Tuesday PGA Championship blog...The weather
If you don’t want to count on hacks like us to bring you information, go to the source. Reading post-round transcripts of player interviews is a rediscovered art form, and one to which the public typically does not have access. Now, on to the PGA Championship…
Athletes on football and soccer pitches typically contend with every atmospheric element (save asteroids) that Mother Nature can throw their way. Snow, rain, wind, cold, heat…it’s all there. Cyclists and runners deal, too. Professional golfers? If it gets too extreme, they postpone the round…why? Safety, I guess. This week at Southern Hills, the threat is not an excess of cold, rain or wind, but too much of that ‘hot.’ Sweltering, suffocating, overpowering… these are the adjectives that will accompany the noun ‘heat’ as the week wears on. Withdrawals have and will have happened by Thursday, as players consider their injuries and their fitness. Think about that for a moment…their fitness. With courses playing longer, rough seemingly tougher to escape, and birdies at a decade low, the sport of golf is more demanding physically than it has ever been for the professional. Is Jim Furyk afraid of the heat this week as he considers withdrawing (due to a bad back)? No, he’s afraid of serious damage from a shot out of the rough, which is why he withdrew at Firestone.
Southern Hills may be a portent of things to come, the fourth major of the year, in a year in which the major-type course setup has been seen at non-major venues. Flabby, less-developed golfers might just become an extinct sub-species. If Tiger has his way with the field, if the fitter players (Paul Casey and Rory Sabbatini come to mind) challenge, then the die will certainly be cast. As for me, I’ll be watching Lumpy and Philly Phil, to see if they pass out.
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