Greetings from Santa Monica where they will never host a PGA again (and where it was 76 with a nice sea breeze today, and going to be the same tomorrow and that's right, not a chance of a thunderstorm anytime soon).
Here's the Golfweek summary of what little did happen during Saturday's washout.
Gary Van Sickle sums up the weather situation...
Sunday's forecast, Haigh said, includes a chance of isolated showers but not a major weather front like Saturday. As for the likelihood of finishing on schedule Sunday night and not Monday? "We're optimistic," Haigh said. He added that officials did not consider moving third-round tee times earlier even though afternoon storms had been predicted.Bill Fields explains how it's going to work Sunday. Barring any more delays. And if there's a playoff...oh let's not even say it.
In writing about Andres Romero's course record tying 65, Cameron Morfit notes...
Several pin placements were more accessible than they had been all week, which explains the rash of red numbers Saturday. Camilo Villegas was four under for his first 14 holes, two over total. Fredrik Jacobson, Graeme McDowell and Prayad Marksaeng were three under for the day when play was suspended.Steve Elling details Romero's 40-spot jump heading into Sunday. That's 40 spots with several groups yet to tee off. Then again, they tee off with softer greens now, so maybe he'd like to start over as they would have in the old days?
The scribblers had nothing better to do so they jabbed at Kerry Haigh about the decision to not move up tee times Saturday despite the dire weather forecast, and also asked questions about several course setup issues.
Q. You mentioned adjustments that you made for today; Andres Romero shot 65. Could you enumerate exactly what the adjustments were? Was there extra watering on the greens? Did you top off the rough? What exactly did you do in preparation for round three?
KERRY HAIGH: We mowed all of the roughs Wednesday, and the plan was to look at it, see how it was coping and growing. Considered cutting the rough again Friday, and we did, in fact, do so in the fairway landing areas last night.
And we also put some water on the fairways, or some more -- a little more water than had done the previous night. And continued to syringe and put some water on the greens. Basically that was it.And put the pins in collecting bowls. Sounds like a lot to me!
Jeff Babineau addressed the notion of the PGA making such adjustments and other topics in a series of entertaining thoughts filed because there wasn't much else to write about.
Let’s see, on the same week the U.S. Golf Association dials back grooves, the PGA of America turns its usual cuddly PGA Championship into a House of Horrors at Oakland Hills, playing on greens as hard as airport runways and growing rough thicker than seaweed. Hey, Oakland Hills is a tough track, but nobody expected this Bogeyfest.
The 12-handicapper watching at home could not break 110 at this place. So remind me, please, what game are we all trying to grow? Golf? Or bowling?And for all of the people who reject my contention that setups like this, with rough coiffed like Donald Trump's hair and fairways narrowed to ridiculous widths, are driven by frustrated golfers, we get confirmation from the Open Doctor himself in a John Paul Newport column.
Be all this as it may, the major tournaments claim a more practical rationale for their murderous courses: to identify the best players. "You want a setup that is a total examination of their skills," Rees Jones told me by phone this week. Oakland Hills is very long and its par threes form one of the toughest sets in golf, he said, but the green complexes are the primary challenge. "From 30 feet, you may have a putt with a triple break," he said.
Fans like watching tournaments on hard courses, he suggested, because they can't relate to the 24-under-par totals the pros sometimes shoot at regular PGA Tour stops. "They like to see some ebb and flow, not all birdies, because that's more like the way they play the game," he said.You know I was thinking the same thing watching the Olympic swimming tonight. I want to see a 400 meters where they have a wave-maker running to make things interesting. Maybe make the water 50 degrees and put spikes on the starting block so they can't get a good start. Now that's ebb and flow!
Lorne Rubenstein brings up something I've been waiting to see if anyone would point out: Oakland Hills is just too narrow to function as a proper strategic design.
Ross wanted the course to have width so that players could work their way into the fascinating greens by playing angles and to be able to use the slopes in and around them. Instead, the fairways are so narrow, and the rough so high, that the course tests only accuracy off the tee and the ability to hit high shots into the greens. The lack of width and the endless rough are far more insulting to Ross's design than the course's length.Finally, Steve Elling reports that David Feherty had another accident on his bike this week.
Feherty, an analyst for CBS Sports, was waiting to conduct a post-round interview with Lefty, leaning on an aluminum cane that he had purchased after getting clipped by a car for the second time this summer while bicycling.
Mickelson could not resist and deadpanned: "Have you considered finding another hobby?"