Tee to Green: Holiday wish list

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Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - I found a $100 bill yesterday.

Arriving home from the office, I stepped out of my car and there it was: a crumpled, faded Benjamin suffering under the weight of my size 13 boot. The bill was soggy with snow, but it was intact and, by the looks of it, authentic.

Standing outside my house, without a soul in sight, I happily invoked the time-honored English adage, finders, keepers and walked inside a slightly richer man.

My newfound wealth didn't last, however. Knowing that money burns a hole in my pocket, I had no choice but to purchase a case of Mad Elf before my jeans were reduced to smoldering ash.

I spent the night beneath the warm, multicolored glow of my Christmas tree, contemplating the brew's malty notes. Enveloped in the holiday spirit, I made this wish list for the upcoming 2014 year in golf:


This is like asking for a PlayStation4 and an Xbox One, but what the heck, I'm feeling lucky.

Tiger won five times on the PGA Tour in 2013, reclaimed the No. 1 world ranking and was named Player of the Year by his peers, but he also prolonged one of the most notorious droughts in professional sports.

We all know the numbers. It's been five years and 18 major starts since Tiger won the 2008 U.S. Open. He is stuck on 14 majors, four shy of Jack's record, and he has been for some time. Yet his pursuit of the Golden Bear remains headline-worthy.

All sports are better when the marquee names play to their top billing. This is especially true in individual pursuits such as golf, where the presence or absence of a Tiger Woods can drastically influence coverage and ratings, not to mention the significance and outcome.

Phil falls into this category as well. His British Open win, secured with one of the greatest final rounds in the championship's history, was perhaps the highlight of 2013.

As memorable as that moment was, Lefty will likely top it if he wins the U.S. Open in 2014. Not only will the Hall of Famer complete the career grand slam with a triumph at Pinehurst No. 2, but he will do so at the site of his heartbreaking runner-up finish to Payne Stewart in 1999.


Now I'm really getting greedy.

Including their historic collapse at Medinah in 2012, the Americans have lost seven of the past nine Ryder Cups and four straight on foreign soil.

Their-not-so secret weapon in 2014: Tom Watson, the last U.S. captain to guide his team to a win outside the States (in 1993).

Watson will be 65 when the biennial showdown hits Gleneagles in September, making him the oldest U.S. captain ever -- by eight years. He hasn't held the position since that 1993 victory at the Belfry, which marks the longest-ever span between captainships

It's certainly a departure, as American captains tend to be 40-ish former major winners who are still active on the PGA Tour, but what has this squad got to lose?


The 2013 PGA Tour season opened with a windy, weather-shortened Hyundai Tournament of Champions and Mother Nature never relented.

Twenty-two events were delayed by inclement weather during the 2013 campaign, the most bizarre of which occurred at the WGC - Accenture Match Play Championship, where a mini-blizzard dropped over 1 1/2 inches of play-halting powder on the Golf Club at Dove Mountain ... in Arizona!

Three events were subject to unscheduled Monday finishes and the new 2013-14 wraparound schedule saw three of its six tournaments affected by the elements.


Movie references. Ha.