Monday, August 8, 2011
The PGA Championship Is More Fun Than We Think
IF you asked any golf fan in the world not currently employed by the PGA of America, they'd tell you that their favorite major championship in order they'd probably have a different first three, but the last one would most definitely be the PGA Championship. It doesn't have the allure of the Masters, the toughness of the U.S. Open or the history and different feel of the British, and it always seems a little more like a regular tour event and a little less like a major right up until the guys tee off on Thursday.
And that's when you realize that this one is just as good as the others. They play on spectacular golf courses, have the most talented field and allow PGA professionals (the ones that work, not play) a chance to test their game against the best in the world. It's fun the first two days getting random glimpses of those players hitting great shots or making lengthy putts, and there is always a few that make it to the weekend.
So we can sit here and say that the PGA Championship isn't the best, but it does have a lot of things going for it.
-- For some reason, it normally produces some really exciting golf, highlighted by the antics a year ago with BunkerGate and the Y.E. Yang-Tiger Woods battle from a few years back. You can ever go back to the last time this course hosted an event if you're trying to find some true drama, with Phil Mickelson trying to win his first major and David Toms electing to lay-up on the last hole, a par-4, and then getting it up and down for par to win.
-- The trophy is the best looking, and second most famous, of all the majors, and ranks right up there with all sports hardware as "hardest to raise above your head."
-- It's fun to see players that have had good years really going all out this week to try and claim that major championship before the year ends. Must like golf games can change dramatically from the front nine to the back nine, careers can change year to year for some reason, and players know this (best recent example? Look at Graeme McDowell from 2010 to 2011 ... completely different guys).
-- It's the last time we get to see a lot of the European Tour-heavy guys play over here, so that's always nice.
-- It's a major! Hey, everyone loves majors.
I know that people will complain that this tournament has created winners like Rich Beem and Shaun MIcheel, but for some reason I like that. It shows that even at majors, the random guys playing the best can win.
I'm excited. I hope you are too.