Birdies and Bogeys
CHASKA, Minn. -- The 91st PGA Championship is in the books. Who flourished? Who faltered? Let's take a closer look with our final PGA Championship edition of birdies and bogeys.
Birdie: Y.E. Yang -- Come on, as if we need to explain. Giving Jack Fleck, Francis Ouimet and the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team all a run for their money, Yang pulled off an all-time stunner, going head-to-head in a final round with the one guy who never loses in the final round and somehow coming out on top. When that Y.E. Yang clothing line from Nike comes out, we'll be first in line.
Bogey: Tiger Woods -- Woods losing a final-round lead in a major had to happen sometime, but the fashion in which it came about was stunning. Woods made five bogeys, two more than he made during the first 54 holes and his 75 was his highest final round in a major in five years.
Birdie: Golf -- Sure, a Tiger win moves the needle, but this is a tournament that could have repercussions all over the globe. Besides, anything that proves Woods is actually human is a net gain for the sport.
Bogey: Padraig Harrington -- And all this time we thought the guy who might give Woods a scare would be Harrington. That looked to be possible right up until the eighth hole, when Harrington knocked two balls into the water en route to an eight.
Birdie: Henrik Stenson -- For not dying when Harrington's third shot from the tee nearly hit him. Waiting to the side of the green after Harrington had to trudge back to the tee, Stenson's quick reaction to get out of the way was the best display of footwork this side of Kevin Bacon in "Footloose".
Bogey: Delusional fans -- First hole, final round. Tiger Woods misses a four-footer for birdie, looks like he's about to break his putter over his knee, and some clown from behind the green yells out repeatedly to the world No. 1, "Throw me your ball!" Pal, at that moment you had as good a chance of Stevie Williams snapping a photo of you and Woods together.
Birdie: PGA Championship -- The season's final major is constantly being belittled, but it delivered another classic. In the Woods Era, it's hard to think of a major that has delivered more.
Bogey: Irish Bookmaker Paddy Power -- The betting agency puts out a press release stating it took a major hit. Not on those who backed Yang (who was 150 to 1 at the start and still 16-1 on Sunday), but because it had offered an early payout option on Woods after he took a four-shot lead after 36 holes. The bookmaker said it lost $2.1 million pounds to those who cashed in early, commenting, "It takes a special kind of dimwit to turn what should have been our best ever golf result into our worst."
Birdie: Rory McIlroy -- The kid showed fortitude by bouncing back from an opening double bogey to shoot 70, good enough for T-3 and, more importantly, perhaps giving us hope that another young superstar is on the horizon to eventually replace Woods. Or at least he won't end up like that other 19-year-old kid who burst on the scene 10 years ago at the PGA at Medinah. For those lacking long-term memory, that was Sergio Garcia.
Birdie: Zach Johnson -- The 2007 Masters champ showed he has major game by going without a bogey after the 12th hole Friday until a bogey on the par-3 13th on Sunday, playing that 36-hole stretch in six under par.
Bogey: CBS -- The network shows Tiger Woods crossing the footbridge that connects the practice range to the first tee area and clubhouse as if it's a live shot. But it's not. It's about two minutes behind. Woods has ducked into the locker room for a few seconds for some last-minute business, and as he emerges from the restroom he sees himself on the TV screen. "Hey, I'm a fast walker," he jokes with a wide smile. That remarked cracked up the locker room attendants but we are not amused by the practice of showing a taped shot of a guy walking over a bridge and presenting it as live TV.
Birdie: Guerilla marketing -- Allison Sawyer put up a "For Sale" sign on a tree bordering the 15th hole. As hundreds of fans walked by, Sawyer sat on a ladder overlooking the fence and said, "The house is going for $699,000 if you know anyone who is interested."
Birdie: Hazeltine National -- Look, it's not a thing of beauty, but it ain't no corn field or cow pasture, either. And with a winning score of only eight under, it proved its mettle. Need more proof? No one broke 70 Sunday -- the first time there was no round in the 60s in a PGA Championship since the fourth round of 1977 at Pebble Beach. Any questions?
Bogey: European Tour -- Moments after Woods airmailed the 17th green, the European Tour put out an information sheet in the media center titled, "With This Win -- Y.E. Yang," detailing what a victory would mean for the South Korean. Now, I know the Euro writers are on deadline and that Yang indeed won, but talk about tempting the golf gods...
Bogey: Grand Slam Of Golf -- Raise your hand if you'll be glued to the October made-for-TV competition that will now feature Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink, and Y.E. Yang. And no, members of the Cabrera, Glover, Cink and Yang families do not count.
Birdie: TaylorMade Golf -- This is why endorsement deals are made. Yang lifting his TaylorMade bag for all the world to see after his victory not only gave the company added exposure (as if the camera on him for 18 holes wasn't enough), but provided a subliminal message that Yang was giving some credit to his clubs. Not quite Tiger's Nike-swooshed ball hanging on the lip at Augusta's 16th, but hey, it is Y.E. Yang after all.
-- Compiled by E. Michael Johnson and Sam Weinman