2015 PGA Championship Commentary
A Day of Reckoning – Jason Day Wins His First Major at the PGA Championship
I swear I’m almost as relieved Jason Day captured a major championship as Jason Day must be. I even cried too, along with the wife, and she doesn’t know golf. Jason has been so close and had so many heartbreaking finishes. Day’s is a truly great story of resilience, persistence, tenacity, and heart. Hats off to Jason Day for a truly amazing and inspiring week of golf, and the years of his journey to get to this point.
Day’s historic day was capped off with a finish at -20, never before achieved in a major… ever.
“The way that I felt confidence wise with my game, I just felt like no one was going to stop me today even though this was one of the hardest rounds I have ever had to play. Playing with Jordan was very difficult, just being able to watch what he was doing. But on top of it, grinding it out as hard as I possibly could. It is a fantastic feeling, I can call myself a major champion now and it feels really, really good.” ~Jason Day
Jordan Spieth is amazing, in a totally different way than Tiger Woods was in his prime. I can’t pinpoint what makes Spieth so good. He’s not super long. He’s not the best ball striker on tour. He’s not the best putter on tour (he’s really good, don’t misunderstand). His short game isn’t the best on tour… But what he seems to have is the ability to PLAY GOLF. He’s as strong mentally as anyone and the pressure simply does not get to him. In fact, it seems to make him play better. A look at his stats on the year prove that. His scoring in majors is better than in non-majors!
Spieth locks up 2nd place in class, giving thumbs-up to Jason Day when he knew the tournament was Day’s. Spieth’s second place finish at the PGA moves him to #1 in the world golf rankings. Everyone knew he was playing the best golf on the planet, even Rory McIlory. McIlory shows nothing but class in this tweet:
What can you say about Tiger Woods, who missed his 3rd consecutive cut in a major with scores of 75 and 73. The numbers don’t lie. Tiger has dropped to 285th in the world rankings.
Branden Grace has come out of nowhere (at least in my small cranium) and is suddenly a regular contender in majors. 3rd place finish.
Justin Rose is a total stud. Rose was in the mix with a 4th place finish. More importantly though his eyewear apparel script was some kind of Elton John, The Fly, Elvis hybrid. Nicely done.
I didn’t hear or read one complaint about the golf course this week, unlike Chambers Bay and the 2015 U.S. Open. The course was fantastic and the PGA wasn’t afraid to set it up for low scoring. Majors don’t have to be even-par events. The excitement this week was fantastic and the setup truly produced the player who was the best in the field.
With the PGA Championship’s conclusion comes my yearly moaning that the golf season is for the most part over. The FedEx Cup does not tickle my interest whatsoever, and the Presidents Cup is not far behind that. I will likely tune in to professional golf next when the 2016 Masters Tournament is on.
Before you head to the office, or the golf course, be sure to set your DVR to record the PGA Championship on TNT today. Below is the PGA Championship television schedule.
Thu, Aug 13 TNT 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM ET
Fri, Aug 14 TNT 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM ET
Sat, Aug 15 TNT 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM ET
Sat, Aug 15 CBS 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM ET
Sun, Aug 16 TNT 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM ET
Sun, Aug 16 CBS 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM ET
While you are at work you can see lots of great video coverage and follow the leaderboard at http://www.pga.com/pgachampionship/. There are also PGA Championship mobile apps for your smartphone or tablet providing even more viewing options.
Who will win? Check the apparel scripts for that answer.
This is from Rory McIlory’s Twitter:
In case anyone forgot, McIlory is still the #1 golfer in the world. He has been off nursing an injury, but as the above photo seems to indicate, he is headed to the USA. Why would he be headed here? Where is he going? My guess is the private jet will be landing at the nearest airport to Kholer, Wisconsin. There’s a little golf tournament here next week at a course called Whistling Straits, the PGA Championship.
For the first time in my entire life, I read an Alan Shipnuck article at golf.com. The only content I’ve seen on that website previously featured Rickie Fowler’s girlfriend and Holly Saunders, so I was surprised to see an article about golf.
Alan Shipnuck’s “Heros and Zeros” article about the Open Championship was a zero.
The facts are that golf.com posts more click bait T&A photos than golf articles…
Shipnuck calls the Old Course a zero, right after listing it a hero in the previous paragraph:
“The Old Course. Sad to say, it has gotten much too short to provide a true championship test. The long hitters can reach both par-5s and up to four par-4s, and even medium-length players have flip wedges into half the holes. Speeding up the greens clearly isn’t the answer, as wind delays in the last three Opens have shown. It’s not the course’s fault the R&A has let equipment for the pros get out of control, but the Old Course is the saddest casualty.”
The Old Course is too short to provide championship golf? I disagree. Did it not expose the player who had the best all around game, short, long and with the putter? That player was most definitely Zach Johnson. Look at the leader board. Look at the players who were in the top 5-10. It’s a reflection of the best golfers in the world sans a couple who weren’t there in the final round because of injury (Rory McIlory) or not knowing/liking links golf (Bubba Watson). Many of the world’s top 15-20 players floated to the top of the leader board by the end of the tournament. The drama was high. The finish was very exciting. It was great championship golf on the world’s greatest golf stage.
I listened to the broadcasts and read the whining about how the course is too short and the bombers will eat it up all week, as Dustin Johnson held the lead for the first two rounds. Where did Dustin finish? Oh, tied for 49th. Where did Bubba Watson finish? Missed cut. How about Gary Woodland? Tied for 58th. The one bomber who was in the hunt was Jason Day, who also happens to have a great iron and short game and a knack for finishing in 2nd in majors.
If anything the stats show that the Old Course defends long driving well, and rewards accurate shotmaking and course management. Winner Zach Johnson hit 94% of his fairways.
Think about some of the shots the players were hitting. I remember playing the par-3 8th and hitting 8-iron and 9-iron. Some players were hitting 6-iron because of the conditions. One hole a player might hit a 330 yard drive but on the next hit a 150 yard 6-iron. The course required the players to think, manage, execute, avoid hazards, and putt well. The player who did all those things the best won.
What IS Championship Golf?
Maybe Shipnuck’s criteria for “championship golf” is the scores must be at or near even-par like a U.S. Open? Phooey. The Open winner finished at -15. If you recall, Jordan Spieth was at -19 in this year’s Masters Tournament with one hole left to play. With a large lead of five strokes, he safely won the tournament with an easy bogey on the 72nd hole to finish at -18. -18 eh? Does that mean Augusta National Golf Club isn’t a championship course either?
Golf.com should stick with its strengths, posting T&A photos of the “most beautiful women in golf.”
This morning I had fun doing an appearance on CBS Sports Talk Radio 1700 The Champ on the Jimmy B & TC Show. 1700 The Champ is based in Des Moines, Iowa. Our subject of discussion was the Open Championship and the win by Iowa native Zach Johnson. Obviously they’re super stoked about that. It was fun to talk golf over my morning coffee with Jimmy B and TC (Jim Brinson and Trent Condon). When the podcast of today’s show becomes available I’ll post a link to it.
This was the second appearance I made on the show. Last week we did an Open Championship preview which went quite well. Tooting my own horn (beep beep), I have to mention that in the preview for the Open I expressed my doubt that Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson would make the cut in the Open. They did not. A broken clock is right twice a day, assuming it isn’t a military clock. Here’s a link to the podcast of the Open preview show.
Thanks to my new pals Jimmy B and TC for the opportunity. We will be doing the same gig before and after the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.