Sunday, August 26, 2012

Trending: Quick Takes on Golf's Progress

I would've picked Tina Fey and Karen O, but at least Augusta National finally invited a couple of women to join its august membership roles. Naturally, Condi Rice and Darla Moore accepted on the spot.

My brief take on the week's big news story, and a few other interesting golf trends, is now up for your reading pleasure right here.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

How Predictable: Most of My 2012 Calls Were Wrong

So back in January I decided to forecast the 2012 golf season, gazing into my crystal Titleist and coming up with... Well, not much to be proud of. I did get a few things right, though. An assessment of my prognosticational prowess is now featured at

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Advantage: McIroy

So Team A-Game kinda went down in flames over the weekend at Kiawah Island. I'm not sure Secretariat could have kept pace with the blossoming thoroughbred named Rory McIlroy.

It was another command performance by the 23-year-old Northern Irishman, who added an 8-shot PGA Championship victory to his 2011 U.S. Open win of the same margin and, hopefully, ended titillating speculation that his girlfriend, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, is bad for his game. For now, I'm holding off on the obvious Tiger Woods comparisons. But they're certainly worth exploring.

As for Woods himself, it was deja vu all over again at the Ocean Course. Two solid rounds and a spot at or near the top of the leaderboard, followed by a weekend of mediocrity. In a rare and welcome bit of candor, Tiger admitted to pressing in the majors this year -- exactly as I and many others suspected. Granted, it was pretty obvious...

The majors are over, the Ryder Cup coming up. And we may soon hear from the USGA and R&A on the future legality of anchored putters. How long can Webb Simpson, Ernie Els, Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley hold their collective breath?

If long wands are banned, McIlroy gains further advantage over his peers. Just what the young fella needs.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Team A-Game Dominating at Kiawah

Is it too early to gloat about picking Vijay Singh as one of my five pre-tourney favorites at the PGA Championship? I think not.

On Friday, Singh posted a 3-under-par 69 that looked better and better as scores went higher and higher on Kiawah Island's brutal, wind-raked Ocean Course. By day's end, Singh's was the only round in the 60s on a day when two golfers, both club pros, failed to break 90. The average score was 78.11.

Vijay's tied for the lead at 4-under with Tiger Woods, another of my picks (admittedly, not exactly a wild card). I've also got Graeme McDowell (T11 at even par) and Louis Oosthuizen (T56 at +5). My No. 1 choice, Matt Kuchar, is gone with the wind after an 82 -- crushing my preseason prediction of a major victory for Kooch this year.

Can Vijay pull it off? Sure he can. But I don't think he will. Tiger's putting brilliantly and if he sharpens up his irons just a touch, that long-awaited 15th major is in the bag.

Enjoy the weekend.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A-Game All-Stars in Good Shape At PGA

So how did Team A-Game do on day one of the PGA Championship? Well, I'm a pretty happy captain.

Leading the charge is Graeme McDowell, tied for sixth with a 4-under-par 68 (2 behind leader Carl Pettersson). Then come Tiger Woods (T14, 69), Louis Oosthuizen (T25, 70) and Vijay Singh (T32, 71). Matt Kuchar (T45, 72) -- my pre-tourney favorite -- brings up the rear, but he's far from out of it with three rounds remaining.

A big storm blew across Kiawah Island's Ocean Course in the wee small hours this morning, and today's forecast is for occasional storms and more wind. Hopefully we'll see somewhat less benign conditions than yesterday.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Kuchar, Woods Lead Pre-PGA Picks

Without further delay, my picks for the 2012 PGA Championship, now just hours away at Kiawah Island's rain-soaked Ocean Course:
  1. Matt Kuchar -- Sticking with my prediction of a major for Kooch this year. It helps that he lives, plays and practices just down the coast at Sea Island.
  2. Tiger Woods -- He'll need a minimum of two good putting rounds and better wedge play, but otherwise he's clicking on all cylinders.
  3. Graeme McDowell -- Contended in the last two majors, and the closer he gets to the sea, the better he plays. You can't much closer than Kiawah.
  4. Louis Oosthuizen -- A fine player in fine form. What's not to like?
  5. Vijay Singh -- Call it a hunch, based on solid recent play and a previous PGA win on a similar Pete Dye course (2004, Whistling Straits). I'm not a big Vijay fan, but it would be cool to see a 49-year-old win a major.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Livin' the Dream, But Not at Augusta

The 10 golf courses on my personal bucket list do not include Augusta National. Read my new piece at to find out which tracks made the cut.