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Forget London 2012, this is 'Glory's Last Shot'

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Iain Carter | 09:06 UK time, Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Incredulity best describes the Charleston taxi driver's reaction when I told him I had just arrived from London.

"Why would you wanna leave there with those Olympics going on?" he asked as the rain battered his vehicle in the South Carolina state.

Then he pointed in the direction of the marina and tried to identify Tiger Woods's private yacht, starting to sound excited about the US PGA Championship which starts on Thursday.

"Yes, there is sport outside the Games and that's why I'm here," I said, explaining that there was much to look forward to from golf's last major of the year.

US PGA

Kiawah Island Resort will host the 2012 US PGA championships. Photo: Getty  

Storms have been battering Kiawah Island, which is staging its first PGA and biggest event since the Ryder Cup was held here in 1991.So despite the stunning ocean views, this 7,676-yard monster - the longest course in major championship history - is not likely to be fast and firm for a field that boasts the top 103 players in the world.

But despite a line-up that constitutes the highest quality field of any of the majors and my upbeat message to the taxi driver, this tournament continues to feel the least significant of the big four.

As is always the case, it comes too soon after the Open and this year in particular it is overshadowed by the London Games.

So it would be easy to underplay the significance of this week's golf were it not for the looming presence of the Ryder Cup on the sporting calendar.

For many of the leading players in Europe and America, this is a very important championship: it is the last qualifying event for the US golfers and time is also running out for European hopefuls.

Ironically, the two opposing captains could be forgiven for hoping the PGA is dominated by internationals not eligible for the Ryder Cup. Both Davis Love and Jose Maria Olazabal must be delighted with the players who currently head their respective qualifying tables.

Woods is the only American to have so far sealed his position for the match which will be played at Medinah at the end of September.

The other seven currently occupying automatic spots represent many of the form players of the year: Jason Dufner, Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Zach Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson.

Love will have four wild card picks to announce on 4 September and unless someone makes a dramatic move this week, it is hard to imagine the American captain straying too far from the next four on the list; Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker, Rickie Fowler and Jim Furyk.

This quartet will want to take chance out of the equation and seal an automatic berth with a high finish here at Kiawah.

The same applies to European stars for whom this week is probably the last realistic chance of forcing the issue.

For the last four Ryder Cup contests, the European players who have accumulated the most world ranking points have been the first names on the team sheet.

But now the leading five earners on the European Tour during the year-long qualifying period take the first five places, making the last counting tournament less significant.

The best way to make a late surge is through the world ranking points list that provides the second set of five players on the team list. But there probably won't be enough ranking points on offer at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles later this month to affect the line-up.

Certainly this is the case for the American-based players intent on making progress on the PGA Tour rather than travelling to Scotland.

Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia are most vulnerable on the world points list, while Ian Poulter, two places off automatic qualifying, and Padraig Harrington, who is nine spots away, need big weeks at the PGA to be certain of retaining their places in Europe's team.

As it stands, the line-up looks strong with Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, Paul Lawrie and Francesco Molinari occupying the five spots on the European money list.

Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Peter Hanson, Kaymer and Garcia are the five heaviest-ranking points scorers. Captain Olazabal would surely be a happy man if he has to pick two more to supplement that list.

He will be a lot clearer on the make-up of his team once the US PGA has been completed.

Golf might be under the radar this week, but the tournament they call "Glory's Last Shot" still carries a great deal of significance.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    The implications for both Ryder Cup teams provide a fascinating sideshow to the final Major of the year, Kaymer I think will do well as his game looks to be improving again.

    http://carlothesportsman.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/2012-pga-championship-preview/

  • Comment number 2.

    When oh when will Lee Westwood or Luke Donald win a major? Never is the answer!

    I would really like to see Luke knocked off the top of the world ranking as he is a world leader in golf...the guy got there by consistently finishing in the top 10 in a period no one was practically playing well...he has won what 12 events in his 10 year career? Thats dreadful. He just not a winner...he's a great runner up kind of guy...I recon Tiger will be No.1 after this event and Luke can fade into the back ground where he belongs.

  • Comment number 3.

    Whilst we are applauding the efforts of team GB at the moment this is the week for team Europe to step up and show these young Americans that we will have a team capable of winning the RC. If the final 10 are as Iain suggests then my picks would be Poulter and Colsaerts.
    @ Jamesmathew. I hope your right about Tiger. He doesn't have to think about RC qualification just go out and WIN.
    Luuuuke will win one one day. Westy has no form at the moment but this course could suit him and get him back to where he belongs . This however I fear will be his last chance to not become the next Monty and be the best player never to win a major.

