Top 10 Decade Defining Moments In Golf

We take a look at the 10 moments during the 2010's that defined the decade.

Top 10 Decade Defining Moments In Golf

We take a look at the 10 moments during the 2010's that defined the decade.

Top 10 Decade Defining Moments In Golf

The 2010's had some huge moments take place in the game of golf.

Big putts, Major victories, controversies and the deaths of golfing legends are all on the agenda in our top-10.

Lets take a look at them...

Miracle At Medinah

Not a lot of explanation required here.

One of the most incredible comebacks in not just golf history but sports history too.

At one stage on Saturday, Europe were down 10-4 with two fourball matches still on the course. Somehow they won both thanks to some classic Ian Poulter heroics and the deficit heading into the singles was 10-6.

More heroics were on display on the Sunday with Europe winning the first five matches and then Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood delivered points.

Justin Rose's monster putt on the 17th helped him defeat Phil Mickelson before the crowning moment was left to German Martin Kaymer who rolled in a nervy putt on the last to beat Steve Stricker and retain the Cup.

Death of Seve Ballesteros 

What made the Miracle at Medinah more special was the fact that Ryder Cup and European golf legend Seve Ballesteros had passed away a year earlier in Spain.

Speaking after, captain Jose Maria Olazabal said; "Our team played in the spirit of Seve without ever giving up. Seve will always be present with this team and he was a big factor for this event."

Seve died in May 2011 at the age of 54 and left the entire game of golf in mourning.

The legendary Spaniard won five Majors (Three Opens, two Masters), 50 European Tour titles (1st all-time), spent 61 weeks as World No.1, made eight Ryder Cup appearances and captained Europe to victory in 1997 at Valderrama.

Tiger Woods 2010 Press Conference

The decade started dramatically for Tiger Woods who admitted to affairs and unfaithfulness in a press conference.

Woods spoke for roughly 15 minutes and admitted to continuing his counselling.

His mother Kutilda Woods was present and said “I’m so proud to be his mom, period. As a human being, everyone has faults, makes missteps and learns from it.”

The moment would kick off a rollercoaster of a decade for Woods.

Rory McIlroy wins first career Major after Masters meltdown

Just months after capitulating and throwing away a big lead at the 2011 Masters, Rory McIlroy secured his first Major title in imperious fashion at the US Open hosted at Congressional.

After a first round 65, nobody got close to him as he stretched his lead to eight shots which would eventually be the final winning margin.

This was the moment the 21-year-old Northern Irishman truly announced himself on the global stage.

Rory would win three more Majors in the decade - the 2012 USPGA, 2014 Open and 2014 USPGA.

Death of Arnold Palmer

Another legend of golf lost in this decade was 'The King' Arnold Palmer.

His impact on the game is impossible to measure as is Seve's.

Arnie, known as one of the 'Big Three' with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, won seven Majors and 62 PGA Tour titles.

Sergio Garcia wins the Masters

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Without doubt one of his generation's greatest talents, Sergio Garcia could never quite get over the line in a Major - until 2017.

The Spaniard, channeling his inner-Seve, somehow got past Justin Rose on the back nine on Sunday and then defeated the Englishman in a playoff with a birdie at the first playoff hole to win on what would have been Seve's 60th birthday.

It was Garcia's 74th Major appearance after 16 top-10s previously.

Dustin Johnson finally secures Major Championship

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After years of close calls and near misses, another generational talent finally won his first Major when arguably the best player of the entire decade finally got his first Major title at the 2016 US Open hosted at Oakmont.

Prior to his victory, DJ had recorded 11 top-10s in Majors with near misses at the 2010 USPGA and 2015 US Open, where he three-putted the final green to lose.

Johnson played some majestic stuff down the stretch at Oakmont, which was even more significant given the USGA rules debacle that eventually resulted in him being penalised a shot after the round.

He still won by three strokes.

Suzann Pettersen holes Solheim Cup-winning putt at Gleneagles

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Many questioned what European captain Catriona Matthew was thinking when she selected Suzann Pettersen as one of her captain's picks for the 2019 Solheim Cup.

At the time she was ranked 635th in the world after a break from the game to have a baby but her selection was a masterstroke.

The final day was unravelling to be a close and nerve-wracking affair with Europe taking an early lead winning three of the top four matches.

USA came storming back and the final three matches proved to be pivotal.

Bronte Law managed to sneak a 2&1 win over Ally McDonald and Anna Nordqvist delivered a point over Morgan Pressel.

It was left to Pettersen to secure the winning point which she proceeded to do with a putt on the last. She then retired from golf.

Tiger Woods wins The Masters

To put it mildly, as far as decades go it was an up and down one for Woods.

To many, marriage infidelity (see above), injury problems and drug/medication issues are what he will be remembered for in the 2010s but he rounded it off with one of the feel-good moments in golf as he proceeded to win the 2019 Masters by one stroke.

Even sweeter, he was greeted by his children and mother on the final green, 22 years after his late father was there to do the same thing after he won his first Major.

Woods' 15th Major was his fifth Masters title and first Green Jacket since 2005.

Shane Lowry wins an Open Championship for Ireland

For the first time since 1951, the Open Championship returned to Royal Portrush in 2019 and all the focus before it started was on Rory McIlroy.

An eight on the first hole and a first round 79 put an end to his chances but it was Irishman Shane Lowry who was the star of the show at the Dunluce.

With the weight of a nation on his shoulders he proceeded to shoot a mesmeric 63 in the third-round and shot a one-over round of 72 on the final day to win by six strokes.

Other notables: Stenson/Mickelson's duel at Troon in 2016, Spieth's Masters meltdown in 2016, Spieth's 2017 Open victory

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Sam Tremlett
E-commerce Editor

A golfer for most of his life, Sam is a Senior Staff Writer for Golf Monthly. 

Working with golf gear and equipment over the last six years, Sam has quickly built outstanding knowledge and expertise on golf products ranging from drivers, to balls, to shoes. 

He combines this knowledge with a passion for helping golfers get the best gear for them, and as such Sam manages a team of writers that look to deliver the most accurate and informative reviews and buying advice. This is so the reader can find exactly what they are looking for.

Sam now spends most of his time testing and looking after golf gear content for the website, whilst he is also responsible for all content related to golf apparel. 

He also oversees all Tour player content as well so if you need to know what clubs Tiger or Rory has in play, Sam is the person to ask. 

Unfortunately, Sam is not a member of any club at the moment but regularly gets out on the golf course to keep up the facade of having a handicap of five. 

Sam's What's In The Bag: 

Driver: Titleist TS3 (9 degrees) 

Fairway Wood: Callaway Paradym (15 degrees), Nike Covert Tour 2.0 (19 degrees) 

Irons (4-PW): Titleist AP2 

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 54˚, 58˚ 

Putter: Scotty Cameron Phantom X 5.5 

Ball: Srixon Z-Star Diamond

Shoes: G/FORE Gallivanter/Nike Air Zoom Infinity NEXT%/Cuater The Ringer