PGA Championship

Micheel relives the moment as a one-hit wonder

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 August, 2013, 5:04am

Shaun Micheel has not won a tournament since taking the PGA Championship 10 years ago at Oak Hill, part of an unusual group of one-major wonders the event has produced.

The American, 44, returned to Oak Hill this week for the 95th PGA Championship and will play the first two rounds with 2002 PGA winner Rich Beem and 1996 PGA winner Mark Brooks, two other US players without a win since their major breakthrough.

"Over the years, I think I've escaped relatively unscathed with what I'm going to call the 'one-hit wonder' notion," Micheel said. "I totally get it. I really do. But I don't think people really understand that there's a process involved in winning major championship golf."

Micheel's most memorable moment was a spectacular seven-iron shot on the 72nd hole that stopped inches from the cup to end Chad Campbell's title bid and seal victory. "It was really a once-in-a-lifetime shot," he said. "That particular shot was set up by all the great things that I did throughout the week. It was the winning shot, but I did some pretty good things just to get myself in position.

"That last shot solidified the fact that I could do it. I know I haven't done it since. I guess part of me wishes I had bowed out a few years ago. But I relive that moment a lot."

Since then, Micheel has struggled. He underwent left shoulder surgery for a torn labrum in 2008 and had to stop taking some medication to combat low testosterone when the US PGA Tour began drug testing so he could demonstrate need for a therapeutic-use exemption.

"It has been frustrating," Micheel said. "The shoulder surgery I had in 2008, I just don't swing like I used to. To this day, I don't get my arm up. I can't get it to where it was."

Some of Micheel's motivation vanished after his mother, Donna, died of lung cancer in 2010.

"I didn't have the drive," he said. "I had played so hard for her that I just didn't have anybody to play for. I was sick of playing for myself, because that's what I had been doing for 20 years."

World No1 Tiger Woods appreciates the difficulty of Micheel's feat, however. "He's going down in history as a major championship winner. That just puts you automatically into another category," Woods said.

"On top of that, hell, he hit one of the greatest shots you've ever seen on 18 to finish it off."

Micheel keeps the seven-iron he used that day in a box at home, although in a practice round on Sunday he used another seven-iron to attempt to duplicate his magical winning shot, and this time it fell 10 feet shy of the 18th green.