Welcome to the 10th installment of our “Caddie Confidential” series, with monthly, inside-the-ropes perspective from dozens of Tour caddies on rotating golf topics. Up this month: we tackle a player of the year debate, biggest surprises in the 2020-21 PGA Tour season, which major was the best of them all and which looper should be tabbed “Caddie of the Year.”
Is there anything better than major championship golf?
That’s a rhetorical question, folks.
The 2021 majors were epic. Here’s a quick recap:
Back in April at the Masters, Hideki Matsuyama became the first Japanese-born player to win the coveted green jacket. It was a remarkable performance that will likely be remembered just as much for Matsuyama’s win as for his caddie Shota Hayafuji’s ultimate sign of respect to the course in the aftermath of the victory:
What a moment. 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/TvT9Q8dplx
— Caddie Network (@CaddieNetwork) April 11, 2021
Next up was the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island in May. Nothing big happened there… kidding. That’s where Phil Mickelson — at 50 years of age! — became the oldest major winner in history as he claimed major victory No. 6. Are you serious?
Mickelson amongst the madness. 😳
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 23, 2021
Next up was the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. It was Jon Rahm’s first start after being forced to withdraw from the Memorial with a six-shot, 54-hole lead. So, how did the Spaniard respond? By becoming the first player in history to birdie the final two holes to win the U.S. Open.
— U.S. Open (USGA) (@usopengolf) June 21, 2021
Lastly, there was the Open Championship in July at Royal St. George’s, where Collin Morikawa proved once again why he’s absolutely the brightest young star in the game today by claiming his second major title in less than 12 months:
The winning moment 👏
Collin Morikawa rounds off a truly magnificent performance at Royal St George's 🏆
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 18, 2021
One thing’s for sure: 2022 has got a lot of work in store to have any chance of topping the men’s majors we saw in 2021.
So which of those four in 2021 was the best?
We polled nearly four dozen PGA Tour caddies to get their opinion on the best major in 2021, promising them anonymity in an effort to get their most honest answers.
Which major did you think was the best of the year and why?
Check out this selection of responses from caddies:
The PGA had to be the best story.
PGA Championship because it was a perfect culmination of Phil’s amazing career.
PGA Championship. Great win for Mickelson on a great golf course.
Easy. It was Augusta and it’s Augusta every year.
The Masters. They have played there for so long and we know the course.
The U.S. Open was an incredible finish on an amazing venue.
Masters because it’s the Masters.
Masters. Cool to see an Asian golfer finally don the green jacket.
The Masters. Matsuyama being the first Japanese player to win a major was tremendous.
The Open. Great crowds and golf course.
PGA. It was great to see Phil play like he did!
PGA. The fact Phil became the oldest ever to win a major.
The Masters is always the best.
Masters because of what Shota did in his bow to the course.
Matsuyama’s win at the Masters. First Asian player to win the Masters.
PGA Championship. Phil winning at 50? Enough said. Mic drop!
PGA. Best course and cream rose to the top.
The Open. It’s the best major every year.
PGA Championship… How can you argue with Phil winning again?!
I’m always partial to the British Open. Mainly because it’s my favorite major. I also believe it takes the most well-rounded game to win. Plus you have to be on top of ALL facets of your game to win. It’s not so much who won; it’s the fact the top 4 players on the leaderboard at week’s end were the top 4 player performances in all four majors last year.
U.S. Open. Epic what Jon Rahm did after the PGA Tour’s horrible handling of JR’s COVID test at Memorial.
Phil Mickelson’s win at the PGA Championship was inspirational, showing that at a later age in life he can still be competitive and win.
The Masters is always the only one I watch.
Tough one, but I probably have to say the PGA. Phil winning at 50 on that course was very impressive.
Interested in more from our October 2021 installment of Caddie Confidential? Be sure to check out the players that surprised caddies most in 2021, whether caddies believe players got their PGA Tour Player of the Year vote right and which caddie would be most deserving of PGA Tour Caddie of the Year honors by their peers if the award existed.
You can view all the results from our entire Caddie Confidential by clicking here.