Also around for the last two major championship rounds of the year will be Tiger Woods, Padraig Harrington and European Tour rules official John Paramor. Lets hope their paths dont cross this time.
Golfs Olympic bid: There remains a substantial hurdle, by way of the full International Olympic Committees vote in October, and a host of unresolved details ' format, selection process, host city and scheduling ' but Thursdays announcement that golf had made the final cut was a global boost by any measure.
Thats our vision, said Joe Steranka, the CEO of the PGA of America. If we (currently) have 90 million people play golf world wide thats going to grow exponentially.
Just imagine the possibilities: the worlds best return from the British Open, take a week off before heading to Chicago for the Olympic Games, say at a classic old gem like Chicago Golf Club, before closing the season with the PGA at Baltusrol in New Jersey, the PGA Tour Playoffs (starting in New York) and the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National. Then we can all exhale.
Kerry Haigh: Sheepish and straightforward, the PGA of Americas top setup man is determined not to let U.S. Golf Association counterpart Mike Davis corner the market on reason.
Hazeltine National is big and burly and buffeted on Friday by the kind of wind and baked by the kind of sun that can turn a fair golf course into a forced march. But Haigh and the PGA softened the Minnesota monsters rough edges, largely avoided the tips and even added a dollop of drama amid all the muscle with a drivable par 4 (299-yard 14th).
The result? A demanding test that most players agreed was hard but fair, the ultimate accolade for any major venue.
Barclays: According to Golf World magazine, Tiger Woods may play the post-season opener at Liberty National in New Jersey. It will be the first time the world No. 1 has played the Playoff starter and a ready-made stimulus package for a Tour fighting an uphill battle with sponsors.
Even with a reworked points system, its hard to believe Woods must play The Barclays to win the Playoff race given his track record at Cog Hill (four victories in 12 starts), TPC Boston (1 for 5) and East Lake (1 for 6). This one, it appears, is for the good of the team.
Made Cut ' Did not finish (MDF)
John Paramor: Numerous players tracked down the European Tour rules official this week to offer a similar message: Well done, was the collective kudo.
Paramors high-profile brush last week with Woods and Harrington caused a media maelstrom but seemed to have the support of many players who have learned that life on the clock can be demanding but the rule applies to everyone.
If youre going to put the first group off on the clock, you have to do it to the last group as well, said one player.
Tiger Woods: Hate to waffle on this one, but Stopwatch-Gate launched a debate that rivals the national healthcare deliberations.
The competitor within Woods, and the fan within most people, wanted a classic duel to play out the way the golf gods intended, unimpeded by an officials stopwatch, and there is no doubt Harrington rushed on the pivotal 16th hole at Firestone. One player pointed out he took just 12 seconds to hit his chip from behind the green.
Yet the world No. 1 was moved enough by the episode to speak up and risk being fined. Whether you agree with him or not, you have to respect the mans passion for the moment.
John Daly: JD four-putted his final hole on Thursday, signed his card and bolted through the Hazeltine National clubhouse on his way out of town, never looking up to see Tim Herron, the first alternate who spent the day waiting for a tee time in his car that never came.
On his Twitter account, Daly said the back injury he sustained two years ago at the Honda Classic flared up again, although were not sure how that impacts his putting.
Injuries rarely come with itineraries, but it would have been nice to see Lumpy at Hazeltine National, a local course for the Minnesota native who will never get a chance to play a major in front of a hometown crowd again.
Michael Vick: Although not golf related, some missed cuts transcend genre.
Less than 12 hours after the convicted felon signed a contract to play for the Philadelphia Eagles, his former team the Atlanta Falcons announced a program to start selling team logoed license plates to fans for $25.
That one is too easy.
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