Abby Parsons pointing at herself in the Ryder Cup photo at the PGA Show.
It is safe to say that the world of golf had quite the eventful year in 2022. If you take a look at the year month by month, it really puts into perspective how much good golf we have witnessed this year, and how many monumental moments in the game occurred. We saw players like Lydia Ko resurgence to the center stage, Tom Kim steal the hearts of millions of golf fans in the President’s Cup, Steve Stricker dominate the Champions Tour, and so much more. Let’s take a look back at my favorite moments in golf for the year of 2022. There is a lot to unpack.
January: The PGA Show Kicks Off 2022
I experienced my first ever PGA Show at the start of the year, and it is something that all PGA Members and Associates should experience throughout their career. My head golf professional and I discovered all sorts of new vendors, picked great tee gift options, and so much more. We even found a scoreboard for our Men’s Invitational that year. It feels as if everyone in the golf world is in this convention center in Orlando, Florida. I ran into so many old friends, coworkers of my dad (who is a PGA Professional), and people that have seen me on social media.
Demo Day is a great opportunity to learn about all of the new equipment products coming on to the scene in the new year. Not only do you get to test out the product, but you get to hear about what is new, what is different, and why you need to try it. You would think it is sensory overload, but in reality you feel like a kid in a candy store.
February: Leona Maguire Becomes the First Irish Winner in LPGA Tour History
The 2022 LPGA Drive On Championship became the home of Leona Maguire’s first LPGA Tour victory, but not only that, she became the first ever Irish winner on the tour. Closing the tournament with a 5-under par 67, Maguire clenched the title with a three-stroke lead. The President of Ireland congratulated the champion via Twitter that day, to make the moment even more special for Leona Maguire and her home country.
March: March Means Match Play
I love Match Play. Whether it’s the Ryder Cup, or a friendly match with my family or friends, it’s great to get out and compete in a different format. And Scottie Scheffler kicked his 2022 off in high gear in Texas at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. I witnessed Scottie compete at the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, and he is someone I would not want to be paired against because of his calm demeanor. He is so hard to read, and his game stays so steady. It is hard to play against someone you just know will be clutch. Scheffler defeated Kevin Kisner in the championship match, which then made him the No. 1 player in the world.
April: Scottie Scheffler’s Final Masters Moments
Scottie Scheffler won his first major championship in April of 2022 at The Masters, but it was not the impressive win that makes it one of my favorite moments in golf this year. Rather, it was the four-putt on the last hole. No, I did not enjoy it because I am anti-Scheffler, I enjoyed it because it made me like the professional even more. He showed that he is human. When I was watching him miss putt after putt, it made me think “hey I would probably do the same thing.” Not only this, but it made the leaderboard look a little bit closer at the end, even though he dominated the weekend. I have more respect for Scottie Scheffler after his finish at The Masters than I did before.
May: Justin Thomas Winning the PGA Championship with his PGA Coach Father
We all remember the tears shed when Justin Thomas won the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow in 2017, but the one in 2022 felt just as sweet. The tournament was, dare I say, pretty uneventful until the final round ended with two of golf’s favorites in a playoff: Justin Thomas and Will Zalatoris. Making a birdie on the third playoff hole after Zalatoris made a par is what crowned Justin Thomas as the 2022 champion. With this being his second major championship win and second PGA Championship win, Justin Thomas holds these wins with high regard. Thomas has a special relationship with his father, who happens to not only be a PGA Member, but his coach as well.
June: In Gee Chun’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship Win at Congressional
The 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship had me grabbing my seat with nervousness watching the final round of the event. In Gee Chun had a very sizable six-stroke lead to start the fourth round at Congressional, but after a series of bogeys in the front nine, she was tied with Lexi Thompson with two holes to play. Thompson ended her round bogey-par, which made In Gee Chun’s par-par finish enough to win her third major championship.
July: Tony Finau’s Back-To-Back Wins
Tony Finau is arguably one of the most likable players on the PGA Tour, so his back-to-back wins in July of 2022 ended up being one of my favorite moments this year. Finau shot 4-under in the last round to win with a 3-shot lead in the 3M Open after Scott Piercy shot a shocking 76 during his final round when he started the day with a substantial lead. The following week, Finau finished an impressive five strokes ahead of Patrick Cantlay to win the 2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic. Finau shot in the 60’s in all eight rounds of those two tournaments. I watched Tony Finau in action during the 2020 Ryder Cup, and he was a fun player to see there. You can tell he just enjoys being out on the golf course more than anything, but he loves winning that much more. Tony Finau is one of those players that works well with just about anyone in a team format because of his personality, and it was so cool to see him rep the red, white, and blue.
