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AUTHOR : CHARLIE EPPS

author-charlie eppsKnown as "The Golf Doctor," Charlie Epps has been one of Houston's most respected PGA professionals for 30 years. He is the Director of Golf at Redstone Golf Club, home of the PGA Tour's Shell Houston Open.

Epps teaches two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and second-year Tour player Bobby Gates. Listen to Epps 9-10 a.m. Saturday mornings on Yahoo! Sports Radio on 1560 AM in Houston, channel 127 pm Sirius satellite and 242 XM.

He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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The Year of the Right Man in the Majors

Written by Charlie Epps on 01 October 2009.

Ever since Stewart Cink outlasted 59-year-old Tom Watson in the British Open and put an end to what could have been the best golf story in decades, I've been reading some stories in national golf magazines that have dubbed 2009 as "The Year of the Wrong Man" regarding the major championships.

Let me tell you something, and I want you to pay close attention.

All those writers are wrong.

This was the year The Game of Golf Won.

There's no doubt in my mind that the game was the biggest winner this year. It's nice for Tiger Woods to share the wealth sometimes, you know? When Angel Cabrera won the Masters, it was a great start to the major season. Not just because he's my amigo and student, either. What that win did for golf in South America will go a long way in growing the game and getting South Americans interested in golf. We need to grow the game globally, and wins like Angel's at Augusta National does exactly that.

If Tiger would have won another Masters this year, not many people in South America would have cared.

Lucas Glover was another fine champion. His U.S. Open victory was a great message to the parents of junior golfers across the country. Kids need to stay in school, play junior golf, high school golf and then go to college. Get a degree—like Lucas did—and play great college golf and try to make a Walker Cup team, like Lucas did.

Lucas played on the Nationwide Tour before he graduated to the PGA Tour, another important step. It's crucial to go through the right progressions in a golf career. Michelle Wie showed us that fast-tracking kids can be a mistake.

Let your kids be kids.

I know everyone wanted Tom Watson to win the British Open, but Stewart Cink is a deserving champion. He paid his dues through practice, experience and the right progression, just like Lucas did. Stewart was an AJGA All-American. He was a three-time All-American at Georgia Tech, from which he graduated with a Management Degree.

Like Lucas—a Clemson grad who sometimes reads four books a week—Stewart Cink played on the Nationwide Tour. All his hard work led to his major championship.

And lastly, the best major winner of the year was Y.E. Yang. What he and that PGA Championship (something Palmer and Watson never won) will do for golf in Korea and his part of the world is so good for the game. It's going to grow so much.

It was also good to see Tiger be a good loser the way Jack Nicklaus was. The sun doesn't shine on the same dog every single day, and Tiger took it like a man.

His streak of 14-for-14 in majors when holding the 54-hole lead won't be broken. It's over now, but it will never be done again. It's right up there with Byron Nelson's 11 straight PGA Tour events in 1945. Those records are almost unbelievable and won't be broken.

We had four great, new major winners this year. They're all deserving and have great stories. I can't see how or why you'd write anything bad about those players. In the history of the game, there are guys like Jack Fleck, Gay Brewer, Andy North and Todd Hamilton who aren't household names, but they won majors.

That's just part of the beauty of the game, which was the biggest winner this year.

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