The Best & Worst From The Majors

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The Best & Worst From The Majors

August 19, 2015

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Best Player: Jordan Spieth

Do we really need to talk about this? Were you paying attention this year?

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Most surprising not to have won: Justin Rose

Statistically, Justin Rose had the fourth-best year in the history of majors at 34-under par, which would have been fantastic if not for Jordan Spieth having the best year at 54 under.

Most surprising not to have contended: Rickie Fowler

After four top-five finishes in the 2014 majors along with a breakthrough win at this year's Players, Fowler appeared a lock to factor in some way into the late-Sunday proceedings this year. Instead, he barely caused a stir, his best finish a T-12 in the Masters.

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Most disappointing: Tiger Woods

Look on the bright side, Tiger: You're still capable of disappointing us. When we start patting you on the back for making a cut in just one major, then you'll really know you're in trouble.

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Most disappointing player not named Tiger Woods: Rory McIlroy

McIlroy's major season wasn't a complete disaster -- he made modest runs at both the Masters and the U.S. Open -- but he also missed the British Open due to an ankle injury. And when you hold it up against a season ago, or the guy who supplanted him as No. 1, it goes down as a lost opportunity.

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Strangest moment: Jason Day's collapse at Chambers Bay

For a while we feared this is what would have ended up defining Day's major season. Battling an inner-ear condition that disrupted his balance, Day collapsed on his final hole of the second round at Chambers Bay. Scary as it was, Day was brought to his feet after several minutes, was able to complete the round, and contend into the weekend.

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Strangest injury: Woods dislocates wrist, but is able to "put it back in"

Until then we had no idea Woods' talents extended to rudimentary chiropractics. The 14-time major champ was visibly shaken when he hit an awkward approach shot during the final round of the Masters. He said that led to a "bone popping out," but never fear! "I put it back in," he said. Did you know this was possible? Us neither!

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Best storyline that almost was: Spieth winning the Open Championship to set up a shot at the Grand Slam

One putt. All we needed was Spieth to make that one birdie putt on 18 at St. Andrews, then go on to win the playoff, and the ensuing PGA Championship would have possibly become the most important tournament in the history of golf. Maybe next year.

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Best Thursday player: Dustin Johnson

If only they cut these majors to 18 holes. DJ had first-round leads in the last three majors this year -- shooting 65-65-66, respectively -- but came away with exactly zero wins.

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Worst 18th hole putt: Dustin Johnson

Johnson actually struck the two worst 18th-hole putts in succession. After striping two perfect shots on Chambers Bay's closing par 5, Johnson had a 12-foot look at eagle and a U.S. Open win. He blew the delicate putt four feet past, though, and missed the comebacker.

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Best 18th hole putt: Zach Johnson

Johnson made a final-round charge, then cooled off, and then arrived at the 18th hole in need of a birdie. After a disappointing second shot left him 30 feet away, he drained his putt for a 66, which wound up being just enough to get him into a playoff. He kept the momentum going in extra holes by making two more birdies and claiming his second career major.

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Most theatrical shot: Matt Jones

Jones was a surprising contender on Saturday at Whistling Straits, but he grabbed plenty of air time when he decided to play a shot out of a hospitality area after hitting a wayward drive on the ninth hole. He pulled off such a cool shot that people will forget he bogeyed the hole and wound up not even finishing in the top 20.

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Worst-timed bad shot: Grace on 16 at Chambers Bay

If it weren't for Dustin Johnson's three-putt on the 72nd hole at Chambers Bay, Grace's own late gaffe would have received a lot more attention. Tied for the lead with Jordan Spieth on the driveable par-4 16th hole, Grace blocked his tee shot across a road and up a chain-link fence out of bounds. The ensuing double bogey

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Cutest family moment: The Days

Little Dash running onto the green. Dash poking his mom, Ellie, when she was giving Jason a congratulatory kiss. Dash jumping on the podium holding the Wanamaker Trophy. You get the point.

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Most awkward family moment: The Gretzkys

With Dustin Johnson approaching the 18th green on Sunday at the U.S. Open and facing a putt for the win, Fox turned its cameras to his wife, Paulina, and the in-laws, Wayne and Janet. The Gretzky clan was all smiles and giddy with excitement until, well, you know.

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Most important practice round moment: Tiger Woods arrives at Augusta, proves he can chip

You may not remember this, but at one point, there was a fear that Woods would show up at Augusta and start skulling wedges en masse into the gallery. But when he arrived on Monday, Woods put observers at ease by throwing down a collection of balls and hitting effortless pitches onto the green. In fact, it was on the strength of his short game that Woods was able to finish T-17 at the Masters.

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Best Phil being Phil moment: Tie

We're going with a tie between Mickelson purposely sliding down one of Whistling Straits' hills on his butt and him hitting a ridiculous recovery shot and waving to cheering fans on a boat. It wasn't a memorable year in the majors score-wise for Mickelson, but at 45 he remains well worth the price of admission.

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Best cameo: Bubba’s bombs

Watson had a disappointing week at Whistling Straits, but he hit two of the most remarkable shots of the year on Sunday. First, on No. 6, he flew a 3-wood onto the green of the driveable par 4 and converted the eagle putt. Then on the not-so-driveable par-4 13th that measures 400 yards, Watson's tee shot wound up over the green.

Worst cameo: Daly’s meltdown

John Daly missed the cut in both majors he played in, but that didn't mean he went quietly. On Friday at Whistling Straits, Daly put three balls into Lake Michigan on his way to making a 10 on the par-3 12th hole -- and then fired his club in for good measure. On the bright side, he made the kid who fished it out of the water's year.

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