Roll on 2015
Henrik Stenson’s defence of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai could do nothing to stop the World number 1 Rory McIlroy from winning the Vardon Trophy as Europe’s leading player in 2014. McIlroy was never going to be caught after his career year. He picked up the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May but the year was capped by a memorable month where he demolished three world class fields to win The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club and USPGA Championship at Valhalla. And of course he contributed handsomely with 3 points at The Ryder Cup. Bubba Watson won his second Green Jacket and Martin Kaymer won the Players Championship and also his second Major at the US Open. Reviews are “so last year” so let’s have a look forward at 2015 and beyond!!
Rory is perfectly positioned to lead the new wave of young guns into 2015 and beyond. If anything I think 2014 has shown us that golf has moved to a new level and the younger players have realised that the game will no longer be dominated by Messrs. Woods, Mickelson, Els et al. Looking at the list of up and coming talent is fascinating and I think the USA has some great prospects led by Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Billy Horschel and Chris Kirk. Two players plying their trade in Europe are Peter Uihlein and recent winner Brooks Koepka. The latter is a powerful player and looks set for superstardom over the next few years. Europe and Asia also has some hot prospects with Victor Dubuisson, Alexander Levy, Sang Moon Bae and Hideki Matsuyama all fancied to improve more next year having had breakthrough years in 2014.
At the recent tour school Indian player Anirban Lahiri, last year’s US Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick and 17 year old Italian Renato Paratore secured their playing rights for 2015 and I for one will be intrigued to see how they perform.