He didnt win. But the man seven years older than Woods did make a grand entrance on the major tournament radar screen. And so now, it begs the question...whos next?
The history of the PGA Championship says that names often become NAMES not by winning, but in fact contending. Look no further back than Sergios coming out party at Medinah, or Steve Strickers chase of Vijay Singh at Sahalee in 1998. Despite a few wins on his resume, did anybody really know much about Kenny Perry before the 1996 PGA battle with eventual winner Mark Brooks at Valhalla? Likewise, the emergence of Jim Gallagher Jr. in the 1992 PGA at Bellerive in St. Louis, eventually won by Nick Price.
So, again...who's next? Chris DiMarco might not count. He was Bob May-like for two days at Augusta this year, and has already proven himself as a worthy contender week in and week out on the PGA Tour. So perhaps Chris Smith, a veteran of Buy.com Tour wins and money, still looking for a breakout week where potential as an up-and-coming star materializes. Or what about Brett Quigley? Like Smith, a long hitter, with immense potential whos contention this year on the PGA Tour has been a bit overdue if you poll those who follow the game. How bout Harrison Frazar? Also a long hitter and a bit heavy in the pocket as well. His contention in tournaments isnt quite satisfying enough anymore. Money is nice, majors mean more. Steve Flesch has not yet won a PGA Tour event, and in many books tops the 'best player without a win' list. Dont forget Jonathan Kaye either. This is a young man whos not afraid to win, although it hasnt yet happened. Greg Chalmers, the smooth-swinging Aussie, is filled with talent and blessed with a great swing. The PGA is a perfect place for him to enter stage-right.
Just some names to consider, because as recent history in majors tells us, you never know when the next Chris DiMarco might hang tight at the Masters, the next Retief Goosen outlast folks at the U.S. Open, or the next Brian Watts might wow us from the bunker at a British. This week its the PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club. The PGA likes to bill itself as Glorys Last Shot, and you just never know who might get a piece of the storyline. Keep your eyes open!