I’ll Remember The Bad As Much As The Good
Maybe that sentiment is fitting in 2016. Personally, I’ve had a pretty good year, but there’s a general feeling of Fuck 2016 as the year comes to an end. The Shutter for Shot of the Year isn’t exclusive to only the great shots of the calendar year. The award is an attempt to recognize the shot that defined the year in golf, as well as recognize excellence or a rare feat. If Ian Poulter had hit a shank to lose a critical match on the 18th hole of the Ryder Cup then I’d probably nominate Poulter’s hosel rocket for the Shutter. That being said I’d rather award excellence. Enough of the bull shitting. I’ll get on with it.
The Nominees Are…
Rory McIlroy, 72nd Hole of the Irish Open – In past years the Irish Open was a run of the mill Euro Tour event. Not this year, not when Rory comes home and circles the event on the calendar. This was his 5th major and he was starting to let it slip away until he hit the par five 16th hole in two for a ho-hum birdie. Then on at the 18th hole, another par 5, he went ahead and did this when keeping his ball dry and making par probably would have won his home country’s championship:
He’s got a brass set, doesn’t he? I recall watching that in a summer morning haze back in North America somewhere. I sat up with pancake falling out of my mouth when that ball landed on the green. It was a big boy shot, but does it define the year in golf? Was it even the best shot Rors hit in 2016? More on that later.
Jordan Spieth, 12th Hole of the Masters Final Round – Ugh….this is the one you didn’t want to read about in this post if you’re a Spieth fan. Jordan of course hit his tee shot in Rae’s Creek about 150 seconds prior to what you’ll see in the Vine below, then the Chunk Heard Round the World happened.
Jordan’s first swing at the 12th on Sunday was less than stellar, but it wasn’t the meat of a catastrophic meltdown that we saw in the chunked pitch shot. A world class player only hits it that bad when he or she is rattled, nervous, and has a fresh batch of poo in their pants. One could argue that Spieth was never the same after that. Not in the round (obviously) and not in 2016. His gold touch was gone with one panicked swing. It isn’t a moment of brilliance, but it very much does help to define golf in 2016.
Rory McIlroy, 16th hole of the Final Round of the Tour Championship – Two nominees out of 5 in this category for Rory certainly make him the odds on favorite for the Shutter for Shot of the Year. Rory has 11.3 million reasons to vote for his dunk at East Lake’s 16th hole in the final round. He was 3 back with 3 to go. He isn’t in a playoff without this finding the jar from the fairway and that means Dustin Johnson would have been you’re Fed Ex winner. That is huge, if only we actually gave a shit about the Fed Ex Cup to begin with.
It is Rory, it is the Tour Championship…..he does that at a major and the club goes from his hands to the hall of fame immediately.
Patrick Reed, 6th Hole of 4 Ball Matches on Ryder Cup Saturday – Patrick Fucking Reed. Homie was the bell cow for Captain Davis Love in bringing home a Ryder Cup win for Team USA in September at Hazeltine, but you already know that. You also know that his epic Sunday singles match against Rory was the biggest reason to me why the US won. He set the tone for the whole squad out of the gate. He did all that with more swagger than I’ve ever seen from a golfer not named Tiger Woods. I think a lot of said swagger came from Reed’s Saturday afternoon match and his hole out for eagle on the 6th hole.
Reed and partner Jordan Spieth halved a tough match in the morning in which they blew a large lead. It felt like a loss. They needed to get momentum back in a big way and Reed’s hole out was the catalyst in grabbing the matches by the balls for the U.S.
Dustin Johnson, 5th hole of US Open Final Round – This isn’t a shot in my mind, and there is almost no way I’m picking it as the winner of the Shutter, but it has to be mentioned if only for the colossal fuck up it revealed that is the USGA’s Tournament Committee, their leadership, and the way they administer their rules. Johnson addressed his ball to putt out on the 5th hole and it appeared to move. Ok, it for sure moved, but that doesn’t mean he caused it. Then the USGA fucked around for more than 9 holes before they accessed DJ a penalty. To make things worse they told him a few holes after the ball moved that the incident was being reviewed.
They did all that after he had an official come over to discuss the ball possibly moving. what else can you do? The official essentially said play on and that should have been the end of it. I’ve shit on the USGA enough this year. I’ve buried them for this ruling against DJ every chance I’ve had to do so. Did the incident define the year? It very well may have.
And The Winner Is…
If I could bottle up both Spieth and DJ’s unfortunate gaffes of the year I’d have a pretty clear winner right there. Those two ‘shots’ define 2016 to me. I don’t want to be Debbie Downer, I want to award excellence. Rory’s Irish Open shot was money, but too insignificant to most of the golf world. That leaves us with two worthy winners, Reed and Rory at East Lake. Quite honestly, Reed and Rory his so many good shots and putts in their singles match at the Ryder Cup that they drown out Reed’s single hole out. Rory’s shot directly lead to his Fed Ex victory, and even though it is a conjured up bull shit event it is enough for me to declare it the Shot of the Year. Congrats Rors. You earned it.
Honestly, this one could have gone any direction of the five I nominated. One more beer in me tonight and I’d probably have picked Reed’s dunk or Spieth’s chunk. Did I get it wrong? Maybe, but I don’t care. It is my site and I backed up my pick. As always you can tell me I’m wrong in the comments and the poll can prove me wrong completely. Tweeter of the Year is up next. I’m still accepting nominations. Come strong.