Without Tiger, the PGA Championship, like everything else golf-related fails to gain the same traction. Then again, we have a nasty course in Oakland Hills Country Club, an otherwise good field and some Ryder Cup intrigue to deal with. And don’t forget that this is Kenny Perry’s first major of the year! Rejoice!
Rather, it’s a MONSTER. That’s the course’s official nickname. It has been tweaked a little bit by guru Rees Jones and by all accounts the Detroit area hasn’t gotten much rain, making for hard and fast conditions. The greens are undulating and will run at about a 12.5 on the Stimpmeter, making them pretty slippery.
One guy from Golf Digest predicted last week that a score of 5-over par will win the thing. Which is fine by me. Watching the best of the best struggle against a brutal course is always fun and usually brings some guys up on the leaderboard you might not expect. Drama, baby, drama.
Let’s be honest, as Americans we hate getting our asses handed to us by a bunch of Europeans. Just ask George Washington how he felt in 1776.
American captain Paul Azinger has already stated the obvious: We’re underdogs without Tiger. It’s imperative we get the best team together, and the last best chance to lock up those bids is the PGA. Somebody could perform really well and vault in to the top eight, so winning the trophy isn’t the only thing at stake.
As we documented earlier this summer, in his quest to make the Ryder Cup team Mr. Perry elected to skip all the previous majors this year. Instead he ruled in favor of placing higher (and gaining more Ryder Cup points) in lesser tournaments that play on the PGA under card during majors.
We’re no fan of this bush league strategy, but hell, it’s worked. Now what would be fantastic is if Perry falls on his face in the only major he’s going to play in this year. Not that it’ll mean anything, he’s all but assured a spot on the Ryder Cup team anyway, the bastard.
4. Somebody other than T-Dub is going to win this thing.
Obvious, I know, but hey, it’s true. Every once in a while it’s fun to see somebody else in the winner’s circle after a major. Very often the PGA is a stage for an unknown to crash the party and either contend or win.
Think about these names from years past: Rich Beem, Shaun Micheel, David Toms, Wayne Grady. Who the fuck is Wayne Grady anyway? Boy, I bet hearing his friends say “Is Wayne Grady gonna have to choke a bitch?” every time he hooks a shot, never gets old.
5. Anthony Kim will have a coming out party.
Alright, I know I’m setting myself up to be mocked in cyberland if this doesn’t come true, but it’s about time “America’s Next Great Hope to Challenge Tiger” pushes through with a breakout performance.
Kim has been solid all year and will, in all likelihood make the Ryder Cup team. Which is nice. But while he’s been solid, he hasn’t made a big splash. There couldn’t be a better time for the avowed Tiger worshiper to make a name for himself than in a major Tiger isn’t in. I like the kid’s game and the tough conditions should keep a guy like him near the top of the leaderboard (he’s been in the top 30 of each of the last two U.S. Opens).
See, told ya it’ll be an interesting tournament. Now watch.