Best Golf Events of 2021: Phil Mickelson’s PGA Championship Triumph Makes Top Five This Year


At the end of the year, it’s a chance to reflect on what has been a truly spectacular golf season. Better major finishes than normal are going and a better major champions than can reasonably be expected. And a whole slew of ridiculous tournaments, endings and results that completely exceeded the headlines.

Today is an attempt to sort out the top five tournaments of 2021. We have already reviewed the top five and most important golfers, but now is the time to take a look at the tournaments and – unlike the players, who weren’t listed in any particular order – rank them from 1 to 5. The easy (and maybe lazy?) move here is simply to throw in the four major tournaments and one additional tournament (the players’ championship, a playoff or the Olympics) and stop it. But I think there is an opportunity to go a little beyond the importance of the four biggest events of the year.

To do this, we must note on a scale. The Masters will always be more important than, say, the Travelers ‘Championship, but given the stakes, the terrain, and the finish, the Travelers might actually be a better event compared to other Travelers’ events over the past decades. So the tournaments here will mostly play out against their past iterations as we try to figure out which were the top five of 2021. As for # 1? Well, it’s not even close.

1. PGA Championship (Winner: Phil Mickelson)

It looked like two separate tournaments – the first two days and the last two days – that the two could reasonably have been included in the top five. The agglomeration of these four days together makes it a clear No. 1 choice. This ridiculous tournament featured the oldest major champion to ever play in a hall that three-time major tournament winner Padraig Harrington called “probably the best major setup I’ve ever seen. She may have been matched in the tournament. past but could not have been better “. That, in itself, made it the most epic event of the year. But what really rocked him was the quality of the anti-hero involved (assuming Mickelson is your hero in this story). For the first time in four decades, two golfers with four or more majors have played in the final pair on a Sunday, and one of the golfers just ahead of them is perhaps the most famous perennial finalist in major history. Toss it all together with intriguing stories from Jordan Spieth (couldn’t putt), Rory McIlroy (another slow start), Collin Morikawa and Jon Rahm (top 10) and a menacing and relentless golf course, and you have the best tournament ever. undisputed golf course of the calendar year.

2. BMW Championship (Patrick Cantlay)

Everyone will remember the crazy six-hole playoff between Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau, but the whole tournament was a roller coaster. DeChambeau almost shot 59 at the start of the week, there was some tension between those two over the weekend, Rory McIlroy got involved at the top of the standings at one point, Rahm probably should have won and DeChambeau did does that weird, hilarious half-step fist pump thing after a late birdie and all before the week ends in utter chaos with DeChambeau yelling at a fan. This tournament also included (easily?) The best non-major result of the year as Cantlay had the greatest putting performance (literally) for strokes won at the time (since 2004) and buried a few daggers late on DeChambeau. .

3. Open Championship (Collin Morikawa)

Golf Links for a major trophy has been sorely missed in the two years it has not been played. From Shane Lowry’s victory at Royal Portrush in 2019 to Collin Morikawa drinking his second major trophy in 2021 at Royal St. George’s, we’ve gone almost 800 days without an open championship shot. Because this golf is the most creative and interesting version of the sport, and because we had Oosthuizen (again), Rahm (again) and Jordan Spieth letting off steam in Morikawa all weekend on an amazing golf course. intriguing as Morikawa ranked each competitor with a dart after the dart, this one found its place in the top three. Characters matter in stories, and this one has had some great ones at fascinating times in their careers. Pour in some of the annual magic of an Open Week, and this event rocked even though it lacked a super signing moment like the next.

4. US Open (Jon Rahm)

The end of that tournament – Rahm cradling Oosthuizen to fall asleep with a one-two combination from the heart of his soul – was one of the great major endings of all time. It belied the reality that the rest of the week was … fine. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as electric from the start as the PGA Championship or the Open Championship. The players involved on Sunday – McIlroy, DeChambeau, Morikawa, Koepka and Harris English as well as Rahm and Oosthuizen – brought the event to life. Rahm, however, put him in the pantheon with all the enthusiasm that has marked his career at this point (and that’s, in fact, part of the reason he’s such a great generational). If the first two or three days had been a little better, this one would have challenged Mickelson’s PGA at No.1.

5. Arnold Palmer Invitational (Bryson DeChambeau)

A completely absurd event. It housed the indelible image of the first quarter of the year – DeChambeau wiping a bullet on the horizon and then pointing at it, while wearing his paperboy hat and a shirt with a tiny Arnold Palmers (the drink) sewn all over it. This after a year or more of chasing the distance and trying to become the longest ball handler in the history of the game. He almost again rolled onto the green at the 5th hole on Sunday and Spieth, playing in front of him. and trying to win for the first time in almost four years, turned around to watch the show. It wasn’t the only thing that happened that week. McIlroy was involved again, Lee Westwood nearly cut DeChambeau at the end before the latter buried an 18 putt and screamed as loud as any human has ever yelled about a putt and Spieth has made an ace – but it was the lasting image at a tournament that in many ways marked a year no one in golf will ever forget.

Honorable mention: Masters (Hideki Matsuyama), Genesis Invitational (Max Homa), Phoenix Open (Brooks Koepka), Farmers Insurance Open (Patrick Reed), Players Championship (Justin Thomas), Travelers Championship (Harris English). Note: The Ryder Cup is not counted for this listing.


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