History was destined to be made at the PGA Championship on Sunday. Tiger Woods would either win his fifth PGA Championship and tie Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen with five PGA trophies or he would lose for the first time ever in a major while holding the 54 hole lead. In this year of unexpected major champions, Woods continued the trend. He surrendered his lead and lost the PGA Championship to Y.E. Yang. The press will concentrate on Woods conservative approach over the last two rounds and his inability to make any putts during the final round. Woods could only manage two birdies over the final round and coupled with five bogeys he let Yang take control of the tournament.
There will be plenty of those that say Tiger Woods lost this major. Don’t be fooled. Y.E. Yang won this tournament. He shot two under par in the final pairing of a major championship. When Tiger Woods plays in the last pairing of a major, there is no bigger fish bowl in golf. Fourteen times Woods had taken the lead into the final round and had won every time. Yang withstood the pressure of the last pairing and being paired with Woods in the pressure cooker that has made many a seasoned golfer wilt under the heat. Yang and Woods were tied at six under while they played the fourteenth hole. Woods stood by as Yang chipped in for eagle to get to eight under and Woods could only birdie. That was the shot that put him into the lead but it was his approach on eighteen that won him the tournament. Yang left his drive on eighteen in the left rough and needed to hit a long approach over a large tree to have any chance of hitting the green. Yang then hit the shot of his career. His three-hybrid cleared the tree and hit three feet from the hole, rolled past the pin and stopped twelve feet from the hole. To hit a shot like that from the rough and get it to hold the green was a small miracle. When Yang sank the birdie putt he accomplished a more significant feat. He had done something that everyone else had failed to do in fourteen previous attempts. He had beaten the greatest player of the day. He had taken the lead from Woods and did not relinquish it, he added to it.
Y.E. Yang absolutely won this tournament. In doing so he became the first Asian player to win a major championship. The South Korean who was ranked 110th in the world came from nowhere to shock the golf world. No one is more shocked than Tiger Woods. For Woods to be shut out in the 2009 majors is a bitter disappointment for him. Yang played excellent golf over the final round and missed few shots. More importantly he made the big shot when he needed it. It was Yang that made the great shot. It was Yang that rolled in the birdie putts. It was Yang that dusted his competition. Woods goes home without a major. Yang goes home with a huge upset victory and the biggest win by any Asian golfer ever in the history of the game.