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I know what you're thinking. Another look back at the past decade?! We've moved on to a new decade! ENOUGH! And I get it. I really do. But in researching a couple of those PGA Tour decade retrospective pieces (Check them out here and here!) I kept coming across things that made me realise something. The year 2010 in golf was weird. Really, really weird.
Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. From unusual circumstances to unexpected winners to crazy finishes, 2010 gave golf fans plenty of memories—even if they didn't always leave us feeling warm and fuzzy. And as we launch into this next decade, we can only hope it delivers the same type of drama. So without further ado, here's a look back at what made 2010 the weirdest year in PGA Tour history.
1. Before we get to the action on the course, Tiger Woods held that somber post-scandal press conference at TPC Sawgrass in February.
Photo by Bloomberg
2. Then he made his highly anticipated return to competitive golf at the Masters a few weeks later—and shot a front-nine 32 as if nothing had happened the previous four-plus months!
3. Within a two-month period, Rory McIlroy (Wells Fargo), Jason Day (Byron Nelson), Justin Rose (Memorial) and Bubba Watson (Travelers) won their first PGA Tour titles. Wild.
4. McIlroy looked like he might win his first major, too, when he shot an opening 63(!) at the Open Championship. But he followed that up with a second-round 80(!!) at St. Andrews.
Photo by Ross Kinnaird
5. Louis Oosthuizen won the claret jug that week at the Old Course. By seven shots. Yeah, yeah, he got a favourable weather draw, but c'mon, no one saw that coming. It remains Oosthuizen's only PGA Tour title.
6. A winless Rickie Fowler wound up winning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year over Rory. Tough break for Rory, but he got a vote to go his way when he beat Brooks Koepka for Player of the Year in 2019.
7. Anthony Kim won the Shell Houston Open. This wasn't weird for the 23-year-old budding star. What's weird is that AK never won again—and has barely been seen since. (Insert sad-face emoji.)
8. Graeme McDowell held off the likes of Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson to win his lone major at the U.S. Open.
Photo by Robyn Beck
9. Even more unlikely? Gregory Havret finished runner-up to G-Mac. To save you some time looking him up, G-Hav is a French golfer.
10. Dustin Johnson led the U.S. Open by three shots through 54 holes, but shot a final-round 82 at Pebble Beach—a place where he had won the PGA Tour stop there for the second year in a row four months earlier. Amazingly, this wouldn't wind up being his most painful loss of the year.
11. Dustin Johnson lost the PGA Championship because he grounded his club in a "bunker" on the 72nd hole. Imagine if this happened today? Golf Twitter would burn to the ground. DJ was informed of his two-stroke penalty, which knocked him out of a playoff with Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson, on the 18th green at Whistling Straits while playing partner and 54-hole leader Nick Watney added up his own 81.
Photo by Montana Pritchard/PGA of America
Yeah, 2010 probably wasn't DJ's favourite year.
12. Speaking of rules issues, Jim Furyk won at Hilton Head when Brian Davis called a penalty on himself on the first extra hole when he nicked a reed in a hazard on his backswing. Sadly, the golf gods never rewarded Davis with a PGA Tour title.
13. Jim Furyk wound up penalizing himself in a much different way later that year when he was DQ'd from the Barclays, the first event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, for missing his pro-am tee time after over-sleeping. Please remember to set your alarm clocks, folks—especially when $10 million is on the line.
14. Jim Furyk still claimed the FedEx Cup's lucrative bonus. And he did it while wearing his hat backward (to keep rain out of his eyes) on the winning putt. That's not something you see every week.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
15. Arjun Atwal became the first Monday qualifier to win on the PGA Tour in 24 years with a Wyndham Championship victory. It would be nearly nine more years until another Monday qualifier, Corey Conners, would win.
16. Stuart Appleby overcame a seven-shot deficit entering the final round to win The Greenbrier Classic. Of course, it helps when you shoot 59.
17. A 47-year-old Rocco Mediate won the Frys.com Open by one shot thanks to four hole-out eagles during the week from more than 100 yards, including one from 116 yards on Sunday's penultimate hole. FOUR!
18. The very next week in Las Vegas, Jonathan Byrd topped him by making the only walk-off hole-in-one in PGA Tour history:
19. Dustin Johnson and Ian Poulter teamed up to win the Shark Shootout. This might be the most random fact in golf history.
20. For the first and only time in Ryder Cup history, a Monday finish was required. Not weird is that Europe defended its home soil.
21. And Ryder Cup hero and U.S. Open champ Graeme McDowell beat Tiger Woods, a guy who basically never loses in a playoff, in a playoff. At TW's own tournament, no less.
Photo by Robyn Beck