Last Night, I Bet The Hite Flowed Like Wine
No one who is being completely honest can say that they saw this coming. Even when Y.E. Yang and Tiger Woods strolled to the 18th tee box at Hazeltine National with Tiger one back, who didn’t think that the pressure would finally get to Yang? Especially after he had major case of the yips on his birdie putt on 17 and ended up three-putting for bogey? Who among us didn’t believe that Tiger would somehow pull off the miraculous and snatch a victory at the PGA Championship from the jaws of defeat?
In the end, the only person whose opinion mattered was Yang’s – he believed he could do it – and his approach on 18 over the trees and chip-in for eagle on the 14th hole will go down as two of the most clutch shots in PGA Tour history certainly proved that he was not cowering in fear of playing against Tiger Woods – he seemed to relish it with the sort of calm and relaxed demeanor that even greats like Padraig Harrington, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh have not been able to conjure.
“It’s not like you’re in an octagon where you’re fighting against Tiger and he’s going to bite you, or swing at you with his 9-iron,” Yang said through an interpreter. “The worst that I could do was just lose to Tiger. So I really had nothing much at stake.”
When it was all said and done, Yang, at 8 under, had beaten the virtually unbeatable Tiger Woods by three strokes. Some are saying that this is the greatest upset in golf history, others are saying this changes golf forever, in particular in Asia, where young golfers now have been waiting for a hero to look up to and already was an exploding golf market. I’m inclined to agree. But what’s most important is a man who didn’t start golfing until the age of 19 who had only one PGA Tour victory heading into the PGA Championship gave us great theater and a thrilling Sunday of golf – isn’t that what majors should be about in the first place?
Tiger Woods is going to be fine. It’s not like losing this tournament is going to cause his career to unravel. But perhaps to the other golfers on Tour who have grown accustomed to watching players wilt under the pressure of playing with Tiger Woods on a Sunday just might begin to realize that Woods is human and can be beaten.
And in the end, that just made PGA Tour golf that much more compelling.
Congratulations, Mr. Yang, on your impressive victory. It’s time to savor it, even if you don’t fully realize yet what you just accomplished.
Yang stuns Woods, and golf world, to win PGA Championship [PGATour.com]
Yang’s victory over Tiger is the greatest upset in golf history [Devil Ball Golf]
Yang Joins The Pantheon of Sporting Upsets & Changes Golf Forever [Waggle Room]