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PGA Championship 2015 - Round 4 Reports - Scores

Jason Day secures first major title

Given a third straight chance to finally win a major, Jason Day promised a fight to the finish in the PGA Championship.

Turns out the biggest fight was to hold back the tears.

Worried that this year might turn out to be a major failure, Day never gave Jordan Spieth or anyone else a chance Sunday. He delivered a record-setting performance at Whistling Straits that brought him a major championship he started to wonder might never happen.

Day was in tears before he even tapped in for par and a 5-under 67 for a three-shot victory. He sobbed on the shoulder of Colin Swatton, his caddie and longtime coach who rescued Day as a 12-year-old struggling to overcome the death of his father.

And then came high praise from Spieth in the scoring trailer when golf's new No. 1 player told him, ''There's nothing I could do.''

''I didn't expect I was going to cry,'' Day said. ''A lot of emotion has come out because I've been so close so many times and fallen short. To be able to play the way I did today, especially with Jordan in my group, I could tell that he was the favorite. Just to be able to finish the way I did was amazing.''

Three shots ahead with three holes to play on a course with trouble everywhere, Day blasted a drive down the fairway on the par-5 16th and hit a towering 4-iron into 20 feet. He bit his lower lip, swatted his caddie on the arm, knowing his work was almost done.

The two-putt birdie put him at 20-under par, and two closing pars gave him the record to par in majors, breaking by one shot the 19 under of Tiger Woods at St. Andrews in the 2000 British Open. Day finished at 20-under 268, not knowing until it was over that it was a record.

What really mattered was that shiny Wanamaker Trophy at his side.

He shared the 54-hole lead at the U.S. Open and the British Open and had to watch someone else celebrate.

''Not being able to finish, it would have been tough for me mentally to really kind of come back from that,'' Day said. ''Even though I feel like I'm a positive person, I think that in the back of my mind something would have triggered and I would have gone, 'Maybe I can't really finish it off.'

''It felt like I was mentally and physically grinding it out as hard as I could,'' he said. ''I wasn't going to stop fighting until it over.''

Spieth gave it his best shot, but even the Masters and U.S. Open champion could tell what he was up against the way the 27-year-old Australian powered one drive after another and didn't let anyone closer than the two-shot lead with which he started the final round.

''He played like he'd won seven or eight majors,'' Spieth said. ''He took it back. He wailed it. It was a stripe show.''

Spieth has the greatest consolation possible. With his runner-up finish, he replaced Rory McIlroy at No. 1 in the world.

''This is as easy a loss as I've ever had because I felt that I not only couldn't do much about it as the round went on, I also accomplished one of my lifelong goals in the sport of golf. That will never be taken away from me now. I'll always be a No. 1 player in the world.''

Spieth set a record of his own. By closing with a 68, he set a record by playing the four majors in 54-under par, breaking by one the mark that Woods set in 2000. The difference is that Woods won two majors by a combined 23 shots.

That also speaks to the depth of golf in this generation, and Day is the latest example. He moved to No. 3 in the world, meaning the top three in the world are all under 27 and have combined to win five of the last six majors.

''As long as I am healthy, I feel like I'm going to be there a long time,'' Day said. ''I still want to accomplish that No. 1 goal of mine, which is to be the best player in the world. I'm still motivated and still very hungry for that, even after this win.''

Branden Grace of South Africa had another mistake on the back nine in a major that cost him. Grace was tied for the lead at the U.S. Open when he hit his tee shot on the railroad tracks and out-of-bounds at Chambers Bay. This time, he was two shots behind when he went long of the 10th green and made double bogey. He closed with a 69 and finished third, five shots behind.

Justin Rose got within two shots until making a double bogey for the third straight day. He closed with a 70 and finished fourth.

Day faced enormous pressure of having a lead for the first time going into the final round, trying to avoid becoming the first player since the PGA Championship went to stroke play in 1958 to have at least a share of the 54-hole lead in three straight majors without winning.

It sure didn't show, even if he felt it every step of the way.

''I knew today was going to be tough, but I didn't realize how tough it was going to be,'' Day said. ''I learned a lot about myself, being able to finish the way I did. The experiences that I've had in the past with previous major finishes has definitely helped me prepare myself for a moment like this.''

World No.1 consolation for Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth ended one of the best major seasons ever by a player on a bittersweet note at the PGA Championship on Sunday as he had to settle for second place while becoming world number one for the first time.

