Golf is not a sport for everyone. Fans of the sport both know and accept it, just as those who couldn’t care less about it would agree. For some, it is incredibly slow and tedious, with very little action to get excited about. All it consists of is a bunch of rich blokes hitting a ball very hard, who show very little emotion whether they’ve hit a hole in one, or just sliced one into a pond. Even that rarely happens, as they’re all so good they usually hit it exactly where they wanted. No thank you.
However, for millions of other people, it is a game that requires patience, but is incredibly worthwhile once you get into it. The Masters, for example, held at the beautiful Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, is a tournament held over 4 days in April, that showcases the absolute best of the sport. The world’s best players are all desperate for one of the famed green jackets that the winners are awarded, so will be performing at levels that seem almost super human, that to the average golf fan seem almost impossible to attempt, let alone pull off.
This year’s Masters was won by Hideki Matsuyama, who finished at -10, holding off competition from the likes of Will Zalatoris, Xander Shauffele and Jordan Spieth to take home the $2,070,000 prize fund. In doing so, he became the first ever Japanese male golfer to win one of the 4 major championships, and also became the first Asian-born player to win the Masters. It was a truly remarkable performance. Considering the other top players who competed in this year’s event, if anyone had used their fanduel sportsbook bonus to bet on Matsuyama, then they would have walked away with a great return on their bet, and would have been absolutely overjoyed.
There have been plenty of other exciting tournaments on the PGA Tour this year, so let’s look back at some of the best of the action.
Mickelson proving there is still life in the old dog yet
While golf isn’t the most strenuous of sports when compared to the likes of soccer, basketball or American football, it still requires a very good level of fitness and stamina, which means that it is still considered to be a young man’s game. There are plenty of players who are 40 + on the tour, but very few of them are still able to impose themselves at the very top of the game.
This rule doesn’t seem to apply to Phil Mickelson, who rolled back the years at this year’s PGA Championship, held at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina, where he finished two shots clear of Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuzen to claim victory. It was his first win in one of the major championships in 8 years, and the second time he’d won the PGA Championship, with the first back in 2005.
He has victories in 3 of the 4 majors, with the U.S. Open the only trophy missing from his cabinet. He has come either 2nd or tied 2nd on 6 occasions, so will be desperate to add it to his collection next year, when the event is held at the Brookline.
Team USA still on a high following their Ryder Cup victory
Given his form this year, it was a surprise to not see Mickelson involved in the Ryder Cup, as bar the 2018 tournament, where he didn’t record a single point, he had scored points in the previous 11 tournaments, dating back all the way to 1995. However, Captain Steve Stricker made the decision to omit Mickeson from the final 12 players, and was perfectly vindicated in his decision.
As this year’s edition of the Ryder Cup was being held at the Whistling Straits course in Haven, Wisconsin, it was always expected that the home team would have a significant advantage. Yes, they’d lost the 2018 Ryder Cup, but on paper for this year’s tournament they had far greater depth, and overall much better players than the Europeans.
They quickly made this advantage count, as by the end of day 1 they already had a 6-2 lead. This was extended further on the Saturday, at which point they were up 11-5. Given that you need 14.5 points to win the competition, it seemed a foregone conclusion that they would win at a canter.
And that is exactly how it played out, with the final score ending up 19-9 to the Americans. It was the largest margin of victory in a Ryder Cup in over 50 years, and it was the heaviest defeat for Europe in the history of the tournament. Can Team USA continue this good form, when the tournament reverts back to Europe in 2022? Quite possibly, and we can’t wait to watch the action take place.