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The five best golf tournaments of 2013

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer

Phil Mickelson headlined the best tournament of 2013. (USATSI)
Phil Mickelson headlined the best tournament of 2013. (USATSI)

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The 2013 golf season came and went seemingly faster than a Brandt Snedeker putt. I wanted to slow down over the next few weeks (during non-Presidents Cup action) and look back on the year that was.

We're going to get started with the five best tournaments of 2013.

The conditions for "best tournament" to me are that big names have to be involved and there has to be a lot on the line. If Brendon de Jonge and John Peterson play an epic 37-hole playoff at the Travelers Insurance Championship, did it really happen?

You get the point -- I want to see historic names and supremely-played golf.

Based on those things I'm not totally sure there was an all-time tournament this season -- one that will stand up historically among the all-timers -- but there were plenty of good ones and maybe even a few great ones.

Let's get started where we almost always get started with these things, and head to the majors:

1. British Open -- This was really the only big tournament in 2013 that included an especially brilliant final round from the eventual champion.

In 10 years when we think of 2013, we'll definitely remember this tournament as the signature tournament of the year. I feel like that means something contextually and, even though the Masters might have had a more dramatic finish, I have to ride the British Open here.

And if you haven't seen this yet, please enjoy:

2. US Open -- The US Open at Merion held the most stacked leaderboard for the longest amount of time of any of the four majors. Plus you had the "Phil Mickelson bridesmaid" storyline and the history of Merion coming at you all week.

Justin Rose's final round was a classic display, but it couldn't touch what Lefty would do just a few weeks later across the pond.

3. Players Championship -- This was probably the most fun tournament to follow if you're just a casual fan.

The whole week was kind of weird because tee times were messed up and there was a ton of bad weather. Plus you had all kinds of extracurricular stuff going on.

There was the Sergio Garcia meltdown, the Sergio-Tiger feud thing, the f-bombs from Tiger, the club twirl, and the "U MAD?" face from Tiger at the very end.

4. Masters -- I'm sure the 2013 Masters will get the full revisionist history treatment because of how it ended, but this was not a great tournament until the last two groups played the last hole on Sunday.

That doesn't mean Adam Scott's fist pump will be remembered any less fondly but let's not give this the "I remember when..." treatment. The ending? Yes, but not the tournament as a whole.

5. John Deere Classic -- Which one of these is not like the other ones? This one, right? If Zach Johnson or David Hearn had won (and Hearn should have) I wouldn't put this on the list. I would instead have The Barclays or maybe the PGA Championship.

But this was Jordan Spieth's introduction to the world (not to mention his baptism onto the PGA Tour) and it would be the launching pad for what was a pretty memorable second half of the year for the then-19-year-old.

Plus, this happened:

Honorable mention: The Barclays, Match Play Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational, and PGA Championship.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

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