PGA Year in Review: Part II
This is part 2 of a three-part series taking a look back at the year that was on the PGA Tour. This installment will detail Tour events from February through June of 2015.
Waste Management Phoenix Open – Brooks Koepka recorded his first career PGA title, firing a 15-under (71-68-64-66 – 269) to nip Hideki Matsuyama, Ryan Palmer, and Bubba Watson by a single stroke.
Farmers Insurance Open – Australia’s Jason Day notched his third career PGA title, and first in nearly a year, to win the Farmers Insurance Open in a four-way playoff. Day shot a 73-65-71-70 – 279 to finish 9-under, tying Harris English, J.B. Holmes, and Scott Stallings. In the playoff, English and Stallings were eliminated on the first hole, and Day’s par putt on the second knocked out Holmes.
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am – Brandt Snedeker won for the seventh time in the PGA Tour, his first in nearly 18 months, with a dominant 22-under 265, winning the title by three strokes over Nick Watney.
Northern Trust Open – James Hahn grabbed his first PGA title, and the first by a native of South Korea. His 6-under through 72 holes tied him with Paul Casey and Dustin Johnson for the lead, and his birdies on the second and third playoff holes won the tournament.
The Honda Classic – Padraig Harrington won his first PGA event in even years, dating back to the PGA Championship of 2008, by defeating Daniel Berger in a playoff. Oddly enough, he was the second player ranked 297th in the world to win a PGA event, following Hahn the week before.
WGC-Cadillac Championship – An early candidate for Comeback Player of the Year, Dustin Johnson notched his ninth PGA crown, and first since his mysterious six-month personal leave that cost him a spot on the 2014 Ryder Cup team.
Valspar Championship – Jordan Spieth notched his second PGA win, climbing to No. 6 in the world with a 30-foot birdie putt on the third hole of a playoff against Patrick Reed and Sean O’Hair.
Arnold Palmer Invitational – Matt Every became just the third man to repeat as Arnold Palmer Invitational champion, joining Tiger Woods and Loren Roberts in the exclusive club as he won for the second time on Tour.
Valero Texas Open – Jimmy Walker notched his fifth career win, and did so in the city he lives in, San Antonio. He fired an 11-under 277 to defeat fellow Texan Spieth by four strokes.
Shell Houston Open – J.B. Holmes won for the fourth time on tour, edging Spieth and Johnson Wagner in a three-man playoff by sinking a par putt on the second hole. He finished 16-under on the day.
The Masters – After racking up one first place and two runners-up spots in his last three tournaments, Spieth was the overwhelming favorite going in, and fired an 8-under 64 on the first day to lead by three strokes, missing the course record by one. He shot a 66 on Day two to break the 36-hole Masters scoring record, then got to 16-under after 54 holes to break the 54-hole record as well. He was 19-under through 71 holes before bogeying No. 18 on Sunday, which tied him with Tiger Woods for the lowest score in tournament history. He set records for most birdies at a Masters (28), became the second-youngest person after Woods to win the Masters, moved to No. 2 in the world, and finished four strokes ahead of Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose.
RBC Heritage – A month shy of his 45th birthday, Jim Furyk won his 17th PGA title, breaking a miserable streak of nine straight tournaments in which he was tied for the lead or had it outright through 54 holes but did not win the tournament. He finished 18-under and defeated Kevin Kisner on the second hole of a playoff with a birdie. The 17 wins ties him for 48th on the all-time PGA win list.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans – Justin Rose blitzed the course to the tune of a 22-under 266, and was able to hold off Cameron Tringale by one stroke to take the victory, his seventh on the PGA Tour. Rose has won at least one PGA tournament every year since 2010.
WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship – After taking fourth at The Masters, Rory McIlroy won for the first time on the PGA Tour since the previous summer’s PGA Championship, conquering Gary Woodland 4&2 in the final. It was his second career WGC win.
The Players Championship – Rickie Fowler notched his second career PGA win, and first since 2012, defeating Kisner and Sergio Garcia in a playoff and finishing 12 strokes under par. He eliminated both competitors on the first playoff hole with a birdie.
Wells Fargo Championship – McIlroy made it two wins in three weeks by cruising to a 7-stroke win with a 21-under 267, which featured a course-record 61 on Saturday.
Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial – Chris Kirk made it three straight years with a PGA win, edging Brandt Snedeker, Jason Bohn, and Spieth by one stroke to win with a 12-under 268.
AT&T Byron Nelson – Australia’s Steven Bowditch won his second PGA tournament in as many years, coasting to a 4-stroke win with an 18-under 259. He opened the tournament with a 62 and never looked back.
The Memorial – Sweden’s David Lingmerth outdueled Justin Rose over three playoff holes to win the Memorial, his second career PGA victory.
FedEx St. Jude Classic -Fabian Gomez scored his first PGA win by firing a final-round 66. He defeated Greg Owen by four strokes and finished 13-under.
US Open – Four players started the final day tied for first, but only one was standing at the end: Jordan Spieth. Spieth became the first man since Tiger Woods in 2002 to win The Masters and the US Open back to back, overcoming a double-bogey on No. 17 by birdying 18 to finish a stroke ahead of Dustin Johnson and Louis Oosthuizen. At 21 years old, Spieth became the youngest player in 92 years to win the US Open.
Travelers Championship – Bubba Watson notched his eighth career PGA win and his first of 2015 with a playoff win over Paul Casey. Watson opened the tournament with a 62 and finished 16-under on the weekend.