The men who marked the history of their country in 2021 – Articles


From major winners Hideki Mastuyama and Jon Rahm to silver medalist and Rookie of the Year Matti Schmid, take a look at the men who set new records in the game of golf for their respective nations in 2021.

Hideki Mastuyama – First Japanese player to win the Masters

The Masters Tournament returned to its usual slot in April after the first November Masters in history, and with it produced a new major winner worthy of his place in the record books.

After carding a final 73, Hideki Matsuyama became the first Japanese to claim a major championship with a one-shot victory at the 2021 Masters Tournament.

The 29-year-old entered the final day at Augusta National with a four-stroke lead and he had extended it to six as he reached Amen Corner, but the procession turned into drama on the back nine .

Japan have had two winners in the Women’s Majors, but Matsuyama has now shattered that ceiling for the men, beating his own runner-up at the 2017 US Open and that of Isao Aoki, who also finished runner-up at the same event there. is 41 years old.

“I hope that I will be a pioneer in this field and that many other Japanese will follow. I am happy to be able to open the floodgates, hopefully, and many more will follow me,” he said.

Jon Rahm– first Spaniard to win the US Open

Jon Rahm added another layer of history to his career with his first major triumph earlier this year by becoming the first Spanish winner of the US Open in June.

When he was crowned European number one in 2019 and then became world number one for the first time in July 2020, he was following in the footsteps of the late great Seve Ballesteros as the only other Spaniard to achieve either other accolades.

But when he won his first major trophy at Torrey Pines to regain his world number one position, the story was his alone as he accomplished something that until Sunday had eluded even Ballesteros: a victory Spanish at the US Open.

The magnitude of this achievement was not lost on Rahm, who quickly dedicated his first major title to his idol.

“I’m the first Spaniard to win a US Open. It was definitely for Seve,” he said after his one-stroke win over Louis Oosthuizen at Torrey Pines.

“I know he tried a lot, and usually we think of him a lot at the Masters, but I know he wanted to win this one first and foremost. I just don’t know how to explain it.

Jon Rahm

Adrian Meronk – First Polish player to play at a Major / at the Olympics / at the DP World Tour Championship

It has been a momentous year for Adrian Meronk and Polish golf, with several records broken in 2021.

Not only did Meronk become the first Pole to hold full playing privileges on the Tour, but he also became the first Pole to play in a major championship at the US Open in June, the first to play in the DP World Tour Championship , and was the Pole. first – and only – golf competitor at the 2020 Olympics in Japan.

Like Mastuyama, Meronk hopes his own accomplishments will lead to the growth of the game in his home country.

“When I learned that golf was returning to the Olympics, it was immediately one of my goals to represent Poland,” he said.

“When people see golf in the Olympics, it will be a huge factor. It will be a positive thing. There is still a stereotype in Poland that golf is only for the rich, that it is not a sport. S ‘they see me on TV playing at the Olympics, that will help, that’s for sure.

“I will do my best to develop golf as big as possible.”

Adrian Meronk

Viktor Hovland – First Norwegian to win on the Tour / First to play in the Ryder Cup

In his short professional career, Viktor Hovland had already broken down barriers for Norwegian golf, and this year he cemented his name on two more separate lists of history makers for his country.

In June, the 23-year-old won the BMW International Open in Germany. Beating an impressive field, Hovland secured his first Tour title – and with it became the first Norwegian to win on the DP World Tour.

Just three months later, Hovland got another first. Playing at Whistling Straits with 11 other members of Team Europe, Hovland became the first Norwegian player to feature in a Ryder Cup when he stepped on the first tee of Friday foursomes with Paul Casey.

“Obviously the Ryder Cup is a big thing, and Norway doesn’t have a very long tradition in the event,” Hovland said ahead of the event.

“So for me personally it will be a huge honor to wave the Norwegian flag alongside the European flag.”

Viktor Hovland (header only - cropped for Rolex)

Matti Schmid – first German to win the silver medal

Matti Schmid joined a prolific list of winners this season when he made German history twice.