In pursuit of a rare third grand slam title in the same year, the Masters and U.S. Open champion closed with a four-under-par 68 at Whistling Straits for a 17-under total of 271, finishing three strokes behind the triumphant Jason Day.

Spieth tied for fourth in last month's British Open -- just one stroke short of joining a playoff -- but had the consolation on Sunday of dislodging Rory McIlroy from top spot in the rankings because of his strong finish to the year's final major.

"It's been a very, very good year," Spieth, 22, told reporters after recording his 14th top-10 in 21 starts on the 2014-15 PGA Tour, including four victories and three runner-up spots.

"This is as easy a loss as I've ever had because I felt that I not only couldn't do much about it, as the round went on, I also accomplished one of my life-long goals and in the sport of golf.

"That will never be taken away from me now. I'll always be a number one player in the world. When I look back on this year, the consistency ... and especially being able to step it up in the biggest stages, that's a huge confidence builder."

Spieth, who accrued six birdies and two bogeys on a day of low scoring at Whistling Straits, was already thinking about next year's majors even as he described the mental toll taken while competing for them.

"It was amazing," he said of his form in the grand slam events. "You only get four a year, so to have an opportunity to win all of them is so cool.

"I hope to have a season like this one at the biggest stages again. But it's not easy, it takes a lot out of you. I'm tired right now. I mean, I left it all out there.

"I'm tired from the majors this year because of what it does. It really does wear you out mentally, trying to grind that much."

Australia celebrates Jason Day's victory

Australia's sporting fraternity saluted Jason Day's victory in the PGA Championship as a triumph over adversity.

Day is the fifth Australian to win the PGA title and the 12th to win a major championship - the first since Adam Scott in the 2013 Masters.

After Day closed with a 5-under 67 at Whistling Straits for a three-shot victory and a majors-record 20-under total, Australian tennis and cricket players and racing drivers were among those quick to congratulate Day.

Growing up in the regional Queensland state towns of Beaudesert and Rockhampton, Day lost his father, Alvin, to cancer when he was 12 and battled alcohol and aggression at a young age.

It was Alvin who enrolled Day as a junior member at Beaudesert Golf Club at age six and gave him his first golf club, but it was mother, Philippines-born Dening, who - worried at her son's increasing waywardness - later scraped together the money to send Day a few hours away to board at Kooralbyn International School and then Hills International College.

At Kooralbyn - which had a golf course attached to its grounds - Day met coach Colin Swatton, who has been both caddie and confidant throughout his professional career.

After Kooralbyn closed, Day and Swatton moved to Hills International College, which had a dedicated golf program. It was there that Day borrowed a book about Tiger Woods from a roommate and was spurred to take his golf even more seriously, practicing up to 30 hours a week.

Dening Day was at work and missed watching the final holes of the PGA Championship, relying instead on updates on the PGA website.

''It takes a long time before it gets updated,'' she told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio Monday. ''It gets a little bit anxious.''

That anxiety turned to elation when it became clear what Day had achieved.

''I was so excited, I was so proud of him,'' Dening Day said. ''It has been a long time coming for him. It's a culmination of all his hard work.''

Day expressed his own relief that he would no longer be known as the best golfer not to win a major, tweeting ''Ding, dong the witch is dead'' after the victory.

Congratulations came from contemporaries and compatriots.

Two-time U.S. Open champion Greg Norman wrote on Instagram ''congratulations to my fellow Queenslander and Australian (Jason Day) and his beautiful family Ellie and Dash for joining the elite club being a major winner.''

Tiger Woods posted on Twitter ''game over, very happy for Jason. Great dude and well deserved.''

Sydney Morning Herald golf writer Matt Murnane said that with his win in the final major of the year, Day ''becomes a legitimate contender, alongside the game's other under-30 superstars, world No. 1 Spieth and No. 2 McIlroy.''

To add to his early trials, Day lost eight family members in the Philippines to the devastation wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, then collapsed on the course during the U.S. Open because of an ongoing illness.

Writing in Queensland's Courier Mail newspaper, Jim Tucker said ''all the armor-plating from the near misses and the heartbreaking losses from Day's past surfaced to produce a true major champion.

''The popular Queenslander, who first grabbed us for a roller coaster run at the 2011 Masters at Augusta when he finished a heartbreaking second in his first major, has deserved this.''

