What a start to the 2018 Summer of Golf.
Wainui hosted a magnificent re-boot to the Masters Golf in January, with Rod Duke & Gerard Peterson being the major sponsors and REBEL Sport having the naming rights. The weather in Auckland in January has been intermixed with massive downpours and very hot spells so we spare a thought for all the greenkeepers out there trying to keep your courses in pristine condition.
A huge number of eyes have been on Tiger Woods this month. There have been many doubters and nay sayers in the golfing community who have publicly expressed their opinions that Tiger will never make it back onto the main tour, indeed in this magazine our thoughts have certainly been wavering.
However, at Torrey Pines at the end of January I think we can safely say that there are more than signs of life in the old cat. The first hurdle was to make the cut and that was looking increasingly tenuous towards the end of his second round but the mental will certainly kicked in as he birdied his 18th to scrape through.
The second hurdle was; did he have the strength and match fitness to make it through a further 36 punishing holes on the South Course? Tiger certainly answered the questions . He did not win. Not even close but he finished inside the top 30, in style, with some humour, even after some moronic spectator started yelling at him as he was putting on the par 5 13th hole on the Sunday. Tiger took the incident in his stride and ignored the clown even as some of the crowd were baying for retribution.
That was the thing about the crowds. Woods’ presence alone boosted the TV ratings by hundreds of a percentage point and the on course field lining the fairway and the green where he was putting was immense. Where Tiger goes in golf so does the golf economy!
Tiger Woods’s next scheduled start is the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club on February. 15-18 in Los Angeles. He states that he is feeling no pain in his back and his short game is certainly looking good. He has some work to do on his long game though, however there will be no news or surprise in that!
So Peter Thornton’s predictions on 2018 are already looking good.
The 2018 summer of golf now continues with the NZPGA championship being held in Palmerston North at the end of the month followed a week later by the NZ Open in Queenstown. See you there.