PGA Clippings, Final Edition


Brad Klein, in his pre-PGA Medinah review:

Medinah has length. What it doesn't have is a lot of trouble around (or on) the greens. The modestly sloped greens don't unduly punish approaches that are short-sided. With the par 5s vulnerable and little trouble elsewhere, expect lots of low rounds and a tight bunching of the field.

But after 7,500 yards looked so slight, does anyone really think that courses will look at Medinah and say, "we need to inject more of an intelligent purpose to better test the players." You know, like more short grass around greens, leaving the blind shots, and in general, asking players to think their way around (as much as you can until today's equipment is reigned in).

Nope, 8,000 yards and 15-yard fairways, here we come!

That said, the best player won, and Medinah should be proud of producing a great leaderboard.

Here are a few stats off the bat, starting with Tiger Woods and his record on par-72's v. 70s and 71s.

Par        No.        Victories
Par 70      16              1
Par-71       6               1
Par 72      17              10
Total        40              12

And this from the PGA Tour:

Comparing the scoring average at Medinah Country Club 1999 and 2006
 Year    Rd 1        Rd 2     Rd 3       Rd 4    Cumulative    36-hole CUT
1999    73.557    73.336    73.581    73.781    73.524        146 (+2)/74 players
2006    72.723    72.591    72.071    73.186    72.635        144 (E)/71 players

You can look at the final results and money here. The course stats mess is still unresolved. has these, has this listing. Basically, we'll have to wait for Golf World stat package.

Doug Ferguson has the details on Tiger's performance, including yet another first you might not know about: "He became the first player in history to go consecutive years winning at least two majors."

AP's Jim Litke describes a surreal moment on the first hole with Luke Donald, Tiger and the tournament.

Lawrence Donegan delivers the European perspective in this game story.

He also reports that Darren Clarke has been offered one of the two European captain's picks. He also says Ian Woosnam's pick issues may lead to Paul McGinley not making the team, which is a minor problem compared to what Tom Lehman faces.

If Woosnam faces difficult decisions ahead, however, they are nothing to the selection worries of his American counterpart. Tom Lehman, who will announce his team later today, has been hidebound by a selection process that has given too much weight to victories in weaker PGA Tour events, with the upshot that many on the fringes of his team are rookies or players whose records suggest that they may be capable winning a tournament in Albuquerque but might crumble under the pressure of the Ryder Cup.

He also writes about David Howell's shoulder injury, which contributed to a final round 82 and has him doubtful for the WGC at Firestone.

Alex Micelli looks at Tom Lehman's Ryder Cup options and says Love and Cink are the likely picks, with Corey Pavin having an outside shot.

Leonard Shapiro also reviews the possibilities and the Pavin pick idea. Pavin sounds a lot more enticing than other alternatives.

John Huggan writes about at a resurgent Mike Weir.

And finally, back to Tiger, Gary Van Sickle says he is on his way to another Tiger slam and offers other notes, though I don't agree with this line:

4. Just for the record, Medinah No. 3, the course that supposedly turned into a birdie-fest, finished with only eight players in double figures under par. While the purists were screeching about the abnormally low scoring not befitting a major, golf fans savored the telecasts.

No, the purists want the players to be allowed to play and shoot the lowest score possible.

The purists just wish the course were firmer with greens designed to provoke thought and creativity.

But hey, the best man won. Again.