Odds on PGA Championship

By Chris DatresAugust 5, 2008, 4:00 pm
Follow the 90th PGA Championship all week on GOLF CHANNEL. Click for our TV schedule!
 
2008 US Open 81x90Well, that was a fun WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, wasnt it? The PGA TOUR has had two big tournaments since Tiger left with his knee injury in June and both did pretty well without him. Greg Norman did a masterful job stealing all the storylines at Royal Birkdale and I really wish he had been able to pull off the victory. But yes, it is Greg Norman and once again, he wasnt able to finish off a 54-hole lead at a major.
 
And then Sunday in Akron, we got some really good theater (if not great golf) between Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson with a late run from Stuart Appleby. If were not going to have the best player in the world able to compete, at least we can get some big names stepping into the breach. Lets hope the same thing happens this week at Oakland Hills and the 90th PGA Championship. Im sure CBS would like nothing better than to have the top 5 names on my odds board battling it out for the Wanamaker Trophy. And, of course, it would make our Live From coverage that much better, too.

Now, in honor of a comment I received about the British Open odds, I genuflect before the altar of the golfing gods at the sacred ground that is Oakland Hills Country Club. It could be a born-again moment for one lucky golfer.
 
THE CONTENDERS:
 
Phil Mickelson (3-1): When last we saw Lefty at this golf course, he was trying to apologize to Tiger for having put him up against the fence with a drive during the alternate-shot portion of their team match at the 2004 Ryder Cup. Im going to check out the spot to see if they put one of those granite markers to commemorate the shot. But at least hes been living up to his nickname. It seems like every time Phil gets into a crucial spot late in the game, he pushes the drive left (evidence: 06 US Open; 07 Northern Trust; 08 Colonial; 08 Bridgestone).
 
Anthony Kim (5-1): If you take a look at the two golf courses that Kim has won on this year (Congressional and Quail Hollow), you can tell that he really likes the long, classic-type courses. Glen Abbey falls into that category, but he couldnt get it done in Canada. I think Oakland Hills also falls into that category. BUT, the greens at Oakland Hills will take down any player not on his putting game and if you saw A-K at the British Open, picking him might make you cringe (first in GIR, third-to-last in putting).
 
Lee Westwood (8-1): Hes so close at this point. He left a putt short that would have gotten him into the playoff at the U.S. Open. And Sunday, he never gave the putt to tie at the Bridgestone any respect on the break. But from tee to green, hes been playing at a really high level. Its about time that he gets it all put together into a championship effort.
 
Vijay Singh (12-1): Back in January, a GOLF CHANNEL producer (not me) predicted that Vijay would never win again. Sunday, Vijays putter tried its best to keep that prediction alive. Despite the foibles with the long stick, Vijay broke his winless string at 34 tournaments. He has won two PGA Championships. He did have a top-10 finish at the 1996 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills. But he did also win last week and trying to make it back-to-back weeks with the second one being a major championship is waaaay too much to ask.
 
Padraig Harrington (15-1): The two-time Champion Golfer of the Year went a sizzling 4-1 in his Ryder Cup matches here in 2004, including a singles victory over Jay Haas. If he can put the John Smiths Smooth Bitter (the first drink out of the claret jug each of the last two years) down long enough to play this week, he might be able to re-create that magic. If he does, we might have our Player of the Year. My guess is hell put down that drink because he called it pretty awful the first time he had to drink it last year. Just how awful? Im hearing that it makes Milwaukees Best taste like the champagne of beers.
 
THE SLEEPERS:
 
Jim Furyk (20-1): Like Anthony Kim and Retief Goosen, Furyk has trotted the globe in the search for golf glory these last four weeks. From Birkdale to Toronto to Akron and now to Detroit, thats one heck of an itinerary. It also makes for a tired golfer and this golf course at 7,395 yards is not one to be sleepwalking through. But even though he hasnt won a major since that breakthrough at Olympia Fields in 2003, he still cant be discounted on this classic layout.
 
Kenny Perry (25-1): Welcome to your first major of 2008, Kenny. Unfortunately, there isnt an opposite event this week so youre stuck with this one. But at least you didnt have to go anywhere to qualify for it. You just had to play like you have this year and earn your way in. I might have rated you a bit higher but Im not sure how you might do in a Grade-1 stakes race at this distance. But then again, Im sure youre looking forward to that press conference on Monday announcing that you officially reached your goal for the year.
 
