PGA Championship Recap
August 11, 2014
By Dan Daly
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I hate snap judgments in sports. Every time a great game or tournament is played it is immediately up for the “where does that rank all-time” debate and quite frankly it takes away from the event itself. What we saw Sunday was absolutely as good as it gets. Was it one of the best ever? I don’t know, but between the quality of golf played and the quality of golfers playing it, it was definitely as entertaining a golf tournament as I remember watching in a very long time. Either way I can tell you this much, it was exactly what golf needed after an otherwise boring season.
With that said it was without question one of the strangest, if not the strangest ending to any golf tournament I have ever seen. It was so human though. It was like a bunch of guys at the Country Club rushing to get cut holes in before dark while all of their wives are blowing up their phone’s bitching that they are late and asking why they are still playing when you can’t even see. I loved it, Phil, not so much. And quite frankly, I don’t blame him. If I was Phil or Rickie I would have been PISSED. I think there is a 95% chance it ends the same way no matter how that played out (Sunday night or Monday morning) but when a Major is on the line, if I’m the one in contention I’m willing to take that 5% chance.
Personally, if the PGA moved the PGA Championship to Valhalla every year I would be completely on board with that. It may not have the history or allure of some of the other Major venues but it can’t help but yield fantastic tournaments. Also, outside of the 13th at Augusta I’m not sure there is a better risk reward Par 5 they play anywhere on the PGA tour than the 7th at Valhalla.
As for the guy that won it?
Wednesday, May 21, 2014…That is the day Rory announced he had called off his engagement to Caroline Wozniacki and subsequently the day golf changed for the foreseeable future. Since that date Rory has gone from a very good golfer to unquestionably the best golfer in the world. Coincidence? Not a chance.
You can have your underdogs, upsets and Cinderella’s. To me there is nothing in sports more entertaining than watching the best player or team in that respective sport playing at the top of their game. What Rory has done the last month is nothing short of spectacular, and thus entertaining. Is he in the “potential greatest of all-time” debate yet? No, still too soon, but he is without a doubt the most dominate player of this generation. He has won the US Open and PGA Championship by 8 strokes and won the British Open by what felt like 8 strokes, but what he did on Sunday at Valhalla was by far his most impressive win to date. Honestly, I could write 2,000 words on Rory and how impressed I was with what he did on Sunday but this tournament was too good to just focus on Rory so I will just put it this way…
“You're standing in the hall of fame, and the world's gonna know your name, cause you burn with the brightest flame, and the world's gonna know your name, and you'll be on the walls of the hall of fame.” (You either get that or you don’t)
As for the guy that finished second, my wife almost had a heart attack when I told her I was rooting for Phil to win Sunday afternoon. “You’re rooting for FIGJAM? What the hell is wrong with you? Are you ok?” Fair question, no one has been harder on Phil FIGJAM Mickelson than me over the years but I have to say with Tiger out, Phil is the most exciting guy on the PGA tour when he is in contention. Rory is incredible but Tiger and Phil are by far the most fun players to watch on tour when they are “on” and in contention at a major. Of course he went Phil on us late by teeing off with a 3-wood on 16 for reasons no one will ever know and then leaving his downhill 10-foot par putt dead in the heart short. But man was it entertaining. I pretty much jumped off the couch when his eagle chip damn near went in 18. On a side note, you have to believe it would have absolutely gutted Tiger if a ‘past his prime’ Phil Mickelson would have taken down the guy that Tiger used to be while the current Tiger can’t even make the cut.
Speaking of Tiger, he is done. Maybe not forever (although maybe) but definitely for the rest of 2014. That pretty much covers that.
Rickie Fowler became the first player in Grand Slam Era to finish in the top-5 in all four majors and not win. I’m honestly not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing???
As for the losers this week…and there were quite a few.
First Bubba, who two years ago said, “We’ve coined the phrase Bubba Golf because it’s just fun. I love the game of golf. I love goofin’ around. I love shaping shot. I’m having a blast out there.” Fast forward to Wednesday and the practice round where everyone participated in the long drive contest on the 10th tee except Bubba who hit a 3-iron in “protest.” When ask about it he said, “I’m not here to goof around.” Really dude? Get over yourself. Strike one. He then ordered his caddie not to give the TV commentators his club information before shots. Strike two. Finally, this god-fearing, fun loving, self-proclaimed spiritual golfer went off on camera Friday morning during his round. "It doesn't matter what I do, man. It doesn't matter. Its f**king horses**t.'' On the next hole he hit a bad shot and threw his club. Two holes later he threw another tantrum my one year old would have been embarrassed by that ended with “God doggit.” How very Christian of you Bubba. Strikes three, four and five. In the words of the great Kenny Powers, Bubba Watson….you’re ******* OUT!
I may have missed my pre-tournament pick on Adam Scott but I nailed my Ian Poulter prediction when I said he would have a Twitter meltdown over the weekend, but even I didn’t know it would this bad. This guy has become a total joke on twitter.
I think we set a record for horse racing references in a golf tournament. We get it, you’re in Kentucky.
I want to congratulate the Omega Watch Company on; a) ensuring I never buy a watch you make; b) ruining a song that most of us used to like; c) having a billion dollars to blow on advertising.
Big Brother Fans who went absolutely ballistic at CBS on twitter because the tournament ran long. None better that @BrianPHickey - HEY CBS YOU F'ING JITBAGS. PUT BIG BROTHER ON NOW. PUT THE GOLF ON OVER AT THE COUNTRY CLUB NETWORK.
I have to say my man Jim Nantz missed a lay-up after Jason Day’s all-world par on the second hole Saturday. Channeling his Tin Cup self, “The all-time greatest par in a major doesn't belong to a Jack Nicklaus or an Arnold Palmer, Hogan, Nelson or Snead. It's been shot by the most improbable artist of all. Jason Day has his signature on golf's all-time masterpiece par.”
Finally, I hated to see my man Dufner have to withdraw on Thursday with neck problems but he continues to win at life. Dufner served "butt rubbed filet mignon" at the champions' dinner Tuesday. That’s just gold. Bravo Jason, Bravo!
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