Following the festive season, and the start of New Year upon us, we wanted to take a brief look back at 2017 and review what has without doubt been a springboard year for Kinross Sport and our clients. From the iconic wicket of Lord’s, to Maddison Square Gardens, Kinross and its associates have been making waves in the sporting world. Over the next couple of weeks we will individually glance back at the achievements of our clients, before looking ahead to what 2018 has in store
There is no doubting the fact that 2017 has seen Matthew Southgate thrust himself into the top bracket of golf’s global professionals. With many impressive performances under his belt, perhaps the sinking of the par putt on the 18th at The Open in July, to seal his position as the highest placed Englishman and a 6th place finish at the competition, was the defining moment. The Royal Birkdale crowd were treated to a show of raw passion, a quality that underpins the way Matthew plays the game. His fist pump reaction and adrenaline fuelled hurl of his ball into the back rows of the crowd summed up just how big a moment this was Essex native.
Another defining, although less memorable moment from 2017 was what has since been coined ‘Leafgate’. Matthew stood over a five-foot putt in the final round of the DAP Championship and seemed certain to confirm his qualification for the US PGA Tour through the Web.com Tour Finals. However, as he confidently guided the ball towards the hole, a leaf blew into it and caused it to deviate away. This incident led to the loss of four shots overall after Matthew had tapped in and not replaced the ball, costing two penalty shots and then a further two for signing an incorrect scorecard. This was a heart-wrenching outcome for a player who had worked so hard to come back from testicular cancer two years previously, and who was so close to achieving something few European players manage to do. Despite this, anyone that knows Matt can be sure to see him utilise the adversity and wield it to drive him forward in 2018.
While these two episodes may be what will define 2017 in retrospect, Matt has steadily been going about his business this year. A 2nd place finish at The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and 14th at The Shenzhen International represent two eye-catching performances that will give him great confidence going forward.
2017; a year of incredible highs and devastating lows, but without doubt a set of experiences to stand Matt in very good stead for the season ahead. Into the top 120 players in the world and with an Open championship at his self-proclaimed favourite golf course; Carnoustie, you wouldn’t bet against him.