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Photo of the Year presented by Maui Jim 
News

Photo of the Year presented by Maui Jim 

Now that the 2020 season has come to an end, we're taking a look back at the best moments captured on camera.

With comments from the photographers who snapped the shots, enjoy our festive countdown of the best photos of the season.

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#1

Photographer: Richard Heathcote

Picture: An Irish Farmer finds the perfect spectators spot at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

With all events being behind closed doors it was fun to see a farmer in Northern Ireland use the excuse of herding his cows to take a well-earned cuppa and watch the action from his field next to the course. For me it didn’t matter who the golfer was in the picture, just that you could see golf going on and the farmer watching on. I was using a long lens to concentrate the focus of the picture on the farmer and his heard of cows.W

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#2

Photographer: Ross Kinnaird

Picture: Miguel goes 707 not out at the Hero Open

With fans not allowed into golf events this summer, it was down to the players and officials to gather around the 18th green and applaud Miguel Angel Jimenez as he played his record breaking 707th European Tour event at the Hero Open at Marriott Forest of Arden, and this is the moment he acknowledged that reception. Over the years it has been a lot of fun capturing the wins and moments that Miguel has given photographers and fans. He is a popular guy so it was no surprise to see his fellow players come out to mark this special achievement.

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#3

Photographer: Andrew Reddington

Picture: Ian Poulter tee's off on the Scottish Golf Coast

This was shot during the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and the 13th hole at Renaissance Club is fantastically photogenic. You can literally shoot it from any angle and it will make a nice picture. For this image seeing the sun was low I climbed a TV tower at the back of the green to achieve the angle shooting it on a wide lens to capture the hole and coastline. Ian Poulter was an excellent subject as always and the sunset filter added a bit of pizzazz.

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#4

Photographer: Octavio Passos

Picture: José María Olazábal approaches the second hole at Real Club Valderrama.

This picture was taken on the second day of Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters, at the fabulous Valderrama course. I found myself on the 2nd fairway in a position where I could see the players teeing off. José María Olazábal hit his drive to the left of the fairway next to Valderrama's characteristic trees so I walked away a little, and with my long lens I could get a perspective which effectively surrounded Jose Maria with them, which were also in really nice light. I believe it’s a faithful picture of the courses difficulties.

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#5

Photographer: Ross Kinnaird

Picture: Tyrrell Hatton completes a childhood dream buy winning the BMW PGA Championship.

After the official prize presentation had finished, Tyrrell Hatton retraces his steps from when he was a young golf fan at the PGA Championship at Wentworth. This time he returned as champion and posed adjacent to the 18th green as he did when he was a child outside the ropes with his family.

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#6

Photographer: Andrew Reddington

Picture: Brendan Lawlor becomes the first player with a disability to play in a European Tour event.

This picture was taken during the ISPS HANDA UK Championship. It shows three golfers Brendan Lawlor, Andy Sullivan and Paul Waring having a laugh. The significance is that Lawlor went on to become the first professional disability golfer to tee it up on the European Tour and made a lot of new friends in the process

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#7

Photographer: Ross Kinnaird

Picture: Justin Rose plays from the hazard on the 15th at the West Course.

After shooting Justin Rose on the 15th tee during the third round of the BMW PGA Championship I was planning to wait for the group behind him to come through, but an anxious look from him set the alarm bells ringing . I knew the hole had a ditch running down the right hand side and he could be in trouble. I got to his ball before he did and just kept my fingers crossed that he would play it from the ditch. He duly obliged and even asked to see the images on the back of the camera after the shot.

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#8

Photographer: Richard Heathcote

Picture: McEvoy in full flow.

This was taken at the South African Open Gary Player CC, Sun City and we are fortunate to have great light towards the end of each round. This shot is Richard McEvoy playing his approach to the 9th green, which normally plays as the 18th for the Nedbank. I wanted to use the fountain in the lake between the fairway and green to create highlight spots as the water catches the late afternoon sunlight. I send colour and black and white options to give clients the choice but I think in this case the b&w image is more interesting as there’s more contrast and you have to think about what the spots are.

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#9

Photographer: Warren Little

Picture: Impala crowds at the South African Open

This was captured near the first green on the Gary Player CC course during the third round of the South African Open. I had seen the Impala for a few days grazing around as due to Covid-19 the course had been quiet in the run up to the event, which encouraged the wildlife to come out from the nearby bushveld onto the course. I wanted to capture them in the context of the golf tournament. This led to me stalking the buck walking back from the 10th hole, quietly making my way along a dirt path to sneak up and appear on top on the animals as they grazed. Putting the camera on a slightly quieter camera setting was able to fire off a few frames before they ran off.

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#10

Photographer: Warren Little

Picture: Trouble at the 18th.

This image of Rikard Karlberg of Sweden as he plays from the water on the 18th hole was from the second round of the English Championship at Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club...I was shooting a few groups coming down 17th hole, and suddenly there was a rattling in the nearby trees of a drive which came from the 18th tee. Rikard found his ball eventually, submerged in the pond on the 18th hole under a willow tree. At a depth of around 10-15cm of water I didn't think Rikard would play the shot as it seemed too difficult due to the depth the ball lay but to my amazement, he decided to take the shot on which did provided me a great sequence of photographs capturing the attempt.... unfortunately, the ball remained in the pond!

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#11

Photographer: Sean Haffey

Picture: Collin Morikawa captures his maiden Major Championship.

At first when Collin Morikawa started to lift the PGA Championship trophy after his win at Harding Park it seemed like business as usual. Suddenly though, I noticed the top was wobbly and as he lifted it up it started to fall off. Based on the facial reaction I could see through the viewfinder as I was shooting, I realized things were not going as planned and proceeded to hold down the motor drive for what became a not so ordinary trophy presentation. Collin took it in stride and everyone involved shared a laugh as they avoided a very embarrassing situation.

