Friday, August 08, 2008

Stuck at the office with no TV? Fear not, Michael Walker Jr., senior editor for GOLF Magazine, is here Friday to fill you in on all the goings-on at Oakland
Hills. Stay with him from 4-7 p.m. EST as he live blogs the
broadcast. John Garrity, senior writer for Sports Illustrated, blogged the early coverage. Join the conversation by posting comments at the link below.

7:02 p.m. Well, this blog ends when I hear TNT play those opening bars of the Law & Order theme, and my reaction is similar to Fred Flinstone's when the whistle blows in the quarry. But before I go, I have some winners to announce in our J.B Holmes Leads the PGA Championship" Headline Contest. The grand prize goes to T Hale for "PHONE HOLMES!!! J.B. Leads PGA!!!" And Bric takes the best song parody award for his entry:
Oh, give me a holmes where the birdies don't roam
Where the O'Hair and the Azinger play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the Oakland Hill greens are dry all day
Holmes, holmes on the range (or course)
How often at night where Daly drinks outta sight (sorry JD)
With the plight of the glittering pars
Have I stood there amazed and asked as I played
If their pocketbooks exceeds that of ours
T and Bric, I'll be in touch Monday with your prizes. Thanks to everybody who read the blog and who posted. Live coverage of the PGA continues today on and we'll be back live-blogging tomorrow. Bye! 6:55 p.m. Phil just made his third-straight bogey on 17, droping him to 3-over. Fortunately, he'll run out of holes before he can hurt himself too badly. One of the main reason's the game misses Tiger so much is that Phil has disappeared for much of the year too. If he's in contention Sunday, casual sports fans will be checking the TV. He's always worth watching, even though you're never sure what you'll get. 6:45 p.m. Golf Magazine editor at large Connell Barrett, the Artie Lange of the Press Tent Blog, just emailed some thoughts on the tournament:
"You've heard of sneaky long? Ben Curtis is sneaky good. True, he's about as exciting as watching someone watch paint dry. But he has his British Open win, two more Tour wins, and he's poised to make a run at major no. 2. Meet the new Andy North!"
"I've never seen a PGA play this hard. Rumor has it that Lee Westwood has invoked his rights under the Geneva Convention." Ba-da-boom!
"It looks like Mickelson has abandoned that putting-imaginary-balls-in-a-circle pre-shot routine on the greens. This is a good thing. Phil needs to putt by feel. He's one of the greatest feel putters of all time, and any drill that makes him putt in a mechanical style is a bad thing."
"Speaking of putting, Sergio 4-putts! Yikes. He'll have to work hard to silence the chatter that must be running through his mind. It probably sounds like 'The View' up there."
Thanks for stopping by, Connell. You can catch him at Rascal's later this summer. 6:40 p.m. An incredible youthful-looking Aaron Baddeley recounts his 1-over round, which leaves him 2-over for the tournament. This ought to make for a great "What I Did on My Summer Vacation" essay when Aaron starts the 11th grade. 6:33 p.m.  Sergio Garcia four-putts to double-bogey 17 and fall back to 2-over. Eldrick from Orlando emails: "Man, that guy would be pretty good if he got a shave and a putting stroke. Not that I've been watching." 6:30 p.m. TNT interviews the other Singh (Jeev Milkha) who finished the day at 2-over for the tournament. Singh's ankle is hurting him so bad that he plans to take the next four months off. In the year of the injured champion (Tiger's leg at Torrey Pines and Padraig's wrist at Birkdale), Singh's ankle actually sounds auspicous, as does his Olympic pedigree (his father was legendary Olympic sprinter Milkha Singh). 6:22 p.m. Anthony Kim chips in for birdie on No. 17 to get back to 4-over. I'm on board with the AK era and he really adds electricity to a tournament when he's sniffing around the lead. One caveat: After a bad final round at the British Open, Kim stormed off the course and blew off his media interview. That's not a capital crime, of course, I'm just saying... 6:15 p.m. producer Anne Szeker emails: "I know Charl Schwartzel made six birdies on the back nine--but are fist pumps really appropriate for a Friday when you're six-over-par?" Tough audience, that Anne. 6:09 p.m. Golf Magazine senior writer Cameron Morfit just sent me an cut update from the press tent at Oakland Hills: "All the 8s will probably make it. Azinger is at 8. He said if 8 doesn't make it he'll quit the game."
An 8-over cut line would send John Daly (9-over) home, but Jim Furyk (8-over) would be alive and certainly thinking that he has a shot at this thing. 5:58 p.m. We have a new leader in the "Holmes leads PGA Championship" headline content.
T. Hale posts: "PHONE HOLMES!!! J.B. Leads PGA!!!"
And they say Phil will be tough to beat.
Also, Mike Richardson asks if "Eldrick fron Orlando" will be writing in again today. Mike, I expect to get something from him shortly.
