PGA Tour Confidential: McIlroy rolls to eight-shot win at PGA Championship

Rory McIlroy, Sunday, 2012 PGA Championship
Andrew Hancock / SI
Tiger Woods shot 74-72 in his final two rounds to finish tied for 11th.

TIGER FIZZLES ON THE WEEKEND
Godich: Repeating his pattern from the U.S. Open and British Open, Tiger Woods was solid if not spectacular for two rounds, only to disappoint on the weekend. When it was over, he offered up that he came out on Saturday too relaxed. Say what? What's really going on? I believe Tiger is finally showing his vulnerability, knowing every major that passes without a victory is an opportunity lost to close on Jack? How do you explain Tiger's lost weekends?

Bamberger: His head.

Shipnuck: It's simple -- his self-belief has been shattered. That's tougher to fix than any swing flaw.

Gorant: Looks like he just ain't good enough right now. He can't hit the shots or make the putts when he needs them.

Hanger: He didn't look too relaxed to me. It's such a tired expression, but I agree with many, including Mr. Bamberger, that he "wants it too much" now. Since the scandal, everything's been harder, and he is pressing on these major weekends.

Herre: I didn't think he looked relaxed at all on Saturday. In fact, I thought he looked annoyed. Also thought he made the mistake of trying to do too much, short-siding himself a couple of times by trying to be perfect. That's the thing with Tiger these days -- sometimes he has it, and sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes he can pull off the perfect shot, and sometimes it gets him in trouble. Sometimes he makes everything, and sometimes he struggles on the greens.

Shipnuck: I don't know, I was out there walking with him and he seemed strangely disengaged. Something was definitely missing. I guess it was intensity.

Dusek: This is what Tiger now is, an excellent player on a tour full of excellent players. He'll win tournaments, and I think he'll win another major, but like Vijay, Bo Van Pelt, Ian Poulter and lots of other guys not named McIlroy this week, he couldn't put four very good rounds together. He missed several putts short on Sunday morning and never ran together a string of birdies to create buzz or momentum. I explain Tiger's lost weekend by accepting that he'll never be the player he was.

Van Sickle: When conditions were tough, with Friday's high winds, his shotmaking skills gave him an edge over the field. He can still play shots. With little wind, he has no edge. And his wedge play, especially his distance control, is a weakness. He's still got a ways to go to be consistent enough to win with regularity.

Ritter: I also think he's pressing. He had a chance to win three out of the year's four majors heading into Saturday. It's shocking that he failed to break par on any of his eight weekend rounds in the majors. The pressure is affecting him much differently from the way it did in his heyday.

Wei: It's all between the ears. I think he is feeling the heat, and he wants it so badly that he puts too much pressure on himself.

Walker: He's been through a lot. The important takeaway from 2012 is that Tiger's not that far off. And once he wins that 15th major, 18 is going to look a lot closer.

Godich: But because of his inability to finish the deal, you could argue that he is that far off. He has also lost the intimidation factor.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: How do you explain Tiger's lost weekends? Will his win a major in 2013?

PGA SURPRISES
Godich: When a guy wins by eight, it's easy to overlook quality play by others in the field. Which player not named Rory were you most impressed with?

Herre: Adam Scott had a nice bounce-back from the British, and of course Pettersson was terrific, especially in light of his penalty on the first hole on Sunday. Bradley also had a good week.

Bamberger: Vijay. He is still so good at 49.

Dusek: Carl Pettersson. He was at or near the top of the leaderboard all week, drained some nice putts and didn't seem to wilt in the spotlight. He didn't make enough birdies, and there were some loose shots to be sure, but Carl showed some guts.

Ritter: It was great to see him put up back-to-back birdies after he was slapped with that ridiculous penalty. Wouldn't be surprised to see him bag a major sometime soon.

Reiterman: A week after winning at Firestone, Bradley, the defending champ, finished T3. Can we please get Keegan and Rory a late tee time next April?

Van Sickle: Bradley probably set the record for getting the least air-time of any third-place finisher at a major. Who did he tick off at CBS?

Herre: And John Daly, who has actually been playing pretty well this year.

Garrity: Harrington. No, he was never in contention, but he's been getting better week by week. He might surprise us with an Els-at-Lytham-style victory somewhere.

Wei: Carl Pettersson. He's a great underdog, and sneaky funny. To be told you were assessed a two-shot penalty from the first hole (silly penalty, IMHO) on the fourth tee could have completely thrown him off. His reaction was classic. The rules official told him and Carl said "f---" and kept walking. About 30 seconds later, he stopped and asked the official if he was sure. The answer was yes. Pettersson birdied the next two holes. Tough penalty because it didn't give him an advantage or affect the outcome of the shot.

Godich: How is removing that leaf on his takeaway any different from removing it with his hand before he addresses the ball? Silly rule? Maybe. But it was enforced correctly.

Gorant: The ones that defy logic always bug me, but as the rule exists it was called correctly. Annoying but correct.

Van Sickle: The penalty doesn't fit the crime. One shot, instead of two, would be a lot more tolerable. But I also think you ought to have a fair chance to swing at a ball and not be penalized for that. Something else for the ruling bodies to consider for the 2016 rules conference.

Shipnuck: Gotta be Poulter. He was electric for a good long while. He was too far back at the start to ever win, but he made the day a lot more fun.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Who was the biggest surprise at the PGA?

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