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.
Sleeper: Kyle Stanley. I had Stanley locked in as a sleeper last week; his runner-up finish at Firestone makes him slightly less sleepy but I like the way his ballstriking sets up for Bellerive. Plus there’s the added potential bonus of Stanley completing the Former Nike Staffer Without a Club Deal Grand Slam.
It’s a perfect date. I can’t wait. It’s THE perfect date. I’d rather be playing myself. As a native Michigander and Lions sympathizer this match will be No. 2 on my dial if it’s played opposite the football game. (At least until halftime when the Lions are out of it.) But like everyone else I think the date is a winner.
You can set my Mc-o-Meter to “bummed out.” Rory keeps teasing us with glimpses of winning form only to snatch them away; remember his Sunday surge at Carnoustie? That was a blast. But the letdowns have been many and varied of late for Rory. I still expect him to play well at Bellerive but my guard is distinctly up.
Bellerive fits the profile perfectly. And hey he’s close. Six top 12s in 2018 including a recent T4 at the Quicken Loans and T6 at the British Open. He’s playing very very well. At the 100th PGA Championship he’ll rise again.
Tiger has about 300 yards left to the green and he opts to lay up with an iron landing safely in the fairway. JT is a few yards ahead of Tiger in the same bunker and also lays up. Rory meanwhile has a lie that is much worse than it looked originally and is forced to lay up as well.
Implosions happen to the best of them. I don’t see it as an issue especially since DeChambeau hasn’t shown a repeated pattern of them. More important to a captain’s pick I think will be the old kindergarten questionHow well does he play with others?
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 guess the question of “Who is the favorite?” on a weekly basis will become only more meaningful in an era of broad betting interest in golf. It’s not like picking horses. Having said that Woods’s past success at Firestone is not any kind of predictor of whether he can win this week.
Rory. The driving game he showed in Akron for one thing. Also how long can you keep a good man down? Sleeper: Bryson. He’s earned his place in the darkhorse category because of the talk around him. Example: he’s choking his way off the Ryder Cup team (some people will say) he had a fit of driving-range craziness (some will say) at the Open and he was classless and looked lost (some will say) in the final day in Germany.
Tiger hits a nice bunker shots that nearly drops in the hole leaving him about four feet for par. My goodness. Tiger makes the same mistake and ends up in the bunker behind the hole. Rory meanwhile stays below the hole setting up a makeable birdie from about 12 feet.
I wouldn’t be worried about Tiger’s fatigue this week. It’s the last major of the year and Tiger’s attention will be squarely placed on attacking Bellerive. He can take his foot off the gas at the Northern Trust and nobody will hold it against him…