Thursday, August 7, 2008


BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI - AUGUST 07: The trophy is seen next to Bradley Dean who is playing the first tee shot of the day in front of the clubhouse during round one of the 90th PGA Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club on August 7, 2008 in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)The 2008 PGA Championship is finally here! Beginning today, the best of the best have gathered somewhere in Minnesota Michigan compete to win this final major of the season. Oh, the best isn't playing? Let me rephrase: everyone but Tiger will be there! Please watch!

Let's hope this is a quality showcase for the best golfers, because the end of last week's WGC at Firestone was atrocious. Veeger couldn't hit half his putts from 4 to 8 feet, and PHIL! withered on the back 9 bogeying 3 of the last 4 holes to cost him the lead and the tournament. (I'm sure Tiger was watching at home, seething and sinking his fingernails into the sofa, knowing he could have easily taken that title.) But you know what the latter means: the old PHIL is back! But is that a good thing? All I know is that I can relate to a lefty golfer with an erratic driver, but I don't enjoy watching it. (BTW, the nickname "Lefty" is a misnomer, since he's right handed in everything else besides his swing, just like me.)

Regardless, this morning you can't click on a golf website without seeing Mickelson's amiable yet goofy face. There's a lot of talk about whether he can capture another major this Sunday, and here's what they're saying:

Shall I compare Phil to a summer's day?
If at first you don't succeed, Phil, Phil again.
It is better to have Phil and lost than never to have Phil at all.

A Phil in the hand is worth two in the bush.
I can accept Phil, but I can't accept not trying.
As the purse is emptied, the heart is Phil.
Phil like no one is watching.

So what do I say about this? One word: FIGJAM!

Okay, that got silly really fast. All I'm saying is get ready for the PHILATHON this weekend, as the TV coverage is going to be PHILCENTRIC, and occasionally will be absolutely PHILTHY (cover the kids' eyes).

Phil Mickelson of the US signs autographs following the third practice round for the 90th PGA Championship on August 6, 2008 at the Oakland Hills Country Club (South Course) in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. The tournament begins on August 7. AFP PHOTO/Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
(See? He's not really a southpaw.)

Anyway, here's the lowdown on the 4th and final major of the year, the 90th PGA Tournament at Oakland Hills.

Course: Oakland Hills Country Club
Location: Bloomfield, MI
Yardage: 7,395
Par: 35-35-70
Hole-by-hole Info (hole/par/yards):
1 4/435
2 5/529
3 3/198
4 4/446
5 4/490
6 4/387
7 4/449
8 4/491
9 3/257
OUT 35/3682
10 4/462
11 4/423
12 5/593
13 3/191
14 4/501
15 4/401
16 4/406
17 3/238
18 4/498
IN 35/3713

Purse: $7.5 million. Winner's share: $1,35 million.

Four Holes will tell the tale at the 2008 PGA Championship. Take a closer look at Nos. 6, 13, 16 and 18, as well as other scenes from Oakland Hills.

"I'm just glad I brought this course, this monster, to its knees," Ben Hogan said after winning the 1951 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills. "I shot a pair of 80s and went home," says Steve Flesch, recalling his quick technical knockout at the 1996 U.S. Open. "It's one of the hardest golf courses I've ever played."

And it's only gotten worse. Golf's notorious Dr. Frankenstein, Rees Jones, renovated Oakland Hills in 2006, adding 346 yards (7,395 total, par 70), pinching fairways and toughening up bunkers. If this course is a monster, these holes are its angry, razor-sharp teeth. (Credit: Nile Young)


THU: Iso T-storms, High: 80° Low: 61°
FRI: Partly Cloudy, High: 78° Low: 60°
SAT: Iso T-storms, High: 81° Low: 61°
SUN: Mostly sunny, High: 84° Low: 65°

FIGJAM! 10/1
Los Pantelones Feos 14/1
Padraig Harrington 16/1
Hitch Furyk 16/1
Anthony Kim 18/1
Ernie Els 18/1
Kenny Perry 25/1
Adam Scott 25/1
Veejer 25/1
Geoff Ogilvy 28/1

MY PICKS: Anthony Kim, Grey Goosen, FIGJAM!
MY MISSES: Los Pantelones Feos, Padraig Harrington, Hitch Furyk.


THU 8/7: 1 - 7 PM EDT [TNT]
FRI 8/8: 1 - 7 PM EDT [TNT]
SAT 8/9: 11 AM - 2 PM EDT [TNT]
2 - 7 PM EDT [CBS]
SUN 8/10: 11 AM - 2 PM [TNT]
2 PM - 7 PM EDT [CBS]


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