The Buzz on the 92nd PGA Championship

by Vern on August 30, 2010

As the 92nd PGA Championship gets started at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, the golf world is abuzz with predictions and excitement for what promises to be a fascinating tournament. Last year’s winner, defending champion Y. E. Yang returns to the green against a pretty thoroughly de-clawed Tiger, whose game is in shreds of its former glorious self.

The Bridgestone Invitational last week was what could well be considered a train wreck for Tiger. After having won that championship seven times in the past, he delivered so poorly this time that some people are considering it his most discouraging week of his entire professional career. And that is saying a lot, considering how things have been going for him ever since the beginning of his downward personal and professional spiral. He placed 78th this time. He hasn’t placed that low since 1996 at the Greater Milwaukee Open: his professional start.

And worse, at times it rather seemed like Woods didn’t even particularly care. He took some shots without first even doing a practice swing, and even took what Nick Faldo called a “suicide shot”, trying to reach the 16th green in two, which Woods never used to do. Some thought that for all his personal troubles and persistent media questioning, maybe Woods would find a sort of refuge or sanctuary in his golf game. As golf fans instead watch the once-adored golf legend regress in his game, it’s pretty clear that isn’t the case.

So the 92nd PGA tournament promises to be a telling historical benchmark on the current status of the game. Tiger’s game is faltering and while Mickelson won this year’s Masters, he hasn’t done much else and still isn’t able to overtake Woods for the coveted rank of No. 1. Maybe with the big names sputtering a bit, the 92nd PGA Tournament could well be the time that some new names become household names. This tournament could be the definitive ushering in of a new era.

For example, Ernie Els, who won twice on the PGA Tour this year and has been delivering well overall. Or Luke Donald, Steve Stricker, and Jim Furyk, who have all had a good season, with Stricker and Furyk both being multiple winners on the PGA Tour.

This is the second PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. Vijay Singh won the first one here back in 2004, trailed in second place by Justin Leonard who is coming into this year’s tournament performing well. Rory McIlroy is also doing well and he is one of the favorite young players currently in the game. He has been an up and coming player for some time now and no doubt about due for a breakout tournament that will make people sit up and take definitive notice. And though Padraig Harrington missed the cut at St. Andrews, he’ll be entering this year’s PGA Tournament on an upswing after coming in tied for Ninth Place at Firestone. Harrington’s is always a name mentioned as a favorite, but maybe it could be time for the volume to be turned up a little bit more on that.

For sure, between the drama and intrigue surrounding the major darlings (or former darlings) of golf, the possibility of the emergence of a new golf star, and the extreme challenge of the course itself at Whistling Straits, this certainly promises to be a thrilling week in golf.

About the Author: The College of Golf is a division of Keiser University and a golf college. To view the program options at the College of Golf, visit CollegeofGolf.com.

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