PGA Year in Review: Part III

This is part 3 of a three-part series taking a look back at the year that was on the PGA Tour. This installment will detail Tour events from July through December of 2015.

July

Greenbrier Classic – Danny Lee, on his way to a top 10 finish in the FedEx Cup standings, won his first career victory, needing two playoff holes to eliminate David Hearn, Robert Streb, and Kevin Kisner.

John Deere Classic – Jordan Spieth won his fourth title of the season and second via playoff, defeating Tom Gillis on the second extra hole and finishing 20-under, spearheaded by a record-setting 61 on Saturday.

The Open Championship – Zach Johnson recorded his second Major win and 12th PGA title overall with the dramatic playoff win, derailing Spieth’s quest for a third straight Major in the process. For the second straight Major, Dustin Johnson set a torrid pace, 10-under through two days. and after 54 holes, there were 14 players within three strokes of the lead jointly held by Jason Day, Oosthuizen, and amateur Paul Dunne of Ireland. After 60 holes, Oosthuizen, Spieth, and Day held the lead jointly at 14-under. Spieth bombed out with a double-bogey on No. 8, leaving Day alone in the lead , but Johnson, Marc Leishman, and Oosthuizen all tied him at 14-under at the turn. Leishman inched ahead through 13 at 16-under but bogeyed No.16 to fall back into a tie with Spieth and Johnson. On 18, both Johnson and Oosthuizen recorded birdies to tie Leishman at 15-under and force a playoff, with both Day and Spieth coming up a stroke short. A four-hole playoff followed, with Johnson birdying the first two holes to open up a 1-stroke lead over Oosthuizen and a 3-stroke lead over Leishman. He finished 1-under on the playoff, a stroke ahead of Oosthuizen.

RBC Canadian Open – Jason Day notched his second title of the season, edging Bubba Watson by a single stroke with a 17-under

Quicken Loans National – Troy Merritt scored his first PGA victory with a 3-stroke win over Top 10 competitor Rickie Fowler. Merritt shot a Day 3 61 to cruise to an 18-under 266.

WGC-Bridgestone Invitational – Shane Lowry has a habit of winning a title every three years, and it happened again in 2015. Lowry’s first victory came in 2009 at the 3 Irish Open, and his second in 2012 at the Portugal Masters. Win No. 3 was the biggest to date, a 2-stroke victory over Watson with an 11-under 269 at Bridgestone.

PGA ChampionshipJason Day had come so close at the Open Championsip that he made sure his next Major effort would not go for naught as he set an all-time record, shooting 20-under to beat Jordan Spieth by three strokes. For a third straight Major, Dustin Johnson set the early pace, 6-under through the first day, and it was Australia’s Matt Jones in the lead after 36 holes at 11-under. Day took command with a Day 3 66 to reach 15-under, with Spieth two strokes behind.He was never threatened on Sunday, leading by at least two strokes the whole way, and birdying two of his final four holes to get to 20-under. Spieth finished in Top 4 of all four Majors and became No. 1 in the world the next day.

Wyndham Championship – At 51 years old and seven years removed from his last PGA crown, Davis Love III stunned the field by firing a 17-under 263 to edge Jason Gore by a stroke. He is the oldest winner on the PGA Tour since 1975 and the third-oldest ever, trailing only Sam Snead (52 years, 10 months, 8 days in 1965) and Art Wall (51 years, 7 months, 10 days in 1975).

The Barclays – Jason Day closed the gap significantly on Spieth for the FedEx Cup lead with the victory, dominating the course to the tune of a 19-under 261 and winning by six strokes over Henrik Stenson.

Deutsche Bank Championship – Rickie Fowler made Stenson the runner-up for a second straight week, eking out a 1-stroke win by firing a 15-under 269.

BMW Championship – Day did it all in one fell sweep, won the BMW Championship, took the lead in the FedEx Cup, and most importantly, took over the No. 1 ranking in the world for the first time in his life, courtesy a 6-stroke defeat of Daniel Berger that saw him shoot a 22-under 262 with the first two rounds a 61 and 63.

Tour Championship – After sputtering through the first three rounds of the FedEx Cup, Spieth returned to form just in time, winning the tournament, the FedEx Cup, and taking back the No. 1 ranking from Day with a 4-stroke win over Danny Lee, Justin Rose, and Stenson by shooting 9-under.

Presidents Cup – The US team was up 4-1 after Thursday, but that lead fell to a single point after Friday’s fourball results. That one-point lead held up the rest of the way and the US won 15-1/2 to 14-1/2 when Sang Moon Bae conceded to Bill Haas on a 6-foot putt.

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