Videos by OutKick
We’ve made it to another major championship week with the opening round of the PGA Championship just days away. Before we turn our focus to Oak Hill, there are plenty of other storylines from the world of golf worth our time.
Jason Day finally picked up win No. 13 on the PGA Tour with a memorable Mother’s Day in Texas while Dustin Johnson jumped back into the winner’s circle with yet another win in LIV Golf. Both players are carrying some serious momentum into the year’s second major, but one of the former World No. 1’s may be a bigger threat than the other.
Speaking of LIV, Greg Norman sounds like he’s now buddy-buddy with Rory McIlroy, but there has to be another layer to their ongoing back and forth.
There is plenty to get to, so let’s get to it.
Jason Day Is A Winner On The PGA Tour Again
Jason Day spent close to a full year as the No. 1 ranked player in the world after going on an absolute heater in 2015 and 2016, then things cooled off, drastically.
After picking up a pair of wins during the 2018 season, injuries and personal life struggles that everyone has to deal with started piling up. The Aussie and his family had to watch his mother battle cancer for five years before she passed away in March 2022.
Day was open and honest with the media about his mother’s battle and how it affected him on the golf course.
It was only right that his first win in over five years came on Mother’s Day on Sunday thanks to what you could argue was the best round of his career. Day began the final round two shots back of the lead and certainly enjoyed playing the chaser as he carded a bogey-free 62 to win by a shot at 23-under par.
It all came full circle for Day on the 18th hole. Knowing that a birdie would likely be enough to win the tournament, Day looked toward the 18th green surrounded by his wife and children with 80 yards between him and the win he’s been chasing for half a decade.
He relished the opportunity and knocked a wedge to two feet before tapping in for the win.
Day’s previous 12 wins on Tour speak for themselves, he’d been there and done that when it comes to winning golf tournaments, but he hadn’t been there in quite some time. Finding the winner’s circle in clutch fashion, in front of his family, on a day his late mother was undoubtedly on his mind was something special.
Dustin Johnson Picks Up LIV Win No. 2
While Jason Day’s win stole the headlines, Dustin Johnson quietly picked up his second LIV Golf win after surviving a playoff against Branden Grace and Cam Smith in Tulsa.
Smith carried all the momentum imaginable into the playoff after shooting 9-under on Sunday, but Johnson was able to put the pressure on the Aussie by draining his birdie putt on the extra hole.
Johnson picking up a win and some very real momentum heading into this week’s PGA Championship could flip a switch that may mean trouble for the field at Oak Hill. The 38-year-old has a pair of runner-up finishes in the PGA Championship in his career, and like most other LIV players, he’ll fly under the radar of some folks despite his game seeming like a great fit for the track in New York.
After his close call at the Masters last month, Brooks Koepka will get the most attention as potential LIV contender at the PGA, but overlooking DJ is likely an unwise decision right now.
Rory McIlroy Could Use Greg Norman’s Comments As Extra Motivation
Rory McIlroy may not have been in the field at the AT&T Byron Nelson, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t among the biggest storylines in golf last week.
LIV CEO Greg Norman made eye-opening comments about McIlroy ahead of LIV’s event in Tulsa. According to Norman, Rory has essentially come around on the idea that LIV Golf has a place in the sport.
“I am glad Rory is starting to maybe see the light a little bit,” Norman said.
“I am glad Rory has recognized that LIV really truly identified how antiquated the PGA Tour was. I am glad Rory is recognizing LIV has been a leader in getting the PGA Tour to try and follow us. Why have we done that? Because of the players.”
While Norman’s comments aren’t inaccurate – LIV Golf absolutely pushed the Tour into making changes – it was an unprovoked exchange from Norman.
McIlroy has stated that he believes the Tour and LIV need to find a way to work together, but claiming Rory has “seen the light” is a little much.
The four-time major winner shouldn’t need any extra motivation for the PGA Championship, but given his less-than-stellar form as of late, maybe he’ll use Norman’s comments as some extra juice. He’ll have to play his role of the unofficial spokesperson for the Tour in the lead-up to the tournament, and you best believe Norman’s comments will extensively be talked about.
An Early PGA Championship Pick To Start The Week
We’ll have plenty of PGA Championship coverage in the lead-up to the year’s second major championship. From stories to watch, gambling insight from Geoff Clark, and tons of coverage on our network of shows, OutKick has you covered on all things golf, as per usual.
As for an early prediction on who may hoist the Wanamaker Trophy come Sunday, for whatever reason my mind has spun a scenario in which Tyrrell Hatton picks up his first major championship. He’s in form plus plays difficult golf courses well, but he’s also incredibly vulnerable if things start going south.
Speaking of picks, new DraftKings users are eligible to receive a single-use +1000 odds boost token for any golfer to win this week’s PGA Championship at this link.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris