Home' New Zealand Golf Magazine : New Zealand Golf Magazine July 2013 Contents FOR THE
GOOD OF THE
hey say variety is the spice of life and for me that could not
be more accurate when it comes to the major championships.
For more than a decade Tiger Woods dominated the big four,
winning more than a quarter of the titles on o er. As a result, many a
debate around the water cooler focused not on who had a chance to win
the title, but simply on how many shots Tiger would be clear of the ield
and how long he would take to break Jack Niklaus' record.
Not that watching Woods was an unpleasant experience -- far from it.
Watching the world's best player running roughshod over his rivals on
the four biggest stages the game has to o er was a sight to behold, albeit
with the sound o so you didn't have to endure the "get in the hole" calls
from the irksome fans on course.
However, for me the majors are far more exciting now that the rest of
the pack has caught up. It seems inevitable that Tiger will once again top
the leaderboard in at least one of the majors, but for now he is having to
content himself with being in contention without winning.
As a result, it has now become more exciting trying to predict who will
actually win the events. Justin Rose's victory at the US Open made him
the 15th di erent winner in the last 16 majors and only three of those
have more than one major title to their name -- Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els
and Rory McIlroy.
That has to be good for the game and hopefully it is a trend that
continues in the future.
Speaking of the future, the impending merger of New Zealand Golf Inc
and the NZ PGA appears to be causing a few waves, although they appear
to be ripples rather than anything a surfer would get excited about.
That's probably to be expected, given the proud history of the two
However, on the positive side, there appears to be an overwhelming
IT TOOK 42 YEARS FOR MICHAEL
CAMPBELL TO WIN NEW
ZEALAND'S SECOND MAJOR
CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE, FOLLOWING
THE 1963 BRITISH OPEN VICTORY
OF SIR BOB CHARLES. THE
CHANCE OF CELEBRATING A THIRD
MAJOR WINNER ANYTIME SOON
ARE A DISMAL PROSPECT
level of support for the merger to go ahead, despite those concerns.
Indeed many are questioning why it hasn't been done sooner.
Certainly something needs to change given dwindling membership
numbers and New Zealand's lagging fortunes on the international stage.
Other than Lydia Ko, who continues to defy logic with her stunning
success against the world's top women's players, the country has had
precious little to cheer about in recent times.
It took 42 years for Michael Campbell to win New Zealand's second
major championship title, following the 1963 British Open victory of Sir
Bob Charles. The chance of celebrating a third major winner anytime
soon are a dismal prospect, with Campbell the only Kiwi currently playing
on one of the world's top two tours on a regular basis and while he has
shown some signs of improvement recently, realistically he is a shadow
of the player that won the US Open in 2005.
There is a glimmer of hope though, with Tim Wilkinson and Danny Lee
currently well placed to secure US PGA Tour cards for next year, and
Michael Hendry showing enough consistency to suggest he has what it
takes to compete against the world's elite.
However, for a country that prides itself on sporting success and with
Olympic medals in the o ing from 2016, a shake up is required.
By world standards, there is a dearth of corporate sponsorship available
in New Zealand and having two organisations from the same sport
competing for inancial backing is ludicrous. Pooling their resources will
streamline the system and greatly increase the chances of producing
more world class talent in future.
It should be a simple sell for o icials, but history remains the big
stumbling block. After spending the best part of a century as separate
entities, often with a somewhat tense relationship, it will need some
fancy footwork to convince a few of the old stagers that a new partisan
approach is for the best. But for the good of the game, it's the only way
Words: Gary Denvir
REGULARS FINAL WORD
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