Tiger Woods. Plenty will focus on a disappointing finish at Firestone but even this week I saw plenty to be encouraged by. A couple of days of intense practice and we’ll see a dialed-in Tiger in Missouri.
Pete Bevacqua helped make the PGA of America far more modern in its approach to marketing planning and taking inventory in the broadest sense. He helped oversee a process by which the players could control the playing of the Ryder Cup and trained professionals could handle the business aspects.
Bigly (if I am using that correctly). Significantly. Props to Chamblee for qualifying but qualifying is one thing and contending is another. The nod goes to Watson and it’s not really close. Adding to that Brandel’s qualifier was just 18 holes. Tom Watson contended into Sunday! These two are really not quite comparable. Watson’s was far far more impressive.
It’s definitely something to consider. Also worth considering will be the many people on that bubble who haven’t recently played their way into contention. Getting there regardless of the outcome has to be worth something to Jim Furyk.
: Rory. Not only has he won two PGAs he’s finished T5 and T2 in two of the previous three majors this year. I was inspired by his Sunday afternoon charge at Carnoustie and the timing just seems right for him to win another major.
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.
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.
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.
On the quality of courses I’d say too close to call. But if I had one trip to make I’d make it Scotland and not for the history but for the geographyit’s just easier to play lots and lots of great courses with less travel hassle there.
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?
What he has shown in his remarkable year is that he can play good enough golf to win for about 63 holes. Getting from 63 to 72 is like climbing Everest with a Tour bag on your back.
I’ll always think of him as a savvy negotiator (witness the mega-TV contract he nailed down for the Ryder Cup with NBC). In terms of challenges there’s the matter of boosting the PGA Championship to the status of something more than the afterthought major and of finding the right venues for the newly rejiggered schedule.