Mark Rolfing - August 1, 2012

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Golf Channel on NBC Analyst Mark Rolfing will be guest hosting Morning Drive with Gary Williams on Thursday August 2nd and Friday August 3rd but was in Akron for Wednesday’s edition of the program. The PGA Championship is next week but Rolfing said there is also a lot of anticipation and buzz about the Ryder Cup. Even though we are two months away from the Ryder Cup at Medinah, players are excited about it and the buzz is just incredible. The 2012 Ryder Cup will probably be the highest grossing tournament ever and Chicago is excited to be the host city.

Adam Scott is making his first start since the Open Championship and Rolfing expects Scott to play well this week because it is a course that plays to Scott’s strengths and it is a place where he has played well in the past. You also cannot underestimate the significance and value of Steve Williams as Scott’s caddie. Williams has an incredible amount of experience and we have seen the impact that he has had on Scott’s preparation and his confidence.

Tiger Woods has not played well at Firestone in each of the last two years but he has won this event seven times. Rolfing will be interested to see what Tiger’s on-course strategy will be during the first two rounds especially if Tiger decides to play as conservatively as he did during the U.S. Open and The Open Championship. If the conditions on Thursday are as perfect as they have been on Tuesday and today, he could see Tiger playing a bit more aggressively.

Rolfing thinks that Davis Love III will have a difficult time making his four Captain’s Picks next month and Phil Mickelson can make the job easier by finishing in the top 8 in points after the PGA Championship. Two other players that Love III is focusing on are Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk. Both have proven themselves as Ryder Cup stalwarts and Love III certainly hopes that they turn in some good performances over the next few weeks.