  • Comment number 4.

    I would love Westy and Luke to win a major...I cant think of any other 2 sports people in any other sport more deserving of a major win.

    Luke has time...but Lee has blown too many chances at this stage. He is the modern Monty.

  • Comment number 5.

    @ Jamesmathew It will be tough for Tiger to overtake Luke this week, Luke is defending no ranking points from 2010 as he missed the cut, whereas Tiger is defending a tie for 28th so if Luke makes the cut he will improve his points average, obviously if Tiger wins he will be number 1, but I don't see that happening this week.

    http://carlothesportsman.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/2012-pga-championship-preview/

  • Comment number 6.

    @ jamesmatthew it's hard to see how you can criticise LW and LD so much and then claim you'd love to see them win a major! Hypocrite warning?

  • Comment number 7.

    Thank God for some real sport and not this saturation coverage, of the compendium of minority sports that we have to endure. The insane decision to enter Golf into the Olympics seems even more farcical today. Next up will be Darts and Lap-Dancing. Anyway, going to have a speculative wager on Dufner and Byrd, good luck.

  • Comment number 8.

    @maxmerit, I'm sure there's many would pay double to see Olympic Lap Dancing.

  • Comment number 9.

    @LordVoldemort I am a genuine fan of Luke...I dont really like Lee as he is always very defensive in interviews plus bores the pants of me. But I would love to see Luke win a major...its just im frustrated at how he can go into so many majors playing his best golf and then he chokes and never really competes. Westwood is the new Monty and in 5 years Luke will be the new Westwood im afraid to say.

  • Comment number 10.

    Rory has had a very average season so far by his high standards, but last week showed that the form is returning.... the Kiawah Island course will suit his game, and i think this could be his week and major no2 coming his way!! He is my pick!

  • Comment number 11.

    @ jamesmatthew: What? You just said you'd love to see Westwood win a Major and now you say you don't really like him and that he's boring. I believe you're trolling

  • Comment number 12.

    @JamesMatthew - you are a genuine fan of Luke but want him to "fade into the back ground where he belongs"? I hope you don't like me THAT much.

  • Comment number 13.

    Here comes the Ryder Cup hype

  • Comment number 14.

    @shawso, Rory definitely looked better last week though my worry about him is his habit of chucking in a slow start to his rounds, which when starting on the 10th for his opening round he can't afford to do as those holes could took their toil in a big way.

    http://carlothesportsman.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/2012-pga-championship-preview/

  • Comment number 15.

    Tiger Tiger burning bright? Well not quite. What to make of his prospects going into the final major and those of the other favourites.

    On the surface you would think that all is well in Woods world, up to second in the rankings, top of the Ryder cup standings, the inexorable rise from the dark days of scandal and injury is seemingly inexorable. Scratch beneath the surface and the prognosis isnt quite as Rosy.

    Victories over small fry such as Levin and Van Pelt are not the victories on which Woods built his reputation and aren't the kind of victories he truly craves. Thus far this year, whenever the Worlds elite have met, Woods has failed to conquor them. Perhaps worse is that he has put himself into a position to challenge on a couple of occasions, only to fall away.

    The driving is untrustworthy and the putting has gone from pin point precision to decidedly dodgy, these twin achilles again raised their heads to leave Woods floundering amongst the mortals he used to rise above at Akron, a course he has dominated on like no other.

    And yet despite the negative prognosis he still goes into this week as favourite, and does so because like no-one else in the world, he knows how to win.

    Of the challengers Westwood looks a little short of form, For a man who has brought his a-game to so many majors and still fallen short this must be a worry, he relative weakness from close to the hole means only his very best tee to green will bring him the major he richly deserves

    Luke Donald poses the very opposite quandry, can he bring his A game after disapointing time and time again when the big tournaments come around, will the length of the course be an issue for him? It doesnt have to be but his usually impecable sand play will need to be at its best on Kiawahs vast sandy wastelands.

    And so to Mcilroy, The opening to the season brought such hope followed by a summer that has been as much of a damp squib as the British weather, still a revival at Akron, +3 after 4 but a great fighback to prove those doubting his battling qualities wrong, though doubtless they will rear their heads the moment he hits his next bad round. Perhaps its too early for him to be considered back to form, and maybee the PGA is a week or two too early for him to challenge.

  • Comment number 16.

    McIlroy is past his best...its all downhill from here for him.

  • Comment number 17.