Early 8 derails Dustin Johnson

No one knows better than Dustin Johnson how one disastrous hole at Whistling Straits can ruin a final round in a PGA Championship.

In 2010, it was No. 18. On Sunday, it was No. 1.

Johnson had a quadruple-bogey 8 on that first hole, spoiling his chances of challenging barely 10 minutes after getting to the tee box.

Even two eagles on the back nine, where he shot a 5-under 31, couldn't resuscitate Johnson's chances. He finished with a 3-under 69 to tie for seventh at 12 under, eight strokes behind winner Jason Day.

''Obviously, a little disappointed to get off to that kind of start,'' Johnson said. ''But that kind of comeback ... was key, I think.''

In 2010, Johnson took a two-stroke penalty on 18 after grounding his club into a bunker way right off the fairway. It dropped him out of the lead and out of a chance to take part in a playoff won by Martin Kaymer.

The stakes weren't as high this year - Johnson was six shots back of Day when the fourth round began.

Still, there was nothing cool at the first hole after Johnson's ''snowman.''

The tee shot landed in a bunker and his second shot sailed into rough.

It only got worse:

-Third shot: 15 feet into a bunker, 51 feet from the pin.

-Fourth shot: 22 feet into rough, 29 feet from the pin.

The back-breaker was the next shot, an errant chip that didn't make it up to the green and caromed 4 feet back into a bunker.

The sixth shot finally bounced on to the green and left Johnson 20 feet from the pin. He two-putted from there.

Johnson made up ground the rest of the round. A 51-foot putt on the par-5 11th for an eagle finally erased the four shots he lost on the first tee to put him below par for good for the round.

''But what a comeback today. I played really well from then on into the house. Definitely proud about that,'' he said.

Whistling Straits earns high praise

Talk of bumpy greens and horrendous weather dominated the U.S. Open and British Open.

At the PGA Championship, that angst was replaced by smiles - from both the players and spectators.

If people look at Jason Day's winning score of 20-under and think that Whistling Straits is too easy, they should come out and play it. It's a public course that will beat the snot out of you on a windy day.

The score reflects the excellence of the tour pros, the smoothness of the greens and the long stretches of light breezes off Lake Michigan.

From his perch by the first tee, course developer and owner Herb Kohler sounded a tad bothered by the potential (and eventual reality) of a 20-under winning score. He shouldn't have been.

"With the water (rain) we've gotten," he said, "the fairways are soft. It could have played more firm and been a little more like a links course, but we'll take what we got."

Next up for Whistling Straits is the 2020 Ryder Cup, and perhaps another PGA Championship by 2025.

"Look at the people out here this week," said Steve Stricker, the Madison, Wis.-area native and resident who drew some of the loudest cheers of the week. "The amount of support they give to this tournament is unbelievable. The PGA has to love it. They can fit a ton of people here. And the (players) seem to like the course. It's a tough challenge, pretty penal at times, but if you play well you can score well."

Rory McIlroy called it "a fantastic venue for a major championship," and Phil Mickelson said: "It is going to be a great Ryder Cup site."

