Royal Birkdale hosted the 146th Open Championship over the weekend of 21 July 2017 and barely three weeks later, Quail Hollow, in Charlotte, North Carolina welcomed the world of golf to the 99th PGA Championship. What a month! As golfers and fans of the game, we looked forward to booming drives, on-target approaches, sand saves, and birdie putts on two courses that are set up to test the best.
After 2016’s Open, where we witnessed one of the greatest final-round duels in major championship history, how was 2017 going to compare? Well, we had Jordan Spieth chasing a career Grand Slam. Say no more. The 23-year-old produced a final-round finish that was nothing short of astonishing. His clever, mature, classy and quite brilliant golf over the last six holes won the day against Matt Kuchar and earned him the title ‘Champion Golfer of the Year’. When Jordan’s ball hung up on the side of that hill, almost out of bounds, and he had the clarity of thought to use the driving range for his drop for the next shot, Matt Kuchar had to stay relaxed and wait for 20 minutes to play his next shot. And the birdies that followed that shot for Jordan … nail-biting stuff! And that’s what we watch the game for.
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Phew! Three weeks after all the drama at Royal Birkdale, the tour headed to Quail Hollow. The legendary ‘Green Mile’ features the toughest finishing holes in golf. Rory was coming back into form with drives averaging over 300 yards, and Jordan only needed this win to claim his career Grand Slam. Sadly, it was not to be for him but his good friend, Justin Thomas took the title in fine style. A fortunate bounce off the trees that always seem to be in the way when you’re on the course, hanging on for the allotted 10 seconds for that putt to drop and staying calm gave him his first Major Championship. There was, however, someone who completed a Grand Slam – South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen has now finished second in every Major Championship. 2018 is going to be major … Rory, Phil, and Jordan are all on the hunt for one more to complete their Grand Slams.
See how Louis Oosthuizen celebrated his big finish: