Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota’

PGA Championship

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

The final major of the season, the PGA Championship! Who’s playing? Well the top ten in all three of the major categories, those being the Fed-Ex Cup, PGA Tour money list and the Official World Golf Ranking. Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker and Kenny Perry 1, 2 & 3 on both the Fed-Ex Cup Points and PGA Tour money list, then there is Phil Mickelson and Paul Casey who are 2 & 3 in the OWGR list, Zach Johnson, 4 in Fed-Ex Cup points and 5 on the money list, Sergio Garcia 5 in OWGR, Geoff Ogilivy 6 on Fed-Ex and the money list. Lucas Glover 7th in FE and 8th on the ML, Sean O’Hair 7th on the ML and 9th in FE, Brian Gay 8th in FE and 9th on the ML. Hehnrik Stenson 7th in OWGR, Retief Goosen, 10th in FE and the ML, Stewart Cink 9th on the OWGR and Jim Furyk 10th in OWGR. Wow, some really heavy hitters.  That does make the top ten in each category. Obviously some are in both, and however you feel the need to measure a golfers talent, they are all covered here. Moving down the list 2009 winners Pat Perez, Nick Watney. Dustin Johnson, Mark Wilson, Y.E. Yang, Michael Bradely, Angel Cabrera, Jerry Kelly, Rory Sabbatini, Bo Van Pelt, Nathan Greene, & John Rollins who incidentally won last week in Reno while the bigger names were at the WGC. Past Winners of the PGA Championship Padraig Harrington, Shaun Michael, David Toms, Mark Brooks, Paul Azinger, Vijay Singh, Rich Been, Davis Love III, Steve Elkington, John Daly and Bob Tway. Majors winners, Steve Elkington, Michael Campbell, Shaun Michael, Freddy Couples, Corey Pavin, Tom Lehman, Mike Weir, Trevor Immelman, Ben Curtis, Justin Leonard and Enrie Els. Then there are a host of International Players like Andres Romero, Michael Sim, Aaron Baddely, Adam Scott, Brendan Jones, Mathew Goggin, Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Richard Green, John Senden, Rod Pampling, Stephen Ames, Camilo Villegas, Soren Kjeldsen, Soren Hansen, Anders Hansen, Chris Wood, Mich Dougherty, Ross Fisher, Oliver Wilson, Justin Rose, Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Anthony Wall, Steve Webster, Brian Davis, Lee Westwood, Thomas Levet, Martin Kaymer, Jeev M. Singh, Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell, Fransesco Molinari, Ryo Ishikawa, Ryuji Imada, Shingo Katayama, Hiroyuki Fujita, Charlie Wi, KJ Choi, David Smail, Alistair Forsythe, Colin Montgomerie, Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen, Richard Sterne, Tim Clarke, Alvaro Quiros, Gonzalo Fdez-Castano, Miguel A. Jimenez, Peter Hanson, Carl Pettersson, Johan Edfors, Thongchai Jaidee and Prayad Marksaeng


You can pick your favorites and figure out the young guns versus the grizzled vets on your own, A little about the course, the PGA Championship will be played at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn.


The course is a Robert Tent Jones design from 1962, it plays to 7,674 yards and par value will be 72. That is a little odd for a major as opposed to 70 or 71 but not unheard of. The last PGA Tour event was held there in 2002 and at that time the most difficult hole proved to be the par 4, 16th which plays 402 yards, over Hazeltine Lake and additionally must be kept short of the creek on the left side of the fairway. The right rough is a bear and the green angles away and is hard to hold. Hole locations along the right side of the green will bring the lake back into play, so anything can happen. Johnny Miller called it the hardest four-par he ever played. The easiest hole was the par 5 7th which plays  572 yards, it is 29 yards longer than it was in 2002 when it played 543 yards but then most players went for it in two, that strategy can be dicey because of the pond on the left. Players like Zach Johnson and Justin Leonard may lay up and still make birdie, that would be the strategy I would prefer but we will have to see what the big dogs decide. During the 2002 season Hazeltine was the 2nd hardest course of the 57 courses played that year. It is no stranger to championship golf having hosted the having hosted the 1966 U.S. Women’s Open, the 1970 U.S. Open, the 1977 U.S. Women’s Open, the 1983 U.S. Senior Open, the 1991 U.S. Open and the 2002 PGA Championship. For history buffs the PGA Championship has been played annually since 1916 with the exception of 1943 when it was not played due to WWII.