The Race to Dubai landed in Europe for the first time last week at Porto Santo for the Madeira Islands Open BPI – Portugal, where young Argentine Estanislao Goya captured his maiden European Tour title.
It was the HSBC Champions that kicked off the inaugural Race to Dubai, but there were to be no first-round shocks as Sergio Garcia triumphed in Shanghai.
Since then the Spaniard has struggled for form by his own very high standards, paving the way for fellow Spaniard Alvaro Quiros to make his mark. The big-hitter duly obliged to capture the Qatar Masters in January.
Talking of big hitters, Paul Casey notched a win a week before Quiros when he claimed the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. Further back still, and it had been quite some Christmas for Richard Sterne who recorded back-to-back wins at the Alfred Dunhill Championship and South African Open Championship in December.
Normally, such achievements would be good enough to make you the ‘story of the season’. But, that accolade goes to Rory McIlroy who defeated a strong field at the Dubai Desert Classic and, at 19, has become a Major contender almost overnight.
Then, Danny Lee reminded everyone that the youngsters really do have no fear when he won the Johnnie Walker Classic.
Things started to get serious when the first World Golf Championships came around. Geoff Ogilvy and Phil Mickelson reminded everyone of their class ahead of the US Masters by landing the WGC – Accenture Match Play and WGC – CA Championship respectively.
Mickelson’s win could yet set the tone for what we can expect in terms of leaderboards this season – a fascinating mix of the young guns and the seasoned regulars. As if you didn’t know, Tiger Woods is back too and this year’s US Masters promises to be one of the most exciting for years.