Happy Thanksgiving to all. I hope everyone (in America) is stuffing their faces with fattening foods, which make us distinctly American. You know, like cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and stuffing, just to name a few of my favorites.
I’m thankful for so many things and people in 2013 that I could write a book, so I’ll narrow it down to the events and individuals in golf that I most appreciate, but first and foremost, I’d like to to thank the WUP readers and all my social media followers for your continued support (and sometimes even trolling). I also don’t know what I’d do without my encouraging mentors and friends in the business.
Oh, I can’t forget the naysayers, either, since without them I don’t know if I would’ve gotten as far in my career as I have today — thanks for always providing challenges and obstacles that I’ve always used to motivate me to work harder and be even better.
Finally, many thanks to my very competent team — Conor Nagle, who has moved on to bigger and better things as a big-time editor at Ireland’s largest publishing house, and head researcher Shoshana Agus-Kleinman, along with the other behind-the-scenes folks who help keep WUP readable and running.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you, readers — this site wouldn’t exist without your continued support. Okay, now onto the golf-related events in 2013 that I’m most thankful for…
*Adam Scott: Becoming the first Australian to win the Masters, not to mention in AUS-SOME style.
*David Eger: “Saving” Tiger Woods from disqualification when the Champions Tour player called Masters tournament chairman Fred Ridley regarding Woods’ rules snafu on the 15th hole at Augusta National in the second round.
*Justin Rose: Closing out the U.S. Open in style on the 18th hole with his superb ballstriking in the spirit of Ben Hogan. He dedicated his win on Father’s Day to his dad who died of Leukemia a dozen years ago.
*Phil Mickelson: Winning the Scottish Open in Phil-style, meaning he almost lost it, but then he came through in the playoff. This remains my favorite image of the year.
Then, the week after — less than a month after his U.S. Open disappointment and sixth runner-up finish — he went on to fire a final-round 66 to capture the Open Championship, which, ironically, was a major that many (even Phil himself at a point probably) thought he’d never win.
*Tiger Woods: Winning five times in 2013 and providing plenty of drama from his feud with Sergio Garcia to his various rules controversies this year. I wouldn’t say that I’m thankful he hasn’t broken his major-less drought in over five years, though. In fact, I’d say just the opposite. Please, Tiger, win a major in 2014, so we can stop talking about how you’re stuck on 14 majors, blah, blah, blah.
*Rory McIlroy: Being a human being and showing that despite winning two major championships by the age of 25, he’s not perfect, either — but he’s still a good guy, owning up to his mistakes and showing humility in spite of the controversies he became embroiled in over the course of 2013.
*Jordan Spieth: Winning a PGA Tour event at age 19 and being more mature than most 35-year-olds. Enough said.
*Steve Stricker: Playing better than ever in his semi-retirement.
*Derek Ernst: Becoming the last graduate of PGA Tour Q-School to win his rookie season.
*Anchor aways: The USGA and R&A banning anchoring. In other words, belly putters and broomsticks will be a thing of the past starting in 2016.
*Inbee Park: Winning the first three majors of the year, while showing humility and grace under pressure.
*Lydio Ko: Defending her championship at the Canadian Women’s Open, and finally turning pro last month.
*Lindsey Vonn: Because she brought out the human side of Tiger Woods and made him go to a red carpet event with her.
*Graham DeLaet: Giving Canadians a new hero to cheer for and just being an all-around solid guy who has overcome adversity and injuries to arguably becoming the MVP for the International Team at the Presidents Cup.
*President Cup Streaker: Bringing some excitement to the Presidents Cup. Between Kimberly Webster streaking for Stricker (and Ernie Els) and Davis Love III and his pet squirrel, these were basically the most compelling stories in another American routing against the Internationals.
*Paulina Gretzky: For habitually posting bikini and make-out pics on her Instagram, being the Great One’s daughter, and her pending nuptials to Dustin Johnson. Have you seen the massive rock on her left ring finger?!?
*Jason Day: Racking up two top-3s at the majors again this year, and then winning the individual and team title at the World Cup of Golf just a few weeks after he lost eight family members in Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
*Jarrod Lyle: Overcoming Leukemia for the second time in his life and returning to competitive golf.
*Vijay Singh: Providing us with comic relief and plenty of deer jokes.
What else am I thankful for? Well, lots of things, but in terms of golf, I personally got to play more rounds of golf this year than I had in the last nine combined.
What are you thankful for in golf in 2013?