DESPITE going winless in the majors, it’s been a super year for Australian golfers around the world.
For the record, more than 20 Aussies entered the winner’s circle including six on the toughest tour of all – the US PGA Tour.
Adam Scott, Jason Day, John Senden, Steven Bowditch, Matt Jones and Geoff Ogilvy flew the Australian flag on the PGA Tour.
Meanwhile, Australia’s all-time great Karrie Webb reminded the next generation of stars she is still a force. She won her fifth Australian Women’s Open and picked up her 41st win on the LPGA Tour.
Jason Day got the ball rolling for the Aussies as early as February when he won the Accenture Match Play Championship.
Remember the epic final against Frenchman Victor Dubuisson in the Arizona desert?
The Queenslander had to withstand some astounding recovery shots from Dubisson as the marathon match went to the fifth extra hole.
The recoveries Dubisson made at the 19th and 20th holes left Day shaking his head.
On both occasions, the Frenchman was in dry scrub, his ball covered in cactus debris but he not only got the ball out, he holed the ensuring putts.
But Day remained focused, got his man and his hands on the trophy.
In March, John Senden won the US PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship in Florida.
The 42-year-old drained a 21-metre chip shot to birdie the 16th and a six-metre birdie putt at 17 en route to claiming the title.
“I’m just so happy to come out on top,” he said.
Then Steven Bowditch popped up and won the Texas Open – his first US PGA Tour victory.
The Queenslander had a three-shot lead entering the final round, wobbled a bit but got the job done to receive an invitation to the US Masters.
Matt Jones won the Shell Houston Open and with it a spot in the US Masters.
The Sydneysider chipped in for birdie on the first playoff hole to defeat Matt Kuchar, who had a six shot lead over Jones heading into the final round.
Jones fired a final round 66 to get in the playoff.
In May, Adam Scott edged Jason Dufner in a playoff to win the Crowne Plaza Invitational and retain his world number one ranking.
The pair, both major winners in 2013, signed for final rounds of four-under par 66s for nine-under par 72-hole totals at Colonial.
But Scott, the 2013 Masters champion, prevailed when he coolly sank a two-metre birdie putt on the third extra hole for his 11th PGA Tour triumph.
In August former US Open champion, Geoff Ogilvy won the Barracuda Championship to register his eighth PGA Tour title.
The Victorian scored a five-point victory in the modified stableford event. It was his first win on the PGA Tour since 2010.
Cameron Percy won the Web.com Tour’s Price Cutter Charity Championship, which helped him gain his card to the lucrative US PGA Tour.
The 40-year-old birdied the final two holes for a one-stroke victory over four players. It was his 131st start on the tour.
Earlier in the year, Karrie Webb came from five shots back to win her fifth Women’s Australian Open at Melbourne’s Victoria Golf Club.
The 39-year-old finished at 12-under par with a final round four-under par 68 to edge out Korean Chella Choi.
Then 39-year-old Webb conjured one of her greatest rounds to reel in the leaders and win the JTBC LPGA Founders Cup – her 41st win on the LPGA Tour and her 53rd around the world.
On the Asian Tour, Aussie Marcus Both and Scott Hend triumphed.
41-year-old Hend had to dig deep to win the Hong Kong Open, a co-sanctioned event with the European Tour.
He went into a playoff with Filipino player Angelo Que, but held his nerve to birdie the first extra hole for victory.
“Finally I’ve won a European Tour event,” he said.
Both, meanwhile, couldn’t stop smiling after capturing the Philippine Open despite a bogey on the final hole.
The 35-year-old lost his tour card last season and only got in on a sponsor’s invite.
He did consider quitting the game, but changed his mind after banking $324,000.
On the Korean Tour, Victorian Matthew Griffin snuck under the radar to win the Korean PGA Championship at the Sky72 Resort in Incheon near Seoul.
Earlier in the season, Griffin won the Victorian Open.
Two Aussies, Jun Seok Lee and Inside Golf correspondent Steven Jeffress came up trumps on the OneAsia Tour.
Jeffress took out the Fiji International at the challenging Natadola Bay course with rounds of 69-70-69-70 – 10-under par.
Earlier, Lee won the final stage of OneAsia Q-School with rounds of 70-65-64-68 – 17-under par.
Okay, it’s not an official event, but finishing atop a leaderboard is a victory.
On the PGA China Tour, Brett Drewitt and David McKenzie won tournaments.
Drewitt won the United Investment Real Estate Wuhan Open while McKenzie won twice – the Lanhai Open and the Cadillac Championship.
NSW’s Dimi Papadatos took out the New Zealand Open Championship played at The Hills and Millbrook Resort in Queenstown.
The 22-year-old looked solid throughout the tournament and finished with a 270tournament total – 18-under par.
NOT to be outdone, Australian amateur golfers excelled.
The Australian women’s team of Minjee Lee, Su Hyun Oh and Shelly Shin won the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship by clinching the Espirito Santo Trophy in Japan.
Our girls finished with a team total of 547 strokes to finish two strokes ahead of Canada and three clear of Korea.
And how about young Antonio Murdaca?
The South Australian took out the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at Royal Melbourne.
Lifting the trophy was exciting, but winning a spot in the US Masters field in April is the icing on the cake.
Earlier in the year, Victorian Geoff Drakefield captured the prestigious Porter Cup in the US and Queensland’s Cory Crawford lifted the Malaysian Amateur Open trophy.
Let’s not forget our disabled golfers Geoff Nicholas and Shane Luke, who chased down South Africa’s Reinard Schuhknecht and Daniel Slabbert over the last four holes at Zebula Golf Estate and Spa to clinch the inaugural World Cup of Disabled Golf.
Finally, Gold Coaster Dave Sawtell pulled out all stops to win the World Long-Drive Championship in the wheelchair division.
Congratulations to all our winners and let’s hope 2015 is even more successful.