If the preview stories are any indication what's in store for this PGA, then we're going to be watching a lot of the Olympics. The scribes seem bored or maybe just distracted by the loud AC's in the Oakland Hills press center. Of course, I also paid no attention to Ryder Cup related stories, which there was no shortage of.
Anyway, there's the usual theme of the golf course and how it's going to be the hardest ever, etc... Bob Harig addresses that tired theme.
We often hear how brutal a golf course is on the eve of a major championship, then see weather conditions change or the expected difficulty turn out not to be as much as first touted. And there has not been a winning score over par at the PGA Championship since 1976, when Dave Stockton won at Congressional Country Club.
But during a stretch in which major championships have been more tough than not -- four majors in the past two years have been won with over-par winning totals -- there have been an array of comments about Oakland Hills, none suggesting this is going to be an easy week.
"I played Augusta this year for the first time and Torrey Pines, and those don't even come close to how hard Oakland Hills will play," said Daniel Chopra, who played Oakland Hills last year in a British Open qualifier.Randall Mell says the course is the star and offers this from Sergio:
"It's a great golf course, but it's probably the toughest PGA I've ever played," Garcia said.Doug Ferguson compiles player comments about the difficulty:
Rocco Mediate was playing the 18th early Wednesday — his only nine holes of practice — when one of his tee shots strayed to the right. His caddie went looking for it, and when he finally found it, picked it up and said, “No good over here. Make a note of that.”
Predicting a score is pointless because no one knows how the PGA of America will set it up when scores start counting Thursday. But wherever they put the tees and pins, Oakland Hills has gotten the players’ attention.John Huggan on the course and the chances of a European winning.
"This course is set up like a US Open of three or four years ago, where missing the fairway by a couple of yards is the same as missing it by 10 yards," asserted Harrington. "So this is a tough and intimidating test, very penal. And if you miss a green in the wrong place it's a struggle to chip it closer than 25 to 30 feet. The constant debate is whether to play aggressively or cautiously."Rich Lerner delivers "hooks and cuts," including this:
Geoff Ogilvy thinks this may well be the first time that the U.S. Open will have been the easiest of the four majors. “Augusta and Birkdale were impossible,” he said. Oakland Hills won’t be impossible, but it won’t be easy either. “It’s a beast,” said Paul Goydos.Steve Elling shares this from Paul Azinger:
"Hardest course I've ever seen," he said Wednesday. "The rough has neutralized everybody. There's no shot-making out of that rough. I've never seen greens like this. It's tough."Azinger faced the scribblers for a Ryder Cup press conference, which yielded this groundbreaking question:
Q. Can anything other than a win be regarded as a success for you?Brian Hewitt reports exclusively that Kenny Perry scratched his cornea taking out his contacts Wednesday and his play will be impacted by the injury.
In the picks department (I know, too late for your pool...), ESPN.com has some thing called a FOREcaster that lets fantasy geeks hit a bit red button and answer questions. The geeks like Geoff Ogilvy to win.
John Antonini files his pre-PGA report card on the world's top 10
Jason Sobel at ESPN.com ranks his top 25.
Daniel Wexler chimes in with his breakdown of the favorites.
If you want your cornea to feel like Kenny Perry's, just try to read Joe Steranka's longwinded "interview" opening comments today. The scribes managed to get three questions in.
Steve Elling reports that the seemingly comical sight of a cop strangling Jim Weathers with a baton wasn't so funny after all as Weathers faces surgery.
And finally, from the Golfweek blog, I wasn't the only one who took exception to the USGA/R&A announcement coming during PGA week. Jeff Rude writes:
Timing isn't always everything, but I'm thinking the USGA announcement on grooves the week of the PGA Championship isn't all that different from Scott Boras revealing A-Rod's contract intentions the week of the World Series.
I mean, sometimes respect needs to wait a week.