In a remarkable display of golf prowess, Norway's Viktor Hovland clinched victory at the prestigious Tour Championship, held at the splendid East Lake Golf Club on a memorable Sunday. As a triumphant finale, Hovland not only secured the coveted FedEx Cup but also pocketed a staggering $18 million bonus, marking a truly unforgettable day in golf history.
The recently concluded, for the players who are in the top 50, however there are a few events at the end of the season for those who need to secure their playing privileges for the 2024 season! The full season unfurled an array of memorable moments. Superstars such as Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm added to their glittering resumes with another major championship under their belts. Simultaneously, emerging talents like Wyndham Clark and Brian Harman tasted the sweet nectar of victory, celebrating their maiden triumphs on the grand stage. Yet, the season's most astonishing twist came in the form of the PGA Tour's planned collaboration with the DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, a development that sent shockwaves through the golfing world.
Let's take a closer look at the highlights of this exceptional season.
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Player of the Year: Jon Rahm
Hailing from the picturesque landscape of Spain, Rahm exhibited an astonishing display of golf mastery early in the year. By the month of April, he had already amassed an impressive four victories, including a spectacular win at the illustrious Masters hosted by the iconic Augusta National Golf Club. Rahm's triumphant performance at Augusta, where he secured the coveted green jacket, was a fitting tribute to his golfing idol, Seve Ballesteros, whose own Masters victory occurred four decades prior, on what would have been his 66th birthday. Rahm's remarkable journey also included a victorious campaign at the U.S. Open, held at the picturesque Torrey Pines in 2021.
Before his historic triumph at the Masters, Rahm's golfing prowess had shone brightly on various fronts, including the Sentry Tournament of Champions, the American Express, and The Genesis, all of which he conquered in the early months of the season. However, the most surprising facet of Rahm's season was his uncharacteristic dry spell after donning the green jacket. Despite coming agonizingly close to victory at the Mexico Open and The Open, Rahm couldn't quite replicate his earlier dominance, setting the stage for an intriguing and unpredictable season.
Scottie Scheffler, acclaimed for his extraordinary ball-striking abilities, left spectators in awe, particularly during his captivating triumph at The Players in the month of March. Meanwhile, Viktor Hovland concluded the season on a blazing hot streak, clinching two thrilling playoff events and the prestigious Memorial title.
Photo Credit: Golf Digest
Breakout Player of the Year: Wyndham Clark
Wyndham Clark's journey from obscurity to the limelight was nothing short of inspiring. In the spring, the Denver native, who had previously struggled to make his mark, began a remarkable transformation. In just four starts, he secured three top-six finishes, showcasing his immense potential and golfing prowess. The pinnacle of his success came on May 7th when the 29-year-old golfer celebrated his first-ever PGA Tour victory at the prestigious Wells Fargo Championship.
A little over a month later, Clark etched his name in the annals of golf history by becoming only the fourth player in the past century to secure a U.S. Open victory on his debut after making the cut in the tournament, a feat of exceptional rarity as confirmed by the Elias Sports Bureau. Clark's showdown with Rory McIlroy in the final round at the Los Angeles Country Club culminated in a nail-biting contest, with Clark ultimately emerging victorious by a slender margin of one stroke. His resolute journey in the golfing world was further emphasized by his previous accomplishments of making the cut in two major championships.
Clark, reflecting on his journey, shared his unwavering belief in his abilities: "I feel like I belong on this stage, and even two, three years ago when people didn't know who I was, I felt like I could still play and compete against the best players in the world. I felt like I've shown that this year."
Photo Credit: CNN
Rookie of the Year: Eric Cole
Eric Cole's ascent in the golfing world was characterized by resilience and determination. Having previously clinched the Minor League Golf Tour's Tour Championship for the second time, Cole's journey saw him transition to the Korn Ferry Tour. As a 35-year-old rookie on the PGA Tour, he wasted no time in making a significant impact.
