2016: The Golf Year in Review
No matter how you slice it, 2016 was a great year in the world of professional golf. There are always four majors within a golf year, but 2016 also featured the Ryder Cup – as well as the Olympics. That made for six big events that golf fans around the world were able to enjoy, in addition to all of the other exciting PGA Tour stops along the way. With plenty of top players competing in all of these notable events, there was no shortage of drama or memorable performances. To put a bow on 2016 before we turn our attention to the year ahead, let’s take a look back at some of the exciting moments that filled the golf calendar over the past 12 months.
Performance of the Year – Henrik Stenson
Although the season was full of great efforts from the game’s top players, there was very little doubt as to who deserved this honor. Stenson took home his first career major championship title at The Open Championship, and he did so by willing an incredible duel with Phil Mickelson. In the end, Stenson would shoot a total of 20-under-par, winning by three over Mickelson, who played a bogey-free final round to keep the pressure on. To put this performance in context, the third place finisher, J.B. Holmes, posted a score of 6-under-par. Other than Mickelson, Stenson beat the entire rest of the field by at least 14 shots. That kind of domination is simply unheard of in professional golf, making Stenson the easy winner of the Performance of the Year.
Most Memorable Moment – Jordan Spieth at Augusta
Unfortunately, this was not the kind of moment that Jordan Spieth would like to see replayed over and over again. Seemingly cruising to another Masters victory, Spieth hit two balls in the water on the 12th hole at Augusta, bringing numerous players back into the equation. In the end, Danny Willett would take home the Green Jacket, and Spieth would be forced to settle for a tie for second. It would be a mistake to overlook how well Willett played to earn his first major, but history will certainly remember this version of the Masters for the Spieth meltdown on the famous 12th.
History Maker – Justin Rose
The inclusion of golf in the Olympics was always going to be a controversial topic. Some feel that golf has long deserved a place in the Olympic Games, while others don’t feel that it fits in with the ‘traditional spots like track and field, swimming, etc. No matter what your personal opinion may be, there can be no doubt that Justin Rose made history when he claimed the Gold Medal in golf at the games in Rio. Rose, representing England, held off Henrik Stenson to win the first Gold Medal which had been awarded in this sport for more than 100 years.
Of course, there were more moments to remember than just the three listed above. The U.S. Ryder Cup team broke an extended drought, Jimmy Walker and Dustin Johnson won their first majors, and Tiger returned to action at the very end of the season. Thanks to a great 2016 campaign, the PGA Tour and the rest of professional golf seems poised to have a big year in 2017. Stay tuned!
If you’d like to chat about your favorite stories from the world of pro golf in 2016, please stop by Cape and Islands Golf Shop in Hyannis, MA right away. We hope to see you soon!