The players look like the heat has gotten the best of them, and I think the writers are about to crack too! Some good, honest, cranky filings after a boring Saturday at Southern Hills.
Damon Hack files this New York Times game story, Steve Elling focuses on the Tiger-Ames pairing fun, while Doug Ferguson offers this reminder why I might be on the beach by about, oh, 1:30:
Woods is 12-0 when going into the final round of major with at least a share of the lead, and he has never lost any tournament when leading by more than one shot after 54 holes.
Sally Jenkins called the third round stifling and motionless.
Pete McDaniel explains the swing tweak that Tiger has made. I'd like to know what he's done to make everything he looks at.
Bill Elliott has definitely seen enough of the Midwest and the PGA of America.
These major things are now set in stone, the game's Holy Quartet, the benchmark against which every Tom, Dick and Tiger ultimately judges himself. This is why we are paying such rapt attention to the US PGA this weekend, a tournament indistinguishable from any of the US Tour's better rumbles and sited, as ever, on a course that looks like almost any other preening American country club.
While the Masters is rooted forever at Augusta National and the US Open flits from East to West Coast, the US PGA guardians tend to scoop up the big bit in between. This addiction to popsicle America on top of an August date that is (a) too soon after our Open and (b) always encourages the sort of temperatures that fry a man's hands just when he needs them most, has led to the USPGA being, by a long way, the most minor of the majors.
But if the US PGA suffers from a bad date and a worse climate regime, the bigger point here is that the world has changed since Palmer and Drum came up with their Big Idea sometime between midnight and dawn. Factor in the three so-called World Championship weeks that are now staged in the United States and you have a depressing situation that accurately reflects American arrogance, or perhaps more accurately insularity, when it comes to golf.
Last time anyone counted there were 60 million committed golfers on the world's fairways with close to half this number in North America. This gives the Americans the upper hand when it comes to lots of things.
Financially, too, they exist in a different world with, for example, golf ball sales in Florida alone exceeding the entire gross for all golf related sales in Europe. This position of pre-eminence is one they jealously guard. As far as the Yanks are concerned, the rest of the world can get lost most of the time.
Hunki Yun looks at Tiger's post-63 record tying round with a look at scores after other record low rounds.
Michael Bamberger sums up the genius of Tiger and the bloody heat.
Damon Hack with the highlights of another zany Woody Austin press conference.
John Klein of the Tulsa World will cheer up many with his Sunday column stating that it'll be at least 10 years before another major returns to Southern Hills, although he writes that the PGA has been awarded through 2015. I think 2014 is still open, so there's always hope for a quick return! Right gang!?
Gary Van Sickle looks at the few who stand a chance of catching Tiger should he decided to fire a 74, which seems unlikely.
In case you missed it, make sure you check out Geoff Ogilvy's piece on the setup.
An AP story on Sergio's DQ, with this from Boo Weekley:
Garcia got the boot Saturday for signing an incorrect scorecard after the third round. In tournament golf, players keep each other's scores. Garcia's playing partner, Boo Weekley, put down a 4 for Garcia on the 17th hole when the Spaniard actually made a 5.
It's the player's responsibility to ensure his scorecard is accurate before he signs it. Garcia didn't. And when the mistake was noticed in the scoring tent, Garcia had already left.
''He just took off,'' Weekley said. ''I called him back down and tried to get him before he got all the way up the stairs.''
Garcia did, in fact, return to the scoring area, but only to be told he had been disqualified. Once he left what PGA officials call the ''scoring area perimeter,'' his scorecard was considered turned in and not able to be changed.
Garcia had left the course and was not available for comment when his disqualification was announced.
''It's my fault for putting the wrong score in, but it's his fault for not checking,'' said Weekley, who shot 5-under 65. ''I just said 'Sergio, I put a 4 but in fact you had a 5.' He said, 'That just puts the icing on the cake.'''
Indeed, it has been a rough week and a rough summer for Garcia. On Thursday, Garcia got into an animated argument with a course official who put his group on the clock as they made the turn. After an opening-round 70, he shot 75 the second day to fall out of contention. He made the cut with no room to spare.
Meanwhile Mark Reason of the Telegraph called Sergio's quick departure "pitiful" and builds his game story about the study in contrasts between Woods and Garcia.
Mark Soltau has a few Weekley highlights as does Jeff Latzke who says Boo did not know that he had a shot at history.
Of the three majors he’s played this year – including the U.S. Open at Oakmont and the British Open at Carnoustie – Weekley said he thought Southern Hills was the only course where a record-breaking 62 might be possible, but still not easy.
“You sure ‘nuff got to be on,” Weekley said in his Florida Panhandle drawl, a day after Tiger Woods lipped out a putt for 62 at the 18th green.
Weekley said he isn’t driven by the chance to win majors and instead only wants to earn enough in the next decade or so to be able to retire early. He enjoyed shooting 65 at a major, but said “what would be funner if I’m sitting at the house catching about a 10-pounder.”
Weekley is unfamiliar with the rules of the FedEx Cup playoffs, couldn’t tell you where he is in the Presidents Cup rankings and doesn’t know a whole lot about the Ryder Cup.
But he’s finished in the top 35 at the past two majors, and is in position for an even higher finish this time.
“I’m learning more about how to accept just making pars,” Weekley said. “Pars ain’t bad for you. Even making a bogey ain’t bad for you sometimes.”
And finally, the links to Saturday's interviews...