Y.E. Yang Overcomes Tiger Woods in PGA Breakthrough
Only time will tell which record from the 2009 PGA is more significant: Y.E. Yang becoming the first Asian-born major champion, or Y.E. Yang becoming the first player to defeat Tiger Woods when Woods held a 54-hole lead in a major. Up to this point, Woods was 14-0 when going into the final round of a major with the lead. Entering Sunday’s round, Woods seemed to have locked up a win.
Yang Yong-eun, as he is formally known, began the final round two shots behind Woods and tied with Padraig Harrington, the defending champion. A regrettable quintuple bogey on the par-3 8th ended Harrington’s chances of a repeat title.
The pivotal championship moment took place on the 14th hole, when Yang chipped in for eagle on the 352-yard par-4 to take a lead he would never relinquish. Tiger made bogeys on the 71st and 72nd holes for a final round 75. Yang’s bonus birdie on the last hole gave him a final round 70, 8-under for the championship, and a commanding three-shot victory.
Yang’s winning spoils were $1.35 million. Tiger Woods on the other hand has yet to win another major title since his defeat at Hazeltine.
Also of note: The 2009 PGA was the longest major championship course to date, playing at 7,674 yards.
Hazeltine National Golf Club is a private golf club located in Chaska, Minn., about 30 minutes southwest of downtown Minneapolis. The club opened in 1962 with a mission to build and maintain a golf course suitable for the conduct of national championships. Hazeltine is one of only two courses in the United States to have hosted the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Amateur, and Ryder Cup. Hazeltine’s meeting and event space, golf shop and specified services in the learning center are open to the public. More information about becoming a member at Hazeltine is available at www.hazeltinenational.com.