Ernie Els (25-1): The Big Easy still hasnt put it all together since his win at The Honda but he did show glimpses at Birkdale. At this point, he might want to channel Roy McAvoy when he gets on the range on Thursday. He should turn his hat around, put his tees in his left pocket and maybe leave his back pocket hanging out. I just dont think Ricci has it in him to be like Romeo and demand that of him.
 
Sergio Garcia (25-1): Well, Sergio, I want to thank you for backing up my support at the British Open with that stirring performance. I havent seen that many missed putts from inside 18 inches since watching a fellow co-worker yak a couple of easy tap-ins. Despite his putting mastery at THE PLAYERS, he still couldnt get it to drop on the biggest stage. Sergio, you have one more chance before Anthony Kim zooms by you as the next best thing.
 
Robert Karlsson (25-1): If there was any way that my Webmasters could make the words VALUE PICK blink, Id have them do it for this selection. Karlsson has finished in the top 10 in every major this year. Yes, read that again: EVERY MAJOR. Thats something that no one did last year and no one else has done this year. If youre in a golf pool and youre looking for that under-the-radar pick, here ya go. You can thank me lateror curse me when he shoots 77-80 and slams the trunk on Friday.
 
Trevor Immelman (30-1): Its been 10 years since a man not named Tiger Woods has won two majors in a season (Mark OMeara). Trevor hasnt exactly burned up the fairways since donning the green jacket in April ' his only dent on the leaderboard was a playoff loss to Justin Leonard in Memphis. But should he connect here, hell lock up the Player of the Year title and will get closer to realizing that dream he had in the bathroom with Vijay Singh in last years FedExCup commercials.
 
Woody Austin (45-1): If I was taking odds on who would choke like a dog, Woodys odds would likely be as short as Big Browns at the Belmont Stakes. And like Big Brown at the Belmont, Woody has pulled up lame in the stretch of two tournaments that he could have easily won (Buick Open, Zurich). But if he does put himself in that situation again and he does choke again, itll be fun to hear him tell it like it is and maybe hell even tell us how he outplayed Tiger again. Of course, its easy to outplay a guy who just had ACL surgery in June.
 
Angel Cabrera (50-1): The Duck could be working in a parallel universe this week. He won at OAKmont last year and were playing at OAKland Hills this week. His fellow countryman, Eduardo Romero nabbed his second career major last week in Colorado and now the Argentinian looks to snag his second major this week. But short of hiring Patricia Arquette to make sense of this psychic mumbo-jumbo, its not likely to happen for Cabrera.
 
John Daly (1,000-1): 17 years ago, a mullet-sportin ninth alternate came out of further-than-nowhere to capture the seasons final major. If Big John was to pull off the same stunt this year, you could say that hes come even further-than-further-from-nowhere. And I can hear his victory speech now ' Id like to thank Butch Harmonfor believing in me. Stay tuned for Dalys prop at Oakland Hills.
 
OFF THE BOARD:
 
Tiger Woods: PGA TOUR commissioner Tim Finchem was quoted over the weekend that Tiger has lost 10-15 pounds after seeing him at Congressional Country Club last week. That led Rory Sabbatini to comment that Tiger is as thin as ever and that he likes the new Tiger Woods. Upon hearing the news, Fuzzy Zoeller sent him a care package to help him bulk up. And a special gift basket arrived from someone who signed simply Aquaman ' it was a book titled How to Outplay the Best Player in the World and Still Lose by 7 Shots.
 
PROPS:
 
Quick hitters and theyre all over-unders:
WINNING SCORE ' 271 (-8 -- PAR 70)
HIGHEST SCORE ' 84
LOWEST SCORE ' 64
DALYS HIGHEST SCORE ON A HOLE ' 8 (it worked so well at the British, lets try that number again)
NUMBER OF CLUB PROS TO MAKE THE CUT (theres 20 of them): 3
NUMBER OF TIMES PAUL AZINGER IS SHOWN ON CBS COVERAGE AND NICK FALDO COMMENTS ON THEIR BATTLE IN 6 WEEKS AT VALHALLA (must make cut for action): 4
 
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  • Park collapses; leaderboard chaos at CME

    By Nick MentaNovember 18, 2017, 8:47 pm

    Sung-Hyun Park started the day with a three-shot lead and slowly gave it all back over the course of a 3-over 75, leaving the CME Group Tour Championship and a host of season-long prizes up for grabs in Naples. Here’s where things stand through 54 holes at the LPGA finale, where Michelle Wie, Ariya Jutanugarn, Suzann Pettersen and Kim Kaufman share the lead.

