9 of our favorite memories from the PGA Championship

Andrew Johnston
USA Today Sports Images
Andrew "Beef" Johnston was undoubtedly one of the most memorable characters from PGA Championship week.
By T.J. Auclair
PGA.com
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Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Tuesday, November 22, 2016 | 3:34 p.m.

This time of year is all about reflection.

Today we're going to look back and revisit nine of our favorite memories from the week that was at Baltusrol in Springfield, N.J., during the 2016 PGA Championship, where Jimmy Walker picked up his first major victory.

9. Phil Mickelson's second-round, even-par 70. How the heck is that on a list of memorable moments, you ask? An even-par round on the second day of the season's last major in ideal conditions for scoring? Well, it deserves a spot on the list for two reasons: 1. Mickelson's awful start; 2. Mickelson's remarkable perseverance.

RELATED: Relive the 2016 PGA Championship | Visit the PGA Championship shop!

Mickelson won the PGA Championship at Baltusrol in 2005, the last time it was contested there. He had high hopes in 2016, coming off a runner-up finish in the Open Championship... and then a first hole, triple-bogey 7 happened to immediately put Lefty behind the 8-ball on Day 2.

He could have packed it in right there. But, he didn't. Mickelson buckled down, got locked in and bounced back with four birdies against one bogey the rest of the way for his even-par total. An awesome display.

8. Andrew "Beef" Johnston... all week long. The man affectionately known as "Beef" endeared himself with fans in arguably the toughest sports market in the country and became a cult hero. He may have tied for 60th by tournament's end, but Beef was the people's champion at Baltusrol.

7. Rich Beem turning back the clock and a very special chip-in for the fans on Sunday. The 2002 PGA Champion at Hazeltine, Beem doesn't play a whole lot of tournament golf these days, spending more of his time as an on-course reporter. At Baltusrol, he showed a flash of brilliance with a 1-under 69 in Round 1. He eventually tied for 73rd, but gave fans this memorable moment on Sunday.

6. The work of the Baltusrol grounds crew. It isn't the most glamorous job in the world and it's probably one of the more thankless, but if it weren't for the effort of these tireless men and women at Baltusrol, the tournament never would have finished on Sunday. Hats off to them.

5. The little kid who got up in Jason Day's face... for a high-five on Friday. Probably my favorite moment of the tournament, personally. Day played his shot from outside the ropes and this little dude didn't miss his opportunity to get a high-five from the world's No. 1 player and defending PGA Champion.

4. Rickie Fowler waits behind the 18th green to congratulate his buddy Jimmy Walker after the win. Just a cool gesture.

3. Jimmy Walker's hole-out birdie for his first birdie of the final day at the 10th hole. Walker needed something to jumpstart his final round and this sure was it.

2. Day's eagle on the 72nd hole to put pressure on Walker. Getting an eagle when you absolutely need it to have any chance at all is no easy feat. Doing it in a major makes the task that much more difficult. Day did it and made Walker sweat. What a finish.

1. Walker's winning moment. It was a short putt and maybe not the flashiest of moments, but it was a putt that Walker had to have after Day eagled up ahead of him. I don't care what the length of the putt is -- when it's to win your first major, the pressure must be like nothing you've ever experienced before.

 

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.