LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Well, this is it. It’s what we’ve been building toward all week. Through the early wake-ups, the rain, the mud, the heat, the crowds, the Hot Browns, the bourbon tastings and the occasional run-in with Amanda Dufner – it’s finally PGA Championship Sunday.
I know I’ve ragged on golf – specifically watching golf in person – a lot this week. Don’t expect me to take any of it back, but at least we’ve arrived at the final round of a major with some very intriguing storylines. Rory could win his second consecutive major. Rickie could finally break through. Phil could show up for the first time this year. Bernd Wiesberger could make tonight’s SportsCenter Top 10, but not No. 1, because there’s no way a relative unknown winning a major championship is bigger than a diving catch in regular season Major League Baseball game.
Anyway, you get my point, I think. Today could be exciting. With that said, lets fast-forward straight to the action.
12:00 p.m. ET – Get to Valhalla. Notice there’s a light sprinkle falling from the sky. Way to literally rain on my parade. Today was going pretty good until, you know, I actually got to the golf course.
12:22 – Head to the media dining room. If there’s ever a problem in life not solved by free food, that problem might be unsolvable.
12:47 – That heavy stuff Carl Spackler was talking about. It’s coming down now.
12:53 – Play is suspended. It’s tough to hear the announcement over this fried chicken, though.
12:55 – Cable goes out. What’s that? We’re stuck in a building with no cable and limited Internet, but unlimited free food. What to do … what to do …
1:13 – Rain starts to let up, I make a run slow crawl toward the media center. I'm moving like that giant blueberry girl from “Willy Wonka,” except imagine if she blew up into something unhealthy, like a fudge brownie.
3:20 – Enough time has passed for me to move again and I've run out of things to do on the Internet. Decide I haven't spent enough money in merchandise tent. Make the trek over there bringing only my credit card.
3:42 – Pull out my credit card to pay for my last-day-of-the-tournament-we-need-to-get-rid-of-this-crap, 20-percent-off Valhalla coffee mug. My credit card looks suspiciously like my hotel key. Epic fail.
4:17 – Head out to course. So. Much. Orange. I'm not sure who the fan-favorite is, but it looks like the Syracuse University mascot threw-up all over the course. And not just on the kids; on their parents, too.
4:46 – Only took me 29 minutes and two missed holes of action to catch up to the marquee group of Mickelson and Fowler. Turns out, a couple other people were watching them, too.
4:47 – David Feherty is wearing some sweet jeans. He could use a chain wallet. Some fans serenade him with his TV show theme song. He seems to enjoy it.
5:15 – Standing behind the green on No. 5. Fans around me (one of whom looks suspiciously like Shia LaBeouf, which is definitely possible since he is not famous anymore) are arguing over scores and positions on the leaderboard. No one seems to care that Francis Ouimet is here.
5:16 – I hear, “Rickie’s in the orange,” as they come down the fairway. Now we know.
5:18 – Phil misses right of the fifth green. Nails someone. What does he carry more of in his bag … wedges or gloves? Things to ponder at night.
5:22 – Rickie chips in for his third consecutive birdie. Crowd goes nuts. Hard to not give a little fist pump, I wouldn’t have cared who it was, it was awesome. Oh, maybe this is why people like coming to these things?
5:23 – Weigh my options of trying to fight through the crowd to catch another big shot or actually watching the rest of the tournament. It’s not really a close call. Back to the media center I go.
5:50 – Make it back to the media center. Place is buzzing.
6:03 – Phil misses an eagle putt on No. 7 by centimeters. People are giddy.
7:20 – Notice Rory is going anti-Bubba. No, not the fact that he hit driver on 10 or that he’s trying to finish closer to first than last. I’m talking about this “Deep V” thing that he’s got going on. Check it out below. Any deeper and he might have to start modeling with Ben Stiller and Andy Samberg.
8:03 - Even Gwen Stefani thinks this tournament is bananas. The media center is freaking out. Mostly about the possibility if them not finishing and having to rearrange their travel plans, but still.
8:43 - Final putt drops, Rory is your champ. I win $60 from our office pool and all is right in the world. Everyone gets to go home and no one has to come back to the course tomorrow.
This whole week has been a wild experience. The Grill Room went from a generally unknown commodity to an established veteran journalistic presence among its peers in the golf industry. At least that's what I'm hearing ... from the Grill Room. Hopefully, Golf Channel will send us out to cover another event again soon. If this didn't convince them, I don't know what will. Don't tune in tomorrow because this is the last of our exclusive PGA Championship coverage. But check out yesterday's running diary here, and continue coming to the Grill Room for more of the lighter side of golf.