Of the four Majors the least covetable, the PGA, often produces an excellent tourney. There is something over familiar about the Masters. You know the week before the same old articles will be dredged off the computer of us golf writers on the azaleas and dogwoods, the course designed by Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen’s albatross, Butler’s Cabin and the green jacket. The US Open is often too intent on setting such a severe examination of golf – as happened this year at Chambers Bay – that the participants end up more critical than proficient; the Open being a links course, most often in the north, is subject to the vagaries of British weather as occurred at St Andrews with the final round unsatisfactorily on a Monday. If the PGA is played at a beautiful course that tests its management as was the case at Whistling Straits we are treated to an exciting tourney.
It produced a first major for Jason Day. The same age as Rory McIlroy and Ricky Fowler, it was only a matter of time that his game with a beautiful lofted swing translated itself into a trophy. The threats came from Jordan Spieth and Dusitn Johnson. Spieth played with a consistency that belies his 21 years. He has a superb, cool temperament and is a lethal putter in the crucial 8-10 foot radius. Dustin Johnson does not possess such consistency. As usual he played a brilliant first round to lead, slipped from it over the next two days but was still in contention yesterday, then carded 8 on the first hole. It’s a measure of the talent that he finished the round 3 under. Day’s game held together and he finished with the lowest total of all 4 majors.
On the banks of a sparkling Lake Michigan with speedboats and cruises on it, the course had a most picturesque setting. With difficult bunkers, narrow fairways and a testing two final holes you needed to be a canny, resourceful shotmaker – not just a big hitter – to negotiate it successfully.
With winning slips on Day, Vijay Singh as top senior, Martin Kaymer as leading German, Brooks Koepka in the top 5 and Robert Shreb in the top ten I enhanced the Pargiter betting fund significantly and compensated for the late Brighton winner depriving me of the draw that Ivan and Alan predicted. Happy days for Jason and me.