PGA Championship tracker: Day 4 at Whistling Straits

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 16, 2015, 3:50 pm

The 97th PGA Championship takes place this week at Whistling Straits Golf Course in Sheboygan, Wis. is tracking the men's final major of the season through on-site reporting and social media. For additional coverage, click here for full-field scores. You can also check out our Day 2 blog here and all the action from Day 3 here. All-times for the PGA tracker are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

7:20PM: What a way to close out the 2015 major season ...

7:17PM: Incredible year for Spieth ...

7:12PM: That's all, folks! Jason Day two putts to win his first major at the PGA Championship.

7:11PM: Spieth pars 18 to finish second, and he's now No. 1 in the world.

7:07PM: Day and Spieth both hit the 18th green. Day enjoying the walk down the 18th fairway.

7:05PM: Rose bogeys 18 to finish at 14 under, Grace in solo third at 15 under.

6:58PM: Day smokes his drive down the fairway on 18 ...

6:55PM: Nice two-putt par from Day on par-3 17th. Gets a big thumbs up from Spieth. Day leads by three heading to 18.

6:48PM: Quite the card from DJ ...

6:41PM: Day and Spieth both birdie par-5 16th, Day's back to 20 under and leads by three with two holes left.

6:35PM: Day hits the par-5 16th in two, Spieth finds the left bunker.

6:31PM: Update on the battle for No. 1 ...

6:28PM: Day and Spieth both find fairway at par-5 16th. Rose birdies up ahead on the green to get back to 15 under, four back.

6:25PM: Day bogeys 15 to fall back to 19 under, lead cut to three over Spieth with three to play.

6:20PM: Koepka shoots 6-under 66, currently T-6 at 13 under.

6:16PM: That's pretty good ...

6:11PM: DJ eagles par-5 16th and he's playing a crazy round of golf. Started with a quad, but is now 4 under on the day and 13 under overall.

6:08PM: Spieth makes a great up-and-down for par on 14 to stay at 16 under, but Day birdies to reach 20 under par. Leads by four with four to go.

5:51PM: And almost as if Spieth is following this blog, he drains the birdie putt. Day makes his par, and Spieth moves into solo second, just three back with five to play.

5:48PM: Spieth certainly hasn't given up on the tournament, but with Rory's closing 69, here's what he has to do to take the world No. 1 crown.

5:45PM: Day and Spieth both find the green on No. 13. Advantage Spieth on the hole. Advantage Day on the round.

5:37PM: Ridiculously tough sand shot for Day and he gets it to a couple feet from the hole. Spieth misses his putt and we have a couple of pars. Rose makes an untimely double-bogey 6 on No. 13. Looking more and more like Day's major to lose.

5:32PM: Advantage Spieth on the par-3 12th. Looking at a makeable putt from the fringe while Day finds a deep bunker. Rose finds sand on No. 13, and barely gets it out. Could get messy.

5:27PM: Rose misses his third straight birdie by about an inch on No. 12. Spieth executes a great chip out of the rough but misses the birdie putt and has to settle for par. Day makes the casual two-putt birdie and gets back to that historical 19-under par.

5:19PM: Spieth goes for the par-5 11th hole in two. Yells at his ball to "go hard!" but his ball doesn't listen, hits something and takes a 90 degree turn left and into the thick stuff. Day meanwhile looking at about 40 feet for eagle.

5:15PM: Then there's the curious case of Justin Rose. Playing in the second-to-last group, he spins a perfect wedge into No. 11, makes the putt for his second birdie in a row. Just two behind Day.

5:08PM: Jordan Spieth with the much needed birdie on 10. Day makes a par and still sits three up.

5:03PM: In case anyone was wondering what happened to Dustin Johnson today. Wonder no more.

4:55PM: Day recovers with great up-and-down for par. Spieth makes bogey. Justin Rose, who we haven't heard much from today, makes a birdie on No. 10. Suddenly, Day leads by three, but over Rose. Spieth and Grace both four back. Could be the turning point.

4:50PM: Grace, playing a hole ahead, does the exact opposite. Makes way too good of contact and blasts it across the 10th green. Then chip lands short and it comes right back to him. Could be the end for him.

4:45PM: And suddenly Day is struggling. Hits approach on No. 9 as fat as a Tour pro can hit it, comes up way short of the green.

4:35PM: Day's first blemish of the round comes at No. 8. Drive finds the sand and he's forced to punch out. Saves a bogey. Spieth can't capitalize, makes par.

4:24PM: Jason Day to 19 under with a 48-foot birdie putt at No. 7. He's currently tied with Tiger Woods for the low score to par in a major at 19 under.

4:14PM: For the second straight hole, Spieth and Day match each other with birdies. Day to 18 under. Spieth to 15 under. Day's lead is back to two. Heads are spinning. Dogs and cats are living together.

4:10PM: Branden Grace has birdied four of his last five holes, including his last three in a row. He's just one behind Day.

4:05PM: Jason Day is 17 under. Reminder:

4:01PM: Spieth's bounce-back ability is ridiculous. End update.

4:00PM: Jordan Spieth just walked in a birdie putt at the par-5 fifth. And Day answered. Spieth tied with Grace at 14 under, but Day's lead remains three.

3:46PM: Scratch that. Grace now in solo second after a birdie bomb at the par-5 fifth. And Rose is level with Spieth in third at 13 under. Live golf, people.

3:44PM: While the focus is on the final pairing, Spieth is actually tied for second with Branden Grace at 13 under. Grace is 1 under today after a birdie at No. 3.

3:42PM: And back and forth we go. Day started with a two-shot lead, then led by three, then by two, and now three again after a bogey by Spieth at No. 4. Spieth found a bunker off the tee and couldn't save par. Now 13-of-15 scrambling this week.

3:38PM: Pars are overrated anyway:

3:32PM: We mentioned Billy Horschel and Justin Thomas' neon green pants earlier (12:28PM), but Horschel has upped the ante.

3:27PM: Jordan Spieth cuts the margin to two shots with a birdie of his own at No. 3. Used the contouring right of the green to bounce his ball within 10 feet of the flag. Day at 16 under. Spieth at 14 under.

3:23PM: Dustin Johnson opened Sunday 4 over through one hole, when he needed five swings to find the green from over the back.

3:15PM: Day takes a three-shot lead over Spieth with a birdie at the par-5 second. Spieth's birdie try just slid by on the left edge.

3:10PM: Good look at what may or may not be in store for Jordan Spieth and Jason Day this afternoon:

3:02PM: In case you missed it, here's the full recap of Bubba Watson's debate with a rules official over the classification of ants as a "burrowing animal." The transcript is rich.

2:57PM: A pair of pars for Day and Spieth on the opening hole. Day continues to lead by two.

2:53PM: Day and Spieth both hit the green on hole No. 1. Spieth a bit closer, around 20 feet.

2:50PM: As Spieth vies for his third major of the season, at age 22:

2:45PM: Game time! Jason Day and Jordan Spieth have teed off in the final round of the PGA Championship.

2:36PM: So much for a Dustin Johnson comeback. Myriad bunker problems on the first hole led to a quadruple bogey-8 at the par-4 first. At least the disaster occurred early on Sunday this time.

2:30PM: And then there is Phil Mickelson doing this:

2:27PM: Back on Planet Bubba, this is happening:

2:15PM: As the final groups set out at Whistling Straits, a reminder that winds are expected to be steady at 10-15 mph, with gusts up to 25 mph. Temperatures are in the low 90's.

2:05PM: This has to be the last player Jason Day wanted to have to stare down on Sunday.

1:57PM: Brian Gaffney shot 1-under 71 in the final round to finish at 6 over par. He was the lone club pro to make the cut and managed to finish ahead of a few weekend pros, including last week's Barracuda champion, J.J. Henry.

1:48PM: It's a par-par start for McIlroy. He remains at 6 under par.

1:45PM: T-minus one hour and counting until the final pairing of Jason Day and Jordan Spieth conclude the major season.

1:41PM: Steve Stricker won't win this week, but he's given the locals something to cheer about early Sunday. He's 5 under on the day, 7 under for the event. He's currently T-14, with the top 15 earning an invite to next year's PGA at Baltusrol.

1:33PM: Rickie Fowler finding birdies on Sunday at Whistling Straits. Three of them on the scorecard through his first eight holes:

1:22PM: Because the Tiger Woods-Jordan Spieth comparisons never get old.

1:16PM: The struggle is real.

1:14PM: A world without Photoshop is not a world in which I wish to live. And if you don't know what this image is referring to, please see our live blog entry from 12:38 p.m.

1:12PM: World No. 1 Rory McIlroy (wonder if we'll still be calling him that tomorrow - here's looking at you, Jordan) is next up:

1:10PM: Bubba gives one back at the 7th, but that eadle at No. 6 was so good, let's take another look:

12:59PM: That's a 2 for Bubba at the par-4 sixth hole. He's now 4 under at the PGA.

12:50PM: Bubba Watson just drove the par-4 sixth and has a short-range eagle putt.

12:48PM: Good news! Less than two hours until this dynamic duo tees off for their final romp around Whistling Straits.

12:45PM: After all that burrowing animal hubbub, Bubba made birdie at the par-5 fifth and is 2 under for the championship.

12:38PM: Animal instincts. Bubba Watson going back and forth with a rules official about getting relief from an ant hole on the par-5 fifth hole. The ruling was that Watson would not receive relief, which didn't please Bubba too much. "If someone were allergic to ants and their ball landed there, you could care less," Watson said to the official. Perhaps he's a little more peeved than he might otherwise be, because he went bogey-bogey to begin his final round.

12:28PM: Is neon green the new black? Justin Thomas today, Billy Horschel yesterday. Who's next?

12:20PM: The 2010 PGA champion at Whistling Straits, Martin Kaymer has arrived. In 2010, he began the final round four shots back. Today, he will begin his final round four shots back.

12:07PM: Low scores are out there on Sunday. Take, for example, Ryan Moore, who's 6 under on the day:

12:06PM: Here's a look at the hole locations for the final round:

12:00PM: Who do you think will win the 97th PGA Championship? Our writers made their picks:

11:50AM: Happy PGA Championship Sunday! When play ended Saturday, here's what the final leaderboad looked like. Jason Day and Jordan Spieth tee off in the final pairing at 2:45 p.m. ET.

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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard

On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry