Saturday, March 28, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

On the Fringe: PGA brought clarity to golf, excitement to majors

PGA Championship Golf

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, holds up the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

By
From page B3 | August 13, 2014 |

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Great golf can lead to short memories.

The PGA Championship provided the kind of theater anyone could expect from a major. Big shots. Tiny mistakes. High stakes on every swing. Not even the confusion on the 18th hole, when the only major for professionals looked more like amateur hour, could take away from that.

But the best ever?

Only a year ago, everyone was raving about Phil Mickelson turning in one of the great closing rounds in a major to win the British Open on a back nine with Adam Scott, Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson and Tiger Woods in his way.

Four top players with a chance in the final hour? Been there, done that. As much as Pinehurst No. 2 is remembered for Payne Stewart’s par putt, the 1999 U.S. Open came down to Stewart, Mickelson, Woods and Vijay Singh over the last three holes.

Woods won the 2001 Masters to complete his sweep of the majors in a back-nine battle with Mickelson. They were No. 1 and No. 2 in the world, joined by David Duval.

And those are just examples from the last 15 years.

This PGA Championship stood out because it delivered great drama — and great timing.

Valhalla was even more exciting because the other three majors this year were on the dull side. This time, golf saved its best major for last.

Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth was only compelling until Watson turned a two-shot deficit into a two-shot lead around the turn at the Masters. Martin Kaymer at the U.S. Open was exquisite for the golf purist, a snoozer for everyone else. No one got closer than four shots over the last 48 holes. Rory McIlroy had a six-shot lead at Hoylake. That “maybe” moment with Sergio Garcia lasted only as long as it took him two shots to get out of a pot bunker.

More than the drama at Valhalla was the guy in the starring role.

In a season filled with the unexpected — 11 players ranked outside the top 100 have won on the PGA Tour — McIlroy’s one-shot victory over Mickelson in the final major of the year gave golf some clarity. There is no doubt who’s the best player in golf.

With his third straight win, McIlroy became the first No. 1 player to win a major since Woods won his last one at Torrey Pines in the 2008 U.S. Open.

Of course, a great player can cause memory lapses, too.

McIlroy is only 25, making him the third-youngest player in the last century to win four majors, behind Woods and Jack Nicklaus. Woods already had the career Grand Slam when he was 24, and while Nicklaus holds the record with 18 majors, Woods owns the definition of dominance. He won seven of 11 majors in one stretch, and he went 37 straight majors before missing his first cut as a pro.

In that context, McIlroy still should be talked about in terms of potential.

The last time McIlroy reached No. 1 with this kind of authority was at the end of 2012. He won the PGA Championship by a record eight shot, picked up consecutive FedEx Cup playoff events and won the European Tour finale in Dubai. And then he changed his equipment. And he changed management. He got engaged and abruptly called it off.

It’s no coincidence that McIlroy’s big run started the week after he split with Caroline Wozniacki. There was concern in his camp that McIlroy was having a hard time getting into a routine to become the world’s best golfer when he was flying all over the world.

He has been all about golf since, except for the few occasions where he gathers with friends to drink out of golf’s most important trophies. McIlroy gave a glimpse of the latest celebration when he tweeted three words the day after winning the PGA.

“I. Need. Coffee.”

He said golf is his No. 1 priority and he wants to stay on his great run as long as possible. McIlroy was asked how much more time he is spending at work.

“It’s hard to really say how much more time,” he replied. “I guess … what else do I have to do? I get up in the morning. I go to the golf course. I go to the gym. It’s just my life at the minute, you know? I always feel like I’ve practiced pretty hard and done the things that I’ve needed to do. Just seems like over the past couple of months, I’ve really just buried myself in my golf game. And it seems to be working.”

As for the PGA Championship?

A few years ago, a small group of veteran writers were asked to provide a list of the top 10 majors. Every list was different. And every list had one thing in common — a PGA Championship was not mentioned. Perhaps that can change over time.

Valhalla might not have been the best major. But it won’t be forgotten any time soon.

 

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Fraisure Smith hearing delayed twice Friday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Luncheon honors women for their work to help others

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Sheepdogs, handlers flock to Rio Vista for trials

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Solano Rotary clubs honor top firefighters from across county

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Eatery to host event to support child with cancer

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

 
Project begins to brighten downtown Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

April workshops set for Train Station Project

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield police log: March 26, 2016

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun police log: March 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Going home to mother

By Murray Bass | From Page: B10

 
.

US / World

Chances of being locked up vary widely across California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Jury says Silicon Valley firm did not discriminate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Video shows ‘hospitality ambassador’ beating homeless man

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Gov. Brown signs $1 billion water plan for dry California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
California woman, friend charged in alleged baby-theft plot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Public defender: San Francisco jail inmates forced to fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
NY mayor: Someone may have ‘inappropriately’ tapped gas line

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Feds: Baltimore jail illegally keeping juveniles in solitary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Autopsies determine children found in freezer were slain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Fetus debate looms following charges in womb-cutting case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Pugnacious Reid retiring, wants Schumer as Senate Dem leader

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Senate OKs Republican balanced-budget plan, following House

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
‘Sopranos’ star’s apartment destroyed by blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Pilot who scared passengers sues airline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

‘Mad Men’ costumes, props head to Smithsonian

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
US economy showing signs of durability

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Mexico City businesses cite losses during Bond filming

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Comedian Gardell hosts game show version of Monopoly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Nelson set to return to role as Coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
German airline could face ‘unlimited’ damages for Alps crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Co-pilot appeared healthy, but may have hidden illness

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
About 4,000 fishermen stranded on Indonesian islands

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Warships move in key strait as airstrikes widen in Yemen

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Iran says nuke talks focused despite Yemen crisis

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

At least 9 dead as militants attack hotel in Somali capital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Amanda Knox murder conviction overturned by Italy high court

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

An open letter from Galileo to Ted Cruz

By Alexandra Petri | From Page: A8

 
Belgium’s foreign minister dresses up in blackface

By Ishaan Tharoor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Books as decor: Versatile but meaningful design elements

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR1Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
Today in History: March 28, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Community Calendar: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: March 28, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

My elderly mother is so stingy I’m finding excuses not to visit her

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

 
The newest fitness trend: Mixing it up

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

.

Entertainment

‘Stomp’ stopped by NYC blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Mannequin museum show hits New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
‘Teen Mom’ star charged in picture posting case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

People: Zane Malik

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Larry David Broadway role handed to Jason Alexander

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Notre Dame beats Stanford women 81-60, advances to Elite Eight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
New Rodriguez head football coach introduced

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1

Curry, Thompson lead Warriors in rout over Grizzlies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Evans helps desperate Pelicans end skid vs. Kings, 102-88

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Ranuado goes 6 for Rangers’ but A’s rally for 7-6 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
A-Rod’s cousin pleads guilty in Florida steroids case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Durant to have another surgery, miss rest of season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Chicago rooftop owner charged with trying to defraud Cubs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Gift returns: Sterling wife wants house, $1 million

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Shaq acknowledges regret about decision to leave Magic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NASCAR topic: Cheating with tire pressure, or just hot air?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hot Rod Hundley, former NBA player and Jazz announcer, dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Area resident Jimmy Walker takes lead in Texas Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Logano wins Martinsville pole; Elliott to start 27th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for March 28, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Helen Kalis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Robert Roberts

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Carol A. Vose

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Janice Jewel Thompson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Home Seller 3/28/2015

Books as decor: Versatile but meaningful design elements

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR1Comments are off for this post | Gallery

Real estate transactions for March 28, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2