Archive: 2014 review, 2015 preview
December 30, 2014
- December 30, 2014
- Fans take in the action last season on No. 17 during the third round of THE PLAYERS Championship. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The 2014 calendar year is about to end, and 2015 is on the horizon. The PGA TOUR is on a holiday break after the first seven tournaments of the 2014-15 season and will resume in early January with the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
In the next few weeks, PGATOUR.COM will take a look back at 2014 and look ahead at 2015, including the annual December countdown of the Top 30 Players to Watch. Check out the schedule and your one-stop source for all of our review/preview content.
TOP 30 PLAYERS TO WATCH IN 2015 No. 30 Robert Streb No. 29 Erik Compton No. 28 Zach Johnson No. 27 Webb Simpson No. 26 Chesson Hadley
No. 25 Dustin Johnson No. 24 Chris Kirk No. 23 Hunter Mahan
No. 22 Hideki Matsuyama No. 21 Brandt Snedeker
No. 20 Graeme McDowell No. 19 Jimmy Walker
No. 18 Jason Dufner No. 17 Matt Kuchar
No. 16 Jim Furyk
No. 15 Patrick Reed No. 14 Sergio Garcia
No. 13 Justin Rose No. 12 Keegan Bradley
No. 11 Jason Day No. 10 Jordan Spieth No. 9 Billy Horschel No. 8 Martin Kaymer
No. 7 Bubba Watson
No. 6 Adam Scott
No. 5 Henrik Stenson
No. 4 Rickie Fowler
No. 3 Phil Mickelson
No. 2 Tiger Woods
No. 1 Rory McIlroy
REVIEW: THINGS I'LL REMEMBER FROM 2014
Horschel's FedExCup win a family affair, by Brian Wacker
The scene: East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, adjacent to the par-3 18th green behind the grandstands. Billy Horschel had just won the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and consequently the FedExCup. Or $11.44 million to put a number on it.
Horschel’s parents were hugging and fighting back tears. The Horschels, as Billy would put it in his press conference afterward, are “blue collar to a tee.” This was the culmination of all the years of hard work, from his parents Bill Sr. and Kathy, to Horschel himself and those around him, including caddie Micah Fugittt. FULL STORY
Stories of survival, by Helen Ross
Two stories of survival will stay with me as I look back on 2014.
One, a tiny baby, suffered a seizure within minutes after coming into this world. The other, a grown man with a growing family, was forced to fight leukemia for the second time.
Both lived, and I am lucky to have been able to tell their stories. Isaiah Tesori and Jarrod Lyle are two of the most inspirational people you will ever want to meet. FULL STORY
Scene from U.S. Ryder Cup team's press conference after loss, by Mike McAllister
When it comes to preferred seating in interview rooms at golf media centers, I generally opt for a position in the middle or near the back. Sure, if I have specific questions to ask, I'll move closer; otherwise, I like to sit back and soak up the atmosphere and concentrate on the responses by the various players being interviewed.
But after the U.S. team lost the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, I was determined to find a place near the front. It wasn't that I knew fireworks were in the offing, and I really didn't have anything specific to ask. But I did figure the press conference would be lively. FULL STORY
Pinehurst No. 2 created a pleasant atmosphere, by Sean Martin
Pinehurst No. 2’s restoration made it a unique U.S. Open venue. Gone were the narrow fairways and thick rough that are trademarks of the United States’ national championship, replaced by short grass that naturally transitioned into sandy “native areas.”
The course wasn’t the only aspect of this year’s U.S. Open that was one-of-a-kind. Pinehurst’s small-town charm was felt throughout one of golf’s biggest events. Shuttle-bus rides, some longer than others, are a necessary part of most majors, which are attended by tens of thousands of people each day. FULL STORY
Taylor's journey to first PGA TOUR win, by Kevin Prise
I’ll remember Nick Taylor’s whirlwind season. In a few short months he went from battling to keep his Web.com Tour status for 2015, to winning on the PGA TOUR (Sanderson Farms Championship) and securing status through 2016-17.
Covering this year’s Web.com Tour Finals, I first saw Taylor on the opening tee at the Hotel Fitness Championship, where the proud Canadian was enthusiastically talking hockey with veteran Dudley Hart. We chatted after the first round of the Chiquita Classic, when he shot 5 under despite battling food poisoning from the night before. FULL STORY
Sutherland's historic 59, by Bryan Mullen
It was a Saturday in August when Golf Channel went to live coverage of the DICK’S Sporting Goods Open. And it seemed everyone in the golf world couldn’t wait to tune in.
Some watching the leaderboard on PGATOUR.COM wondered if what they were seeing was real. Then word started to spread on social media. History was about to be made.
Here was Kevin Sutherland with one PGA TOUR title to his name -- 2002 Match Play Championship -- putting together one of the best rounds in golf history. FULL STORY
Dynamic Dubuisson, by D.J. Piehowski
The “best” shot I’ve ever seen in-person was in 2011, when Rory McIlroy nearly grabbed a Sunday ace at Congressional’s 10th hole en route to a laughable U.S. Open victory.
The most “jaw-dropping, inconceivable, how-is-that-physically-possible” shot I’ve ever seen in person took place this year in Marana, Arizona. And the best part was that there were two of them. FULL STORY
McIlroy's incredible 5-wood, by Bill Cooney
Looking back, Rory McIlroy's 5-wood approach on the 72nd hole of The Honda Classic reminds me of a scene from the movie "Moneyball."
No, that's not why it's my most memorable moment of 2014, but it certainly played out like a scene from the movies. It had everything. Drama. A star-studded cast. A thickening plot.
McIlroy needed eagle to win on the par 5 at PGA National after losing a lead over the course of his final round. He was also coming off a season to forget and this was going to be his comeback party. FULL STORY
EQUIPMENT YEAR IN REVIEW
A year of new clubs for Nike Golf, by Jonathan Wall
Rory McIlroy once again dominated the equipment headlines in professional golf. One year after McIlroy agreed to a mega deal with Nike Golf, the 25-year-old made his mark on the course, recording four worldwide wins -- including victories at the Open Championship and PGA Championship -- over the final five months of the 2014 season.
Following a four-month layoff, Tiger Woods made his return at the Hero World Challenge with 11 new clubs in the bag: Nike's Vapor Speed prototype driver, Vapor Speed fairway woods (3- and 5-wood) and Vapor Pro blade irons in play at Isleworth Golf & Country Club.
Another solid season for Titleist, By Jonathan Wall
Titleist enjoyed another successful season on TOUR, thanks in large part two products that were released after the midway point of the year — the 915 driver and Pro V1/Pro V1x prototype ball.
Titleist's 2015 Pro V1x golf ball won't be released until the beginning next year, but that didn't stop the prototype version of the ball from becoming one of the hottest equipment topics in professional golf over the last few months.
Callaway makes move back to Big Bertha, by Jonathan Wall
Following a season that saw Phil Mickelson win The Open Championship and put X Hot 3Deep and X Hot Phrankenwood on the map, Callaway shifted gears and went back to its roots during the 2014 season with the introduction of its Big Bertha metalwoods.
Along the way, the company signed a handful of big names, brought back Apex, introduced its first utility iron in two years and gave the Mack Daddy 2 wedge the "Tour" treatment.
Patrick Reed won twice during 2014, including his first World Golf Championship.