Sunday, August 16, 2015

PGA Championship -- Day 3 Wrap-Up

Rarely has one man dominated a golf season the way Jordan Spieth has dominated this one.  He won the Masters.  He won the U.S. Open.  He missed a playoff at the British Open by one shot.  And today he is playing in the last group at the PGA.  No one has ever won the Masters, the U.S. Open, and the PGA in the same year.

On the other hand, since 2011 Jason Day has finished second, third, and fourth in six different majors.  This year, he tied for 9th at the U.S. Open and tied for 4th at the British Open.  He may finally be due to win his first major.

On the whole, it is hard to think of a better last pairing for the last major of the year.  Meanwhile, this is an impressive leaderboard:

1.  J. Day (AUS):  -15 (68+67+66=201)

2.  J. Spieth-13 (71+67+65=203)

T3.  B. Grace (RSA):  -12 (71+69+64=204)
T3.  J. Rose (ENG):  -12 (69+67+68=204)

5.  M. Kaymer (GER):  -11 (70+70+65=205)

T6.  T. Finau-10 (71+66+69=206)
T6.  M. Jones (AUS):  -10 (68+65+73=206)

T8.  D. Johnson-9 (66+73+68=207)
T8.  A. Lahiri (IND):  -8 (70+67+70=207)

T10.  J.B. Holmes-8 (68+71+69=208)
T10.  B. Horschel-8 (72+68+68=208)
T10.  M. Kuchar-8 (68+72+68=208)


  1. Here is a list of all the players who have finished in the top 5 of all four majors in a calendar year:

    Jack Nicklaus: 1971
    Jack Nicklaus: 1973
    Tiger Woods: 2000
    Tiger Woods: 2005
    Rickie Fowler: 2014

  2. Dustin Johnson opens with a quadruple bogey 8, and falls to 5 under par.

  3. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Day (AUS): -15 (54 holes)
    2. J. Spieth: -13 (54)
    T3. B. Grace (RSA): -12 (54)
    T3. J. Rose (ENG): -12 (54)
    5. M. Kaymer (GER): -11 (55)

  4. Day birdied the 2d hole, and then Spieth responded with a birdie on 3:

    1. J. Day (AUS); -16 (57 holes)
    2. J. Spieth: -14 (57)
    3. B. Grace (RSA): -13 (57)
    4. J. Rose (ENG): -12 (57)
    5. A. Lahiri (IND): -11 (59)

    Kaymer double-bogeyed the 4th hole, and is now 10 under.

  5. I really like these commercials with Rashida Jones and the slow Internet. I would watch a sitcom based on those characters.

  6. They're always running commercials trying to encourage people to play golf. But I have to say that I tried to play golf for years, and I found that almost every single person I ever dealt with at any golf course did not want me to be there.

  7. Spieth hits a terrible drive on the fourth hole, and takes three shots to get to the green on that par 4. He misses a long putt for par, but makes a short one for bogey, and falls back to 13 under.

    Day makes a par and stays at 16 under.

  8. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Day (AUS): -16 (58 holes)
    T2. B. Grace (RSA): -14 (58)
    T2. J. Spieth: -14 (58)
    T4. A. Lahiri (IND): -13 (61)
    T4. J. Rose (ENG): -12 (58)

  9. And now Branden Grace birdies the fifth hole to move into second place on his own. And Justin Rose matches that birdie with a birdie of his own:

    1. J. Day (AUS): -16 (58 holes)
    2. B. Grace (RSA): -14 (59)
    T3. J. Rose (ENG): -13 (59)
    T3. J. Spieth: -13 (59)

  10. And now Day and Spieth have birdied the par-5 fifth. Day moves to 17 under par, three shots clear of Grace and Spieth.

    But then Grace birdies the 6th hole to get to 15 under. And Rose birdies the 6th to get to 14 under.

    Wow! These guys are good.

  11. So far, this tournament reminds me of the beginning of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," with the top four all going as fast as they can.


    1. J. Day (AUS): -17 (59 holes)
    2. B. Grace (RSA): -15 (60)
    T3. J. Rose (ENG): -14 (60)
    T3. J. Spieth: -14 (59)

  12. BRANDEN GRACE IS ON FIRE! He birdies the 7th hole to move to 16 under. That's his third birdie in a row, and he is four under for the day.

