As Saturday's third round of the PGA Championship came to a close, Tiger Woods was one step closer to Jack Nicklaus' elusive 18 major titles...right?
With the lead going into a Sunday final round, everyone was planning on Tiger doing what he does best, winning...right?!
With Tiger leading by 2 heading into Sunday, the Irish phenom, Padraig Harrington, was expected to put up a good fight, but would ultimately fall short, and everyone else was too far off Tiger's pace to even think about challenging Tiger in his red Sunday attire.
Oh yeah, Y.E. Yang was two shots back, but he was playing with Tiger. I just hoped he would enjoy his front-row ticket to the "Tiger Show" (and he could at least break 80).
As I planned my Sunday afternoon, I figured I could mow the lawn, wash the car, maybe even sneak in a quick 9 holes, and just catch the end of the PGA when Tiger hoists yet another major trophy.
Is anyone tired of Tiger not being challenged? Tired of gearing up for an exciting Sunday finish only to see the entire field shrink away in fear of the great Tiger Woods? I sure am.
Sure, Rocco put up a good fight in last year's U.S. Open...but come on...Rocco?? Did anybody actually think he would beat Tiger Woods?
Tiger either wins or he loses...in his losses, he always lurks close by, but never close enough, but when he's in the final group on a Sunday, Tiger does not lose. Period.
But this past Sunday, at the PGA Championship at Hazeltine, a land where unknowns like Rich Beem become major champions, Tiger became mortal and became the exception to his own rule.
Y.E. Yang's exceptional play on Sunday at the PGA gave golf fans around the world hope that major championship Sunday's with Tiger in the lead can finally be unpredictable, exciting, and intriguing.
The PGA Tour and major championship golf owe Y.E. a huge "thank-you."
Will it be a coincidence that ratings will be higher than normal the next time Tiger plays in the final group on Sunday? I think not. Will future unknowns have the confidence to beat Tiger Woods in the final round on a Sunday at a Major? I sure do hope so.
The game of golf needs young players (or old) to challenge Tiger Woods, to stand up to him on Sundays, and most importantly of all, to beat him.
Y.E. Yang, thank you for giving the rest of the golf world hope, thank you for making the majors in 2010 something to look forward to, and thank you for showing that Tiger Woods is, in fact, beatable.