Y-E-S! Yang Tranquilizes Tiger, Wins PGA Championship

Jon AlbaCorrespondent IAugust 16, 2009

CHASKA, MN - AUGUST 16:  Y.E. Yang of South Korea celebrates on the 16th hole during the final round of the 91st PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club on August 16, 2009 in Chaska, Minnesota.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods entered Sunday’s final round of the 91st PGA Championship at eight-under-par, a score that left him on pace to win his 15th major.  He left with his mouth dropped to his knees.

Y.E. Yang, 37, has become the first ever Asian-born golfer to win a major championship.  Having been paired with the 2008 U.S. Open champion in the final group of the day, Yang valiantly battled the odds, overcoming a two stroke lead and turning it in his favor. He finished with a superb approach shot on 18 to seal his second career PGA Tour victory.  His other came earlier this year at the Honda Classic in March.

Woods had been 11-0 when leading major championships after 54-holes, which stood as a record.  Additionally, he was 36-1 overall with this feat.   This marks the first year since he has failed to win a major since 2004, as he entered the clubhouse with a measly 75. He had been marred by putting inconsistency all day, lipping out putt after putt when he had opportunities to move ahead.  A look of disappointment spread across his face, as he attempted to digest the events that had just occurred.

Yang, who just moved to Dallas three months ago, had been a golf instructor in Korea.  Now, he stands above the rest of the field.  This is the second time he has beaten Tiger Woods, as he successfully defeated him in the 2006 HSBC Champions Tournament.  Tiger finished second.

With a chip-in eagle on the 14th hole, Yang morally solidified his victory.  He went from there on out to not relinquish the lead, doing something no Asian golfer had done before.

Padraig Harrington, who was last year’s champion, quintuple boogied a Par-3 early on in the day, essentially putting him out of contention.  He would finish at even par.

SportsFullCircle will have more on this historic victory at Hazletine as the day goes on.