The Top 10 of all things golf in 2013
By: Ross Starkey

Counting down to our number one moment of 2013 we review some of the moments that made us laugh, cry, think or just amazed us:

10.) The Anchored putting ban made perfect sense to some, until each and every intricate movement was analysed and discussed relating to how the putter could and couldn't be held against the belly, the body, the upper arm and the chin. Then after we looked at the diagrams and the photo stories, it started to make less and less sense. Now that the anchored stroke has been banned, surely its only a matter of time for a reducing the size of driver heads.

9.) Henrik Stenson reminded us all why its good to be Swedish as he confirmed his return to the top of the game after a two-year hiatus that included losing millions to a fraudulent investment scheme and a dip to below 200 in the world rankings. Deserving, not just because he played some of the best golf of anyone in 2013 during a six month spell that began at the Scottish Open and finished Dubai and brought him two Tour Championships and coming top of the rankings for both the PGA and European Tours. Bravo Henrik.

8.) When all around him players like Keegan Bradley were being heckled for using a belly putter, there was the perennial tinkerer Pádraig Harrington deciding now was a good time to try one. After all, there are still another two years until they ban it for good. Cannot fault your logic Pádraig.

7.) Lydia Ko turned pro in a manner befitting someone born into a digital age. Gone are the days of press statements and conferences, here was a young woman announcing herself to the world in a manner very much of our time by releasing a YouTube video. Here was a sixteen year old showing everyone how to use social media at a time when Tiger Woods finds it difficult to show humour on Twitter or answer a straight question in a press conference.

6.) At the end of the season, after the show, the parties and the hangovers, November signalled the return of the Mac. Finally Rory McIlroy, former world number one, entered the winners circle  defeating a tired Adam Scott at the Australian Open and in turn denying him an Australian Triple Crown. It was a great way to finish the year and signalled further optimistic expectations of McIlroy in 2014 that we'd almost given up on by the end of 2013.

5.) The European Solheim Cup team made history by winning in America for the first time. Caroline Hedwall dominated by winning every one of her five matches and Suzann Peterson and Charley Hull also stole headlines. At a time when Asian golfers were dominating, with Inbee Park in particular, it was a refreshing tonic to see that there are still young and established talents in both Europe and America. Further proof that the women's game is becoming more competitive than ever. It's never been so good for women's golf.

4.) If anyone needed proof that Justin Rose is a bloody nice guy, just listen to his victory speech at the US Open. His comments regarding unlucky loser, Phil Mickelson and his recently departed father brought a tear to many eyes. Not only that, but the talk about Merion being a pushover, proved unfounded and once again the viewing was irresistible. There surely wasn't a more satisfactory win for watching Brits this year.

3.) Sergio Garcia isn't a manly man, which is why his falling out with Tiger Woods is that much funnier. When he attempting to man-up at The Players in May it came off as whining, and when he wanted his golf to answer all the questions, it didn't. Two balls in the water at 17 turned an almost certain playoff, and a head-to-head against two players who couldn't hate each other more, into an anti climax. Garcia further coveted himself in cringe by attempting to trivialise his relationship with Woods with an inadvertent racial slur. Let's hope the saga doesn't continue.

2.) Whilst Australians were crossing fingers for one of their own to finally win the Masters, Angel Cabrera was doing everything possible to spoil the party. What ensued was the best finish to a Masters for years and a deserved victory for the softly spoken Adam Scott, whose pumped celebrations epitomise victory reminiscent to Seve at St Andrews. The birdie by Cabrera to force a play off was perhaps the best birdie of the year, only bettered by Scott's playoff birdie to win.

1.) The best moment and performance of the year was undoubtedly Phil Mickelson winning The Open in a way that perhaps only he can. While defeat was painful at the US Open the previous month, picking up the Claret Jug at Muirfield was the perfect antidote for Lefty. It confirmed that his talents truly do run deep and showed the world that life continues beyond 40. His joy at winning involved everyone he holds dear and he shared this win with them all. If players like Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia or Steve Stricker ever want to win a major then Phil Mickelson's final round should be compulsory viewing.