In a season marked by consistent performances, Cole secured an impressive eight top-10 finishes and 17 top-25 finishes in his 24 starts on the tour. His remarkable journey included a memorable playoff loss to Chris Kirk at the Honda Classic and commendable finishes at prestigious events like The Players, the Mexico Open, and the RBC Canadian Open. In terms of on-course earnings, Cole accumulated a substantial sum, exceeding $3.35 million.
His impressive season culminated with a 43rd-place finish in FedEx Cup points, earning him a well-deserved spot in the playoffs.
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Comeback Player of the Year: Rickie Fowler
The season witnessed the phoenix-like resurgence of Rickie Fowler, who had faced adversity and uncharacteristic struggles in the lead-up to his spectacular comeback. In June 2022, Fowler found himself as the first alternate for the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, only to narrowly miss out on a place in the prestigious event. Ten days later, Fowler's world ranking plummeted to 152nd, marking a significant departure from his longstanding status among the elite.
However, Fowler's journey in the 2022-23 season was nothing short of a triumphant resurrection. With a revamped swing and a redefined support team, Fowler embarked on a journey marked by eight top-10 finishes and 17 top-25 finishes in 24 starts. Notably, he secured a runner-up position at the Zozo Championship and a fifth-place finish at the U.S. Open.
The turning point in Fowler's remarkable journey came on July 2nd, when he ended a more than four-year drought without a victory by capturing the prestigious Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. The memorable moment arrived when Fowler's approach shot on the 72nd hole nestled within three feet of the cup, leading to a thrilling playoff victory over Collin Morikawa and Adam Hadwin. Fowler's resurgence was underscored by his remarkable climb from 133rd in shots gained: total the previous season to an impressive 10th in the 2022-23 season.
Photo Credit: Golf Digest
Best Victory: Brian Harman at The Open
The British tabloids affectionately dubbed him "Brian the Butcher," and Brian Harman lived up to the moniker by slicing through the competition at the majestic Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England, in July. Entering the event as a 125-to-1 underdog to win the Claret Jug!
NEW EVENTS FOR 2024
In the ever-evolving landscape of professional golf, a new chapter is set to unfold as Rory McIlroy prepares to take center stage in the much-anticipated TGL "high-tech league" as a prominent member of the Boston Common Golf team. Collaborating with the legendary Tiger Woods, McIlroy has orchestrated a powerhouse four-man squad, comprising the talents of Keegan Bradley, Adam Scott, and Tyrrell Hatton, promising an exhilarating display of skill and camaraderie.
Amidst the fervour surrounding this ground-breaking venture, the unexpected absence of Jon Rahm, a key figure in the league's early commitment, cast a shadow over the upcoming season. Rahm's poignant announcement on social media revealed the inner conflict behind his withdrawal, citing a regrettable inability to commit fully to the league's demands, leaving a void in the league's already star-studded line-up.
Scheduled to kick off on the auspicious date of 9th January 2024, the TGL is poised to be a pinnacle of innovation and excitement, overseen by TMRW Sports, the brainchild of Woods and McIlroy, which garnered widespread attention following its inception in August 2022.
Expressing his enthusiasm for the regional ties fostered by TGL, a spirited McIlroy emphasized the significance of representing Boston and New England's rich sporting heritage. Endorsed by the esteemed Fenway Sports Group, the seasoned golfer highlighted the unique dimensions and potential of the league, emphasizing its capacity to ignite a sense of regional pride rarely witnessed in the traditional realm of golf.
The forthcoming league will feature a gripping format, with six teams comprising four players each, engaging in a riveting league battle that will see every team face off against one another. However, a notable rule dictates that only three of the four players will participate in any single event, adding a strategic layer of complexity and anticipation to the unfolding drama.
With the departure of Rahm, a significant shift looms over the league's competitive landscape, paving the way for an exhilarating showdown among the sport's leading luminaries. Notably, the involvement of top-ranking players, including the likes of Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa, adds an element of fervor and anticipation to the league's proceedings. As the stage is set for this groundbreaking tournament, the involvement of sporting icons and influential personalities such as Stephen Curry, Serena and Venus Williams, and Steve Cohen further solidifies the league's status as a melting pot of sporting greatness and cross-disciplinary collaboration.
While the sixth and final franchise remains shrouded in mystery, the fervent anticipation surrounding the impending TGL season echoes a palpable sense of excitement and anticipation within the global golfing community, as fans and enthusiasts alike eagerly await the unraveling of this unprecedented spectacle.
DP World Challenge Tour
In a display of exceptional skill and determination, Marco Penge etched his name in golfing history as the latest English sensation to capture the coveted Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final supported by The R&A. At the magnificent Club de Golf Alcanada, the 25-year-old phenom showcased a masterful performance, culminating in a resounding six-stroke victory over the formidable Tom Vaillant of France. Penge's triumphant finish not only secured him the prestigious title but also propelled him to the pinnacle of the season-long Road to Mallorca Rankings, marking a remarkable double triumph that solidifies his ascent to the illustrious DP World Tour.
Following in the illustrious footsteps of compatriot Nathan Kimsey, who clinched the season finale a year ago, Penge joined the exclusive ranks of the Challenge Tour's most accomplished players, cementing his status as the 13th Englishman to claim the esteemed Challenge Tour Number One title.
The final day saw Penge navigate a challenging start, relinquishing his initial lead with a disappointing bogey at the first hole. Undeterred by the early setback, the determined golfer swiftly regained his composure, delivering a series of impeccable strokes and showcasing his unwavering resolve. A dazzling display of skill, including four birdies across seven holes, propelled him to a commanding position on the leaderboard, effectively sealing his long-awaited promotion to the DP World Tour.
Reflecting on his momentous achievement, Penge expressed his elation, remarking, "To be standing here and saying I've won twice on the Challenge Tour and also winning the rankings is hard to imagine. It hasn't quite sunk in yet, but I am absolutely over the moon." Emphasizing the importance of self-belief and perseverance, Penge credited his coach, Gary King, for instilling confidence and guiding him through the highs and lows of the intense competition.
Penge's triumphant journey was a testament to his unwavering dedication and relentless pursuit of excellence. Despite initially ranking 60th in the Road to Mallorca Rankings, his meteoric rise, fueled by a sensational victory at the Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos six weeks earlier, underscored his unwavering determination and unwavering spirit. The final standings saw South African Casey Jarvis secure the second spot, closely followed by the formidable Spaniard Manuel Elvira, with Frenchman Ugo Coussaud, Swedish duo Jesper Svensson and Adam Blommé, and Italian standout Lorenzo Scalise also making impressive strides in the standings.
With a host of seasoned players and rising stars making their mark in the competitive landscape, the conclusion of the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final served as a fitting tribute to the indomitable spirit of the sport, celebrating the triumphs and perseverance of a diverse array of golfing talents from across the globe.
The most stressful week for any tournament player!
The 2023 DP World Tour Qualifying School has revealed its eagerly awaited schedule, marking the inclusion of five new venues and a captivating return to the illustrious INFINITUM resort for the grand finale. Aspiring golf professionals from around the world are poised to embark on a thrilling journey, vying for a coveted spot on Europe's esteemed top tier, following in the footsteps of legendary champions and iconic figures who have emerged from this prestigious competition since its inception in 1976.
The upcoming year promises an exhilarating quest as participants navigate through three stages of the Qualifying School, aiming to secure their passage to the much-coveted DP World Tour in 2024. With Belgium's Millennium Golf in Beringen making its debut, alongside four other promising European venues, the 14-event schedule spanning from August to November holds the promise of intense competition and unparalleled golfing drama.
The esteemed INFINITUM resort in Costa Dorada once again assumes its esteemed role as the host of the Final Stage, a testament to its unparalleled status as a world-class hub for golf, leisure, and real estate. The 2023 journey will witnessed the inclusion of three debut First Stage venues, including Belgium's Millennium Golf Club, England's Donnington Grove Golf Club, and Denmark's Royal Oak Golf Club, alongside a return to the historic Rosebud Country Club, which etched its name in the Qualifying School's rich history as the first Australian venue to host the event.
