9 Biggest Golf Stories of the Year Ranked

9 Biggest Golf Stories of the Year
9 Biggest Golf Stories of the Year

Well, almost another year down and we aren’t quite sure how to feel about it to be honest. Every other year end countdown tends to remember the year’s events with a bit of a rosier side than they seemed at the time. Let’s face it, 2021 just brought us a little more of what 2020 showed us last year.
Sure, it wasn’t all bad news. For starters, we aren’t in lockdown again. Yet. Then there’s the fact that we got to see some of our favorite golfers in person again. Let’s not pretend that watching golf in television hits the same. Not even close.

Looking back, it’s a little crazy to see how so many big things happened in just one year. Breaking down the last 365 days would probably take us into the middle of 2022. So, we chose the most memorable stories for us golfers this year and put them all in one place for your viewing pleasure.

9. Return of the Red Shirt

It was the moment the entire golf world has been waiting for. After almost a year out of the competitive field, Tiger Woods finally made a highly anticipated return. To top it off, it was at the year’s biggest golf event where he would remind the world of who he is yet again. Appearing at the 2021 PNC Championship alongside his son, Charlie, we definitely got the message. The father-son duo managed an astonishing 11 straight birdies setting a new record.
In the end, Daly and his son were able to hang on to their lead until the end. Tiger and Charlie put up a fierce fight though and definitely made the Daly’s work for the title. After a successful return, we are sure there will be a lot more of Tiger Woods and his red shirt.

8. The cost of COVID

Would you get vaccinated if somebody paid you $1.67 million to roll up your sleeve? The pandemic had imparted a very modest effect on the PGA Tour until Jon Rahm and his six-shot lead were sent home for testing positive after the third round of the Memorial. Would Rahm have won the overall FedEx Cup title if he’d stuck around to finish the job at Muirfield Village? Some things simply aren’t worth pondering.


7) A rivalry? Really?


Jin Young Ko and Nelly Korda.

Jin Young Ko and Nelly Korda.

Darron R. Silva, Allen Eyestone — USA Today Network

Decades have passed since the LPGA last had a legitimate, two-gal battle for overall superiority. Nelly Korda is 23. Jin Young Ko is 26. An American and a South Korean, each with four victories entering the season-finale in November, took their tug-o’-war down to the wire. Both were tied for the lead entering the final round, at which point Ko hit the gas with a closing 63 to cop $1.5 million and cap a career year. Rumors of the LPGA’s demise are greatly exaggerated. The game is in the hands of young brilliance.

6. The Torrey terminator


Jon Rahm holes a putt on the 18th green at Torrey Pines in the 2021 U.S. Open.

Jon Rahm at the 2021 U.S. Open. Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

<  How come the two best U.S. Opens in the 21st century have been staged at a San Diego municipal course, not some holier-than-thou palace for the privileged? Rahm, the burly Spaniard without an ounce of pretense himself, rebounded from the COVID calamity to claim his first major title in stunning fashion: a birdie-birdie finish with harsh, left-to-right putts from 25 and 18 feet. It validated the notion that Rahm is the world’s best golfer at the moment, and it’s fair to figure that moment might last for a while. The big boy has it all. And then some.  

5. The Saudis are coming

What’s invisible but threatening, mysterious and semi-serious, a pie-in-the-sky projection met with universal rejection? Word of a heavily funded challenge to the PGA Tour has been floating around for about two years now. It originated as something called the Premier Golf League — 18 annual events with purses massive enough to make Camp Ponte Vedra’s prize money look like chump change — but nothing substantive has materialized. The Tour, meanwhile, has gone to dramatic lengths to squash its would-be opponent, playing the role of paranoid incumbent by threatening its players with expulsion for jumping ship and creating a $40 million bonus pool for its most popular stars. To this point, there’s a lot of smoke but not a flicker of fire. Which doesn’t mean an inferno won’t start in 2022.


4. My muscles are bigger than yours


One of the best eye-rolls of 2021.

One of the best eye-rolls of 2021.

The Brawny Brainiac vs. Big Game Brooksie! C’mon everybody, let’s have a Look-See! Professional golf stooped to near-comical levels in the form of a summer-long feud between Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka, sort of like a couple of jocks wrestling to impress the homecoming queen. This spat had its tawdry moments, notably when Koepka cussed out DeChambeau for walking into his camera shot during an TV interview at the PGA Championship. Boys will be boys. And make far too much noise.

3. Ryder rout


Patrick Cantlay plays the 2021 Ryder Cup.

Patrick Cantlay plays the third hole during Friday foursomes at the Ryder Cup. Golffile | Scott Halleran

America’s historic triumph (largest margin ever) over an inferior European squad was a long-awaited, desperately needed bolt of optimism for Uncle Sam’s fragile psyche. Not only did the U.S. win by 10 points, it battered the Euros with its youngest and most inexperienced team ever, Every Yank won at least one match. Dustin Johnson went 5-0. Patrick Cantlay and Collin Morikawa failed to lose in four starts apiece. Captain Steve Stricker’s light touch worked wonders with a group that had accumulated 13 major titles despite its youth, and the future suddenly looks very promising. At least until Europe awakens from its afternoon nap.

2. Mickelson-of-a-gun


Phil Mickelson celebrates at the 2021 PGA Championship.

Phil Mickelson, the oldest man to win a major. David Yeazell-USA Today Sports

Given his illustrious career, advanced age and penchant for pulling off the highly improbable, Philly Mick’s PGA Championship victory was either perfectly fitting or ridiculously wildly beyond belief. A month before his 51st birthday, Mickelson became the oldest major champ ever. This was his sixth Big One, no less a surprise than his stunning conquest of the 2013 British Open but of greater historic value. Lefty cemented his standing as one of the 10 finest golfers of all-time at Kiawah Island. This was his version of Nicklaus at the 1986 Masters or Woods at Augusta National in 2019.


1. The crash heard around the world


Tiger Woods' car after he was involved in a rollover accident in Rancho Palos Verdes on Feb. 23.

Tiger Woods’ car after he was involved in a rollover accident in Rancho Palos Verdes on Feb. 23.


Harrison Hill-USA Today

When the man many consider the greatest player ever drives his car off the road without provocation, nearly loses his life and spends three weeks in the hospital after shattering his right leg, nothing else deserves consideration as the year’s biggest story. Woods’ single-car accident in Los Angeles was a head-scratching episode with lots of loose ends lingering amid the madness and sadness. How could something like this happen at 7:30 in the morning? Why were there no skidmarks, no evidence that Woods was even awake as his vehicle roared down a southern California hill at 80 miles per hour? Lots of questions, no need for answers. He’s still alive. Alive and kicking.



Read the original article on Sports Illustrated.