2009 PGA Clippings, Final Edition Volume 1

This thing's over, right. So why not begin the final edition. At least if you read the stories from round two. Can't say I blame anyone for coming to that conclusion.

Doug Ferguson said it was going along swimmingly until the final hour when everything changed.

Lawrence Donegan writes:

Tiger and Padraig redux, as the novelist and golf lover John Updike might have written. But in truth the two-horse race looked more like a one-man show last night as the world No1 asserted his superiority over his challengers, Harrington included, at 2009 US PGA Championship at Hazeltine and challenged history to prove him wrong.

Jason Sobel says this has "the feel of the Harlem Globetrotters up 30 points over the Washington Generals at intermission" and lists four ways it could get interesting," but he does list ways that Tiger could make this close.

Jeff Rude feels "it’s all but over unless hell or Minnesota freezes over in August."

Steve Elling said the Tiger stare was in play Friday.

When Woods was asked after his round if he felt like he'd ever choked in a major, he uttered not a word, and looked his inquisitor in the eye with a cold glare that said what Woods didn't bother to utter. He made an almost imperceptible shake of his head from side to side.
Uh, that would be an emphatic no, people.

And Thomas Bonk passed along this example of the stare:

He crossed paths with Camilo Villegas, who had stopped to greet Woods with a handshake.
Woods never looked at Villegas and he never stopped walking. He should have hung a "Do Not Disturb" sign around his neck.

Dave Kindred watches Tiger from behind the ropes and surveys the crowd.

I was there for Arnie's Army. I saw Nicklaus win five Masters (though not the last, drat). I never saw as many people then as I saw with Tiger yesterday. Or at least it seems so. They were 10 rows deep practically everywhere that you had might catch a glimpse of him. An hour before he teed off, maybe two thousand people sat in the driving range bleachers and assembled on a hillside to watch him warm up.

Scott Michaux on lurking U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover.

Through his two rounds at Hazeltine, Glover had 10 birdies. He said that the messages from his sports psychologist, Mo Pickens, seem to have finally seeped in and allowed him to play tournaments with the same laid-back attitude he carries on Tuesdays and among friends.

Cameron Morfit tells us how the long ball is winning out while the short hitters are fading. He also makes a case for golf being a tall man's game now. Remember when 5'9" was the ideal height. I wonder what changed? Must be the advent of the personal trainer.

Jim McCabe with this on Alvaro Quiros today:

Even in this world of titanium and megablasts, it sounded a bit much. Driver, 9-iron to the 564-yard, par-5 seventh hole? Was that true, Alvaro Quiros?

The Spaniard shook his head.

And the drive, it went 372 yards?

Again, he confirmed with a shake of his head, but added, “if I must be honest, I did not hit it great, almost on the heel.”

So some quick math determined that the 9-iron was hit from 192 yards? Quiros said it was, then he frowned. “It was too much club.”

On the surface, it sounded crazy, but then again, Quiros’ 9-iron did come to rest plugged in a bunker and he made bogey, so maybe the wedge would have been the proper choice.

Steve Elling tells us that the long putter is always lurking in Vijay Singh's life.

Vijay Singh pointed toward the Hazeltine National clubhouse. What's the old saying? Keep thy enemies close?

"It's in the locker," he laughed. "It's not too far away."

But Singh continued to distance himself from the results of said long putter, which he jettisoned in frustration earlier this month, moving back to a traditional stick that has him back in a familiar position at the PGA Championship.

An unbylined AP story on Phil Mickelson's putting woes, which included 77 stabs for the first two rounds.

Doug Ferguson on even-par shooting Oakmont assistant Grant Sturgeon:

“Expectations coming here … you never know,” Sturgeon said. “I had never played a golf course setup that’s this tough, that’s this challenging, and never played in front of this many people. Never played against the best in the world. That being said, I felt if I played up to my potential, making the cut was a reasonable goal.”

Sturgeon is among 20 club pros who earned a spot into the final major of the year through the PGA Professional National Championship. There used to be 40 teachers among the touring pros, a number that keeps dwindling amid criticism in some corners that the teaching pros are watering down the strongest field of the year.

Mark Reason on Ross Fisher's fourth straight major in contention, notes this about the setup:

So many have alluded to power this week. When Alvaro Quiros - surely the longest hitter in the world - needed just two shots to cover 601 yards uphill and into the wind Tiger chuckled: "That's just stupid long isn't it?"

The PGA is in danger of turning into the macho major. It is possible for the shorter hitters to compete for a while, but they have to be ridiculously good to keep it going for four days. David Toms followed his opening 69 with a 75 as the course began to wear him down.

Dave Seanor gives us this John Paramor update:

Paramor said players have generally been supportive of his action at the Bridgestone.
“If nothing else, it has brought attention to the issue of slow play,” he said.

Paramor said Woods and Harrington walked past him on the 5th hole during Round 1 at Hazeltine, which was the first time he had seen either player since the incident at Firestone. He said Woods and caddie Steve Williams ignored him, but Harrington smiled and gave him a nod.

Jim McCabe writes about Adam Scott's putting troubles and reveals that there's also going to be a change in another component of his entourage.

Compounding matters, Scott confirmed that he and longtime swing coach Butch Harmon, with whom he has worked exclusively since turning pro in 2000, “have taken a little bit of a break.”

Was it a split? Scott shook his head no.

“We need a break to take a bit of the pressure off,” Scott said. “I told him, ‘Let’s have some space.’ We have to figure out how to move forward.”

Weinman and Johnson list their birdies and bogeys, including a breakdown of the club pro performance and this bogey for the fans, making up for yesterday's blatant pandering! You go!

Although nearly everyone standing right of the 15th fairway knew Justin Rose had hit his tee shot out of bounds, a fan tells him it is in play, having mistaken Hunter Mahan's ball for Rose's. When informed his ball is indeed OB, a miffed Rose utters, "That toolbox over there told me it was alright."

Governor Bill Richardson and Lex Luther give us a video preview of Saturday's play.

Mark Soltau compiles the best quotes from Friday, including this from Ryder Cup Captain Pavin.

"I teed off 1 and finished on 18." -- U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin, when asked about his round

And finally, the Jenkins Tweet of the day: