Heading into Sunday’s final round at the 97th PGA Championship, Jason Day held a two stroke lead over Jordan Spieth and was in search of his first major championship victory. On Sunday afternoon, an emotional Day tapped in for par on the 72nd hole and became the 2015 PGA champion. He fired a stellar five-under par 67 to finish at a record breaking 20-under par and enjoyed a three stroke margin of victory.
Jason’s final round featured seven birdies and two bogeys, including a stretch of three consecutive birdies on his front nine. The 27-year old Australian golfer remained composed all throughout his final round, bombing drives down the center of the fairways and rolling in clutch putts. His closest pursuer, American super star Jordan Spieth, failed to mount a charge on the final nine, and Day’s lead was never truly threatened.
According to stats provided by the PGA Tour’s website, Day hit 10 out of 14 fairways and 13 out of 18 greens in regulation on his final round. Perhaps the highlight of his round came late on the par-five 16th hole when he hit a towering 4-iron approach shot that landed on the fringe, 20 feet away from the cup for eagle. He two-putted for birdie and pretty much sealed up the deal after that hole.
Jason, who has had so many close calls in past major championships, suffered his most recent disappointment just last month at the Open Championship where his bid for a major championship title came a few inches short when he missed a birdie putt on the final hole that would have put him in a playoff. Bur today, it was all about redemption and celebration for Jason Day, who broke down in tears after tapping in his final putt and embracing his caddie.
A very emotional Day told reporters about the magnitude of his accomplishment at this week’s PGA and how his break through victory will motivate him in the coming years.
“The experiences that I’ve had in the past with previous major finishes has definitely helped me prepare myself for a moment like this. I was one of those guys where I was so close and I wasn’t the last man standing and it was frustrating for me. … But for me to really kind of be patient with myself and be disciplined and give myself the opportunities, just really it does wonders for your confidence. And I’m hoping this is kind of a springboard for me to really do some fantastic, great things in the future.”
Indeed, for Jason, a very bright future is ahead. Now, as the third ranked player in the world, he will certainly have his sights set on adding more major championships to his resume. He has the confidence and he’s proven that he can handle the pressure of the big stage this week at the PGA, and it seems that for Jason Day, the best is yet to come.
(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)