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This situation that overshadowed the event and its winner. Lexi Thompson was assessed a four-shot penalty midway through the final round of the ANA Inspiration. She was docked two shots for improperly marking her ball on the 17th green the day prior and two more shots for signing an incorrect third-round scorecard. Thompson, who was on her way to her second major title before being told she was four shots worse than she thought, rallied back with stellar play but lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu. Months later in December, viewer call-ins and penalties for signing an incorrect card as a result of an unknown infraction were both abolished.
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Although her second major victory was lost in the swirl of attention surrounding Thompson, that didn’t stop Ryu from jumping into Poppie’s Pond. Her victory at the ANA propelled her to a share of the Player of the Year Award.
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For the first time in the 56-year history of the Wednesday afternoon event, the Masters Par 3 Contest was canceled. Inclement weather ended the proceedings after only 55 minutes.
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World No. 1 Dustin Johnson was coming off three consecutive victories when he arrived at Augusta National. He was the hottest player on the planet and the odds-on favorite to win the year’s first major. And then he slipped and fell on some stairs the night before the tournament, injuring his back. DJ arrived at the practice area on Thursday hoping to play, but after a warm-up session, he chose to withdraw.
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Chasing Justin Rose with four holes to play on Sunday at the Masters, Garcia rang his second shot at the par-5 15th off the flagstick, setting up an eagle putt to tie for the lead. Sergio poured his ball in the cup and unleashed a massive fist pump. Although he would miss a putt on the 18th green to win his first major in regulation, he would have another crack at it in a playoff.
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It was tough to imagine Garcia rallying back in the playoff after missing such a golden opportunity at the end of regulation, but Rose found trouble off the 18th tee in their playoff and made a bogey-5, leaving Garcia two putts to win the Masters. He only needed one. When his birdie putt curled in, Garcia kicked off a celebration he had waited nearly two decades to enjoy.
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Two weeks before the U.S. Open, Phil Mickelson said he would likely miss the year’s second major so that he could attend the high school graduation of his daughter, Amanda. Mickelson did leave open the possibility that he would be able to make his first-round tee time should some unforeseen circumstance give him time to race to Wisconsin. And so, he sent his long-time caddie, Jim Mackay, to scout Erin Hills by himself during practice rounds. Mickelson wasn’t able to make it, and he and Bones announced less than a week later that they were splitting up after 25 years.
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One of the biggest storylines from Day 1 of the U.S. Open had nothing to do with golf. Several players paused during the opening round when an overhead blimp caught fire, crashed and eventually exploded a half mile away from the course. The pilot, who parachuted out before the crash, was treated for his injuries. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only off-course concern of the week. Health officials found evidence of E. coli at one of the hydration stations at Erin Hills on Thursday.
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A highlight in a year full of them for the Player of the Year, Justin Thomas tied what was then the major championship scoring record with his third-round 63 at Erin Hills. Asked about the achievement, Johnny Miller, who shot a U.S. Open 63 of his own in 1973 at Oakmont, called the round “incredible” before criticizing the course setup. “A 63 for a par 72 is a heck of a score,” Miller said, “even if it was the Milwaukee Open.”
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The long-driving Koepka cashed in on all his obvious potential to win at Erin Hills. His 16 under total matched the lowest score to par in U.S. Open history, tying him with Rory McIlroy, who first reached that number at Congressional in 2011.
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It took the two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion longer than expected to win her first LPGA title, but when she did breakthrough, she made her first victory a big one at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Kang lost her father, who caddied for her during her U.S. Amateur wins, to cancer five years prior. “I don't know what it would have felt like to win right away as a rookie,” Kang said. “However, if I could wish anything, I would wish that my dad saw me win.”
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During the second round, Donald Trump became the first sitting president in history to attend a U.S. Women’s Open. Trump took in multiple rounds at Trump National Bedminster from a skybox between Nos. 15 and 16.
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Already a 10-time winner on the KLPGA, Sung-Hyun Park made the U.S. Women’s Open her first victory in the United States. The major triumph was part of a two-win season that saw her run away with the Rookie of the Year Award and earn a share of the Player of the Year Award with So Yeon Ryu.
