On the 241-yard par-3 16th McIlroy and Thomas find the green but not close to the hole. Woods overcooks and iron long and left and it settles next to the grandstand. Thomas kicks in his third birdie of the opening nine and he’s tied for the lead and looking totally in control. McIlroy pars to stay -1.
Sleeper: Pat Perez is still riding a career rebirth and he got a taste of the fire at Carnoustie. I can see him playing his way back into the thick of it and hanging there even longer than he did at the Open.
Sleeper: Muscular Kiwi Ryan Fox is one of the biggest hitters on any tour and when he keeps it in the park he can contend anywhere. Quietly he’s climbed to ninth on the Race to Dubai points list and 80th in the OWGR thanks to a playoff loss at the Irish Open and a T6 at the Scottish Open.
I’ve underestimated him at two of the majors this year but I expect Jordan Spieth to contend deep into the weekend at this one so what the heck: why not just win it and finish the career slam right here? Bellerive is tree-lined with deep penal bunkers and big greens.
Not sure if he’s fatigued but in this comeback Tiger’s best opportunities to win come at courses where he can hit fewer drivers and play tactical golf. I don’t think Bellerive is that kind of track. He can win again if his health holds and he stays on his current path but this doesn’t feel like the week.
Tiger has showed this year that his best golf is good enough but he has been unable to string together four straight strong rounds. Is it mental fatigue? A back that is balkier than he will let on?
Are they all pulling the same direction in the grow-the-game efforts? There’s a lot of good happening in that organization but with that membership number there’s plenty more to be done. They should be one of the most powerful and influential forces in the game. At this moment I’m not sure they are.
There’s a legal term for thissplitting the baby. It’s a bad compromise that will be a mess to enforce. The USGA shoulda just banned all green-reading materials whole-cloth.
Rory wins and he wins big. Now that was my prediction before the Bridgestone where he had a little Sunday letdown (again) but he’s still my pick. It’s the kind of course McIlroy beats up and as simple as it sounds the guy is due. My sleeper is Keegan Bradley. After a few quiet years he’s playing better this season. Ballstriking game is solid dude just needs to make some putts!
Woods has a gap in the trees and he’s going to try a tough escape shot that reaches the green. Buckle up. Thomas rips one up the chute and Woods also with driver hits it into he trees left of the fairway. That one looks like punch-out but we’ll see how it’s lying.
I’ll never give up on McIlroy. I think the PGA is likely harder for him to get up for than say the Masters but I expect that fact will serve him well in St. Louis.
His most significant work is the hardest to measureAre there more and better opportunities for the 29000 PGA of America members? That becomes especially difficult when the game is struggling in quarters. More than anything I think Bevacqua added a certain gravitas to the position and to the organization.