The New Golden Child

Congrats to Justin Thomas on taking down the 2017 PGA Championship!  He is now the newest first time major winner.  With three wins already this season it was going to be a success, but this cherry on top makes it one to remember forever.

JT put together a wonderful final round that was a bit sloppy at the end, but had plenty of precision when it mattered most.  The cushion on 18 was crucial as it allowed him to play that super difficult hole a little differently.

The PGA is a great tournament for him to win with his father and grandfather being PGA professionals.  That makes this a storybook ending that the media will eat up. It was awesome to see his parents overwhelmed with joy at his victory.  Also seeing Jordan, Rickie, and some other players stick around until the end was cool.  These guys want to beat each other, but aren’t afraid to support their friends when they are in contention.

Well played, Justin!

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2017 PGA Championship Picks

Three posts in a week, now we’re cooking with gas!  Don’t get to used to this though as I still have a real job :).

The last major of 2017 is upon us.  I am pretty excited about this one due to the proximity.  I won’t be able to make it up to the event, but Quail Hollow is a course I have walked around plenty.  It will be a great challenge to the pros and always seems to crown impressive winners.

Before I get into the picks, I wanted to take a moment to address the recent news that the PGA Championship is going to move to May.  I think this is a great idea for a few reasons.

First, it opens up the tournament for many more venues.  Courses in the south and west can definitely host more easily.  One thing I like about the PGA is that it tends to go to newer venues even though the US Open has been changing its tune on that front.  The new date may allow viewers to see tracks they wouldn’t otherwise.  Let’s get back to Riviera and Champions Golf Club.  Let’s see new places in California, Texas, Oklahoma, and The Carolinas.

Second, football is king in September.  NEWSFLASH!!!  I am not the first person to share this opinion, but golf should end by early September and give these guys a break.  I miss the Silly Season and Fall events that are low stress for everyone but guys fighting for their cards.  I want to see more mixed team events, more events with players mic’ed up, and more events that are just different from 72-hole stroke play.  Bonus opinion: Will this allow us to bring back the Skins Game? Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Third, this sets up an action packed stretch of golf from March to August.  The Players, The Masters, and onward.  I’m all for it!  Then when the calendar hits September I can be all in on football with the exception of the Presidents/Ryder Cups.  Coincidentally those tournaments make for great tailgate viewing.

Alright, now on to who I think will take home the hardware.  I will stick with my initial pick at the beginning of the year.  Rickie Fowler kicks in the door and wins. My reasoning?  Quail is a place he has had success and I just think his time in coming.  If not now, within the next two years.

Other players that I think will be in the mix…

  1. Rory McIlroy – He should live at Quail Hollow.  He plays the course extremely well and seems to always be in contention here.  I almost wanted to pick him to win.
  2. Hideki Matsuyama – Guy is just on fire right now.
  3. Jordan Spieth – He always seems to be around the lead anyway, but I don’t think he completes the Career Slam this time.  Contrary to popular belief, it is hard.

I’m not a dark horse is going to win this tournament.  A lot of big name guys have decent form coming into the tournament.  Let’s sit back and enjoy what hopefully is a great event.

 

Spieth The Magician

That was an incredible finish from Jordan Spieth this past Sunday!  As a fan, I spent most of the final round feeling terrible that he was going to let another major slip away.

And then came The Drop.  The drive Spieth hit so far right ended up with him having to drop his ball on the driving range.  What happened on the following holes was spectacular, but what I think really won him the tournament was the bogey he made after that drive.  It kept him within shouting distance and set up the fiery stretch on the next few holes.

Another thing that stood out to me was the sportsmanship between Kuchar and Spieth.  Jordan apologized for the delay and Matt was very gracious.  It was the epitome of classiness.

Spieth now joins some rarefied air.  He’s got three legs of the career Grand Slam before his 24th birthday.  He’ll have the chance to complete it as Quail Hollow next month.  I hope to be there to see it.

