Halberstadt: Y.E. Yang turns golfing world upside down
By Doug Halberstadt
The entire sporting world now knows that Eldrick “Tiger” Woods is human. He’s not a golfing machine. He proved to everyone watching the final round of the PGA Championship that even he can have a bad day.
Last Sunday, Aug. 16, he started the final round of the 91st PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., with a two-stroke lead over his nearest opponent, Y.E. Yang. Eighteen holes later, history was made.
Yang became the first-ever Asian-born golfer to win a major tournament. In addition to that factoid, he stunned the golf world be defeating the man previously known as Goliath. He did it by chipping in for an eagle on hole No. 14. That gave him the lead he would never relinquish.
Tiger seemed out of sorts during the final round. He made two bogeys on the front nine and no birdies. Yang made one birdie and one bogey on the front nine. He and Yang were tied at six under with only nine holes remaining in the 72-hole tournament. Was this the first sign Tiger’s suit of armor may have had a dent?
After Tiger made a birdie on hole No. 11, it looked as though the planets were back in line in the universe. They only stayed aligned momentarily. He bogeyed the next hole. All the while, Yang quietly and steadily made pars.
At hole 14, the golf world as we formerly knew it was turned upside down. Yang chipped in his second shot from the green-side fringe, and carded an eagle. Tiger made his birdie putt, but now found himself in the awkward position of trailing in the final round of a major after having started with a two-stroke lead.
Tiger finished the round by getting pars on 15 and 16, and making bogeys on 17 and 18. Yang made par on 15 and 16, bogeyed 17, and put the finishing dagger in Tiger’s heart with a spectacular birdie on 18. Tiger finished with a final round total of 75, and Yang carded a 70.
Golf history was made. Now, golfers and fans alike know the mighty and formerly invincible Tiger can be beaten even when he has the lead entering the final round of a major tournament.
I still wouldn’t be against him, though.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
Print This Article