Last major before the FedEx Cup Playoffs finish up the tour seaso- Wait, they’re telling me that there’s another tournament, the “Olympics”, that is supposedly something that people want to win between the PGA Championship and the FEC Playoffs? We’ll talk about whatever the Olympics are when the time comes, but right now it’s time for the last major of the year, the PGA Championship!
Glory’s Last Shot?
You’ll hear that tagline all week, the PGA being “Glory’s last shot”. However, the problem now is that after the PGA we have the Olympics as well as the FedEx Cup, providing numerous additional opportunities at personal glory. And really, let’s be honest here, having two majors in three weeks really makes the second seem less important. Remember the pastrami sandwich from last week’s preview? The PGA Championship is that bottom piece of bread here in that metaphor.
Though it takes away from the glory of this tournament, I must give credit to the PGA Tour for what it has done with the FedEx Cup. In its short 9 year existence, the FedEx Cup has been elevated by the PGA Tour from somewhat of a gimmick into a legit 4 event series that players and fans actually care about. Damn right I’m gonna tune in every week and see who’s playing well at the end of the year.
Also, why the hell is glory’s last shot in July?! It’s the 7th month of the year. There are 12 months in the year if you didn’t know. Why can’t the tournament be, you know, closer to the end of the summer which would make sense? Oh yeah, the Olympics.
First off, that’s an impressive grouping of vowels in that word. According to Wikipedia, “Baltusrol Golf Club was named after Baltus Roll (1769–1831), who farmed the land on which the club resides today.” Wikipedia doesn’t say who came up with that brilliant naming scheme. If I ever farmed some land, and then later had a championship golf course built on top of my land, I hope they name it Schuljoh Golf Club in my honor.
Anyway, Baltusrol is kind of a weird course in the PGA Championship rotation. A USGA course for much of it’s existence, it apparently switched allegiance to the PGA somewhere between 2000 when it last hosted the US Am, and 2005 when it hosted it’s first PGA Championship. And despite hosting a bunch of top events, the course is relatively unknown in terms of design. I couldn’t think of what any hole specifically looked like until I googled it (see below). Players seems to like the design, and it’s hard to find controversy in hosting the PGA at a course with as much history as Baltusrol.
Also a fan of how the club’s logo is pretty much the golden snitch!
The 4th Hole
I didn’t even remember this part of the course, but apparently the 4th hole is famous!
Back earlier this year, I wrote an article about the most famous hole by number. And when apparently Baltusrol has one of the most famous 4th holes in golf. It does look pretty out there.
Also, looking at Rickie Fowler’s snapchat story, he had a pic of the 4th hole with grandstands surrounding it. Naturally, that means I screenshotted it and posted it here.
No TDubs 😦
Early last week, Tiger pulled the plug on on his 2016 season-that-wasn’t by withdrawing from the PGA Championship. Pour one out for Tiger in 2016. I feel like this is a great example the information gap between us fans and the athletes who really know what’s going on. How much have we seen from Tiger this year? Basically nothing besides his super upright swing dumping 3 shots in a row into the water on a par 3 exhibition. I hear people out there saying that he should just tee it up in a random event to get back into playing shape. Or that he just needs some drugs injected in his back and he’ll be all cured. Or that he needs to contact some voodoo practitioner to voodoo his back so it doesn’t hurt anymore.
Stop telling Tiger what he should be doing! We have no idea what his injury situation is actually like! We have no idea what condition his game is in! And we have no idea about his desire / lack of desire to play competitive golf is! Fans act like he owes it to us to be in the public eye and play in tournaments only to have everyone laugh at him when he doesn’t play like we expect someone named Tiger Woods to play like. Just be happy we got to watch someone as dominant as him play for that period of time. Any more success he has after this is just icing on the proverbial cake. /rant
I got yelled at by a friend the other day for talking about Tiger all the time and just straight ignoring PMick, considering his late resurgence (second at the British) and that he won the last major contested at Baltusrol in ’05. Thus, he get’s his own section! And not only because he just finished second at a major.
At the beginning of the season everyone was saying best case scenario for Phil was him making the Ryder Cup team, whether playing his way onto the team himself, or as a Captain’s pick. I was about to say how he’s eclipsed those goals by playing well and finishing second in a British Open which he really easily could have won if not for Stenson pulling a Tiger that final round. However, his success is that he’s done just what his best case scenario was — qualify for the Ryder Cup team. He still hasn’t won on tour since 2013. And while he’s had good finished, they’ve come late in the season here.
The fact that he hasn’t won shows a couple things: 1) It’s really hard to win on tour. 2) More importantly, Phil doesn’t care about winning garbage events, he wants majors. His preparation has always been to get ready for the big events, and using smaller tournaments to practice parts of his game he’ll need at the majors. Interesting strategy, one that I’m sure leaves a lot of media people saying that Phil isn’t as good anymore. In reality, he just wants to win majors. It’ll be interesting to see how Phil does this week. Playing well and at a course he has good memories at.
136 of the players this week are on tour full time, and the other 20 are club pros! Earning their spot from the PGA Professional National Championship earlier in the year, the top 20 from that event will tee it up in NJ this week. It’s an interesting dynamic for those pros. Some of the top 20 are legit club pros, who manage golf courses and country clubs across the country. But others, are sort of “playing professionals”. Guys who work in the shop, but either play mostly in mini tour events, or just are used by members who want to play with good players. You can probably guess that pros who run shops or teach all the time can get a little annoyed by those who get to play all the time. But hey, that’s economics for you.
Quite pleased to announce that Brian Anderson, best play by play announcer for local MLB tv, will be on the call at the PGA Championship! I was a little disappointed that he hasn’t been calling all the Brewers games as of recent, but was quite pleased to find out that he’s not only doing national work, but also calling golf! Check out the coverage schedule with announcers here, but be on the look out for BA.