02 Feb 2016
Jason Day celebrates his win on the 18th green.
Well, what a ride Australian golf went on through 2015.
In Jason Day we crowned just our third male world No.1 since rankings began and just our fifth US PGA champion.
In Minjee Lee we had an LPGA Tour winner in her rookie season – as an 18-year-old.
In Cam Smith we had one of the most rapid rises through US ranks in years to a full card without any status, thanks largely to a near albatross that almost won him a US Open.
From the Astor Trophy in January through to Min Woo Lee’s win in the Aaron Baddeley International in December, we had amateur winners galore in global events.
We watched our own national squad member Antonio Murdaca stand tall on the grand stage of Augusta National.
We saw an incredibly talented wave of amateurs, Murdaca included, take the plunge and join the professional ranks with immediate effect. Well, Ben Eccles actually won the NSW Open as an amateur before his big move and then Jarryd Felton won the NSW PGA as a newly minted pro.
Then to watch our GA rookie squad member Nathan Holman hold on for his breakthrough Australian PGA Championship win was another sign of positive things happening at the young end of town.
That’s not to say we didn’t revel in watching the sublime Peter Senior complete his post-50 Triple Crown at the Australian Masters in November – which we all loved – just that the next wave is making ground rapidly.
All of which leaves us craving more and wondering what might unfold in 2016 to topple all that.
Another key element of all these successes is that you can never be certain of the direction from which the next one will emerge.
We hope we’ve got a finger on the pulse of who’s coming through the ranks, but with so much talent across our great nation, it’s sometimes impossible to catch it all.
And with this in mind, I urge all golfers and their families to take in the myriad tournaments – professional right through to club pennant – that go on around the country each summer.
In particular, if you’re in South Australia, or haven’t visited spectacular Adelaide for a while, come and check out the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at The Grange from February 18-21.
It’s a world-class tournament at a spectacular club – and if either inspires you or your family members to pick up a club in 2016, then we’ll have already had a win.
And by the looks of it, there’s going to be plenty of winning to be done by Aussie golfers this year.