And James Klay wants to know why no one's feeling Justin Rose, who shot 67 today. Good point, James. I guess people are skeptical of Rose, who's played well early many times only to vanish on the weekend. BTW, doesn't he kind of look like a hobbbit? Compare these pics: Frodo and Justin. 5:40 p.m. With this course playing so hard, the 2008 PGA Championship is starting to feel like a major and not the American Ryder Cup Qualifier tournament. Still, Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher (and Friend of the Press Tent Blog) Brian Mogg writes in that what we see this weekend won't make U.S. captain Paul Azinger's decisions any easier. "No matter how anyone plays in the PGA and the next couple tournaments, Paul Azinger is still going to have a tough time making his four captain’s picks so most of the guys on the bubble—guys like Woody Austin, Hunter Mahan, Rocco Mediate and Sean O’Hair—don’t have any Ryder Cup experience." 5:15 p.m. Bric (who is not the alias of Sports Illustrated writer Gary Van Sickle) posts: "Michael "Johnnie" Walker --what's the projected cut at this point,
guessing it must be +8? Mentioned it earlier with Garrity, but Daly is
on the bubble to make the cut. Still possible with the scores and
course positioning of players left."
I agree with Bric that Daly shouldn't turn in his rental car. After some shaky holes, JD almost made a hole-in-one on No. 9 (his 18th hole today) and birdied it to get to 9-over. The leaderboard projects the cut at 7-over now, but we're seeing a lot of bogeys this afternoon so that could end up higher. BTW, did you see that oversized red shirt JD was wearing today? It was the funniest muumuu since Homer Simpson's. 5:10 p.m. Peter Kostis reports that Anthony Kim's struggles off the tee today (he's 5-over through 11) might be related to his taking batting practice with the Boston Red Sox last week. has the details. "Well, if I didn't go to batting practice, this would be perfect. But
actually my body is a little bit sore from going to batting practice on
Monday with the Red Sox. They might have needed me (laughter), so I was
just getting ready," Kim said.
Jeez, I didn't think Varitek was hitting that poorly. 4:59 p.m. We might have a leader in the clubhouse in the "Holmes leads the PGA Championship" headline contest. Matt Boucher suggests: "Holmes Cruises to Lead (because Katie would prefer a taller guy like J.B. anyway.) Other contenders, "Who Says You Can't Go Holmes" and "Holmes and Dry." The consolation prize for most groan-worthy headline is "J.B. Is My Holmes-Boy!" Keep posting, I'll pick a winner before 7 p.m. 4:51 p.m. Boo Weekley knocks it inside three-feet on the par-3 13th. His tap-in birdie putt will get him to 2-over and just three off the lead. Glad to see Boo and Geoff make the TV coverage. I was beginning to think it was a three-way match between Sergio, Phil and Anthony Kim. 4:45 p.m. TNT caught up with Geoff Ogilvy to watch him miss a four-footer for birdie. But Ogilvy at 4-over doesn't look bad at all on this course, which is playing a lot like Winged Foot in 2006, when he won the U.S. Open after Phil's famous collapse. The guy just grinds out pars and hangs around, which could be a winning strategy here. Side note: I recently worked with Ogilvy on a Golf Magazine story and he was really nice guy, if you all care about that stuff. 4:33 p.m. Phil Mickelson tries to play his greenside bunker shot past the hole on nine and have it funnel back. Instead he overshot the slope and then missed his difficult downhill putt for par. Lorne Rubenstein has a good article in The Toronto Globe & Mail today about how Phil might be thinking too much on the course. That bunker shot could be Exhibit No. 132. 4:27 p.m. Everytime TNT switches to the Anthony Kim/Camilo Villegas/Sergio Garcia pairing, I think, "Where's Justin Timberlake?" 4:09 p.m. If you didn't get to read John Garrity's live blog earlier today, definiely check it out in the Press Tent blog. Great outing from John, now all I need to do is give him a couple innings of relief. I just wish I had a cool nickname like "The Mexicutioner."
For all the "Where's Tiger?" talk, this PGA Championship should create a dramatic weekend, with bold-faced names like Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson on the leaderboard. With these difficult afternoon conditions though, it's a safe bet that J.B. Holmes will remain the leader at 1-under after his morning 68. So it's time to pick the best "J.B. Holmes leads the PGA Championship" headline. Here are the contenders so far: Holmes Cookin'Holmes Is Where the Heart IsIt's Elementary: Holmes!Holmes Is Sure-LockHolmes Value Rising And if his slow play makes the final group come in around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday: There's No Pace Like Holmes' The best suggestion in the comments below will win a hat or any other swag I can find around here. (Yes, we've resorted to bribes to get you to post.)

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