Five reasons to be grateful that golf was able to stave off significant issues and play in 2020

Bear in mind in early March when The Gamers Championship was one of many final important skilled sporting occasions to be canceled following a Thursday spherical that ended with a 63 from Hideki Matsuyama? He by no means obtained an opportunity to comply with up that and neither did anybody else. Thus started almost 100 days with out skilled golf. A time that was stuffed with watching previous main championships, considering the longer term and creating as many items of shoulder content material as readers might deal with.

It was manageable at first, however sooner or later, it started to put on down the psyche. It is enjoyable to look again on previous Tiger Woods wins, but it surely’s much more enjoyable to observe no matter he is doing within the current day.

After which golf got here again. From the primary week in June till early December, we obtained 26 occasions, together with your entire FedEx Cup Playoffs and three main championships. The complete factor began to teeter when gamers began withdrawing from the Vacationers Championship simply three weeks into the festivities, however from then till now, your entire course of has gone as easily as anybody might have imagined.

That is a testomony to the massive organizations in golf — the PGA Tour, Augusta Nationwide Golf Membership, PGA of America and the USGA — in addition to the gamers, caddies and everybody else concerned within the sport. It was additionally a joyful time for followers in a sea of unhappiness. The foremost championships completely rocked, and so many intriguing storylines developed because the yr wore on.

I wished to take a look at 5 issues I used to be grateful for on account of the second half of golf being performed in 2020, none of which might have taken place if issues had been nonetheless on maintain. Let’s begin with the place the yr primarily ended.

1. The D.J. destruction: The numbers are astonishing. After lacking the reduce on the Charles Schwab Problem in his first occasion again, Johnson received three of his subsequent 12 occasions and completed second or third in 4 others. His margin in Official World Golf Rankings factors over No. four Rory McIlroy is wider than McIlroy’s margin over No. 64 Joel Dahmen. He has revamped $23 million and is No. 1 in strokes gained for the reason that restart by almost half a shot per spherical. And all of that tells solely about half the story. It has been a pleasure to observe, write and discuss the way in which D.J. is obliterating everybody in his sphere proper now, and you could possibly definitely make the argument (although there’s loads of competitors) that that is the very best golf anybody has performed since Tiger Woods was destroying worlds within the mid-2000s.

2. Bryson mania: Some folks obtained sick of the Bryson DeChambeau hysteria this summer season, however I personally couldn’t probably get sufficient of what Bryson was promoting. His schtick can get tiresome, however when it is coupled with U.S. Open wins, it kind of enhances (in the very best and worst methods) what he is doing. It appears like hyperbole proper now, however I feel we’ll look again at his destruction of Winged Foot as an inflection level in golf historical past as to when the sport modified in an enormous means. I am grateful we obtained that in a yr after we simply as simply might have missed it.

three. Elite finishes: I am unsure we have gotten two higher finishes from top-10 expertise on the earth in any season within the final 5 years than we did on the Workday Charity Open and BMW Championship. Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa buying and selling putts that defied perception within the former, and Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson doing the identical within the latter. I used to be watching each from dwelling and hollered fairly loudly when all 4 of their putts went down.

four. Morikawa’s rise: Collin Morikawa’s PGA Championship was a microcosm of the youth motion. He drove the ball astoundingly effectively, cared not for the strain surrounding him and upended a number of the finest gamers of the final 10 years en path to his first main win. In smaller methods, it is what Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff completed as effectively, and I am glad we obtained the again half of this yr to see what that trio is (and others of their world are) really able to going into 2021. 

5. The Masters: It was odd. It lacked some juice on the weekend. However man, I had a hell of a time being there, and I am going to always remember what’s going to in all probability go down because the strangest main of the final century, if not ever. And whereas it will not go down as probably the most dramatic or finest Masters, I am very glad that it occurred as a result of now D.J. has a extra acceptable variety of main championship trophies contemplating his expertise degree.

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