I was on a search for a good location for the PGA Championship as Kiawah had not surfaced on the ASG portfolio of courses. The winds of off the oceans of the east coast was one of my interests to be included in a course selection. I just was not finding any but for the brand new Shinnecock Course which had not arrived. I consulted with the ASG game creator and he suggested Oakmont for the PGA Championship. It did not take much to seal the site location. Three times the event had been played western Pennsylvania site. True not since 1978 but it made it all the more time for it again.
I tried to include some of the course elements in the Oakmont site from the Kiawah site with moderate winds, soft course conditions with the PGA rough and I think I got the desired effect. Tiger Woods won for the 5th time tying him with Jack Nicklaus for winning the Wanamaker Trophy. The contest went down to the back nine on Sunday were Tiger Woods finally separated himself from Camilo Villegas to win the championship. More details on that later.
Thursday brought out the standard red pin placement on the Oakmont test, first began way back in 1916. Shaun Micheel, previous winner of the PGA opened with a 5 under par round of 65 on a wind swept course. In addition his bogey free round highlighted with five birdies (34-31) four on the back side to undo the early round heriocs of Rory Sabbatini (32-33) and Kevin Na (32-33). John Senden closed strongly (34-31) to join the group of four at the top. Camilo Villegas opened strongly but faded late (31-35) at 4 under par. George Coetzee fired the second bogey free round (33-33) in second with Camilo and Ernie Els (33-33). In third at 3 under was recent PGA winner J.J. Henry (30-37) with five birdies of the front nine. Tiger Woods and Retief Goosen matched score at (33-34) at 3 under.
On Friday, cut day Steve Stricker made his presence felt jumping 10 spots into first (33-33). Tiger Woods climbed 6 spots to one stroke behind Steve Stricker at 5 under (35-33) in second. Rory Sabbatini (37-33) slipped back to second 5 under with Tiger Woods. Camilo Villegas (36-34) shared third with John Senden (35-36). The winds continued to keep the scoring down and the golfers close. Scoring average was 72.13 and the cut was +5.
Move Day turned into stabilize day for most of the golfers as par or over was accepted as the norm. Rory Sabbatini (36-34) moved into first to share with Steve Stricker (37-34) at 5 under. In second, at 4 under Camilo Villegas (34-36) played even as Tiger Woods(36-35). At 2 under Spencer Levin (36-35) matched scores with Sergio Garcia (35-36) but in reverse.
What was shaping up for a four man race quickly peared down to a two way dog fight between Camilo Villegas and Tiger Woods. In two holes Steve Stricker and Rory Sabbatini both fell by the wayside. Tiger Woods quickly birdied the 2 nd 3 rd and 4 th holes to pull to 7 under but Camilo Villegas caught Tiger Woods at the 6th hole with his third birdie. For five holes the two golfers matched one another at 6 under both bogeying the par three 8th. On the 12th hole birdied the par 5. Camilo Villegas knowing holes were at a premium he gambled on the par 3 13th and bogey the hole. The 14th was more the same for Tiger birdie 3, and as it turned out the victory. Camilo birdied two more holes, 16th and 17th but it was not enough as Tiger Woods won his 5th PGA Championship.
|2^ –271-Tiger Woods||-5||-9||67||68||71||65|
|1^ –273-Camilo Villegas||-3||-7||66||70||70||67|
|2^ –277-Spencer Levin||-1||-2||69||68||71||69|
|3^ –278-John Senden||-1||-2||65||71||73||69|
|2^–279- Rory McIlroy||E||-1||70||68||71||70|
|8^ –281-Charl Schwartzel||+1||+1||73||70||67||71|
|— –281-Ernie Els||+2||+1||66||73||70||72|
|— –281-Retief Goosen||+2||+1||67||71||71||72|
|— –281-Webb Simpson||+3||+1||71||66||71||73|
|2- –281-Sergio Garcia||+3||+1||71||66||71||73|
|6- –281-Steve Stricker||+6||+1||68||66||71||76|