79th PGA Championship
The only question left for Davis Love III to answer was when would he fulfill the promise of his youth and win a major championship. The son of a PGA Professional, Love found his answer in a stirring week at Winged Foot Golf Club. Love opened with a first-round 66, followed with a 71, then bounced back with a pair of 66s that gave him an 11-under-par winning total for 72 holes, the lowest of any champion in Winged Foot’s storied 74 years. Love led the world’s best players in driving distance (a 307-yard average), tied for third in putting (113), tied for 12th in greens in regulation and tied for 21st in fairways hit.
Love accomplished all of that while defeating his playing partner and reigning British Open Champion Justin Leonard.
Love survived his biggest hurdle at the par-3 13th, when he pulled a 4-iron into deep rough near the green. Leonard’s tee shot landed 15 feet from the cup. Love then responded by hitting an L-wedge approach almost into the hole.
Leonard missed his birdie try, bogeyed the 14th hole and Love had the cushion he needed for an emotional walk up the 18th fairway. Jeff Maggert, who tied the competitive course record with a 65, finished third at 276.