    This could be an excellent tournament. Yes the Olympics has taken centre stage and rightly so but this week golf could steal some of the limelight. There is potential for this week to be one of golf's best. With Tiger going for number 15, Donald and Westwood still going for their maiden win and a host of good young Americans hoping to be in contention this may be a classic. I think a big-hitting American will take it on the longest ever major course but this tournament has a tendency for surprises.

    http://jedidiahgore.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/uspga-championship-has-potential-to.html

  • Comment number 18.

    If the wind blows as predicted then it will need links "type" shots even though it's not classed as a links course as such. So maybe look for someone to win who can shape their shots and can drive long - A Scott for redemption ? or B Watson for Major No. 2. I would like R McIlroy to do well but the wind may affect his game.
    Chances are it will be "newbie" under the radar to win - K Stanley anyone ??

  • Comment number 19.

    It will be good to get back to the honesty of golf for a few days, rather than the over-hyped olympics. If I hear 'team GB' again, I swear my head will explode !

  • Comment number 20.

    The wind's aren't forecast to be that severe, probably on a par with those at Whistling Straits, history has shown with the USPGA that it normally goes to a big driver so can't see this year being different, you definitely don't want to be picking some who drives it 285 yards or less.

    http://carlothesportsman.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/2012-pga-championship-preview/

  • Comment number 21.

    I agree with #sum082...the olympics is so boring apart from 1 or 2 events. I mean to get a gold medal for jumping...or throwing something is a joke. The olympics should be scapped...or at least narrowed down to 5 proper sports.
    Bring on the golf!

  • Comment number 22.

    @Jimmy: Picks


    1 D Johnson
    2 T Woods
    3 L Oosthuizen

  • Comment number 23.

    Sumo don't be such a grump - in 4 years you can combine the honesty of golf and raucus calls of "TEAM GB"!!

    If the last 16 majors have proved anything, its that anyone in the top 100 can win a major these days, unless TW decides to rocket off into the distance of being nion unbeatable again

    so in effect LW and LD can win a major - and if the last two Open champions have proved anything its that age is no barrier either!!

    The difference for me between Lee and Luke is that Lee has already put himself in great contention but just has not sealed the deal - for whatever reason

    Luke as yet has not been fully in the hunt but I think if he can maneouvre himself into position he could go on and win a coveted major.

  • Comment number 24.

    PICKS:

    Furyk, Woods, Zach Johnson

    no europeans they are saving themselves for RC glory!!

    are we going to have a score predict for the RC Jimmy??????

  • Comment number 25.

    #16... come on James, we're waiting for the "I love Rory McIlroy, I do" post after that, surely!
    With regards the Majors it's becoming increasingly clear that only Tiger ever coped well with the tag of favourite. The likes of Donald and Westwood will perhaps come in under the radar for a major when they slide down the world rankings (Westwood sooner rather than later in his current form) a la Ernie last month or DC last year.
    No one would begrudge them that (oh hang on - some people might!) as both have the game that merits a Major under their (white - other colours available) belt.
    That said - should either win this week me and 2ironkid will be having a joint party especially if it's Lee!

  • Comment number 26.

    Jimmy this weeks kiss of earth are
    Tiger Woods
    Louis oosterhuizen
    Gmac

  • Comment number 27.

    Death not earth

  • Comment number 28.

    whats the "kiss of earth"?

  • Comment number 29.

    Its what Luke will be doing when he confounds my picks and triumphs on sunday evening!!

  • Comment number 30.

    Luke is a choker...and so is Lee....infact ever since Faldo every English golfer has been a choker! huh.

  • Comment number 31.

    in that case I wish I was a choker.....

  • Comment number 32.

    My two pence worth:

    * Tiger- Will the real Tiger Woods please stand up? Eldrick has had something of a schizophrenic season, so which 'version' will show up at Kiawah? The one who has won three PGA Tour events this season, or the one that hasn't really threatened to add to the 14-Major tally? The one one that played two awful opening rounds of golf at Firestone, or the one that came in under the radar over the weekend for his first succesive Top-10 finish on Tour since the 'accident'? His driving is improved, but how much of this is him 'cooking the books' by avoiding using his actual driver? He won't be able to avoid using it if Kiawah plays to the threatened 7,700 yards. It's often said that the new genration of golfers dom't fear Woods. Quite frankly, Woods ins't giving them much to fear if Bridgestone was anything to go by- he's now as likely to miss the green from 150 yards out as any other pro, as likely to miss a crucial 8-foot putt as the next guy. He's not bad, by any means. But he is ordinary. That said, quite a few 'ordinary' guys have caught lightning in a bottle and won the PGA in recent years....

