Golf in 2020: Highlights of the coronavirus-hit year

From an extended coronavirus break to Dustin Johnson being named the PGA Tour Player of the Year for a second time, here are the key Golf moments in 2020.

Dustin Johnson during the second round at the 2020 Masters Championship in Augusta.   -  Getty Images

Like other sporting events, golf too saw many of its tournaments getting cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Masters and US Open were moved to the end of 2020, while Ryder Cup was postponed to 2021.

Golf's oldest major tournament -- the Open Championship -- also got cancelled for the first time since 1945. But there was lots to cheer about when the sport resumed in June.

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Johnson's 2020: There was no stopping Dustin Johnson. When golf resumed after a three-month hiatus, the American won the Travelers Championship and attained the No. 1 ranking after his title wins at The Northern Trust Open and FedEx Cup. He was named PGA Tour Player of the Year for a second time too. The icing on the cake came when he won the Masters with a total of 20-under-par 268. He put on the Augusta green jacket a month after testing positive for COVID-19.

 

Like father, like son: It was a year to forget for Tiger Woods as he failed to defend the Masters title, missed the cut for US Open and finished in a tie for the 37th place at the PGA Championship. However, there was surely a memory to cherish as a proud father for Woods when he teamed up with his 11-year-old son Charlie in the two-day PNC Championship, an exhibition event in Orlando. Though Woods and his son finished seventh in the tournament, Charlie being the youngest competitor was the star attraction for his golfing skills, apart from his mannerism on the course like his father.

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Top shot: Spaniard Jon Rahm played an unbelievable shot during his practice round at The Masters. He successfully skipped the ball across the water hazard and then onto the green before the ball rolled into the 16th hole of the Augusta National course. Interestingly, Rahm's effort is not the first time something like this has happened at Augusta. In 2009, during a practice round, Vijay Singh too had successfully pulled off a similar shot.

 

Top golfer: After winning the Race to Dubai, Englishman Lee Westwood ended 2020 as the top golfer on the European Tour for the third time.

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Muscle and glory: Bryson DeChambeau made use of the lockdown by hitting the gym and packing muscle power, which helped him clinch his maiden major title, with a six-shot victory at the US Open.

Double delight: Christiaan Bezuidenhout made it successive wins on the European Tour when he claimed the South African Open title with a final round score of 69. A week prior, the 26-year-old had won the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.

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Frenchman makes a mark: Antoine Rozner bagged his maiden European Tour title in his rookie season by winning at the Dubai Championships. The 27-year-old finished with a final day score of 64 and a tournament total of 263.

Germany's Sophia Popov became her country's first female major winner when she claimed a stunning win at Royal Troon.   -  Getty Images

LPGA action: Sophia Popov became Germany's first female major winner when she won the British Open after LPGA action resumed in August. Then, it was all Korean domination as the ANA Inspiration title went to Mirim Lee, followed by wins at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the U.S. Women’s Open for Kim Sei-young and Kim A Lim, respectively.

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Indian course: Anirban Lahiri and his team comprising of amateurs Arjun Munda, Sanjiv Paul and Rajeev Chopra won the Tata Steel Tour Championship Pro-Am event at Jamshedpur. Meanwhile, Gaganjeet Bhullar claimed a hard-fought four-under-68 to win his first PGTI trophy in nine years after carding a final total score of 24-under-264 at the TATA Steel Tour Championship.