August: Rory McIlroy Winning the 2022 Tour Championship
Rory McIlroy winning the 2022 Tour Championship… This had the water works flowing while watching his final post-round interview on the 18th green. McIlroy won the event by just one stroke over Sungjae Im, so it made for an interesting tournament to say the least. Rory McIlroy has done so much for the game of golf, and as a PGA Professional, it is hard not to root for him in every single event he plays in. A Rory McIlroy win is a win for golf.
Another highlight was the opening of the PGA of America's new home at PGA Frisco. The property is impressive on all fronts, and there's something new to discover every trip.
September: Go USA!
Tom Kim provided a month’s worth of highlights for the International Team at the Presidents Cup in September. With his animated celebrations and phenomenal game - Tom Kim is the first thing I think about when I think of the 2022 Presidents Cup. Although Kim only had two wins against three losses, his resilience and personality helped the International Team go from losing 2-8 after the first day, to gaining ten more points by the end of the event with a total of 12.5-17.5. I hope to see Kim in many more Presidents Cups to come.
September was a great month for the Men’s U.S. PGA Cup Team, as they had their first overseas win since 2009 by beating Great Britain and Ireland 15.5 to 10.5. This was the U.S. Team's second consecutive win, and it was a great team to represent the country. PGA Honorary President Whaley is the first woman to both Captain in the men’s PGA Cup and win it.
The U.S. Team had quite the year, because the Women’s PGA Cup ended with the red, white and blue on top as well. Then PGA President, Jim Richerson, was the Captain of U.S. Team, and he said the win over Australia, Canada, Great Britain & Ireland, South Africa, and Sweden will be a lasting memory for himself. The U.S. Team came out on top, beating Canada by just two strokes.
October: Lydia Ko Grabs Her 18th Career Win
With only winning two events since 2016, Lydia Ko has had a phenomenal year in 2022… After winning in January at the Gainbridge LPGA, you can tell that Lydia Ko had her edge back and she was ready to be on top of the LPGA Tour yet again. Shooting all four rounds in the 60s, Lydia Ko won the 2022 Ladies BMW Championship by 4 strokes. Since then, she has won the CME Group Tour Championship and ascended to World No. 1.
I also loved following the National Car Rental PGA Jr. League Championship, and as a PGA Jr. League Coach myself, it makes coaches like myself more motivated to get their team to that Championship stage. PGA Jr. League creates a great team atmosphere for kids learning the game, and making it to the Championship created so many memories, and friendships, for the participants.
Along with this, PGA Hope National Golf & Wellness was hosted at Congressional where 20 Veterans, 20 PGA Members, and 20 PGA Section Staff had a life-changing week. This four-day event includes advanced golf instruction and wellness training. “The PGA National Day of HOPE campaign is a great example of the longstanding commitment PGA Professionals have made in serving our Veteran community,” said Honorary PGA President Jim Richerson.
When October 2022 hit, it officially became one year away from the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome, Italy. I will be walking the grounds in that event, and I cannot wait to see Team USA on European soil defending the title.
November: PGA of America Affirms Inclusion Statement at the Annual Meeting
“The Association affirms its love for golf by promoting the game and inviting everyone, embracing all dimensions of diversity. This includes individuals with diversity of thought, culture, race and ethnic background, gender, age, religion, politics, sexual orientation, physical abilities, natural origin, and other differences.”
This quote is now forever engraved in the PGA of America Bylaws after a one hundred percent support from the delegation during the 2022 PGA of America Annual Meeting. This a huge step forward for not only the PGA, but for the game of golf. It makes me proud to be a PGA Member.
December: PNC Championship and Family Golf
What has become a fan-favorite event for the golf world, The PNC Championship, is a great way to end the calendar year. Seeing golf’s greatest take the center stage with their loved ones is such a special way to see our idols play golf. Tiger Woods, Annika Sörenstam, Justin Thomas, Nelly Korda, and so many more of golf’s most talented players play in this event. You get to see a completely different side of these professionals, and it is a great reminder of what golf and the holiday season is all about. We all look forward to this event every year and we're excited for an amazing 2023.