Kiawah Island: A Golf Club Presents A Major Championship
I have a bunch of ideas buzzing like insects in my head. They’re not so annoying nor threatening as the winged bugs, but they need a hive or nest in which to alight, so let’s start building. The 2012 PGA Championship, the 94th of its kind (sort of, we’ll get to that) tees off in about 13 minutes in South Carolina. The course, the players, the location, the event management are unique, each telling an interesting story.
*Over the years, folks have written about how the Kiawah course shouldn’t have been built and how, today, it wouldn’t be built. As you watch coverage, take a look at all the marsh land, soft soil and sand, on which the resort and course hover. Someone, somewhere, got some permits through that today would be impossible to pass. It’s no wonder that the 18th hole served as the site for filming for “The Legend of Bagger Vance,” Steven Pressfield’s fantastic vision of a golfing hero; the whole idea of Kiawah Island appears to be a fantasy;
*There is something about Pete Dye courses that matches up with the PGA Championship. John Daly at Crooked Stick back in 1991, the weird happenings at Whistling Straits in 2010, the three-way playoff at Straits in 2004, and even Oak Tree in 1984. Pete Dye-designed golf courses breed interesting beginnings, middles and endings. I suspect that this year’s event will be no differen. Given the instability of usually-reliable golfers in stretch runs this year, we might see a repeat of 2011, when Keegan Bradley stormed back from a triple bogey to win in a playoff;
*Ryder Cup (an event hosted and sponsored by the PGA of America) is on in Chicago this year. The USA team point-gathering process ends this week. The top eight point-holders on Sunday will receive automatic spots on the side that will represent the colonies against Europe in September. Tiger Woods, Jason Dufner, Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson have locked spots on the team. Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar are more than probable. Phil Mickelson is in 8th position, some 80 thousand points ahead of Hunter Mahan. Mahan, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk and Rickie Fowler currently sit in spots 9-12, places that, in the distant past, received automatic bids. So what might happen?
*It’s a safe bet that Mahan, Mickelson and Stricker will make this side. Furyk, despite his inability to close at the US Open and WGC-Bridgestone, should make the side. That leaves one spot for the rest of the USA players. Whom to pick? How do you leave Fowler, or Dustin Johnson, off the team? Do you exclude Bill Haas or Bo Van Pelt? It gets dicey, so good luck to Captain Davis Love III.
I’ll be here all week, two shows a night, so stop by and stay a while.
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