Day wins PGA Championship in record fashion
August 16, 2015
By Bill Cooney and Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
- August 16, 2015
- Jason Day shows emotion with his caddie, Colin Swatton, after winning the PGA Championship. (Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- Jason Day not only captured his first major championship on Sunday. He won in record fashion.
Behind huge drives and minimal mistakes, Day carded a final-round 67 to finish with a major-record 20-under and a three-shot win at the 97th PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.
Day, the 27-year-old Aussie, didn’t give playing partner Jordan Spieth much hope.
Spieth finished six shots shy of the Grand Slam this season, winning the Masters and U.S. Open and also finishing T4 at The Open Championship.
He did, however, claim one title on Sunday: No. 1 golfer in the world.
THINGS TO KNOW
1. Considering he couldn’t walk six weeks ago, Rory McIlroy was relatively pleased with his performance at Whistling Straits, where he shot 69 Sunday to finish his week at 9 under.
“I feel like I progressed each and every day,” McIlroy said. “If I was to take back anything of this week, it would just be probably that second day when we teed off in benign conditions in the morning and I didn't take advantage of that.”
As for his left ankle, which he suffered a complete rupture of a ligament in, it was pain-free.
“It's been great, honestly,” he said. “I've had no discomfort with it at all.
“It's good to play golf. As you can see out there, I'm hitting it the same distance as I have been, and able to get around 18 holes very easily. So it's not an issue.”
McIlroy will now take two weeks off before returning at the Deutsche Bank Championship, the second event of the FedExCup Playoffs.
2. Bubba Watson launched a 402-yard drive on the 400-yard 13th hole. He actually drove it past the green.
Did he put a little extra into it?
“Nah, just a 100-percent driver, I guess you could say,” said Watson, who carded a 4-under 68 to finish at 7 under. “It was downwind, the right conditions where you could hit that shot. Now don’t get me wrong, I could have hit it in the lake over there or could have sliced it but it happened to go straight today.”
Watson’s 402-yard drive is tied for the eighth longest of the season. The longest of the season came from Bernd Wiesberger, who hit one 428 yards on the 16th hole in the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last week.
3. If this was Steve Stricker’s final major, the huge gallery hugging the 18th green in his home state gave him an appropriate sendoff at Whistling Straits.
Stricker, a Madison resident, carded a final-round 70 to finish at 4 under, a few shots back of the top-15 finishers who received exemptions in to next year’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol. That means the 48-year-old Stricker is not exempt for any major championships next season.
Stricker reached 7 under after his third straight birdie at the 12th, but double-bogeyed the 14th and bogeyed No. 17 to drop back.
“It was close to being something special,” said Stricker, whose season is over but will head to The Presidents Cup in October as one of Jay Haas’ captain’s assistants. “So I take a lot away from that. It was a fun week.”
Stricker, who played nine events this season after back surgery in December, said he will continue to attempt to get into majors. But he also knew this time would come, considering his decision to reduce his schedule in the past few seasons.
“I chose this path and I knew this was probably going to happen at some point in time that you slowly fade away out of that category and that exemption area,” Stricker said. “So I’m still committed to what I’m doing, and that’s playing a limited schedule and I’m still enjoying that very much.”
4. Jason Day wasn’t the only player going low this week. He was one of 16 players to finish in double digits under par. Fifty-three players finished under par.
With the exception of Thursday afternoon, there wasn’t much wind at Whistling Straits. Throw in the heavy rain that came Friday and the usually difficult venue played surprisingly easy.
The overall stroke average of 72.764 was the lowest in three majors here and the fourth-round scoring average of 71.727 was nearly 2 shots lower than the previous two final rounds here.
“When I won, 11 under was enough,” 2010 PGA champion Martin Kaymer said. “Now you need 20 or more. I think if they would have tricked it up a little more -- but they just got a little unlucky with the weather – it rained so much on the second day. The golf course was great. The greens were fantastic. Just a little bit unlucky with the weather on Friday and that made it very playable for us.”
SHOT OF THE DAY
Jason Day drains 49-foot birdie putt on the seventh hole at Whistling Straits
QUOTE OF THE DAYYeah, it’s by far the best consolation, by far the best loss I’ve ever had.
I honestly think this is the craziest stat of the year: Justin Rose finished -14 in two majors and lost by a total of 10 strokes.— Webb Simpson (@webbsimpson1) August 16, 2015