He can win again at a regular Tour event against a B-field. It won’t mean that much to him. Carnoustie — The Open! With his kids there! — meant the world to him. Too much. As for this week from the little I know of the course it just doesn’t strike me as a good course for where his game is.
As Zak wrote in Scotland Chamblee pulled double duty all week in Carnoustie prepping for the qualifier around his TV work. And then he claimed medalist honors. It was extremely impressive…and Watson is still at a completely different level. Links courses are just a magical fit for him. It was incredible to see him in the hunt on the weekend at St. Andrews.
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?
: 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’ll remember the new shorts-in-practice-rounds thing and the time everyone freaked out about Phil Mickelson’s calves. I’d love to see some unified identity in the PGA Championship’s course rotation going forward.
Bubba Watson. It’s been an incredible year for Bubba and it continues this week when he picks apart Bellerive with that pink driver. Sleeper: Hossler has been there all year. He’s shown the ability to play his way into contention at normal Tour stops. I think he avoids the weekend blow-up that has normally followed and bags himself his first top 10 in a major.
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.
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.
No. 18 is a dogleg left. No birdies thus far today. Tiger and JT find the fairway while Rory loses his drive in the rough on the right. Tiger drains a testy little five-footer for par and JT and Rory clean up too. On to the 18th.
The U.S. seems strong but it’s worth mentioning that a few guys who look like solid bets to be on the team — Bubba Webb and Tiger to name three — haven’t had much success in the event. I think it’s a coin-flip as most Ryder Cups are these days. But in the meantime keep talking Monty! It only adds to the anticipation.
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?
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.