As we look back on 2012 from the viewpoint of Irish sports gambling fans, one of the high points must be the achievement of Rory McIlroy in becoming the world’s number one golfer and winning his first major title. For those of us who enjoy gambling on golf the pleasure of seeing a home grown golfer top the order of merit on both sides of the Atlantic, and at such a young age is unlikely to be matched very often. Add this to the thrilling victory for Europe in the Ryder Cup, also involving several Irish golfers, and 2012 was indeed an exceptional year for Irish golf gambling enthusiasts. Golf is of course a sport which has become an all year round series for the top professionals, and the first European tour event of the 2013 calendar is already underway in Durban in South Africa. Next up for sports gambling fans who follow the professional golf tours is the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship starting on the 17th of this month and from then on there are tournaments almost every week. Also taking place in Abu Dhabi nest week is the meeting to discuss the next Ryder Cup captain for the match at Gleneagles in 2014. At this stage there appear to be two front runners for the job, namely Darren Clarke and Paul McGinley, and the decision will be difficult because there is no doubt that both of these Ryder Cup stalwarts deserve their chance. Some golf gambling fans will also remember the betting chaos which surrounded Colin Montgomerie’s appointment in 2009, so the decision to announce the result of the vote this year immediately after the meeting has been welcomed on all sides. Golf is not a sport in which a tournament winner is easy to predict, particularly when all the world’s top players are involved, so let us wish all those fans of gambling on golf the very best of luck for 2013 and of course another successful season for our own Rory McIlroy.