The 90th PGA Championship will begin Thursday at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Here are some groups worth keeping an eye on come Round 1.
*Starting on 10th tee
7:30 a.m. ET: Bradley Dean, Briny Baird, Alastair Forsyth
The first group out off the first tee. Dean is one of 20 PGA club professionals competing this week. A hundred bucks says you cant name two more (I dont really have a hundred bucks).
8:15 a.m. ET*: Jim Furyk, Colin Montgomerie, Aaron Baddeley
Unlike for the U.S. Ryder Cup team, the automatic spots for the European team will not be finalized the Monday after the PGA. Still, this may well be Montys last chance to impress Euro captain Nick Faldo. Or he could play well enough to make the team on his own. Or he could start groveling, which is probably what Faldo would prefer.
8:25 a.m. ET*: Sergio Garcia, Anthony Kim, Camilo Villegas
Ladies and ladies, this is your 8:25 a.m. tee time on the 10th hole. The winner could come from this group. So, too, could lots of random phone numbers.
8:45 a.m. ET*: Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson, Rich Beem
Some people are wondering if Mickelson will be able to bounce back from his poor finish at the WGC-Bridgestone and contend this week. Im wondering if Beem will actually play 36 holes before heading home or just quit midway through the first round like he did at Royal Birkdale.
9:00 a.m. ET: Hunter Mahan, Richard S. Johnson, Jerry Kelly
Mahan is currently 11th in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings, with the top 9 (taking into consideration Tiger Woods is No. 1 and will not compete) earning exempt status onto the team. Given his little hissy fit last week, Mahan might want to make it on his own volition and not count on being a captains pick ' assuming he wants to play. On a side note, the PGA of America should have put Nicolas Thompson in his group instead of Jerry Kelly. Then you would have had a 'Hunter' an 'S.' and a 'Thompson.' Trippy.
9:15 a.m. ET*: Prayad Marksaeng, Sonny Skinner, Peter Hanson
My dad has played golf with Sonny Skinner. Thats all I have for this group.
1:15 p.m. ET: Trevor Immelman, Angel Cabrera, Padraig Harrington
This is the threesome which would have included Tiger Woods, this years U.S. Open champion. Instead, Masters champ Immelman and Open champion Harrington will get to enjoy the company of 2007 U.S. Open winner Angel Cabrera. Meanwhile, Tiger gets to watch the event on TV instead of going for a third consecutive Wanamaker Trophy. I'd feel sorry for him if he wasn't married to a Swedish bikini model and worth more money than our national debt.
1:25 p.m. ET: Bubba Watson, Rocco Mediate, Nick Dougherty
Like Mahan, Mediate has never played on a Ryder Cup team. Unlike Mahan, Mediate would very much like to do so. Hes currently 13th in the standings. Considering Azinger has four captains picks this year (which he won't announce until Sept. 2), there is a good bet that one of them will be used on Rocco.
1:30 p.m. ET*: Paul Azinger, Jay Haas, Michael Campbell
The PGA could have had some fun and put Azinger alongside Mediate or Mahan ' or better yet, Woody Austin. Woodys currently one spot away from automatically qualifying for the U.S. team. Watching Woody try to make the team and impress the captain all at once would have been better than watching a bear roller-skate on ice ' a bear with anger-management issues.
2:05 p.m. ET: Kenny Perry, Retief Goosen, Justin Rose
Finally! Kenny Perry will compete in a major championship. Word is he tried to play in the Nationwide Tours Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open this week, but withdrew his petition when he found out there would be no Ryder Cup points available.