Make no mistake, Y.E.Yang flat out beat Tiger Woods to capture the 91st PGA Championship at Hazeltine ending Woods 14 major tournament winning streak when holding the 54 hole lead. Yang's final round 70 earned him a three shot win after Woods' 75 put the streak in it's final resting place. Y.E. finished the tourney at -8. I suppose it was inevitable. After all, Jack Nicklaus finished 2nd a record 19 times in majors. Granted, Woods' 33 whacks with the flat stick in the final round didn't help his cause, but it was Yang who chipped in for eagle on the drivable par four 14th and it was Yang who stuck it to eight feet from 207 yards on 18 to set up just the third birdie of the day on the closing hole and seal the deal. Those were shots we've come to expect Woods to pull off under major championship pressure. Yang simply out-Tigered Tiger. Full Field Final Scores.
Consider the fact that Yang didn't begin playing golf until he was 19 years old and then donated 18 months to the Korean army. That's spotting the field a lifetime of experience. His breakthrough win was earlier this year at the Honda Classic. In the short time since then he's demonstrated he's a quick learner. Expect the 37 year old to set off an explosion in Asian golf, a fete accomplished for the women's game by Se Ri Pak. Asia's already building courses like crazy and Yang's triumph is just the catalyst needed to propel the game from the ground up. Golf is truly an international sport with Y.E. Yang's victory the latest exclamation point.
The final men's major of the year is really the curtain drop for the 2009 men's professional season. Everything else is just an encore with us holding the lighters in the dark. Average Golfer will still pay attention of course, especially this week's Solheim Cup being of interest, but the influence of international players dents some venerable events. The Ryder Cup and the Solheim Cup may have to revisit their protocol with so many top players coming from outside Europe and the US. The contrived Fedex Cup hasn't gotten much of my interest other than it being a ridiculous pay day. Your opinions?
Finally..............Congrats to Y.E. Yang!