Y.E. Yang Wins PGA Champship – Tiger Woods too Conservative?
August 17, 2009
(ChattahBox) — Watching the US PGA Championship yesterday, I couldn’t help but feel Tiger Woods let his first major of the year and 15th of his career slip through his fingers. While many well known challengers faltered making Tiger’s strategy to play safe for the last 36 holes look sound, an unknown stepped up to seize the day. South Korea’s YE Yang beat the odds and not only played great on Saturday to get in the final group, but didn’t falter like so many before him and was able to beat Tiger head-to-head. Woods lost his unbeaten record as a 54-hole major leader and blamed a bad day with his putter:
“I felt I played well enough to win,” said Woods. “And the frustrating thing is I didn’t make any putts, and that’s something I had been doing over the last three weeks.”
Tiger did also acknowledge how well his playing competitor stepped up:
“And YE played great all day. He just made that mistake at 17 (a missed putt that led to bogey) but other than that, he hit it great all day.”
Yang, the 37-year-old farmer’s son from Korea who started playing at 19, hit the shot of the tournament to finally take the lead that will be replayed for years when he chipped in from off the green for an eagle on 14. He becomes the first Asian-born to win a major championship,
Still it was frustrating as a fan to watch Tiger play so conservative and it seemed to ultimately tighten him up. It looked like he was going to put Yang away on the 13th hole, with a good birdie opportunity while the challenger pulled his shot into the bunker and left it 10 feet short. He drained the par putt, while Tiger missed his makable birdie attempt. And you started to get that feeling when you see a favorite unable to put the underdog away. Still only 1 shot up going into the 72nd hole of the tournament, Yang hit an incredible 3 hybrid, from 220 yards that went over the trees to a tucked back left pin with the wind gusting left to right, and landed softly to about 10 feet. It was another aggressive shot to seize the day and put Tiger away, when the temptation might have been to play conservative.