PGA leaderboard after two rounds
Matt Jones is your 36 hole leader in the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. Not your household name to be leading a major championship, but he has been solid and more important, steady through the first two rounds. His fellow countryman, Jason Day is two shots behind. That is the person that I expect to be leading after todays’ round.
It has be my observation that the fourth major of the year brings out the best in the fringe good players on the PGA Tour. They have had three major tournament chances to gain fame and didn’t succeed, and now they have lesser expectations and have relaxed a bit and they are able to play two or three good championship rounds. Matt Jones is a one time winner on the PGA Tour and not a consistent challenger for victories in his eight years on the PGA Tour. So I don’t see him handling the pressure on this demanding test. I see the stellar players like Day, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth, and Dustin Johnson putting themselves in position after today and will fight it out for the title tomorrow.
I watched with awe the Thursday round of Phil Michelson. He must have seen every square inch of scenery of Whistling Straits. If just an average tour player had to hit second shots and recovery shots from his positions, they surely would not have shot close to 80 and maybe closer to 90. Phil didn’t get disappointed and hit great recovery shot after recovery shot. It was a masterpiece. Unfortunately, it was for a par score of 72, but it still was outstanding.
Tiger Woods on the other hand on Thursday turned a good round into a mediocre three over par 75. Ball striking was good enough for a two or three under round, but the putting was terrible. His putting on Thursday wasn’t that he hit good putts that didn’t go in, it was poor speed and poor direction. In this case, he put too much pressure on making something happen and it showed up in his putting. Friday’s round started well, but a poorly played double bogie erased an early two under start. So now he has three missed major championship cuts in a row. We pinpoint Tiger Woods, because he was the “greatest” and his every swing, score, and comment is over analyzed. Should we do the same for Adam Scott, Jimmy Walker, and the winner of the British Open Zach Johnson and his fellow play-off competitor Marc Leishman, who also missed the cut at the PGA Championship? Tiger will tee it up next week in the Wyndham Championship with hopes to get into the FedEx Play-offs. If he doesn’t win or come in second, his season is over! That’s sad, because I actually saw some good things this week in his play. To review his entire season, I think he didn’t play enough to get his game into the “playing mode”. Hopefully he doesn’t make that mistake next year.