Is there any golfer anywhere with more positive memories than Tiger at Firestone? He shouldn’t be the favorite but based on what we’ve seen of late Tiger belongs in that next tier of contenders. He’s playing well! And his presence certainly ups the intrigue for this two-week stretch.
He helped elevate the status of the women’s PGA Championship. He opened up the prospect that Olympic Club in San Francisco — a spectacular course and place — could be a PGA of America venue for many years to come.
I’d say any European team that had Seve Faldo Langer Lyle and Woosnam would likely be better than whatever 12 players the Europeans assemble this year.
Next up is the one par 5 on the back nine. JT misses left his first missed fairway of the day. Rory also misses left but finds a decent lie in the rough. He’s still -1 on the day. Tiger hits driver like the others and also finds the bunker on the left side of the fairway. An inauspicious start on this par 5 for our trio.
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.
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.
Tiger hits a great approach setting up another short birdie attempt of about 8-10 feet. Rory also finds the green but will have 25 feet for birdie. JT ends up just short of the green from the fairway bunker but it’s puttable.
142 left for JT and he too hits it pretty tight just outside of Tiger. Rory meanwhile has 137 from the right rough and gets a flyer which lands over the green. 184 yards left for Tiger. He nails it! Looks like about three feet left for birdie and the gallery loves it.
He oversaw the process that moved the PGA Championship to May which is surely better than August (but not nearly as good as late February/early March in my opinion). I think he and his board way overreacted to one ill-advised but meaningless tweet by former PGA president Ted Bishop.
You split the baby because you have no other choices. The governing bodies want to reward effort in the map-making department. It will be hard to enforce but the players need to do that more than the officials. It’s a work in progress.
JT takes the pin out to chip from the fringe and he babys it just a tad. He’s nearly in gimme range for par but seemed a bit unhappy with the effort. Rory misses his birdie try and leaves himself a few feet for par. He’s not happy about that effort either.