SANDWICH, England – As with all others, COVID-19 has turned golf around.
In 2020, there was no Open. The Masters were in August. The PGA Championship was back in August, where it normally fell before moving to May the previous year. The US Open was in September.
Instead of nine months between The Open and the Masters, it was five months – and a rugby competition – between majors and a run of seven in 11 months.
It was a wild ride, with three of the majors played without spectators in 2020, a limited turnout in April for the Masters, a seemingly COVID-free, rough environment in Kiawah for the PGA, and a controlled situation at Torrey Pines for the USA. Open up.
The open at Royal St. George’s has attracted the largest crowd since the pandemic began in March 2020. The more than 30,000 spectators a day were treated to a tremendous weather that unfortunately took the teeth out of the reverent links.
So we are now waiting nine months for the Masters and the next big championship. We did host the Olympics and a Ryder Cup. And of course the memories of 2021. Here’s a look back at the four major championships.
Winner: Hideki Matsuyama
What happened: Matsuyama takes a 4-stroke lead in the final round on a strong finish after the uninterrupted third round, and then continues with a 1-win over Will Zalatoris with a final round 73. He becomes the first Japanese male golfer to win a major championship.
Best moment: Matsuyama’s caddy, Shota Hayafuji, took the flag – as is customary for the winning caddy – and then returned the flagpole on the 18th hole in the cup. Then he turned to the track, took off his hat and bowed. “I was grateful,” he said. “I did not think about it and it just happened.”
– ESPN (@espn) 11 April 2021
Honorable mention: Matsuyama in the victory is asked about the impact his longtime manager and interpreter, Bob Turner, had on his career when he became emotional – and then Turner struggles to convey these words in English because he hides Hideki’s words about himself expressed.
Worst moment: Xander Schauffele’s 8-iron approach to the 16th green on Sunday, which fell short. He did a brave gathering to pull inside a shot, and he could have put Matsuyama under pressure by hitting the ball all over the green. Instead, the water ball ended almost any drama.
The PGA Championship
Winner: Phil Mickelson
What happened: At the age of 50, Mickelson became the oldest major champion in the history of the match with a final 73 series that was good for a 2-stroke victory over Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen. It was Mickelson’s sixth major title and 45th PGA Tour event.
Best moment: The scene on the 18th hole, with thousands of fans swarming around Mickelson after playing his second shot to the green, a celebration far from being seen in golf.
Honorable mention: During the third round, Phil asked a technician to have a drone removed from his line of sight, as he believes it could interfere with his ball flight.
Worst moment: The scene on the 18th hole, with thousands of fans swarming around Mickelson … and Koepka, who said a spectator cut his already injured knee. The situation seems to be good, but for a few disturbing moments it was also scary and could have been really bad.
Winner: Jon Rahm
What happened: Rahm became the first player since Tom Watson in 1982 to win the U.S. Open with birdies on the final two holes and shot a final round 67 to shoot Louis Oosthuizen with a shot.
Best moment: Rahm’s 18-foot birdie came on when he thought he might need it for a playoff game. It called into question a wild final round with numerous players and Rahm – who tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks earlier and was forced to withdraw from the memorial with a lead of 6 strokes by 54 holes – won his first major championship gave .
Honorable mention: The last day, ten players at one point took a chance. Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau, as well as two-time U.S. Open winner Koepka, were part of the crowded rankings.
Worst moment: DeChambeau’s back-nine blast caused him to shoot 44. He led the tournament on the tenth tee, but he reached 11 and 12 and made a double on the 13th par-5. He blames the collapse of bad luck. He eventually fell to 26th place for a draw.
Winner: Collin Morikawa
What happened: Morikawa became the first player to win two majors in his debut, winning the Open by shooting a final round 66 without defeating. Jordan Spieth with 2 shots on Royal St. George’s.
Best moment: Morikawa’s three-birdie stretch on the seventh, eighth and ninth holes during the final round put him ahead for the first time and he was never equaled again.
Honorable mention: An engaging victory speech on the 18th green in which Morikawa thanked his parents, brother, girlfriend, coach and caddy and applauded the crowd for the way it encouraged the players during the week. Nobody cares that he calls the tournament ‘The British Open’. For the record, it’s The Open.
Worst moment: Jordan Spieth’s finish Saturday. He missed the 17th green of less than 100 meters, which led to a detour. Then he made the 18th triangle for another thug, missing his 2-foot pearl point. These two strokes were the difference in the last round