2013: The Year In Review

Adam Scott became the first Australian to win the Masters, and along the way earned redemption for the Open Championship nearly nine months earlier. He then won The Barclays during the FedExCup Playoffs against arguably one of the strongest fields of the year with the TOUR’s top 125 players all attending.

Scott’s efforts at Augusta put Australian golf on the map but also let’s not forget the efforts of Marc Leishman and Jason Day, who also had their chances to win at the Masters.

Adam Scott wins the 2013 US Masters Adam Scott wins the 2013 US Masters (Credit: Anthony Powter)

When Scott finally stood on Aussie soil to show off his green jacket, he won the Australian PGA Championship and the Australian Masters, and teamed with Jason Day to give Australia its first World Cup title in 24 years. He was poised to capture Australia’s triple crown until Rory McIlroy beat him on the last hole in the Australian Open.

McIlroy may have started the year at number one, yet it was not until that Sunday at Royal Sydney against Scott where he birdied the 18th for his first and only win of 2013.

Justin Rose won his first major championship to become the first player from mainland UK to win the US Open since Tony Jacklin in 1970. Another first-timer to the majors was Jason Dufner winning the PGA Championship at Oak Hill in August.

Tiger Woods won the vote as the best player on the PGA Tour with his five wins – which included two World Golf Championships and The Players Championship – but was still winless in the majors.

Yet Woods won more than any other player in the world, captured the PGA Tour money title and the Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average. Not bad for the world number one, even if he was without a major.

Henrik Stenson’s year was a standout. Stenson, who in April wasn’t even eligible for the Masters, finished one shot behind in the Shell Houston Open, which got him to Augusta National. It started a season-long success story for the Swede.

His efforts included a tie for third at the Scottish Open, runner-up finishes at The Open, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and third at the PGA Championship. Stenson then won two FedExCup Playoff events to claim the 2013 FedExCup title and a cool $10 million bonus.

On top of all this, on the other side of the Atlantic in the final event in Europe, he became the first player to win the FedExCup and Race to Dubai in the same season.

Phil Mickelson’s Sunday at The Open at Muirfield possibly was the round of the year. Mickelson made four birdies on the last six holes for a 66 to capture the one major which he believed that he could never win, The Open Championship.

Aussie pros making headlines in 2013 on the world tours included Brett Rumford’s two victories on the European Tour and Scott Hend’s three victories on the Asian Tour.

The next wave of Aussie golfers also look promising.

After winning the West Australian Open in 2012, 19-year-old Oliver Goss set his sights on the college program at Tennessee and next year will play in the US Masters by virtue of being a finalist at this year’s US Amateur Championship.

He and fellow West Australian Brady Watt were the cream of Australia’s amateur pool. The 23-year-old Watt – once the No.1 amateur in the world – has just turned professional and plans to play the Asian Tour.