Great News: Charleston At Huge Occupancy During PGA; 31% Mark-Up For Privilege Of Scenic Commute!

I am so glad the PGA of America's official PGA Championship twitter account shared the news of huge occupancy rates in Charleston during the 2012 PGA at Kiawah. I know all of the folks who stayed there were overjoyed by Laura Ratcliffe's story.

But just in case:

For the week of Aug. 6, Charleston County hotels were 86.4% occupied with an average room price of $148.62. This represents an increase of 12.3% in occupancy and 30.9% in room prices over the same week last year, according to the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Hey only a 31% mark-up for an event that Golf World's Jim Moriarty wrote was so logistically challenged that the only thing missing from the Fantasy Island PGA "was Herve Villechaize in a tiny tropical suit greeting the daily arrivals yelling, "Da bus! Da bus!"

"So if the PGA of America is considering returning to Kiawah, it should think again and just say no emphatically."

Golfweek's Jeff Rude touches on the miserable time players, media and fans had with transportation, parking and actual spectating of the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah and says once was enough.

Kiawah might be suited for a four-man PGA Grand Slam or Skins Game or two-man Shell’s match or maybe even another Ryder Cup, but it was overmatched when putting on the spectacle of a major championship with 156 players (and their caddies and entourages) because of the infrastructure issues.

Some veteran writers seemed to think it was the worst major ever, and that wasn’t even factoring in the 5 1/2-hour rounds.

“The only way the PGA should come back here is if they have flying buses,” one scribe said.
Couldn’t agree more.

Bamberger: "At Kiawah, Woods dabbled in some new material, and it was kind of weird, experimental and New Agey."

Michael Bamberger isn't knocking Tiger's "too relaxed" suggestion because he wants to "encourage his artistic growth" but it also means he isn't buying the 2012 PGA postmortem.

Some odd thing was going on as he played on Saturday. He did seem to be ­approaching the round in an uncharacteristic way. He looked almost detached. Now and again he stared out at the churning ocean. He stayed last week on his yacht, Privacy, and he clearly did come to shore on Saturday with some sort of different approach. But not relaxed.

The guy must get sick of hearing the word major. Major, major, major. But it’s a conversation of his own making. He set the bar higher than anyone ever has. Big Jack had 18 majors, and Tiger was going to first match and then pass. He has been stuck at 14 for four years and two months.

It will only get harder and more intense.

Rory-Faced Biscuits A Hot Item Again

I bet Tiger never had his face put on a biscuit.

Just wish we could see them better in the photo The photo accompanying this Anna Maguire Belfast Telegraph story also includes a photo gallery.*

Within three hours of going on sale, 300 German biscuits carrying the face of Rory McIlroy had disappeared from the shelves of Skinner’s Bakery.

By noon on Monday, workers at the Holywood bakery were frantically preparing another batch.

“It’s because he’s a Holywood boy,” was how co-owner Valerie Skinner explained the success of their best-selling product.

“My husband (and bakery co-owner) Wilson had the idea of making the biscuits when we were watching Rory win the US Open Championship last year. We sold thousands of the biscuits then.

PGA Ratings Wrap: Saturday Up A Tick, Sunday Down

SportsMediaWatch.com has a few more PGA Championship ratings for CBS. The 3.9 overnight was down 9% from '11 and 22% from '10 and was the lowest since '08, but it did outdraw the Open Championship slightly and Saturday was not horrible.

On Saturday, third round action drew a 2.7 overnight (excludes rainout coverage) — actually up a tick from last year (2.6), but down 13% from 2010 (3.1).

Second PGA Championship Question: Was Rory's Win The Most Satisfying Major Triumph This Year?

No offense to the first three major winners--Watson, Simpson, Els--but for me the PGA Championship win by Rory McIlroy was the most satisfying win. Even with the golf course so soft, it felt like McIlroy overcame more (varied weather, winds) while having the freedom to separate himself with his supreme talent to drive the ball long and accurately.
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'12 PGA Sunday Overnights Down 9%

I know, it's hard to believe with a presentation as enticing to watch as Sunday's latest commercial and promo-laden PGA Championship telecast, that ratings would be down. But that's what Thomas Bonk says on his blog, reporting a drop from 4.3 last year to 3.9 this year. In the PGA's defense, it was up against Olympic coverage on NBC. However, it did feature a more star-studded leaderboard this year compared to last.

Rory Romps Roundup: 2012 PGA Clippings

First, the game stories after a stunning weekend performance by Rory McIlroy in winning the 2012 PGA Championship.

