The new year for the PGA Tour actually began on Oct. 4. If you were up a little too late last night, it might be confusing to hear that eight 2019 events (the 104th “season”) are already in the books.
You might be further confused upon learning that although the Houston Open will be played in the fall of 2019, it will officially not be part of the 2018-19 season. Also, the “season” has been shortened from 48 to 46 events; yet, two new events have been added to the schedule.
We will all notice that the PGA Championship in 2019 is sandwiched between the Masters (April 14) and the U.S. Open (July 16); The Open Championship will begin on July 21. You’ll smile upon realizing that shuffling the majors means that the FedEx Championship Playoffs will be over before your favorite football team tees up to pursue another kind of championship.
The above information, if re-read 11 times, is guaranteed to cure your hangover — unless it has moved you to resume party activity from earlier this month.
Moving on, it’s certain that all eyes — and television cameras — will in 2019 be focused on Tiger Woods. Now that he has proven he can win, expectations will be high and perceived imperfections magnified and over analyzed. The fact will remain that nobody really knows who will or will not win on the PGA, LPGA Champions or any other tour.
In 2019, some players (like Brooks Koepka) still won’t talk much, while some who do (Patrick Reed) perhaps shouldn’t. Both types make golf interesting. Rickie Fowler will be trying harder than ever to win a major; the LPGA will strive to attain the status (and purses) it needs and deserves. Bubba Watson will cry if he wins.
Changes to golf’s rules will be closely monitored to at the professional level to see if their desired impact is realized. At local courses, the rules will be debated, sometimes selectively applied, or roundly ignored. Just like in years passed.
All in, golf in 2019 still will be the challenging, baffling, frustrating and difficult game it’s always been. Oh, and the most wonderful game of all.
Be safe, on and off the course.