Our Favorite Golf Moments of 2022
By GBB Staff
Holiday decorations are starting to appear, the leaves are changing, and your tee times are potentially being impacted by frost delays. Just like that, another golf season has come to an end. There is no reason to be sad – 2023 is only a couple months away!
Before we close the book on 2022, let’s look back at a year in golf that can be described as “awesome”, “crazy”, “controversial” and “unique”. Has there ever been a golf season like 2022? Below we share our favorite and/or newsworthy moments!
The Story Always Starts with The Major Championships
Regardless of what is going on in the world of golf, the 4 major championships are always the #1 headline. Who made history this year in our biggest events?
Scottie Has a Breakout Season & Slips on The Green Jacket
Scottie Scheffler has won at every level. He dominated in junior golf, had an amazing college career, and immediately played well when he reached professional golf. It wasn’t his first victory but grabbing the green jacket at Augusta made a huge statement to the rest of the golf world. Scottie will be a force for years to come.
The Masters always delivers, and this year’s tournament was no exception. Rory was once again trying to complete the career grand slam and fell just short, getting 2nd place. Will Zalatoris played well at Augusta National again and got 6th (get used to this name).
JT Pulls One Out at The PGA Championship
Justin Thomas won the PGA Championship in wild fashion. He played great on Sunday to charge back from well off the lead. JT was sitting in the clubhouse when little-known Mito Pereira stepped to the 18th tee with a one stroke lead. His drive found a creek and he made a tragic double bogey to miss the playoff.
Who was in the playoff with JT? It was Will Zalatoris (we told you to get used to his name). Is there anything better than a major championship decided in a playoff?
Matt Fitzgerald Loves the Country Club in Brookline
The US Open was next and Matt Fitzpatrick provided that sometimes a golf course truly fits your game. He won his first major at the same location of his US Amateur victory 9 years earlier. He hit a clutch shot on the last hole to pull out a 1-stroke victory. Who got 2nd? You guessed it – Will Zalatoris barely missed a 15-foot putt on the last hole to tie.
Cam Smith Grabs the Claret Jug
The Open Championship was the final major of the year and Cam Smith played a historic round on Sunday to claim the title. He fired an 8-under 64 to comeback and take down Rory McIlroy and Cameron Young. Smith’s round of 64 was the lowest round ever shot to win the Open at St. Andrews!
Tiger Isn’t Quite Ready to Quit
From our perspective, Tiger is the GOAT (Greatest of All Time)! He may never win again, but we love that he still wants to compete. In 2022 he gave it a shot in the 3 of the majors. Tiger tied for 47th at the Masters, made the cut at the PGA before having to WD, and missed the cut at the Open Championship. He played a very limited schedule and was never in contention, but it always great to see him on the course.
Will he play in 2023? You never know, but signs point to him trying. He has signed up to play in “The Match” in December. This will be a team event where Tiger & Rory play JT & Spieth – should be fun. Tiger’s son Charlie is starting to play competitive golf and we might see him again in the PNC Parent-Child as well.
Winning again might not be in the cards, but you would have lost a lot of money betting against Tiger over the years!
The President’s Cups – More Fun Than We Thought
The team events are always fun. We love to watch professional play for their country and get excited about winning a team title instead of money. Expectations were a bit low going into the President’s Cup this year. Due to the “LIV Tour drama” (more details below) the International team was missing several players. All the experts were predicting the US team would dominate and it would be a boring event.
The experts didn’t expect the fireworks from Tom Kim and Si Woo Kim! Yes, the final result was never really in doubt, but it was still a blast to watch. During the singles matches, Justin Thomas got irritated with Si Woo Kim because he made him putt a 3-footer. It is always fun when the matches get a little contentious.
Many golf fans may not be familiar with Tom Kim, but he is an exciting young player with a superstar personality. Tom Kim’s energy was infectious and made the entire event more enjoyable for the fans.
PGA Tour vs. LIV Tour
We can’t say this is one of our favorite stories of 2022, but you can’t talk about golf this year without mentioning the LIV Tour. Greg Norman was the leader of this new golf tour that used a seemly endless amount of cash to try and lure away players from the PGA Tour. We won’t get into where the money is coming from or if players should accept it, but instead focus on what it has done the landscape of the game.
The PGA Tour made it clear early on that they would not partner. Basically, players had to make choice. Take the big money being offered by LIV and give up their PGA tour membership. It started slowly, but several big names ended up taking the cash. Dustin Johnson, Cam Smith, Brooks Koepka, and Bryson DeChambeau all signed with the LIV tour during 2022.
At this point, there are more questions than answers. Will the PGA Tour and LIV Tour ever partner? Will the LIV Tour earn world ranking points for their events? Will LIV players be allowed to play in all of the majors? This story dominated golf in 2022 and will continue to get headlines in 2023. If you enjoy seeing the best players compete against each other, then you probably want to see this get resolved one way or the other.
What Should We Expect In 2023?
The easy answer is “surprises”. The great thing about the game of golf is you never know what is going to happen. Let’s hope we get to see Tiger play, we get introduced to some new talent, and we find some resolution to the PGA vs. LIV battle!
Do you play golf? If so, use the offseason to get better. Maybe 2023 will the best year of your golf career!
REUTERS / BRIAN SNYDER - stock.adobe.com