As part of Compleat Golfer’s year in review series, ANDRE HUISAMEN looks at the biggest newsmakers of 2019.
A few golfers made the headlines this year for unnecessary and unfortunate reasons.
Olesen was suspended by the European Tour in August after being charged with common and sexual assault, while being drunk on an aircraft traveling from Memphis to Heathrow. The 29-year-old was onboard a flight to London with Ian Poulter after the St Jude Invitational when the incident took place.
Olesen was arrested after allegededly trying to molest a sleeping woman, arguing with other passengers on the plane, and urinating in the aisle; all while intoxicated. His provisional trial is set to start in London on 11 May 2020.
Garcia also drew attention for the wrong reasons this year; becoming a short-tempered master at tossing his club after a shot. A bit ironic given the fact that he reached the pinnacle of his golfing career a short two years ago when he won The Masters after decades of trying.
The Spaniard almost took his caddie’s head off after a poor tee shot on the fifth hole at Royal Portrush during The Open Championship. His attitude has been in the spotlight the whole year, though after he was disqualified at the Saudi International in February after vandalising a bunker as a result of a poor escape shot. His behaviour on the golf course has certainly not gone down well with the golfing public.
Fortunately, the biggest newsmaker of year is painted in a positive light.
2019 saw Tiger Woods role back the years in ways only he can. At 43, Woods became a 15-time Major champion after completing the comeback most fans were praying for when he won his fifth green jacket at Augusta National.
The golfing legend was two shots off the pace heading into the final round, but when overnight leader, Franscesco Molinari started to drop shots including coming up short at the infamous par 3 12th hole, the hype started to build around the famous course … history could yet repeat itself.
And it sure did that Sunday afternoon.
As the sun began to fade, Woods took the back nine by storm, birding the 13th, 15th and 16th to take an outright lead. The American great had a two-stroke lead when he teed off at the 18th and with Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koekpa, all tied for second place at the time, already in the clubhouse. Tiger soaked in the moment in his famous red Nike shirt and black trousers.
A bogey at the 72nd hole took little shine off what was a famous one-shot victory over Johnson, Schauffele and Koepka as he rewrote this name in the golfing and sporting history books, much to the delight of millions of fans around the world.