Always a highlight of any year, the Ryder Cup was won by captain Paul Azinger's United States team by a convincing 16-1-2-to-11-1-2 margin over Europe at Valhalla, where on a emotional final day Kentucky's native sons Kenny Perry and J.B. Holmes came through with others including the player who secured the winning point, Jim Furyk, and the American points leader for the week, Hunter Mahan.After Tiger Woods ventured the opinion that winning all four major championships was "easily within reason," the year 2008 was launched amid high hopes and great expectations. Woods won four of the first five tournaments he entered, but could not pass the first major championship hurdle. Trevor Immelman became the second South African, following Gary Player, ever to win the Masters Tournament.Woods, runner-up to Immelman in the Masters, took the next two months off to recover from knee surgery, not returning until the U.S. Open. There, he won in captivating fashion, concluding in a playoff duel with Rocco Mediate that took 19 holes to complete. Woods succeeded on what amounted to a broken leg, then had reconstructive surgery on his left knee that ended his season in June.All this and more are included in the 43rd edition of the annual founded by Mark H. McCormack, Rolex presents The World of Professional Golf 2009. Mr. McCormack, the founder and chairman of IMG, passed away in 2003 at the age of 72, but this publication continues in his memory.The only player judged to have had a better year than Woods was Padraig Harrington. The Irishman, by winning the Open Championship and PGA Championship, became the first European to win successive majors in the same season. In the Open at Royal Birkdale, Harrington held off an improbable run by Greg Norman and a late bid by Ian Poulter to repeat as the Open champion, then went on to Oakland Hills in America to win the PGA Championship and again deny Sergio Garcia a major victory. Earlier in the year, Garcia did win the next-best to a major, The Players.In ladies golf, the biggest news of the year was from Annika Sorenstam, as the Hall of Fame player announced that she was stepping away from the game. Lorena Ochoa maintained No. 1 on the Rolex Rankings with seven victories for the year, including the Kraft Nabisco Championship.These and other events are fully chronicled in Rolex presents The World of Professional Golf 2009. There are chapters on each of the major championships and on each of the world tours. There are scoring summaries from every professional tournament played in the world during 2008, the world rankings, and -- unique to this publication -- the World Money Lists.