Despite a condensed 2020 golf season (because of you-know-what) we have all been extremely thankful to be able to watch top-quality golf again and, with it, the creation of some truly unique and memorable moments by some of the world's best golfers over the past 12 months.
Many of us won't be too disheartened to see this year come to an end and we all look forward to a 2021 full of hope, golf and an eventual return to normality. In the meantime, let's remember 2020 for all that was great and good in the world of golf.
World No. 304 Popov Wins AIG British Open
Germany's Sophia Popov, who only guaranteed her place in the field at the AIG British Open little over a week before its commencement, converted her 54-hole lead into a first victory of any significance in the six years since she turned pro.
In becoming the first-ever German to win the event, Popov remarked how she had almost quit the game for good the year previous. If she had it would have robbed us all of the feel-good fairytale moment of 2020.
Majestic Morikawa Wins Maiden Major
Back in August at TPC Harding Park, Collin Morikawa mind-blowingly won a maiden major title - the PGA Championship - in only his second major start.
There was work to do entering the final round as he sat two shots behind Dustin Johnson but a stunning 6-under-par 64 - including a laser-like driver from the 16th tee to 7 feet for eagle - was enough to clinch victory.
Bulked-Up Bryson Destroys US Open Field
Bryson DeChambeau destroyed both Winged Foot and the field during September's U.S. Open to win his own first major title and, in doing so, validated his maverick scientific approach to the game of golf.
Much to the dismay of many in the USGA, and some golf fans, this was a display of power at a tournament which has always prided itself on rewarding accuracy and penalising errant golf shots. The thing that was so amazing about Bryson's win, was that he was able to control his accuracy while swinging out of his shoes.
We could do nothing but watch open-mouthed as he went about his business to beat Matt Wolff by six clear strokes.
Autumnal Augusta & DJ's Green Jacket
Whatever your views on which is the best major, the Masters tournament in April is the one that kicks off every major season with a vibrant flourish. We all wondered how a November Masters would compare and, as it turns out, comparisons aren't necessary - this was simply a great major championship and brought some golfing cheer to a pretty crummy year.
With his dominant five-shot win, Dustin Johnson set countless records including:
- the first number one to win the Masters since 2002 (Tiger Woods)
- tied most consecutive seasons with a win (Tiger Woods)
- lowest Masters score ever
- lowest score in a major relative to par
Whichever way you cut it, this was one heck of an impressive performance by a thoroughly deserving champion.
Westwood Wins R2D Crown at 47
Little over a week ago, Lee Westwood clinched the Race to Dubai title to end his season as the European Tour's No. 1 player for the third time, at the age of 47, after a DP World Tour Championship won in dramatic circumstances by Matt Fitzpatrick.
Though he remains without a major win to this point in his career, Westwood sits behind only Rory McIlroy in the European Tour money list and, by showing the consistency required to win the Race to Dubai crown, he's unequivocally proven 'there's life in the old dog yet'.
5 Separate Men Hold World No.1 Crown
2020 saw the status of world number one switch hands on no fewer than five occasions and was held by five different golfers within the year. We started the year with Brooks Koepka at the head of affairs and it wasn't until February that he relinquished the title to Rory McIlroy.
The crown would pass to Jon Rahm shortly after the resumption and then to Justin Thomas for one week in August before returning to Rahm and then finally to current World No.1 Dustin Johnson before the month's end for the sixth time in his career.
Check out Jon Rahm's road to the top of the game below.
Tiger and his 'Copy Cat' Son
One heart-warming 200 moment came just last week as Tiger Woods played the PNC Championship alongside his son Charlie.
It was a week full of great golf shots by both 'GOAT and Kid' and, most noticeably, a whole host of Tiger-like mannerisms from an 11-year-old clearly full of adoration for his father.
Hole19 Reports Surge in Golf Participation
When lockdown restrictions were lifted around the world, here at Hole19 we quickly identified a year-on-year surge in golf participation as golfers took the fairways and returned to the game they love.
The 49% increase versus the previous year is indicative of a global surge in golf participation. Keep an eye out for our full 2020 'Year in Numbers' coming soon and, as always, we thank you and every one of our Hole19 community for your ongoing trust and support.