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 PGA.com. 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.