Twitter: GeoffShac
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Far too many [bunkers] exist in our land. Oakmont in Pittsburgh, where the National Open will be played this year, has two hundred. Other courses famed everywhere average one hundred and fifty. From twenty to twenty-five, plus the natural obstacles are ample for any course. PERRY MAXWELL



FedEx Cup Playoffs Arrive, Several People Take Notice

It's hard to describe how excited I am at the prospect of points permutations only to find out that a dozen guys who've already made a lot of dough this year are the only ones who could win the PGA Tour pPlayoffs. But hey, at least we get to watch two really good courses (Ridgewood, TPC Boston), out of the three playoff sites.

Helen Ross reports on five who earned the right to be almost automatically eliminated from the pPlayoffs this week at Ridgewood, including the charismatic Lee Janzen. The Barclay's Classic box office had better brace for a mad rush of fans clamoring to see the two-time U.S. Open Champion.


Faldo: I Need More Time!

Brian Hewitt reports that Captain Nick Faldo is considering asking for a one-day extension for points and captain's selections to take into account the Monday-finishing Deutsche Bank in Boston.

Who said the PGA Tour pPlayoffs aren't making an impact?


Oakland Hills: 2008 PGA vs. 1996 U.S. Open

In the post PGA coverage, Brett Avery offers a rather astounding chart in the Golf World stat package (PDF).

Now I'm in favor of the groove rule change because it has the potential to restore the importance of firm greens, but will only be meaningful if an increase in fairway width comes with it.

However, the USGA and R&A continue to contend that armed with V-grooves, the world's best will be forced to respect rough and therefore they will have to throttle back in an attempt to hit more fairways. In other words, it's a backdoor way of rolling back distance increases. I still believe it's pure fantasy, but hey, if it makes them happy and leads to other positives, so be it.

Yet no study has determined how much fairway narrowing has played a role in the driving accuracy decreases so regularly cited as the cause for regulating grooves.

So here we have Oakland Hills, host to the 1996 U.S. Open and on the cusp of the distance explosion, and again host to the 2008 PGA where a remodel narrowed fairways and rough was farmed and coifed.

The 2008 field median was 30 yards longer off the tee than in 1996 while the fairway's hit median dropped 8 fairways.

The governing bodies would like us to believe that these dramatic increases in distance and decreases in accuracy are a result of players finding themselves armed with U-grooves that persuades them to flog drives with reckless disregard for the awful fairway contours crafted to take driver out of their bag.

Seems in the case of Oakland Hills that the radically improved driver/ball combination (oh and of course, the increased athleticism!) along with a further reduction in width since 1996 was likely much more significant than the grooves in fostering such radical differences in distance and accuracy.


Barkley Hits New Low: To Appear In Golf Channel Reality Show

Reid Cherner & Tom Weir report the sad state of affairs for the TNT analyst, who will be joined by Hank Haney and Golf Channel executives pray twice daily for an appearance by Tiger Woods. Shoot, they'll take a phone call. Anything Tiger.

The Hall of Fame basketball player and TNT analyst tells USA TODAY’s Jon Saraceno that he met with Hank Haney, who is Tiger Woods’ swing coach, to discuss a show to be televised by the Golf Channel. Filming, he says, begins in a couple of weeks in Dallas. (Photo by Ethan Miller, Getty Images)
The goal: “Fix Charles Barkley’s swing,’’ says Sir Charles, who took Woods’ suggestion and called Haney. “It’s some ugly (stuff), isn’t it? It’s not only terrible, it’s embarrassing.’’
“I was telling Hank (Tuesday) that when I’m standing over the ball, I’m (expletive deleted) terrified. I have no idea what’s going to happen. He told me he used to have the yips, but not as bad as me. That’s what makes me think he can fix what’s wrong.’’


PGA Tour Offering Contest To Design Hole That Has Already Been Designed

What can I say but, wow, what a canvas!

Surrounded by wetlands and already measuring 226 yards before you even put pen to paper, the PGA Tour is nonetheless offering you the opportunity to design with in parameters that offers limited possibilities. The winner gets to spend a day with Pete Dye and a video crew from PGA Tour Productions pointing at dirt, with Pete listening intently to your thoughts.

