I bought all of my Christmas presents early this year, and managed to keep to a pretty good budget. However, there are a few things that money can’t buy. Here are some gifts I’d like to bestow to golfers around the world.
To Seve Ballesteros . . . good health.
No one cares if Seve achieves his dream and tees it up at the Open Championship at the Old Course next summer, or even if he plays in the four–hole event for past champions. Continued good health will do for me and other Seve fans around the world.
To Oliver Fisher . . . confidence.
Fisher lost his European Tour card in 2009 and will have to rely on invites next season. He’s too good not to be on tour. All he needs is the confidence to achieve his dreams. He certainly has the talent.
To Pablo Martin . . . continued success.
The Spaniard only just kept his card this year and then started the 2010 European season with a win. It just proves how fine the line is between success and failure. Martin plumbed the depths of despair after becoming the first amateur to win on the European Tour. He is proof that class is permanent.
To Rory McIlroy . . . another win.
The Northern Irishman broke through with his maiden victory when he won the Dubai Desert Classic. Another win in 2010 should be in the cards. Let’s hope it’s a good one.
To Lee Westwood . . . a major victory.
The Englishman came close this year and in ’08. Hopefully it will be third year lucky in 2010.
To Tom Watson . . . Open glory.
Watson thrilled us with his performance at Turnberry this year, nearly writing the fairy tale to end all fairy tales. It would be wonderful if he could finish one place higher next summer at St. Andrews by winning his sixth Open Championship.
To Colin Montgomerie. . . a tantrum-free Ryder Cup.
Not my choice to lead the European team, because he is hardy what you would call a model pro. However, he has the job, a role in a match that’s supposed to foster goodwill between continents. Let’s hope he keeps that at the forefront of his mind and doesn’t have one of his infamous temper tantrums.
To Scottish golf . . . success
Richie Ramsay’s South African Open win is the first good news for Scottish men in many a season. Hopefully Scotland can build on it in 2010, because it’s been dismal for the past few years.
To the Ladies European Tour . . . another major win.
Catriona Matthew’s Women’s British Open victory was one of the highlights of the season. Wouldn’t it be great if it spurred on more European women to win majors?
To Steve Lewton . . . a European Tour card.
The former N.C. State player will compete on the European Challenge Tour this season, after gaining a card via the Alps Tour. Gaining a full European Tour card on the junior circuit would be the perfect Christmas present.
Hope Santa brings all of you lots of fairways and greens in regulation and fewer putts. Have a happy Christmas.