Golf In 2021 – Key Moments In The Pro Game

A run through an exciting year at the elite level in both the men's and women's games.

2021 In Golf
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Golf In 2021: What a year it’s been at the top-level of professional golf. The Majors have been thrilling in both the men’s and women’s games, the Olympics delivered great competition played in the best possible spirit and the year’s pro team events provided compelling entertainment, whichever side you were supporting.

Related: Golf in 2021 - A Review Of The Year
Related: Golf in 2021 - Heroes Of The Year

Here below we look at a selection of key moments in the pro game, on and away from the course, that shaped this season and could have an impact going forwards.

Golf In 2021

Tiger's car after the crash

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There was some shocking news early in 2021 as 15-time Major Champion Tiger Woods was involved in a car crash in February which saw him suffer serious injuries to his right leg and ankle. Tiger continues his rehabilitation and was seen walking without crutches in Los Angeles in mid November. He also posted a video of himself hitting golf balls at the end of November and he even suggested he may make a return to the PGA Tour.

In the men’s Majors it was quite an incredible year with each of the four big events producing firsts.

Golf In 2021

Go Hideki!

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Hideki Matsuyama became the first Japanese Major winner when he triumphed in The Masters Tournament at Augusta.

Golf In 2021

A triumph for the oldies!

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At Kiawah Island, Phil Mickelson took PGA Championship glory, becoming the oldest Major Winner at almost 51. Mickelson joins an impressive list of the oldest sporting champions.

Golf In 2021

Supreme grit from Jon Rahm

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Jon Rahm took the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines – the first Spaniard to claim that title.

Golf In 2021

Who on earth is Arnaud Massy?

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And at Royal St George’s, Collin Morikawa won The Open Championship on his debut. The victory made him the first player to win two Major titles on debut – having previously claimed the 2020 PGA Championship. Morikawa continued to make history towards the end of 2021. Winning the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, he became the first American to win the Race to Dubai title.

Golf In 2021

We can make it, we can make it... oh!

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In the women’s Majors, Patty Tavatanakit claimed the ANA Inspiration in April – holding off the challenge of fast-finishing Lydia Ko. 19-year-old Yuka Saso became the first player from the Philippines to win the U.S. Open. Nelly Korda claimed victory in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Australia’s Minjee Lee won the Evian Championship.

Golf In 2021

Super Swede Nordqvist

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In the AIG Women’s Open at Carnoustie – Anna Nordqvist won a thrilling contest, picking up nearly $900,000 in prize money.

Related: Why Money Talks When It Comes To Growing The Women’s Game

Golf In 2021

Cha ching...

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Exciting Olympic Golf tournaments in Japan demonstrated that Olympic Golf really does matter and there were worthy gold medal winners in Xander Schauffele and Nelly Korda. Rory Sabbatini’s decision to play for Slovakia paid off as he claimed a notable silver.

Golf In 2021

A great victory for Europe

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In pro team golf – Europe produced a superb performance to claim victory in the Solheim Cup.  In late November it was confirmed that Suzann Pettersen will be Europe's next Solheim Cup captain.

Played at the same time as the culmination of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup – won by Patrick Cantlay, the Solheim blew the latter out of the water in terms of excitement – a great advert for women’s golf.

Related: Why Scintillating Solheim Emphasised FedEx Cup Flop

Golf In 2021

See... it's not that heavy...

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Things were rather different in the Ryder Cup as a brilliant team USA steamrollered the Europeans at Whistling Straits.

Golf Monthly Magazine

At last!

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Elsewhere, Richard Bland claimed his first European Tour win in his 478th start.

Alex Cejka won the first two Senior Majors he competed in.

In August, the Official World Golf Ranking unveiled some big changes to how it ranks players and golf tournaments. A new strokes gained system is designed to better identify the best players in the world, by judging them on their actual scores rather than just their results.

DP World Tour announced

Big news for world golf

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The European Tour announced its name will change to the DP World Tour from 2022 in a significant new deal. It comes on top of a strategic alliance between the PGA and European Tours that could be a stepping-stone towards the creation of a world tour. That collaboration has been timely. Andrew Gardiner’s Premier Golf League continues to try to gain traction with a view to its establishment in 2023.

Golf In 2021

The Shark eyeing up an opportunity

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Also, towards the end of 2021, Greg Norman was named CEO of the LIV Golf Investments Group that will fund a series of 10 new events to be staged annually on the Asian Tour. They will be contested in Europe, Asia and the Middle East over the next 10 years, starting in 2022. The commitment amounts to a total of $200 million to support playing opportunities and prize funds. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is majority shareholder in LIV Golf Investments.

Fergus Bisset
Fergus Bisset

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?