    * Team GB (and NI!)- Can the Uk's golfers tap in the general feelgood factor surrounding UK sport? I can't see Lee westwood doing much if his performance at Firestone is any indication of his form (and the back of a poor Open, too). Luke Donald will need to remimnd himself what a fairway looks like, and then what it feels like to land his drives in one or two of them, if he's to do anything here. Justin Rose played well at Firestone, has been in decent touch all year, plays American courses well and could do well but I think lacks that last 5% needed to come out on top. I'll boldly preduct a top-10 for him. No, I think if we're after a UK gold medalist, I think it will fall down to one Rory McIlroy. I hope that Bridgestone wasn't just a blip, and that it signals a proper return to form. This week, the proof will be in the pudding.

    * Ryder Cup team- I'm going to disagree with Ian here. Last week at Firestone we saw three US golfers- Bradley, Stricker and Furyk- who were on the outside of the automatic 8 and, to use an americanism, 'put their hand up,' Bradlet to the extent that we went from outsider to near certainty to make the team as of right. What Jose Maria Olazabal probably wants is for a few of his sleeping, out-of-form giants (I'm looking at YOU, Messers Kaymer, Poulter and Garcia!) to do likewise. Poulter may get a top-20, but

  • Comment number 33.

    "He's not bad, by any means. But he is ordinary"

    outrageous comment!

    Only American guaranteed his place in RC team.

    Only PGA tour pro to have won 3 times.

    Jeeeees if this is ordinary!!!

    Can you imagine if Poults or Fisher or Rose or Garcia or Mcilroy had TW's record this year??? We would be lauding them as teh greatest ever!

    Bit of sensible judgement guys please - hes nowhere near the benchmark HE SET for himself and the rest of the world, but "ordinary" is just a ridiculous adjective to use.

  • Comment number 34.

    I fear Europe are heading for a hammering - hope I'm wrong, though. US have all the form players and Europes big hopes of Westwood, Donald and McIlroy are not on the top of their games. Poults and G-Mac will be gritty and get results one way or another but can't see that being enough - not on US soil.

    As for comments re Westwood & Donald being the next Monty, that does a disservice to the big Scot. Monty was a prolific winner in his day - 8 orders of merit was it? He was unlucky in a couple of US Opens but a much better golfer in his prime than LW or LD in my opinion - they will do well to go down in history in comparison with him.

  • Comment number 35.

    # 33- outragrous? far from it. Tiger Woods is not obviously better to this observer that any other top American pro. Wheras previously he was head and shoulders above everyone else that is categroically not the case now. He is meerly as good as her peers (that's not to say he isn't good- note the use of the qualifier). But he is ordinary, in the truest sense of the word. On present form he is doing to distinguish himself from his peers. He hasn't won a Major, he isn't World # 1 by a street. He's won three tournaments this year, but none of them against a real top-notch field (WGC/Major/Players). Three wins is a decent retrun, but Luke won three last year, Furyk the year before. TW used to win twice that. Putting this in perspective, he is ordinary.

  • Comment number 36.

    Woods is nowhere near the player he was and probably won't ever be again - time has moved on. He may yet win another major or two, just as any number of players could, but on current form will never dominate a field like he used to.

    I've never been a Woods fan but what I do like about him is his attitude and mental application - he's focused on being the best he can and never gives up. Just like Faldo. That's where some of the current crop fall down and unfortunately that currently include McIlroy.

  • Comment number 37.

    no he isn't

  • Comment number 38.

    #36- exactly the point I was trying to make. Well put.

  • Comment number 39.

    # 38

    well quite frankly you put it terribly. using the word "ordinary" is plain silly.

    What #36 does is say that TW today is not the calibre of TW yesteryear, but that does not mean he is ordinary.

  • Comment number 40.

    Jimmy - do we not get 4 picks for Major predictions?

  • Comment number 41.

    As most of you probably know I'm not president of the TW fan club but I can recognise his achievents which are unrivaled in the modern era. I also know there was a big gap between his first & second major wins so it's no surprise that Wozzilroy hasn't won another, YET. Don't think Jamesmatthews assertion that he's finished is quite accurate either.
    As for this week it would be hard to see a Team GB win (sorry Sumo!) as I reckon it will be very hot and humid and they haven't a great track record in those conditions. Louis Oust. could be a good outside bet though.

  • Comment number 42.