The TOUR is inviting aspiring golf course designers to submit an original, hand-sketched design of the 13th hole on the AT&T Canyons Course at TPC San Antonio, which is being designed by renowned architect Pete Dye. Entries will be judged by Dye and Steve Wenzloff, Vice President of PGA TOUR Design Services, Inc. One winner will be selected from all entries received to have his or her design integrated into the project, and will also receive a trip to TPC San Antonio to tour the course with Dye prior to the club's grand opening.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to showcase the TPC San Antonio project through this unique contest," said Dye, who will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, FL in November. "It will be interesting to see the creations and select a winner to spend a day with me on the project site. I always enjoy sharing my thoughts and suggestions with others on golf course design."
That sounded just like Pete.

Oh wait, there's a problem. They've already started construction and your hole roughed out. Does this mean you have to pay for the change order if you win?
Construction crews have broken ground on TPC San Antonio's AT&T Canyons Course as well as the adjacent AT&T Oaks Course, which is being designed by World Golf Hall of Fame member Greg Norman. A rough design of the 13th hole on the AT&T Canyons Course already has been completed, but there is plenty of room for creativity by contestants. The hole is a 226-yard par-3 with a slight downhill slope.
"With the goal of crafting a course that fits harmoniously with its surroundings, we took full advantage of the dramatic vistas, indigenous flora and beautiful rolling terrain to create a memorable golf experience for members and resort guests," Dye said.
That's definitely Pete talking!

Here's the PDF download should you have nothing to do.


"The event will air 32 times."

Tommy Snell reports on the Captain's Challenge made-to-plug-a-resort made-for-TV match and notes...

Beau Rivage public relations director Mary Cracchiolo realized the importance of such an event for the Coast.

"This is such a wonderful opportunity to have players of this caliber on the Mississippi Gulf Coast," she said. "I hope everyone has a chance to watch this amazing challenge when it airs on The Golf Channel."

The event will air 32 times.
Guess we don't need to worry about recording it!

"So, then, are major setups getting harder?"

Steve Ellling posts his annual analysis of players making all four major cuts, with Padraig Harrington easily taking the low medalist honors. And Elling shares this from Robert Allenby:

Last weekend, the veteran Australian was grousing about the difficult playing conditions at the 90th PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, comparing the unusually harsh and critically panned setup to another major championship once known for its punitive traditions.

"Everybody is trying to be like the U.S. Open, except for the U.S. Open, which was the best major setup we had all year," Allenby observed.

So, then, are major setups getting harder? Allenby might have a point about their general difficulty, though there were some dire weather issues at times in 2008. The number of players who finished under par after playing in all 16 major-championship rounds has fallen from six to one to zero over the past three years.

The IOC And PGA of America Present...

Scott Michaux pitches his suggestion for handling golf in the Olympics. It's creative, bold and just nutty enough to be worth considering. Even the PGA of America's Joe Steranka didn't completely shoot it down, even though it would mean taking the PGA every four years and making it, oh, eons more exciting and worldly than it is now.


"Tour pros can be crybabies from time to time when it comes to how they earn their living, but once in a while their tears are justified."

Bill Fields listens to all sides in the Oakland Hills course setup debate and draws his own conclusion, but in the process he notes a few things that require consideration.

This first item doesn't shock me so much as put into perspective how much more refined and sophisticated the USGA's approach to course setup has become in just the last three years.

The collegians in the 2002 Amateur tore up the South course in qualifying, averaging 71.5 strokes. Bill Haas, an All-American at Wake Forest at the time, drove it so far on the 462-yard 18th hole that he had a 9-iron to the green in his qualifying round, which he hit to four feet and made the birdie putt to be the medalist at five-under 135. Haas shot a front-nine 28 in his quarterfinal match, and Oakland Hills members and USGA officials--who said they had set up the course as a U.S. Open and believed 12- to 15-under would have won--were aghast. "It's very frustrating," Tom Meeks, then the USGA senior director of rules and competitions, told Golf World amid the birdie barrage. "All we can do is narrow the fairways and add fairway bunkers."

