Each year, golfers of all skill levels look forward to the major championships that the PGA provides. So, as we start 2017, let’s take a look back at the 4 major championships of 2016.
2016 brought with it a collapse at the Masters, rules issues at the US Open, a wonderful duel on the final day at the British Open and 36 hole final day at the PGA Championship. Regardless of which major you look at, 2016 was the year of first timers. All 4 winners are first time major champions.
It looked as if Jordan Spieth was going to continue his dominance of 2015 at the first major of 2016, that was until he dunked 2 balls in the water and made a triple bogey on the 12th hole during the final round at the Masters. Danny Willett, who was 5 shots off the lead when he teed up on hole #13, was coming off the 15th hole when he saw his name appear at the top of the leaderboard, which meant he was leading the field at the Masters. Willett followed that revelation up with an 8-iron to 7 feet and made the putt for birdie. The rest is history!
Months after Myrtle Beach native Dustin Johnson won the U.S. Open, a rules change has taken place and we can owe that to the champion. He still doesn’t know what the final margin was for his victory. On the fifth green at Oakmont, Dustin Johnsons ball moved. He said that he did nothing to cause the ball to move and the rules official ruled that there was no penalty. The issues developed later in the round when the tape was reviewed and the USGA ruled that 1 shot would be deducted for the moving ball from Johnson’s scorecard. It ended up not mattering as Johnson ended up wining by two shots even after the stroke deduction.
The final day of play at the British Open brought a duel for the ages between Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson. Both golfers battled for all 18 holes, passing the lead back and forth on Sunday before Stenson ended up winning the British Open over Mickelson, who had won the tournament previously. The streak of first time major champions was intact.
The final major of 2016 brought one of the longest days in history of the final round. Due to the rain delays, the players played 36 holes on Sunday. It all came down to the final holes for Jimmy Walker and Jason Day. When Day failed to make a birdie on the 17th hole, Walker saw that as his opportunity to win the tournament. He made birdie on the 17th and held on to win by one. 2016 – the year of first time major winners.
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