| ||NOTES || |
| ||The season`s final major championship is on tap this week with the golf world
slightly tipped on its side. Tiger Woods had his worst professional 72-hole
tournament last week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He was 18-over par
and tied for 78th in an 80- man field. Thank goodness for Henrik Stenson,
right? Shockingly, Woods didn`t lose the No. 1 ranking. Already on the way to
Whistling Straits, Woods had to watch to see if Phil Mickelson could finish
fourth or better. He was tied for 10th at the start of the round, but a
Woods-like disaster on the front nine dropped Lefty down the leaderboard.
Maybe you could trace Woods` galactic decline to this championship last year.
He went into the final round with a two-shot lead over relatively unheralded
Y.E. Yang. It was Yang who became the first player in major championship
history to beat Woods when Tiger went into the final round with at least a
share of first place. Yang parlayed that win into very little this year. The
defending champion has two top 10s in `10 and the last came at the Masters.
Woods and Yang will be re-acquainted this week. The two are paired together
for the first two rounds of this year`s PGA, along with a man who`s had prior
success at the venue. Whistling Straits hosted the PGA Championship six years
ago and Vijay Singh, deep into a great year, prevailed. He defeated Justin
Leonard and Chris DiMarco in a playoff and collected his second Wanamaker
Trophy and third major title. Later that year, Singh became the No. 1 player
in the world. Mickelson won this year`s Masters, while Graeme McDowell
survived the conditions for his first major title at the U.S. Open at Pebble
Beach. The final member of the traditional PGA Championship threesome is
British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen. He ran away with the Open Championship
at St. Andrews and will join Mickelson and McDowell on Thursday and Friday.
The automatic eight qualifiers for the American Ryder Cup team will be
finalized after the PGA Championship. Will Tiger make it or will captain
Corey Pavin use a pick on him? Will Tiger accept if Pavin asks? A lot of
questions, but the landscape will be clearer at the end of play. TNT and CBS
have the coverage. Next week on the PGA Tour is the Wyndham Championship,
which was won by Ryan Moore in 2009. That is the final tuneup for the FedEx
Cup Playoffs, which begin with the Barclays the following week.