    Leaderboard: Kaufman (-10), Wie (-10), Jutanugarn (-10), Pettersen (-10), Stacy Lewis (-9), Karine Icher (-9), Austin Ernst (-9), Lexi Thompson (-9), Jessica Korda (-9), Pernilla Lindberg (-9)

    What it means: It wasn’t the Saturday she wanted, but Park, who already wrapped up the Rookie of the Year Award, is still in position for the sweep of all sweeps. With a victory Sunday, she would claim the CME Group Tour Championship, the Race to CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, and the money title, as she ascends to No. 1 in the Rolex world ranking. Meanwhile, Thompson, too, could take the $1 million and Player of the Year. As those two battle for season-long prizes, a host of other notable names – Wie, Jutanugarn, Pettersen, Korda, Lewis and Charley Hull (-8) – will fight for the Tour Championship.

    Round of the day: Kaufman made four birdies on each side in a bogey-free 8 under-par 64. A lesser-known name on a stacked leaderboard, she seeks her first LPGA victory.

    Best of the rest: Amy Yang will start the final round two behind after a 7-under 65. The three-time LPGA Tour winner could pick up her second title of the season after taking the Honda LPGA Thailand in February.

    Biggest disappointment: On a day that featured plenty of low scores from plenty of big names, Lydia Ko dropped 11 spots down the leaderboard into a tie for 23rd with a Saturday 72. The former world No. 1 needed two birdies in her last five holes to fight her way back to even par. Winless this season, she’ll start Sunday four back, at 6 under.

    Shot of the day: I.K. Kim aced the par-3 12th from 171 yards when her ball landed on the front of the green and tracked all the way to the hole.

    Kim, oddly enough, signed her name to a scorecard that featured a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. It was all part of a 1-under 71.

    Watch: Pros try to hit 2-yard wide fairway in Dubai

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 18, 2017, 5:20 pm

    While in Dubai for the DP World Tour Championship, the European Tour prestented a little challenge to Ross Fisher, Richie Ramsay, Nicolas Colsaerts and Soren Kjeldsen. On a stretch of road outside of town, the four players had to try and hit a 2-yard wide fairway. Check out the results.

    Rose (65) leads Rahm, Frittelli in Dubai

    By Associated PressNovember 18, 2017, 3:24 pm

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Justin Rose will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the season-ending Tour Championship as he attempts to win a third straight title on the European Tour and a second career Race to Dubai crown.

    The 37-year-old Rose made a gutsy par save on the final hole after a bogey-free round for a 7-under 65 Saturday and overall 15-under 201.

    The Englishman leads South African Dylan Frittelli, who produced the day's best score of 63, and Spain's Jon Rahm, who played in the same group as Rose and matched his 65.

    Rose is looking to be Europe's season-ending No. 1 for the second time. His leading rival for the Race to Dubai title, Tommy Fleetwood, is only two shots behind here after a second straight 65 on the Earth course of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

    Fleetwood did his chances no harm by overcoming a stuttering start before making eight birdies in his final 11 holes to also post a 65. The 26-year-old Englishman was tied for fourth place at 13 under, alongside South African Dean Burmester (65) and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67), who closed with five birdies in a row.

    ''So, last day of the season and I've got a chance to win the Race to Dubai,'' Fleetwood said. ''It's cool.''


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    Masters champion Sergio Garcia, the only other player with a chance to win the Race to Dubai title, is tied for 13th on 10 under after a 67.

    Fleetwood had a lead of 256,737 points going into the final tournament and needs to equal or better Rose's finishing position to claim the title. If Rose doesn't finish in the top five and Garcia doesn't win, Fleetwood will have done enough.

    Rose is hoping to win a third straight tournament after triumphs in China and Turkey.

    Rose, who made some long putts for birdies apart from chipping in on the 13th hole, looked to be throwing away his advantage on the par-5 18th, when his second shot fell agonizingly short of the green and into the water hazard. But with his short game in superb condition, the reigning Olympic champion made a difficult up-and-down shot to stay ahead.

    ''That putt at the last is a big confidence-builder. That broke about 18 inches right-to-left downhill. That's the kind of putt I've been hoping to make. That was a really committed stroke. Hopefully I can build on that tomorrow,'' said Rose. ''I know what I need to do to stay at the top of the leaderboard. If I slip up tomorrow, he's (Fleetwood) right there. He's done everything he needs to do on his end, so it's a lot of fun.''

