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.
I loved watching him in his prime and want to see that again as much as anybody but it was made glaringly obvious on Sunday he doesn’t have the same precision consistency and control as Thomas tee-to-green and is nowhere near as good a putter and while JT’s hunger was palpable Rory seemed as lost as ever.
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.
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?
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.
What I expect to see from Tiger is more of what we’ve seen since his comebackOld Tiger brilliance mixed with New Tiger glitches. That may wind up being good enough to win. That doesn’t make him the real-world favorite but Vegas and the public might make him the gambling favorite. So it goes when you are Tiger Woods Old or New. I suspect we’ll see much of the same at the PGA.
That is incisive Alan and I agree with all of it. The difference between 63-hole and 72-hole golf is the difference between being No. 50 and being a consistent winner and contender of which there’s maybe a half dozen tops.
Iron play should be a major factor and it all sounds like a fit for him. Also if you like a history angle Bellerive hosted the U.S. Open that Gary Player won to complete his own career slam. What’s one more?
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.
(@Jeff_Ritter)DJ would be my favorite too. Weekends like the one he just had in Canada make me wonder How does that guy ever lose? But Tiger is on the short list for Firestone. I think a non-major win is far more likely to happen for Woods before one of the big ones and if he’s able to pull it off this week it would give him a tremendous boost heading into Bellerive. And for the record I still have him slated to win the Hero World Challenge this December…and then look out 2019 Masters!
Monty’s claim was enough of a hedge (“Well almost ever”) that I wouldn’t bother trying to refute it. And I agree that the Europeans are very very strong this year. And that their strength has been overlooked/downplayed amid the hype surrounding all the youthful talent the Americans will field. Sometime ago our own Alan Shipnuck boldly predicted a U.S. romp. I disagreed with him then and I disagree now. I expect this to be close and I expect Europe to win.
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.