Sunday, August 15, 2010

PGA Championship -- Sunday -- Playoff

I said all along that Kaymer was going to win.

Kaymer and Watson had a three-hole playoff: the 10th, the 17th, and the 18th.

Watson birdied the 10th hole; Kaymer parred -- so Watson had a one-shot lead.

Watson made a nice par on the difficult 17th hole -- but Kaymer rolled in a long birdie putt, and the golfers were tied.

On the 18th hole, Kaymer hit a poor drive that left his ball buried in the rough. Watson followed with another poor drive that was short of Kaymer's -- but with a much better lie. The obvious play for Watson was to aim for the big part of the green, even though this would leave him with a very long putt for birdie. He would still have a good shot at par. Instead, after standing over this shot forever, Watson tried to make an impossible play -- directly at the flag, over an enormous hazard. Not surprisingly, he landed in a creek about 30 yards short of the hole. He finished with a double bogey. Kaymer carefully chipped out his buried ball, hit his third shot safely on the green, and two-putted for the bogey that won him the tournament.

Final Playoff Scores:
1. M. Kaymer (GER): Even
2. B. Watson (USA): +1

Kaymer thus becomes the third consecutive foreign player to win a major, following Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland (U.S. Open) and Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa (British Open). He also becomes yet another utterly forgettable winner who will likely never win another major.

I have enjoyed golf enormously over the last 15 years or so, and I suppose it was inevitable that my luck would change. But this has got to rank as the most depressing golf season I can remember in years. The farcical scenes of Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson simply throwing away this tournament because they are apparently incapable of hitting a drive in the fairway when they need to underscore the pathetic nature of this generation of American golfers.

I will be very surprised if we get even 10 points at the Ryder Cup this year.

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