Birdies & Bogeys: 2015 PGA Championship Final Round Recap

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Welcome to my final round coverage of the 2015 PGA Championship, otherwise known as the coronation of Jason Day.

The young Australian began the Day with a two-shot lead, which he never relinquished. He fended off challenges from South African Branden Grace, Englishman Justin Rose and his Sunday playing partner, Jordan Spieth. [Read more…]

Birdies & Bogeys: 2015 PGA Championship Third Round Recap

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

You know how pressure usually grips leaders of a golf tournament, leading to off-line shots and missed short putts? And you know how afternoons in golf tournaments lead to worse scores because of the early players leaving spike marks, along with the natural growth of grass over the course of a day? Well, at Whistling Straits, site of the 2015 PGA Championship, not so much.

At a venue that is so eye catching that you would think it would distract players as the wind their way around the course, they seem impervious to the gorgeous views as they throw darts at the welcoming greens.

South African Brenden Grace fired an 8 under par 64, setting the pace for the leaders, Aussies Matt Jones and Jason Day. [Read more…]

Birdies & Bogeys: 2015 PGA Championship Second Round Recap

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

The second round of the 2015 PGA Championship was suspended by rain and lightning late Friday afternoon, with several group left to complete play when the horn sounded.

That’s okay, most of the good stuff happened earlier.

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

Ten golfers lurk within three shots of the lead near the halfway point of the tournament. Australian and noted vertigo sufferer Jason Day shares the lead at -9 with countryman Matt Jones, with both still on the course. Second round play will resume Saturday morning prior to the beginning of Saturday’s moving day. [Read more…]

2015 PGA Championship First Round Coverage

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

A new perspective is always a good way to refresh the body and soul. So in lieu of the usual style that I use when describing one of the four major golf tournaments each year, birdies and bogeys, my take on this year’s first round of the PGA Championship will be from a decidedly more personal point of view. Because for the first time in the years I have been following golf, numerous indeed, I had the opportunity yesterday to attend the festivities at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. Occasionally there is a payoff for suffering interminable winters here in the Midwest.

One of the first discoveries on makes upon arrival to Whistling Straits, is it isn’t so much a day in the sun, as it  is an endurance test. For players AND spectators. Very hilly with rough terrain along the shores of Lake Michigan in the East Central part of Wisconsin, the plat of land architect Pete Dye transformed into one of golfs sternest tests, is stunningly beautiful. Ribbons of fairways lined by hazards and with the lake offering vistas only available in these parts greet players and patrons.

I imagine that the views are similar at Chambers Bay in Washington, site of the just past US Open. But you know what? When you are standing on the shore of either Lake Michigan or the Pacific Ocean, you cannot tell the difference. But you know that, so I will just leave it there. Both large bodies of water where the opposite shore can’t be seen. Believe me, the view is spectacular. Television coverage does not do it justice. You cannot see the contours of the land or the breathtaking nature of the views along the lake.

One other thing apparent right away, is the parking lots are a LONG WAY from the main golf course entrances. This isn’t like pulling up to the lot at Texas Stadium, or whatever your ballpark of choice is. Be prepared for at least a mile long hike once the car is parked.

OK, back to golf.

The early wave of players beat the worst of the gusty winds, with the morning stroke average much below the afternoon wave, to combine for a field-wide average of 74 on the par 72 track. Perennial fast starter Dustin Johnson, at the site of his famous grounded club in 2010, led the field after the first round with a 66. Notables such as Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy who each played in the afternoon gale, and yes, Tiger Woods, wallowed around even par. Spieth and McIlroy finished at 1-under 71, while Woods stumbled to a 75.

Physical limitations didn’t allow for the freedom around the course that I would have liked. For that reason, for much of the day, we were parked around the 18th green and first tee. It didn’t allow for easy following of the field, other than the real-time updates to the large scoreboards that dot the course.

Hopefully, my firsthand experience at the golf course will enhance the coverage I can offer you the rest of the tournament. The majors are exciting, different than other tournaments that I’ve attended.

I will have the usual allotments of birdies and bogeys for the last few rounds of this years championship. I hope you take time to follow it.

Enjoy the golf, and I’ll be back later today for a second round recap.

Peace.

British Open Birdies & Bogeys: Final Round Recap

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staffer & Chicago Guru

After four rounds of golf over five days, the 2015 edition of the British Open went to its unique playoff format. Of course it did.

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

American Zach Johnson, Aussie Marc Leishman and South African past champion Louis Oosthuizen finished regulation play tied at -15. Notably absent from the threesome was Jordan Spieth, American wunderkind. [Read more…]

British Open Birdies & Bogeys: Third Round Recap

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Sunday was moving day at the British Open, due to the weather delays over the last two days at the Old Course at St. Andrews, hard by the coast of the North Sea. It’s also the one day of the week that Dustin Johnson would like to purge from the calendar. The second round leader went backwards, shooting 3-over 75 on a day when the scoring average for the field was 69, and most of the crowded leaderboard posted scores in the low to mid 60’s. [Read more…]

British Open Second Round Review (Cont.)

