OK, I fully admit that when creating a "top-list" of anything, it's going to be completely subjective. That's just the way it is.
When I think of a "top tournament" it doesn't necessarily have to be a major championship. Of course, those are "next level" great, but in terms of "top tournaments" of the year, I'm leaning and thinking more toward the ones that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Whether it was a train wreck avoided, a dramatic final shot, or an insane leaderboard... that was my criteria.
Now that I have that admission out there, here are the five tournaments that stood out to me most in 2014.
5. The Honda Classic
Russell Henley was the eventual winner of this event at PGA National that it seemed down the stretch no one wanted to win.
In a three-way tie for the lead on the final hole par 5, Henley was left of the green in two shots. He chunked a chip so poorly from that position, it barely got halfway to the hole and he proceeded to two-putt for par.
Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, had let a two-shot lead slip away. He hit an incredible 236-yard, 5-wood approach to the 18th that set up an eagle putt for the win. The putt just missed and McIlroy settled for par.
Russell Knox and Ryan Palmer joined Henley and McIlroy in a four-way playoff, which Henley won with a two-putt birdie on No. 18 -- the first hole of the playoff.
4. RBC Heritage
Two weeks removed from a heartbreaking defeat in the Houston Open where he squandered a four-shot, final-round lead and lost in a playoff when Aussie Matt Jones pitched in for an eagle, the Golf Gods rewarded Matt Kuchar with a stunning finish of his own.
Kuchar, tied for the lead playing the iconic final hole at Harbor Town, found himself in a greenside bunker with his approach shot.
Instead of thinking, "get up and down for a playoff," Kuchar did one better, admitting afterward, "I told my caddie before that last shot, 'I'm about due to make one of these.'"
So, that's precisely what he did. Kuchar holed the bunker shot for birdie and a one-stroke victory over Luke Donald.
3. The Players Championship
Any tournament with a final top-10 leaderboard that includes the names Martin Kaymer, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy is a great one.
That's what happened at TPC Sawgrass in May. Kaymer came out on top dodging two late bullets.
He had a four-shot advantage through 11 holes that slipped away. Kaymer returned from a 90-minute weather delay and promptly made double bogey on the 15th hole to cut his lead to one shot with three to play.
Then, he made a long par putt at the famous island-green, par-3 17th to maintain a one-shot lead going to the final hole. Kaymer would par the last hole in the dark to win his first Players Championship by one over Furyk.
2. WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
This tournament will long be remembered more for the guy who finished second (Victor Dubuisson) than the guy who won (Jason Day).
In this incredible tussle, Day finally came out on top after 23 holes to the little-known Frenchman, who became world famous in golf that day.
Though he lost, Dubuisson converted two of the greatest pars you will ever see to keep the playoff alive, getting up and down on consecutive holes from the desert. It was remarkable stuff (and made it on our "Top shots" list).
Even before the playoff Dubuisson was spectacular. He was two down with two to play and knotted the match to force the playoff.
1. PGA Championship
This was the tournament of the year and it's not even a contest. How about these names, who all finished inside the top 10?: Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Ernie Els, Victor Dubuisson and Hunter Mahan.
That's a murderer's row of the game's all stars.
In the end, McIlroy dramatically claimed his second major in a row, second PGA Championship of his career and fourth major overall.
McIlroy lost the lead on the front nine, but eagled the 10th hole to begin his late charge. At one point on the back nine, five players shared the lead at 10 under. The scoring average for the final round was 69.6, the lowest in PGA Championship history.
This was an awesome back-and-forth with the world's No. 1 player rising to the occasion.