From the Rough

Golf without discretion

Archive for August 2010

Is the PGA Tour about to lose Quail Hollow as a tour site?

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Quail Hollow’s run as one of the PGA Tour’s premiere tour stops could be coming to a close in the near future. The Charlotte, NC, course, currently under contract to host the Well Fargo tour event until 2014, could be pulling rank after their contract runs out.

Charlotte Observer golf writer Ron Green Jr. grabbed the scoop earlier today that Quail Hollow is being lined up to host the 2017 PGA Championship. While club president Johnny Harris wouldn’t confirm the announcement, he did anything but deny it, telling the Observer that, “It’s not appropriate for me to comment until after the announcement on Tuesday.”

Assuming Quail Hollow does host the PGA Championship in 2017, it would be the course’s first step towards separating itself from its year-to-year duties as a tour stop. Back in April, Harris gave telling interview to the Charlotte Business Journal (covered on FTR), detailing some of the plans he had in store for the course. Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Jonathan Wall

08/30/2010 at 4:26 pm

Tiger’s struggles tank TV ratings at PGA Championship … but there’s a silver lining

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As much as we’d all like to believe that today’s bumper crop of young golf prodigies are ready to grab the torch and move the sport into the future, last week’s TV ratings from the PGA Championship painted a bleak picture of the influence those golfers have on the tour’s TV ratings in a major championship.

Whether you like it or not, the PGA Tour is still Tiger Woods’ playground.

The USA Today reported the “[PGA Championship] drew an overnight rating down 33% from last year’s comparable coverage.” The decrease in viewers from last year to this year does seem a bit skewed when you realize that last year’s final round coverage had a head-to-head battle between Tiger Woods and Y.E. Yang, an unheralded Asian golfer.

CBS was essentially drawing in the two biggest groups to watch the event: Joe Sports Fan, who only has an interest in Tiger Woods, and the Asian contingent rooting for Yang. Both groups are influential when it comes to TV ratings. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

08/19/2010 at 11:01 am

Johnny Miller has a go at Pete Dye, Whistling Straits bunkers

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The entire golf world knows a gigantic controversy isn’t over until Johnny Miller gives his official, on-the-record opinion on the situation. So it shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that Miller finally gave his take on the Dustin Johnson ruling, and in the process, managed to blast not only Johnson, but Pete Dye and his Whistling Straits design.

“The problem really goes back to the Pete Dye design,” Miller said to Golfweek’s James Achenbach. “It (the Whistling Straits design) is over the top. I would say it to his face. He got carried away with the bunkering.

“Do you need 1,000 bunkers? No. I put about 50 on my courses (Miller has a design business). Pete’s golf course has a lot of good things about it. But the bunkering makes it almost ridiculous.”

OK, I give: What’s the difference between “ridiculous” and “almost ridiculous”? I honestly don’t know. Would a synonym for “almost ridiculous” be absurd?

It’s clear Miller’s not a fan of Whistling Straits, based on his comments from earlier today. But it’s hard not to agree with Johnny’s remarks on the number of bunkers on the course. As one writer said earlier this week, some of those bunkers on the course should have the word ‘waste’ added to them before the 2015 PGA Championship. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

08/18/2010 at 3:15 pm

Monday finish at PGA Championship is definitely in play

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It’s still too early to start making guarantees but if this morning’s second straight fog delay is a sign of things to come, then a Monday finish is definitely in the cards.

After delaying the opening round on Thursday for three-plus hours, Friday’s second round received another two-plus hour delay, with play scheduled to begin at 10:40 am EST. But the fog could be the least of these tournament’s worries.

Thunderstorms are expected to be in the area on Saturday, meaning we could have even more delays along the way. At the rate the tournament is going right now, there’s a good chance the second round won’t be finished until early in the afternoon on Saturday. That would of course mean the tournament would have to find some way to make up for lost time.

78 of the 156 players in the field failed to complete their opening round. That’s staggering when you consider the sheer size of the field at Whistling Straits. Next to the British Open, the PGA has the largest field of the four major championships. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

08/13/2010 at 10:15 am

How about they just make it official?

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Matt Foley and Tiger Woods are both playing coy regarding their possible pupil-coach relationship. After last week’s complete meltdown in Akron, I’m thinking Foley’s looking like a good option for Mr. Woods.

Foley, on the prospect of being Tiger Woods’ coach in the foreseeable future: “… the possibility is there.”

Woods, when asked if there was a chance he could be working with Foley: “Certainly it’s a possibility. But there are a lot of other coaches out there who are a possibility and who I have talked to. I wanted him to take a look at it [the swing] on video and that’s what we did.”

And did I mention Foley’s been coaching Hunter Mahan? I think he beat a certain player by 30 shots last week.

Written by Jonathan Wall

08/10/2010 at 5:00 pm

Posted in Sean Foley, Tiger Woods

European Tour uses Ryder Cup to push tax break

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If you haven’t noticed, the Ryder Cup is only a couple of months away. While most of us are knee-deep in PGA Championship coverage, the European Tour is still fighting the UK government over the current tax rules that apparently are causing golfers to pass over tournaments in the country.

An Associate Press article earlier today noted that the tax rules in the UK could deter some players from playing in the Ryder Cup. Seriously? You expect me to believe guys play in this event for money?

While I’m assuming the AP isn’t completely dense, you needn’t look any further than Anthony Kim to see this event is all about playing for pride and your country. To be honest, I’m pretty sure most players would give up prize money for a spot on the team.

Kim had the opportunity to fight through the pain at the U.S. and British Open; but he decided to err on the side of caution and have the thumb surgery so he could be ready for the Ryder Cup. He was that dead-set on playing in the event. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

08/10/2010 at 4:48 pm

PGA Tour inches inches closer towards new one-in-four rule

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Taking a page from the LPGA’s one-in-four rule, the PGA Tour could be nearing a possible agreement that could see them implement a policy similar to what the LPGA already has in place.

As Doug Ferguson mentioned yesterday, Tim Finchem and the PAC (Player Advisory Council) believe they’ve laid enough groundwork to have the policy in place before the end of the 2010 golf season. That would of course mean the tour’s version of the one-in-four would go live at the start of 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Jonathan Wall

08/04/2010 at 11:35 am

Posted in PGA Tour