A year in golf: Tales from the Tour

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Her code name is Maria.

“Maria is the one name that translates on every continent,” Sorenstam said when she confessed to her alias. “So I’m Maria Swenson.”

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The first day of the Solheim Cup nearly didn’t finish because of a rules decision that took nearly a half-hour to determine _ and as it turned out, it was the wrong decision. It proved a pivotal part of the fourballs match, which Europe went on to win.

It wasn’t the first time a rules official had made the wrong call. Former USGA President Trey Holland, one of the most skilled in the Rules of Golf, mistakenly gave Ernie Els relief in the U.S. Open from a temporary immovable object that was movable. But when an official makes a ruling, it stands.

Brad Alexander, a respected LPGA official, made the wrong call at the Solheim Cup. When the day was over, confusion and anger lingered. Alexander volunteered to accompany both captains to the media center to handle any questions from the press. He explained what happened. He made no excuses. He accepted all the blame. It was classy.

That kind of accountability would have come in handy at Augusta National this year.

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The final week of December is the one week no meaningful tournaments are played on any tour in the world.

The golf year is endless, and it can feel even longer.

Mark Fulcher, the caddie for Justin Rose, has been at this a long time. The crowning moment was at Merion, where Rose won the U.S. Open for his first major. This was in late October, halfway around the world in Shanghai. Everyone was tired. Rose was just starting the stretch run to the end of his year. The caddies were talking about the drudgery of early rounds at a tournament.

Except for “Fooch.”

“The day I stop caddying, I’ll either be dead or I won’t be excited on a Thursday morning,” Fulcher said that day. “Thursday is the greatest day in golf. It’s the perfect reset, isn’t it? You’re reminded, even if you won, that everyone starts all over the next week. And if you’ve played absolute rubbish, there’s always the belief that it’s about to turn around. I love Thursday. Just love it.”

It’s a good reminder for everyone involved in this game. You never know what’s going to happen next. Or when.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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