What an amazing final major championship we had this past week at the PGA Championship. There were so many great and interesting story lines this week. Let's look at a few.
First of course, is the winner Rory McIlory. Following Rory's record eight shot victory at the 2011 U.S. Open, many fans and media had big expectations for 2012. But McIlory struggled in the three majors leading up to the PGA. He did manage to win the Honda Classic back in March. Due to his struggles, many didn't expect him to perform well in the PGA Championship. A 67 in the first round for Rory was a great start, followed by an excellent second round 75 in tough conditions where the field average was roughly 78, the toughest single day on record at the PGA. Rory's final round 66 was flawless. No bogies, longer long game than anyone including Bubba Watson, and better clutch putting than any other player. In the end McIlory lapped the field with a score of -13 and an eight shot victory over the nearest competitor David Lynn. McIlory's eight shot margin of victory at the PGA Championship broke a long standing record of seven shots by none other than Jack Nicklaus. Well played indeed.
Perhaps the most odd moment of the tournament came during the 3rd round, when Rory McIlory's tee shot lodged in a dead tree branch. Thanks to the blimp flying overhead, they were able to find the ball. Instead of heading back to the tee for his 3rd shot, Rory was able to take an unplayable drop from that position and get up and down for par. That may have been the most crucial part of the tournament.
With this win McIlory moves to #1 in the world rankings again. This time there is no doubt who really is #1.
Tiger Woods looked very solid for the first two rounds. Fans and media alike thought this time would be different. This time Woods would take that solid and consistent play into the weekend. To this point all season Tiger had failed to break par over the weekend in any of the majors. Puzzlingly Tiger would again falter in the final rounds, dropping from Saturday morning's 1st position to a mediocre 11th place. Weekend scores, 74, 72. 2012 marks the 4th straight year Woods failed to win a major. Talk now moves from whether Tiger can break Jack Nicklaus's major record, to whether or not Tiger will win another major.
Defending champion Keegan Bradley had a great showing this week, with a tie for 3rd. This following his victory last week. Other solid appearances come from Justin Rose, Ian Poulter and Carl Pettersson who tied with Bradley. Pettersson was a victim of a tough rules violation on the first hole of the final round, when he incurred a two stroke penalty for rustling a leaf in his backswing when his ball was in a lateral hazard.
John Daly made the cut. That's big news. Not only did he make the cut, he finished with a solid T18 finish with Padraig Harrington. Is Daly back?
Some big names failed to make the weekend, missing the cut: Matt Kuchar, Rickie Fowler, Lee Westwood, Brandt Snedeker, Nick Watney, Hunter Mahan, Jason Day and Sergio Garcia.
Jamie Farr Classic
So Yeon Ryu of South Korea has some serious firepower in her golf bag. The 2011 Women's U.S. Open winner went super low on Sunday at the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic in Toledo, Ohio. Ryu dropped a final round 62 to win the tournament running away, just like McIlory.
"It feels surreal. I can't believe it. Actually, after the U.S. Open, I don't have any wins, so that's why I really am waiting for this win. And I heard of this tournament supports charity, so I'm really honored to be champion of this great tournament, and thanks for the support from everybody." ~So Yeon Ryu
Winning margin: SEVEN shots.