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

In golf news, the second round of the 2015 Open is finally in the books. Completed after a nearly 10 1/2 hour delay due to high winds at the Old Course at St. Andrews. More on that in a moment.

The scoreboard on the 18th hole shows that play is suspended due to high winds during the second round of the British Open golf championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland

Here is all you need to know that wasn’t in yesterday’s edition. Dustin Johnson leads by one stroke heading into Sunday’s third round. Yes. SUNDAY’S! Grand Slam searcher Jordan Spieth is five shots back, certainly still in the hunt. Tiger Woods missed the cut by seven strokes. [Read more…]

British Open Birdies & Bogeys: Second Round Recap

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

tom-watson-open-championship

I will apologize in advance. This is going to be an incomplete column. I suppose it’s fitting though because after a three-hour delay on the sunny shores of Scotland due to rain, Friday’s second round of the British Open at the Old Course at St. Andrews was suspended due to darkness. There are several groups due to finish early tomorrow morning. ESPN begins the coverage with the end of the second round beginning at 1:00 a.m. central time. If you want to watch, knock yourself out. I’m sleep deprived. I’ll be there at 6 for the regular third round coverage and won’t feel left out if I don’t see Tiger miss the cut. I’ll catch the lowlights. [Read more…]

British Open Birdies & Bogeys: First Round Recap

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Photo Credit: AP

Photo Credit: AP

In the pantheon of golf’s four majors, the British Open is probably my least favorite. But that is sort of like saying vanilla ice cream is fourth on my list of favorite ice creams. It is still flavorful, it just does not have the burst that I get from chocolate, double chocolate, or chocolate fudge. And while I enjoy the British Open, it does not have the flash for me that The Masters, US Open or even the ugly step-sister of majors, the PGA, does. For starters, until I start getting credentials from my boss, I have to get up in the middle of the night to watch. Second, the stodginess of the British Isles drips from all facets of the championship, from the look of the course to the impeccably mannered spectators, each round of applause sounds exactly the same as the last, whether for a birdie or a tap-in for double-bogey. [Read more…]

Birdies and Bogeys: 2015 US Open Final Round

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

It’s the kind of insight you tune into Fox Sports for. With the penultimate pair of Jordan Spieth and Brandon Grace standing on the 18th tee, analyst and amateur audiologist Greg Norman opines, “big tee shots here.” Wow. That’s why we tune in. For stellar analysis like that.

Ok. That’s the end of my Fox bashing. I’ve sort of tired of it over the last three days. They make it so easy, but I choose to focus on the competition for the last day of the toughest championship to win.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

By now you already know how this odd but entertaining Open finished. We’ve spent the last three days learning about Chambers Bay, golf in the Pacific Northwest, fescue and poyanna grass. We’ve learned about Benign Positional Vertigo. We’ve learned there isn’t greater pressure in golf than standing over a makable putt to win or tie on the 18th green. And in the end, Spieth held off the field to secure the second of the first two majors of the year. Halfway to the Grand Slam he is. But that really doesn’t begin to tell the story. [Read more…]

Birdies and Bogeys: 2015 US Open Third Round

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images

I tuned into the third round of the US Open this afternoon, eagerly anticipating the competition having cathartically cleared my brain of any of the nonsense that went along with the coverage on FOX. The clock struck one, and there on my screen were the linchpins, such as they are, of the network’s golf coverage. But as I said, I had come to accept their shortcomings, even sort of sympathetically excusing them and vowing to give them more of a chance in the last two rounds, and for the ensuing 12 YEARS! [Read more…]

Birdies and Bogeys: 2015 US Open Second Round

By Joe Hines
PSDC Staff & Chicago Guru

It took me a good night’s sleep and a bit of shock therapy to recover from the first day of US Open coverage on Faux Sports. I woke up in a cold sweat, the result of the all too real nightmare of a Greg Norman American history lesson, and Joe Buck sounding like he is calling a tackle on every shot.

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

Saturday’s second round seems to have taught FOX some lessons from the first round though. My new friend Holly Saunders was much less visible, I only saw two segments with her in 11 hours of broadcast, and her format was different. Today she was appearing in front of a giant superimposition of the interviewees scorecard. The huge score seemed to distract a bit from the typically trampish look of FOX. The resulting interviews, while still vapid, were not as aesthetically awkward. That’s saying something when the improvement is a large picture of a scorecard in the shot. [Read more…]