I'm not sure I buy this from Rees Jones, but either way, it speaks to the absurdity of 25-yard wide landing areas on a course with such fascinating and strategic green complexes.
"What Oakland Hills is doing, because the green complexes are so challenging, is putting the driver in their hands because they have to get as close to the green [as they can] to access the hole location," Jones said. "They know if they lay up off the tee and they have a 40-foot putt, there is a good chance they are going to three-putt. It's putting a little more pressure on them off the tee. The fairways are probably averaging 25 or 26 yards wide. For the Ryder Cup [in 2004], they averaged 32 yards wide. They're trying to reward accuracy and take away the bombers' advantage."
Rewarding accuracy or the ability to hit it the straightest down an imaginary center line? There is a huge difference.

Fields quotes Kerry Haigh on the subject of the course baking out in the sunny, dry conditions:
"The greens were 11½ to 12 [on the Stimpmeter] in the morning. They were actually slower than they were in the [2004] Ryder Cup. The winds and the dry air are what [affected them]. We syringed the greens and put a little bit [of water] on, and the aim was to make the course play similar both days, as it always is. You don't want to go too far the other way [watering the greens]. It's always a bit of a dicey game. Once everyone has had a morning and afternoon tee time, you can make an adjustment, which is more reasonable and fair than between Thursday and Friday."
Haigh has received many compliments during his tenure about how fair his setups are, but last week the critiques were not all so friendly. "You try and do what you think is right, and sometimes it doesn't always work out," he said Sunday evening. "It's not through lack of trying or the aim of how you wanted it to play. Mother Nature usually has an effect on that."
Here's what I'm still struggling with: something is wrong when a golf course goes over the edge in somewhat dry, somewhat warm breezes with healthy turf. It usually means the green speeds were too fast for the contours before the weather changed, and also likely means the fairway widths were too narrow for any wind at all.

Thankfully though, the rains came and as Fields concludes:
It sure was more fun to watch Harrington and Garcia stuff their tee shots tight on No. 17 Sunday than to see Vijay Singh putt his ball off the ninth green Friday afternoon. Tour pros can be crybabies from time to time when it comes to how they earn their living, but once in a while their tears are justified.


"After missing and putting out, Garcia gave Harrington the quickest of handshakes, Woods/Mickelson style..."

Golf World's Jaime Diaz dissects Sergio's PGA Championship mistakes and offers this observation of note:

Garcia's profound disappointment was probably best registered by a complete lack of acknowledgement for the putt that beat him. As Harrington celebrated, the Spaniard stayed in a crouch ostensibly reading the green. After missing and putting out, Garcia gave Harrington the quickest of handshakes, Woods/Mickelson style, telling because Garcia would later give fellow runner-up Ben Curtis a warm hug. The two Europeans clearly have a cool relationship, chilled considerably by the desperate hours at Carnoustie. There, after Harrington hit his drive on the 72nd into the Barry Burn, he passed a perhaps inappropriately smiling Garcia (who was playing the 71st hole) on a bridge. "I was in no mood to smile," Harrington said later. Then on the final hole of the playoff -- again the trouble-laden 18th -- Harrington was preparing to address his tee shot with a two-stroke lead when he found it necessary to ask Garcia to give him more room.
Let's hope the warm chemistry continues at Valhalla!

"I think I get red-flagged by the the USGA because I'm always trying to walk that fine line."

I'm not sure if this is an appeal to the putter collectors and a way to get attention, but's Mike McCallister talks to Scotty Cameron about his putters and gets these two interesting quotes:

"I think I get red-flagged by the the USGA because I'm always trying to walk that fine line. I think if you're to buy my products, you want me to be on the edge, you want me to be barely legal. But if I'm well within the zone, then it's like we're not stretching the limits enough."
"People say there's no arc in the putter stroke. Well, is there an arc in a golf swing? Of course there is. ... There is an arc in the putter stroke. I wish there wasn't. But there is -- it comes from the lie angle of the shaft. The USGA says its must be at least 10 percent, not straight up and down. With that angle, there must be an arc. ... I wish we could putt between our legs, 90 degrees, square to square. But the USGA says we can't putt between our legs, so I design putters to fit those arcs so that it becomes almost effortless for the putter."

"There's just so much going for us here, and it starts with the course."

Great to see the positive early reviews on Sedgefield, new host of the Greensboro event and a Donald Ross design restored by Kris Spence.

