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Top golf stories of 2010

By: Shawn Kelly Journal Golf Columnist
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10. Adios to Tour life: The currant four time LPGA champ Lorena Ochoa says goodbye to life on the road to settle down with her family in Mexico. The distaff tour suffered when Annika retired in 2008, so now who will become the next LPGA superstar to boost the tour. I feel that the American girls need to pick up there games or the Koreans and Europeans will dominate the LPGA Tour.

9. Who’s No. 1?: Tiger held the position for an incredible 623 weeks. Phil had so many chances to take it over, but it seamed that the harder he tried the worse he played, which can happen in golf. On Halloween Lee Westwood became the worlds #1 golfer, without even playing a shot. 2011 will be the first year since 2006 that someone other than Tiger will start the year as #1. I feel this will be Tigers new motivation.

8. Groove gate: The USGA changing of the specifications of iron and wedge grooves to create less spin on a golf ball. These changes currently impact approximately 2% of all golfers,. If you compete on Tour or play USGA events, then you’ll need to have the new grooves. If not you can play in any other type event with old grooves until 2024. Most golfers need all the spin they can get. Not sure why the USGA is worried that golfers are shooting low scores. I personally tried both and didn’t see any difference.

7. Low scores: Speaking of grooves, they really seem to make a difference as there were multiple rounds at 59 or better. Paul Goydos and Stewart Applebee both fired a 59, and Ryo Ishikawa won in Japan with a 58, but the low round goes to Bobby Whyatt, who shot a 57 in a high school tournament in Alabama. Now that’s a lot of birdies!

6. Whats his name? Louie Oosthuizen (West-hay-zen) wins the British Open. He played like he had won lots of majors, but won his first in incredible fashion by playing almost flawless golf in extreme conditions.

5. Ryder Cup woes: The US coming close to winning on foreign soil, but a little Irish guy, Graham McDowell had a statement to make with is putter. And, the scene on the green at the conclusion was pretty memorable.

4. Are you kidding me?: The shot that Phil Mickelson pulled off on the 13th hole at Augusta to win The Masters. Hooked it around a tree, out of pine straw, over Rays Creek, from 200 yards to five feet and made eagle. That lie had lay up written all over it!

3. The new Hell’s bunker: Dustin Johnson created his own Hell’s bunker when he grounded his club in a bunker at Whistling Straights, to loose an opportunity to win The PGA Championship. Read the rules when you play tournament golf, OOPS!

2. The Euro’s are here: Three of the four Majors were won by European Tour players. McDowell the US Open, Oothuizen the British Open and Kaymer the PGA. Thanks Phil for holding up the US in The Masters.

1. Tiger tamed: Tiger Woods had a year that would tame anyone’s life. Having to apologize to the world for committing adultery, to divorce, loosing sponsors, changing swing coach and everything else he had to deal with, no wonder he didn’t win this year. But I feel he’ll renew his momentum, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he wins the Grand Slam this year!

I’m sure you all have your favorites from 2010 and hopefully you’ll agree with a few of mine. I am excited to see what 2011 bring and hope we can make a few of our own highlights. Enjoy 2011!