2017 PGA Championship Round 1 Recap – Birdies and Bogeys

By Joe Hines–Always Battling For Position

This year’s PGA Championship is being held at notable tour venue, Quail Hollow Golf Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s been a regular stop for years, this is its first stab at hosting a major, however.  There has been a significant redo of the golf course since its last tournament in May, they rebuilt holes and re-grassed the whole golf course in a little over ninety days. A Herculean task, to be sure, and one of the fun features is a sub-air feature underneath the greens that can suck the water right out of them. Thus making the threat of rain through the weekend largely a non-story. The greens today for the first round, are already frighteningly fast. If tournament officials let them get much firmer, familiar cries of unfairness from young millionaires will blather across the twitter-sphere, God forbid these players who no longer play a game that I’m familiar with being challenged by less than comfortable conditions.

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2017 PGA Championship…A Preview

By Joe Hines, Noted Club Pro

The final major of the golf season, the PGA Championship, is coming up this week at Quail Hollow Golf Club in North Carolina. Plenty of subplots pepper the landscape;  a schedule change has just been announced by the tour for this tourney, beginning in 2019 when it will move to a slot in May from its usual August schedule. The goal presumably, is to wrap up the bulk of the competitive season before the start of football season. Golf doesn’t do all that well in ratings, to begin with, so it only makes sense to give it the best opportunity for the most eyes on it. Since the NFL will lead its minions down the path to gape mouthed wonder as sweaty fat men whack each other beginning just after Labor Day, the PGA would prefer to be done by then. And there is still plenty to be had in the silly season between September and April when the Masters reappears on our screens.


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Final Round Birdies and Bogeys and Recap from the 2017 Open Championship

By Joe Hines, Always your champion of the year

If you are reading this, you undoubtedly know that Jordan Spieth is the Champion Golfer of the year, the spoils that go along with winning the Open Championship.


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Open Championship Third Round Recap;l Birdies and Bogeys

By Joe Hines, Noted Mover

The third round of any golf tournament is referred to as moving day. It’s the day when especially at Major Championships, the men are separated from the boys. Though at the tender age of twenty, Austin Connelly could certainly be referred to as a boy, though I would guess he would prefer something a little more dignified, like a young man. Regardless, watching him play this third round of the Open brought back memories of what I was doing when I was twenty. Or the lack of memories, because what I was doing at the age of twenty was being drunk every day. Oh well, live and learn. For the record, young Austin fashioned a 66 to finish the day at -5 for the tournament. Well off the lead, but what the hell were YOU doing when you were twenty? He played like a man today.

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Round 2 Recap from the Open Championship; Birdies and Bogeys

By Joe Hines, I always make the cut

Here’s my chief takeaway from the second round of the Open Championship. Play was suspended for fifteen minutes midway through the round, FOR RAIN!! That’s like saying that the gates of hell have been shut due to excessive heat. Part of the romance of golf on the coast of Great Britain is the image of umbrellas turned inside out while players try to navigate without making dreaded others. So while there were certainly periods of nasty weather, it certainly didn’t reach the biblical proportions that had been forecast. England also has weathermen that struggle with the forecast. Who knew?

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The Open Championship 1st Round Recap; Birdies and Bogeys

By Joe Hines, Weekend Hack

The 146th rendition of the Open Championship (don’t you dare call it the British Open) is being held at venerable Royal Birkdale, where Arnie, Jack, and Tiger have all won before. Who will it be this year? Rory?  We wouldn’t have thought so after 6 holes of his round. Phil? Sorry, he didn’t have a birdie and finished at -3, 8 shots off the pace. Tiger??? Please.

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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…]