Kyle Stanley’s win this week in Phoenix was very impressive. It shows great confidence and talent to comeback after last week’s loss (an epic loss).
One of the benefits of being sidelined with injury is that I have gotten to see the all of the President’s Cup matches up to date.
Royal Melbourne looks awesome!
The golf course was clearly set up too difficult on day 2 of the matches. The speed of the greens, combined with their firmness made golf in 20+ mph winds a bit silly. I still think too many people find it amusing or cool somehow to have professionals play on courses that are no longer ‘normal’. Good shots were not rewarded and luck played too big of a role in my opinion…. Fortunately, the day ended with a tie in the matches, so no big deal.
But no doubt the course looks fantastic! Play it with greens at a 10 on the stimp meter, a bunch more receptive to iron shots, and it’s clearly one of the great courses of the world.
The golfers…. well, they certainly are the best of the best. We look for marquee matchups, but truth is, any golfer out there can beat any other golfer in the field on any given day. Jay Hass made that clear during the final day picks, when he kept telling Freddy that it didn’t really matter who he picked to play against Geoff Olgilvy, or KJ Choi…. They are all good. Any one of our players can play….
In about 15 minutes, I’ll begin watching the final day of singles matches. Looking forward to watching the great GRAVITY SWINGS of Ernie Els, Hunter Mahan, YE Yang, Aaron Baddeley, KJ Choi, Retif Goosen, Webb Simpson, and Jim Furyk, just to name a few!
Time to get out the ice, put my bum leg up and watch some golf! Golf is healing….
Perhaps one of the great effects of the Tiger Woods era is that the younger generation, especially with him out of the equation at the moment, has developed an unbelievable will to win.
What a great finish to the PGA this weekend! When was the last time you saw someone come back after a late bogie or double? Almost never happens. That one mistake late in the round usually sounds the bell for any and all golfers….
Keegan Bradley made a TRIPLE bogie on the 15th hole, and came right back with back to back birdies, and continued his great play in the playoff.
The commentators were rationalizing like crazy all weekend!!! They are trying to figure out how to ‘generalize’ the champions of 2011.
On Saturday and Sunday they kept talking about how the experience of the veteran golfers always help down the stretch. That wasn’t panning out, so they began to discuss the fact that rookies didn’t have the ‘baggage’ of bad breaks in a major, and that was a benefit…. Experience? Baggage? Yeah, they were pulling stuff out of their butts.
Probably one of the better explanations came from Nick Faldo during Sunday’s broadcast. He talked about ‘the Tiger effect’ on the younger golfers…. These kids have grown up watching the way Tiger won in the 2000’s. They’ve emulated his ‘swagger’, they’ve imitated his tremendous confidence and perhaps become mentally tougher than the previous generations because of it….
Think about it. Physically, young golfers began to bomb it a few short years after Tiger burst onto the seen. The focus of attention was on how far he hit the ball, and golf became obsessed with distance again. It’s perhaps taken a bit longer for the mental toughness to seep into the young golfers of today, but I like the explanation!
Time to respect all the players that play on the PGA tour (even the Nationwide for that matter!). They are fantastic!
p.s. And not a bad idea to emulate your favorite tour player’s ‘swagger’ in order to help YOU play with more confidence!
Professional golf seems to be taking on a whole new dynamic. For years I’ve contended that the talent on the tour is ridiculously even. On any given week, it seems that just about anyone can win, even a major.
The PGA Championship has a very young and ‘unproven’ (I say unproven, but they are all golf studs) leaderboard with a couple of more seasoned pros thown in the mix going into Sunday’s final round.
Has removing the ‘Tiger factor’ opened up the flood gates?
Atlantic Athletic Club is a 7500, par 70 beast. No doubt you need raw power to play well at a course like that….
Or, you need to play a game that keeps you in play and have a good short game.
After round 1, the leaders rank 116, 187, 130, 122, 180 in driving distance on the tour. Jerry Kelly talked about hitting a 3-metal on a 470 yard par 4, something he never considered doing before (because he’s 187th in driving distance!). He made par on that hole.
On the flip side, other than Shaun Micheel, the top 5 golfers all rank inside the top 25 in SCRAMBLING (short game).
Power is awesome. Power is fun. When power goes straight, power usually wins…. Then there’s the rest of us.
Forward and in play combined with a ONE CHIP and TWO PUTT will almost always win the day.
We can learn a lot from the day one leaderboard at the PGA Championship. Play shots you have a higher percentage of pulling off and you will more often shoot lower scores.
“But that’s no fun”, you say?… Tell that to Steve Stricker, Jerry Kelly, Shaun Micheel, and Scott Verplank. Playing great golf IS fun. Convince yourself of that, and BAM!!, You’re a better golfer.
Here’s a great comment about the final round at the John Deere Classic-
“I knew watching yesterday that the finish was post worthy. I thought you would take the approach that sometimes your best isn’t good enough. Or, over the course of 72, there are always times when you could do better. I felt bad for my fellow (Clemson)Tiger k Stanley, but Stricker played an exceptional final two holes to beat him. When you lose to someone hitting shots and scoring like that, I guess you just tell yourself, today wasn’t my day, keep practicing and my day is coming.”-Rob
In a sport so deep in talent, I would absolutely agree that great play is sometimes not good enough.
Thanks for the comment…. And while I’m on the subject- I want more comments! Ask questions! Tell me your success’s and your frustrations!!! If you want to keep it low key, shoot me an email, and I’ll write about it without using your name. The more you interact, the more I can keep my blog on target for you.
These guys continue to show just how incredibly talented they are. Did you see yesterday’s tournament? Matt McQuillan (who I have not yet heard of… how deep is the talent here?), Charles Howell and Zach Johnson all shoot super low on a Sunday. I’m talking 64’s and 65’s, and not a bogie on any of their cards!!! That doesn’t even get them close to the winner’s circle. Kyle Stanley shoots a final round 66, and again, I don’t know him (yet. I’ve heard he’s quite an athlete)!!!
And all that pales compared to Steve Stricker’s birdie, birdie finish. Check out the highlights of his 18th hole if you didn’t get a chance to see it. First, notice the fantastic pivotal rotation out of that incredibly difficult bunker shot. Awesome!
And the putt he made on 18, that’s great stuff.
I just love when talent is put on display. When the course is set up to showcase just how good these guys are. Instead of playing to not screw up, this week these guys played to play great, and it’s a great thing to witness.
YE Yang is playing some incredible golf. His swing and putting stroke are great to watch for all of you looking for a great visual of a GRAVITY GOLF SWING….
Lee Westwood, Robert Garrigus, Jason Day, Sergio Garcia and Matt Kuchar are a couple others playing impressively.
Yes, the rain softened the course a little. The heat wilted the rough a little, but do not for a moment think that Congressional is playing easy!
…. And then there is Rory. Possibly the best golf we’ve ever seen to this point. The play this week has been great to watch. I love watching great golf on a great golf course, rather than the usual US OPEN ‘train wreck’.
Hope today they set the course up fairly and let these guys play. THESE GUYS ARE RIDICULOUSLY GOOD.