LOOKING AHEAD TO KIAWAH
Garrity: It's always tempting to treat the tournament preceding a major as a portent. The Bridgestone gave us a still-struggling Phil Mickelson, a Tiger Woods who putted horribly for three rounds, a second-round 80 by Rickie Fowler, and a blah performance by British Open champ Ernie Els. On the other hand, major winners topped the leader board (Bradley, Furyk, McIlroy, Oosthuizen), pursued by a cast of 2012 all-stars (Rose, Dufner, Stricker, Kuchar, Haas). How does Akron inform your expectations for this week's PGA Championship at Kiawah Island?
Bamberger: Not at all, except I have a hunch that McIlroy will play well. That might kill his chances.
Shipnuck: It's important. Hard to imagine the likes of Rickie or Phil suddenly turning it around on an exacting course like the Ocean Course.
Van Sickle: I'm not sure it informs anything. Tiger is still kind of close, but maybe no closer. Phil is M.I.A. But we're going from hilly, tree-lined, narrow fairways and small greens to wide fairways, big greens and no trees. Too different to assume anything.
Godich: Seeing as how Tiger won his last event before each of the last three majors, I don't think you can read anything into it. But if I'm anywhere near the lead on the back nine on Sunday -- and I'm talking about five or six shots -- I'm going to keep grinding. One thing we've learned this year is that no lead is safe. The Ocean Course should only add to the drama.
Wei: Their performances are good indicators for how they're playing right now, so you have to think they're going into next week with confidence and in solid form. But like Gary said, it's a completely different golf course.
Garrity: I'm very curious to see how the Ocean Course plays a couple of decades after the War on the Shore. It looked like the hardest course in the world back then, but that was the zenith of Ryder Cup pressure. Guys couldn't hang onto their clubs, much less control their shots.
Godich: Good point, John. What will the winning score be. Even par? 10 under? I haven't a clue.
Van Sickle: I'm looking for low scores. Wide fairways, soft (watered in the heat) greens and not much wind. Target golf, American style. Bombs away. Birdie-fest.
Wei: Johnson Wagner said half-jokingly that the winning score could be over par. It'll also be interesting to see how the PGA sets it up. There's room to move every tee 100 yards up or back.
Bamberger: I think the paspalum greens will be a huge factor. The ball doesn't break on them. Guys will hole bombs.
Dusek: I think the courses are so different, as are the requirements for winning on them, that it's hard to predict much based on the performances in Akron.
Tell us what you think in the comments section below: How does Akron affect your expectations for Kiawah?
Garrity: These are the so-called "dog days" of summer, but it would take a hyperactive pooch to keep up with this week's surfeit of televised sports. NBC's Olympics coverage consumed most of the pixels at my house, but Tim Finchem & Friends served up not one, but two PGA Tour events, plus a Champions Tour tournament in the Twin Cities and a Web.com shootout in Omaha. So let's take an unscientific poll: Did your household watch the Olympics or the golf?
Godich: Golf, mainly because it was a big event with big names in the hunt.
Ritter: Jim Furyk has melted down twice this summer, but only twice in the history of the world has a sprinter run a sub-9.65-second 100-meter dash. Usain Bolt's gold is what I'll always remember about today.
Bamberger: We are fortunate in that we have two (yard sale) TVs. Both.
Garrity: I picture you with one foot in the living room and one foot in the den.
Wei: Golf, but only because I'm at the event. I tried to watch the Reno-Tahoe Open yesterday, but I only lasted five minutes before switching to the Olympics.
Shipnuck: Tons of Olympics, and just enough golf.
Dusek: Our house was full of cheers for the Olympians. Personally, I'm a huge lover of the Games and have been since making the trip to Lake Placid in 1980.
Tell us what you think in the comments section below: What did you watch Sunday: Olmypics or golf?