(Reuters) – Ten of the major talking points during the 2019 golf season:
– After more than a decade without a major title, Tiger Woods wins the Masters for his 15th major championship, leaving him needing three more to match the record held by Jack Nicklaus.
– Woods wins the Zozo Championship for his 82nd PGA Tour victory, matching the all-time mark held by Sam Snead.
– Sergio Garcia is disqualified from the Saudi International after officials deem he intentionally damaged at least five greens during the third round. Earlier in the tournament, he was also seen angrily belting his club over and over again in a greenside bunker.
– Patrick Reed is penalized two strokes after television reveals he improved his lie in a waste bunker at Hero Challenge in the Bahamas. Reed accepts the penalty but maintains the infraction was unintentional.
– A major revamping of the rules has teething problems early in the new year as officials rescind a two-stroke penalty handed to Denny McCarthy at Phoenix Open and tweak a rule about when caddies are allowed to stand behind their player.
– Rory McIlroy, after waiting his entire life to play at the British Open in his homeland of Northern Ireland, pulls his opening tee shot out-of-bounds, shoots 79 and eventually misses the cut.
– An underdog European team beats the United States to win the Solheim Cup in a dramatic finish at Gleneagles as Suzann Pettersen sinks the winning putt amid suffocating tension and then announces her retirement.
– Three months after winning the Mayakoba Classic, Matt Kuchar, his good-guy reputation in shreds, finally stems the bleeding by upping his payment to his stand-in caddie from $5000 to $50,000. Kuchar’s prize money for the victory was nearly $1.3 million.
– The never-ending issue of slow play finally reaches tipping point when video of Bryson DeChambeau taking two minutes to line up a putt at the Northern Trust goes viral. The PGA Tour quickly announces it will revamp its pace-of-play policy.
– South Korean Bio Kim receives a draconian three-year suspension from the Korean Tour after making an obscene finger gesture to a fan whose smartphone camera had clicked during his swing. The penalty was subsequently cut to one year.
Compiled by Andrew Both; Editing by Toby Davis