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Rickie Fowler

Resurgent Rickie and Solheim sweep: 9 things we want to see in 2023

From fan favourites bouncing back to European domination, George Cooper runs through his wish list for the coming months
 

At long last, 2023 is here! Or, perhaps, 2022 is finally over. Last year brought an endless supply of drama, phenomenal moments, and spectacular feats, but 2022 was also more chaotic and divisive than anything ever seen in the sport, so in many ways we’re pleased to see the back of it.

So what now for the wonderful world of tour golf in 2023?

Well, we all know you probably want to see the turmoil from last year put to bed, for Rory McIlroy to finally win another major, and for Team Europe to do the double and win big at the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup respectively. But what about our other desires for the coming season?

From fan favourites bouncing back to an Open for the ages, here are nine things we want to see happen on tour in 2023…

A European star is born

Aside from being underdogs heading into Rome, Luke Donald’s side continues to be characterised through a ‘changing of the guard’ notion, and how I’m aching for a young prospect to break through and put his name on the 2023 Ryder Cup – in a similar way to how Tom Kim did at the Presidents Cup – regardless of the result. Who that player could be still remains to be seen, although we may get a better inclination after the Hero Cup, but the stage is certainly set for a star to be born as Team Europe goes out with the old and in with the new.

Swedes shine in the Solheim Cup

A Solheim Cup win, spearheaded by rookies Linn Grant and Maja Stark, would make for phenomenal viewing in 2023, furthering Europe’s recent dominance while accentuating the ever-growing value of the Ladies European Tour. The standard was set at Gleneagles and Inverness Club in recent years, but a hat-trick at Finca Cortesin would put the cherry on top and only help inspire Donald’s troops one week later. Who will be this year’s Leona Maguire? It’s all too much! Can it be September now, please?

Rickie Fowler is victorious again

Rickie Fowler

Ah, the curious case of Rickie Fowler. No doubt on the wishlist of many, we’d love to see the Californian break his four-year drought and return to the winners’ circle in 2023. The fan favourite came mightily close at the Zozo Championship a couple of months ago, but will surely feel inspired by the near-miss in Japan on top of having reunited with coach Butch Harmon.

Lydia Ko dominates

She ended 2022 as World No 1, Rolex LPGA Player of the Year, Vare Trophy winner, and CME Group Champion, so the stage is perfectly poised for Lydia Ko to take this sensational form into 2023 and dominate the LPGA Tour like we know she can. Without a major win since 2016, the time is now for Ko to end the drought and create even more history within her already illustrious career.

Justin Rose rekindles his form

It’s beyond comprehension that we’re heading into a Ryder Cup year and little has been said of Justin Rose, one of the few European veterans who hasn’t made the switch to LIV and all but ended his chances of competing. 2022 was a year to forget for Rose thanks to a niggling back injury that hampered his form throughout. But now fresh and looking to turn things around, a few good performances will surely put the 42-year-old right back in the mix to help a young European side overcome the odds in Rome.

Netflix series lives up to the hype

Drive to Survive

It’s the one all golf fans have been waiting for, heightened by the most bonkers year in the sport’s history, the upcoming ‘Drive to Survive’ style Netflix series documenting the 2022 PGA Tour season. It promises fireworks, and with potential new fans on the line and an expectation of mouthwatering drama, we pray it lives up to the hype and shows a side to golf which us addicts have been longing for other sports fans to appreciate.

Charley Hull wins her maiden major

A first LPGA Tour title in more than six years now gives Charley Hull the perfect foundation to push on and claim that long-awaited first major. We all know she has the talent, and having now matured after bursting onto the scene as a teenager, we would love nothing more than to see Hull follow Georgia Hall’s lead and claim major gold. The AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath would be her pick, no doubt, but we’re sure she’s not fussy.

Mother nature hits Hoylake

Tiger Woods major

Bit of an out there one, this, but conditions at The Open are always a topic of contention. St Andrews proved that we don’t need wind to deliver the perfect tournament, but Royal Liverpool’s tendency to produce low scores over the years means it would no doubt make for gripping viewing if Hoylake brought difficult conditions come July. We all remember Tiger Woods’ clinic in 2006 – opting to only hit driver once all week – and a similar scene would only heighten the excitement and skill level while bringing the best out of the Merseyside links.

LIV Golf establish franchises

Let’s finish on the biggest talking point of the last 12 months and more: LIV Golf. For the series to flourish in 2023 – both financially and from an entertainment perspective – we need to see the much-promised adoption of franchises. The team aspect is arguably LIV’s greatest USP, but in 2022 it just felt a bit, well, meh. Names like the Fireballs, Cleeks and Niblicks didn’t help, but if some legitimate brands buy into this thing – producing an F1 style format – then there’s certainly some fun and popularity to be had with a product which ultimately fell flat last year.

What would you like to see happen in 2023? Tweet us and let us know!

George Cooper

George Cooper

A golf fanatic his entire life, George Cooper is NCG's man for all goings-on at the top level of the game, whether it's the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA or LIV Golf. He also looks after NCG's Twitter and Facebook accounts. George is a member of Woburn, but is not friends with Ian Poulter.

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