Most of my feelings about 2008 can be summed up in this Golfdom year-end story. Because while there were all of those dreadful stories that only a blogger could love (Tilghman/Golfweek noose debacle, the Bivens/LPGA English policy debacle, Stevie/Phil is a prick debacle), 2008 reminded golfers what an amazing, splendid, chill-inducing, awe-inspiring sport this can be when the world's best are allowed to display their skill.
As I note in the Golfdom story, the spectacle at Torrey Pines was surely made historic and unforgettable by Tiger's physical condition combined with Rocco's incredible effort. And you had the added emotions of contesting an Open at a course so pivotal in Tiger's upbringing, in a first and second round pairing with Phil Mickelson, the list goes on and on.
But like a great film with a strong cast, amazing effects and the best crew money can by, it all can only go so far on a thin story. In the case of Torrey Pines, this was not a strong story of a golf course. But the USGA setup took that barebones story and drenched every living bit of life out of a fairly bland 18 holes to provide Tiger, Rocco and many other contenders an incredible stage to perform on.
While few writers seized on this side of the Torrey Pines equation or its obvious freeing of Paul Azinger to aggressively set up Valhalla in a player-friendly manner that led to epic displays of skill under pressure from boths squads, it's still wonderful to see how the U.S. Open was the sole focus of most year-in-review stories. It was a special week for those of us who were lucky enough to be there and for everyone who huddled by a television to watch a truly unforgettable moment in sport.
I know I've missed a few, but here's a paritial list of the year end summaries:
GolfChannel.com's staff is counting down the best of 2008.
Happy New Year!