Even more remarkable was Robert Bell getting Lee Janzen to talk. I had heard the two-time U.S. Open champion was an architecture aficionado from Rocco Mediate. So Tuesday of U.S. Open week I went up to him while he was cleaning a club during a practice range session, introduced myself, and asked if I could ask him a couple of quick questions about the setup for a Golf World story. I was told simply, no and he went back to cleaning his grooves. Then I asked nicely if perhaps I could get him after his practice session, and was told no again. Back to cleaning that club.  I don't know, maybe Grounds For Golf offended him?

Anyway, congrats Robert Bell for getting all of this. Then again, it was a Monday pro-am, but still, most admirable.

"A lot of old courses are modified where they take out the mowing patterns and let the bunkers grow over through the years, but this ... this is something different," Janzen said. "It's like I took a step back in time and I'm seeing what Donald Ross saw all those years back."

Such high praise is exactly what Wyndham officials were hoping to hear when they rolled the dice earlier this year and moved Greensboro's golf tournament from Forest Oaks to Sedgefield. Greensboro businessman Bobby Long, chairman of the foundation that runs the Wyndham, is hoping the move across town will help the struggling tournament gain some clout on the PGA Tour.

"We're really counting on the word getting out about this place," said Long, who, along with Jim Melvin, Wyndham CEO Steve Holmes, and Sedgefield president Joe DePasquale, played with Daly on Monday.

"There's just so much going for us here, and it starts with the course." Janzen said.

The course, designed by Ross in 1925 and built a year later, is not like the typical tour site.

"The green complexes are amazing," said Janzen, referring to the heavily undulated greens surrounded by the shaved collection areas. There's not one hole out here that's like another. You go to a lot of modern courses and play a hole and it reminds you of a hole earlier on the course. Here, each hole is unique."

"I question whether we can ever really be confrontational with the USGA."

In their Golf World recap of the USGA and R&A groove announcement, E. Michael Johnson and Mike Stachura review the story and offer this stunning statement from Taylor Made's Benoit Vincent.

 "The USGA cannot be the center of our attention," said Vincent. "For any company now to engage would be a major distraction. Plus you know that the day you start to be really confrontational with the USGA, the next 20 rules they put together are going to feel way harsher. I question whether we can ever really be confrontational with the USGA."


"This redesign by Mr. Jones needs to be redesigned"

In considering how the setup impacted the PGA Championship, we get a couple of different perspectives. Carlos Monarrez says the high scores maintained the Monster's place in the game and makes this prediction, apparently having not heard that Oakmont and Erin Hills are likely the next to U.S. Open venues.

As far as a regular men's major, the earliest spot open in the rotation is the 2014 PGA Championship or the 2016 U.S. Open. If I were a betting man, I would think the '16 Open would be a great fit for Oakland Hills.
Oakland Hills -- essentially at the behest of former the USGA's former competitions director -- went through a renovation and proved itself more than capable of hosting a U.S. Open. It hosted the 2002 U.S. Amateur, which is generally a requisite before getting an Open. And 2016 will mark the 20-year anniversary of Oakland Hills' last Open as well as the centennial anniversary of the club.
So nice to know Tom Meeks was recommending renovations.

Bob Verdi writes about the setup for Golf World and offers this from Steve Elkington:
Elkington is allergic to grass, and the greens at Riviera CC in '95 were as brown as a UPS truck. "This redesign by Mr. Jones needs to be redesigned," quoth Elkington. "It's way too hard. Some of what went on out there with the setup made no sense. I'm a big PGA of America guy, but this week, it was like things happened too fast for them, and they lost control of an event where players are historically allowed to play."

Woods Makes Startling Admission: He Actually Watched The PGA

Mark Lamport-Stokes reports on Tiger's latest web site letter, where he reveals that he's not planning to swing a club until after the new year.

"As far as swinging a club, that's not going to happen until next year," Woods said in his monthly newsletter on Tuesday. "I just don't have a choice.
"We simply don't know what type of swelling there would be or if there would be any residual effects the next day once you start wheeling and dealing on the knee. Everyone's body reacts differently. I could putt right now but I'm not going to do it."

And the remote is getting a workout:

While spending quality time at home with his Swedish wife Elin and young daughter Sam Alexis, Woods has been watching television coverage of the Olympic Games.
He also watched last week's U.S. PGA Championship at Oakland Hills where Ireland's Padraig Harrington won his second successive major title.

