By Fergus Bisset published
Golf In 2021 – Heroes Of The Year
Golf offers a broad scope of opportunity for people to stand up and be counted.
At a competitive level, both individual and team events deliver a perfect stage for protagonists to display their skill, courage and determination.
The game also provides an ideal platform for acts of great sportsmanship.
Away from the elite game, golf is a great barometer of people’s true character. It also allows for charitable acts and, given the broad range of participants, the chance for organisations and individuals to show altruism and an inclusive approach.
Here we consider some of the golfing heroes of 2021.
It’s been a great year of individual performances in the professional and amateur games.
Hero of the year for many has to be Phil Mickelson
His amazing PGA Championship win at Kiawah Island gave hope to all ageing golfers that there’s still chance for glory in advancing years.
Producing an exceptional display of skill and fortitude, Mickelson became the oldest player to win a Major championship.
Bryson DeChambeau has to get a mention – Golf’s Mr Marmite divides opinion but one thing can’t be up for debate – he keeps golf in the headlines.
And The R&A deserve a mention for that event too. They raised prize money this year (and will again next) which is a hugely significant step towards achieving parity between the sexes at the top level.
Louise Duncan also shone at Carnoustie – the 21-year-old Scot qualified after winning the Women’s Amateur Championship in some style and she was in contention for the Women’s Open on Sunday afternoon.
She showed great character and temperament and is surely one to watch for the future.
By his own high standards, Rory McIlroy didn't play to full expectations in 2021. He failed to fire in the Majors and wasn't at his best in the Ryder Cup. But the passion he displayed at that event and later in the year, ripping his shirt in frustration at the DP World Tour Championship, highlighted how golf means more to Rory than simply hauling in the cash. The Northern Irishman wears his heart on his sleeve and that is good for the game.
As does the super-strong U.S. Ryder Cup team who delivered an incredible performance at Whistling Straits.
At the Golf Monthly Help for Heroes Forum Day, participants raised over £15,000 – a brilliant effort.
Elsewhere, Luke Willett, a PGA Pro from Buckinghamshire, played 36 holes in under 80 minutes to win the British Speedgolf Championship.
Over in Switzerland, Jürg Randegger played 252 holes in a single day, setting a world record and raising money for Special Olympics Switzerland.
Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and it was concentrated by his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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