Round 4: PGA Championship
August 12 2012
By Fred Albers, PGA TOUR.COM Correspondent
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — There was nothing but positive comments concerning the putting surfaces during the 94th PGA Championship on The Ocean Course.
The paspalum greens held up beautifully as putts rolled well all week. There was very little grain in the greens and players made loads of long putts.
The surface, which can survive salt water, might be installed at other seaside courses.
Pace: Vijay Singh lost the speed of the greens as he completed his third round on Sunday morning and never regained his touch in the afternoon. Singh was ranked fourth in the tournament; taking 79 combined putts in his first 54 holes and then repeatedly left putts short and right in the final round.
Singh played 29 holes on Sunday and you wonder if fatigue was a factor for the 49-year-old major champion.
Tough track: What made the Ocean Course so difficult this week? It was a combination of wind and design. Crosswinds buffeted the layout, making it very difficult to pull a club. There were more scores in the 90s than in the 60s during a brutal second round on Friday. Players are use to windy conditions but the Ocean Course does not allow golfers to play the ball on the ground. Bunkers front most greens which required shots to be played in the air, plus the Bermuda turf is not firm enough to accommodate bump-and-run shots.
The Ocean Course will always be difficult because of design and the constant winds.
Tiger time: It was always going to be difficult for Tiger Woods to catch Rory McIlroy in the final round, but his approach into the third was telling. From 100 yards, his approach flew the green. Woods missed his number by 15 yards. That’s enormous. Tiger made a long putt to save his par, but he was not crisp enough with his scoring irons to win this week.
The Match: The Ocean Course will be busy on Monday. There is an annual post PGA Championship match between CBS network and PGA officials. The two have been matching scorecards since 1998 with plenty of trash talk and bragging rights on the line.
Chip shot: Peter Hanson played an unusual chip shot on the 13th hole. His approach was left of the green and he had to negotiate a huge ridge while aiming at a flag stick that was just four paces to the left of a water hazard. Hanson laid a wedge wide open, took a swing forceful enough to hit a ball 100 yards and purposely hit the shot fat as if he was playing out of a bunker.
A huge divot acted like a catapult and lifted the ball well into the air, over the ridge and it released five feet to the left of the cup. Hanson made the putt to save par.
Rory: Rory McIlroy lapped the field and certainly ran through the finish line playing a bogey-free final round. He did so many things well, but his putting really stood out. McIlroy one-putted a remarkable 11 times. His consistency was astounding. After play was suspended on Saturday, Rory made just one more bogey the entire tournament and that came at the 13th hole on Sunday morning.
McIlroy was also bogey free in the opening round and five of his seven bogeys for the week came in the high winds on Friday.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.
Rory McIlroy picked up his fourth victory on the PGA TOUR at the 94th PGA Championship on Sunday in Kiawah Island, S.C. With this victory, McIlroy:
• Collects 600 points and moves from eighth to No. 2 in the FedExCup standings. Tiger Woods continues to lead the standings. The top 125 players in the FedExCup points standings following next week’s Wyndham Championship will qualify for The Barclays, the first event in the FedExCup Playoffs.
• At the age of 23 years, 3 months and 8 days, wins for the fourth time on the PGA TOUR in his 50th start.
• Collects second win in 17th start in a major. It is his sixth top-10 finish in a major. Tiger Woods won his second in his 18th (12/pro and 6/amateur) start in a major.
• Records seventh top-10 finish and sixth top-five finish in 12 starts on TOUR this season. Claims his second win on TOUR this season (The Honda Classic).
This victory is McIlroy’s fourth in 50 career starts on the PGA TOUR. Here’s a list of his victories:
2010: Wells Fargo Championship
2011: U.S. Open
2012: The Honda Classic
2012: PGA Championship
Rory McIlroy played incredibly well over the weekend to win the 94th PGA Championship at The Ocean Course on Sunday in Kiawah Island, S.C. He carded a final-round 66 to win by a PGA-record eight strokes.
It’s his second victory on the PGA TOUR this season, as he also won The Honda Classic in early March. It’s also McIlroy’s sixth top-five finish of the season, his fourth career PGA TOUR win and his second career major championship victory.
Want to congratulate McIlroy on his win? Leave a message in our comments section below and we’ll get it to him.
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — Players were wary of the winds whipping off the Atlantic Ocean this week. But in reality it was Rory McIlroy who blew away the field at a second major championship on Sunday, winning the 94th PGA Championship at the Ocean Course by a record eight shots.
McIlroy’s first title at the 2011 U.S. Open came in equally impressive fashion as he won by eight at Congressional Country Club. He has now won two of the last seven majors, converting third-round leads into victory twice in three attempts.
McIlroy didn’t make a bogey on Sunday in shooting 66 — the first player to do so since Phil Mickelson won the 2010 Masters. With the victory, McIlroy, who birdied the 72nd hole and joyfully lifted his arms in celebration, eclipsed Jack Nicklaus’ record margin of victory, accomplished in the 1980 PGA at Oak Hill.
Sunday’s most oft-repeated comparisons, though, were between McIlroy and Tiger Woods, who finished in a distant 11 strokes behind.
McIlroy has now won his second major at the age of 23 years, 3 months and 8 days old while Woods was 23 years, 7 months and 15 days old when he added the 1999 PGA to his resume.
And in case anyone was wondering, Jack Nicklaus was 23 years, 2 months and 17 days old when he picked up his second major at the 1963 Masters.