Final PGA Championship Clippings

It's fascinating to see a change in media assessments of a tournament's entertainment value and the influence of a course setup. It wasn't long ago that a U.S. Open setup would have been widely praised for putting the flatbellies in their place and that players are spoiled brats. But after so many of these extra narrow, over-ripe setups driven by a desire to pump up scores, the review are pretty consistently negative.

Rob Parker in the Detroit News:

First, there was no Tiger Woods, a blow to any event when the best golfer on the planet can't play because of knee surgery.
Then, the rains came and went, and came and went. For sure, it felt like monsoon season, not August in Michigan. For the most part, fans were more occupied trying to dodge rain drops than watching nifty shots.
Those things, plus the weak economy in these parts, also kept the crowds down. No matter what attendance numbers were announced, it just didn't feel like a major. There was more buzz about the mayoral mess in Detroit than the play on the course.
Dick Friedman at analyzes the Tiger effect on ratings, looks at several anecdotal signs of a rough patch for the game and notes that the PGA was a Nielsen disaster:
Harrington's thrilling victory on Sunday at Oakland Hills, the overnight rating for the PGA Championship was 3.0, down 55% from last year's final round at Southern Hills — an event won by (surely you recall) Woods.
Mark Whicker was another member of the media who was glad it rained to save the setup.
So the '08 PGA lived up to the texture of the ones that preceded it. But the trend of "Tiger-proofing" golf courses has turned into "birdie-proofing," without slowing Woods a bit.
The drill is familiar. Length the courses and keep par at 70. The 18th hole, a 498-yard par-4 with a landing area that could barely accommodate a model airplane, played to a score of nearly 4.8.
But the mania for artificial length hasn't made these tournaments better.
Alan Shipnuck highlights Cameron Morfit's talk with Steve Flesch and hits at this excellent point that came up a few times during the PGA: you think you can grow the game with course setups like this? Think again...
Flesch, a thoughtful member of the PGA Tour's player advisory council, expressed more far-reaching concerns for a pricey leisure sport that during this economic downturn is seeing more courses close than open and the number of participants and rounds played continue to fall nationally. He didn't quite accuse this PGA Championship of killing golf, but he came close. "If we're worried about attracting people to come play, if they see how miserable we are out there, why would they go, 'I want to play that game!'?" Flesch told's Cameron Morfit. "It's fun to watch guys make birdies. They smile. The PGA is committed to growing the game; is this how they want golf portrayed?
"The thing that bums me out is I don't know how many of our top 15, 20 guys got chased out of here this weekend. Do you think that's the leaderboard the PGA of America wants up there when they're fighting the Olympics? How are ratings going to be this weekend? People are going to look at Charlie Wi, myself — I'm not saying anybody doesn't deserve to be up there, but people are going to turn around and go, 'Well I've never heard of any of these guys, let's see what's going on with the Olympics.' The PGA has got to be careful. They're getting what they're asking for, is what I'm saying."
And finally, I missed it on the telecast but Tony Pioppi posts Peter Kostis' telecast remark about the narrowness of Oakland Hills. Kostis, on Rees Jones's work there:
"He didn't give you much option in the way you can play the golf course." Then later Kostis said something like, "he's taken away a lot of angles Donald Ross intended."

"I'm really glad I don't have to pick four players this morning"

Jack Nicklaus apparently thinks the U.S. can win the Ryder Cup, but Steve Elling isn't so sure after listening to Paul Azinger talk about how relieved he was not have to make his four Captain's picks Monday.

He's just postponing the pain, pushing back his root canal. The end of the American bench isn't any deeper than it was the last time around, when J.J. Henry and Vaughn Taylor were sent abroad to absorb a red, white and blue striping. In the two years since the 2006 matches, those two have six combined top 10 finishes.
The next wave of American possibles, 20-something players who entered the week in the top 16 in points, such as J.B. Holmes, Sean O'Hair, D.J. Trahan and Brandt Snedeker -- all in position to steal an automatic roster spot -- were summarily chewed up by the Oakland Hill Monster.
On the two weekend rounds, when the course softened and Harrington and Garcia were a combined 11 under, none of the four broke par. In fact, of the players in the mix for a spot on the U.S. roster, only Curtis broke par on the weekend. He was 1 under.
As for the old blood, the five players with Ryder experience who earned spots on Sunday night have a dubious record. Justin Leonard and Kenny Perry have never won a Ryder match and Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk and Stewart Cink are a combined 18-29-10.
Bob Harig also considered Azinger's plight, and offers this ounce of optimism from the American captain:
"For the first time in a long time, Europe is going to have everything to lose in these matches," Azinger said. "It's usually the other way around. Even though they've won five of the last six, they just seem to come in as the underdog. I don't know how that works. This time I think it's clear that we are the underdogs going into these matches."

