Thursday, May 18, 2023

PGA Championship

I still believe that this event should take place in August, but the world is the world.  I've never been a fan of the Oak Hill East Course in Rochester, New York, where this year's PGA Championship is being played.  But I understand that they have recently made major changes to the course, allegedly to get the course closer to its original Donald Ross design.  I hope that will make a difference.  On the other hand, I note that Kazuki Higa currently has a three shot lead.

Here are the majors at Oak Hill that I can remember:

1980 PGAJack Nicklaus (-6) won by seven shots over Andy Bean.  This was the 70th of Nicklaus's 73 wins on the PGA Tour.  (He won the 1982 Colonial, the 1984 Memorial, and the 1986 Masters).

1989 U.S. OpenCurtis Strange (-2) won by one shot over Chip Beck, Mark McCumber, and Ian Woosnam.  This was Strange's 17th and last victory on the PGA Tour.

1995 Ryder Cup:  Leading 9-7 after two days, the Americans collapsed on the last day, as Peter Jacobsen, Brad Faxon, Curtis Strange, and Jay Haas all lost by 1 up.  If any one of them had halved his match, the Americans would have retained the cup.  Instead, Europe won the cup 14 1/2 to 13 1/2.

2003 PGA:  Shaun Micheel (-4) won by two shots over Chad Campbell.  That was the only PGA Tour event that Micheel ever won.

2013 PGA:  Jason Dufner (-10) won by two shots over Jim Furyk.  That was the third of Dufner's five wins on the PGA Tour.

So anything can happen.  It could be Kazuki Higa's big moment.  But the 1995 Ryder Cup, the 2003 PGA, and the 2013 PGA are three of my least favorite major golf tournaments that I can remember.

Next year, the PGA Championship will return to Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville.  The last PGA played at Valhalla -- the 2014 iteration -- is one of my favorite tournaments ever.  The one before that -- the 2000 PGA Championship -- is my favorite PGA Championship of all time.


  1. Higa still leads. He's 3 under through 8.

  2. 1. K. Higa (JPN): -3 (10 holes)
    T2. R. Fox (NZL): -2 (9)
    T2. C. Tarren (ENG): -2 (5)
    T2. K. Bradley: -2 (3)


  3. 1. R. Fox (NZL): -3 (15 holes)
    T2. S. Theegala: -2 (14)
    T2. S. Scheffler: -2 (14)
    T2. C. Conners (CAN): -2 (13)
    T2. V. Hovland (NOR): -2 (12)

    That's more like it. Thomas, Morikawa, and DeChambeau are all at 1 under.

  4. Oak Hill is a pretty course. In my opinion, the stretch of East Coast land that runs from the beginning of the oaks in Virginia up to the Hudson River Valley contains the prettiest American golf courses outside of Augusta, Georgia. I'm particularly fond of Merion, in Philadelphia. But I like to look at almost any course in this region.

  5. Jon Rahm is four over through 12, so it's not looking good for the Grand Slam.

  6. 1. C. Conners (CAN): -4 (16 holes)
    T2. R. Fox (NZL): -3 (16)
    T2. V. Hovland (NOR): -3 (13)
    T4. S. Theegala: -2 (15)
    T4. S. Scheffler: -2 (15)
    T4. K. Bradley: -2 (10)
    T4. B. DeChambeau: -2 (10)

  7. T1. S. Scheffler: -3 (17 holes)
    T1. C. Conners (CAN): -3 (16)
    T1. K. Bradley: -3 (12)
    T4. R. Fox (NZL): -2 (18)
    T4. V. Hovland (NOR): -2 (15)
    T4. B. DeChambeau: -2 (12)

    That's quite a good leaderboard for the first day. I am encouraged.

  8. T1. S. Scheffler: -3 (18 holes)
    T1. C. Conners (CAN): -3 (18)
    T1. K. Bradley: -3 (14)
    T1. B. DeChambeau: -3 (14)
    T5. R. Fox (NZL): -2 (18)
    T5. V. Hovland (NOR): -2 (17)
    T5. J. Suh: -2 (14)

  9. As for Kazuki Higa, he started on the 10th hole, and he was 3 under after 14 holes. He then went double bogey, bogey, bogey, and bogey to finish his round at two over.

  10. T1. K. Bradley: -4 (15 holes)
    T1. B. DeChambeau: -4 (15)
    T3. S. Scheffler: -3 (18)
    T3. C. Conners (CAN): -3 (18)
    T5. R. Fox (NZL): -2 (18)
    T5. V. Hovland (NOR): -2 (18)
    T5. H. Buckley: -2 (4)
    T5. S. Straka (AUT): -2 (3)

  11. When they stopped for darkness, the leaderboard looked like this:

    1. E. Cole: -5 (14 holes)
    2. B. DeChambeau: -4 (18)
    T3. S. Scheffler: -3 (18)
    T3. C. Conners (CAN): -3 (18)
    T3. D. Johnston: -3 (18)
    T6. R. Fox (NZL): -2 (18)
    T6. V. Hovland (NOR): -2 (18)
    T6. K. Bradley: -2 (18)
    T6. A. Scott (AUS): -2 (18)

  12. These guys are probably out of it:

    T63. J. Spieth: 3 over (18)
    T76. M. Kuchar: 4 over (15)
    T117. J. Rahm (ESP): 6 over (18)
    T117. J. Day (AUS): 6 over (18)