Nick Dougherty picks out his favourite three golfing moments of 2016
Last Updated: 28/12/16 10:02am
After an action-packed year of golf in 2016, Sky Sports commentator Nick Dougherty selects his top three highlights...
Willett wows Augusta
It was incredible for Danny Willett to follow in the footsteps of one of the great British players in Nick Faldo. Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam also won the Masters, but it had been a while since Nick's win in 1996.
The way Danny did it was impressive. The tournament was Jordan Spieth's to lose at the turn - he was five shots clear but then he had a catastrophe on the 12th hole, and all of a sudden Willett was in front.
He had all that pressure on his shoulders, but he delivered some of his best golf down the stretch and made a brilliant birdie on 16 knowing he was at the top of the leaderboard.
Danny's up-and-down to save par on 17 was superb, and all the hard work was done. It was an incredible moment for him, and one which probably happened earlier in his career than he may have expected, but it was well deserved.
USA regain Ryder Cup
It was a tough one. The American side was very strong, one of the strongest teams we've seen in a long time. Europe have owned the Ryder Cup in recent years, but it wasn't to be four wins in a row at Hazeltine National. Team USA holed a lot of big putts and were worthy winners.
The opening singles match between Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy was some performance. In terms of emotion, it was one of the greatest spectacles we have seen in our sport for a long time.
It was a sad week as well following the passing of Arnold Palmer, and the Ryder Cup was played in the right spirit - the way it is supposed to be. Yes, it was disappointing from a European perspective, but an American victory is arguably good for the sport going forward.
Stenson's stellar year
It was a heroic performance from the 40-year-old at the 145th Open Championship. Phil Mickelson started the final day one shot behind, shot 65, and finished three shots behind! Phil's score would have been good enough to win 141 of the previous 144 Opens, but he was unfortunate to be up against an inspired Stenson at Royal Troon.
Stenson went on to win the Race to Dubai for the second time in his career, and he also collected a silver medal on golf's return to the Olympic Games.
It was a brilliant year for Henrik Stenson and, for me, his Open triumph was the outstanding highlight of 2016 in golf.