Sunday, August 16, 2009
That is certainly a headline no one would have expected at the beginning of the week as YE Yang was able to hold off Tiger Woods and win the 91st PGA Championship. I'm certainly shocked as is the rest of the golfing world because this is the first time Tiger has lost a major championship after holding the 54 hole lead.
In my opinion, Tiger lost because he got too conservative after the second round in which he had built a four stroke lead. He began aiming every iron at the middle of the green, even with wedges, and was content in making pars and moving along. The rest of the field was playing aggressively and there were many low scores in round three. It is easy to second guess Tiger after the fact, and I think he knows what he is doing, however, had he tried for a few more birdies on Saturday, he could have put the tournament completely away. This is the first time his conservative play has caught up with him and we shall see if he changes his strategy in future majors.
Either way, we have to give YE Yang his due, as he played steady down the stretch, and didn't fold to the "Tiger pressure" like most players. He had the great chip in for eagle at fourteen, and the ridiculous shot at eighteen to put the tournament away. This is a huge win for him and Korean golf.
Photo by Fred Vuich / SI