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Thoughts On the PGA Championship

  • Padraig Harrington’s win was one for the ages, and made a plodding, dull golf course and tournament,
    Padraig Harrington Captures PGA Championship

    Padraig Harrington Captures PGA Championship

    exciting, at least for the final three or four holes. Harrington played remarkably well under pressure, while Garcia flubbed a chip in the middle of the back nine and then put one in the water at 16, which really put the tournament into Harrington’s hands.Not that Garcia played badly. Harrington won the tournament — Garcia didn’t hand it to him.

  • Harrington spent a lot of press time last night (TSN cut off and went to the Olympics before we in Canada got any remarks) talking about how poor his swing had been heading into the weekend and how he could still improve significantly despite winning three majors in 13 months.

“I actually struggle with things that are comfortable,” said Harrington, who has now moved up to third place in the world rankings. “It’s something that I work with, with (sports psychologist) Bob Rotella. I’m better off; I definitely have a little bit of, I want to be fighting it.

“And that’s why I have done well when things like this week when I’m not quite on my game. I’ve won many a tournament where I felt I wasn’t swinging as well as I could; and performed poorly sometimes when I felt I was swinging well.

“So I’m a bit, a little bit of a contrast like that.”

Interesting that he centers out Rotella. I just finished reading Rotella’s latest book, Your 15th Club, in which he spends a lot of time talking about his work with Harrington, and the Irishman’s back story and his rise to success. Harrington pointed out that he’s has to be considered best European player now — and probably has been for some time. Sergio Garcia? Beaten twice by Harrington down the stretch of a major. Harrington — three majors. Garcia — none. Nough said.

  • How funky is Ben Curtis’ swing? Takes it away from him, reroutes it a bit, but hits it solid where it counts. And he’s played his way onto the Ryder Cup team. Remember all the pundits who said you’d never hear from Curtis again after winning the British Open? Well he’s got a couple of PGA Tour wins since then and will play on the Ryder Cup team.
  • Speaking of the Ryder Cup, I’m not all that impressed by the Top 8 on the US side. I mean there are some solid choices — Stewart Cink, Justin Leonard, Jim Furyk, Anthony Kim — but then there’s Kenny Perry, who skipped the British Open to play against top flight talent in Milwaukee. Who will be the captain’s picks? Fading Steve Stricker? Hunter Mahan, who spoke the truth recently about the Ryder Cup, but will get slapped on the wrist for it? Here’s the current standings. Given the look of the US Team, it would appear the Europeans have a great shot at repeating.
  • Okay, so I was really off with my picks of Hunter Mahan, Daniel Chopra and Mike Weir, with only Weir making the cut. On the other hand, my pretenders, Vijay Singh, Davis Love III and Phil Mickelson weren’t near the top, with two of three missing the cut. Interesting that Mahan and Love III had little success the rebuilt Oakland Hills. Could that be because the course was so different from the point when they had their success?

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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