As far as golf’s Major calendar is concerned, later this month, all four of the big tournaments will have been decided. The Open Championship is on the horizon, and after being postponed last year, the field will take to Royal St George’s in Kent – with the course playing host to the oldest Championship for a fifteenth time in its history.
As things stand, The Open odds are in Jon Rahm’s favour – but as we have already found this year, it’s not always the favourite that goes on to have success. The Spaniard won his first Major title last month and of course, will be feeling confident ahead of the upcoming Championship. While you ponder the field ahead of The Open, let’s take a look back at our other Major winners from this year.
Masters: Hideki Matsuyama
History was made at Augusta, as Matsuyama became the first Japanese male golfer to win a Major Championship, as well as the first Asian-born golfer to win the Masters. It was almost strange for there to be a winner of the green jacket so soon – always the first Major tournament of the year, the 2020 edition had been postponed to November, and so in the space of five months, we had two champions.
Matsuyama had come from T6 in the second round to win the coveted green jacket. An excellent showing in the third round, despite adverse weather conditions, that also saw the round postponed for over an hour, Matsuyama held an overnight lead going into the final round – 11 under par and four shots clear of those in T2 position.
A topsy-turvy final round, Matsuyama’s lead was cut to two shots with two holes to play. Thankfully he held on, and landed his maiden Major title – beating Will Zalatoris by a shot to record a total score of 278 (10 under par).
PGA Championship: Phil Mickelson
Mickelson won his second PGA Championship and his sixth title, but more remarkably, became the oldest winner of a Major – at the age of 50 years old. He had last won the PGA in 2005, and it had marked eight years since he won one of golf’s ‘big four’ Championships.
And he came from T8 in the field after the first round, to share the lead – before going on to nip ahead of his rivals. He was run close all the way. At the end of the second round, he was level with Louis Oosthuizen and a single shot clear of Brooks Koepka, with a round score of 69. He was then handed an advantage after Oosthuizen drove into the water – and managed to continue his one shot lead over Koepka.
And while Mickelson and Koepka tussled for the lead in the final round, it was the former who ended up recorded a two-shot victory – as he described the win as:
“One of the moments I’ll cherish my entire life.”
US Open: Jon Rahm
Not only his maiden Major victory, but Rahm became the first Spaniard to win the US Open, as Torrey Pines in San Diego played host to the third Major of the year. It wasn’t the best of starts, with fog disrupting play, which saw the first day of action cut short for a lot of the field – and after the first round, Rahm was T5, and two shots off the lead.
And it was a similar story for Rahm in round two, who was making his return to golf, having previously been forced to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament, after testing positive for COVID. He saved his best golf for the final round, and landed a score of 67, after birdying the final two holes. It was a remarkable turnaround from the Spaniard, who finished one shot ahead of Oosthuizen.