24, was crowned the year when he won three races, culminating in second place of the world rankings and placing fourth in two major tournaments in 2018 beating Woods. in Sunday singles in Paris.
Maverick American DeChambeau, Rahm's senior and famous for his rigid airplane swing and wild neuroticism, has won four PGA Tour tournaments and climbed to fifth place in the world. Both have the ability to dethrone their hero and now have the maturity to wear his skin.
Rahm celebrates after defeating Woods in singles in Paris (Getty)
They will also vie for the protracted battle for world number one status, traded nine times for a record between Koepka, Justin Rose, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson last year as an undesirable crust.
Rose remains the most consistent player on the planet – his first FedEx Cup win throughout the season is proof – but he's almost 40, which adds up to the incredible amount of money that's available to him. 39, a major victory at the US Open in 2013. priority. Rose has played a major year since 2011 and Augusta, where he was eliminated in the playoffs by close friend Sergio Garcia in 2017, has always been well suited to his free kicks.
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His Ryder Cup teammate, Fleetwood, also hopes to be better after finishing 2nd at the US Open and played at the National Golf. While Tyrrell Hatton, still in a storm, and Eddie Pepperell, still tormented, are at the head of a rich contingent of English challengers who hope to build their career. best seasons.
Georgia Hall has become England's first Open champion for 14 years in 2018 (Getty)
But of course, the greatest golf achievement of 2018 took place on national soil and not under any of the aforementioned names when Georgia Hall knocked out South Korea's indomitable golf division and became the first champion of the English Open for 14 years.
Next September, the 22-year-old will be spearheading Europe at the 16th Solheim Cup in Gleneagles and promises to significantly improve women's football. Admittedly, this is the only team event worth a few seconds in 2019, while the President's Cup offers a new useless procession in patriotic fanfare as the United States conquers the "rest of the world". In 12 editions of the unbalanced tournament, the international team has won only once.
No, in 2019, golf returns to traditional etiquette. The look is back on the slippery summer months of the majors, although the PGA persists in wanting to group them on a slope in order to turn the end-of-season championship into a fifth-place informal rather than another stream. of vulgar money.
Speaking of which, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will not promise to spare us another nauseating paying match.