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
After watching JT collapse on the last round of the Genesis Open, Bobby Jones’ words echo loud and clear. Golf is a peculiar sport where on any given day any player could rise to the top of the leaderboard. It is one of the its best and worst features.
At one time, the professional golf landscape focused on 10 core players. These elite players would enthrall the golfing world and were expected to win day in and day out. However, around 2010 and the decline of Tiger Woods due to injury (excluding 2012 and 2013), the culture surrounding the PGA Tour started to change.
It was a gradual shift where the top 10 players in the world are in the mix most weeks, but it is no longer a given that they will win. The competition from first time players, journeyman and rising stars is relentless. If you do not play your best when leading on Sunday, there is no cruising to victory. Unfortunately, JTs +5 yesterday proves that.
JB Holmes played steady golf and overcame a 6 shot deficit to carve out a victory. In the past, there would be no way that a player ranked 100 in the world would have accomplished this feat. It would have been unheard of for a journeyman like Holmes to stand in the winners circle being down 6 during the last round.
However, the landscape of golf has changed. There are no guarantees anymore. Tiger was the last great player who demonstrated a longevity to win. He dominated for so long that many pundits forgot that there were other great players in the mix. Now, picking a winner each week is virtually impossible. There always seems to be a new name at or near the top of the leaderboard. Personally, I like the culture shift and look forward to seeing what happens next week.
Do you think the culture of winning on the PGA Tour is changing?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!