Mother Nature vs Monster

By Rich LernerAugust 9, 2008, 4:00 pm
Follow the 90th PGA Championship all week on GOLF CHANNEL. Click for our TV schedule!
 
2008 US Open 81x90BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. ' Grumpy, players went to bed at Oakland Hills on Friday. Shockingly, they woke up at Bermuda Dunes, with Marksang and Jacobsen and Romero and Villegas going bananas.
 
A climb up Everest in sneakers had suddenly become a lazy river ride at the Ritz Carlton.
 
Whether that was part of the plan all along, or a response to the chorus of complaints, we dont really know. Either way, players tossed buckets of birdies at the Monster. And then for good measure Mother Nature piled on, too, turning the beast into a softy.
 
And those whod been longing for the kind of excitement we saw in 2000 at Valhalla got their wish during the network rain delay. Like a fantasy, Tiger was playing and 17 under was leading.
 
In reality, by dinnertime Saturday this PGA Championship had left us little to digest. And the two cold slices of bad pizza I inhaled had no chance of landing gently. This reporter lingered near the clubhouse chatting with players and caddies waiting for word from the PGA of America. When it came, so did the zingers from some guys who are scratch in the quote department.
 
That should be fun, said this weeks media MVP Paul Goydos. 36 holes at Oakland Hills.
 
Ill need therapy when its all over, said Steve Flesch.
 
On the plus side Sunday now becomes a full day for lovers of the game. Youll get meaningful golf in the morning like a British Open, with updates on Live From Early Edition on Golf Channel at 8 a.m. and then live golf on TNT at 11 a.m.
 
Then comes the final round in the afternoon. If you buy the idea that six over or better is in the chase, then 41 guys go to Sunday within seven shots of J.B. Holmes lead. Thats highly unusual, to say the least.
 
At the moment it seems a long ways off, but the guess is that late Sunday the excitement of this last chance quest for a major will drown out the frustration of three uneven and mostly unsatisfying days.
 

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    Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

    By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

    JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

    The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


    Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


    Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

    ''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

    Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 pm
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    Sharma among three Open qualifiers at Joburg Open

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:16 pm

    Shubhankar Sharma earned his first career European Tour win at the rain-delayed Joburg Open and punched his ticket to The Open in the process.

    Sharma returned to Randpark Golf Club Monday morning after storms washed out much of the scheduled final day of play. Beginning the re-start with a four-shot lead, he hung on to win by three over South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen.

    Both men can make travel plans for Carnoustie next summer, as this was the second event in the Open Qualifying Series with three spots available for players not otherwise exempt who finished inside the top 10. The final spot went to Shaun Norris, who tied for third with Finland's Tapio Pulkkanen but had a higher world ranking (No. 192) than Pulkkanen (No. 197) entering the week.

    The Joburg Open was the final official European Tour event of the year. The next tournament in the Open Qualifying Series will be the SMBC Singapore Open in January, where four spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 6, Dustin Johnson

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 12:00 pm

    Only Dustin Johnson could win four times in 2017 and it still feels as though he underachieved.

    That’s unfair, perhaps, but it’s a testament to Johnson’s awesome ability – and his incredible run of form last spring – that observers can’t help but shake the feeling that his year could have been even better.

    In February, he rose to the top of the world rankings for the first time, the culmination of a long, bizarre journey in which he often battled himself (through major blunders and, reportedly, drug-related suspensions) as much as his peers. Johnson’s blowout victory at Riviera was his first of three consecutive titles (including two WGCs), as he achieved Tiger-like levels of dominance and rolled into the Masters as the prohibitive favorite.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    Expectations for this star-crossed talent are always different, and so the surprise wasn’t that he blew that major but that he didn’t even give himself a chance. In one of the biggest stunners of the year, Johnson’s manager announced on the eve of the first round that his client had suffered a back injury while slipping on a set of stairs in his rental house. Just like that, the year’s first major was thrown into chaos, with Johnson unable to play – the line of demarcation in his good-but-not-great year.

    Though he added a playoff victory at the end of the season, Johnson failed to factor in any of the remaining three majors and was surprisingly inconsistent, perhaps because of swing compensations after the injury.

    Would DJ have denied Sergio Garcia a green jacket? Would he have created even more separation at the top of the world rankings? Would he have defended his Player of the Year title? Unfortunately, we’ll never know.

    In typical DJ fashion, he left us to ponder what could have been.

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