Golf is a grand old sport with a rich history full of magical moments and colourful characters. But, with every year that passes, this fantastic sport never loses any of its electricity or energy. 2017 was no different. Three first time major winners, a cult favourite come good and a young man slowly making his mark as a legend – it had it all. Watching the best in the game battle with each other to achieve sporting greatness can be truly inspirational. If you’ve been galvanised to pick up your driver and head down to your nearest golf club, then you may want to read The Insurance Emporium review of the golfing year and find out how the greats do it…
Sergio Comes Of Age – The Masters
Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson, and Nick Faldo: the list of luminaries who have worn the treasured green jacket at The Masters is something to marvel at. The one name that would have stood out to Sergio Garcia was that of countryman Seve Ballesteros, who sadly passed away in 2011. Therefore it could be no fitting that, on the last day of the Masters, as El Niño stared down the fairway on the first hole of their sudden death playoff, he displayed courage and mental fortitude to pull away from Justin Rose. The Englishman’s bogey was no match for Sergio’s eagle, meaning that he became just the third Spaniard in history to lift the famous silver Masters trophy. Garcia has been a perennial crowd favourite since first making a splash back at the 1999 Masters, so it was victory applauded and enjoyed by pretty much everyone.
Koepka Flexes His Muscles – U.S. Open
Prior to the tournament, there was a lot of talk about what challenges the undulating Erin Hills course, set plumb in the middle of the famous Kettle Moraine, would throw up. As it happened, on a fine and sunny week, it turned into something of a clear run for the competitors. Justin Thomas set the tone with a nine under round on the Saturday, only the fifth 63 in U.S. Open history, and a staggering 32 players finished under par on the same day. Sunday provided a sterner test however, as stiff winds swept in from the Central Plain and eliminated many of the potential contenders. For 27-year-old Brooks Koepka, however, it seemed to be nothing more than a gentle breeze. He followed solid rounds of 67, 70 and 68 with a nerveless final day total of 67, leaving him four clear of talented Japanese Hideki Matsuyami. The Floridian was delighted saying “I felt like I was playing really good…I felt confident all week.”
Birth Of A Legend? – The Open Championship
Since Tiger Woods won his last major in the 2008 we haven’t witnessed anyone else dominate the scene in the manner of legends such as Nicklaus and Palmer. Whilst it’s true that the vacuum created by Tiger’s dominance was always going to be a vast one and hard to fill, nobody has yet made a forthright attempt. Phil Mickelson has flattered to deceive, whilst Rory McIlroy has failed to follow up the success of his 4 major wins in three years. But now it seems like we could have a new contender. Shrugging off the disappointment of 2016, where he collapsed spectacularly in the final round of the Masters, Jordan Spieth bossed the field from start to finish at Royal Birkdale. Overcoming a wobble, where he dropped a three shot lead to Matt Kuchar by the halfway stage on the final round, Spieth fired in three birdies and an eagle in the final five holes to etch his name on the Claret Jug and a place in the history books.
Drama At Quail Hollow – U.S. PGA Championship
The last major of the year served us up with a third maiden winner and also its fair share of drama. Hosted by the Quail Hollow club, sitting in the shadows of the Appalachian Mountains, the course has become familiar among tour regulars over the past decade thanks to the annual hosting of the Wells Fargo Championship. Taking a year-long sabbatical from the tour to allow for some challenging major modifications to the George Cobb-designed course, its re-emergence onto the scene was welcomed by everyone lucky enough to witness this memorable contest. Two shots off Kevin Kisner going into the final round, Justin Thomas really turned up the heat, making six birdies on the final 18. Taking impetus from a fortunate birdie at the 10th, 24-year-old Thomas didn’t look back and really put the pressure on Kisner and round partner Matsuyama. The eighth debut winner in the last nine majors, it was a performance to match the victory for the man from Kentucky.
The golfing majors of 2017 have left us awestruck, amazed and sometimes even tearful. They have also made us want to get out and emulate the pros on our local course. If you’re the same then you may want to look at golf insurance that could cover you should things end up in the rough. At The Insurance Emporium, we offer flexible golf insurance with great standard benefits like Unattended Vehicle up to £5,000*. With useful Optional Benefits such as Extended Worldwide cover and up to 30% discount, why don’t you stop by the Emporium today and see if we can help you up your game!
*Lunar monthly on the Portrush level of cover
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