By Golf Monthly
Sam Tremlett looks at some of the best tournaments of 2017, all of which provided high drama.
The 8 Best Tournaments of 2017
2017 saw some incredible golf played across the world, with highlights including the Masters and Open Championship where dramatic final days will go down in the history books.
Here we take a look at the 8 best tournaments of 2017:
1. The Masters
Of course we had to have the Masters on this list. The final day was a tense affair with Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia battling intensely for 18 holes and then a playoff. It was a high drama contest with everyone thinking Sergio had thrown it all away at the 13th after finding the hazard on the left. He made a clutch par and then birdied 14 to get back in the race. Garcia then hit the shot of the tournament, a towering iron shot that hit the pin on the par-5 15th hole. He would hole the eagle putt, then par in to set up a playoff. A sublime birdie then gave him his first Major title at the 74th time of asking and the golfing world was ecstatic.
2. Open Championship
The Masters was great and a feel good story for golf, but nothing tops the 2017 Open when it comes to drama. Jordan Spieth looked to be romping away with victory but he began stumbling on the final day to give Matt Kuchar a chance. Spieth, on 13, hit one of the most wayward drives he's probably ever hit, eventually having to take a penalty drop on the driving range via the tour trucks. 20 minutes later, Spieth made a miraculous bogey. Spieth then nearly made a hole-in-one on 14, eagled 15, birdied 16 AND 17, and then parred the last to win the tournament. Watching it unfold was truly staggering.
3. Travelers Championship
Recently voted the 2017 PGA Tour Tournament of the Year, because it had records in sales, attendance and fan engagement, the Travelers Championship again included that man Jordan Spieth. The tournament was won in dramatic fashion when Spieth holed his shot from the greenside bunker on the first playoff hole. Daniel Berger looked on in disbelief as Spieth celebrated with his caddie.
4. DP World Tour Championship
The culmination of the European Tour season, the DP World Tour Championship had a lot at stake. Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose were battling for the Race to Dubai title and a closing 74 by Fleetwood looked like he had thrown away the title. Rose faltered on the back nine as well to gift the title to his fellow Englishman Fleetwood. In terms of the DP World Tour Championship, European Tour Rookie of the year Jon Rahm took the victory with four sublime rounds of golf.
5. BMW PGA Championship
The European Tours flagship event at Wentworth gave us one of the rounds of the year by Swede Alex Noren. The final day twisted and turned as Francesco Molinari, Nicolas Colsaerts, Henrik Stenson and Shane Lowry all traded the lead. But none of them foresaw the 62 Noren was able to shoot around the Surrey classic. The finest shot of which was his second into the par-5 18th, a high arcing iron shot to within 10-feet. He holed the eagle putt and waited over an hour as the leaders struggled home.
6. Waste Management Phoenix Open
Matsuyama, for the second year in a row, won the Phoenix Open in a playoff on the fourth extra hole. This time the victim was Webb Simpson, whereas Rickie Fowler fell afoul the year before. The Phoenix Open, with one of the most famous atmospheres in golf at the 16th hole, always provides drama, and yet the steely persona of Matsuyama shone through again.
7 . British Masters
The British Masters had a strong field this year with stars Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy appearing, but it was Paul Dunne who shone the brightest. The scoring was fabulous all week and a closing 61 gave him his first win on the European Tour. Rory shot a 63 on the final day which made it incredibly exciting, but a birdie on 17 and a chip in birdie on 18 gave the Irishman the victory.
8. The Northern Trust Open
Guess what, another tournament on this list includes Jordan Spieth, this time on the losing end of a playoff. Dustin Johnson holed a colossal putt on the 18th to force a playoff and then proceeded to hit a 340-yard bomb of a drive over the water on the playoff hole. Spieth had to play around the water and had a full iron shot in, whereas DJ had a little flick with a wedge which he stuck to within 4 feet. He holed the putt and took an improbable victory.
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