PGA Tour year in review: The 5 moments that shaped 2020

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December 8th, 2020

There won’t be many people reminiscing fondly about the year 2020. After a pandemic and the worldwide chaos that ensued, plenty will be glad to see the back of it. However, that hasn’t stopped some incredible moments from happening in the world of golf. Even without fans, we have seen some epic comebacks, thrilling final rounds, and incredible drama on the PGA Tour.

As we close out 2020, here are the five most memorable moments from an unprecedented year on the PGA Tour.

5. Young gun Morikawa wins the PGA Championship

Collin Morikawa was two shots behind Dustin Johnson as he teed off his final round of the PGA Championship at Harding Park in August. The 23-year-old took the sole lead on the 68th hole of the tournament when he birdied the 14th on Sunday.

And there were no debut nerves as Morikawa eagled the par-4 16th to move two shots clear of Paul Casey with two to play. Two solid pars were enough to give Morikawa the victory and in the process, he became the third-youngest PGA Championship winner in history.

His weekend score of 129 over the final two rounds was a new PGA Championship record, beating Tiger Woods’ effort in 2018 by a shot. The final round of 64 in only his second major was seriously clutch.

4. Tiger Woods is a Hall of Famer

It was always an inevitability, but the golfing G.O.A.T will become a Hall of Famer five years earlier then expected. All the way back in January, the Hall of Fame announced the age of eligibility would be lowered from 50 to 45, and it just so happens that Tiger turns 45 in December.

It’s another fantastic chapter to add to Tiger’s comeback after winning a fifth Masters in 2019, which brings him to an incredible tally of 15 major championship wins and 82 PGA Tour wins in total.

3. Bryson bulks up and produces the comeback

Coming into 2020 Bryson DeChambeau put on 20 lbs in an attempt to increase the speed of his swing and drill the ball further. During the enforced break he added another 20 lbs.

And boy did it work.

When the PGA Tour got back up and running, Bryson led the way in driving and was soon taking apart par 5s with ease. His unique club set-up, analytical course management, and added mass was a huge benefit to DeChambeau as he won the Rocket Mortgage Classic and then finished fourth in the PGA Championship.

The crowning triumph came just six weeks later as DeChambeau won the U.S. Open, coming from two shots off the lead to win by six. Bryson was the only man to finish under par in Winged Foot despite his long drives not having the desired accuracy. In fact, no champion in the last 40 years had hit fewer fairways than DeChambeau, but it didn’t matter one bit as he was the only golfer not to shoot over par in any round.

2. Scottie Scheffler’s 59

Dustin Johnson destroyed the field in the Northern Trust in August, shooting a total of 30-under-par to win by a ridiculous 11 shots. But that wasn’t even the biggest story of the weekend.

On Friday’s round Scottie Scheffler carded a 59 courtesy of 12 birdies and six pars to become just the 11th player to card a sub-60 score in PGA Tour history. He was also the second youngest ever behind Justin Thomas who did it in the 2017 Sony Open.

Scheffler has yet to win on the PGA Tour, but with scoring like that a maiden win can’t be far away.

1. Dustin Johnson’s record-breaking Masters

DJ topped the leaderboard after every round of the 2020 Masters at Augusta, but it was his two rounds over the weekend which really separated him form the pack. A bogey-free round of 65 on Saturday gave him a four-shot lead, and despite a little wobble on Sunday, the World No. 1 saw it out.

Johnson bogeyed the fourth and fifth on the final round to see Aussie Cameron Smith move to within one shot, but DJ reclaimed his two-shot lead as he turned for home. Three birdies in a row moved Johnson to 20-under, the first player ever to reach that score.

DJ would card level par through the final three holes to set the Masters scoring record and claim the green jacket for the first time.

Bonus pick

A special shout-out to Daniel Summerhays who retired this year. It was almost a fairytale ending for the 36-year-old who had played 215 PGA Tour events without winning. In his final appearance on the Korn Ferry Tour in the Utah Championship, in his hometown, on his home course, and with his brother as his caddie, Summerhays carded a final round 62 to make a play-off. It wasn’t to be on this occasion, but what a send-off for the Tour veteran.