The first of those feats came at this year’s Open Championship at Royal St. George’s in July, where a record 65 in the second round helped him become the first German to win silver for having won low amateur honors at the last Major of the year.

He turned professional immediately afterwards and notched a second-place finish at the Dutch Open and two more top 10s on the way to being crowned Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year – just the second German to achieve the feat after Martin Kaymer. .

“To be honest, finishing the year as the second German after Martin Kaymer to win Rookie of the Year is pretty amazing to me, and something I never thought would happen,” Schmid wrote in his blog. Player.

“When my manager Irek called me and told me the news, he sent me an article with a list of the names of the players I was going to join and who had won before me, and it’s an honor to “Being by their side. These last few months have been so surreal for me, and I’m obviously very excited about it.”

“This is the second time in the past few months that I have felt this way, and as a true golf fan who loves to watch and follow golf, it’s amazing to be added to a part of history. the other time I felt like it was after he won the silver medal at the Open in July. He also has an exceptional list of past winners, and it’s amazing to think that my heroes growing up were Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Martin Kaymer, and between those two honors, my name now stands by all three of them.

Matthias Schmid

Abraham Ancer – The first Mexican to win the Tour

Abraham Ancer was also among the players to earn his place in history this season when he became the first Mexican to win a DP World Tour title.

The 30-year-old shot a 68 to finish 16 under after 72 holes at the 2021 WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational, before beating Sam Burns and Hideki Matsuyama in a shoot-off for the win at TPC Southwind.

Ancer, who first joined the European Tour in 2019 and whose previous best result was tied for fourth in this season’s WGC-HSBC champions, said he hopes his victory will help inspire the next generation.

“I know Mexico is in a better position than a few years ago, Mexican golf, but I think it’s a lot better,” he said after his win.

“I hope this week inspires some kids to get out and play golf and learn more about the game and develop the game in general. I’m really pumped for where things are heading in my country.”

Abraham Ancer

Bernd Wiesberger – The first Austrian to play in the Ryder Cup

Eight-time Tour winner Bernd Wiesberger also made history on his debut as a rookie in the Ryder Cup.

Wiesberger has previously had two competitive experiences for Europe in the EurAsia Cup, but was sidelined with injury and was commentating for SKY Germany in the previous Ryder Cup competition at Le Golf National.

Inspired, Wiesberger returned in 2019 and won three times this season – and he carried that momentum into the team’s Ryder Cup qualifying period, which included an eighth Tour title at Made in Himmerland 2021.

Starting in the first group on Friday afternoon alongside Paul Casey, Wiesberger became the first Austrian to play in a Ryder Cup.

“There were two really standout moments for me during the week, but the biggest pride I felt was when Paddy announced me at the opening ceremony as the first Austrian to play in the Ryder Cup,” Wiesberger wrote in his gamer blog. .

“It was very special for me, the people around me and the Austrian golf community as a whole. And then to put it all together as a Ryder Cup player on Friday afternoon for the first time was a big problem.

“There is nothing like golf. I’ve played every major championship, and it’s a different level success, but it’s unlike any other experience I’ve had before that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

Wiesberger Hovland Ryder Cup

Collin Morikawa: the first American to win the Race to Dubai

Collin Morikawa capped off a superb 2021 by becoming the first American to win the Race to Dubai with victory at the 2021 DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

In just under two and a half years as a professional, Morikawa has won two major championships and a WGC title, and has now added both a Rolex Series victory and the Harry Vardon Trophy to his Wanamaker Trophy and Claret Jug.

After starting his season on the European Tour at the Dubai Desert Classic, Morikawa won his first World Golf Championship title at the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession, moving up to second place in the Race to Dubai rankings in partnership with Rolex. .

He wouldn’t leave the top three for the rest of the season, finishing in the top 20 in the Masters, top ten in his US PGA Championship defense and top five in the US Open.

Morikawa said: “It’s special, it’s an honor, really, to be the first American to do this on the European Tour to put my name against so many great Hall of Famers, it’s special.”

“I’m touched just talking about it. Two years ago that wasn’t my thought. It was, ‘yeah, let’s play around the world’ but we didn’t know what cards were going to be dealt. “

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