State Of The Game Podcast 63: Iain Carter & The 2015 Majors

Looking at the major winners over the last decade, there have been some great years though on closer inspection, each has its events that look less-than-satisfying in hindsight.

As we discuss with Iain Carter, author of The Majors, the BBC golf correspondent picked a very good year to write a book about the men's Grand Slam events. Because history will look very kindly on the year. Even with Augusta being way too green, Chambers Bay too brown, St. Andrews' greens were too fast and Whisting Straits apparently defenseless (though who knows how anyone breaks par there!), the players picked up the slack for the governing bodies and delivered four very memorable weeks.

Carter joins us to discuss the season, his book and the upcoming year.  Happy listening via your free podcast app subscriptions (hopefully auto downloading), at iTunes, on the show page or as an MP3 download.

Or below:

Finally: Jason Day Wins A Major (In Record Style)

The act of prognosticating majors is a silly game many of us partake in because they never play out how we hope. Many of us picked Jason Day as the obvious favorite, with Jordan Spieth likely to be right there. And for a change, a golf tournament played out kind of like we expected and hoped.

Day's win is especially enjoyable because he's had so many close calls, works hard, loves what he does and has been on the cusp. That doesn't always translate to major success but what fun to see things play out before our eyes as the paper evidence hinted.

Doug Ferguson
gets at the emotional weight lifted for Day in his AP story:

Worried that this year might turn out to be a major failure, Day never gave Jordan Spieth or anyone else a chance Sunday. He delivered a record-setting performance at Whistling Straits that brought him a major championship he started to wonder might never happen.

Day was in tears before he even tapped in for par and a 5-under 67 for a three-shot victory. He sobbed on the shoulder of Colin Swatton, his caddie and longtime coach who rescued Day as a 12-year-old struggling to overcome the death of his father.

And then came high praise from Spieth in the scoring trailer when golf's new No. 1 player told him, "There's nothing I could do."

Ian O'Connor at ESPN.com on how Sunday was the culmination of a life lived overcoming a lot.
Day wanted to tell you that he was 12 when his old man died of stomach cancer, and that his mother needed to take out a second mortgage on the house and borrow money from his aunt and uncle to put him in a golf academy seven hours away. He wanted to tell you that he was getting into fights, and getting drunk at home before he was even a teenager. He wanted to tell you that his mother used a knife to cut the lawn because she couldn't afford to fix the mower, and that she'd heat up three or four kettles so her son could take a shower in a home that didn't have a hot water tank.

"That's why a lot of emotion came out on 18," Day said.
Rex Hoggard at GolfChannel.com notes the irony of Day winning at Whistling Straits, where his run of near majors began.
Jason Day came full circle on Sunday after having started what some were beginning to see as a misguided major quest at Whistling Straits when he tied for 10th at the 2010 PGA.

Five years after that first brush with Grand Slam greatness the affable Australian laid a Heisman on the field with a near-flawless round and then both hands on the Wanamaker Trophy, the 27-pound chalice that had started to feel like the weight of the world on Day’s broad shoulders.
Jim McCabe at Golfweek.com notes how confident and aggressive Day was Sunday.
“Jason played like a champion,” Spieth said, shaking his head at the winner’s consistent play with a hard driver off the tee. “I wouldn’t say I was surprised, but I was amazed he kept hitting the driver.”

As one of the most aggressive players on the PGA Tour, Day started the day two in front of Spieth and kept the engines on. He birdied four of the first seven holes but still led by only three.
Cameron Morfit at golf.com has some fun inside the ropes details, including this about the incredible 11th hole drive:
He uncorked a massive drive on the par-5 11th hole that wound up 382 yards down the fairway, and when Spieth walked up and saw it he turned around and said, “Holy s---!” Day simply smiled and playfully flexed his biceps.

“I knew I was going to be playing uphill from there,” Spieth said.
Col Swatton has been on the bag for Day a long time and has endured no shortage of hours on the range, so the "blubbering mess" he displayed was real, notes Stephen Hennessey at GolfDigest.com.

On a lighter note, there was some confusion over son Dash's gender, at least from NBC Sports personality Josh Elliott.

Here was wee Dash running out to greet dad. From The Big Lead.

First Take: The 2015 PGA Championship

Imagine that, the favorite going in thanks to his recent play and his previous performance at Whistling Straits won. Nice how it all comes together sometimes.

It wasn not a great day for fans as the lack of a cap on commercial breaks and the relentlessness of certain commercials. I can't think of a better example of how a telecast impacts the impression of a major championship. Few sports fans would have watched today and thought this was anything but a typical tournament.

