The 2020-21 PGA Tour season officially ended with last week's Tour Championship, which means its the right time to hand out our superlatives.
Biggest Flirt: Louis Oosthuizen
Throughout his career, Louis Oosthuizen has flirted with an elusive second major to accompany his 2010 triumph at St. Andrews. This season he was a fixture late on Sundays and his worst result in a major was a tie for 26th at Augusta. At Kiawah Island he finished second fiddle to Phil, one month later an untimely pulled tee shot on the penultimate hole cleared the stage for Jon Rahm and at The Open he failed to put much heat on eventual champion, Collin Morikawa.
Even if Louis never does get that second major, he’s bound for the lip sync hall of fame.
Most Likely to Succeed: Garrick Higgo
Garrick Higgo’s win at the Palmetto Championship came as a surprise to many but shouldn’t have. The 22-year old South African had quietly been tearing up the European Tour with three wins over an eight-month stretch. Higgo failed to find much success the remainder of the season but he's fully exempt before his 23rd birthday and should be a fixture on the International Presidents Cup squad for years to come.
Most On-Brand: Kevin Na
Many of the all-time athletes have donned their own personal logo over the years. Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Ken Griffey and yes… Kevin Na. After going viral for his early walk-ins Na took things a step further and wore the logo in not-so-subtle fashion throughout the season. In his defense, he backed it up with a third-place finish in the FedEx Cup standings which emboldened him to make an unsuccessful case for a Ryder Cup captain’s pick.
Most Likely to be Caught Speeding: Joaquin Niemann
Playing the final round of the Tour Championship by himself, he knew he had a shot at breaking Kevin Na's record for fastest round at East Lake. Hustling from the opening tee shot, Niemann needed just 1 hour and 53 minutes to finish six minutes faster than Na. That included a 47-minute back nine where he shot even par.
Most Spirited: Tyrrell Hatton
Flat-out one of the most entertaining players watch and listen to, Hatton added several more moments to his growing collection of memorable moments. While his clubs taking a thrashing is nothing new, perhaps his crowning achievement this season was his one-finger salute to a fan at The Open Championship.
Despite how hard he is on himself at times, the Englishman ought to consider cutting himself some slack. He ranks inside the top 20 of the Official World Golf Rankings.
Here’s hoping for more viral moments in a few weeks at Whistling Straits.
Most Liked by Parents: Collin Morikawa
It’s hard to find a flaw in the 24-year old’s golf game, which includes two major championships. But his success extends beyond the course. While starring at Cal, Morikawa graduated from the prestigious Haas School of Business in four years while winning five times at the collegiate level including the 2019 Pac-12 Championship.
The young star showed poise beyond his years, outlasting a host of proven major winners at the 2020 PGA Championship and fending off Louis Oosthuizen with one clutch shot after another at Royal St. George’s.
Well educated, poised and with a million-dollar smile. It’s tough to imagine an introductory dinner with the parents going poorly.
Most Talkative: Jordan Spieth
Whether it’s pleading with his golf ball or ranting to longtime caddie Michael Greller, commentators need not participate when microphones are around Spieth. This past season his golf ball listened more often than it didn’t as the four-time major winner bounced back from a slump that included a 3-1/2 year winless drought.
Biggest Drama King: Bryson DeChambeau
Where to begin with Mr. DeChambeau? His runaway victory at the 2020 U.S. Open seems like forever ago and with the amount of headlines he’s made since then it’s no wonder why. Whether it was bickering with rules officials, chasing off cameramen, splitting with his caddie, driving Aaron Rodgers up a wall, blaming his driver or feuding with Brooks Koepka this has undoubtedly been the season of Bryson – for better or worse.
Most Outgoing: Brooks Koepka
Remember the times when Koepka shied away from media obligations after winning the U.S. Open and PGA Championship? Neither do I. Fast forward to now and when he’s not making waves with his comments, the four-time major winner is making statements with his dance moves off the course and his fashion on it.
Most Likely to be a Diplomat: Rory McIlroy
Rory is the voice of reason these days. Where Phil Mickelson might go off about driver length restrictions, you can count on McIlroy to collect his thoughts before speaking and offer insightful commentary to anything he addresses.
This has included the pending ban on greens books and more recently he was the first player to defend Bryson DeChambeau against the abuse he’s endured from many fans.
Most Athletic: Gary Woodland
Capable of hitting a stinger like few other can, Woodland’s gifts extend beyond the golf course. He played one year of Division II basketball before accepting a golf scholarship to play at the University of Kansas. While starring for the Jayhawks hoops team was never an option, the 2019 U.S. Open winner still looks like he could go out and put up a double-double.
Class Clown: Harry Higgs
The legend of Harry Higgs grew this year. The budding star seems to be made for television. Flaunting an open-chest polo and Hollywood sunglasses, Higgs won the loudest crowd in golf over when he rode his driver like a pony up the 17th at TPC Scottsdale. There was also the time he joined in on the TikTok trend of the year, cruising on a golf cart to Fleetwood Mac without a care in the world.
More recently he’s entered into a friendly Tuesday game with Phil Mickelson so the Q Rating of young Harry Higgs will continue to increase.
Best Clique: Mickelson, Rahm
This duo has created an unofficial two-man club, both playing at Arizona State, co-signing as the faces of Callaway and being represented by the same management. When Mickelson became the oldest winner in major championship history, it was Rahm who was there to greet him and the following month Mickelson stuck around to congratulate his bro on major victory no. 1.
Best Dancer: Jessica Korda
It's not the PGA Tour, but we had to include it. While the U.S. lost the Solheim Cup for the second consecutive time, they held their own in the dance department. The event had a little bit of everything from karaoke on the first tee to a controversial ruling. But Jessica Korda kept things light throughout the week going all-in on this sequence.
Most Likely to Talk Your Ear Off: Phil Mickelson
Lefty has long had a reputation as one of the biggest personalities on Tour but he’s taken it to another level with social media and his recurring role in The Match. What started out as a one-off exhibition between he and Tiger Woods has unofficially become The Match hosted by Phil Mickelson. Not many people can make Tom Brady take a back seat but when Phil is “hitting bombs” (and telling you all about it) there’s no stopping him.
Most Likely to Make Millions: Tony Finau
One of the most popular players on Tour, Finau has been the model of consistency throughout his career. After clinching his first Tour win at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open, he went on a run of 43 top-10 finishes including eight runner-ups before winning again this fall at the Northern Trust. While this drought left his trophy shelf sparse, it’s been a heck of a run for his bank account. Throughout his career he’s earned just shy of $23 million.
Best Hair: Cameron Smith
Not really sure this one requires much of an explanation.
Class Couple: Lee Westwood and Helen Storey
Undoubtedly one of the best European players of all time, Westwood took a different approach this year with his wife Helen Storey carrying the bag for him. He strung together a pair of runner-up finishes in consecutive weeks at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players.
While he continues to bear the moniker of best player to never win a major, Westwood seems to be in as good a place as ever on the course with his wife by his side.