The majors get most of the spotlight, and rightfully so, but the rest of the golf season consistently provided plenty of drama. Here are the best non-major moments of 2018.
1 / 12
In the first full-field event of 2018, Patton Kizzire defeated James Hahn on the sixth extra hole to win the Sony Open in the longest playoff on the PGA Tour in the last five years. Kizzire, who had already won earlier in the wraparound season at Mayakoba, dodged four tournament-winning attempts from Hahn in the playoff before taking the title with a two-putt par from the fringe on the par-3 17th.
2 / 12
Phil Mickelson waited almost five years, but he made his triumphant return to the PGA Tour winner’s circle in March at the WGC-Mexico Championship. Justin Thomas tried to spoil the party with a hole-out eagle from 119 yards at 18, but the five-time major champ fought back with two late birdies to force a playoff before topping Thomas on the first playoff hole for his 43rd PGA Tour victory, and first since the 2013 Open at Muirfield.
3 / 12
Four long, frustrating years after winning the U.S. Women’s Open, Michelle Wie finally nabbed that elusive fifth LPGA title. The oft-injured LPGA superstar came from five shots behind in the final round to win the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore, and she finished it off in style – with a 36-foot birdie putt from just off the front of the 18th green. Wie beat a star-studded lineup Sunday with her final-round 65, including Brooke Henderson, Danielle Kang, Nelly Korda and Jenny Shin, who all finished a shot back.
4 / 12
Paul Casey won the Valspar Championship in March, claiming his first PGA Tour title in nine years. But the victory was even more impressive considering he had Tiger Woods breathing down his neck on Sunday at Innisbrook. Woods, making his most serious run since returning from his latest back surgery, made a 44-foot birdie putt on 17 to pull within a shot, but Casey’s final-round 65 proved to be too much. "To get my second victory on the PGA Tour, it's emotional," Casey said afterward. "[Woods] made winning looks so easy for a long time, but it's not easy."
5 / 12
After being misinformed that he had already punched his ticket to the Masters, a fuming Ian Poulter showed up to the Shell Houston Open with only one shot to snag the final invite to the year’s first major … a win. And what a win it was. Poulter, who hadn’t won a PGA Tour event since 2012, was tied for 123rd among the 144-man field after the first round – depths from which no player has returned to win on Tour in the last 35 years. But the Englishman came roaring back – playing his final 60 holes in 21 under and holing an electric 19-footer on the final hole before beating Beau Hossler on the first playoff hole.
6 / 12
A week after finishing fourth at the Masters, 23-year-old Jon Rahm fired a 5-under 67 on Sunday to win the Spanish Open – his first professional win at home. The No. 4-ranked Rahm made six final-round birdies, including three on the back nine, to chase down overnight leader Paul Dunne at the Centro Nacional de Golf. "It's truly been the hardest Sunday I've ever had in any tournament that I've won, because the crowd wanted it so much and I wanted it so much," Rahm said afterward. "You can tell how excited everybody is. I felt that tension; I felt that stress. I felt everything magnified."
7 / 12
It wasn’t the most exciting Players Championship ever, but Webb Simpson put on a dominant performance at TPC Sawgrass, going wire-to-wire for a four-stroke victory. Even after closing with a double bogey, Simpson still easily won his fifth PGA Tour title and his first in five years. With the win, the 2012 U.S. Open winner joined an impressive list of players who have won both the U.S. Open and The Players – Tiger Woods, Martin Kaymer, Lee Janzen, Tom Kite, Ray Floyd, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and Jerry Pate.
8 / 12
Francesco Molinari and Rory McIlroy entered the final round of the BMW PGA Championship tied for the lead at 13 under, and in the end Molinari’s consistency beat McIlroy’s firepower by a couple of strokes. While the former world No. 1 and four-time major champ carded a Sunday 70, Molinari (68) played his final 44 holes bogey-free, only dropping two shots all week. ''If I could pick one tournament to win in my career, it would be this one,'' the Italian said after receiving the trophy at the European Tour’s flagship event. He would go on to win his first major at The Open just two months later.
9 / 12
In August, Brooke Henderson became the first Canadian to win the country's national championship in 45 years, closing with a 7-under 65 for a four-stroke victory in the CP Women's Open. The 20-year-old from Smiths Falls, Ontario, called her seventh career victory a “dream come true,” adding, … “to know that I finally did it, to hear the crowd chant my name, sing 'O Canada,' to make that putt was awesome. Then, to have my family and my close friends and the LPGA Tour stars come out and shower me with champagne, I mean, I still have some in my ear, so it's not that fun, but it was just so amazing.”
10 / 12
There were several times over the last few years when Tiger Woods wondered aloud whether he’d ever play professional golf again. But after a few close calls in 2018, the 14-time major winner broke through at the Tour Championship, collecting PGA Tour victory No. 80 at East Lake – his first win in five years. Woods delivered a vintage performance in his return from back surgeries, building a five-shot lead early and then hanging on late for a two-shot victory over Billy Horschel. ''I can't believe I pulled this off,'' he said during the trophy presentation.
11 / 12
The U.S. may have been the favorite on paper, but for the sixth straight time, Europe won the Ryder Cup on its home soil. Jim Furyk’s U.S. squad won the opening fourballs session 3-1 at Le Golf National outside Paris, but Europe dominated from there, eventually winning 17 ½ to 10 ½. Francesco Molinari locked up the clinching point in Sunday singles when Phil Mickelson hit his tee shot in the water at the par-3 16th and conceded the match while still on the tee. Molinari became the first European player in history to go 5-0-0 in a Ryder Cup, as the senior leaders of the U.S. team, Mickelson and Tiger Woods, combined to go 0-6-0.
12 / 12
It may have not lived up to the hype, but “The Match” got the attention of the golf world and beyond on the day after Thanksgiving. After months of trash talk and promotion, Phil Mickelson made birdie from 4 feet on the 22nd hole under the greenside spotlights to defeat Tiger Woods and capture the $9 million winner-take-all prize. The pay-per-view event from Shadow Creek in Las Vegas had its issues, but it also had its moments – Woods’ chip-in birdie on 17 – and could set the stage for similar events in the future.
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.