Y.E. Yang Shocks World As Tiger Woods Is Tamed

Ben HuttlingerContributor IAugust 17, 2009

CHASKA, MN - AUGUST 16:  Y.E. Yang of South Korea celebrates his birdie putt on the 18th green during the final round of the 91st PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club on August 16, 2009 in Chaska, Minnesota.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The 91st PGA Championship will be one for the record books.  Tiger Woods did not capture the Wanamaker trophy for a record-tying fifth time, record his 15th major title, or win 37 straight tournaments after a 54-hole lead.

In fact, the latter of the three was broken by 37-year old Y.E. Yang of South Korea.  He stunned the world for starting the day two behind Woods, and did not break down mentally to oust the No. 1 ranked player in the world. 

This victory is not only Yang's first Major title and second Tour victory, but he is also the first Asian-born player to win a Major.  And he had to beat the best golfer in the world to do it.

There have been many Asian golfers who came close, but unable to get over the last hump.  Y.E. Yang has just done that.  Some would say the first Asian-born golfer to win a Major would be K.J. Choi, who has multiple victories in the States, and the most prominent Asian-born on Tour.  Charlie Wi has success as he has a couple of top 10s. 

Nick Faldo, CBS broadcaster and ex-PGA golfer, recalled saying that the first time an Asian-born golfer would win is in five to 10 years.  He may have been thinking of the young talent currently on the Nationwide Tour, Sang-Moon Bae.

For South Koreans, there is plenty of promise on the Women's side.  Names like Grace Park, Se Ri Pak, and Mi Hyun Kim dominate the field.  Despite an abundance of ladies in the U.S., just Yang, Choi, and Wi have made names in the Men's field. 

Even though Yang defeated Woods before, at the HSBC Champions event in China, Sunday was the first time the two were paired together.  A bogey on the 18th hole to finish the third round ended the possibility of another Woods-Harrington dual just like at Firestone the week before.

Padraig Harrington remained close until another "snowman" on the par-three eighth hole.  Lucas Glover played himself into contention before fading on the back-nine.  Even Ernie Els remained in the hunt, not close, but enough to where a disaster were to happen, he would steal the prize. 

Overall, Sunday was just between Tiger and Yang, and Mr. Woods could not sink a putt for the first time in his life. 

Tiger may have lost the tournament in the third round, when he played conservatively all day as he saw his shrink in half.  Sunday, compared to the first three rounds, was a very difficult scoring day, and it showed. 

The likes of Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson shot in the high 70's, and with a bogey-bogey finish, Tiger ended up with a (+3) 75.  Saturday is what is called "Moving Day", and with a four-shot lead, Woods felt content where he was.