LEDES

Doug Ferguson, AP:

  Rory McIlroy dressed the part as golf's next star and played like it, too.

Steve DiMeglio for USA Today, working in a little love for the logistics:

 Much like the daily slog to and from this barrier island, Rory McIlroy's road back to major championship glory was chock-full of congestion.

James Corrigan plays off the Olympics for his Telegraph lede:

This was Rory McIlroy’s own closing ceremony, a procession lit up with fireworks and sheer brilliance.

Derek Lawrenson for the Daily Mail:

Turn up in a shirt of Tiger red on the final day of a major, and you better be able to walk the walk. Fortunately, Rory McIlroy was more than up to the task on Sunday, marching proudly to his second major victory with a flawless performance at the USPGA Championship.   

Ewan Murray for The Guardian:

There can be few things in sport more delightful than emulating the performance of your boyhood idol. Rory McIlroy, throughout his youth, was in awe of Tiger Woods. Here the Northern Irishman claimed the 94th US PGA Championship, the second major of his career, with the kind of Sunday front-running which was once the forte of Woods.

Paul Mahoney gets right to the point for The Independent:

Rory McIlroy wore red yesterday and channelled Tiger Woods circa 2000 to win the 94th US PGA Championship by eight shots with a score of 13 under par.

Bill Pennington takes us back to Augusta for his New York Times lede:

The birth of a champion, and maybe golf’s next dominant player, was dispiriting, humiliating defeat. Put Rory McIlroy back in the woods of the 10th hole at the 2011 Masters as he whacked his ball from tree to tree, a boy lost in the forest on his way to a mortifying fall from the summit of the leader board.

Simon Evans for Reuters:

Rory McIlroy brushed aside any lingering doubts over his ability to be a dominant force in golf by storming to a second major title with a stunning eight-shot victory at the PGA Championship on Sunday.

 

STUFF

Golf Channel's highlight package.

The Champion's post round interview transcript.

The final scores and purse disbursal.

All of the final round player interview transcripts at PGA.com.

SI/golf.com's post round Confidential.


RORY ANALYSIS

Dave Kindred says Rory announced his greatness with his drives.

A rocket. Rising toward the clouds. A draw to a fairway turning left. In the air forever, then running out down a slope. It was as if God Herself had said, "Let there be Rory and let him move men, women, and children to stand in awe of his work." Let's say the shot covered 340 yards. What happened next was nice -- up and down from a wasteland for birdie -- but it was that divinely beautiful drive that reminded us all we had been witness to McIlroy's arrival at greatness.

Gene Wojciechowski on the win and also the whole red shirt thing.

He wore a red shirt, just like Woods does on Sundays. He embraced his father, just like Woods used to do with his dad Earl. He had a flair for the dramatic, sinking a 20-foot birdie putt on his final hole, just the sort of thing Woods would do when winning a major.

Full disclosure: McIlroy said he wouldn't have worn the Tiger Red had he been paired with Woods.

"Might have to do it from now on," McIlroy said. "No wonder he wins so much."

Jason Sobel says comparisons to Tiger are unfair for reasons he mentions. He also quotes some of Rory's peers.

Even the way McIlroy’s peers discussed the performance in wide-eyed awe and effusive praise was reminiscent of how Woods’ fellow competitors have often discussed his achievements after a major win.

Ian Poulter: “Everybody should take note. The guy's pretty good.”

Carl Pettersson: “He was just better than everybody -- and it was clear to everybody, I think.”

Graeme McDowell: “His score speaks for itself. He's a hell of a talented player.”

Padraig Harrington was even more blunt, reports Brian Keogh.

“Rory is showing that with his A Game, everybody else is going to struggle to compete with him, and Tiger needs his A Game to come up against Rory. He’s not going to beat him unless he has a big weekend.  

Keogh on Tiger's admission that Rory's pretty good.

"He’s very good,” he said. “We all know the talent he has. He went through a little spell this year, and I think that was good for him. We all go through those spells in our careers, and you know, he’s got all the talent in the world to do what he’s doing. And this is the way that Rory can play. When he gets it going, it’s pretty impressive to watch.”

Keeping it going is McIlroy’s next task. Like the loyal Nike man he is, Woods revealed how it works.

“You just do it.”

Randall Mell on how Rory credited short game coach Dave Stockton.

Golfweek's Sean Martin with more on the Stockton advice.

His mid-summer slump also had impacted his demeanor, so much so that putting instructor Dave Stockton told McIlroy to play with a smile this week, a tip it seemed McIlroy would never need. There was plenty for him to enjoy about an Ocean Course that so suited his strengths.