  13. Back on five, Spieth makes his second birdie in a row, moving to 15 under. But Day matches him with yet another birdie. He's three under through 6 holes, and he is now 18 under for the tournament.


  14. Rose takes a par on the 7th hole, which feels almost like a bogey.


    1. J. Day (AUS): -18 (60 holes)
    2. B. Grace (RSA): -16 (61)
    3. J. Spieth: -15 (60)
    4. J. Rose (ENG): -14 (61)

  15. Now I'm watching the opening credits for "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World." What a great opening.

    1. In that movie, they are trying to get $350,000 -- the equivalent of almost $2.8 million today.

      That really helps me to understand the story a lot better. Let's say they split the money four ways. That's $700,000 each -- a really great day. But not enough to set you up for life. On the other hand, if you could get the whole $2.8 million, you could probably retire. And it's that difference -- the difference between a nice addition to your retirement account and the chance to retire TODAY -- that drives the whole story.

    2. This used to be one of my very favorite movies, and I watched it over and over. But I don't watch it as often now -- watching middle-aged people scramble for money isn't as funny to me as it used to be. On the other hand, as I watch it less, my respect for it grows.

  16. Meanwhile, back at the golf, JASON DAY WILL NOT BE STOPPED. He holes a long putt at 7 for his third birdie in a row, and he is now NINETEEN UNDER PAR. That putt was 50 feet long.

    Spieth can't match that, and settles for a par. Spieth has played the first seven holes in two under par, and he has fallen two shots further behind Day than when he started.

  17. Well, you know what, hooray for Jason Day if he wins this thing. I'm rooting for Jordan Spieth, but, come on, Day is playing a historically fantastic round, and that's probably the best putt I've ever seen.

  18. Day, obviously feeling very pumped up, hits a wild drive on the par-4 8th hole that ends up in a fairway bunker.

    Spieth, trying to channel Jackie Gleason as Minnesota Fats in "The Hustler," whacks his drive down the fairway.

  19. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Day (AUS): -19 (61)
    2. B. Grace (RSA): -16 (61)
    3. J. Spieth: -15 (61)

  20. Spieth comes THIS CLOSE to holing a monster birdie putt of his own on 8, but he just misses and stays at 15 under.

    But Spieth makes up ground anyway, as Day's drive into the bunker leads to a bogey. He's back to 18 under.

  21. The worst part of getting nervous is when you realize that everybody else realizes you're nervous.

  22. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Day (AUS): -18 (62 holes)
    2. B. Grace (RSA): -16 (63)
    3. J. Spieth: -15 (62)
    4. J. Rose (ENG): -14 (63)

  23. Spieth hits a bad drive on 9, and cannot save his par.

    But Grace is in even more trouble on the par-4 10th. He misses the green with his second shot, and his third shot is a pitch that comes up short and rolls back down off the green. He finally gets on in four, and two putts for a double bogey.

    Meanwhile, Day holes a 10-footer for par, and he is suddenly four shots ahead of Spieth and Grace.

    But Day is only three shots ahead of Justin Rose, who birdies the 10th to move to 15 under par.

  24. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Day (AUS): -18 (63 holes)
    2. J. Rose (ENG): -15 (64)
    T3. B. Grace (RSA): -14 (64)
    T3. J. Spieth: -14 (63

    Day went out in 33. Spieth went out in 35.

  25. But Spieth never gives up. He calmly hits two great shots on the 10th hole, and rolls in a short putt for yet another birdie. Day can't match him this time, and Spieth is back to within three shots of the lead.

    Meanwhile, Dustin Johnson is back to 11 under, after birdies at 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, and an eagle on 11. If he had made par on the first hole -- instead of a quadruple bogey -- he'd be tied with Jordan Spieth.

  26. Rose is feeling it now. He birdies the 11th hole, and moves to 16 under. Grace cannot match Rose, and stays at 14 under.

  27. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Day (AUS): -18 (64)
    2. J. Rose (ENG): -16 (65)
    3. J. Spieth: -15 (64)
    4. B. Grace (RSA): -14 (65)

  28. Spieth misses an 8-footer for birdie on 11, but Day knocks in a 4-footer for birdie. He's back to 19 under par, and he is going to win unless he runs into bad trouble somewhere.

  29. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Day (AUS): -19 (65)
    2. J. Rose (ENG): -16 (66)
    3. J. Spieth: -15 (65)
    4. B. Grace (RSA): -14 (66)

    Jason, Justin, Jordan, and Branden -- it sounds like a Sunday School class from the 1980's.

  30. The Guardian reports that this is beginning to look like Day's tournament to lose, and I agree -- especially after Rose takes a double bogey on 13:

    1. J. Day (AUS): -19 (66)
    T2. B. Grace (RSA): -15 (67)
    T2. J. Spieth: -15 (66)
    4. J. Rose (ENG): -14 (67)

  31. Spieth birdies 13 to move to 16 under, while Day's par leaves him at 19 under.

  32. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Day (AUS): -19 (67)
    2. J. Spieth: -16 (67)
    3. B. Grace (RSA): -15 (68)
    T4. B. Koepka: -14 (70)
    T4. J. Rose (ENG): -14 (68)

  33. From the middle of the 14th fairway, Spieth hits his worst shot of the day. It flies over the green and down into a valley, and he is probably going to take a bogey that will sink his chances.

    Still, this is not a story of failure by Spieth, but of greatness by Day.

  34. Shows you what I know. Spieth pitches to within 20 feet, and then holes the putt to save par on 14.

    Now Day has a birdie putt to get to 20 under. His birdie putt is about 12 feet -- less than Spieth's par putt. He's been making these all weekend, and he makes this one as well.

    He is now 5 under through 14 holes. Just amazing stuff.

    1. As I said, it's not that Spieth has failed, but that Day has been spectacular.

  35. Grace takes a bogey on 15 to fall back to 14 under par, and that pretty much does it for him.

    Dustin Johnson makes his second eagle on the back nine, and he's now 13 under par. There ought to be a way for him to play without knowing what the score is.

  36. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Day (AUS): -20 (68)
    2. J. Spieth: -16 (68)

  37. Dustin Johnson's spectacular play has gotten him back on live TV. He immediately bombs his tee shot on the par-3 17th well over the green. It could be in the water.

    1. It wasn't in the water, but Johnson took a bogey.

  38. Spieth pars the 15th, and Day makes a rare bogey.


    1. J. Day (AUS): -19 (69)
    2. J. Spieth: -16 (69)

  39. Day birdies the par-5 16th hole to get back to 20 under par. Spieth does a spectacular up-and-down from a greenside bunker to make his own birdie, but remains 3 shots off the lead.

  40. Leaderboard:

    1. J. Day (AUS): -20 (70 holes)
    2. J. Spieth: -17 (70)

    If they par out, Spieth will have a 68 -- but Day will have a 67.

  41. Three Back, Two To Go is my life story.

  42. Hoptown 1969 me is so rich you might see him shirtless, bobbing on some boat on the water in the background of the 17th tee of some major some day.

    1. Raymond Floyd won the 1969 PGA, which was played at the NCR Country Club near Dayton. Maybe 1969 Hoptown you drove up there.

    2. On Saturday at the 1969 PGA, demonstrators tried to interrupt the round of Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus. I can only imagine how this went over in Southern Ohio.

  43. Day and Spieth both par the 17th hole, and Jason Day is now only one hole away from his first major championship.

  44. I wonder if Jim Nantz and Chris Berman ever spend much time together.

  45. Day has had very few problems all week, and he reaches the final green with two solid blows. Unless he three-putts, he will be the first man ever to finish a major golf tournament with a score of 20 under par.

  46. The 2013 rookie of the year finished 1, 1, T4 and 2 in the 2015 majors.

  47. Jordan Spieth pars the last hole, and finishes with a 68. But Jason Day pars out for a 67, and HE HAS CAPTURED GLORY'S LAST CHANCE!

  48. Day is the first Australian to win the PGA since 1995. Nantz will be thrilled.