I'm curious what the lasting impression is of this week after Day's win, Spieth's epic year and Whistling Straits.

2015 PGA Championship Round Three This And That

There are rumors...just rumors at this point that after several fine morning runs of the Omega HOF ad, a different placement from the man jewelry maker appeared on TNT. I'm working the phones and getting sources to confirm and will let you know.

However, there is great news for Omega: reader Tim Ryan's son is now a loyal customer for life (here and here, thanks Tim). Way to hook the kids Omega!

As for the golf tournament, we have rumblings of a potential beauty. But now that the cut has been made, let's not forget those we've left behind or those who have some amazing cut streaks in the fourth of four. Jim McCabe with those and other notes at Golfweek.com.

Regarding Tiger Woods, he has signed up for the Wyndham Championship, but as Bob Harig reports for ESPN.com, he is reserving the right to take more time to decide whether to play.

I had hoped to expense a really nice meal and glass of wine in the name of seeing how the important people are living this week at The American Club. Naturally, Michael Bamberger beat me to it. Here's his golf.com report.

On a much more serious and somber note, Ian O'Connor has the ESPN.com story of Charles Frost, playing with a heavy heart this week for his fellow Kiawah Island golf pro pal Michael Townsend, who recently qualified for a tour event but passed away in a car accident, leaving behind a family of three.

So in that light, none of this is really important, but if you must:

Round three tee times

Leaderboard

Poll Question: Does The Constant Playing Of Omega's HOF Ad...

Make you want to jump out of a helicopter without a parachute? Want to have a mute button chip embedded in your brain? Want to go buy a luxury time piece that your kids will sell on ebay?

These are the kind of important questions that must be posed as we move into a Weather Warning mode and, inevitably, soak up Omega's ad created for last year's PGA Championship. But for reasons only the Madison Avnue minds can explain, the piece featuring the screaching sounds of will.i.am singing to The Script's music is making an ubiquitous return across all major media platforms. Constantly.

In case you've been in a coma and have not seen this wonderful product as it nears its one millionth running, here is the only ad Omega feels that golf fans can handle. And here is the story behind this masterpiece of marketing.

Please, your votes...

Does Omega's "Hall of Fame" ad...
 
pollcode.com free polls

Video: John Daly's Fantastic Entry Into The Tommy Bolt Wing Of The Club Throwing Hall Of Fame

And pushed to social media by PGA.com! Love the progressiveness.

There is a lot to love about this one, including the suddeness of the Lake Michigan sling after walking a bit and mulling the joys of playing Whistling Straits. Though the best part may be the retrieval by a young man with dad driving the boat, and then celebrating his acquisiion. Working on finding that Vine, but for now, enjoy.

Whistling Straits: 1. John Daly: 0

A video posted by PGA.com (@pgacom) on Aug 14, 2015 at 12:48pm PDT

 

2015 PGA Championship Round Two This And That

The temperature is rising and that was before fans headed to the exit built specially for events at this remote golf course arrived to find it...closed off by law enforcement. Only to be diverted to the next exit 7 miles up the road and in a different county!

Even cattle were coming up to the fences to look at the barely moving procession as if to say, nice traffic plan Buford T! With an extra 40 minutes to ponder the fumbling, it became understandable why this tragic event took place on site yesterday.

Meanwhile Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy took advantage of the calm round two morning conditions, but all eyes are on the ultimate redemption story at Whistlng Straits: Dustin Johnson. He opened with a pretty smooth 66 that might have been lower, noted Adam Schupak in his Golfweek.com story.

Johnson’s 66 looked effortless and if a few makable putts had dropped, a 63 or 64 was within reach.

“Today was pretty easy, I would have to say,” said Johnson, who hit 14 of 18 greens and made just one bogey, at the third hole. “Right now, today, I felt like I had my ball under control a lot like I did at the U.S. Open.”

Inexplicably, the DJ-Day-Fowler group did not live up to Marquee Group coverage status, and you missed some great action (plus a shocking quadruple bogey from Fowler). I noted this and an epic DJ quote in my account for The Loop.

“I would prefer to be in the lead, though, there’s less shots you’ve got to make up."

Even better, Johnson is now wallowing, but instead playing as if he believes this course owes him something, as Butch Harmon told Golf Channel's Steve Sands (Strege reports).

Here are you round two groupings and the leaderboard. The Johnson-Fowler-Day group goes at 1:20 pm local.

And remember telecast watchers on TNT from 2-8 pm ET: you can move a mountain, you can break rocks, you can be a master, Standing in the hall of fame. Because the world's gonna know your name.