Apologies To Y.E. Yang

I have to offer my apologies, as well as my congratulations to Y.E. Yang. I just didn’t believe he could do it. Tiger has never given up a lead in a major, and even on the seventy second hole, I thought he would chip in from the fringe, force Yang into a playoff and win it in overtime.

But he didn’t. Instead, Yang rode the eagle on fourteen to victory. This time, it was Tiger who was finishing from behind, and Tiger who made the mistakes.

Incredible. For the first time since 2004, and for only the third time in his professional career, Tiger has finished the year without a Major.

Yang played with incredible nerve. He ignored the pressure, the crowds and Tiger’s gamesmanship (the announcers pointed out that he likes to stand where his opponent will see him as they make their putt). He made the gutsy plays—how about that hybrid on the seventy second—that you expect from a Champion.

Will we see more of Yang? I don’t know. I kind of doubt it. This has been a year of upsets, and a win in a major doesn’t always foretell future success (see: Shaun Micheel, Rich Beem, Ben Curtis, Todd Hamilton, et.al.). But for the time being, he’s a real champion—and one who has done what no one else has done: caught Tiger from behind in a Major.

I’m interested in your reactions to the PGA Championship. Leave a comment.

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18 thoughts on “Apologies To Y.E. Yang”

  1. I think it is great to actually see Tiger be the one that got shook.  And it was just calm even play and the fact that Yang didn’t get shook is what drove Tiger crazy.

    Tiger is more of a freaking prima donna than he ever has been.  I didn’t think that he deserved that slap last week for a relatively benign comment, but I wish there was a fine for his walking off 17.  I think there was another green he walked off too.

    I did think that it was dealing Tiger a little medicine in the way that the finish happened as well- Tiger was putting for par, which Yang had two putts to make par and win.  Wouldn’t most let Tiger putt out so he wouldn’t be finishing after the win?  Whether it was Yang or not, it was good medicine that Tiger had to wait for the crowd to hear the crowd cheer the winner before he could finish up his loss (with two putts). 

    I wonder if we are seeing a shift- Tiger’s aura has melted competition even outside of his group so often- by Tiger missing a cut in the British and then Yang facing Tiger and taking his “Day 4 Guarantee” away, perhaps it will give many of the other players a little more courage in Tiger’s face.  At the least it will make next years majors more watchable than they were in 2007/2008.

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  2. I hear you about the golfing equivalent of one-hit wonders. Is there one major that stands out as producing a disproportionate amount of these one-time major winners? Or are they are fairly equal?

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  3. Good blog.  Personally, I dont have too many issues with Woods’ “gamesmanship”, although I think his etiquette is poor.

    The main thing we should be talking about is a fantastic final round from Yang and the first Asian to win a major.  With all the success in Women’s golf from Korea, this may provide a real boost to Men’s golf in that area.

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  4. A question about putting out (Martin’s comment). I saw one hole—I don’t think it was 18—on which Yang missed a putt and then had something longer than a tap-in. Rather than let Woods, who was away, putt, he marked his ball and then put the ball in the hole.

    I suppose I ought to know this, but shouldn’t he have let Woods putt after his penultimate putt? Was that a bit of gamesmanship on Yang’s part?

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  5. mmmm the first dinner I’ll give you, albeit with the help os Mrs Parramore….

    But the only one serving up anything yesterday was Woods’ putter.

    Harrington’s record against Woods is as good as most people’s if not better….. Target Challenge and the Phoenix open in Japan spring to mind….

    Anyway Chang was the man yesterday and should fully deserve all the plaudits…..

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  6. First I would like to say…“how sweet it is”.

    And another example of disgraceful behavior from Tiger…walking away with his entourage on 17 after making his putt, leaving Yang on the green with a kick-in.

    And even worse, Tiger runs away after finishing on 18. Remember how Jack used to congratulate a winner? Remember Watson congratulating Cink this summer?

    Tiger spit, cursed, and threw his clubs all summer. He has shown to be an arrogant winner and a very poor loser.

    Blood is in the water. Watch the media turn into sharks and use a feeding frenzy on Tigers loss to hype the story and milk it for all the dollars it can generate. Is he in a slump, what is wrong with his swing, on and on it will go.

    When the answer is simple. He can’t putt on bumpy poa greens, the kind that ham and eggers like me (and maybe you) putt on every day.

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  7. I didn’t notice his act on 17, but was shocked that he didn’t conspiciously congratulate Yang after 18. But maybe I missed him doing just that—I watched it a couple of times, though.

    If you recall, the announcers said two things yesterday about Tiger’s gamesmanship—although they didn’t call it that. One, that he likes to stand in the peripheral vision of an opponent who’s putting, to announce his presence. And two, that he likes to putt out first. That sends hordes of spectators and media scurrying to the next hole, causing a disturbance for the poor guy left behind.

    But all that makes me sound like a Tiger hater. I’m not, really. I just don’t think it’s good for golf in the long run for him to win as much as he does. When he stops playing on a regular basis (perhaps as soon as he breaks Snead’s record), the tour will be in a lot of trouble).

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  8. Up until yesterday, Tiger always seemed to find a way to win.  Like the Golf Blogger, I did not see Y.E. Yang hanging in there.  However, he showed remarkable poise and he deserved the championship.

    It is interesting that if Yang had not kept his cool, Tiger would have been able to stumble to victory.  Everyone else followed the script.

    I am not sure whether the announcers had it right about Tiger’s gamesmanship in where he stands while someone else is putting.  How exactly is someone standing off to the side 20 feet away supposed to affect the putter?  I will have to watch for that in the future to see where he stands.  My initial reaction was that the commentators were just trying to add some hype to their broadcast.

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  9. Did anyone in the media ask him why he started off playing Sunday’s round so conservatively?

    Didn’t quite understand that.  There was the one early tee shot where he went iron instead of driver then the early par 5 where he chose to lay up.

    Very unTigerlike.

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  10. Chris- I don’t think Tiger’s 3 weeks affected him.  Tiger gets rattled.  The thing that rattles him most is when he plays bad.  Much of the time he can overcome this with his overall talent and mental toughness.

    But I think that the closing in on Jack is something that we are also seeing that rattles Tiger.  Earl and Tiger have focused on Jack’s record, and so has the golfing world- it means a lot.  He thought that he would walk away with a win in Day 4, especially playing Yang and Harrington, but also because it would be 48 times in a row he takes the lead in Day 4 to a victory.  When that started to come apart, we see Tiger get rattled.  If it wasn’t a major, I think he would have overcome it.  But with just four majors to go, he didn’t advance a single one this year, and that is what rattled him Sunday – and that a nobody (which to Tiger is everyone not named Tiger Woods) was not hiding from Tiger’s shadow.

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