Luke Elvy: Golf Grinder’s Best of 2014

Another great year of championship golf is almost over so why not hand out some awards… drum roll please…(cough/cough, big voice) Ladies & Gentleman your 2014 winners are…

Best Performance – Martin Kaymer

The German’s 8-shot US Open victory was a week from the Gods. Kaymer blew everyone away on a rejuvenated Pinehurst No.2 breaking the 36-hole scoring record with consecutive 65s.

His Sunday victory march was equally impressive, only a late bogey stopped him from joining Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in winning with double digits under par. Rickie Fowler and Eric Compton T2 at -1, but that’s just for the history books…daylight actually came second.

Honourable mention
Rory McIlroy claims the Claret Jug. His father Gerry is still counting the cash after backing his boy (400 pounds @ 500/1) to win The Open before he turned 25…

Best Finish – The PGA Championship

After three blowout majors, this one had it all. Four of the games biggest names going shot for shot down the stretch.

The rowdy crowd at Valhalla loved it, and with daylight fading Rory McIlroy claimed back-to-back majors holding off Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson to assert himself as the game’s new king. The caliber of golf this quartet displayed will ensure this PGA will go down as one of the greats.

Honourable mention
WGC Match Play Final – Day v Dubussion the Frenchman channeled the late Seve Ballesteros, got it up and down out of a ball washer… twice, thankfully Jason Day still won.

Biggest Surprise

Tiger Woods’ season. After winning five times in 2013, Woods was tipped to win major no.15 in 2014 but it didn’t quite turn out that way. Playing in just 7 events, Tiger struggled from injury to injury, missing two cuts, WD twice and collected just 45 FedEx Cup points.

The winner of 79 PGA events didn’t even sniff no.80, but a change of coaches could ensure he’s the bounce back player of 2015.

Honourable mention
Adam Scott’s wedding. No one saw that coming, not even his mates who were all flown from Australia to holiday in the Bahamas after watching him defend his Green Jacket.

Breakout Star – Lydia Ko

While we all knew what the teenage sensation was capable of, to win three times in her Rookie LPGA season including the Tour Championship is breathtaking for a 17 year-old. Currently no.3 in the Rolex rankings, it’s only a matter of time before she’s world no.1 and dominates for years to come.

Honourable Mention – Lucy Li
The 11 year-old, ice cream licking wunderkind shot a pair of 78s at Pinehurst No.2 just missing the cut at the Women’s US Open. What will she do when she’s Ko’s age?

Best Moment

Michelle Wie winning Women’s US Open. Continuing the theme of child prodigies, wasn’t it a joy to see Wie achieve what seemed inevitable a decade ago. At 24, it’s strange to say it, but the Hawaiian finally lived her dream. The only thing better were her celebration tweets, instagrams & twerking.

Honourable mention – Ryder Cup
Once again this event was extraordinary Europe was brilliant while USA imploded. The fallout has been immense. Did somebody say Task Force? Oh dear!

Best Shot – (Tied) Mo Martin & Paula Creamer

Both lead to tournament winning eagles. Martin’s 3-wood from 240 yards at the Women’s British Open hit the flagstick on the 72-hole and secured the most unheralded of major victories.

While Creamer’s 75 foot bomb saw her claim the HSBC Champions event in Singapore in a playoff. Don’t recall either of them? Go to YouTube…

Best Round – Jordan Spieth

Saving the best until last, the 21 year-old’s sublime Sunday 63 to win the Australian Open was one for the ages. When few were breaking par, the talented Texan blazed his way round The Australian making a flawless 8 birdies in strong winds. It prompted Michael Clayton to suggest it was the best round in the event’s 110-year history.