I never thought I’d say this but I’ve become apathetic. Rory has done this so much over the last few years — including the final round of this year’s Masters — it’s getting harder to say this isn’t who he is now.
So as we make the turn to No. 1 Tiger is at +2 JT remains tied for the lead at -3 and Rory is at even par. All right! Tiger drains his birdie to get back to +2 through his first nine. JT misses his birdie and settles for par and Rory takes a bogey.
I’ve only played Scottish links so that’s my answer. Then again even if I’ve played in Ireland my last two rounds were at Royal Aberdeen and St. Andrews’ Old Course. I’m flying high on the Scotland variety right now.
Rory wins and he wins big. Now that was my prediction before the Bridgestone where he had a little Sunday letdown (again) but he’s still my pick. It’s the kind of course McIlroy beats up and as simple as it sounds the guy is due. My sleeper is Keegan Bradley. After a few quiet years he’s playing better this season. Ballstriking game is solid dude just needs to make some putts!
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?
I’m giving the nod to Scotland but let’s say thisyou can’t go wrong either way. For those of you have never been to either but have been to Bandon Dunes I would say Bandon is more Scottish than Irish until you get to the bar.
At 425 yards No. 1 is one of the shorter par 4s at Bellerive. Rory and Tiger find the fairway while it looks like JT ends up in the left-side bunker. Leaderboard update: Four players are now at -3: JT Rafa Cabrella-Bello Stewart Cink and Rickie who birdied two of his last three holes!
The level of play across professional golf is higher now than ever; from a very literal perspective these players are likely the best the European side has ever seen. But in terms of team dominance? Nah. The U.S. squad is loaded and deserves to be the favorite as long as it can figure out a couple of the trickier team pairings.
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.
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.
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.
Sleeper: Pat Perez is still riding a career rebirth and he got a taste of the fire at Carnoustie. I can see him playing his way back into the thick of it and hanging there even longer than he did at the Open.