The wind was howling in South Carolina as the last major championship of the year reaches the half way point. For some reason the PGA Championship feels like it needs to step it up a notch because the Open Championship was so tame…well the second day of the PGA Championship was nothing but tame. With more rounds in the 90’s than in the 60’s (yes that stat is correct, I double checked it), and a scoring average for round two over 78 shots, the best players in the world were truly tested. Only one player was able to mange a round in the sixties and that was none other than PGA Champ Vijay Singh. One round in the 60’s? Yup thats true.
Plenty of big names at the top of our leader board after 36 holes: Carl Pettersson still on top despite a second round 74 (which according to the scoring average he bested the field by 4). A up and down round for the big Swede, but with three birdies and five bogeys Carl is still tied for the lead and could go wire to wire in this one.
Vijay Singh could become the oldest player ever to win a major. While his carrer is reaching an end on the PGA Tour, Vijay is seeing signs of life from his flat stick and will not just yet go quietly into the night. I am secretly rooting for a great third round for Vijay as he would make a great champion…again, and would further solidify his hall of fame carrer.
Ian Poulter finds himself only one shot back going into a major championship weekend. I like Mr. Poulter, he is funny and witty and wears super tight clothes…but he has never won a major or really a PGA Tour event that was not a match play event. I think if Ian can keep his flat stick working, and find those fairways he can more than do some dammage in Kiawh this weekend.
Irishman Rory McIlroy is right in the thick of things going into this weekend. This is the first major this year that Rory has not been grinding to make the cut, but working to win his second major. Rory’s game sets up great for The Ocean Course because he likes to play the high ball and hits it a ton. The only problem with the high ball right now is the wind is killer and more representative of the Open Championship than a PGA Championship, but Rory played a great second round, and has kept himself right there at the top of the pack. Look for Rory to come out swingin on Saturday to get himself into a late Sunday tee time.
Phil Mickelson is arguably playing worse but scoring better than any player in the field. Phil hits shots that look like something you would see from a pro am this week, but the wizard of the short game came to play well and secure himself a spot in the Ryder Cup. Being that he is in the 8th spot right now, he needs a great showing to guarantee himself a spot rather than hope for a captains pick (although who would not pick Phil Mickelson???!). If Phil can keep this up (and we know he can) we could see Philly holding up a Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday and as always being a contender in the PGA Playoffs and the Ryder Cup…its going to be a great fall.
What do you know what do you know Tiger Woods is lurking at the top of the field again in his third major in a row after 36 holes. Both at the US Open and the Open Championship TW was at the top of the leader board (or at the top) and has failed to put a good round together on Saturday to move him into a Sunday final grouping. I am going to go out on a limb, and say that TW will be in the final group on Sunday at the PGA Championship, and he will be the man to beat coming down the stretch Sunday afternoon. I would also like to mention that Tiger Woods, after having one of the lowest rounds on Friday, spent a long time on the putting green at Kiawh after his round with teacher Sean Foley. The man is a true champion, and I do not believe takes anything for granted in golf. He puts on a putting clinic for 17 holes, has one hiccup at the last with a uncharacteristic three putt on the last (I am not counting the three putt on the par five where he went coast to coast putting it off the green) and is the last guy off the putting green on Friday night. You tell me that he does not want this 15th major more than anything else in the world.
I love when the pros struggle, and I hope that the Ocean Course and South Carolina continue to pummel these golfers with everything that it has. I think that the truest champions come out of the toughest conditions, and if the weather continues these guys will be tested through fire. It looks like it is going to be a great weekend.