    No, 39. I use the word with precision. To mean no different, I am not using it as a syynonym for 'BAD'. If I'd have said bad, that'd would have been outrageous. I have cited examples of where TW's play this years has been of a good standard. But I have also cited examples where others have played to the same standard. In the past, Woods' standard of play was higher, a clear step above the normal, and therefore 'extra-ordinary.' That it is not the case now (stop me if I'm reapating myself...)
    Therefore Woods' play, whilst of a good standard, is no more remarkable than that of any top Pro. Hence my use of 'ordinary.'

  • Comment number 43.

    My picks, not done them for a bit.......


    H Mahan
    N Colsaerts
    K Bradley

  • Comment number 44.

    I'm not surprised McIlroy hasn't won another major, but not because it took Woods a while to do it. I'm from NI and a big McIlroy fan but very frustrated by his approach.

    His game plan is 350 yd drives and then go for the flag - that's it. He could have been in the mix in the Open just passed by hitting irons off the tee and going for the middle of the green.

    Also, he seems obsessed with majors to the exclusion of all else. He should concentrate on the bread & butter events and the majors will flow. Look at the number of regular tour events Woods & Nicklaus have won outside of the majors. McIlroy is yet to win as a pro in continental Europe.

    Granted he can stick two fingers up and say he is major winner already but we want him to win so much more - his natural talent only comes along once in a generation.

  • Comment number 45.

  • Comment number 46.

    Also, why all the chat about TW, he won't win this week, not because of anything to with him being ordinary now and all that, simply because it's a Pete Dye course, and he doesn't perform on those even in his pomp

    http://carlothesportsman.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/2012-pga-championship-preview/

  • Comment number 47.

    Hard to predict this major as no recent history at this course to look at the players. Tiger is barely holing a putt and is now at No.2 in the world, if he putts well and uses the driver he has to be right in the mix.

    Dufner is very consistent, Harrington showing some form and at 50-1 tempting odds.

    Bubba Watson at 33-1 also good shout as the long course wont bother him. Would love Westwood to win but recent form suggests he won't.

    http://kevstips.co.uk/who-will-win-the-uspga-major-2012-golf-tournament-at-the-ocean-course

  • Comment number 48.

    Carl. Is that based on anything more than his suspect record (Its all relative of course) at Sawgrass? I should think that Woods is a good enough golfer that the course designer shouldnt be an impediment to his success. He's meant to be one of, if not the greatest of all time?

    Lion - 3 picks as normal, Double points though. League update tonight if i get round to it.

  • Comment number 49.

    Ross1980 wrote that Tiger isn't #1 by a street. When he wins his 15th this week he will gain around 2.5 points which will take him to #1 with an average of over 11. This will be the first player to go over 11 since, let me think ...... Oh yes Tiger. Luuuuuke has never been over 10.5 all the time he has been #1.

  • Comment number 50.

    hatethetrees
    Victories over small fry such as Levin and Van Pelt are not the victories on which Woods built his reputation and aren't the kind of victories he truly craves. Thus far this year, whenever the Worlds elite have met, Woods has failed to conquor them. Perhaps worse is that he has put himself into a position to challenge on a couple of occasions, only to fall away.

    YEAH BABY.

    carl
    Also, why all the chat about TW, he won't win this week, not because of anything to with him being ordinary now and all that, simply because it's a Pete Dye course, and he doesn't perform on those even in his pomp

    NEVER A TRUER WORD SAID, SCROOGE HAS ONLY WON TWICE ON A DYE COURSE, THAT BEING SAWGRASS. HOW CAN SCROOGE WIN? HE CANNOT- SIMPLE AS.


    kj choi
    jeev singh
    bob garrigus

  • Comment number 51.

    @48, Poor record at Sawgrass, and also Whistling Straits, Hilton Head and TPC Louisiana

  • Comment number 52.

    All courses where the wind is renowned for whipping up if i'm not mistaken?? Adds to my argument that he isnt a great wind player.

    I cant see it being down to the course designer unless someone can explain more specifically what it is about Pete Dye courses that makes him play them badly. I am open to having my eyes opened on this one though Carl

  • Comment number 53.

    @51 Carl

    Brilliant. I love the way you reinforce your argument, with facts. Not like most of the Woods woofters on here. Tiger will win because he's Tiger. And..........................................Errrrr ............GOAT............Errr.............CRICKETS

    CRICKETS........CRICKETS........

  • Comment number 54.

    PGA picks:

    King Louis
    Rose
    Harrington

  • Comment number 55.

