As part of our series of year-end reviews, here’s a look at the 10 most exciting PGA Tour wins of the 2017 season. (Ordered by date.)
1. RAHM WINS AT TORREY PINES
Date: Jan. 29, 2017
Event: Farmers Insurance Open
Winner: Jon Rahm, -11
What Happened: After an unbelievable back nine, highlighted by his final shot – a drained-60-foot downhill eagle putt, the 22-year-old Rahm emerged from a crowded leaderboard at the Farmers Insurance Open to secure his first PGA Tour title. The former world No. 1 amateur fired a 7-under 65 to claim victory by three strokes over Charles Howell III and Chinese Taipei Olympian Cheng Tsung Pan.
2. HIDEKI REPEATS IN PHOENIX
Date: Feb. 5, 2017
Event: Waste Management Phoenix Open
Winner: Hideki Matsuyama, -17
What Happened: A 10-foot birdie to beat Webb Simpson on the fourth playoff hole capped off a terrific bogey-free final round, giving the Japanese superstar his second win of the early season and second-straight Phoenix Open title.
3. SERGIO WINS FIRST MAJOR
Date: Apr. 9, 2017
Event: The Masters Tournament
Winner: Sergio Garcia, -9
What Happened: Sergio started off hot, was declared dead by many after a wayward drive on the par-5 13th hole; bounced back; hit some championship-caliber iron shots; missed putts on the last two holes in regulation; and then when his birdie putt fell on the 73rd, the long major wait for the much-criticized Spaniard was finally over.
4. CHAPPELL WINS FIRST CAREER TITLE
Date: Apr. 23, 2017
Event: Valero Texas Open
Winner: Kevin Chappell, -12
What Happened: An untimely bogey on 15 dropped Chappell one closer to the field, and suddenly, following a Brooks Koepka birdie on 18, the score was tied. After a clutch par putt on 17, Chappell hit his drive on the par-5 18th a bit left, but was able to fade it just inside the left edge of the fairway. He pitched to 8 feet from the hole on his third shot, and when he confidently drained his birdie putt, his long victory wait finally came to an end.
5. HARMAN TAKES DOWN DJ
Date: May 7, 2017
Event: Wells Fargo Championship
Winner: Brian Harman, -10
What Happened: With four birdies over his last seven holes, including an exclamation point finish: a 28-foot birdie putt after having hit two atrocious shots back-to-back, the 30-year-old Georgian captured his second career PGA Tour victory while denying DJ his fourth straight.
6. DUFNER WINS AT JACK’S PLACE
Date: May 7, 2017
Event: The Memorial
Winner: Jason Dufner, -13
What Happened: Dufner, who held a five-shot lead through 36 holes, after back-to-back 65s, had a nightmare third round (5-over 77), but was in control most of Sunday, riding seven birdies to a 4-under 68, highlighted by a tournament-clinching 32 footer to save par on the final hole.
7. SPIETH HOLES OUT FOR WIN
Date: June 25, 2017
Event: Travelers Championship
Winner: Jordan Spieth, -12
What Happened: Spieth’s first two shots in the playoff were both terrible: he hit a tree with his drive, but was fortunate to have the ball ricochet back into the fairway, although it was a long, long way from the hole. He then came up well short on his approach shot, landing in the right side bunker. He rebounded, however, by hitting one of the best bunker shots of his life, finding the hole and then exploding into a jubilant celebration with his caddie, Michael Greller – a celebration that will be re-played for years to come.
8. BRYSON CAPTURES MAIDEN TITLE AT DEERE
Date: July 16, 2017
Event: John Deere Classic
Winner: Bryson DeChambeau, -18
What Happened: With a six-birdie final nine, including a thrilling winding putt on 18, DeChambeau shot a 6-under 65 to clip 54-hole leader Patrick Rodgers by one stroke and win the 2017 John Deere Classic, his first career PGA Tour victory.
9. SPIETH WINS THIRD LEG OF TRIPLE CROWN
Date: July 23, 2017
Event: The Open Championship
Winner: Jordan Spieth, -12
What Happened: In one of the greatest tales of resiliency in the history of major championship golf, if not in all of sports, Spieth survived a poor start; a disastrous 13th hole (that could have easily been a Masters 12th hole redux); lost his lead; and then absolutely exploded when he was at his lowest – playing his next four holes at 5-under (birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie) to reach 12-under and become the Champion Golfer of the Year.
10. THOMAS JOINS SPIETH AS MAJOR CHAMPION
Date: Aug. 13, 2017
Event: PGA Championship
Winner: Justin Thomas, -8
What Happened: Thomas’s victory in the final major of the season was accompanied by some legendary moments, but most notably a cliff-hanger of a putt on No. 10 that fell in the cup after a long wait on the lip; a chip-in birdie on the 13th; and a pristine tee shot on 17 that basically sealed the deal. It was an incredible end to an unforgettable 2017 major season.
Joel Cook’s final-round stories were used for each recap brief.