As it’s that time of year again to say goodbye to the current year and welcome the next, I thought I’d take a look back at the best of what golf had to offer in 2021!
Player of the Season: Colin Morikawa
This young Asian American has taken this year by storm! Firmly putting his name amongst the very best in the game, one that will no doubt be around for a very long time! With creditable finishes early in 2021, his year took shape when he claimed his maiden WGC event in Mexico. Morikawa went on to win his second major at the Open Championship making him the only player in history to win both the USPGA and the Open in his first appearance! The back end of the year, his form continued with a very dominating individual performance at the Ryder cup and then claiming the Race to Dubai honours on the European Tour when he won the end of season event in Dubai.
Performance of the Season: Hideki Matsuyama
Making history for the country of Japan, Hideki cemented his name in the history books as the first Japanese player to win the masters and wear the coveted green jacket! With an emphatic performance, Matsuyama impressed from the get-go, unwavering in the midst of becoming a history maker. The masters is arguably the one they all want to win given the prestige, 2021 crowned a worthy and classy champion finishing with one of the most precious gestures, when his caddy shortly after replacing the 72nd hole pin gave a bow of respect to the course which grasped the heart of the sporting world on social media in the days that followed.
Comeback of the Season: Tiger Woods aka The G.O.A.T
Most recently we saw the long-awaited return of the golfing superstar. Admittedly it was alongside his son Charlie in the father son PNC Championship which saw the pair finish 2nd, it gave the golfing world a glimpse and taste on the living legends comeback while also inadvertently showing the world what ability Charlie has… if he even has a quarter of the career his dad has, it will see him claim over 4 majors and over 20 career titles. I have no doubt the next generation will all experience seeing the name Woods on tournament leaderboards!
Surprise of the Season:Phil Mickelson
‘Phil the Thrill’ as he’s known on tour, is no stranger to the giving the golfing fans a taste of the unexpected over the last 3 decades. At the vintage age of 52, he’s still elevating fans to tune in. When he claimed this year’s USPGA, he became the oldest ever major champion, surpassing the great Jack Nicklaus’s record which stood since 1986 when he won the last of his major championships at the masters. Mickelson drove down memory lane and came out on top providing us all with yet another history making spectacle for us all to witness and be a part of. Goes to show, age is only a number!
If 2022 is anything remotely like 2021, the golfing world better hold onto their hats as it will be incredibly special!
My Comeback Year
As for my own successes, I am proud of my comeback year.
Qualifying for high level competition: Having struggled initially earlier in the season to find my game again, it came to when I needed it when I qualified ahead of schedule winning the qualifier to compete in some challenge tour events in June. The events didn’t go quite to plan but it gave me a good perspective of where my game was at and what I needed to work on to progress for the rest of the year.
Getting in the mix to win again: finishing 2nd in the Andalucian Championships gave me a good boost of confidence. Continued progress was August.
Finishing 4th in the Spanish PGA cemented my feelings of my game coming to, highlighting how far my game had come during the year.
Tour status gained: Acquiring a full card on a tour was a major goal of mine at the offset. That was ticked off when I finished tied fourth at the Alps Tour qualifying school, which gives me the opportunity to compete fully next season. This was a culmination of all my progress throughout the year. To be in complete control of my game, from start to finish during the challenging 2 stage qualifying school showed me my game is a very good spot going into the off season as I prepare for 2022. It’s been a fun year, full of ups and downs but one I’ve fully appreciated, one which I am extremely proud of.
My aim this off season as I look into 2022, is to continue working on my mind to compete under pressure. Working on building mental processes that make playing under pressure like playing in practice and like playing in practice like playing under pressure. This is a skill, it takes dedicated disciplined training.
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy new year. Thank you for tuning in over the course of the year. I hope you have enjoyed my insights and I look forward to continuing them in the coming year.
See you all next year 🙂