2010 in review: Top 10 PGA Tour storylines

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Lee Westwood and Dustin Johnson highlight this year's Top 10 PGA Tour stories.

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1. Tiger Woods returns

Unthinkable that his personal life collapse was, even more so was the thought of him not playing in 2010. When he chose to return in April, CBS, NBC, and Camp Ponte Vedra breathed a sigh of relief.

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2. Woods’ game crumbles

Perhaps there were times he wishes he did take the year off. Inconsistent, choppy, wavering on a swing change . . . it led to his first-ever winless season and a fall from No. 1.

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3. Lee Westwood takes penthouse

Without a major on his resume or a European Tour win in 2010, the witty, ball-striking machine from England uses remarkable consistency to assume the top spot in the world rankings.

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4. Phil Mickelson wins third Masters

The Augusta focus had been on how one family had fallen apart. But on Sunday, in front of cancer-stricken wife Amy, Mickelson pulls together an unforgettable family portrait.

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5. Europeans rush forth

Major wins by Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer and yet another Ryder Cup victory had them gushing across the pond; so, too, did having seven of the top 11 players in the world rankings.

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6. Dustin Johnson emerges (almost)

Billed as a source of immense power, Johnson nearly wins two majors, only to stumble in U.S. Open rough at Pebble Beach and a controversial bunker at Whistling Straits.

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7. Going low

Three weeks after Paul Goydos opens the John Deere Classic with a 59, Stuart Appleby closes the Greenbrier Classic with that same score, only his heroics enable him to overtake Jeff Overton and win.

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8. Business picks up

Having stayed the course in 2008-09, tour officials sign on sponsorship deals with Farmers Insurance, Waste Management, Wells Fargo, Hyundai, and Cadillac to paint a brighter economic picture.

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9. Jim Furyk scales Mt. FedEx

Long a world-class straight man to Tiger Woods’ fireworks and Phil Mickelson’s high-wire act, the relentless Furyk wins three times and hauls in the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus.

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10. Rickie Fowler’s colorful arrival

The latest real deal out of collegiate golf proves to be just that; with two seconds, seven top 10s, and a dramatic Ryder Cup berth, the kid in Sunday orange wins over a legion of fans.

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