Cameron Young knocks on the titles door after the PGA Championship

TULSA, Okla. – It will be difficult for Cameron Young to see through the thick fog of bitter disappointment that came with an agonizingly short Sunday in Southern Hills.

The 104th PGA Championship was just the thing for the 25-year-old Westchester native as late afternoon swept over northeast Oklahoma.

Young had a hand on the Wanamaker Trophy.

He wanted to bring this big, shiny goblet back to Sleepy Hollow Country Club for everyone to touch and pose for photos as a thank you for all the members of the club have done to advance his golf career since he was a sawtooth youngster was sticks off.

Young, in only his second major tournament, was tied on the 14th tee for the damn lead with 54-hole leader Mito Pereira at 6 under par.

The dream was so close to coming true that he could almost touch and taste it. Young’s father David, director of golf at Sleepy Hollow for two decades, and mother Barbara, once an accomplished competitive golfer herself, walked every hole and watched every shot.

Speaking on a wall near the Southern Hills clubhouse on Saturday night after Cam’s third round, David Young spoke about the three runners-up spots his son has already had on the PGA Tour this season, saying they were only on that one would wait a special Sunday lap to get him over the top.

Cameron Young tees off on Sunday's 13th hole at the PGA Championship.
Cameron Young tees off on Sunday’s 13th hole at the PGA Championship.
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But Young couldn’t summon what he had to summon on those last five holes – the most important five holes of his life to date.

Young bogeyed the 14th, a 224-yard par 3 when he hit his tee shot in the right bunker, splashed to 12 feet and missed the par save putt. That dropped him to 5-under, one shot behind.

Then came the killer – a double bogey on the 524-yard par 4 16th hole. There he left his approach shot in the right bunker and crashed three putts to drop to 3-under par, three shots off Pereira’s lead.

Young would rebound with a birdie on the 17th to get back to 4-under, two shots from the lead, but it was too late. In the end, he would miss a tempting shot to a playoff between Will Zatoris and eventual winner Justin Thomas.

Zlatoris and Young were teammates and housemates at Wake Forest and they were paired in Sunday’s penultimate group. As much as Young would do for Zatoris, it had to hurt a little more that it was his teammate in this playoff and not himself.

Now back to perspective.

Cameron Young
Cameron Young
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About 20 months ago, Young was ranked 2,066 in the world and had no player status on any tours. Now that he’s got his PGA Tour card, he’s moving into the majors and could be the leader in the clubhouse as the PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year.

Yes, Young didn’t manage to win the Wanamaker on Sunday, but he’s an aspiring player, a player on the verge of winning on the PGA Tour for the first time and a player who knows he has one can win big championship.

“He’s going to be angry for a while,” David Young said afterwards. “He played terribly well and missed a couple of putts on the first seven holes that were pretty easy to make. Nothing fell. But to compete in a Major comes with a lot of positives – and he’ll do it after he’s done being crazy for a few hours.

“He’ll walk away knowing he can win one of these. He knows he can. He was correct in chasing 70 holes. I think, based on common sense, in a few hours he’ll have calmed down and realize he’s one step closer to who he wants to be.”

Cameron Young described the day’s end result as “quite disappointing”, adding: “I’ve come close a couple of times and had a couple of bad Sundays. This was just another. It was clearly a difficult day. It’s major championship golf.

Fans watch Cameron Young tee off on Sunday's 10th hole.
Fans watch Cameron Young tee off on Sunday’s 10th hole.
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“I made so many mistakes, even in tournaments I was close to winning. I think it proves to me that not only can I win, I can win by quite a bit. I just have to wait for that to come together.

“If I keep pushing for the lead or a back with nine holes to play, I’m going to shoot 5-under on the back one of those times and that’s going to be good enough. It wasn’t today. There will be another one.”

Barbara Young, who stood on the first tee and watched the chaos that took place around her as Thomas and Zalatoris passed them on their way to the playoff, said of her son, “He’s not afraid to win. He has no fear.”

He never watched it on the biggest stage Cameron Young has ever stood on. Cameron Young knocks on the titles door after the PGA Championship


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