PGA Championship 2011: Did It Conclude the Year of the One-Hit Wonders?

Immer Chriswell@@immerrangeCorrespondent IAugust 15, 2011

JOHNS CREEK, GA - AUGUST 14:  Keegan Bradley (R) poses PGA of America President Allen Wronowski and the Wanamaker Trophy after winning a three-hole playoff over Jason Dufner during the final round of the 93rd PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club on August 14, 2011 in Johns Creek, Georgia.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Keegan Bradley played wonderfully yesterday. He earned his major championship.

However, at the close of today's PGA Championship, you have to wonder: how many of this year's major champions will be relevant next year?

Sure, we'd love to believe that Rory McIlroy has a wonderful career ahead of him.

However, the reality is that by the time the Olympics roll around, he could be irrelevant in the world of golf.

What McIlroy needs is a follow-up year that shows that he is capable of repeating his performances this year, of course mostly the U.S. Open portion.

He will likely do so, but what about the others?

Charl Schwartzel, up until this year, had not too many notable accomplishments.

His Masters victory rode over Tiger's attempted comeback, with closing birdies showing Schwartzel's game.

But just like with McIlroy, Schwartzel has one major and needs to keep up to avoid following Graeme McDowell's falling-off-the-face-of-the-Earth routine.

Then there's Darren Clarke.

This is almost a guaranteed one-hit wonder. Clarke is at the close of a very respectable career, his 2011 Claret Jug his crowning moment.

However, a history of irrelevance in other majors has been the story of Clarke's career, and it's not likely that he wins another major by the end of it.

Finally, there's Keegan Bradley. The rookie player has a win under his belt and was in contention last week at Firestone.

Then he comes out and wins the PGA Championship, "Golf's Last Shot at Glory."

Right now, the power of golf is an inconsistent, constantly shifting balance that doesn't appear to be balancing out any time soon.

The young players seem to come and go every year, and unfortunately that includes major champions.

It's great for the little guy to win every once in a while, but could the little guy learn from the experience and become a big guy after a major win?

If Rory McIlroy comes out of this class the only winner—which I think he will—it's a year of no-names just like last year. One out of four is not a majority.

If McIlroy becomes a storied winner, nobody will remember what could be Charl Schwartzel's only major.

People may remember Darren Clarke's win as the capping of a career that was incomplete without a major and arguably should have had more than one.

Some people may love watching the "depth" of golf.

Personally, I'm sick of the inconsistency of the "best" players on the biggest stage.

Dustin Johnson, whom so many had hopes for, couldn't even make the cut. Martin Kaymer, the defending champion, followed suit. We all know what Tiger Woods did.

It's the reality of the game, but it would be nice to have not even a Tiger Woods-like dominance, but a Phil Mickelson, an Ernie Els or a Vijay Singh.

Someone who could win three or four majors in their career.

I will go out on a limb.

If Keegan Bradley were to maintain his game, he would definitely have the potential to collect at least one more major.

However, that is now going to be more difficult with the media pushing Bradley to the forefront of American golf.

If it all changes and two or three of these winners go out and do that, then I'm wrong.

If not, this year will most likely be remembered for Rory McIlroy's start of his major championship collection, not for all the players who won their first and last major.


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