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#12

Photographer: Andrew Reddington

Picture: Tommy Fleetwood at Wentworth

Taken during the BMW PGA Championship on the 15th hole on the West Course at Wentworth. This hole has been a happy hunting ground for photographers since I have been in the business and, what was nice on this occasion, is the mixture of light and shade striking this tee and the cloudless blue sky. I exposed for the more dramatic elements of the lighting and was pleased with the resulting image of Tommy Fleetwood, his distinctive elegant swing (with just a hint of "hold-off") and the ball splitting the fairway.

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#13

Photographer: Patrick Smith

Picture: Dustin Johnson wins the Green Jacket.

The 84th Masters was postponed seven months due to the coronavirus pandemic but it was an absolutely stunning week for us photographers with the Fall colors on show at Augusta. Dustin Johnson ended up earning the coveted prize, while looking machine-like the entire week. His emotions had been pretty solemn, so we as photographers were very surprised that he showed that he was indeed human as he teared up during his post-win interview. This image was special to me as for four days we saw little emotion without crowds, but to be able to document visually how he really felt winning a historic major was a moment to remember.

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#14

Photographer: Ross Kinnaird

Picture: Gloomy Dubai.

There is no mistaking the Dubai skyline from the 8th tee. The usual bright sunshine had given way to cloudy and blustery conditions at the Emirates Golf Club . The iconic view had a more dramatic almost theatrical look about it, and the tough playing conditions helped add to the drama of the picture. I needed the player to stand out from the background and Tom Lewis arrive on the tee dressed perfectly in black. I exposed for the highlights to help the silhouette of him stand out. It's a tough tee shot at the best of times but with a left to right wind its a treacherous driving hole. His reaction and the way he's pointing perfectly along the line of the skyscrapers worked perfectly.

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#15

Photographer: David Cannon

Picture: Morning dew sweeping.

I’ve shot the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship since the very first one at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. It’s almost always dry and sunny in the Middle East but over the years I have noticed how wet the rough is early in the mornings. The combination of heavy watering and deep juicy rough means that extricating a ball from this rough pretty much always needs an iron to get the ball out. I saw where David had left his tee shot on the par five second hole and I knew that there was a chance of his ball leaving a ‘vapor trail’ which h would be highlighted because I was shooting directly into the low early morning sun. In order to get the full effect, I knew that I needed to underexpose the picture and find a dark background so the sun would highlight the dew falling off his ball. I had no idea I would be lucky enough to get such a wonderful long streak of water droplets as his ball soared away from the deep juicy rough. I was really pleased with the result as I only recall managing to get a picture like this once before.

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#16

Photographer: Stuart Franklin

Picture: Adamstal Golf Course from above

This picture was taken at the Adamstal golf course in Austria during the Euram Bank Open. The course is very beautiful and in parts a very hard walk as its cut into a mountain. This shot was actually taken from the seventeenth green looking down on the first green some distance below. Only the green is visible in a forest of trees. The course had previously hosted Challenge Tour events but this time hosted the second main tour event after the corona pause. Its a very special course and the concept of former rally driver Franz Wittmann. Its a course that i would love to visit again and again.

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#17

Photographer: Greg Shamus

Picture: Bryson DeChambeau wins the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

I was by the 18th tee trying to find another tee shot angle. I noticed the score board and assumed players would need to walk past it to reach the 18th tee. Bryson already had a large lead so I thought If I could catch him again without his caddie, TV, walking scorers or his playing partner in the frame it could tell a story. With any good golf image its a combination of finding the light and angle then waiting and see if you get lucky. On this one I did. Bryson putted out on 17 and walked almost all the way to the score board. I was excited because I know he would turn and start walking before anyone else could clutter the image up. I love that he has his yardage book out because he looks at that thing so much during a round its a nice added bonus to the image.

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#18

Photographer: Andrew Reddington

Picture: Golf returns at the Betfred British Masters

This picture was taken after Renato Paratore holed his winning putt at the British Masters. Since it was the first of the UK Swing events, COVID was very much on everyone's mind. The players came up with the excellent idea of forming a Guard Of Honour by holding up their clubs and I managed to get an angle from down low to show it as he exited the green.

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#19

Photographer: Andrew Reddington

Picture: Callum Shinkwin tee's off poolside in Cyprus

Aphrodite Hills in Cyprus was a spectacular venue for two weeks on The European Tour. The third and seventh holes were probably the most photogenic, but this is the eighth. I stumbled across this angle in the second week and was lucky that the tall Matthew Southgate was the one on the tee in the most glorious of weather... I am sure everyone back home was looking thinking I would love to be sitting in that pool!

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#20

Photographer: David Cannon

Picture: Lee Westwood hits final approach to the 18th hole in Abu Dhabi, before claiming the 25th European Tour victory of his career.

I’ve loved watching Lee Westwood play since he turned professional. What a career he has had. The final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January was a great thrill for me seeing him win once again and for the first time in Abu Dhabi. As a photographer the second shot to the final hole offers a fabulous view to the stunning ‘Falcon’ clubhouse behind the green. The light is great in the afternoons for these photographs as it is directly behind us. This picture was a different crop to how I normally edit the pictures of the second shot. By cropping ‘tighter’ to Lee I think it emphasises both Lee and the astonishing vista to the closing hole. The balance of his follow-through in a way replicates the balance of a Falcon landing. Lee certainly landed a fabulous Falcon with his trophy that he received a few minutes after hitting this shot.