    @50...If you're going to start this drivel again at least get your facts right. He's only won the Players once!!!!

  • Comment number 56.

    @52...I think a lot of players have spoken out (mutedly) about PD tracks.

  • Comment number 57.

    Why is it that when the lunatic fringe get their Internet privileges, they always resort to illiterate abuse. Is it because reasoned debate is beyond their capabilities. It's not clever and it's not even slightly humerous.

  • Comment number 58.

    @55

    So typical of you STALKER MATTEFC.

    I said won twice at SAWGRASS. You get your facts right STALKER.

    You are a know it all------know nothing

    Move along boy. If you can't get your facts straight......Theres no hope for you fanboy with error.


    Hit the complain button STALKER.....Just like normal

  • Comment number 59.

    #58 you have just proved my point. What time do you get put back in your rubber room so the grown ups can have a debate.

  • Comment number 60.

    Here comes the clickity click boys..........Trying to save their leaders loss of face. You are all looking for your numerous fake ids and passwords to attack me.....

    STALKER is a big loser...Will he have the gonads to apologise and say i STALKER MATTEFC WAS WRONG.

    Shall see

  • Comment number 61.

    Stalker!!???, I'd rather pull my teeth out. But, when all Is said and done you're scraping the barrel now by bringing amateur wins into your "trolling". Do you actually talk about anything other than your obvious "hatred" of a certain golfer?
    In fact don't bother, It'll be a pointless waste of time.

  • Comment number 62.

    Ahhhhhh. GOOGLE is your friend STALKER



    MOVE ALONG BOY......YOU MUST BE SEETHING........LOLOLOL

  • Comment number 63.

    Oh, I have one ID and about 14/15 people can verify that!?

  • Comment number 64.

    Now you're becoming stranger, If that's possible. I actually haven't got a clue If he won at Sawgrass as an amateur, I just know he's only won once as a pro!
    Why don't you contribute something instead of talking about someone you hate, or Is that not possible!?

  • Comment number 65.

    I watched SCROOGE as an Amateur. Unlike you STALKER obviously. I saw GW beat him by 1 hole in the 90s. You and your clickity click boys are an embarassment to this fine blog......

    see ya STALKER...............wouldn't wannabe ya.



    WHOS YA DADDY??????????

    ps..
    Try and supress your anger for the benefit of later posters....Thats a good BOY.

  • Comment number 66.

    @65..I knew you couldn't!? You're a crank and I'll not respond to you again (and your other sidekick).

  • Comment number 67.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 68.

    @67 WCIHIS...... That's what I'd do with someone who sounds like he's been on Jeremy Kyle to (ha)!!??

  • Comment number 69.

    I'm glad whycantihititstraight seems to have either crystal ball or a time machine, because last time I checked Woods hadn't yet won this weeks PGA and hadn't yet returned to number one. You seem very sure of yourself, I must say, considering Woods is but one of 156 golfers teeing it up tomorrow. Perhaps this is why you've overlooked the fact hat Woods won't automatically return to #1 with a win- Luke retains retains his #1 spot if he finishes solo 2nd, even if Woods wins!

  • Comment number 70.

    Dear herrflickk, please stop Trolling. It's not nice.

  • Comment number 71.

    @HF......Why do you have to slide into personal insulting ??

    I don't Like TW as a person, nor do I especially like him winning all the time (share the love) but I ADMIRE what he has done as an ACTUAL golfer. His record since 97 is second to none, and I doubt that if classed as a benchmark it will ever be beaten. I still consider the GOAT to be J Nicklaus both statistically and in "perception".

    There are horses for courses and so on. If you are a top golfer then you find a way to play the ones you don't like and still win. 1 (or 2) wins over a course that people say doesn't suit, for whatever reason, is still good in my book. For example, R McIlroy states that Sawgrass doesn't suit him either. He hasn't won there (yet).

    Let's have sensible debate and differing opinions and therefore a good blog. And as you say FACTS, (you know what I mean...) before calling names.

  • Comment number 72.

    Point taken Ross1980. I have an inbuilt desire to seeTiger at his best again so always assume he has won already. I suppose it is possible that Luke will get second but unlikely as he will be hitting long irons onto non receptive small greens most of the time due to his lack of length. He will probably though do just enough to ensure yet another top ten finish. For the sake of the RC I hope all the Euros do well and begin to find form especially LW.

  • Comment number 73.

    Why does it have to be a choice between the Olympics OR golf? I love both of them as I'm sure do many others so why couldn't the gold authorities used a bit of common sense and scheduled the PGA a week later? I'm gutted that I'll only get back home to see Sunday's play and even that will clash with the closing ceremony!

