Scott, Tiger and company serve up tasty 2013

Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:43pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Like an enticing chocolate box offering an exquisite array of pralines, truffles, fudge and liqueurs, global golf gave its fans just about everything they might have wanted during a riveting and unpredictable 2013.

The quality and variety of golfing 'confectionary' was exceptional and, with Tiger Woods's remarkable dominance in the late 1990s and early 2000s now a fading memory, confirmed that the sport's strength in depth has never been better.

Adam Scott ended decades of Australian heartache with his country's first U.S. Masters victory and left-hander Phil Mickelson pulled off a sensational triumph at the British Open, the one major that had always seemed the unlikeliest for him to win.

England's Justin Rose finally lived up to the lofty expectations long heaped upon his shoulders by clinching the U.S. Open and 'ordinary looking' Jason Dufner, known for his ultra-laidback demeanor and pre-shot waggle, struck a chord with club players everywhere by winning the U.S. PGA Championship.

American Jim Furyk became only the sixth player to shoot a 59 on the PGA Tour (at the BMW Championship) and Swede Henrik Stenson ended a brilliant year as the first man to land both the European Tour's Race To Dubai title and FedExCup playoff honors in the United States.

World number one Woods failed to add to his major tally of 14, despite being in the mix at both the Masters and British Open, but he triumphed a season-high five times on the PGA Tour before being voted Player of the Year for a record 11th time.

Rory McIlroy, his heir apparent as the game's leading player, ended a turbulent 2013 campaign on and off the course with victory at the Australian Open and will now aim to build on that as he attempts to regain his brilliant 2012 form.


Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy hits a shot on the seventh hole during the fourth round of the Australian Open golf tournament at Royal Sydney Golf Club December 1, 2013. REUTERS/Steve Christo