On the eve of launching the new China golf tour, the China Golf Association and the PGA Tour make a joint announcement: As of 2015, the China Open will become, on its 20th anniversary, the world of golf's official fifth major. As the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer predicted, first the idea is ridiculed, then violently opposed. Then, finally, it is accepted as being self-evident common sense.
Miguel Angel Jimenez turns 50 in January. He plays 20 events on the Champions Tour and wins half of them. With President Obama surprisingly lifting America's 52-year embargo against Cuba, sales of Cohiba cigars soar. A hurriedly arranged Cuba Open is added to the PGA Tour schedule at the end of the year -- and is won by Jimenez.
Rory McIlroy regains the world No. 1 ranking. His run starts with beating Tiger Woods in a playoff at Augusta after hooking it miles left again on 10 (second playoff hole) but this time making a miraculous recovery for a winning par, pulling even with the golf gods.
Phil Mickelson gets his U.S. Open, completing a career Grand Slam. With memories of Payne Stewart lurking in the mists of Pinehurst, Phil opens with a record-breaking 62 and leads all the way. Butch Harmon announces his retirement from teaching, calling Phil's win his best achievement as a teacher.
In the offseason, Tiger reads the rules book, skims the Decisions book and actually watches the video that shows his ball moved. At 38 and well past his prime, with Nicklaus' record more remote, Tiger gives fans hope with a victory in the Open at Hoylake.
The 18-hole scoring record of 59 will be broken -- on both the PGA and LPGA tours. One of the rounds of 58 will feature a bogey on the scorecard.
Tim Finchem, the best sports commissioner of his generation, talks about a succession plan. Seth Waugh, the former Deutsche Bank CEO, has been the widely reported frontrunner. Ty Votaw, with a George H.W. Bush resume, looks best on paper. But the favorite is the affable marketing wiz Jay Monahan, the youngest contender and best player.
Vijay Singh settles his deer-antler-spray lawsuit with the PGA Tour. Tim Finchem realizes that the secrecy of fines and disciplinary action can no longer be sustained in the new-media world and moves closer to a full-disclosure policy on tour.
Contestants in the U.S. Women's Open are outraged they must play on a badly scarred Pinehurst No. 2, as the previous week's U.S. Open left fairway divots everywhere, greens on life support and sandy roughs churned by thousands of spectators. Over the noise of bleacher removals, Mike Davis reminds the press that back-to-back Opens was David Fay's idea.
What would a top-10 list be without Donald Trump? The Donald finally gains respectability in the hallowed halls of golf with the opening of Doral's Blue Monster in Miami, Nicklaus' Ferry Point in New York and the second course at Aberdeen, Scotland, on the way. He stands alone as golf's greatest builder today.