  • Comment number 74.

    Al777- I hope I'm not coming accross as arguementative here, I'm a massive McIlroy fan too- but yourpoint about Jack Nicklaus isn't really true. From avery age, Jack focused his energies on winning majors at the expense of regular tour events- he played quite a limited schedule, much like Tiger. This si of the reasons why Jack didn't make his Ryder Cup debut until the famous match in 1969 at Royal Birkdale- by this point in his career he already had 7 Majors, including the first ever repeat Masters Champion and a Grand Slam. From quite early on, Jack set his sights not on Sam Snead's record of overall PGA Tour wins (which still stands), but on Walter Hagen and Bobby Jones's records tallies of 11 and 13 Majors- a total he overcame by winning the 1973 PGA. Criticise McIlroy's focus all you like, but both Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have spent their careers focused on Majors rather than rank-and-file events (Tiger's attitude to the latter has been almost derogatory at times).

    Whycantihititstraight- no worries, but you may be intersted to know that the greens are far softer (and therefore receptive) than you might imagine- the PGA normally as sadistic as the god-awful USGA are- they've also had to soften them to legislate for what are expected to be quite severe winds. Hitting long irons might not be such a problem. This, of course, could play into Woods' hands as much as Donald's, if he keeps up his lytham tatic if leaving teh driver in the bag.

  • Comment number 75.

    Quick, brief, singular drink update for someone; Can of woopass!

  • Comment number 76.

    Day shift feisty as usual Ian no mention of Firestone it was a WGC after all.
    Jimmy predictions Dustin Johnson, Bubba, Rory Mclroy.
    Guys get over the Tiger trash talk, he was the best for the last decade, currently no where near his best, but beware he will come come back fighting and will no matter what course he is on try his best.
    Maybe his best days are gone but like Jack, Ernie, Vijay in his 40's he could still contend and win majors. His game still has issues but Tiger will work and put things right. As he says in the other article on the golf pages the fields are a lot tighter than when he was in his pomp and the opposition don't roll over anymore, so Tiger needs his best to win and at the moment he does not sustain it for 4 rounds.
    As I have said before wait till the year ends then make judgement as his game is still a work in progress.

  • Comment number 77.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 78.

    first of all, jimmy, my picks for kiawah...

    bubba
    rory
    tiger

    got a funny feeling the course will suit sergio but you said we must stick to 3 picks

    @9...couldn't agree more...westwood bores me, too...even when he's playing well and in contention...what really worries me, though, is that he'll no doubt feature prominently at medinah and, as i've said before, we can't go into the rc with excess baggage...the yanks are looking just too strong...the irony is that this week they're at kiawah where, in my opinion, we saw the best rc performance by the best rc duo EVER...my hero, seve [rip] and olly...i just hope olly has the balls to sideline westwood on friday and saturday...that way, he can only lose us one point, in the sunday showdown

    finally, chelsea [@25]...i'll party with you anytime, my good friend, but just hope we don't have to wait for a westwood major...i'm not getting any younger and he's just a journeyman!

  • Comment number 79.

    Go Team GB! Bring home another gold!!!

    How can Mcilroy give his season a grade 'B'? Can you imagine Tiger rating his season that way if he'd had Mcilroys results in the majors this year?

    This course looks like it will suit Mcilroy. Mcilroy completely disappears when the course or weather isn't to his liking, so as long as the suns shining with a gentle breeze i expect him to bring home the prize.

  • Comment number 80.

    The course this week in theory should suit someone who can really put the ball out there, though that said keeping the ball in play will be crucial with all the waste sand areas. The place has also been battered by storms last week so will play long.
    Other thing that could be a big factor just like the open will be the wind and being the right side of the draw might help someone sneak through.
    Don't think much of Westy or Luke's chances this week though would be happy to be proved wrong.

  • Comment number 81.

    Could 'Hate The Trees' please write what she/he has to say in some kind of recognisable English? Why do you need two 'inexorables' in paragraph 2 and three 'victories' in the next sentence?
    Do you really think that anyone is going to read such a load of nonsense and take any notice of it?

  • Comment number 82.

    2ik bit harsh on our lee he will be a key player in the rc ESP as some of the older players won't make the team.
    With his long game he is an ideal partner in either foursomes or four balls so I don't get where your coming from. The only issue is his current form is far from great, though he knows it and is working on it.
    Lee probably needs to be the new Monty in the rc as he has been there seen it done it.

