Sunday, August 15, 2010

Martin Kaymer Takes PGA

Nothing really went smooth this weekend at Whistling Straits as Fog delayed the start, and a controversial event occurred late in the PGA Championship. After all of the obstacles though you can't take anything away from Martin Kaymer. He played very great Saturday and Sunday to earn his first Major title. He made clutch putts when he needed them, but none bigger then the 15 footer he made on 18 to get himself into the two man playoff between him and Bubba Watson.

It actually looked like there was going to be a three person playoff as Dustin Johnson missed a 6-foot putt that would have "won" him the Championship. As Johnson was walking off the green a PGA official talked to him with some not great news. Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer were waiting in the clubhouse to get word on when to head to the 1oth tee for the playoff, but they weren't sure if Johnson would join them. The question was whether or not Johnson grounded his club in a bunker, because if he did Johnson would need to take two penalty strokes, and would not take part in the playoff. More on this later.

So the playoff began without Johnson, and Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson headed to the 10th tee. Watson smoked a drive about 10 yards from the front of the green, and made birdie to take a one shot lead going to number 17. Watson put it right in the middle of the green so things were looking good for him. Martin Kaymer stuck it about 15 feet away, and made the putt to tie things up at -1 with one hole left.

The two then played 18 again which plays hard. Watson got into trouble with his drive. Martin also go into trouble with his drive. Watson's second shot went into the water. It looked that he had no shot, but Martin played safe to leave himself a nice sand wedge left. He knocked it about 15 feet, and waited for Watson to play. After a drop Watson went over the green into a bunker. From there the only chance he had was to hole it out, and he hit the pin but the ball was moving to fast to fall. After that Martin just needed a two putt for the win.

Overall it was a real exciting final day of golf, but the whole thing was hurt with the Johnson call. This course if full of bunkers so you would have to think Johnson knew the area in question was a bunker, but it was walked over for four days so I say it should have been a waste area. My guess is also that someone else at some point in time this weekend went into that area and may have grounded their club, but it wasn't reviewed under TV replay. In most tournaments the gallery is not allowed to walk in bunkers, but during Johnson's shot there were dozens of people standing in this one. Also a PGA offical was standing next to Johnson showing him his ball, and he never told him that it was a bunker. They are not forced to tell players anything, but since golf is all about etiquette you think he would have helped Johnson out.

A rule is a rule, so Johnson did the right thing took the strokes, and signed his card. The PGA Championship in 2010 will always be remembered for what might have been. You have to feel bad for Dustin Johnson, because it was one of those things were he just played the game, but also got played by the game. He was in the final pairing of the day, and for the first part of the day you thought he was done. In the back nine he started making some big shots. All he had to do was put his drive in the fairway, hit the center of the green, two putts, and he wins. If only it could have been that easy it would have been a successful weekend in Wisconsin, but now you have to wonder who's fault this one is that Dustin Johnson got stripped of a chance to win.

Overall all it was a great weekend of golf, and a lot of young guys may have made a name for themselves. Paul Casey, my sleeper pick, played well and finished tied for 12th at 6 under. He just never put up a big score on a day to put him closer to the top. Steve Stricker had a a few bad shots that really took him out of the game. Tiger Woods after four holes on Thursday looked like he was maybe going to make a run at this. You thought maybe the old Tiger was back, but that didn't last long as he would only birdie one more hole the rest of the day. He was never a threat after the first day of this thing. Check out the rest of the scores here.

If any good news comes from Dustin Johnson's day it looks like he will be on the Ryder Cup team. I hope he takes what happens and uses it help him take out the guys from Europe. Wisconsin will be seeing the PGA again in either 2014 or 2015. I hope that with what happened this weekend it won't erase how great this course is, and how great this tournament was.

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