PGA Championship 2015: Talking points going into SundayAugust, 2015
As we head into the final day of Major action in 2015, we look at some of the salient talking points
Jordan still aiming for a Triple Crown
Spieth’s chances are still very much alive of a third Major in 2015. The early part of the week was not vintage stuff from the phenom, barring a few hours on Friday evening, but just like all the great serial Major champions, he manages to stay in contention even when not at his best. Then came last night’s back-nine charge and he goes off in the final group alongside Jason Day.
He’s already at a stage of his career where the other players use his position to evaluate their own standing. It’s a powerful factor to have in your favour and it’s hard to imagine Spieth won’t continue to be a relevant factor in the championship until late this evening.
Making a charge from way back is hard
You can win one Major from the cut line. You are very unlikely to win a hatful giving up seven or eight shots at the halfway stage to the leaders. Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy, great attacking players as they are, gave it a real go in the third round.
Mickelson made a Major-career-best nine birdies, astonishingly. He also gave three bogeys back to the course, which is almost inevitable when you throw caution to the wind at a Major venue.
As for McIlroy, there were six birdies and an eagle to set against his four bogeys.
So that’s a grand total of 15 birdies and an eagle between them.
When all is said and done, they are still too far behind the leaders. But they did give us wonderful entertainment.
Weather a Major factor again
For the second consecutive Major, we have seen uncompleted rounds. While not approaching the logistical nightmares at St Andrews, last night’s third round was delayed by a good few hours.
It always upsets the rhythm of a championship when you can’t evaluate the state of play overnight.
"The final Major of the season has been all about the golf rather than the course, which is as it should be." 4
PGA 1 USGA 0
Whistling Straits and Chambers Bay, venues for the PGA and US Open respectively, have more than a little in common, being larger-than-life modern courses with spectacular backdrops and a nod to British seaside golf.
Actually, Whistling Straits with its hundreds of waste bunkers, is probably the more outlandish design but while few will remember Chambers Bay with fondness, the final Major of the season has been all about the golf rather than the course. Which is as it should be.
The PGA are not obsessed with protecting par and here it has made for entertaining watching with plenty of scoreable par 5s and some sporty shortish par 4s as well.
League of Nations
At one stage in the later stages of the third round, there was only one American (Tony Finau) in the top nine.
In the upper reaches of the leaderboard going into the final round are Australians (Day, Jones and Smith), South Africans (Grace, Coetzee and Schwartzel), Englishmen (Rose and Casey) a German (Kaymer), an Indian (Lahiri), a Swede (Lingmerth) and a Japanese (Matsuyama).
And let’s not forget the America (Finau, Spieth, Thomas, Kuchar, Snedeker and so on…)