TROWLEY BOTTOM, England – I got my Christmas shopping done early this year, then got back to the winter wonderland of Trowley Bottom and decided I had enough time to throw a few extra presents into a few stockings. With that said, here are a few things that could help out some people, mostly Europeans, in 2011.
1.) The European Tour – A season half as good as 2010. Three majors, a European No. 1 and the Ryder Cup is pretty hard to beat. If Europe has half that success next year, then it will be a bumper year.
2.) Lee Westwood – A major to go with his No. 1 status. He’s knocked on the door enough in the past few years. Time he pushed it open.
3.) George O’Grady – The European Tour’s chief executive needs a sponsor for the Euro Tour’s season ending championship. The Dubai World Championship will be held for the third and final time next year, two years short of the original five-year deal. O’Grady would love to find a sponsor to come close to matching the cash Dubai put up.
4.) Nigel Edwards – A Walker Cup victory. The Welshman should be an excellent GB&I Walker Cup captain, and will do his utmost to win back the Walker Cup. After three straight losses, it’s GB&I’s turn.
5.) Mark Roe – An Open Championship victory for one of the players he coaches. Roe will return to Royal St George’s next year for the first time since 2003 and the rules snafu that cost him a chance to win the game’s greatest tournament. Now a short game coach, it would be fitting if one of his players were to lift the old Claret Jug.
6.) Thomas Bjorn – Some form going into the Open at St George’s. It would be great to see the Dane mount a charge at the scene of his greatest disappointment.
7.) Jose Maria Olazabal – Full health so he can carry out his Ryder Cup captaincy to the best of his ability.
8.) The Ladies European Tour – Continues growth to help attract young women to the game.
9.) Scotland – A bona fide star to put us back on the map. We’ve been waiting a long time for a genuine Scottish star to contend regularly in the majors. We’re getting a bit fed up waiting.
10.) To everyone reading this – More pars and birdies next year. I know your time is precious and I appreciate your support. May 2011 bring you a lower handicap and happier golf.
A very Merry Christmas one and all.