Tiger Woods. Why not? He’s excelled at hot-weather PGA Championship venues with four victories. With the forecast for St. Louis as hot and muggy all week it favors Tiger. Tiger loves brawny 1960s-style courses with eight wins apiece at Firestone Torrey Pines and Bay Hill alone.
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.
…and he take a lash with the driver but his shot also drifts right into the deep rough. The feature group is underway at Bellerive. Thomas is up first hitting driver…and he splits the fairway. Rory is next: another driver and it leaks into the right rough. And now Woods…
I’ve been lucky enough to visit Scotland several times but have only hit Ireland once. I just love the history and the quirkiness of the old Scottish links. They’re an absolute blast. But Ireland’s sweeping dunescapes took my breath away. It’s a tough call. To make it I need another trip overseas for more research.
McIlroy takes rip from the deep rough and comes up short — his ball is in one of the many deep bunkers at Bellerive. Woods from 217 yards from the deep rough on this par 4 and tree-trouble in front of him…and he takes a half-wedge and punches it back to the fairway. Nothing else he could do there.
With the U.S. Open headed back to a series of heavy-hitter classics maybe the PGA could seize the chance to travel to the country’s best innovative newer tracks. Or just ship the fourth major to Australia like they do in tennis.
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.
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.
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.
TV showed a lot of Tiger’s warm-up session this morning. If I had to describe it in three words it would be “a warm-up session.” Everything seems fine. He’s heading to the tee and off soon with Rory and JT.
I’ll never give up on McIlroy. I think the PGA is likely harder for him to get up for than say the Masters but I expect that fact will serve him well in St. Louis.