So for the record in 2015 it was Gary Stal, Branden Grace and Rory McIlroy. They held aloft the trophies in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Dubai respectively but all three wins couldn’t have been more different in another intriguing Desert Swing.
Frenchman Stal held off McIlroy, Westwood and to a certain extent Rickie Fowler to claim what may well end up being his finest career win.
Grace has had a couple of seasons of underwhelming play but he seems back to where he should be for such a talent.
As is my privileged position, I get to interview the big swingers in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai before they hit their first meaningful shot. It was apparent before things got going at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club that the World Number 1 would leave the desert swing with at least one trophy to add to his bulging collection. As of now, his record in his last six European Tour events reads like this:
Won, Won, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, Won.
Were it not for a couple of shots and lipped-out putts here and there it would have been a clean sweep of ‘W’ next to his name on the websites.
As I have alluded to a couple of times here previously, this is now the Rory Era. As with previous era’s such as the ‘Woods’, ‘Nicklaus’ and ‘Palmer’ ones, people only seem to recognize the fact after it’s over. I want to enjoy it before it’s done because it’s something to behold. Stand behind the tee box when Rory lets rip and then listen to the gasps of disbelief and quiet laughing as us mere mortals watch the ball make its best attempt to change time zones. One fateful day we will be watching it fade. And that brings me to his hero.
No one will ever know what Tiger is really thinking right now. Maybe he will eventually write his book but I still doubt he will be 100 percent open about his start to 2015. Ok so he’s had back surgery. He is rusty. He doesn’t practice half as much as he used to. But the chipping! I mean really…his short game is astonishing right now. He is duffing, blading, thinning and every other amateur chip-fault there is. I have two theories that I will leave you with.
• He has the Yips, he will never recover. It’s over.
• It’s all a ruse to throw everyone off the scent and when he arrives on the 1st tee at Augusta he will have a knowing smirk on his face and will utterly dominate.
2 would be brilliant. I fear 1 is the fact.