The PGA Championship
|Tournament Info for: 2007 PGA Championship|
|Date:||August 09 - 12, 2007|
|Site:||Southern Hills Country Club|
|Par:||35 - 35 - 70 (7,131 yards)
35 - 35 - 70 (00 yards)
36 - 36 - 72 (7,131 yards)
35 - 35 - 70 (7,131 yards)
A season of first-time major winners ended with a familiar Champion — Tiger Woods, who seems to win them all.
Challenged only briefly Sunday along the back nine of steamy Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., Woods captured the PGA Championship to win at least one major for the third straight season and run his career total to 13 as he moves closer to the standard set by Jack Nicklaus.
Woods closed with a 1-under 69 for a two-shot victory over Woody Austin, who grinded himself for an impressive 67 and his best finish in any major championship.
Three-time major champion Ernie Els of South Africa also joined the charge after Woods, but a faulty putter would leave him no closer than three strokes back.
It was a day in which Woods entered the final round with a three-stroke lead and slipped once, a three-putt bogey on the 14th hole. He rebounded quickly, sinking a birdie putt at 15 and then running off three consecutive pars to finish with a two-stroke victory.
Woods’ perfect 13-for-13 major championship performance after either sharing or leading alone after 54 holes remains his trademark in a career laden with records.
He also became the first major champion in seven tries to make a par on the 72nd hole at Southern Hills. The victory also was his first major as a father, walking into the scoring room to meet wife, Elin, who was holding their 2-month-old daughter, Sam Alexis.
Sam was dressed in red, which is her father’s favorite Sunday color.
"That’s a feeling I’ve never experienced before," Woods said. "To have her here, it brings chills to me. I was surprised she was out here, to see her and Elin there. It’s just so cool."
The 89th PGA Championship featured 97 of the world’s top 100 ranked players, along with PGA Championship record 64 international payers representing 22 countries. The field included the first player from mainland China, Wen Chong Liang.
Since 1994, the PGA Championship has featured the most world-ranked players of any major championship, and this year’s Championship finished at the No. 2 perch in the World Ranking points. Only the 2002 PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., with 98 of the top 100 world-ranked players, garnered more points.
Woods has never lost a tournament when leading by more than one going into the last round, he had stretched his three-stroke lead to five with back-to-back birdies before Austin made a charge.
When Woods three-putted for bogey on the 14th, it dropped his lead to one. But, the dramatics ended there.
Woods holed a 10-footer for birdie at 15 and pointed to the cup after it fell.
"Winning becomes almost a habit," Els said after his 66. "Look at Tiger."
Woods, who finished at 8-under 272, now has more majors than the rest of the top 10 in the world combined. At age 31, he is well ahead of the pace Nicklaus set when he won his record 18 professional majors. Nicklaus was 35 when he won his 13th.
Austin closed with a 67 and earned plenty of crowd support as the working class hero.
Austin, a 43-year-old former bank teller playing in only his 15th major, had a 12-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole that would have tied him for the lead, but it slid by on the left. He never seriously threatened birdie the rest of the way in closing with a 67.
The highlight was a 60-foot chip-in for birdie on the 12th, with Austin tugging on his ear to get the crowd to pump it up, and get Woods’ attention.
"I was trying to get them to go crazy for someone else, so he’d know there’s someone else out here," Austin said. "There’s no roar like his. It was nice to hear the loudest one I’ve ever heard for me."
After his three-putt bogey on the 14th, Woods hit every fairway and every green the rest of the way. Woods’ final stroke was a 3-foot par on the 18th hole, and he took his time. In the last major at Southern Hills, Retief Goosen three-putted from 12 feet that forced him to win the U.S. Open the following day in a playoff.
Woods removed the ball from the cup and stuck it in his pocket, then removed his cap and thrust both arms in the air as sweat poured down his face from a fourth straight day with temperatures topping 100.
He won for the fifth time this year — no one else has won more than twice — and for the second straight week, coming off an eight-shot victory in the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone.
Stephen Ames, who played in the final group with Woods, made bogey on the first two holes and wound up with a 76.
Arron Oberholser settled down after a bogey-bogey start for a 69 that gave him a tie for fourth at 1-under 279 and secured a spot in the Masters next year. John Senden shot 71 and also finished at 279.
Woods added to his legacy by nearly turning in the lowest round in a major. His 15-foot birdie putt in the second round spun in and out of the hole, leaving him with a 63. That tied the Southern Hills course record first set by Raymond Floyd in 1982, and was Woods’ career low 18-hole round in a major.
It also made Woods the fifth player to shoot 63 in a major and go on to win.
|Low Rounds||Round Leader||Tiger Woods|
|Round 1:||74.35||12||9||125||65 Graeme Storm||65 Graeme Storm||71|
|Round 2:||72.86||23||12||111||63 Tiger Woods||134 Tiger Woods||134|
|Round 3:||72.05||12||10||44||65 Boo Weekley||203 Tiger Woods||203|
|Round 4:||71.94||15||7||44||64 Simon Dyson||272 Tiger Woods||272|