NO WONDER THE PGA Tour is going to shorten its season--who can possibly absorb all that has happened in the past 12 months? Remember way back in February, when Phil Mickelson was the most dominant player in the game with back-to-back blowouts at Phoenix and Pebble Beach ? Remember all the pre-Masters hype about the so-called Big Four? Neither do we.
Luckily, golf's two best players, Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam, gave the season some definition with their usual hegemony, but the more things appear to stay the same, the more they change. On the PGA Tour there were surprises big and small in the form of Jason Gore and Fred Funk, both of whom graduated from fan faves to big-time players (or Players, in the case of Funk).
Sorenstam is on her way to owning every record in the book, but in 2005 she was only the third or fourth most compelling woman in golf.
So enjoy 2005 for all of its bloated glory. Next year the big story will be about the next year, as the Tour finalizes its shorter, flashier schedule for 2007 and beyond. But that's getting ahead of ourselves. -- Alan Shipnuck