Notes: Harrington on hold; Oak Hill trips Jimenez
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Padraig Harrington can't nail down much of an upcoming schedule until he sees how he does in the Wyndham. But there is no shortage of options for players and the Irishman has one more than most – the Grand Slam of Golf at Port Royal GC in Bermuda (Oct. 15-16).
As defending champion, Harrington is first alternate should any of the major winners opt not to play. Presently, Masters champ Adam Scott and U.S. Open winner Justin Rose are committed, and speculation is that Jason Dufner, still riding high after his PGA Championship triumph at Oak Hill, will look favorably upon the two-day, 36-hole party.
But Phil Mickelson, owner of the Claret Jug? He did not play in each of his last two times eligible (2006, '10), after having won in 2004 (a memorable second-round 59) and being second in 2006. He would have to be considered a longshot for the GSOG, especially since he's already lined up to play in Malaysia and China later in October.
Harrington lost in GSOG playoffs in 2007 and '08, the first two years the tournament was moved to Bermuda, and got in last year when Ernie Els did not play.
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A par 4 of thoughts, observations, and wonderments as we await word on whether the PGA Tour's European headquarters will be in London or Paris – or dare we suggest the Golfers Corner Lounge Bar in the Dunvagen.
1. When the normally reserved and totally diplomatic Adam Scott suggests that the PGA Tour dropped the ball by not agreeing to the request to change the Presidents Cup scoring format, you have to wonder if commissioner Tim Finchem listened. Scott said if the International team were to lose again this year, the event would be meaningless to him. Ouch.
2. To help the International cause, invites should be in the mail to Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Hideki Matsuyama.
3. Next year's major venues suit Tiger Woods because they'll be at Augusta, Pinehurst, Hoylake and Valhalla? They'd suit him better if they were at Torrey Pines, Bay Hill, Firestone and Isleworth.
4. So, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter poke fun at golf fans who scream illogical things right before the PGA Tour swings into what arena? Ah, yes. New York.
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A third trip back to Oak Hill CC in 18 years (1995 Ryder Cup, '03 PGA, '13 PGA) and nothing has changed with our perception. It is one, big, demanding golf course. No doubt the players who are still licking their wounds from last week's action would agree.
Some scoring peculiarities:
• Miguel Angel Jimenez twice made five consecutive birdies in the PGA Championship, but it's not like he didn't find trouble elsewhere at Oak Hill. Specifically the grueling close, Nos. 16, 17 and 18. Jimenez played those holes in 7 over. David Hearn and Ian Poulter were also 7 over on those holes, though none of them had as much trouble as Matteo Manassero. The talented Italian went 10 over on the last three holes.
• Dustin Johnson probably doesn't understand what the fuss was about, however. He was 2 under on 16 through 18.
• As for Hunter Mahan, it was Nos. 5, 6 and 7 that crushed his hopes. He was 10 over on those holes.
• Phil Mickelson? He was 6 over on the par-4 seventh. Josh Teater (four bogeys) struggled there, too.
• Ryan Palmer had his heartache at the par-3 third, with four consecutive bogeys.
• Some things just can't be explained. D.A. Points, for instance, was 15 over on three holes at Oak Hill (the par-4 seventh, par-4 10th and par-3 11th) – but 11 under on the other 15 holes.
• Gary Woodland and Kiradech Aphibarnrat were the only two players to have their way with the par-5 13th. Woodland made an eagle and three birdies; Aphibarnrat posted four birdies.
• Speaking of Woodland, think he had a wild start to his third round? He went bogey, bogey, birdie, double bogey, triple bogey, bogey – and then he made a par.
• Neither Sergio Garcia nor Thorbjorn Olesen had a grip on the dogleg-left, par-4 first hole. Each played it 5 over.
• Justin Rose made 13 birdies on the front, just three on the back.
• Thongchai Jaidee and Henrik Stenson might have differing views of the par-4 eighth. The Thai bogeyed it all four days; the Swede made four birdies.
• The par-4 14th was no problem for Webb Simpson. He made four birdies. But the par-4 fifth? He played it in 5 over.
• Simpson should have had Jonas Blixt's blueprint for the fifth. The Swede made four straight birdies there.
• Nice symmetry for Keegan Bradley at the par-4 18th: a 3, a 4, a 5 and a 6.
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Take a bow, you crowd of 13 who made the cut in majors this season, and their cumulative scores for the 16 rounds:
- Adam Scott . . . 2 over
- Jason Day . . . 2 over
- Jason Dufner . . . 4 over
- Henrik Stenson . . . 4 over
- Lee Westwood . . . 10 over
- Tiger Woods . . . 14 over
- Matt Kuchar . . . 15 over
- Brandt Snedeker . . . 19 over
- Phil Mickelson . . . 21 over
- Dustin Johnson . . . 22 over
- Sergio Garcia . . . 27 over
- K.J. Choi . . . 33 over
- Martin Kaymer . . . 34 over