Yahoo!'s Shane Bacon gives his verdict on the players who came out well and not so well from the US PGA Championship.
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Rory McIlroy — I think it is finally safe to compare this man to whoever you want, picking up his fourth major and second in a row in a chaotic final round at Valhalla. Rory didn't have his best stuff this week at the PGA Championship and still was able to win, something we've only been able to say a few times about just a few select names. He now is one major away from the career Grand Slam and two away from his own version of the Tiger Slam. The sky is the limit for this kid and he is currently way up in the clouds.
Rickie Fowler — Another major, another high finish, but this one is going to sting for Fowler. Still, he got himself in a position once again to win a major, finishing in the top-five in all four this season. Fowler has taken his game to a different level in 2014, and is starting quite the rivalry with McIlroy that could go on for decades.
Brandt Snedeker — While most of the American Ryder Cup hopefuls were hurt or missing the cut, Snedeker played himself up the leaderboard after a Thursday 73, shooting 12-under the final three rounds to finish T-13 and definitely get Tom Watson's attention.
Phil Mickelson — It might not have been what Mickelson had hoped for when he teed off on Sunday, but it sure was exciting! Mickelson birdied five of his first 11 holes, but self-admitted after the round to running out of steam after such an incredible start. Still, Mickelson had a pitch shot on the final hole for an eagle and nearly jarred it, and despite being visibly upset about the decision to let McIlroy's group play up, he handled himself like a pro when talking with the media.
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Tiger Woods — The decision to play was strange, and right from the start it was apparent he wasn't in the type of golfing form to even compete at this championship. Tiger will be fine if he can get healthy, but trying to play through the injuries is doing nobody any good, and it's strange he doesn't see that.
Bubba Watson — After trying to prove a point only he cared about at the pre-tournament Long Drive Contest (he hit 3-iron off the tee in protest), it was Bubba who was caught by the cameras throwing a fit about the weather and the conditions. It was smart of Bubba to apologize, but if this behavior keeps up he's going to lose fans faster than a ball goes off his driver face.
Jordan Spieth — The American superstar is going to go through some growing pains, but this is now his third straight start without a top-35 finish for the kid who couldn't spell "outside the top-10" earlier this year. His missed cut at the PGA was his first of 2014 and saw a trend of worse major finishes continue after his T-2 at the Masters in April.
The PGA officials — If Phil and Rickie won't say it, I will. No way should Rory and his group played up on the 18th hole on Sunday. I understand the light was fading, but being in front of someone can be just as much of an advantage as being behind. And for that, what if Rory hits his tee shot in the water that he missed by just a few feet? Now Fowler and Mickelson know that an eagle might win and a birdie tie, changing their entire game plan as they stand in the fairway. I didn't like the decision, and felt it changed a bit of the theme from such an incredible golf tournament to a bit of a controversial one, and that's disappointing.
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