I’m usually a little melancholy in the days after the PGA Championship, mourning the end of the thrills and spills of the major championship summer, but it’s a different feeling this year. The Opens, here and abroad, were utterly thrilling, and while this PGA wasn’t quite as nerve-jangling, it was still a star-making tour de force for the champion. For the last decade, we’ve been fretting about the post-Tiger era — now that it’s here, it looks pretty damn good to me.
1. JDay. He drove it like Rory and putted like Jordan. Now he gets to join them in a wildly appealing neo-Big Three.
2. Spieth. This was, quite simply, one of the best seasons by a golfer in the post-Watson era. What a thrill it is to watch this kid play.
3. Branden Grace. Between Straits and Chambers, this underrated South African is turning into a big-game hunter.
4. Brooke Henderson. Say hello to the newest LPGA Tour member. Sky’s the limit for this massively-talented, wildly ambitious 17 year old.
5. Justin Rose. He went 34 under across this season’s four majors, a number exceeded only by Spieth and Day, a testament to Rose’s consistency and all-around excellence.
1. Justin Rose. And yet he came up empty-handed. That double bogey on the 13th hole on Sunday at the PGA was a brutal rally-killer.
2. Dustin. His crazy final round at the PGA, full of incredible highlights and one absurd pratfall, was his entire career in a nutshell. Oh, and with Day’s breakthrough, DJ is now the consensus pick for the dreaded Best Player Never To Have Won A Major title.
3. The modern golf ball. The Old Course’s greens have to be bikini-waxed to try to slow scoring, making it unplayable in the wind, and once-fearsome Whistling Straits is now a driver-wedge pushover. When will the madness stop?
4. Rory. Remember this time last year, when McIlroy owned the game? And no other players had proven themselves as worthy adversaries? Seems like a looooong time ago.
5. Tiger. I guess stubbornness is part of what made him so great, but it’s just going to bring scar tissue, to him and to us, watching Woods struggle through the Wyndham.