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Unlike the world’s top-ranked men, many of whom elected to skip the Rio Olympics, the women totally embraced golf’s return to the Games. When the competition was over, the result reflected the international nature of the women’s game, with Inbee Park of South Korea first, Lydia Ko of New Zealand second and Shanshan Feng of China third.
2 / 16
South Koreans have dominated the LPGA in recent years, but other Asian nations are beginning to have their influence felt as well. In May Ariya Jutanugarn won the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic in Alabama to become the first Thai winner in LPGA history.
3 / 16
Annika Sorenstam’s LPGA scoring record of 27 under par had stood up since 2001, when she included a 59 in her 72-hole score. In March, Sei Young Kim closed with a tournament record-equaling 62 to win the JTBC Founders Cup and match Sorenstam’s 72-hole total. Turns out the South Korean had some inspiration: Before the tournament, she read a book about Sorenstam.
4 / 16
Having won The Evian Championship in 2015, Lydia Ko was going for back-to-back majors in the 2016 ANA Inspiration. He chances didn’t look good, though, as she trailed rival Ariya Jutanugarn late in the final round. But Jutanugarn bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes, opening the door for challengers. Ko birdied the par-5 closing hole and finished one shot ahead of In Gee Chun and Charley Hull, enabling her to make the ceremonial leap into Poppie’s Pond. Ko also became, at age 18, the youngest male or female with two major wins since Young Tom Morris in 1869.
5 / 16
When Ariya Jutanugarn won the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic in May, the storyline was that she was the first Thai winner in LPGA history. But she was about to write another compelling story – winning three tournaments in a row. Jutanugarn followed up her Yokohama Tire victory with wins at the Kingsmill Championship and the Volvik Championship. She became the first player in LPGA history to earn her first three wins in consecutive events.
6 / 16
Ariya Jutanugarn nearly got her first LPGA win at the season’s first major, the ANA Inspiration. She had a two-stroke lead late in the final round, but bogeys at the 16th and 17th holes opened the door for Lydia Ko. It was a different story at the Ricoh Women’s British Open, however, as Jutanugarn turned a two-stroke, 54-hole lead into a three-shot win over Mirim Lee and Mo Martin.
7 / 16
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship turned out to be a salute to youth. The winner was 18-year-old Brooke Henderson, who won her first major, followed by Lydia Ko, 19, and Ariya Jutanugarn, 20.
Henderson took the Round 1 lead thanks in part to a hole-in-one on her fourth hole of the day. Henderson caught Ko in regulation with a 65, then defeated the then-world No. 1 on the first playoff hole.
8 / 16
In Gee Chun’s second major championship win was one for the record books. With a U.S. Women’s Open already to her credit, Chun added the Evian Championship. She won in dominating fashion, with a four-stroke final margin. And her 72-hole total of 21 under was a record for any major, men’s or women’s.
9 / 16
Michelle Wie was stung by a bee during the first round of the LPGA’s first event, the Pure Silk LPGA Classic. Perhaps it was an omen. Wie went on to have one of her worst seasons, with only one top-10 finish and 12 missed cuts in 25 starts. She also had one withdrawal, from the final round of the Swinging Skirts Classic because of neck spasms.
10 / 16
2016 was a coming-out year for 18-year-old Aditi Ashok of India. First, she became the youngest player (and the first one from India) to win the Ladies European Tour Q-School. Then, as the youngest player in the women’s Olympic field, she spent time on the first page of the leaderboard before finishing 41st. Finally, she won the Hero Women’s Indian Open, becoming the first player from India to win an LET event.
11 / 16
“Delayed penalty” was a term heard all too often in professional golf in 2016. First, Dustin Johnson was assessed a stroke in the U.S. Open on a decision made several holes after the fact. Then Anna Nordqvist lost in a playoff for the U.S. Women’s Open after it was determined she scraped a few grains of sand with her club during her takeaway in a bunker. The beneficiary of that decision was Brittany Lang, 30, who became the oldest winner on tour in 2016.
12 / 16
Inbee Park only had to show up to achieve her most significant accomplishment of the year. By starting the first round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Park officially qualified for the LPGA Hall of Fame by fulfilling the 10-year membership requirement with her 10th start of the season. At 27, Park became the youngest player to qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame.
13 / 16
The South Korean domination of the LPGA can be traced to one player – Se Ri Pak. After winning six times in Korea in 1996 and ’97, Pak joined the U.S. LPGA in 1998. Her rookie season was a spectacular success, as she won two majors – the McDonald’s LPGA Championship and the U.S. Women’s Open. Pak went on to win 25 LPGA events, inspiring countless young women in Korea to try to follow in her footsteps. Pak retired in October.
14 / 16
The American team of Stacy Lewis, Gerina Piller, Cristie Kerr and Lexi Thompson won the International Crown, earning the U.S. the designation of “best golfing nation.” That was an ironic development, because by the end of the season Americans had won just two stroke-play tournaments, the fewest wins by the U.S. in the history of the LPGA.
15 / 16
Already an eight-time winner on the Korean LPGA Tour, Ha Na Jang earned her first three U.S. LPGA wins in 2016. Her first win came in February at the Coates Golf Championship. The week before, she had become the first LPGA player to make a hole-in-one on a par-4 hole, acing a 218-yard yard hole in the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic.
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Perhaps the strangest story of the year involved a runaway piece of luggage on an airport escalator. It was being carried by the father of Ha Na Jang when it tumbled down the escalator and into In Gee Chun. The aftermath included a Chun withdrawal from the tournament, a Jang victory dance after she won the tournament, charges that the incident had been a deliberate attempt to manipulate the hotly contested South Korean Olympic qualifying standings, apologies, denials that apologies had been received, and a Jang revelation that she was repeatedly in tears over the whole thing.
Image of Bryson DeChambeau and how his body has transformed, through the years, from an NCAA champion to becoming a multiple PGA Tour winner.
Here's a look at some of the best photos of the Match II with Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning, Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady from Medalist Golf Club.
A look at some of the best photos from the TaylorMade Driving Relief, won by the team of Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson.