A few thoughts on the PGA Championship, in no particular order.
First, congratulations to Martin Kaymer on the win. He’s been talked about for a couple of years as a possible superstar and hopefully this will be just the start for him.
It’s a real shame what happened to Dustin Johnson. I blame the course and the PGA of America. There are just TOO many bunkers on that course. And recognizing that the crowds were going to destroy a good many of them, the PGA should have declared bunkers outside the ropes as waste areas. I agree with David Feherty that I would have never thought such a tramped down area would be a bunker. It looked like a lot of the area outside the rope you see at any major golf event. There was a lot of those sort of smashed, ground to the dirt just outside the ropes at Oakland Hills when I watched the PGA Championship there.
Still, in hindsight, it’s clear that Dustin should at least have asked someone.
Aside from the squalid ending of regulation, the 2010 PGA Championship was a terrific show. In the last couple of hours, there was a pile of guys wearing white belts in contention—a youth movement that the PGA Tour hasn’t seen in quite a while: victorious Martin Kaymer, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, Camilo Villegas, and more.
What is it with those white belts anyway? They’re hideous.
Aside from Steve Elkington, the old guard was back in the pack. In spite of a terrific Sunday, Mickelson finished T12; Stricker, Els, Cink T18; Furyk, 24; Tiger, 28 and on and on.
Looking back on 2009, I think its obvious that Tiger’s fall began at the PGA when Y.E. Yang stared him down and took a major from under the big cat’s nose. We may look back on the 2010 PGA Championship as the one where the currently under-30 crowd finally took their place.
I’m also not sure what to make of this string of first time Major Winners:
2010 U.S. PGA – Martin Kaymer
2010 British Open – Louis Oosthuizen
2010 U.S. Open – Graeme McDowell
2009 U.S. PGA – Yang Yong-eun
2009 British Open – Stewart Cink
2009 U.S. Open – Lucas Glover
2009 U.S. Masters – Trevor Immelman
It is of course too soon to tell if any of these first-timers will ever repeat. But my gut tells me we’re going to get another year’s worth of first timers and perhaps another year after that. I don’t recall any of the guys on the list being in contention in a major prior to winning. And there really wasn’t any foreshadowing as to the eventual outcome. They’re fine players all—but Martin Kaymer perhaps aside—no one saw those coming.
I wonder if the controversy has hurt Whistling Strait’s chances of getting future championships. They’re already scheduled for another PGA, and the Ryder Cup. But after that?