No-one will ever have golf under his thumb. No round ever will be so good it could not have been better. Perhaps this is why golf is the greatest of games. You are not playing a human adversary; you are playing a game. You are playing old man par. – Bobby Jones
The words of Bobby Jones ring true even today. The streak style of golf these days is a testament to legendary players like Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer who dominate the game for decades. Rivalries were the backbone of professional golf. It appears the days of pure dominance is over!
Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth’s play of late is inconsistent at best. Sitting one and two in the world respectively, these young lions seem to have lost the dominate edge. Nipping closely at their heels is Jason Day, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, and Adam Scott. On any given day, one or two of these six players could crush the playing field.
The player with the current hot streak is Adam Scott! In his last 4 events, including this weekend, he has won twice finished second once and is current tied for second. Not bad considering many felt he would not survive the new rule about anchoring the putter.
Adam Scott is a perfect example of the parity in golf right now! With 5 wins each last year, everyone expected Jordan Spieth and Jason Day to pick up where they left off; well this appears not to be the case. The constant change at the top of the leaderboard can be attributed to the strength of the professionals; young and old!
Being a Ryder Cup Year, a fast start is critical to securing enough points to make the team. I am confident the top 6 in the world will be there, but who is going to play their way onto each team. Players like Patrick Reed, Kevin Kisner, Kevin Na and Ryan Moore have 4 top 10 finishes already and will need to continue their steady play to have a chance. Other US players to watch for the USA team are Bill Haas, Brooks Koepka, and Jason Dufner. Obviously, winning would be very helpful.
The European Ryder Cup team is more challenging to determine. However, players such as Rory McIlroy, Henrick Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Danny Willett, and Justin Rose are poised to make the team. Other players such as Victor Dubuisson, Chris Wood, Kristoffer Broberg, and Rafa Cabrera-Bello will need to play solid golf for the entire season to have a chance of making the dominate European Ryder Cup Team.
For the players vying for both Ryder Cup Teams, hitting a hot streak sometime during the 2016 golf season would be very beneficial. As I stated earlier, the most dominant player in golf is generally the player on a hot streak. I this case, it is Adam Scott, but nothing stops the players mentioned above from doing the same thing!
Rory McIlroy after his Wednesday practice round at the 2015 PGA Championship stated, “In golf, eras last about 6 months instead of 20 years!” McIlroy hit the nail on the head, dominating in golf is always short-lived. Today it is Scott dominating; tomorrow it might be Day or Johnson. So how can rivalries be built if players quickly rise and fall from grace within the media.
The professional golf landscape is full of fantastic young players. The core 15 players will be around for some time and developing the rivalries of old is unlikely. They will jockey up and down the world rankings and weekly leaderboards as their play fluctuates. Personally, I enjoy watching different players rise into the spotlight and snatch victory out of no where! I think it makes for great golf!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!