Jason Day wins PGA with history-making 20-under
Australia’s Jason Day has ended a long wait for his first major, shooting a final round 67 to clinch victory in the PGA Championship by three shots over new world number one, American Jordan Spieth.
Day’s four-round total of 20-under was a record low score for a major championship and the newly crowned world number 3 becomes the fifth Australian to win the PGA Championship, after Jim Ferrier (1947), David Graham (1979), Wayne Grady (1990) and Steve Elkington (1995).
At 20-under par Day is also only the 13th player in history to win a major with four rounds in the 60s.
“It was probably the hardest round of golf that I’ve ever had to play,” said an emotional Day following his round.
“Just thinking about it, knowing that I was very confident going into the round, feeling good about myself and feeling good about how I was driving the ball, how I was hitting the shots into the greens, and especially with how I was putting.”
Day had previously finished inside the top-10 nine times in majors without collecting the silverware, yet he made sure at this championship he was not letting another major slip by.
Jason Day (Credit: www.golffile.ie)
“Being close at the US Open, being close at the Open Championship this year, being close at Augusta, all that has – and I said it earlier this week – where I feel like all these experiences that I had is going to set me up for something big in the future, and for me it happened this week,” said Day.
“That’s from the experience that I had in those Major Championships. Made me mentally tough and really understand what I needed to do physically and mentally to prepare myself to win a tournament such as this.”
Rory McIlory was among the first to congratulate Day on Twitter:
“2 inevitable things happened today, @JDayGolf winning a major and @JordanSpieth getting to 1 in the world! Congrats guys!! Inspiring stuff!”
“It is a huge monkey off his back given he’s had so many chances,” said McIlroy.
“He’s been knocking on the door for quite a while now including finishing second to me at Congressional four years ago, and he was close at the Masters that year, I think, as well.”
Day’s experience of ‘near misses’ has certainly shaped him not only as a person, but a player.
“If I didn’t have that failure, I wouldn’t be standing here today with the trophy,” said Day
“And I said earlier, some people get there quicker than others, some people make it look easier than others, and I’m just glad that it’s finally happened, because it was kind of wearing on me a little bit. I’m glad to take my name off that list and move forward from here.”
Spieth, who had a remarkable run in the majors that saw him win the 2015 Masters and US Open and miss a playoff by one stroke at The Open, finished three strokes short of Day, yet receives a consolation prize as he becomes the new world number one, replacing Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy.
Australian Matt Jones, who led at halfway, finished with a 3-over 75 for a 7-under total, tied for 21st. The third Aussie to make the weekend, Cameron Smith, had a 1-under round of 71 to finish 5-under for the tournament, tied for 25th in another strong showing in a major.