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Friday, August 10, 2012

Well, the Coastline's Kinda Crooked...

There were several good stories at the PGA Championship on Thursday:
  • Adam Scott's rebound from the Open disaster and the rust of his first rounds back at Firestone. Although I wasn't surprised by it, I'm beginning to think that I'm the only person who wasn't. Apparently Adam is unusual in that he doesn't get his self-worth from his golf score.
  • Tiger's good play. Granted, he didn't burn up the course but he didn't shoot himself in the foot either. He putted well, which was what I was concerned about coming in.
  • The 62 watch surrounding Joost Luiten. (That's pronounced YOAST -- like toast -- LOUten -- like loud -- in case you missed it.) He finally fell back as the wind came up, but it was pretty interesting while it lasted.
  • Carl Pettersson leading. While I'm interested because I consider Carl another North Carolina boy like me, it looks like the story is another long putter in contention at a major.
We might even add the changing weather, since it looks like things will get pretty interesting today.

But I think the big story has to be John Daly's play. We saw flashes of the guy who won the 1991 PGA at Crooked Stick. Yeah, I know it was only the first round and JD might implode by Sunday, but he's been playing really well this year. I think there's a lot to like about his recent resurgence.

In particular, I like the fact that he played so much in Europe early this year. I've developed a theory that perhaps playing a lot in Europe (and the rest of the world) is the key to moving up the OWGR. It's not about gaming the points available at the various tournaments, but having to play on so many different grasses and in so many different types of conditions.

Just take a look at how many players currently win consistently on both sides of the Atlantic and you'll find only one: Luke Donald. Is it a coincidence that he's also #1 in the OWGR? I think not. And even without wins, it appears that the players most consistently in the top 3 or 4 places are playing a fair amount on both sides of the pond.

Likewise, Ben Curtis re-emerged on the PGA Tour after a prolonged period playing overseas earlier this year. And now JD, who's also been playing on both sides of the Atlantic, has found himself in contention in a major again. Again I ask: Is this a coincidence?

And again, I have to say I think not.

At any rate, I'll be watching JD this week to see how he does. He's almost as interesting as the Olympics.

BTW, here's the update on my "5 to Watch" after the first round:
  • Keegan Bradley: T6 (-4)
  • Louis Oosthuizen: T25 (-2)
  • Thorbjorn Olesen: T106 (+3)
  • Luke Donald: T88 (+2)
  • Rory McIlroy: T2 (-5)
Luke and the Thunder Bear are below the cutline. If the weather comes in and they can just hold on, they still might make it to the weekend.

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