Elevated greens forced players to hoist the ball skyward on approach shots, even when the Ocean Course’s strong winds would usually call for a lower trajectory. No one hits it high, especially with the long clubs, better than McIlroy. It’s no coincidence he’s dominated two majors at softer-than-standard layouts. Soft conditions allowed him to be aggressive with every club in his bag.

Gary Van Sickle on what the win means.

McIlroy is now ahead of the major pace of Woods. McIlroy turned 23 three months ago; Woods won his second major, the 1999 PGA at Medinah, when he was 23 years, 7 months old.

Ahead of Tiger's pace, behind Tiger's pace -- it doesn't really matter. Tiger's run, which led to 14 majors, was so remarkable that it's amazing to even be on a similar trajectory. This is the dawn of a great opportunity for McIlroy, and he will fuel our golf conversations until we return to Augusta National next April.

A European Tour story talks to a few writers about where Rory's second major win fits with other great triumphs and legends.

 

THE RUNNER-UP

An unbylined AP story on runner-up David Lynn.

An unbylined Sky Sports story on Lynn, who is in next year's Masters now.

"It's a little bit surreal right now," said Lynn, whose only win came in the 2004 Dutch Open. "I've never been exempt to play in anything in America, so that's the reason why I've never been over here. This is a good start.

"To come and perform the way I have this week in a major is very special and a great achievement. It has not sunk in properly yet to be honest.

"The Masters is just a dream come true, obviously - amazing. Seeing Augusta as many times as I have, it's like I know the place and I've never even been there.

 

COURSE

Rex Hoggard says the setup was weak.

Not once during the 94th PGA Championship did officials move to the forward tees on the par-4 12th or 13th holes. Both holes were pegged as potential risk/reward holes but played well over 400 yards every day.

Nor did the PGA of America show much variety at the par-3 17th hole, which played 229, 217, 219 and 233 yards for Rounds 1, 2, 3 and 4, respectively. In fact, the total yardage for the Ocean Course, at 7,668 yards the longest in major championship history, varied just 200 yards throughout the week.

 

IMAGES

GolfChannel.com's image gallery kicks off with a classic Rickie impersonator.

Golfweek.com's image gallery.

golf.com's gallery is nice and big and features the work of SI's crew.

 

TELEVISION

Martin Kaufman sticks to mostly compliments for the hard-working technical team that caught some key sights and sounds in between the commercial breaks. 

 

TWEETS

Rory's thank-you Tweet.

David Feherty is still on the high that he exuded during the telecast, and is also happy about the end of the Olympics.

Luke Donald is happy to be off Kiawah Island, agent Chubby Chandler wants more restaurants before they host another major (oh the problems!), Luke would just like another road.

Webb Simpson said the Pettersson penalty was another example of a golf rule that doesn't make sense.

And the final word goes to the Ancient Twitterer.

Rules Under Fire (Again): "We have a lot of stupid rules in golf."

Matthew Rudy on the Carl Pettersson violation Sunday at the PGA which led to a two-shot penalty. Here is the PGA of America's statement.

Pettersson was not pleased after the round:

"I double checked with the official to make sure I could brush the grass as long as I didn't put any weight on the ground with the clubhead, and he said sure," said Pettersson about his shot on the first hole. "I wish he would have mentioned the leaves, too. I was just trying to hit the ball. I didn't even think twice about it."

After getting the notification from Davis, Pettersson was visibly annoyed. "I've got to take it on the chin, obviously. I broke the rule there," said Petterson. "I don't think it effected the outcome of the shot. It's just one of those things. We have a lot of stupid rules in golf."

Rex Hoggard included this from Feherty:

Golf Channel’s David Feherty, who was the walking analyst with the group on Sunday, was more pointed in his assessment of the rule.

“Why don’t professional golfers make rules for professional golfers?” Feherty asked. “We’re the only sport that allows amateurs (to make rules). It’s not working for me if a guy is trying to make a living. A major championship may have hung in the balance.

“That (rule) is designed so an amateur doesn’t drag his club back and make a channel for themselves. What do you think would happen if a pro did that out there? I think we can account for that. How are you supposed to make a backswing? Use the club like a spear?”

Still no video of it on YouTube or PGA.com's PGA Championship site. If anyone sees an online version of the violation, please post a link.

2012 PGA Championship: Your Kneejerk Reactions

Rory McIlroy salvaged an otherwise forgettable week with an awesome display of power and short game brilliance. As with his Congressional performance, the combination of distance and accuracy with the driver on Sunday along with 24 putts, was something to behold.

