We don’t know about you, but wasn’t golf one of the things that kept you sane in 2020? It was a major part of our lives: being out on the course with friends and family to watching the PGA, at one point the only major sport on TV.
It all started with “The Match II”, the charity golf match between Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, Phil Mickelson, and Tom Brady. It is the most-watched golf telecast in the history of cable television, and attracted an average of 5.8 million viewers, peaking at 6.3 million viewers. It was amazing to see a skeleton crew deliver during a monsoon...and they each had their own golf carts for proper social distancing. The event raised $20M for COVID-19 relief.
Images courtesy of golf.com & golfweek.usatoday.com
And then in November, we had “The Match III” with Mickelson teamed up with NBA Superstar, Charles Barkley, playing against Peyton Manning and Steph Curry.
Images courtesy of Getty Images
Some of our other favorite highlights of the year include:
Collin Morikawa - Winner of the PGA Championship
Young gun, Collin Morikawa won the PGA Championship. The 23-year-old dropped the top of the trophy as he raised it in victory.
“I’m new to this," Morikawa said when he became the third-youngest PGA Championship winner in history. His weekend score of 129 over the final two rounds was a new PGA Championship record, beating Tiger Woods’ effort in 2018 by a shot.
Image courtesy of CNN
Tiger is Inducted into the Hall of Fame
It's obvious the G.O.A.T. is a future Hall of Famer, but back in January of 2020 the Hall announced they were lowering the age from 50 to 45 and it just so happened that Tiger turned 45 in December. He will be inducted in 2021, reaching what was inevitable 5 years earlier than expected.
Image courtesy of Golf Business News
Bryson DeChambeau Breaking the Game of Golf
How can we talk about 2020 and not mention Bryson DeChambeau and his disruption of the game? It landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the headline “Breaking Golf."
He famously bulked up to increase his swing speed and drive the ball further...and boy, did it work! He was able to handle par 5s with ease and with his added bulk, plus his unique club set-up and analysis of the course, he won the Rocket Mortage Classic and finished 4th at the PGA Championship. But the true crowning moment came when he won the U.S. Open, coming from two shots off the lead to win by six. DeChambeau was the only man to finish under par...in fact, the only golfer not to shoot over in any round.
Images courtesy of Sports Illustrated
Scottie Scheffler’s 59
Sure, Dustin Johnson destroyed the field at the Northern Trust, shooting a total of 30-under-par by 11 shots, but that wasn’t the biggest news of the weekend. On Friday, Scottie Schellfer carded a 59, with a whopping 12 birdies and six pars to become just the 11th player in PGA history to card a sub-60 score. And he happened to be the second youngest, behind Justin Thomas who did it at the 2017 Sony Open.
Image courtesy of PGAtour.com
Dustin Johnson's Record-Breaking Masters
The Masters may have happened in November instead of the Spring, but it didn’t disappoint! Augusta was still as majestic as ever and DJ topped the leaderboard after EVERY round, but it was his rounds over the weekend that were really spectacular. His bogey-free round of 65 on Saturday gave him a four-shot lead. After a little dip on Sunday with bogeys at four and five, his three birdies in a row moved DJ to 20-under, the first player to ever reach that score.
And as if it couldn’t get any better...Tiger was the one to put the Green Jacket on DJ, an image we’ll never forget!
2020 may be a year we all wish happened differently, but at least one of the silver linings were these amazing moments in golf. Now here’s to a great 2021….we know we have a lot of GREAT plans for #TeamStix!