"USGA restrictions are hindering product innovation."

Adam Schupak reports that times are tough for the equipment industry and of course, it's mostly the USGA's fault...if you ask the manufacturers.

Retailers and analysts say consumer spending domestically has stalled over concerns about an economy wracked by foreclosures and soaring fuel prices. Adverse weather has limited rounds played in key areas, which also is affecting equipment sales, they say.
Another persistent complaint: USGA restrictions are hindering product innovation. In an analyst report on Callaway, Casey Alexander of New York-based Gilford Securities wrote: “The U.S. market looks like it could produce a year where equipment sales come in down 7 percent to 8 percent, which may not sound that bad until you judge it against 10 years of equipment sales that were plus or minus 2 percent regardless of what the economy was doing.”
At this point Schupak lists all of the ways the manufacturers have made things tougher on themselves:
Retailers also say they’re being hurt by shorter product life cycles. The growing practice of launching products in almost rapid-fire succession is conditioning consumers to wait, say six months, to buy a premium-priced driver because they know it will be marked down. That consumer behavior has become more pronounced during a sluggish economy.

Those darn consumers! Don't they know they exist to help each quarter's earnings? What is wrong with you people. Shop!

“That mindset has come back to bite us,” Marney says.


Obama Tees It Up

Gene Park and B.J. Reyes report on Presidential candidate Barrack Obama's round of golf in Hawaii, while local station KGMB has video footage of his swing. It needs work, but hey, he's been a little busy.

Over at, William Wolfrum has fun with Cokie Roberts (I know, easy pickings) and her suggestion that if Obama wants to appear more American, he'd be vacationing in Myrtle Beach instead of elitist, foreign soil like...Hawaii. (Yes, you have to watch the YouTube video to believe it.)


Monday PGA Championship Clippings

I bring you good news!

We won't have to see a major at Oakland Hills and it's excruciatingly awful 18th hole anytime soon!

The USGA is going another direction with its Open venue selection. It's also hard to imagine them wanting to work with a club that likes the kind of narrow-fairway-lined-by-a-strip-of-pumped-up-rough-golf we just witnessed, and a club which still has not fixed the worst finishing hole in major championship golf. (All three members of the Jones clan have had a shot at it, and yet 18 still is goofy...actually, that explains everything with their family dynamic. It could be the only hole all three have worked on and it remains dysfunctional...coincidence? I think not.)

Anyway, so no U.S. Open anytime soon and the PGA is booked until 2016, except for an open date in 2014. However, I suspect that as long as the American auto industry remain$ in the dump$, the incentive to return is meager at best. It couldn't have helped that Verne Lundquist estimated the 15th hole gallery watching Ben Curtis to be about 150 in size!

So let's read about "the Monster" one last time for the forseeable future, starting with lede's covering Sunday's win by Padraig Harrington.

Vartan Kupelian
in the Detroit News:

