Monday, May 03, 2010

On Rory, Phil And A Great Week At Quail Hollow

A few thoughts before the Quail Hollow Championship gets too far away:

-- The golf world is buzzing about what Rory McIlroy did over the weekend at Quail Hollow, particularly what he did on Sunday. Coupled with the 58 shot by 18-year old Ryo Ishikawa on the Japanese tour, it was a monumental weekend for golf, especially the new generation.

The temptation is to say we've found the new Tiger. Not so fast. What we've found is a group of young players -- Rickie Fowler and Anthony Kim belong in the disucssion -- that is exceptional. Talking to Golf Channel analyst Frank Nobilo, he said "At worst, one of them has to be very special."

I think he's right. If I had to pick just one, I'd pick McIlroy. But I'd take any of them.

-- I was surprised by Phil Mickelson's comments about the greens at Quail Hollow but I think some of it was frustration after the day he had on Saturday. Mickelson generally has an agenda when he says something like that. Just what the agenda was, I'm not certain.

Maybe he was talking to the PGA Tour set-up staff, suggesting better hole locations. Maybe he was talking to Quail president Johnny Harris and Kerry Haigh of the PGA of America and telling them if they're serious about bringing a PGA Championship to Quail Hollow, soften some of the greens.

I thought Harris handled it perfectly, saying he'd rather know how Phil feels than not know. It doesn't mean Harris agrees with Mickelson but it will generate some discussion about what, if anything, to do next. The funny thing is Mickelson didn't say anything about the eighth green.

-- I don't have high expectations for Tiger Woods at The Players Championship this week based on what we saw at Quail Hollow. He looked lost as a golfer. There are swing issues he's dealing, for sure, but there's more than that.

As good as he's been at compartmentalizing things, he may have more than he can handle right now.

The funniest thing about it is to hear people saying he's finished at age 34. No, he's not. Not even close. I still think he wins a major championship this year.

-- It was another terrific week at Quail Hollow, maybe the best from start to finish given the multiple storylines. From Tiger's return to Phil to McIlroy and everything else, it was pure gold.

Congratulations again to the many people -- officials, volunteers and fans -- who make it what it is.


Kingward said...

I agree about Quail Hollow being a special event, but let's look at this thing objectively. Rory torched the place. But several other super-low rounds were posted throughout the week. Instead of making some greens less severe, maybe they need to be making the course tougher. How do you think the "Thrill" would respond to that?

Anonymous said...

I walked all 18 with Rory on Sunday (inside the ropes) and it was a terrific round. He was a cool customer, played great missed 1 green and was on the collar at 12. Phil's correct, the greens at holes 4,8,12 and maybe 7 are to extreme. I've played the course plenty and Fazio went to far on these, 15 use to be but they softened it before the tourney came here.

Anonymous said...

McIlroy is special. He has a unique swing that fascinates sports science folks. The question is how long can his body hold up with that double hitch swing? It will be great to watch and see how far he will go in the time he has.

Anonymous said...

Whats Phils defense of the greens after Rory shoots 62? Is Quail really a major championship course?

Anonymous said...

Worse than Phil's gripes about certain greens - which everyone else had to play, too - was his belief that all he had to shoot on Sunday was a 4-under 68 and that would be his 11-under and give him the win.

Mickelson needs a little refresher on how tournaments are scored. Phil ... it ain't what YOU shoot, tubby, but what the best golfer does - which wasn't you!

Wanna play "my score wins", then stay home in Scottsdale next year and play Putt-Putt - or find a nice par 3 about your speed.

We had a great tournament w/o Tiger and we can sure as H#ll have one without YOUR whiney-a$$ed attitude!

Ya won $720,000 for second place - more than you deserved - so S.T.F.U. and just stay away from Charlotte!!!

Anonymous said...

8 on a scale of 10. Lay off Mick. H was not dissing QH but using constructive criticism. Big diff. You dont knock good advice from a true Master, you facilitate it positively.

After whats his face was knocked out it seemed like a dark cloud was lifted & pro golf cleansed for the 1st time in yrs.

Golf had lost its purity and innocence but seems to get it back at least temporarily.

No substitute for game integrity.

Anonymous said...

This is not a course for a major. It's too easy to have rounds below 65 - there are at least 2 or 3 every year here. You never see scores that low, that often, in majors. To get a major here, they're going to have to make Phill even more upset by making the greens TOUGHER, and adding some rough to the course. It doesn't have any now.