Monday, August 04, 2008

Thoughts as the PGA Tour Championship nears

Five thoughts on the golf scene as the year’s final major championship arrives:

1. Watching Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson trying to lose the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational Sunday afternoon was perversely entertaining.

Singh looked like he was holding a rattlesnake every time he stood over a 6-footer and Mickelson managed to toss away a win with bogeys on three of the last four holes.

Mickelson’s critical error came at the 17th, where he tried to force a driver into the fairway rather than take a more conservative approach. It backfired, naturally, with a tee shot into a tough lie in a fairway bunker leading to a bogey.

Singh, meanwhile, was just happy to see his final putt fall in, even if it seemed to go in by accident.

I think it was David Feherty who said the level of play seemed to bounce between world championship and club championship level. Right again.

2. The good thing about the World Golf Championship events is they bring the best players together, something that happens too infrequently.
But the WGC events haven’t seemed to separate themselves in the eyes of the public. They have better players than most other events, but that’s about the only difference. The buzz factor, especially with no Tiger Woods, isn’t very high.

3. When the most memorable thing about the U.S. Senior Open is a visit by a bear that ambled across the golf course on Friday, you’ve had a dull tournament.
Nothing against champion Eduardo Romero, but there was no drama over the weekend. The Senior Open is usually the most compelling event of the year on the Champions Tour, but this one never seemed to catch fire.

4. Michelle Wie missed another cut in a second-tier PGA Tour event. Exactly how did that help her career?

5. Charlotte 49ers golfer Corey Nagy won the Carolina Amateur event played at NorthStone Country Club over the weekend, and it did two things for him – reinforced the notion that he might be the best player Charlotte has produced in many years, and it got him a spot in the pre-qualifier for the Wydham Championship in Greensboro. Nagy must advance from the pre-qualifier into a Monday qualifier and advance from there to get into the PGA Tour event in two weeks.