The Walk of Champions has a new face. It belongs to Padraig Harrington. Oakland Hills Country Club doesn't. The South Course is still the South Course. It's still a monster.
Doug Ferguson's AP game story:
Padraig Harrington isn't interested in sentimental story lines that keep popping up at the majors. He's too busy winning them, and writing his name into the history books.
Larry Dorman in the New York Times:
Padraig Harrington of Ireland made more history than even he realized at Oakland Hills Country Club on Sunday when he snatched the 90th P.G.A. Championship from Sergio García’s grasp and refused to let go. Three weeks after his successful title defense of the British Open at Royal Birkdale, he became the first European in the modern era to win the British Open and P.G.A. Championship in succession, and the first to win the P.G.A. since Tommy Armour in 1930.
James Corrigan in the Independent:
Padraig Harrington denied Sergio Garcia his first major yet again last night in scenes so remarkably reminiscent of last year's Open. Just as at Carnoustie the Irishman with the manic eyes broke the little Spaniard's heart and just as at Carnoustie the difference between the pair was so small, while the contrast of fortunes was so great. For unbridled ecstasy see Harrington, for Garcia see bitter agony.
Lorne Rubenstein zeros in on the closing hole antics.
There was something surreal about what happened to Harrington during the final round, and what he made happen.
Clearly, tough questions about heart remain to be answered by a group hardly lacking in ability. "It's all about experience and getting into position to see what it feels like," said Faldo after watching the final-round retreat of his young compatriots at Augusta earlier this year. "But one bad shot at the wrong time can scare you. They are all young and they have to come back better prepared. Majors test every nerve ending in your body.
"They have to get rid of that voice of doubt in their minds. You need the self-confidence and the bottle. And you have to hit the millions of balls you have to hit to think you deserve success. Whether this group actually has it or not remains to be seen. They certainly have talent. And they are getting into position. Now it is down to their determination to succeed."
John Huggan considers the plight of England's finest, who really stunk it up this week.
He made a mistake by not making sure he laid up into the fairway out of the bunker that he hit from the 18th tee. But he caught a decent lie in the high rough and said that was a good break. Garcia also thought so.
“There's guys who get a little bit fortunate in majors,” Garcia said. “They manage to get things going their way. Unfortunately, it hasn't happened to me.
“That doesn't mean I'm not on the right track. I'm looking forward to the challenge. It's just a matter of time.”
AP's Larry Lage delivers notes on Phil Mickelson, Masters exemptions and explains what happened to J.B. Holmes on the first hole of the afternoon round.

The winner's press conference is here, the other transcripts here.

Sergio's post round chats are here and here. Uh, about No. 16...
Q. Is there any one particular shot you would like to have back again, one particular shot?
SERGIO GARCIA: Not really.
Q. Or is it more than one?
SERGIO GARCIA: No, I felt like -- I felt like I gave it my best. Obviously what I'm not going to do is get on the 16th hole and try to hit it 40 yards left of the green. I mean, that's not the way I play. I tried to put a good, solid swing to the middle of the green and hopefully it goes there. If it drifts a little bit, perfect; came out of it just a touch, and just went in the water.
But then I hit a great putt on 17. I don't know why it didn't break. It lipped out. And then 18's just a tough hole.
But no, I felt like I responded well and he was obviously very good on the back nine and things just happened his way.
Golfweek's summary of 18 notes includes some tough commentary on Sergio's post round press conference.

Matthew Rudy declares winners (Padraig) and losers (Sergio, J.B., and U.S. Ryder Cup team) and is also pretty tough on Sergio in particular, also not buying his post round remarks about fate not going his way.

Speaking of the Ryder Cup, here are the Americans who clinched spots, courtesy of Stop laughing Faldo.

Mark Lamport Stokes talks to Mike Weir about this year's majors.
"It seems like every year the majors are getting harder and harder," Weir told Reuters after carding a one-over-par 71 in Saturday's third round at the U.S. PGA Championship.
"This year we have played in a lot of wind. Almost every week, even a normal week on the Tour, we have played in a lot of wind.
"The Open championship had winds stronger than the others and then we've had it tough again this week as well," he added, initially referring to last month's British Open at Royal Birkdale.
"I would definitely say this year is the toughest set of majors I've ever played."
Doug Ferguson notes that it was a tough year and points out that Justin Leonard made all four cuts yet was never under par after any round.

Jaime Diaz says that course setup criticism missed the mark because Kerry Haigh "got fooled by Mother Nature" and the early week "perfect storm" of sunny, dry weather. That sounds familiar...oh right, that was the USGA's excuse at Shinnecock. That pesky, sunny, breezy, dry weather does have a way of exposing courses already too close to the edge, doesn't it?

(Which reminds me, nice call by Frank Nobilo on Golf Channel thanking Mother Nature for saving this tournament.)

On the tournament operations side of thing, Susan Whitall blogs at Detroit News about a lot of things, including the lousy food options Sunday.

And finally, Francis X. Donnelly (what's the X stand for?) reports on the merchandise pricing...
The PGA Golf Shop teemed with people milling about $6 ticket holders, $39.62 umbrellas, $70.75 jackets.
They also snatched up $61.32 handheld periscopes, $7 shot glasses, $95.28 polyester vests with fake-fur necks, and $750 paintings of the 18th hole.
So $750 for a painting of the 18th hole? That's expensive garage wall material.