Following up on last week’s 2020 PGA season memories, here are my choices for the best shots, although I’m allowing myself some liberties with this because it also involves non-sanctioned tournaments.
Jon Rahm (TaylorMade TP5) nails a 66-foot putt with what could best be described as a straight line shot that then hooks dramatically to record a birdie, which would beat Dustin Johnson (TaylorMade TP5x) on the first playoff hole of the BMW Championship. This was after Johnson made a 22-foot winding putt to force a playoff.
The eagle chip-in on the 17th hole by Johnson in the U.S. Open at Harding Park tournament. Phil Mickelson (Callaway Chrome Soft X) joined the CBS commentators after finishing his round and said before the shot that “we’re due” for something. He was right. As a sidenote, I’d love to see more of Mickelson in the broadcast booth. He is entertaining, especially when he uses the word “tasty.” Phil had the line of the tournament – and maybe the year – when he said there are three things he does well: “Play golf and talk golf.” The witty sexual inuendo went right over the head of Sir Nick Faldo.
The eagle by Collin Morikawa (TaylorMade TP5) on the 16th hole of the final round of the U.S. Open, set up by a 293-foot drive that landed within seven feet of the cup. The shot separated Morikawa from a logjam for the lead and he went on to win the tournament.
The controversial chip-in for eagle by Rahm on the 16th hole of the Memorial Tournament. The chip shot was spectacular because the ball was buried in the rough, but he was charged a two-stroke penalty after he put his club down and moved the ball an inch or so. He won by five strokes, but it was whittled down to three when he was assessed the penalty. He didn’t know until after the round during an interview that he was assessed the penalty. Golf has some archaic rules and this is one I feel needs to be changed.
Rahm’s shot in the par-three tournament the day before the Masters started when he skipped his ball three times across the water and it landed on the green and then travelled downward to the cup and sank. This could best be described as a trick shot that he would only make one time in 100 tries, if that. It happened on his birthday no less. Now skipping a ball across the water on the 16th hole is a tradition the day before the Masters, but Rahm recorded a shot for the ages. He had several of those shots this year, but this one didn’t count for anything more than entertainment.
The ace by An Byeong-Hun (Titleist Pro V1x) on the 11th hole of the U.S. Open. Too bad there weren’t any spectators there because that’s the type of shot the gallery loves.
The hole-in-one by amateur Laurent Hurtubise on the 151-yard fourth hole of the American Express 2020. Hurtubise was born with only one arm. The other is a stump.
The birdie by NFL superstar Tom Brady from well over 100 yards on the seventh hole of The Match II. Brady was struggling so much up to that point that Brooks Koepka (Titleist Pro V1x), watching the tournament on TV, pledged $100,000 if Brady made a par on the front nine. Never doubt Brady when he’s down on the golf course or the field. He basically shot the lights out the rest of the round. As an aside, while Brady was struggling commentator Charles Barkley said he’d donate $50,000 to charity if Brady landed his tee shot in the fairway. Brady’s shot was nowhere close to the green. Barkley then said he would bet $50,000 if Brady landed a shot on the planet. And he did shortly after that with his birdie and jokingly told Barkley to “shut your mouth.”