    The last player to win three tournaments in a row on the European Tour was Rory McIlroy, when he won the Open Championship, the WGC-Bridgestone and the PGA Championship in 2014.

    Fleetwood was 1 over after seven holes but turned it on with a hat trick of birdies from the eighth, and then four in a row from No. 13.

    ''I wanted to keep going. Let's bring the tee times forward for tomorrow,'' quipped Fleetwood after closing with a birdie on the 18th. ''Just one of them strange days where nothing was going at all. A couple sloppy pars on the par 5s, and a bad tee shot on fifth and I was 1-over through seven on a day where scoring has been really good ... Ninth and 10th, felt like we had something going ... it was a really good last 11 holes.''

    If Park is nervous, she sure doesn't show it

    By Randall MellNovember 17, 2017, 11:24 pm

    NAPLES, Fla. – Sung Hyun Park says she can feel her heart pounding every time she steps to the first tee.

    She says she always gets nervous starting a round.

    You don’t believe it, though.

    She looks like she would be comfortable directing a sky full of Boeing 737s as an air traffic controller at Incheon International Airport . . .

    Or talking people off the ledges of skyscrapers . . .

    Or disarming ticking bombs . . .

    “In terms of golf, I always get nervous,” she insists.

    Everything about Park was at odds with that admission Friday, after she took control halfway through the CME Group Tour Championship.

    Her Korean nickname is “Dan Gong,” which means “Shut up and attack.” Now that sounds right. That’s what she looks like she is doing, trying to run roughshod through the Tour Championship in a historic sweep of all the LPGA’s most important awards and honors.

    Park got just one look at Tiburon Golf Club before this championship began, playing in Wednesday’s pro-am. Then she marched out Thursday and shot 67, then came out Friday and shot 65.

    At 12 under overall, Park has a three-shot lead on Caroline Masson and Sarah Jane Smith.

    She is six shots up on Lexi Thompson, who leads the CME Globe point standings in the race for the $1 million jackpot.

    She is 11 shots up on world No. 1 Shanshan Feng.

    And 11 shots up on So Yeon Ryu, who leads the Rolex Player of the Year point standings.


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    There’s a long way to go, but Park is in position to make an epic sweep, to win the Tour Championship, that CME Globe jackpot, the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, the Vare Trophy for low scoring average, the LPGA money-winning title and the Rolex world No. 1 ranking.

    Nobody’s ever dominated a weekend like that in women’s golf.

    It’s all there for the taking now, if Park can keep this going.

    Park has another nickname back in South Korea. Her fans call her “Namdalla.” That means “I am different.” She’ll prove that if she owns this weekend.

    Park, 24, isn’t assuming anything. She’s humbly aware how much talent is flooding the LPGA, how the tour’s depth was underscored in a year where five different players have reigned as world No. 1, five different players won majors and 22 different winners stepped forward in 32 events.

    “I don’t think it’s quite that far a lead,” Park said of her three-shot advantage. “Two, three shots can change at any moment.”

    About those nerves that Park insists plague her, even Hall of Famer Judy Rankin can’t see it.

    Not when Park unsheathes a driver on a tee box.

    “She’s the most fearless driver of the ball out here,” Rankin said. “I would put Lexi a close second and everybody else a distant third. She hits drivers on holes where you shouldn’t, and she hits it long and she just throws it right down there between hazard stakes that are 10 yards apart, like it’s nothing. Now, that’s a little hyperbole, but she will hit driver almost everywhere.”

    David Jones, Park’s caddie, will attest to that. He was on Park’s bag when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in July and won the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in August.

    “She reaches for driver a lot because she is a good driver,” Jones said. “She isn’t reckless. She’s as accurate with a driver as she is a 3-wood.”

    Park and Thompson played together in the first round. Park is eighth on tour in driving distance, averaging 270 yards per drive, and Thompson is third, averaging 274.

    Thompson loves to hit driver, too, but . . . 

    “Lexi hit a lot of 3-woods compared to us when we played together yesterday,” Jones said.

    Jones doesn’t find himself talking Park out of hitting driver much.

    “It’s really simple,” Jones said. “When you hit driver as straight as she does, why mess around?”

    Count Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee, a student of the swing, among admirers of Park’s abilities.

    “No other swing in the game comes close to her technical perfection and elegance in my opinion,” Chamblee tweeted Friday.

    Come Sunday, Park hopes to complete a perfect sweep of the LPGA’s most important awards.