In a follow-up from an earlier blog, 2013 Golf: Is Tiger Woods The First Half Player Of The Year? I wanted toadd a discussion regarding the biggest disappointments from the first half of the 2013 season. I had felt going in, that some of our good young American players would step up and both, put some pressure on Tiger Woods, and begin dominating the PGA. That has not happened.
Other than tournaments won by Tiger Woods, and the Waste Management Phoenix open where Phil Mickelson got hot, the only player from the US who stepped up, was 2012 FedEx Cup Champion Brandt Snedeker. Until Snedeker had to pull out due to a rib injury that he said occurred at The Humana Challenge, he battled both Tiger, and Lefty with second place finishes before picking up his win at Pebble Beach. Since coming back from his rehab, Snedeker hasn’t been the same player we saw before the layoff.
After missing a couple of cuts in his early return, Snedeker picked up a sixth place tie at The Masters. He played at Harbour Town in The RBC Heritage, but couldn’t get out of the 70’s and finished in a tie for 59th place. I look for Brandt Snedeker to find the game he had earlier in the season, and make a come back in the second half.
What about the remainder of our young stars? Other than the season opener at The Hyundai in Hawaii, Dustin Johnson has faded into obscurity, Bubba Watson can’t seem to get out of his own way, and Hunter Mahan has disappeared from the landscape. Rickie Fowler has played well at times, but can’t seem to find that second tour win, and Keegan Bradley can only find bad luck, no trophies.
Other than Tiger Woods being the only multiple winner in the early going, the tournaments have mostly been won by young players that were in need of either their first PGA victory, or PGA journeymen like DA Points and Brian Gay, who needed wins at The Shell Houston Open, and The Humana Challenge to re-gain their standings in the golfing community.
I personally love to see first time winners on the tour like Billy Horschel, Russell Henley, John Merrick, and Michael Thompson get their first victories. It makes their lives easier with the exemptions, and of course the Masters Invitation, but I would like to have seen someone from the upper echelon to get hot, and dominate for a while. But it never came.
I had voiced my opinion before the season began that if none of the young talent was able to become dominant, it would have to be Tiger Woods carrying the American Flag once more to fend of the multitude of European stars who have taken up residence on the PGA Tour and looking to make a name for themselves. Let’s face it, Rory McIlroy is going to find his game soon, Graeme McDowell has already won at Harbour Town, and it is only a matter of time until Louie Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Adam Scott and Thorbjorn Olesen will return, looking to give our guys a game. I hope they’re ready.
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