August 11, 2010

The 92nd PGA Championship starts tomorrow: returning to Whistling Straits, where Vijay Singh won in 2004. For perhaps the first time since he first played in one as a pro in 1997, Tiger Woods does not start a major as the favourite. Phil Mickelson is the bookies' choice, despite the revelation that he's been suffering from psoiatic arthritis since before the US Open. The most notable thing about the course so far? The mosquitoes.

posted by JJ to golf at 06:59 AM - 5 comments

Club professional Mike Small, a three-times PGA national champion, prayed the notorious Whistling Straits winds picked up to keep the mosquitoes at bay. "If the wind blows, the bugs won't be a problem," he said. "But it's a major. I would putt on gravel and play in a mosquito-infested jungle if it's a major. I'll do what it takes."

Bravo, Mr Small!

Looks like Sergio won't be playing the Ryder Cup (unless he wins this week), but increasingly it's likely that Woods would accept a captain's pick from Pavin if one were needed.

posted by JJ at 07:13 AM on August 11

Like the headline to the story reads, Garcia has been a key member of past Ryder Cup teams. Losing a player with his history of rallying the team (and annoying the opponent), this has to be a positive for the U.S., regardless of how he was currently playing (or not playing). As for Woods being a captain's pick, he should definitely be asked, but unless his play shows some signs of turning around, it might be wise for him to allow the pick to be used on someone else. Woods may be best-served avoiding some of these events until he gets things back together. Even when he's playing like crap, he still has a huge target on his back, and if he struggles against the Europeans, this would still be a huge boost to their (the European's) team in general. Not having the Woods spectacle at the Ryder Cup, thus allowing another golfer to come in and potentially (and quietly) play some great golf, may be a strategic move that pays off for the U.S. team. Depending on Woods the way he has been playing, even with his history (and potential) rings like a desperation move by the U.S. and tells the Europeans they (the U.S.) doesn't think they can win without having Tiger to lean on.

posted by dyams at 11:12 AM on August 11

The US team would be better off witout Tiger. 1999 is the only one they've won with him on the team. The spirit of the team seemed vastly improved without him last time.

posted by JJ at 11:44 AM on August 11

The spirit of the team seemed vastly improved without him last time.

I agree. "Team spirit" and/or "chemistry," however, is a topic I've been blasted on in the past, though, from those who think it's a overrated concept.

posted by dyams at 12:17 PM on August 11

Tiger is playing with Vijay and Y.E. Yang, who may have exposed the first chink in Woods' armor while holding him off at this tournament last year.

posted by mjkredliner at 05:40 PM on August 11

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