by Jeff Skinner
1. Early in Jack Nicklaus’ golf course design career he caught a lot of criticism for building extremely difficult courses. Muirfield was setup fairly this week but those greens drove everyone crazy. With speeds of 14 on the stimp-meter plenty of pros were shaking their heads.
2. Tiger Woods seemed to have a real tough time on the greens, but he had a tough time everywhere on the course this week. But give Tiger a break…four wins already gets him a pass. And like he said it was just one of those weeks.
3. The Golf Channel was putting the full court press on Slow Play all week. The Morning Drive covered it daily and now they have those Charlie Rymer and Matt Ginella bits with Matt hamming it up as the slow playing “Knucklehead.” They are as corny as can be but maybe some of these “Knuckleheads” will get the message.
4. Matt Kuchar now has six PGA Tour wins and they keep coming at more significant tournaments. He has a FedEx Cup win at The Barclays, a WGC Match Play win, a Players Championship and a win at Jack’s house. We all know what’s next…could the consistent Kuchar get it done at Merion? Why not?
5. The PGA Tour is full of nice guys and there are plenty of “on camera” nice guys. But Kuchar is the real deal: he’s just a plain old nice guy, who happens to be playing some really good golf.
6. Nothing was clicking for Rory McIlroy this week and he could never dig out of the hole he dug for himself with an opening round 78. Maybe his off course changes combined with his on course changes had an effect on the youngster. Or maybe we are seeing one of the streakiest players on tour. When he’s on he’s really on. When he’s off…forget about it.
7. Cheers for Karrie Webb and her 39th career LPGA Tour win at the Shoprite LPGA Classic. It seems like she has been winning forever out there. This is her 19th year on tour and she shows no signs of slowing down. She’s won twice at the Wegman’s LPGA Championship already. Can she go back to back this week?
8. Here’s another case of the Champions Tour giving golfers a second career. Russ Cochran claimed his fourth Champions Tour win at the Principal Charity Classic and has earned over five million dollars. On the PGA Tour he had a single win and over five million in career money. That Champions Tour is a pretty good deal.
9. Getting to listen to Jack Nicklaus all weekend at The Memorial is one of the perks that makes his tournament so special. As far as the anchoring ban, Jack says the USGA and the R&A have been doing a pretty good job with the rules for over a century. So maybe the PGA Tour should listen to them and follow the rules of golf. You hear that Mr. Finchem?
10. So today is billed as “Golf’s Longest Day” as The Golf Channels follows the hopes and dreams of amateurs and professional alike with their wall to wall coverage of the final day of U.S. Open qualifying. The qualifying has been going on for years but ten years ago who ever would have thought that there would be live television coverage of this. I will say this, after watching some of the coverage last year it was very compelling. I’ll do my best to catch some of it again today.
Bonus. Ten days to the U.S. Open and who looks like they’ll be on form? Tiger will get the attention but can Kuchar keep it up? Can Adam Scott keep his Grand Slam hopes alive? Will Phil Mickelson break the curse and finally win an Open? Is Rory going to find it at Merion? Or will we have another first time major winner? Anything can happen at the Open and it usually does.