I remember at the start of this year that many sportswriters were saying that we need Tiger Woods back on his game, because golf has taken a big hit since he fell from his perch atop the golfing world.  Just take a look, however, at what has emerged in the last nine months or so. We’ve had two very solid golfers (Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy) from the UK that have dueled it out for the top ranking this entire year.  McIlroy has pretty much established himself as the best golfer on the planet now, and has in fact proven that his top ranking is something that he can handle, as he has played extremely well since becoming number one in the world. Except for Woods, there have been times in years gone by in which that ranking has caused its owner to get so distracted that his game would suffer to the point that we would see him go into hibernation and lose his top ranking in short order.  David Duval and Tom Lehman come to mind, but not so with Rory! We have the re-emergence of former top players like Ernie Els, Lee Westwood, Steve Stricker, and Zach Johnson.  There are young guns such as Ricky Fowler, Kyle Stanley, and Keegan Bradley, who are quickly showing that they figure into the mix.  Jim Furyk and Vijay Singh are too competitive to just let these young guns take over, though! Phil Mickelson has some huge distractions currently, but even when he is distracted, he is still a threat to win any tournament he enters.  Woods has learned to deal with what he created, and is definitely showing signs of getting his old game back. Additionally, we have several tour journeymen who are starting to come into their own.  Players like Hunter Mahan, Jason Dufner, Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Carl Petterson, Justin Rose, Matt Kuchar, Louis Oosthuizen, and Webb Simpson.  Adam Scott and Sergio Garcia aren’t going to just sit back and watch these guys have all the fun! Although he is not what I would call flashy or exciting, Brandt Snedeker is now shaking up the golfing world, because he is not only a great putter, but also a very good ball striker.  The fact that he drove the ball as accurately as he did in the Tour Championship speaks volumes about his maturing process.  Snedeker seems to me to be the type of player that will be solid for many years to come. I submit to you that the PGA Tour is as competitive as it has ever been, and it is also replete with players who not only have the talent, but actually know how to win, even when the best players in the world are breathing down their neck. The PGA Tour next year should be a lot of fun! Good golfing!
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