Winning first major no easy task

Nick Watney during the final round of the PGA Championship.

Nick Watney during the final round of the PGA Championship.


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SHEBOYGAN, Wis. – Still think it’s not hard for a young player to sleep on the 54-hole lead at a major championship? Well, think again. Golf Channel analyst (and Golfweek contributor) John Hawkins said this morning it’s like sleeping on a prison mattress, and he’s right. Dustin Johnson had his own out-of-body experience at Pebble Beach, where he watched a big Sunday lead evaporate in a handful of holes at the U.S. Open. He played his first seven holes in 7 over. You can bet he can relate to what his buddy Nick Watney is experiencing right now. Watney just dumped a ball into Lake Michigan alongside the par-3 seventh hole, made triple-bogey 6 and now is well back in the pack, already 5 over through seven holes.

Just as Matt Kuchar slipped back quickly a day ago in calm conditions, Watney has gone from first to T-9 with the speed of a Ferrari. Hey, we want to predict great things for so many of these great young players, but we are reminded how difficult it is to win major titles. Maybe that’s why players who have careers the likes of Fred Couples, David Duval and Davis Love III have one apiece, and why other greats such as Colin Montgomerie and Judy Rankin never captured majors.

As they say here in Wisconsin, it can be tough sledding.

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