PGA Championship first round: If Carl is to win a major ...
… this is the one. The PGA Championship has “one and done” written all over its history. Guys like Rich Beem, Jeff Sluman, Y.E. Yang, Martin Kaymer (I’ll take your odds!) and from the past, Davis Love 3, David Toms, Steve Elkington and Mark Brooks. That’s not enough? All right, Hal Sutton, John Mahaffey, Dave Marr, Don January and Jay Hebert. For every Walter Hagen, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, you have 20 one-major-only guys who made it the PGA.
That’s actually not the point of this piece. The goal is to look at the first round and figure out how Joost Luiten went 8-under over the first 14 holes, then 4-over the next four; or to figure out how Gary Woodland, Rory McIlroy, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castanyo, Geoff Ogilvy and especially John Daly (guys who have played like amateurs this year) found religion on the Thursday shores of South Carolina.
They say that the wind didn’t blow this morning. That’s a big help. That’s a huge help! Maybe that was it. There’s more. There’s an inverse property at work here. Every time a major is held at a Pete Dye course, the pundits play Frisbee golf with adjectives like daunting, trecherous and unconquerable. Invariably, it works the opposite way. Happened at Whistling Straits – twice. Happened at Oak Tree in 1984. Usually happens at Sawgrass for the Players. Guess what? It will continue to happen here. Dye courses may be death for the average jock, but for the pros, they are found money.
So here we go. My predictions for Friday: Petterson will fall out of the top 15, as will GFC, Ogilvy, Woodland and McIlroy. Tiger will tie for the lead with Keegan Bradley and Adam Scott. How do I know this? Because once again, my Fantasy Golf selections have bit the shed, as the popular parlance indicates. I don’t have Tiger, Keegan nor Adam this week, ergo, they will shine.
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