With all the major sports news bouncing around right now, like the underdog wins at the World Cup and Lebron’s transfer to Los Angeles, golf has taken a back burner. However, there have been plenty of major tournaments with nail-biting endings, worthy of the limelight.
Arguably the biggest golf tournament every year is the Masters tournament held in Augusta, Georgia. Known for its prestige and class, it is an honor for anyone to get invited to play on the course and even watch the tournament. The Masters is notorious for having one of the pickiest selection criteria in terms of who gets to attend the tournament, and it is almost impossible to get tickets. Apart from this, the golf itself was awesome.
“It was one of the greatest golf moments ever,” Jack Nicklaus, a now-retired Masters champion, said when he was brought to tears when his grandson, JT, aced the last hole in the par-3 contest before the tournament.
Moving on to the tournament itself, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth both had surged to big leads during the first two rounds. However, by the fourth round, it was Patrick Reed who would be in the lead. Fowler made a strong surge near the end of the fourth round to come within one shot of tying Reed, but it wasn’t enough. Spieth also came close, almost making the biggest comeback in Masters history. He was nine shots away from the lead at the start of the fourth round, and by the end, was only two shots away from winning it all. In the end, Patrick Reed won the tournament, fighting off the surges by his competitors.
Other major tournaments included the Hero World Challenge, where Rickie Fowler showed that his hard work does in fact pay off. He started off the match seven shots behind the lead, and with the seven straight birdies he started off the round with, he shot an 11-under 61 and won the tournament.
The number one ranked golfer in the world, Dustin Johnson, had some big victories this year. In the Tournament of Champions, he had a two-shot lead going into the fourth round and from there, just ran away with it. He accomplished this with shots such as a drive on the 12th hole of that round that went 432 yards and six inches on a 433 yard par-4. I remember seeing that drive on TV and being mesmerized. I had never seen such an accurate drive that led to a such a short putt on a decently long par-4.
Johnson also had other strong victories, such as the St. Jude Classic. What made this victory so momentous was the way that he ended the fourth round. With the ball in the intermediate rough, he hit his nine-iron on the 18th hole. The ball took two bounces and went in, holing out for eagle and winning the tournament in tremendous fashion.
Fans of 2018 golf also saw the return of Tiger Woods. After a hiatus due to a back injury, he returned to golf with the Hero World Challenge. There, he tied for ninth place, and over the next couple tournaments he played in, he didn’t quite look like his normal self, but everyone saw that he was clearly very close to getting there. We saw the old Tiger in the Valspar Championship, where he tied for second place. He did almost the same in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, as well as the Quicken Loans National, where he had top-5 finishes. Although he may not be at the same level he was in the early 2000s, he has made a strong comeback onto the PGA tour.