Woods roars back, ‘Moliwood’ star in dramatic 2018

PARIS

Tiger Woods snatched loads of {golfing} headlines in 2018 together with his exceptional comeback after years within the wilderness and can now be eyeing a 15th main title, whereas British Open champion Francesco Molinari impressed Europe to a Ryder Cup thrashing of the USA in Paris.

It was an eventful 12 months for golf followers, with Woods’ return including a sub-plot to the larger tournaments, whilst lots of the youthful technology confirmed their respective rises to the highest of the sport.

Justin Thomas’ spectacular eagle on the ultimate gap on the WGC Mexico Championship kicked off the season in type, and though the 25-year-old misplaced out to veteran Phil Mickelson that day in a play-off, three main titles went to People underneath the age of 30.

Woods, who claimed his first event victory since 2013 in entrance of raucous galleries on the Tour Championship, ended his 12 months with 4 straight Ryder Cup losses and a defeat by Mickelson of their overly-hyped and in the end low-quality $9 million match in Las Vegas.

However nothing can take away from the affect the 14-time main winner made on his return after over 4 years spent battling accidents.

The 42-year-old led on the again 9 within the fourth spherical of the British Open at Carnoustie, and in addition produced an exhilarating cost on the USPGA Championship earlier than ending his title drought within the ultimate particular person occasion of the marketing campaign.

As ever, the previous world primary shall be bullish about his possibilities of edging nearer to Jack Nicklaus’ all-time file of 18 main titles in 2019, however Woods has nonetheless not lifted one among golf’s largest prizes for a decade.

An increase from exterior the highest 1,000 within the rankings to world quantity 13 in lower than a 12 months was beautiful, although, and Woods can have an opportunity to place a disastrous Ryder Cup efficiency behind him when he doubtless doubles up as captain and participant at subsequent 12 months’s Presidents Cup in Melbourne.

“I wish to compete. I wish to play,” he stated of the December 2019 matches towards Ernie Els’ Worldwide aspect earlier this month.

– ‘Moliwood’ star on centre stage –

The pre-Ryder Cup narrative centred round Woods and the People’ bid to finish a 25-year look ahead to victory on European soil, however the matchplay showdown resulted in a well-recognized one-sided house win as Molinari teamed up with Tommy Fleetwood to devastating impact in September.

‘Moliwood’ reeled off 4 straight victories as a partnership, with Thomas Bjorn’s hosts ruthlessly grinding down the US to triumph 17.5-10.5 after dropping the opening session, earlier than Molinari capped a golden 12 months by changing into the primary European in historical past to say an ideal 5 factors.

The Italian gained the distinguished BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, clinched his first PGA Tour title within the States and have become the primary participant from his nation to seal a serious title earlier than his heroics in France.

“If somebody instructed me I’d go on to win Wentworth, win on the PGA Tour, win the Open, 5 factors on the Ryder Cup, I in all probability would have laughed,” he stated after including the European Tour’s Race to Dubai crown in November.

Brooks Koepka bristled late within the season at a perceived lack of media consideration in his sport after a powerful 2018 which noticed the 28-year-old brush off the frustration of lacking the Masters via damage by profitable two majors.

He and the likes of Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Masters champion Patrick Reed shall be younger People to observe within the new 12 months, with thrilling Spaniard Jon Rahm searching for to proceed his unimaginable rise.

The lads’s season can have a extra truncated really feel to it with all 4 majors being performed between April and July after drastic modifications to the schedule, with the USPGA to be performed earlier than the US Open, making the British Open at Royal Portrush the ultimate main of the 12 months.

– Lindberg, Park struggle duel at the hours of darkness –

It was a powerful 12 months for ladies’s golf, with England’s Georgia Corridor and Swede Pernilla Lindberg sealing thrilling main breakthroughs on the British Open and ANA Inspiration respectively.

Corridor additionally teamed up with compatriot Charley Hull to impress in a mixed-gender European Tour occasion, whereas Lexi Thompson showcased her expertise on the PGA Tour within the QBE Shootout alongside Tony Finau earlier this month.

The standout second of 2018 got here again firstly of April, although, when Lindberg denied Park Inbee an eighth main crown in a gruelling eight-hole, sudden-death play-off that began in Sunday-night gloom and ended on the Monday morning.

The world’s greatest will return to Dinah Shore for the 12 months’s first main in simply three months’ time, solely weeks earlier than all eyes flip to Augusta Nationwide.

 

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