Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:03 PM
PGA Champ Recap
Editor's Note: Be sure to follow @_DanDaly on Twitter this golf season for his off-the-cuff remarks and entertaining commentary!
“Seriously? Brooks Koepka won another Major?! He is sooo boring and looks more like a Jersey Shore cast off than a PGA Tour player. Why does he keep winning? When is he going to stop winning so I can enjoy watching these things with you again?” – My wife
Well, let me know take these one at a time….
Seriously…Brooks Koepka did win another Major. His third in his last six Major starts (he missed the 2018 Masters due to injury) in fact. That is a clip that is Tiger mid-2000’s good. The guy is simply playing at a different level than everyone else in the Majors at this point. His other three starts are a T-6, T-13 and T-39 to go with those three wins. It’s actually pretty amazing what he’s doing right now. Especially when you consider the guy has four PGA Tour wins and three of them are Majors.
Yes, he is incredibly boring, to the point it’s really hard to root for him actually. I get that he basically just plays golf because he’s good at it and would rather be playing baseball or bench pressing a Volkswagen Jetta, but dude, it wouldn’t kill you to show some emotion. The fact that he putted out to win on the 72nd hole before Adam Scott could finish was my final straw. At least pretend like you care.
Why does he keep winning? Well, because he is clearly really, really good at golf…or the Majors in particular. The guy seems like he simply doesn’t even try at this point unless it’s a Major. In a way I kind of respect it. He is the anti-Dustin Johnson. Seriously ask yourself, at this point would you rather be DJ with 19 PGA Tour wins but only ONE Major, or BK with 4 PGA Tour wins and THREE Majors? If I’m being honest I would be very tempted to take the BK resume.
When is he going to stop winning so I can enjoy watching these things with you again? Well, I will at least take the first part of that question…I’m not sure that he is going to stop winning anytime soon, that’s the scary part. The Wells Fargo maybe since he doesn’t really care about regular TOUR events it seems, but he really might not stop winning Majors anytime soon. The guy hits it a mile…and straight, putts really well, has a good short game and has now proven he isn’t fazed by anything or anyone in a Major. Pretty much the exact formula Tiger used to win 14 Majors. I’m certainly not saying he is going to win 14 Majors, but at this point I’m not sure he won’t win seven or eight. How amazing would it be if the guy finishes his career with 10 PGA Tour wins and 8 Majors?!
Bottom line, as much as I have come to dislike Brooks Koepka and his incredibly boring demeanor, the guy is simply unbelievable to watch play Major Championship golf at this point and short of a serious injury trying to single-handedly lift a jet ski I just don’t think we have seen the last of Brooks Koepka winning Major Championships.
As for the rest of the tournament…
Say what you want about the PGA, “it’s the step-child of the Majors”. Yet it continues to deliver high drama year in and year out. Say what you want about Bellerive, “It is a monotonous and unmemorable layout”. Did you see that leaderboard? What more can you possibly ask from a Major Championship or golf course? I don’t care what they shoot (other than at the US Open), I just care that it is an entertaining Major with a good leaderboard. The PGA and Bellerive delivered both. I didn’t know much, if anything about that course beforehand but I thought it was a great venue for a PGA. Would I have held the 100th edition there, probably not, but I thought it was great.
How great was it to see Adam Scott contending again? I could watch that guy hit balls on the range for 12 hours and not get bored. I’m not sure he’s “back” as much as it was a perfect storm for him of target golf with slow greens that don’t really break. I do hate that he still uses the broomstick putter and the fact that the guy carried TWO putters in his bag is a serious problem going forward, but nothing would make me happier than seeing Adam Scott back in contention on a regular basis.
Rickie Fowler went full Rickie Fowler once again. People think I hate the guy, quite the opposite in fact. But I simply can’t put any energy behind a guy that I know is going to melt down like a stick of butter in a microwave every time he gets near the lead. The guy was three shots back to start the final round and playing in the penultimate group and didn’t make a birdie until the 13th hole (his only one of the entire day) before posting a final round 71 and finishing T-12. It’s sad, but also too predictable at this point. And spare me the “he was injured” sob story, he shot 65-67 to start the tournament and has done this 100 times at this point.
Jason Day is dead to me. I hated the guy already but was willing to suck it up and take him this week because I thought this course was perfect for him, but I knew I was screwed before the tournament even started when I found he skipped the past Champions dinner Tuesday because he had a…wait for it…cold. Seriously, a cold? My three-year-old has a cold and it takes an act of congress to keep her from playing on the jungle gym in the back yard when it’s 32 degrees outside but you can’t make it to a sit down dinner? You really are a complete and total loser. Throw in the fact that you shot a final round 71 to finish T-19 when a pedestrian 69 would have at least got top-10 money or god forbid a 67 to get a top-5. You lost on Sunday to a Club Pro. I guess your Dayquil didn’t fully kick in.
Phil Mickelson has officially hit the full eject button. The Tiger vs Phil “showdown” isn’t going to be much of a showdown after all. It was already going to be a third-tier event but after the way Phil has closed the year they will be lucky to get anyone to watch this thing at this point. The only saving grace at all is that the showdown features…
Say what you want about Tiger, love him or hate him, but golf is one-hundred times better with him in contention again, and it’s not even close. I’m not even talking about the ratings (which will be through the roof), he just brings an entirely different vibe and feel to Major Championships (or regular events for that matter) when he is in contention. And quite frankly the fact that he had a very realistic chance to win the last two Major Championships in 2018 is nothing short of amazing when you consider the guy never playing golf again was a very real possibility this time last year. The British Open and PGA were the two most talked about, most exciting Majors golf has had since the 2016 British Open between Stenson and Mickelson. Guess who had the lowest score to par of anyone in both fields over that stretch. Yeah, that’s not a coincidence.
Is Tiger “back”? Hell, I don’t even know what that means anymore? He is never going to be the guy that won three Majors in one year like he did in 2000, or the guy that won five majors between 2005 and 2007. He probably isn’t even going to be the guy that won five times total like he did in 2013, but it doesn’t matter. The guy turns 43 at the end of this year, has a surgically repaired back and is a shell of his former self. But none of that matters either. What matters is that the most talented and most popular (by a mile) golfer of all-time is relevant again and that’s a very, very good thing for people that even remotely like to watch golf. Just having him relevant again is so much fun I can hardly stand it.
Sure his window is getting very small at this point but Tiger shot 196 (66-66-64) over his last 3 rounds this week. That may not seem like much but that was his lowest score across 54 holes of a major in his career…by 4 shots. The recent knock was that he couldn’t close anymore, and yes his drive on 17 when he needed it the most was awful, but the guy shot 64 on Sunday (tied for the lowest round of the day). The 2019 Major Championships are being played at Augusta (obviously) where he has won 4 Majors; Bethpage Black where has won one Major and should have won another in 2009; Royal Portrush which hasn’t hosted a Major since 1951 and Pebble Beach where he pretty much broke every Major Championship record ever. You mean to tell me after watching him play the British Open and PGA Championship this last month and giving him eight more months to practice you wouldn’t bet on him to at least win ONE of those Majors next year?
Tiger will win again, and not just a regular tour event but a Major, and maybe a couple of them. And after everything he has been through, when he does, it will be the biggest and most exciting golf story of all-time.