When the voice of golf fell silent, it might not have been stunning news but it was jarring nonetheless. Peter Alliss was ingrained in the consciousness of those who love the game just that much, on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
Alliss died at age 89 on Saturday. He was a player of notable credentials, it is worth remembering, but it was with his words and his wit at the microphone during golf’s grandest events – especially the Open Championship – that he truly made his mark.
His kind is not easily replicated. John Hopkins remembers Alliss as a singular talent: always forthright, occasionally off-putting, impossible to forget. His passing adds one more bit of melancholy to 2020.
As Ron Green Jr. surveys how the schedule played out, he offers that the PGA Tour should be recognized for making the best of this year when no such thing could have been guaranteed. And that is deserving of a satisfied sigh, and a toast.
In his first full year on tour, Viktor Hovland now has secured the first two titles of his professional career. The 23-year-old Norwegian (by way of Oklahoma State University) earned the second of those Sunday with a one-stroke victory at the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
In the women’s game, Lewine Mair notes the top player of the moment just might be Emily Kristine Pedersen of Denmark. She notched four victories on the Ladies European Tour in 2020, including three in the final weeks of November, and credits support from her nation’s golf union for sustaining her during the onset of her career.
With the LPGA Tour heading to this week’s U.S. Women’s Open in Houston, Texan Angela Stanford warmed up last week with a home-state victory at the Volunteers of America Classic up the road in Dallas. The 2018 Women’s PGA champion rose to the top of a crowded Sunday leaderboard for a two-stroke victory ahead of So Yeon Ryu, Inbee Park and Yealimi Noh.
In Europe, there were two winners in the run-up to this week’s DP World Tour Championship. Home favorite Christiaan Bezuidenhout won the South African Open in Sun City, while France’s Antoine Rozner triumphed at the Golf in Dubai Championship.
Tireless PGA professional Judy Alvarez might share time between courses in New York and Florida, but she rarely slows down. Sean Fairholm profiles Alvarez and the extensive work she has done as a friend and instructor to wounded warriors.
With the COVID-19 pandemic impacting every corner of the golf world, amateur events perhaps have been hit the hardest. As John Steinbreder shares, Albert Huddleston of Maridoe Golf Club has doubled down on the spirit of giving that his father instilled in him, providing a number of opportunities for elite-level players.
In the most recent of those high-profile events, Luke Potter claimed the title Sunday at the Maridoe Amateur Championship, powering past Preston Summerhays, 8 and 6, in the match-play final.
Finally, in this week's edition of the Divot, John Hopkins describes the emotions and the details connected with his breaking out the clubs again. All in all, a welcomed return.