91st PGA Championship Review
Historians will recount amateur Francis Ouimet, 20, emerging from the caddie shack to best English professionals Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in a playoff to win the 1913 U.S. Open Championship at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. They recall the unheralded Jack Fleck, 32, of Davenport, Iowa, beating Ben Hogan in an 18-hole playoff ( 69-72) at The Olympic Club in San Francisco to seize the 1955 U.S. Open and deprive Hogan of a fifth U.S. Open title.
In PGA Championship lore, there is John Daly driving all night from Memphis to Carmel, Ind., in time to eventually win the 1991 PGA Championship by three strokes as the ninth alternate without benefit of a practice round at Crooked Stick Golf Club. There is unheralded Bob Tway miraculously holing his shot from a greenside bunker on the 72nd hole to put the finishing touches on a final-round 64 to defeat shell-shocked Australian Greg Norman for the 1986 Championship. Then there is journeyman professional Shaun Micheel besting a galaxy of stars at Oak Hill in 2003 when he deposits his 7- iron approach on the 72nd hole two inches from the cup to engrave his name on the coveted Wanamaker Trophy – another victory for all the Davids of golf.
But Tiger Woods vs. Yong-Eun Yang?
The No. 1 player in the world vs. No.
Tiger, he of 70 PGA Tour victories and 14 major championships, vs. Yang, the 37- year-old son of a farmer who grew up on the island of Jeju in South Korea and didn’t launch his career in professional golf until age 24 after a mandatory 18-month stint in the Korean military? Woods, in fast pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 major championships, against Yang, a two-time Q-School survivor playing in only his seventh major, a former weightlifter who took a job picking up balls at a driving range in South Korea and began teaching himself the game at age 19?
Woods vs. Yang in a head-to-head match over 18 holes at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., with the 2009 PGA Championship, the season’s final major of the year – Glory’s Last Shot – on the line?
And was it mentioned that Woods enters said final round at Hazeltine National with a two-shot advantage over Yang and owns an impeccable 14-0 record when taking a 54-hole lead into the final round of a major championship?
Who do you like in that matchup – David (Yang) or Goliath (Woods)?
GOLF HISTORY IN GENERAL, AND THE PGA CHAMPIONSHIP IN particular, is peppered with David vs. Goliath dramas, up- sets of major magnitude that constantly remind us there is no such thing as a sure thing when two or more humans are
involved in the pursuit of birdies and bogeys with putter in hand and one
of the game’s grandest trophies at stake.
Y. E. Yang became the first Asian-born male golfer to win a major in classic David vs. Goliath shootout with Tiger Woods at the 2009 PGA Championship
By Roger Graves
MONTANA PRITCHARD/ THE PGA OF AMERICA
THE OFFICIAL PROGRAM OF THE 2010 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP 49