2017 Open Championship Picks

I haven’t had a lot of time to write lately so this post is going up late.  It’s also going to be a little shorter than usual.

I’m going with one pick, Jordan Spieth.  I’ve been thinking he would win this tournament since the end of last season.  His game fits the course and he has taken a nice bit of time off so he should be well rested.

With all golf tournaments you just never know.  I also like Justin Rose and Jon Rahm this week.

There you have it, short and sweet.  Enjoy the Open, one of my favorite events of the year.

Brooks Was Here

Huge congrats to Brooks Koepka on winning the 2017 US Open!  He seized control in the home stretch and had a masterful performance.  That makes seven straight first-time winners in the major championships.  I was admittedly pulling for Rickie or JT, but I’m good with this outcome.

I think another big story was the golf course.  What did everyone think?  Personally, I don’t want to see -16 win the US Open.  I don’t want to protect Old Man Par at any cost, but I also don’t want to see it turn out like any other tournament.  That is what it felt like to me today, just another PGA Tour event.  I believe a few factors contributed to that.  The fairways were overly wide for a US Open, the course played soft, and barely anyone had played the course since October allowing for perfect greens.

Players had very little concern about putting and could go at a lot of pins.  Overall it was a fun tournament and I am happy for Brooks.  I’m not sure Erin Hills gets another shot at hosting, but I hope it gets to with firm conditions.  That would be the true measure of a very interesting course I hope to play very soon.

2017 US Open Preview

In 2017 the US Open makes its way to a new course.  Erin Hills will make its debut this week and it is sure to get people talking.  I haven’t played the course yet, but the pictures and reviews make it seem quite demanding.  It will be a different test for the tour pros.

I like to see the majors go to new venues and get some freshness in the rotations.  I know Jack Nicklaus may not agree after his recent comments, but I think it can get boring if the US Open is at Winged Foot or Oakmont every year.  Those courses have their place in the rota for a reason and should stay there, but some new tracks are good once in a while. Continue reading “2017 US Open Preview”

Proper Congrats to Sergio

It’s been a few weeks now since Sergio Garcia won The Masters and I am out of the depths of tax season.  With that, I wanted to give his win the proper treatment.

Sergio has had a long and interesting career.  I remember watching him run around at the 1999 PGA battling Tiger Woods until the end.  I was pulling for TW of course, but I really enjoyed Sergio as well.

Fast forward a little bit from that and his career took some turns.  For whatever reason you want to use, it happened nonetheless.  He complained about the weather situation at Bethpage in ’02 and at British Opens.  A common refrain was that the powers that be would have stopped play had Tiger been on the course.  This always came off as whiny.  Additionally there were his very unfortunate comments regarding Tiger at the European Tour Awards in 2012.

All of these actions were plenty to lose him a lot of fans.  I stayed neutral.  I didn’t like the comments, but I realized people make mistakes and tried to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Sergio continued to come off as very negative.  He lamented the golf gods being against him, expressed his disdain for Augusta National, and stated he didn’t have it in him to win a major.

C’mon man!  Don’t give me the sob story.  This act became tiresome, but recently Sergio has seemed to be in a better place.  You could attribute it to the balance he has found in life with his soon-to-be wife, Angela.  Whatever it is, he has mellowed.

The 2017 Masters was a culmination of his change.  He raced out to a lead and then faltered.  The old Sergio would have let this get to him and probably would have faded from the moment.  Not this time.  He hit solid shots and holed just enough putts.  Justin Rose gave him a fight, but Sergio was able to pull it off.  He won at a course he has never seemed to like.

They beat it to death on the broadcast, but he did win on Seve’s birthday.  I thought that was a cool coincidence and a fitting time for him to join his countrymen Seve and Jose Maria Olazabal.  So congrats to Sergio!  You’re off that dreaded list of best player to never win a major and your career has come almost full circle.  Enjoy the jacket.