May 18, 2019
Tiger's out, but Brooks is really in!
Tiger Woods is out for the last two rounds of the PGA Championship at the Black course at Bethpage. His play was inconsistent and showed the falloff from his historic Masters championship. To compete at this high level you need full commitment. Tiger, rightfully so, basked in his accomplishment and let it soaked in. He had not done any meaningful practice for two weeks after his victory. He chose not to play Quail Hallow two weeks prior to the PGA, which questioned his commitment to this next major. He wasn't ready to jump back all-in to get prepare for this test. However, he did put in full effort the past two weeks, but it clearly was not enough for this major test.
Brooks Koepka is clearly fit and ready for this stage. Brooks is doing to major championships what Tiger did to his contemporaries in his prime glory years. Long and straight can bring any course to its knees. Watching the past two days it was clear that we were watching an unfair fight. At age 43, Tiger is still long compared to the average PGA Tour pro, but not compared to Brooks Koepka. You give up 20 to 30 yards on your drive and you now must hit five irons instead of your opponent hitting a nine iron. That is a big advantage over the course of a full tournament. Brooks also is the first player with a big game and a killer mentality that isn't afraid to keep pressing and building a larger lead. If he wins the PGA, he will have won four of the last eight major championships. Only the greats of the game have achieved such heights.
There will be two more days on a very demanding and usually unforgiving golf course. Will Bethpage exact its punishment on Brooks? Can Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, or Adam Scott mount a charge to make this more competitive? I doubt it. Brooks is in control and I think the lead will only get bigger by the end of this day. I look forward to the next couple of days to see greatness on display and a champion dominate in legendary fashion. As far as Tiger is concerned, he is not giving up the torch of greatness to Brooks Koepka. You will see a different Tiger next month at Pebble Beach for the US Open. Tiger hinted that his body wasn't quite right or prepared for this test. I don't think he will let that happen again. The stage is all set for Brooks Koepka and he relishes the spotlight. Let's see greatness.