  • Comment number 83.

    Herrflikk, why do you feel the need to just insult people. Is it a lonely world you inhabit ( along with your quite obvious alter egos on here). Is this the only way you can get people to communicate with you. Your use of capital letters and very poor English just goes to prove who the bully(s) is/are on here. I very much doubt you could crush a grape let alone people who want to engage in civilised reasoned debate.
    We all get it that you do not like Tiger but please put forward some sensible reasoning not the drivel you espouse. I look forward to your complaint and this post being removed.

  • Comment number 84.

    @ 77.....HF...Which has just disappeared ! If you read last weeks blog you'll see the comments mentioned were part of, what I would call "verbal jousting". I agree that some of the comments were OTT, but were probably taken in the "correct" context. You have gone straight into the role that you accuse others of being. Where's the reasonable debate about that ?

  • Comment number 85.

    @77...Oh dear...not guilty!!???

  • Comment number 86.

    Eh Wcihis where's mr weird would love to hear who he won't be putting any money on.
    It's all window licking good again though the blog really was a bit of an anti climax considering its a major week.

  • Comment number 87.

    I'm interested If anyone thinks this Is a bombers course or a tactical one, I think that "not so little/very long" Louis has a great chance this week, he's been improving big time!

  • Comment number 88.

    davey...as i said, lw will no doubt be an 'ever-present' on fri & sat @ medinah...i hope he justifies your faith in him...would you play him on current form?

    re 'seen it, done it', i beg to differ...he's lost 5 of his 7 singles and that, for me, is the acid test of a true rc 'great'...fri and sat are just 'curtain raisers'...sunday is when it'll be won and lost

  • Comment number 89.

    Matt its a bombers course and as its wet the longer hitters will have an even bigger advantage, think Rory and his major. It's playing 7600 odd yards the longest in major history. The Ryder cup apart it's not really held much tournament golf.

  • Comment number 90.

    Ernie Els
    Adam Scott
    Louis Osthuizen

  • Comment number 91.

    Hello there people. I have read this blog for a while now and this is my first contribution to it. There really are some very strange people about so I hope i donut say anything to upset you all.
    Anyway, here goes..... Tiger Woods polarises opinion like Marmite but how can anyone say he is no good. He's come from nowhere this year to be number 2 in the world and is gonna walk away with the PGA this week - no doubt about it. Maybe as a man he's made some mistakes but his golf is just the best and getting better all the time. its probably too late to ask to join your league but if i can my predictions for this week are tiger woods, tiger woods and tiger woods.

  • Comment number 92.

    2ik to be honest I did not know what his singles record was like.
    To be fair on current form I would take him if he wins this week you would say his form was good so form can be fickle class is permanent and IMO Lee is a class act.
    Europe will rely on Lee gmac and probably poults to be the leaders on the course.
    Gmac was awesome in both the last two ryder cups and is a big stage performer so I expect he will rise to the challenge.

  • Comment number 93.

    Mattefc, Its going to be interesting to see which course 'turns up'. From all accounts the recent weather has been bad softening the fairways and greens. This would probably favour the bombers who can scramble. If the wind really blows and the course dries out then it may be more tactical. The main thing IMO on a Dye course is where it's best to miss. Most of the top players, don't forget that this is the strongest field this year with the top 103 all playing should have no problems getting up and down from the vast beaches lining the fairways. Hit it in the waste areas and there will be carnage.
    Are there any sandy waste areas that are not official bunkers. Wouldn't want to see anyone fall foul of that ruling again.

  • Comment number 94.

    @91 that's a very interesting moniker and no history of posting either. Are you aware that there is a spiffing book written by someone using your name? You should look to claim royalties or something. I'm afraid our league moderator is a bit harsh and may well insist on three different picks but all the same I admire your choices.

  • Comment number 95.

    @2ik - Are you deliberately turning into a parody of yourself?

    I can understand why Woods polarizes opinion, but why does he encourage idiocy, on both sides of the argument. Can people not see how ridiculous it is to say that he will defiantly win and also how equally ridiculous it is to say that he cant or defiantly wont win. Unless clairvoyance is your forte its a bit rash

  • Comment number 96.

    #93 - I thought i read somewhere that there are NO bunkers on the course. Not sure if that's correct but get your point about it being so easy to get screwed by some know it all watching on TV with their rule book and phone beside them.

  • Comment number 97.

    btw

  • Comment number 98.

    can

  • Comment number 99.

    i

  • Comment number 100.

    get to

 

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