With the festive season now well and truly upon us, it's that time of the year where we reflect on all the goings-on in golf in 2018 and pay homage to those who have excelled throughout the year.
Here at Hole19 HQ, over the past few days we've been mulling over the contenders for each of our five highly sought after (and completely fictional) 2018 Golf Awards.
Despite some disagreement here and there, (well it wouldn't be Christmas without it, right?) we managed to settle on deserving recipients in each category.
Check out our award winners below...
Best Male Golfer: Brooks Koepka
What a year it's been for Brooks!! The 2017 U.S. Open champion started 2018 firmly bottom of a stellar leaderboard at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, with this immediately followed by a lengthy spell on the side-lines nursing a troublesome wrist injury.
He would return better than ever and managed to retain his U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills before adding a third major title with the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club. World number one status soon followed before he was then crowned PGA Tour Player of the Year...he deservingly takes our first award too.
What does a triple major champion's bag set-up look like? Check it out below...
Honourable Mention: Francesco Molinari
But for Koepka's double major winning year, this would have been a walk in the park for Italy's first ever major champion. His Ryder Cup performance was of an impeccable standard, but he falls just short of the current world-number-one but a light year ahead of whichever golfer you wish to slot into third place.
Best Female Golfer: Ariya Jutarnugarn
It was an impressive 2018 for Thai world-number-one golfer, Ariya Jutanugarn. She won three times on Tour this year with the most prestigious of these victories being a second major title - the U.S. Women's Open - which arrived on 3 June at Shoal Creek Golf & Country Club.
Jutanugarn's consistency saw her pick up the season-long Race to the CME Globe and the accompanying $1,000,000 bonus. For the 2018 season, Jutanugarn won the LPGA Player of the Year and pocketed a cool $2,743,949 in LPGA Tour money. A clear winner in this category.
Check out a recent profile of Ariya below...
Honourable Mention: Georgia Hall
England's Georgia Hall made her mark this year by winning the Women's British Open and, in doing so, became the first golfer from the United Kingdom to win a Ladies golfing major since Caitriona Matthew at Royal Lytham & St Annes back in 2009.
The 22-year-old sits now at number eight in the world and took a massive strides on her way to golfing superstardom this year. We're keen to see how she follows up in 2019.
Catch the highlights of Georgia's final round below...
Shot Of The Year: Dustin Johnson
Given that very few of us have it in our locker, we all love to see a great booming drive from the tee box and, as we all know, Dustin Johnson is one of the finest exponents with the 'big stick'.
At the Sentry Tournament of Champions back in January, DJ mightily unleashed a 430-yard drive and almost bagged an extremely rare par-4 hole-in-one in the process...
Honourable Mention: Justin Thomas
For many of the same reasons as DJ's drive above, we loved seeing Rickie Fowler's 438-yard drive at the Scottish Open.
With that said, for something a little different, check out Justin Thomas' hole-out for eagle during his final round of the WGC Mexico Championship.
Funny Moment Of The Year: Fleetwood & Molinari
The European Tour's video of 'the morning after' Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood's Ryder Cup exploits was one of the funniest moments of 2018.
'Moliwood', as they became affectionately known, were seemingly more than happy to embrace their newfound bromance...
Honourable Mention: Phil's 'Dad-Dancing' Commercial
We're not sure if we loved or hated Phil Mickelson's moves in his 2018 commercial promoting wrinkle-free golf shirts - but it certainly did raise a chuckle or two. One thing's for sure, 'Lefty' has definitely got the high-kick move down to a tee!!
Below he discusses his eye-popping skills...
Breakthrough Golfer Of The Year: Bryson DeChambeau
Despite already having a PGA Tour title under his belt heading into 2018, Bryson DeChambeau really came to the fore during this year and, particularly, when winning two separate FedEx Cup Playoff events.
He sat down recently to discuss his recent progress and famous love of one-length irons...
Honourable Mention: Tommy Fleetwood
Though an established member of the European Tour, it is for his performance as a rookie during the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National that Tommy Fleetwood gets a mention.
Four points from a possible five was a more than healthy return and set the Europeans well on their way to recapturing the trophy.
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