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100th PGA: 1991 Daly (2) vs 2009 Yang (15)

100th PGA: John Daly's 1991 win vs Y.E. Yang's 2009 win

In celebration of the 100th PGA Championship that takes place this year at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, we’ve unveiled the PGA 100 – a bracket-style competition to determine which year’s championship was the greatest in PGA Championship history. Over the course of six weeks, you can help us identify the greatest championship in the tournament’s history by voting once a day as the field is narrowed from 16 championships on July 8 to the single greatest championship on August 12.

You can vote and join the conversation here. In this matchup, the No. 2-seeded 1991 PGA Championship faces the No.-15 seeded 2009 PGA Championship.

No. 2 seed: 1991 PGA Championship

The 1991 PGA Championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana, was the setting for one of golf’s greatest rags-to-riches stories. 

That’s where a 25-year-old John Daly barely got into the tournament as the ninth and final alternate, earning his spot in the field when Nick Price withdrew for the birth of his first child. Price’s withdrawal was so late, in fact, that Daly actually hired Price’s then-caddie Jeff “Squeaky” Medlin for the week.

Daly took control of the tournament through 36 holes and never looked back. His style of play – grip it and rip it – made him an instant star and a fan favorite. 

Through 54 holes, Daly had established a three-stroke lead. He would win by that same margin on the final day to become arguably the most unlikely major winner in golf history… it was his first overall win as a professional. 

If ever there were a People’s Champion in golf – an everyman – Daly was it.

 

No. 15 seed: 2009 PGA Championship

Up until 2009 at Hazeltine National, Tiger Woods had never lost a major championship when leading or co-leading after 54 holes.

That all changed in Chaska, Minn., when Korea’s Y.E. Yang made history – not only overcoming Woods in the final round, but also becoming the first Asian-born player to win a major.

Playing with Woods in the final round, Yang began the day trailing by two shots. Imagine the monumental task at hand – not only was Yang trying to do what had never been done before in beating Tiger with a 54-hole lead at a major, but he was also spotting him two shots.

Woods struggled with his putting all day and by just the fourth hole, the pair were tied at 7 under. 

Yang jumped into the lead for good at the short, par-4 14th hole when he chipped in for eagle. 

Yang capped off the unlikely win with a magnificent hybrid approach at the 18th hole to set up a short closing birdie for a three-stroke win over Woods. 

Does it get any better than that?

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