Notes Bubble boys feeling Watneys pain and Pavins phone calls


SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Michael Letzig is on the bubble this week in North Carolina.

Letzig is at No. 125 in the FedEx Cup standings, with the top 125 after this week advancing to the first round of the PGA Tour Playoffs the following week at The Barclays.

Former Masters champion Mike Weir is at No. 126, followed by Jeff Quinney, George McNeill, Brett Quigley and Tom Pernice Jr.

Everyone from No. 100 to No. 125 in the standings has entered the Wyndham Championship this week except for three players – Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin (No. 107), who is playing a Champions Tour major this week; Tiger Woods (No. 108), and Ben Curtis (No. 109).

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: Twice this year, a player had a three-shot lead going into the final round of a major and watched it vanish before reaching the third hole. Dustin Johnson made a triple bogey on the second hole of the U.S. Open, and Nick Watney took a double bogey on the opening hole at the PGA Championship as Johnson made birdie.

For Johnson, it was surreal to watch Watney take three shots to reach the green with a wedge from the fairway.

“I felt his pain, having just been through it,” Johnson said. “It’s hard to explain what you’re going through. It wasn’t like he ever hit a god-awful shot. He got in a terrible lie, and it keeps on multiplying.”

More disturbing to Johnson was to hear the shutter of a camera in Watney’s swing on the par-3 seventh, where he hit into Lake Michigan and took triple bogey to fall out of the lead for good.
Eleven players who were invited to Corey Pavin’s barbecue during the PGA Championship and did not earn an automatic spot on his Ryder Cup team are guaranteed a phone call from him on the night of Sept. 6.

Pavin announces his four captain’s picks the next morning in New York.

“Everyone there will get a call,” Pavin said. “I was with Tom (Lehman) when he made the calls (in 2006), and I just think it’s important to be in touch with everyone.”

Pavin invited the top 20 on the point standings to the informal cookout, along with Ryan Palmer when he cracked the top 20 after his runner-up finish at Firestone.

Just as Paul Azinger did a year ago, Pavin has asked the PGA of America to continue a points list through the next three tournaments. Instead of using statistics, however, Pavin said he was more likely to use his instincts for his picks.

“It will not be based on the standings,” he said. “A lot will be a gut feeling.”
The PGA Championship returns to Whistling Straits in 2015, but it’s never too early to start planning. Herb Kohler says architect Pete Dye plans to be at the course on Friday to start getting ready.

“He has a date – by his own wish – and he’s going to start tinkering,” Kohler said Sunday evening after the tournament was over. “I walked the back nine with him. He has a dozen ideas.”

Is one of them to change the bunkering? Apparently not.

“We may add a couple,” Kohler said.
Louis Oosthuizen missed the cut in every major except the British Open, which he won by seven shots.
“I was in the final group in two majors on Sunday. Obviously, I’m playing good golf.” – Dustin Johnson.