Some passing thoughts on the world of professional golf:
RUMOURS ABOUT RAHM: The suggestions 2023 Masters winner Jon Rahm (Callaway Chrome Soft X) may bolt to LIV Golf seem plausible.
If the stories are correct that he might receive some $600 million to jump to the breakaway tour have to be taken seriously, and if he does take the offer can you really blame him?
There has been nothing so far to truly suggest the players who stay with the PGA Tour will ever collect the lifetime earnings on that circuit compared to the crazy money they can collect immediately playing for LIV Golf.
Rahm is certainly a star the PGA Tour cannot afford to lose, but what can it possibly offer to make him stay.
TIGER IS BACK: It wasn’t a tournament that mattered in the global world of golf, but the Hero World Challenge provided a glimpse of what to expect next year in the PGA Tour.
Tiger Woods (Bridgestone Tour B XS) played decently enough in the event, which was played for his charity, enough to indicate he will play in some tournaments in 2024, provided his body holds up to it.
Golf needs Woods because he is one of the all-time iconic sports figures in the game and, to an even greater extent, all of sports. Yes, he has made numerous comebacks and he is only a shade of what he used to be, mainly because of injuries, but he can still play. There will come a time when he calls it a career, but I’m certain he wants to continue to tee it up in hopes of playing at least one tournament with his son, Charlie, on the PGA Tour. That would be special.
POSITIVE FOR SCHEFFLER: Scottie Scheffler (Titleist Pro V1) easily won the Hero World Challenge, but the key thing is he did well with his putter. That was the major thing holding him back from what could have been a dominant 2023 season.
He’s still had a good season this year, but if he ever regains his stroke with the putter Scheffler could be even better.
WATCH OUT FOR ABERG: I touted PGA Tour rookie Ludvig Aberg (Titleist Pro V1x) a few weeks ago as a player to watch in 2024. Well, he won the RSM Classic on November 19 to record his first PGA Tour win in only 11 events.
He might just have the sweetest swing on the PGA Tour, along with Corey Conners (Titleist Pro V1).
HONORS FOR VU: It wasn’t exactly surprising that Lilia Vu (Titleist Pro V1x) earned the LPGA Rolex Player of the Year Award. With her four wins, including two majors, the first American to do so since 1999.
It was a real feel-good story for a player who had to reinvent herself after struggling initially on the PGA Tour and dropping down to the Symetra Tour.
Vu taking a dip into the frigid water after her win in the Chevron Championship for her first career major win was one of those scenes that stuck out in the 2023 LPGA season. She boldly jumped into the new Poppie’s Pond, this time in the new course where the tournament was played in Texas.
But her victories later in the season, in particular her second major, showed just how far she has come in turning around her game.
While Celine Boutier (Titleist Pro V1x) also won four events and became the first French woman to win a major in her home country, Vu had more overall points finishing fourth in the season-ending CME Tour Championship won by Amy Yang (Titleist Pro V1x).