Jimmy Walker’s PGA Championship triumph puts an end to yet another major championship season.
The year of the Big Three, which turned into the Big Four, didn’t exactly pan out with first-time winners coming out on top at all four of the events. Nevertheless, each major brought us something special, so join us as we take a look back at the 13 most unforgettable moments from the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship.
Holes-in-one galore. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9. And that was just in the par-3 contest! There was a record nine aces made by Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, Gary Player, Smylie Kaufman, Webb Simpson, Jimmy Walker, Zach Johnson, David Lingmerth and Andy Sullivan in the Wednesday shootout followed by three more holes-in-one on the 16th on Sunday, highlighted by Louis Oosthuizen’s ball spinning back and ricocheting off J.B. Holmes’ before finding the bottom of the cup.
Ernie Els’ heebee jeebees. The Big Easy didn’t get off to an easy start at the Masters Tournament, taking six putts from just a couple of feet and breaking the web. It was hard to watch, but Els battled on and finished nine over to miss the cut. A week later he finished third in strokes gained putting at Harbour Town for the RBC Heritage.
Jordan Spieth’s collapse. You know that old cliché, the Masters doesn’t start until the second nine on Sunday? Well Spieth now knows that first hand. He birdied Nos. 6, 7, 8 and 9 to make the turn with a five-shot lead on Sunday and case closed — it’s over, right? Wrong! He bogeyed 10 and 11 before dumping two balls into Rae’s Creek at the 12th, making a quadruaple-bogey 7. Spieth finished T2 behind…
Dustin Johnson’s rule’s fiasco. So, this happened at the 5th hole during the final round.
Johnson was then told on the 12th tee that he might be assessed a penalty for his ball moving on the 5th green but won’t find out until after the round. He is eventually assessed the penalty, and the golf world explodes in protest and utter confusion to the explanation.
Dustin Johnson, a major champ at last. Despite everything he went through (above), Johnson brushed off the news that he might be assessed a penalty and closed in style. He bombed a drive on 18, stuffed a 5-iron to a few feet and brushed in his birdie putt to win the 116th U.S. Open — even after the ridiculous penalty.
Duel of the ‘sons. What a duel it was. Phil Mickelson opened his week at Royal Troon with an 8-under 63 that was oh-so-close to being the first 62 ever recorded in a major championship history, only to watch Henrik Stenson shoot the same score on Sunday to beat him by three.
Jack Nicklaus took to Twitter the next day and said he thought the golf between Mickelson and Stenson was better than his famous Duel in the Sun with Tom Watson. High praise.
Mickelson’s clip. Quick, someone get Phil a new hat! This major phenomenon actually began the week prior at the Scottish Open, when Mickelson used a binder clip to keep his hat on in windy conditions. The bad weather continued at the British Open and so did Mickelson’s clip. So strange.
Louie strikes again. Remember his remarkable hole-in-one bank shot at the Masters (see above)? Well, he made another ace at Royal Troon’s par-3 14th during the opening round of the British. If you enjoy drinking for free, play with Louie.
BEEF! A star is born. Bursting onto the scene by winning the Spanish Open and pledging to get drunk after doing so — and making good on that promise — Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston was introduced to the world at the British Open, and boy was he well received. He rode the momentum of the crowd to an eighth-place finish in his first major championship. The party continued at the PGA Championship, where Beef was the overwhelming fan favorite of the New Jersey fans. Oh, and he also landed an Arby’s sponsorship, which is just totally awesome.
Rain, rain, go away. After two decent weather days at Baltusrol Golf Club the rain rolled in on Saturday and washed out play before the leaders could tee off. The PGA of America, needing to sneak in 36 holes on Sunday with a weather forecast calling for rain all day, decided to put lift, clean and place into effect for the final round for the first time in its history.
Jason Day’s 72nd-hole eagle. Jason Day didn’t win the PGA Championship, but he came pretty damn close. Trailing Jimmy Walker by two at the time, Day stuffed his approach into the 72 hole and rolled in his eagle putt, causing the crowd to erupt. But Walker birdied 17 and parred 18 to win by one.
Fifth year with four first-time major-winners. This was just the fifth time in the Masters era that there were four first-time major-winners in the same year: 1959, 1969, 2003, 2011 and now 2016.