Friday PGA Championship Clippings

It was tough to watch round one of the PGA because. I was quite emotional. The measly crowds and Tiger-free atmosphere kept reminding me of the 1995 PGA at Riviera. I'm sorry, but these old memories are deeply embedded and it just happens.

Of course, scoring conditions were just a tad different. Doug Ferguson writes that...

The PGA Championship looked a lot like the U.S. Open, with only six players able to break par Thursday among the early starters who got the best of the weather at Oakland Hills.
It sounded like a U.S. Open, too.
For a quick roundup of day 1 highlights, Golfweek's recap is best. It included this gem:
Goydos, who’s sarcastically nicknamed “Sunshine” because of his disposition, is one of the best quotes on Tour. So what did he think of Rees Jones’ redesign of Oakland Hills.
“If you had Rees Jones redo ‘Scrabble,’ he’d leave out the vowels,” Goydos said.
Here's the AP story on Kenny Perry's WD which the above Golfweek recap noted, "remember, his focus this year was never on the majors."

Steve Elling says it's fitting that Jeev Singh should contend and win since it's the year of the injury because Singh is barely getting around thanks to a nasty ankle injury.

Bob Wojnowski on Robert Karlsson's amazing story, not to mention his excellent year in the majors so far. Bob Harig also profiles the first round leader.

Lorne Rubenstein on Phil Mickelson's 70.
Mickelson then digressed into a brief discussion of high pins and low pins. Very few golfers use such terminology. Mickelson said the course surprised him by being much firmer and faster than it was during practice rounds, but that it still offered some birdie chances. He referred to these birdie chances as being on greens where the holes were cut in low spots.

The comment requires some deconstructing, which is part of the fun of trying to understand the way Mickelson sees golf.

His doors of perception are open, wide open. By low pins, Mickelson meant that some holes were cut in catchment areas, so that he could feed a ball in their direction.

Mickelson, a shot maker and a thinker, likes to feed shots. But is he prone to thinking too much?
Bob Verdi on Sean O'Hair, who was in a car accident earlier this year and fired a first round 69:
It's working and so is the rest of O'Hair's body after a car wreck just before the U.S. Open, from which he withdrew before starting. He wound up playing one round of golf in June while tending to sore ribs. Driving on slick roads near his home outside Philadelphia, O'Hair skidded into a power pole, totaling a shiny new Mustang he had owned for all of three days. "I wasn't going that fast," said O'Hair. "The pole just kind of jumped out there in front of me. Plus, it was a stick shift, and I'd never driven one before."
O'Hair sold the vehicle, or what was left of it.
From yesterday, Larry Dorman profiles Adam Scott's rough ride this year that's included odd health issues and a breakup with his longtime girlfriend.

Jeff Neuman writes about the PGA as golf's "littlest major," which it definitely looked like Thursday, if nothing else based on gallery size.

I swore off Ryder Cup stories this week, but James Corrigan's lede on Monty's diminishing chances was too good to pass up:
The perversely-minded among us may one day notice a few similarities between Colin Montgomerie and Jimmy Hoffa. Both carried the odd surplus pound, both had reputation problems and both could call themselves legendary teamsters.
Paul Mahoney also looks at Monty's plight and Sergio's surge.
While short on birdies, the 45-year-old was Monty-like in other ways. He moaned at the marshals on the first tee (his 10th) for waving their the-ball-went-thataway paddles too close to his personal space. "I'll find my own ball, believe me," he snapped at one hapless fellow (who should have responded, "Maybe, but it won't be in the hole any time soon.")
Monty's mood hadn't mellowed by the time he signed his card. He stopped to talk to reporters for exactly 26 seconds. "Too long, too tough," he huffed of Oakland Hills. "You can spray it 20 yards wide and you're okay, but if you spin off by six inches or one foot, you're not. It's a shame."
And finally, Brian Hewitt reports that John Daly has a new instructor: Rick Smith.
Talk about the coaching merry-go-round and six degrees of separation all wrapped into one. Smith is the guy who did a lot of good work with Phil Mickelson before Mickelson left him for Butch Harmon. Harmon is the guy who did a lot of good work with Tiger Woods and dumped Daly earlier this year because of what he perceived to be Long John’s errant off-course behavior. Now Daly and Smith are together and the squared circle is unbroken. Sort of.
Daly said he and Smith worked for seven hours last Sunday at nearby Oakland University. He said his injured ribs are feeling better and Smith has convinced him to use his right side more now.
“It’s all about the right side,” Daly said. “I love the guy. Plus he’s a feel coach and I’m a feel player."
Daly’s score Thursday: 74.