Golf: ...And here are the headlines for 1999

Independent writers play the prediction game
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The Independent Online
TO SAN DIEGO in February for the inaugural World Matchplay Championship, where Nick Faldo, as the 64th player on the rankings, will scrape into the tournament and the beat world No 1, Tiger Woods, in the opening round. But Lee Westwood will continue his winning spree by taking his biggest title to date.

Augusta, April, and that rite of spring that is the US Masters. Woods will reclaim what is rightfully his with another overpowering performance on Bobby Jones' masterpiece. In an emotional finale, Seve Ballesteros wins for the first time in four years at the PGA Championship, on his beloved West Course at Wentworth.

More turning back the clock at the US Open in June at the fabled Pinehurst No 2 course, where Faldo wins his seventh major after an 18-hole play- off with David Duval. A month later, Ernie Els battles Jose-Maria Olazabal for the 128th Open Championship at Carnoustie, before the South African takes the title for the first time and his third major.

In Chicago in August, the long wait finally ends for Colin Montgomerie at the US Open-style Medinah. America continue to mess up the foursomes and fourballs at Brookline in September, but overwhelm Europe in the singles to win the Ryder Cup for the first time since 1993. Westwood wins the Order of Merit, ending Monty's six-year reign, and moves to No 2 in the world behind Woods.

Player of the year: Sergio Garcia. The 18-year-old finishes fifth as an amateur at the Masters, turns pro and wins the Turespana Masters and the Deutsche Bank Open, qualifies for the Ryder Cup and partners Olazabal to three points out of four, before halving with Woods in the singles.