Top Storylines From the First Half of the PGA Tour Season

With the conclusion of the U.S. Open, we have now hit the midway point in the PGA Tour season. The first half of the season did not disappoint when it came to storylines. From “drop-gate” to the anchored putter ban, there has been plenty to talk about already this season. Before moving on to this week’s Traveler’s Championship, we take a look back at some of the highlights from the first half of the season.

Brandt Snedeker looks unstoppable, until a rib injury stops him– Brandt Snedeker played the first month of the season about as good as anyone could ask. He had a third, two seconds, and a win at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am all in the first month. In his only non top-10 finish of that first month (a tie for 23rd at the Humana Challenge) he still managed to shoot 19-under par. Despite a rib injury sidelining him for a month and causing him to play a limited schedule, he has still recorded a sixth place finish at the Masters, an eighth place finish at The Players Championship, and a 17th place finish at the U.S. Open.

Tiger Woods wins for the second time at The Players Championship. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Tiger Woods wins for the second time at The Players Championship. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Phil flirts with 59– Phil Mickelson has already had five top-10 finishes this season. One of which was his historic performance at the Waste Management Phoenix Open where he shot a four day score of 28-under par to win. Missing the all-time 72 hole scoring record by just two strokes, Mickelson made 11 birdies in the opening round, including on his first four holes, to shoot a 60. He nearly had a 59 until his birdie putt on 18 lipped out. Chances are he would give up that trophy if it meant turning his runner up at the U.S. Open into a win.

Tiger gets four wins before June– Tiger Woods won four PGA Tour events before the month of May, the fastest to four in a season in his career. The Jupiter Island Resident started with a win at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and then followed that up with wins at Doral, Bay Hill, and The Players Championship. While Torrey Pines, Doral, and Bay Hill are all courses Tiger has won on many times, the TPC Sawgrass has given Woods fits over the years. It was only his second career win at The Players.

First half of the season full of first time winners– There have been nine first time winners on the PGA Tour in the first half of the season. Russel Henley (Sony Open in Hawaii), John Merrick (Northern Trust Open), Michael Thompson (The Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens), Scott Brown (Puerto Rico Open), Kevin Streelman (Tampa Bay Championship), Billy Horschel (Zurich Classic of New Orleans), Derek Ernst (Wells Fargo Championship), Sang-Moon Bay (HP Byron Nelson), and Harris English (St. Jude Classic) all got their first career PGA Tour wins. There have also been two first time major winner to come out of the first two majors of the season. Adam Scott became the first Australian golfer ever to win a green jacket, while Justin Rose became the first golfer from England to win the U.S. Open in 43 years.

Controversy at every turn– The first half of the season has had its fair share of controversy. There was “drop-gate” with Tiger Woods at the Masters that resulted in a two stroke penalty but not a disqualification. There was the announcement from the USGA and R&A banning anchored putting starting in 2016. There was also the issue with Vijay Singh taking Deer Antler Spray and the pending lawsuit between him and the PGA Tour.

With the first half of the PGA Tour season in the books, we now look ahead to the second half of the season where two more majors will be played and someone will be crowned the FedEx Cup champion. If the second half is anything like the first, then we should be in store for a fun race to the finish.

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