It was an abysmal logistical week for the PGA of America and for telecast partner CBS, but they've been doing this with the telecast for a decade and there is no reason to think they will put substance over promotion anytime soon. It's a shame they took away from the grandeur or Rory's performance.

Your kneejerk reactions as the happy scribblers prepare to wow us with insights into Rory's domination, David Lynn's bio, Carl Pettersson's penalty and Tiger's peculiar weekend?

PGA Explanation On Carl Pettersson Penalty

Still waiting for video to appear on YouTube. Here's the PGA of America explanation:

Carl Pettersson was assessed a two-stroke penalty on the first hole of the final round of the 94th PGA Championship for a breach of Rule 13-4c when he moved a loose impediment lying in a lateral water hazard, while his ball was lying in the same hazard.

Pettersson hit his tee shot into the lateral water hazard to the right of the fairway. Before making the stroke, he asked the walking official, Brad Gregory, if he was allowed to touch grass, in the hazard, with his club, prior to the stroke.

Pettersson was correctly informed that he could do so, provided that he did not ground the club in the hazard. In making his backswing, Pettersson’s club brushed the grass behind the ball (not a breach) and at the same time moved a leaf (loose impediment), in breach of the Rule.

Pettersson was immediately notified by Gregory that there may have been a breach of Rule 13-4c, and that he (Gregory) wanted the stroke to be reviewed on video for confirmation.

PGA Rules Chairman, David Price, reviewed the stroke on video and confirmed that a loose impediment was moved during Pettersson’s backswing.

Pettersson was notified of the penalty as he left the fourth tee. His score for the par-4 first hole was a 6.

PGA of America Rules Committee.

2012 Kiawah Classic Final Round Open Comment Thread

The inaugural Kiawah Classic hasn't been without flaws, as...oh what?

Sorry, this is the final round of a major, Glory's Last Hoorah Before Everyone Forgets For Another Year That Our Fourth Major Does Not Measure Up To The Rest.

Here's the leaderboard after third round play was completed, followed by the tee times:

12:50 pm Geoff Ogilvy Keegan Bradley Marcel Siem

1:01 pm Graeme McDowell Jamie Donaldson Ian Poulter

1:12 pm Jimmy Walker David Lynn Padraig Harrington

1:23 pm Peter Hanson  Vijay Singh  Tiger Woods

1:34 pm Trevor Immelman Adam Scott Steve Stricker

1:45 pm Rory McIlroy Carl Pettersson Bo Van Pelt

2012 Fourth Of Four Majors, Third Round Completion Open Comment Thread

7:45 a.m. restart, 4:45 a.m. in the time zone where it doesn't rain in August. TNT will be airing the completion of round three starting at 8 a.m.

We'll start a new thread for the afternoon threesomes when CBS reminds us of all the swell new shows they'll be airing this fall.

And because, according to PGA.com, "Sunday is shaping up as one of the biggest days in major championship history." (Screen shot, right, courtesy of reader Lloyd.)

2012 Glory's First Shot-To-Promote-The-CBS-Fall-Lineup, Third Round Open Comment Thread

It's back, annually the worst golf telecast of the year, CBS and the PGA of America joining forces to show you as little golf as possible and as many plugs, promos, paybacks and other nonsense.

Big questions for Saturday: will Jim Nantz be able to muster the necessary enthusiam for the first How I Met Your Mother promo?

Will the 3 p.m. start time for the leaders, when mixed with the weather forecast, cause problems?

TNT starts at 11 ET, CBS starts showing something resembling a golf telecast at 2 ET, but if you have a DVR, you can start watching at 3:30 ET by and be caught up with the actual golf by 4 ET.

Armchair Officials: Will 13-2 Come Into Play This Weekend?

With Michael Hoey having the first mishap related to the different rules this week for the sand areas, reader Jerry wondered how many times Rule 13-2 has been or will be violated by players treating bunkers as they normally would by digging in and building a stance.

Since any sandy area is treated as through the green, doing so would be a violation as outlined in 13-2:

13-2. Improving Lie, Area of Intended Stance or Swing, or Line of Play

A player must not improve or allow to be improved:

• the position or lie of his ball,

• the area of his intended stance or swing,

• his line of play or a reasonable extension of that line beyond the hole, or

• the area in which he is to drop or place a ball, by any of the following actions:
• pressing a club on the ground,

• moving, bending or breaking anything growing or fixed (including immovable obstructions and objects defining out of bounds),

• creating or eliminating irregularities of surface,

• removing or pressing down sand, loose soil, replaced divots or other cut turf placed in position, or
• removing dew, frost or water.