Jordan Spieth’s incredible 2015 golf year will likely go down as one of the best years ever on the PGA tour. He has four worldwide wins including the Masters and U.S. Open back-to-back, and he finished fourth in the Open Championship and second at -17 to Jason Day’s record -20 at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.
Day earned his first career Major title after several heartbreaking close calls in the Majors since 2011. In fact, Day was the 54-hole leader at the U.S. and Open Championships in 2015. Day, like Spieth, missed the Open Championship playoff at St. Andrew’s by one shot; the title was won by Zach Johnson in a playoff.
Day, the talented long-hitting Australian from Down Under, Sunday denied Spieth his attempt to join only Tiger Woods (2000) and Ben Hogan (1953) with three Major Championship wins in one year. Day prevailed by shooting a final round 67 for a -20 total, which is the new scoring record in Major Championship Golf.
Tiger Woods held the previous mark at -19 at the 2007 Open Championship. Putting the record scoring mark in perspective, consider this: Only six times in golf history has a player shot -18 in a Major Championship, and Tiger has done that four times. Spieth has done it once at this year’s Masters.
The PGA playoffs are coming up over the next couple of months — the FED-EX Cup winner gets $10 million. Woods has won the FED-EX Cup playoffs twice, so Spieth can continue to add to his record break-out year. Spieth may have lost the PGA title to Day, but he has become the new world number one.
He replaces Rory McIIroy as the new number-one player in the world rankings. Spieth becomes the second-youngest player to ever be world number one at age 22. Woods was number one at age 21. Last year Woods had back surgery, and he has struggled by his incredible standards, missing three straight cuts this year in Majors — the U.S. Open, the Open Championship, and the PGA Championship.
For the first time in his career, Woods has 14 career Majors, and some think this is a sign that he can’t win Majors any more. I disagree. I believe Woods is getting better.
Back surgery is serious business. He is getting healthier and stronger. He’ll be better in 2016. He will return to form.
Day’s record PGA Championship victory catapults him to world number three. Only Spieth and McIIroy, at number one and number two, are ranked higher. Day’s win also denied the United States a chance to capture all four Majors in 2015 — the Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship. The last time Americans won all four Majors in one year was 1982.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.