PGA Championship: Jason Day secures first major; Finau ties for 10th

By Paul Gittings, CNN | Posted - Aug. 16, 2015 at 8:51 p.m.



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(CNN) — Jason Day ended Jordan Spieth's dreams of golfing immortality and made history of his own as he lifted the PGA Championship title at Whistling Straits Sunday.

The 27-year-old Australian finally got across the line in a major after a series of new misses as he carded a five-under-par 67 for 20-under-par 268 to win by three from Spieth.

Lehi's Tony Finau finished tied for 10th in the final major of the year, starting off the day with back-to-back birdies on holes No. 5 and 6, but a bogey on seven and 3-over 7 on the ninth hole put him at 2-over heading into the back nine.

Spieth, seeking to become only the third man after Tiger Woods and Ben Hogan to win three professional majors in the same year, has the consolation of claiming the world number one spot from Rory McIlroy, "an unbelievable feeling," he said.

McIlroy, who played above expectations after coming back from a ruptured ankle ligament, closed with a 68 for nine-under, but it was not enough to deny Spieth, winner of the Masters and U.S. Open, a fresh honor.

Ding dong the witch is dead. #PGAChampionship#winningpic.twitter.com/uwBFKRvWBn — Jason Day (@JDayGolf) August 17, 2015

Day has had to battle vertigo which undermined his challenge at the U.S. Open, but it was his own play in the final round which left his rivals in a spin, becoming the first man in history to finish on the 20-under mark in a major.

Starting with a two-shot lead over his final round playing partner, Day was always in command after starting with four birdies in his first seven holes.

He dropped shots at the eighth and 15th to give a glimmer of hope to his rivals but four other birdies on the back nine more than compensated.

Clearly emotional after so many near misses, Day was hugged by his wife Ellie and young son Dash after closing out his memorable victory.

"Just an amazing feeling ... I didn't expect I was going to cry," he told CBS Television.

He is the 11th Australian and first since Adam Scott at the Masters in 2013 to win one of golf's four major titles.

South African Branden Grace finished third at 15-under, while Justin Rose of England was fourth, a further shot back.

"If it wasn't me, I was kind of pulling for Jason. It's just good for golf," said Rose.

Day will move to third in the new world rankings behind Spieth and McIlroy, his rise starting from his teenage years in Brisbane under coach and mentor Colin Swatton, who caddied for him as he secured his greatest triumph this week in Wisconsin.

Spieth, who has finished with two wins, a fourth and finally second place in this season's four majors, has deposed McIlroy after 93 weeks at the top of the rankings.

"It's as good a consolation prize as I've ever had," he said.

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Paul Gittings

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