A blend of familiar and new Second Stage settings, including the Desert Springs Resort in Almeria, Isla Canela in Huelva, Golf Las Pinaillas in Albacete, and Fontanals Golf Club in Girona, ensure a comprehensive yet challenging experience for the participants. Mike Stewart, the Director of DP World Tour Qualifying School, expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming season, emphasizing the rigorous test that the 14 chosen venues will pose for the players, preparing them for the competitive landscape of the DP World Tour.
INFINITUM's Director of Golf, Joaquín Mora Bertrán, echoed the sentiment, expressing his delight at the prospect of hosting the prestigious event once more, underscoring the resort's commitment to providing a world-class experience for players of all levels. With Phase Two of their Real Estate project and the imminent transformation of their practice facilities to a Callaway Performance Centre, the INFINITUM resort is poised to offer an unparalleled golfing experience, ensuring an unforgettable spectacle for the players and spectators alike.
Anticipation builds for the much-anticipated Final Stage at INFINITUM, slated for November 10-15, 2023, where a roster of 156 competitors will battle it out over six challenging rounds. The top players will undergo a rigorous test at the Lakes Course and the Hills Course, with the top 25 and ties ultimately earning the coveted DP World Tour playing privileges for the following year. With entries set to open in June, the stage is set for an exhilarating season of golfing prowess and unparalleled competition. For further details and inquiries, interested participants can contact the Entries Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Arabella Golf Mallorca
As the pulsating action of the 2023 Ladies European Tour (LET) hurtles towards its climax, the Race to Costa del Sol standings have reached a nail-biting juncture, setting the stage for an enthralling conclusion in Spain. With just two highly-anticipated events remaining on the LET schedule, the competition at the summit couldn't be more intense, with the top four contenders separated by a mere 173.81 points, ensuring a dramatic showdown to determine the ultimate victor.
Maintaining a tenuous grip on the leaderboard is the remarkable French talent, Celine Boutier, basking in the glory of her recent triumphs at The Amundi Evian Championship and the FREED-Group Women's Scottish Open presented by Trust Golf. With a slender lead of 1,792.88 points, Boutier faces fierce competition from the determined Indian prodigy, Diksha Dagar, hot on her heels with a compelling display of consistency throughout the season, culminating in a total of 1,720.61 points.
The dynamic shifts in the rankings witnessed an impressive surge from the emerging Thai sensation, Trichat Cheenglab, as she made a significant leap to claim the third position, bolstered by her formidable performances in Hong Kong, India, and Saudi Arabia, accumulating a total of 1,641.72 points. Meanwhile, the Swedish contender, Johanna Gustavsson, continues to assert her presence in the top rankings, propelled by the momentum of her breakthrough victory at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France, securing a commendable fourth spot with 1,619.07 points.
Notably, Spain's own Ana Pelaez Trivino, despite facing challenges in recent months, remains within striking distance on the leaderboard with 1,487.20 points, buoyed by the prospect of competing in the upcoming home events, the Mallorca Ladies Open and the Andalucia Costa del Sol Open de Espana, igniting renewed determination and ambition in her pursuit of glory.
As the competition intensifies, the Indian sensation Aditi Ashok and Sweden's rising star Linn Grant closely trail behind, occupying the sixth and seventh positions with 1,309.19 and 1,276.28 points, respectively, poised to seize any opportunity to ascend to the coveted top three positions.
The compelling narratives of perseverance and skill continue to unfold, with the Czechia's Klara Davidson Spilkova, the English duo of Charley Hull and Gabriella Cowley, and a cohort of formidable talents all vying for a prominent position within the top 10. With the season hurtling towards its climactic conclusion, the stakes have never been higher, as the top players gear up to claim their share of the bonus pool, and the top 10 contenders prepare to battle it out at the Final Stage of LPGA Q-Series. The countdown begins for the upcoming Mallorca Ladies Open at Golf Son Muntaner, promising a thrilling spectacle and a thrilling conclusion to an exhilarating season on the LET.