Scores

1 AUS Jason Day -20 68 67 66 67 268
2 USA Jordan Spieth -17 71 67 65 68 271
3 RSA Branden Grace -15 71 69 64 69 273
4 ENG Justin Rose -14 69 67 68 70 274
T5 USA Brooks Koepka -13 73 69 67 66 275
T5 IND Anirban Lahiri -13 70 67 70 68 275
T7 RSA George Coetzee -12 74 65 70 67 276
T7 USA Dustin Johnson -12 66 73 68 69 276
T7 USA Matt Kuchar -12 68 72 68 68 276
T10 USA Tony Finau -11 71 66 69 71 277
T10 USA Robert Streb -11 70 73 67 67 277
T12 USA Russell Henley -10 68 71 70 69 278
T12 GER Martin Kaymer -10 70 70 65 73 278
T12 SWE David Lingmerth -10 67 70 75 66 278
T12 USA Brandt Snedeker -10 71 70 68 69 278
T12 USA Brendan Steele -10 69 69 73 67 278
17 NIR Rory McIlroy -9 71 71 68 69 279
T18 FRA Victor Dubuisson -8 76 70 67 67 280
T18 USA Phil Mickelson -8 72 73 66 69 280
T18 USA Justin Thomas -8 72 70 68 70 280
T21 JPN Hiroshi Iwata -7 77 63 70 71 281
T21 AUS Matt Jones -7 68 65 73 75 281
T21 USA Bubba Watson -7 72 71 70 68 281
24 USA JB Holmes -6 68 71 69 74 282
T25 RSA Ernie Els -5 71 71 69 72 283
T25 ENG Tyrrell Hatton -5 73 72 68 70 283
T25 USA Billy Horschel -5 72 68 68 75 283
T25 AUS Cameron Smith -5 74 68 70 71 283
T25 SWE Henrik Stenson -5 76 66 70 71 283
T30 ENG Paul Casey -4 70 70 70 74 284
T30 USA Rickie Fowler -4 73 70 70 71 284
T30 USA Jim Furyk -4 73 70 69 72 284
T30 RSA Louis Oosthuizen -4 72 71 72 69 284
T30 USA Patrick Reed -4 75 69 67 73 284
T30 USA Steve Stricker -4 71 72 71 70 284
T30 USA Nick Watney -4 78 68 68 70 284
T37 USA Jason Bohn -3 74 71 66 74 285
T37 JPN Hideki Matsuyama -3 70 70 71 74 285
T37 USA Ryan Moore -3 73 70 75 67 285
T37 RSA Charl Schwartzel -3 73 69 68 75 285
T37 FIJ Vijay Singh -3 73 71 71 70 285
T37 USA Boo Weekley -3 75 70 65 75 285
T43 USA Kevin Chappell -2 73 68 78 67 286
T43 ENG Luke Donald -2 72 70 70 74 286
T43 NZL Danny Lee -2 68 77 69 72 286
T43 USA Hunter Mahan -2 72 68 73 73 286
T43 ENG Lee Westwood -2 72 72 70 72 286
T48 DEN Thomas Bjorn -1 69 75 69 74 287
T48 USA Harris English -1 68 71 76 72 287
T48 USA Scott Piercy -1 68 70 74 75 287
T48 GER Marcel Siem -1 70 70 73 74 287
T48 SCO Marc Warren -1 72 73 69 73 287
T48 KOR Y.E. Yang -1 70 72 72 73 287
T54 ESP Sergio Garcia 0 72 71 75 70 288
T54 FIN Mikko Ilonen 0 72 73 71 72 288
T54 USA Troy Merritt 0 74 70 75 69 288
T54 ITA Francesco Molinari 0 71 73 69 75 288
T54 USA Webb Simpson 0 71 71 72 74 288
T54 USA Kevin Streelman 0 73 71 74 70 288
T54 ENG Danny Willett 0 74 70 71 73 288
T61 USA Keegan Bradley 1 76 70 72 71 289
T61 ARG Emiliano Grillo 1 70 73 72 74 289
T61 USA Chesson Hadley 1 73 71 70 75 289
64 KOR Sang-Moon Bae 2 71 72 72 75 290
T65 ZIM Brendon de Jonge 3 72 71 75 73 291
T65 USA Bill Haas 3 73 72 71 75 291
T65 USA Charles Howell III 3 70 70 77 74 291
T68 THA Kiradech Aphibarnrat 4 72 72 73 75 292
T68 USA Jason Dufner 4 71 75 69 77 292
T68 CAN Nick Taylor 4 73 73 75 71 292
71 USA Brian Gaffney 5 71 73 78 71 293
T72 USA J.J. Henry 6 75 70 74 75 294
T72 USA Sean O'Hair 6 75 68 73 78 294
T72 JPN Koumei Oda 6 79 67 72 76 294
T75 USA Morgan Hoffmann 8 72 74 72 78 296
T75 SWE Carl Pettersson 8 76 70 75 75 296
