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Phil Mickelson nearly became the first man in history to shoot 62 in a major championship. Lefty’s birdie try at the 18th hole during Round 1 of this year’s Open Championship looked like it was about to drop before the ball wobbled off-line and lipped out.
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Three days after Mickelson’s near-62, he and Henrik Stenson waged a duel for the ages. Stenson shot a 63 of his own and Mickelson a 65 for a better-ball 59. Mickelson finished an absurd 11 shots better than the rest of the filed – other than Stenson, who won by three.
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As if having a 59 to his credit wasn’t impressive enough, Jim Furyk went out and recorded the first 58 in PGA Tour history in the final round of the Travelers Championship. Furyk credited the performance to a talk with his father, who gave him a swing tip the day prior.
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One week after a duel with Ryan Moore, McIlroy was one half of the loudest, most confrontational Ryder Cup match in history. Over the first eight holes of their Sunday Singles showdown, McIlroy and Patrick Reed screamed, fist pumped, shushed and generally taunted both each other and the crowd. The histrionics peaked on the eighth green, when McIlroy rolled in a birdie bomb from across the green and ran around like a mad man, screaming at the gallery. Reed then immediately halved him and wagged his finger in response, prompting the two to drop their guard and congratulate each other. Reed went on to win the match, 1 up.
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As entertaining as McIlroy and Reed were, the golf in the Sergio Garcia-Phil Mickelson match was actually better. Counting concessions, Garcia and Mickelson both shot 9-under 63 Sunday. With Garcia staring at a 10-footer on 18, Mickelson made his 10th and final birdie to ensure a half-point for the U.S., jumping in the air in celebration. Garcia then made his putt to halve the match.
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While the rest of the field twisted in the wind during a two-day final round at the Farmers Insurance Open, Snedeker was the only one to finish in red figures, turning in a 3-under 69 before play was halted for good Sunday. He watched and waited through the Monday golf course clean-up and tournament finish before finally exhaling and collecting the trophy.
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Rory McIlroy exited East Lake with $11.53 million, but he had to go through Ryan Moore to do it. McIlroy, Moore and Kevin Chappell finished tied through 72 holes, necessitating a playoff to decide both the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup. Chappell was eliminated on the first extra hole, but McIlroy and Moore went another three before Rory took the FedEx Cup from Dustin Johnson and the tournament from Moore with a season-ending birdie on the 16th green. A nice consolation prize, the performance clinched a Ryder Cup captain’s pick for Moore.
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Rory McIlroy had gone a full year without a worldwide victory, and then he did something about it. After forfeiting a three-shot, 54-hole lead, McIlroy rallied with two brilliant fairway woods on two of the K-Club's finishing par 5s, the 16th and 18th holes, for a birdie and closing eagle to take the title. "I don't really get emotional when I win, but I was holding back the tears there," McIlroy said. "To play like that and finish like that, with all of my friends and family watching, was just so special."
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Four shots out of third place to start the final round, Team USA's Matt Kuchar raced up the leaderboard with four front-nine birdies and an eagle at the par-5 10th. Two clear of Thomas Pieters through 14 holes, Kuchar pulled away from the chase pack with birdies at 15 and 17. He missed out on a chance to set a new Olympic record of 62 and maybe force a playoff for silver when his birdie putt at 18 came up inches short. Instead, he tapped in for a round of 8-under 63 and the bronze medal.
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Only three players managed to break 70 in the third round of The Players, when TPC Sawgrass suddenly went from soft and friendly and baked and hostile. Somehow, Ken Duke turned in a 7-under 65 on a day when the scoring average was almost 11 shots higher, 75.8. Quote Russell Knox, who posted a third-round 80: "I looked up on the board and saw Ken Duke shot 65, and I was like, ‘What?’ That’s the best round of golf ever, probably. It was incredible how hard it was out there.”
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Stephan Jaeger made history at the Web.com Tour's Ellie Mae Classic, carding the first 58 in the circuit's history. Jaeger made 12 birdies and six pars on the par-70 layout at TPC Stonebrae outside San Francisco. It marked the first 58 in a sanctioned event on the Web.com Tour, PGA Tour, European Tour or PGA Tour Champions.Jim Furyk would record his 58 less than two weeks later.
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Brooke Henderson shot a closing 6-under 65 at KPMG Women’s PGA to force a playoff with Lydia Ko. Henderson then won the playoff when she smashed her drive around the corner, hit her 7-iron to 3 feet and made birdie for her first major championship.
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Si Woo Kim recorded the second-lowest round on the PGA Tour last season, and it earned him his first victory. Kim fired a second-round 10-under 60 Sedgefield Country Club with eight birdies and an eagle. He then went 64-67 over the weekend to win by five.
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Haru Nomura shot a 65 to hold off a hard charging Lydia Ko in the final round of the Women’s Australian. Ko was No. 1 in world and making a lot of birdies in front of Nomura, who was in the final pairing, and Nomura didn’t crack, winning by three.
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Not unlike Nomura in Australia, Sei Young Kim had to fend off a charging Lydia Ko one month later at the Founders Cup. Ko shot a final-round 65 and birdied four of her last five holes, but was still unable to catch Kim, who carded eight birdies and an eagle for a 62. In both instances, you'll notice Ko dousing the champion in celebration.
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As often as Ko narrowly missed out on wins and trophies in 2016, she still won four times and captured her second major title. Ariya Jutanugarn would edge Ko for the Player of the Year award and the Race to the CME Globe in the fall, but in April, Jutanugarn blew a two-shot lead with three holes to play, ceding the jump into Poppie's Pond to Ko.
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.