2010 Belongs to the Euros
Pretty much a complete sweep for European professional golf on the PGA circuit this season, with just a few notable exceptions. Overall, however, 2010 will forever be remembered as the season when Europe whupped-up on the US. With a single putt to end his 2010 PGA Season, US Open Champion Graeme McDowell outlasted Tiger Woods to win the Chevron Classic, marking the first time in Woods' professional career where a complete Tour season has come and gone without tallying a win for Tiger. As golf fans can now recall, this was a reoccurring theme for the entire golf season.
With the exception of Phil Mickelson's win in Augusta, European golfers captured all three remaining Majors in impressive style. The Ryder Cup is now back on the blue and yellow side, and Lee Westwood is the new World Golf Ranking #1. Sprinkle in a few additional tournament titles here and there, well... you get the idea.
For Woods, 2010 couldn't have ended soon enough. We all know the storylines by now, and we all know how Woods' game struggled as a result of his off-course issues. However, as Yahoo! Sports' Martin Rogers writes, the gap between "old Tiger" and "new Tiger" might not be too far away after all:
No one is suggesting that Woods hates losing any less than before. But his life and happiness isn’t measured so much in “Xs and Os” anymore and if he had to lose, at least it came with a handful of saving graces.
“It was a great week, even though I didn’t win,” Woods said.”I am proud of today even though I lost. I lost my swing in the middle part of the round and put it back together again, piece by piece. And the shot I hit on 18 in regulation was nice. To put it together again when I needed it the most was a good feeling. I fought hard, I fought really hard.”
Perspective was gained by golf fans all over the world this year in one way or another (i.e., differing on which side of "the pond" you reside). The stage has been set for a European dominance that this sport hasn't seen in years. 2011 is going to be very, very interesting.