What Will 2007 Do Next


The New Year is just an infant. But already there is a tidal wave of buzz, expectation and anticipation.
(And speaking of infants..well.more on that in a few paragraphs)
Question, questions, questions. So many questions.
Like, Will the FedExCup gain traction?
Will The Golf Channel, (now, actually, named just Golf Channel) succeed wildly in its expanded role with the PGA TOUR? (My answer, by the way, is an enthusiastic, Yes. But journalistic ethics force me to recuse myself from the debate because I have a vested interest. So watch, wait, listen and decide for yourself.)
Will Annika and Lorena Ochoa (recently named APs Female Athlete of the Year) become our sports best rivalry at a time when Wie, Creamer and Pressel were supposed to become womens golfs big stories?
Will cocky-just-short-of-arrogant Anthony Kim turn out to be the Rookie of the Year on the PGA TOUR? Will Troy Matteson turn out to be as good as he looked at the end of 2006?
Will Tiger break Byron Nelsons streak of 11 straight PGA TOUR victories set more than 60 years ago? (Woods is currently at six and counting. His next expected start is the Buick Invitational).
What will Phil do next? (Amazing how often that question is relevant. HIS next expected start is Week Three.)
Will Stuart Appleby win his fourth straight Mercedes-Benz Championship at Kapalua? (If he does, it will be a terrific story and take some of the sting out of Woods and Mickelson deciding to pass on one of the TOURs best events).
Will Michelle Wie win on the LPGA or make a cut on the PGA TOUR by the time she enrolls as a freshman at Stanford University next fall?
Will Wie eventually earn a degree at Stanford? (a goal, by the way, Woods never achieved'at least not yet).
Will a European man win a major championship? (The last do so was Paul Lawrie in 1999. Since then the Euros are a collective 0 for 29, or, if you prefer, 0 for the 21st century).
There is an interesting book, just out, entitled, Next Now: Trends for the Future. In it, authors Marian Salzman and Ira Matathia predict words that will soon become part of our pop culture.
USA Today columnist published a few recently. Adultescence occurs when young people are at a crossroads between autonomous living and relying on the parents.
Truth lite is the shoulder-shrugging way people shrink from accountability, cloud the truth and dance around the facts.
Brand sluts are defined as those who jump from brand to brand with no loyalty.
There are others.
What will the new pop culture words in golf become in 2007? Heres one:
Small Ball.'
A lot of TOUR players think Tiger plays better Small Ball than anybody else. They are referring to his short game.
There is nothing small about the rest of his game, his achievements or his influence in golf.
Which brings me to my prediction on what will be golfs biggest story in 2007:
Sorry to those of you who write all those E-mails protesting the alleged overexposure of Woods. But once again in 2007 Tiger Woods, on and off the course, will be the biggest story in golf.
And there is nothing truth lite about it.
Meanwhile, the big news of the moment is the announced pregnancy of Elin Nordegren, Woods wife. The Saturday announcement said Tigers wife is due with their first some time this summer. Congratulations are in order.
And so is an informal name-the-baby contest. For anybody whos interested, E-mail me what you think the babys name should be. Im looking for cute, smart and/or funny. But original counts, too. Include an explanation of no more than 10 words on why you picked the name you did. And I will re-print the best of the best in a column sometime in the near future.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt