Steen Says: 2013, the year of American golf

Steen Says: 2013, the year of American golf

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Cody Finney / The Arbiter

Well, it’s official.  The best professional sports season has officially begun: golf.  Now, am I a little biased on this? Yes, 100 percent. But if 2012 is any indication, the 2013 PGA Tour season has the makings for one of the most memorable years in the game’s history.

The 2012 season was the year where arguably the greatest player to ever step on a golf course, Tiger Woods, returned to the spotlight in grand form as Woods snagged his first official victory since the fall of 2009, and finished the season with three wins and climbed all the way back up to no. 2 in the official World Golf Rankings.  However, Tiger hasn’t won a major since the famed 2008 U.S. Open where Woods won the tournament in a Monday playoff, on a broken leg no less.  By Tiger’s standards however, he hasn’t officially returned to form until he picks up major number 15 and gets off the longest drought of his illustrious career.

Golf, since Tiger’s final major, has been one of sheer unpredictability.  There have been 18 majors played since the 2008 U.S. Open, 14  different players have won one major with  the other four split by two players, one of which being the current number one overall ranked player in the world, Northern Ireland’s, Rory Mcilroy.  Of these 18 majors, five of them have been won by Americans, a vast drop in percentage from the years prior to 2008.  The United States was represented in the winner’s circle 10 of the 17 majors in the four years prior to Woods’ U.S. Open win.

2013 could be a showing of American talent as several players are rising to the top of the competition.  Woods is clearly the frontrunner for the red, white, and blue, but a few players for the U.S. have pushed their way to the front of the line, specifically, Brandt Snedeker.

Snedeker rounded out 2012 by capturing the season finale Tour Championship and simultaneously, the season long playoffs race, the FedEx Cup which netted him a cool $10 million dollars.  How did he back it up? With two runner-ups and a win at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am to start out the 2013 season.  With the win at Pebble, Snedeker vaulted his way up to no. 4 in the World Golf Rankings, trailing only Rory Mcilroy, Tiger Woods, and Luke Donald. Players from the United States have now won all six of the 2013 events and the trend isn’t showing signs of slowing down.  If we can foreshadow, 2013 could possibly be the year of the American golfer.

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