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Henrik Stenson was still at Royal Birkdale getting treatment on Thursday afternoon when he learned that the house he and his family were renting this week had been robbed. Police said that cash, credit cards, clothes and watches were stolen from Stenson’s rental house. Stenson said he washed his dirty clothes from the week and was also provided more apparel from his sponsor, Hugo Boss. “I was happy that my family wasn’t there,” he said Friday, “and maybe a little disappointed I wasn’t.”
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The 2017 Open will be remembered for what Jordan Spieth did over his final six holes on Sunday, but on Saturday, South Africa’s Branden Grace recorded the first 62 in a men’s major championship during benign conditions at Royal Birkdale. Previously, 29 players had shot 63 in a major championship (31 rounds), but no one had gone any lower in a men’s major.
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For about 30 minutes, it looked as though Jordan Spieth was going to let another major get away. After sailing his drive into a mound right of the 13th fairway, Spieth took nearly 20 minutes to play his next shot. After much deliberation, Spieth took an unplayable from the mound, walked on a straight line back to the Royal Birkdale driving range, took line-of-sight relief from some equipment trailers and was finally allowed to play his third shot from the range itself. Spieth went on to save his bogey – about a half hour after he teed off.
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Following that improbable bogey, Spieth nearly aced 14, eagled 15, and birdied 16 and 17 to play his final five holes in 5 under and win The Open by three over Matt Kuchar. The run was highlighted by a lengthy eagle putt at 15, which prompted a fired-up Spieth to point to the hole and tell his caddie, Michael Greller, to go fetch his ball.
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I.K. Kim was 14 inches from winning her first major at the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship – and she missed. It took her five years, but Kim finally overcame that gaffe to taste major glory at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
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In a joint news conference before the year’s final major at Quail Hollow, the PGA of America and PGA Tour announced that the PGA Championship will be moving to May, beginning in 2019. The move is part of a larger schedule change for the Tour, which also announced that The Players would be returning to the month of March.
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Jason Day’s bid for a second PGA Championship ended a day early, when he finished his third round with a quadruple bogey-8. Four off the lead, Day found trouble off the tee at 18 when his ball came to rest behind a tree, and he attempted to play up the right side of the hole instead of pitching back into the fairway. He later took an unplayable, played his fourth shot from between a bush and a grandstand and eventually lipped out a putt for triple bogey.
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After his hanger on the lip fell into the cup and he took a playful bow at the par-5 10th, Justin Thomas opened up a two-shot lead with five holes to play in the PGA Championship when he pitched in from off the green at No. 13. He played those final five holes in even par, navigating the Green Mile in par-birdie-bogey to win by two.
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After claiming his first major, Justin Thomas crossed over the creek that runs the length of the 18th hole. As he made his way back to the bridge that led to the scoring area and the clubhouse, he was greeted by his father, Mike, a PGA professional, and his close friends Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler.
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Two-time major winner Stacy Lewis announced in March that she would not play the year’s final major, the Evian Championship, in September. While Lewis didn’t openly criticize Evian, her decision spoke volumes about what she thinks of the LPGA’s fifth major. “I wanted to play a little less,” Lewis told GolfChannel.com. “And, honestly, it’s more about wanting to go play places where I’m happy and that I enjoy going to, places I want to be, instead of going there and wanting to be someplace else."
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The Evian was the final LPGA start for Ai Miyazato, one of the tour’s most popular players who announced earlier this year that she was stepping away because of a lack of motivation, burned out after more than a decade in the spotlight. She finished her career with 15 wins on the JLPGA and nine on the LPGA.
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For the second time in five years, tournament officials announced that they were shortening the Evian from 72 to 54 holes, after inclement weather forced a delay Thursday. Any player who had already started the first round before play was halted had her scores erased. Three days later – after the highly controversial decision to shorten a major championship – Anna Nordqvist and Brittany Altomare battled wind, rain and hail down the stretch and in a playoff as grounds crews squeegeed flooded greens.
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Like Ryu’s win at the ANA, this was another LPGA major victory overshadowed. The decision to shorten the event and the wild conditions in the playoff got the majority of the attention, but credit goes to Nordqvist for not only winning, but doing so while battling mononucleosis.