77 ENG James Morrison 9 69 74 76 78 297
CUT IRL Padraig Harrington 3 76 71 - - 147
CUT CAN David Hearn 3 76 71 - - 147
CUT USA Zach Johnson 3 75 72 - - 147
CUT USA Kevin Kisner 3 75 72 - - 147
CUT SCO Martin Laird 3 76 71 - - 147
CUT AUS Marc Leishman 3 79 68 - - 147
CUT IRL Shane Lowry 3 78 69 - - 147
CUT USA Shaun Micheel 3 74 73 - - 147
CUT USA Ryan Palmer 3 75 72 - - 147
CUT RSA Rory Sabbatini 3 71 76 - - 147
CUT AUS John Senden 3 71 76 - - 147
CUT AUT Bernd Wiesberger 3 72 75 - - 147
CUT USA Daniel Berger 4 74 74 - - 148
CUT ESP Rafael Cabrera Bello 4 73 75 - - 148
CUT RSA Tim Clark 4 75 73 - - 148
CUT USA Ryan Helminen 4 76 72 - - 148
CUT SCO Russell Knox 4 77 71 - - 148
CUT USA George McNeill 4 71 77 - - 148
CUT USA Kevin Na 4 74 74 - - 148
CUT SCO Richie Ramsay 4 81 67 - - 148
CUT USA Jimmy Walker 4 75 73 - - 148
CUT USA Tiger Woods 4 75 73 - - 148
CUT KOR Byeong Hun An 5 75 74 - - 149
CUT AUS Steven Bowditch 5 74 75 - - 149
CUT USA Matt Dobyns 5 76 73 - - 149
CUT ENG Tommy Fleetwood 5 77 72 - - 149
CUT USA James Hahn 5 75 74 - - 149
CUT NIR Graeme McDowell 5 73 76 - - 149
CUT AUS Geoff Ogilvy 5 74 75 - - 149
CUT USA Pat Perez 5 74 75 - - 149
CUT USA Shawn Stefani 5 74 75 - - 149
CUT USA Brendon Todd 5 76 73 - - 149
CUT ENG Ross Fisher 6 76 74 - - 150
CUT ESP Miguel Angel Jimenez 6 76 74 - - 150
CUT DEN Soren Kjeldsen 6 72 78 - - 150
CUT SCO Colin Montgomerie 6 78 72 - - 150
CUT ENG Ian Poulter 6 75 75 - - 150
CUT USA Grant Sturgeon 6 77 73 - - 150
CUT ENG Andrew Sullivan 6 78 72 - - 150
CUT COL Camilo Villegas 6 75 75 - - 150
CUT ENG David Howell 7 73 78 - - 151
CUT ESP Pablo Larrazabal 7 79 72 - - 151
CUT USA Adam Rainaud 7 74 77 - - 151
CUT AUS Adam Scott 7 76 75 - - 151
CUT USA Bob Sowards 7 75 76 - - 151
CUT ENG Chris Wood 7 76 75 - - 151
CUT SCO Stephen Gallacher 8 76 76 - - 152
CUT USA Brian Harman 8 78 74 - - 152
CUT THA Thongchai Jaidee 8 74 78 - - 152
CUT USA Davis Love III 8 79 73 - - 152
CUT NED Joost Luiten 8 80 72 - - 152
CUT USA Ben Polland 8 76 76 - - 152
CUT USA David Toms 8 77 75 - - 152
CUT USA Cameron Tringale 8 78 74 - - 152
CUT USA Brett Jones 9 75 78 - - 153
CUT FRA Alexander Levy 9 77 76 - - 153
CUT USA Ben Martin 9 76 77 - - 153
CUT ENG Eddie Pepperell 9 78 75 - - 153
CUT USA Rich Beem 10 76 78 - - 154
CUT USA Matthew Every 10 74 80 - - 154
CUT USA Johan Kok 10 77 77 - - 154
CUT USA John Daly 11 73 82 - - 155
CUT USA Brent Snyder 11 76 79 - - 155
CUT ARG Fabian Gomez 13 79 78 - - 157
CUT USA Charley Hoffman 13 79 78 - - 157
CUT SCO Steven Young 14 77 81 - - 158
CUT NIR Darren Clarke 15 78 81 - - 159
CUT USA Charles Frost 15 76 83 - - 159
CUT USA Omar Uresti 15 77 82 - - 159
CUT USA Sean Dougherty 16 79 81 - - 160
CUT USA Michael Maness 17 79 82 - - 161
CUT USA Mark Brooks 18 84 78 - - 162
CUT USA Austin Peters 19 82 81 - - 163
CUT USA Brian Cairns 20 83 81 - - 164
CUT KOR Kyung-Tae Kim 21 89 76 - - 165
CUT USA Ryan B. Kennedy 25 79 90 - - 169
CUT USA Alan Morin 25 87 82 - - 169
RET WAL Jamie Donaldson -2 79 63 - - 142
RET GER Alex Cejka 4 76 - - - 76




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