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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Top 5 most inspiring PGA Tour wins of 2018

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As always, there was plenty of entertainment in the year for golf. The PGA Tour offered plenty of its own with a number of compelling player triumphs.

Here’s a look at the five most inspiring PGA Tour wins of the 2018 calendar year:

5. Cameron Champ, Sanderson Farms Championship

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 11: Cameron Champ of the United States reacts to his eagle on the fifth green during the final round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic at El Camaleon Mayakoba Golf Course on November 11, 2018 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The 23-year-old wunderkind first turned heads in the pro game with his talent when he contended through 36 holes at the 2017 U.S. Open. So everybody knew this was coming, but it was stunning how quickly Champ got his opening PGA Tour win.

He did so in a brilliant rookie performance this fall at the Sanderson Farms Championship that seemed to signal a new superstar had been born.

4. Phil Mickelson, WGC-Mexico Championship

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - MARCH 04: Phil Mickelson gives a thumb up to fans as he holds the Gene Sarazen Cup after winning the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship on a playoff hole at Club De Golf Chapultepec on March 4, 2018 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Lefty breaking a five-year win drought basically says it all here. Although let’s add on that he did so by beating Justin Thomas in a playoff.

3. Charles Howell III, RSM Classic

(Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

It was such a long wait, but Charles Howell III certainly earned this win. His third PGA Tour title broke an 11-year victory drought and he did so by draining a 15-footer for birdie in a playoff at the RSM Classic.

Howell was emotional after the win, as he should have been considering just how much time had passed since his last triumph.

2. Gary Woodland, Waste Management Phoenix Open

Gary Woodland pauses on the 18th green after his win in a one-hole playoff against Chez Reavie for the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

This one was emotional, too, but for a totally different reason. Woodland earned this win in a playoff after a 2017 that he referred to as the toughest year of his life. The context: His wife, Gabby, was carrying twins but one of the babies (a girl) would be lost to a miscarriage. The baby boy, Jaxson, born came several weeks premature.

When Woodland made his winning putt in Phoenix after all of that, he pointed to the sky as an ode to his lost baby girl. He also got a wonderful surprise when Gabby brought Jaxson out to greet dad after his win.

A lot of difficulties Woodland got through here, and it was a wonderful example of perseverance.

1. Tiger Woods, Tour Championship

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 23: Tiger Woods of the United States celebrates making a par on the 18th green to win the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club on September 23, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

(Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

Yeah really what was going to match this with how much Woods had gone through before breaking a five-year win drought with this Tour Championship title?

And there was also that mass of fans surrounding him up the 18th hole, a scene that proved just how much support the man still has.

Enough said, this cathartic triumph is a clear No. 1.