SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — There was Jack Nicklaus’s 1-iron. Now there is Jason Day’s 2-iron.
The difference is that one helped win a major championship at Baltusrol Golf Club. The other came awfully close.
Forty-nine years after Nicklaus hit his famous shot from 237 yards on the 18th hole in the final round of the 1967 United States Open, Day stood about 20 yards shy of the plaque in the fairway that commemorates that shot.
He gripped a 2-iron in his hand. He had just used it off the tee, leaving him 258 yards to the green at the par-5 closing hole. And he was going to use it again for his second shot.
Day said he did not know at the time that he was three shots behind the leader, Jimmy Walker. He thought he trailed by two.
Regardless, when his shot landed just a few yards from the cup and rolled to within 14 feet, Day knew his Hail Mary had given him a chance to send the 98th P.G.A. Championship into a playoff.
“Probably one of the best 2-irons I’ve ever hit,” Day said, “especially under the circumstances.”
There have been two notable 1-iron shots in majors at Baltusrol: Nicklaus in 1967; and John Daly in 1993 on the 630-yard 17th hole, where he used a 1-iron to become the first player to reach that green in two shots at the Open.
But that shot occurred in the second round. And Nicklaus held a three-stroke lead over Arnold Palmer in 1967 when he used his 1-iron to birdie, breaking the U.S. Open record of 275, previously held by Ben Hogan.
Day’s magic with the 2-iron might be more easily forgotten because he wound up losing to Walker by one stroke. But considering the magnitude of the stage, and after playing 35 holes in 12 hours, Day’s shot was as dramatic as it gets.
source : http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/01/sports/golf/pga-championship-jason-day.html