PGA Championship

5 talking points: PGA Championship

2016-08-01 16:40
Jimmy Walker (Getty Images)

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Cape Town - The final major tournament of 2016 has ended with Jimmy Walker clinching the Wanamaker Trophy at a weather-affected Baltusrol on Sunday.

In case you missed it, here are FIVE talking points of the 98th PGA Championship:

Jimmy Walker’s maiden major victory

Walker claimed his first major title when he won by one stroke ahead of defending PGA Championship winner and world No 1, Jason Day from Australia.

The American shot a final round 67 to end with a total of 266, -14 under par.

The 37-year-old held his nerve (especially on the 18th hole, when Day eagled the par-5) to secure the Wanamaker Trophy.

Ranked 48th, Walker finished the Masters in 29th, while he failed to make the cut in the US and British Opens this year.

He boasted five PGA Tour wins prior to the PGA Championship.

No final pairing and lift, clean and place, in place

Thanks to the gloomy conditions, the PGA of America decided that the fourth round would be played with the lift, clean and place rule.

This rule allows the players to pick up their balls in order to remove mud and find a more suitable place to play from.

According to the PGA Tour website, this was the first time this rule was enforced in a major tournament.

Another decision based on the weather was the no final round pairing change, which meant that front-runners Walker and Day did not tee off together.


The third day of the PGA Championship was interrupted by heavy rain and thunderstorms, which had almost no action with the leaders unable to tee off.

37 of the 86 golfers who made the cut finished their third round with the rest finishing on the fourth day. It also saw 10 players not hitting a golf ball on Saturday, which meant that players like Walker had to play 36 holes on Sunday.

The wet and damp conditions were apparent as the surface was soft, as a lot of putts came up short on the greens.

Branden Grace’s unlucky fortune

Image: Getty Images

Grace finished tied fourth at Baltusrol, but the South African could’ve been closer to title winner Walker if he had teed off later.

Grace started the fourth round in eighth and was trailing by two shots, before front-runners Walker and Day started their final round.

He birdied three off his first seven holes and took second position when he made his fourth birdie on the 13th hole, one stroke behind the lead.

The 28-year-old went 26 holes without a bogey and ended with a final round of 67 and 9-under par overall.

Grace, who ended third in 2015, could’ve put more pressure on Walker and Day, but because of the weather and no final pairing changes, the South African started his final round nearly three hours earlier than the eventual winner.

Year for the first-timers

One thing was evident after the completion of the final major championship, and it was that this year was definitely the year for the first-timers.

This year we saw Danny Willett overcome Jordan Spieth at the Masters, Dustin Johnson clinch the US Open, Henrik Stenson overcome Phil Mickelson in the Open Championship and now Jimmy Walker hold off Jason Day in the PGA Championship.

This definitely illustrates that golf has become more unpredictable than ever.


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