Maui Musings: 5 questions for a new year in golf

“If you wish to understand how to hook a Three-wood into the rubbish, I will assist with that,” Thomas mentioned.

“If you wish to have to understand how to three-putt,” Schauffele countered, pointing towards the 18th inexperienced at Kapalua.

Thomas hit this sort of shot ultimate 12 months within the Sentry Match of Champions and it just about value him. He made bogey at the ultimate hollow, which looked as if it would open the door for Schauffele till his three-putt par resulted in a three-man playoff that Thomas received.

However that used to be ultimate 12 months.

It is time to glance forward, and taking into account how 2020 spread out, the hope is it may possibly best recover. Listed here are 5 subjects to believe sooner than Hudson Swafford hits the primary shot of the brand new 12 months:

THE FANS

“It used to be a nasty spherical, however I’ve to assume there used to be perhaps a excellent shot in there,” he mentioned.

Golfing hasn’t been the similar with out them. Schauffele used to be requested when he concept they may go back and he mentioned, “With a bit of luck, once imaginable.”

There will probably be a small amassing of folks seated across the 18th inexperienced at Kapalua, however they may be able to’t pass anyplace else. No enthusiasts in Honolulu or in California (the Genesis Invitational hasn’t introduced a plan, however taking into account the cases in Los Angeles, no enthusiasts will also be anticipated). The Phoenix Open is making plans for eight,000, a fragment of its customary crowd.

The following resolution falls to Florida, about two months away, which is beginning to really feel as despite the fact that it is proper across the nook. The massive query is Augusta Nationwide. And nobody is extra involved than Ryder Cup officers.

THE RYDER CUP

No different golfing event is based such a lot on noise than the Ryder Cup, which is why it used to be postponed from ultimate September. This time, it could no longer have a call however to play without or with enthusiasts.

However who performs?

The highest six going into 2021 are Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Thomas, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa and Schauffele. U.S. captain Steve Stricker will get six choices this time, and he is nonetheless 8 months and 4 majors clear of getting a way of who will probably be there and who must be there.

Tiger Woods is at No. 17 and isn’t taking part in very frequently. Is he value some other select? Phil Mickelson has performed in each and every Ryder Cup since 1995 — Morikawa wasn’t even born then. He turns 51 in June and is coming near the two-year anniversary of his ultimate win. Because the ultimate Ryder Cup, Lefty has completed a mixed 84 photographs in the back of within the 5 majors he made the reduce.

American golfing is deep. And younger.

THE BATTLE FOR NO. 1

Through counting the FedEx Cup and no longer the uncooked ranking on the Excursion Championship, Johnson received or used to be runner-up in six of his ultimate seven tournaments. The exception used to be a tie for 6th on the U.S. Open.

That is why he isn’t best No. 1 on this planet, however has the most important hole over No. 2 since Rory McIlroy at first of 2015.

McIlroy, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas all have had moments of brilliance. Maintaining it over the process the 12 months has been the arduous section. No person since Woods in 2009 has stayed at No. 1 a complete 12 months.

Jon Rahm and Thomas are in the back of Johnson, and each are in a position to large years. Bryson DeChambeau is swinging quicker and quicker and promising to succeed in new frontiers.

TOKYO

March looms as a vital mile marker for deciding the destiny of the Olympics. Without reference to who represents which nation, it is usually a large setback for golfing if it desires to construct momentum from its a hit go back to the Olympics in 2016. It wishes the gold medal to in reality imply one thing.

It does to Justin Rose. He received in Rio de Janeiro, however the one-year extend did not assist his possibilities of returning. Rose went into ultimate 12 months at No. eight on this planet, the highest-ranked participant for Crew GB. Now he’s No. 35, the fifth-ranked British participant, and nations best get greater than two gamers — a most of 4 — if they’re some of the most sensible 15.

The fight to put on the Stars & Stripes figures to be fierce as ever, particularly with 11 American citizens some of the most sensible 15. That begins with Johnson, who had no purpose of taking part in at first of ultimate 12 months as a result of he did not need to be wiped out heading into the FedEx Cup postseason.

As for Woods? He began ultimate 12 months at No. eight, fourth amongst American citizens. Now he is at No. 41. His Olympic flame is flickering.

TIGER WOODS

A 12 months in the past, breaking the PGA Excursion report with victory No. 83 appeared extra like “when” than “if.” Now it is more than likely someplace in between, and best as a result of he is Tiger Woods.

The pandemic used to be disruptive, as used to be his well being in March (Woods did not play for a month sooner than golfing close down). After he began the 12 months through breaking par all 4 rounds and tying for 9th at Torrey Pines, Woods by no means contended. Within the subsequent seven tournaments the place he made the reduce, Woods completed on moderate greater than 18 photographs in the back of the winner.

The report continues to be one victory away. And he is nonetheless Tiger Woods. However it isn’t getting any more straightforward. Simplest 3 gamers older than Woods (45) have received a big — Jack Nicklaus, Previous Tom Morris and Julius Boros.

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