Woods had only played 12 majors as a pro when he won for the second time — three less than McIlroy. But the young man from Northern Ireland’s two wins came by a combined total of 16 strokes, three more than Woods beat the fields in his two wins.
The victory also propelled McIlroy back to No. 1 in the world and second in the FedExCup.
“He’s only doing what he was destined to do and delivering on that,’ said three-time major champion Padraig Harrington. “You know, as he saw last year from winning, he won the U.S. Open last year and he has not had an easy ride of it since then. It brings a lot of pressure with it.
“I think winning his second major is going to make things a lot easier for him. I think he’ll be a better player for winning this time around.”
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – It’s no longer a matter of if he will win but how many he will win by as Rory McIlroy heads to the final three holes of the 94th PGA Championship.
England’s David Lynn shot a 68 to sneak past Justin Rose and Ian Poulter and claim sole possession of second place at 5 under — which is six strokes behind McIlroy right now.
Barring a historic collapse which seems outside the realm of possibility given his steady play, the Northern Irishman will win his second major within the hour.
Carl Pettersson is the only one who could catch Lynn. The Swede is 4 under for the tournament and playing with McIlroy in the final group.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – For the second straight day, Justin Rose got things going on the front nine at the Ocean Course.
Only Sunday, Rose was able to finish things off after making the turn in 32. He went on to shoot 66, four strokes better than he did on Saturday, to vault up the leaderboard and finish the 94th PGA Championship at 4 under.
"From my perspective obviously a really great way to finish," Rose said. "Had a great round going yesterday, didn’t manage to finish it off, whereas I did today. I know I hit it in the water on 17, but I was kind of happy with that. I had my foot on the accelerator, and I felt like I had a hot hand, and I was really thinking if I could finish 2 3, post a number and see what happens. At that point it was worth a try.
"But very happy with my day’s golf and made some putts down the stretch, which is probably what I haven’t been doing of late. If I look at my last two weekends, Firestone and here, I’m feeling very good about all the tournaments I have coming up."
As well he should. Rose, who picked up his fourth PGA TOUR victory earlier this year at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, will head into the FedExCup Playoffs with momentum after a top-10 finishes in his last two starts. He tied for fifth last week at the Bridgestone Invitational.
Not to mention, the tie for fourth at Kiawah was Rose’s second top-10 in a major this year, along with a tie for eighth at the Masters.
"I’ve got a lot of self-belief now," Rose said. "I think my game is good enough to win these golf tournaments. At Augusta I was right up there, finished eighth in the end. The U.S. Open I only finished six back (in a tie for 21st), and there’s a million shots I wish I could take over that week. And obviously this week … wherever it ends up at, more evidence that my game is moving in the right direction."
Rose was pleased to see Ian Poulter playing well as the Ryder Cup approaches, too. Poulter, who was on the outside looking in for Jose Maria Olazabal’s European Tour, who made a charge before tying with Rose at 4 under Sunday.
"Obviously Poults, he’s tenacious and a fiery competitor, and I think he was backing himself with these two big weeks, including last week at the World Golf Championship, making a bunch of points," Rose said. "I think he felt good about his game. There’s something about Ian when he gets into the big occasion he thrives, and he’s exactly the kind of guy you want on the Ryder Cup team."
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — Zach Johnson was hit with a one-stroke penalty on the 18th hole, which was his ninth of the day, during the final round of the PGA Championship.
Johnson eventually finished with a 79 and was 12 over for the tournament. Here is the explanation of his breach of Rule 18-2b from the rules committee.
"After addressing the ball prior to a short final putt on the hole, Johnson’s ball apparently moved after he had begun his stroke. Johnson notified PGA of America Rules Committee Officials of his concern regarding the movement of the ball. Video review by officials was inconclusive, however, Johnson was convinced that the ball had moved.
Under the Rules, when a ball moves after address, it must be replaced, unless the movement of the ball occurs after the player has begun the stroke or the backward movement of the club for the stroke and the stroke is made. In this situation, since the movement of the ball took place after Johnson had begun the stroke, he was not required to replace the ball, but was not exempt from the one-stroke penalty provided for under the Rule.”
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — The final round of the 94th PGA Championship is starting to take on a Congressional feel.
The largest margin of victory in PGA history is seven shots in 1980 when Jack Nicklaus beat Andy Bean at Oak Hill.
McIlroy, who won the 2011 U.S. Open by eight strokes at Congressional, coaxed a 15-footer into the right side of the cup for his fourth birdie of the day. The 23-year-old is now 11 under with six holes remaining.
Carl Pettersson, who is playing with McIlroy, is tied for second with Poulter at 5 under. Defending champion Keegan Bradley is among a group of five at 4 under along with Peter Hanson, Adam Scott, Bo Van Pelt and Justin Rose, the only one who is in the clubhouse.
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – Ian Poulter continues to head in the wrong direction after making a second straight bogey, this one at the par-3 14th hole.
That means he’s fallen to 6 under and trails Rory McIlroy by four strokes. The Northern Irishman has eight to finish while Poulter just has five.
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – Ian Poulter gave the shot he gained at the 12th hole back at the next so he now trails Rory McIlroy by three shots with five holes remaining.
Poulter’s second shot at the par-4 13th veered left toward a maintenance shed and landed on a patch of hard sand. He chipped onto the green but was unable to save par from 15 feet.
McIlroy was having some troubles at the 10th hole, too. His second shot from left of the fairway landed in a greenside bunker but the young Northern Irishman blasted out to inches for the tap-in par to stay at 10 under for the tournament.