This is not an Ad or something I am marketing, just a friendly reminder to try this. This was the information that appeared in todays issue of the Global Golf Post which I recommend you subscribe to.
Stay tuned for more updates on the PGA Championship and TPC Harding Park
The best players in the world head now to the first major of the year at my beloved Harding Park. Will someone shoot 20 under par to win this event? I certainly hope not.
The rough is nasty and fairways are tight, but that doesn’t seem to deter these players from shooting low scores, and Harding is relatively short for PGA tour standards these days at just above 7300 yards. But will the thick summer fog typical of this area especially in August take its toll?
Will players like Brooks Koepka and boob boom De Chambeau hit it so far that the rough will be insignificant leaving these players wedges to the greens from the rough? I don’t know the answer, but since I nailed my under over scores at Torrey Pines, perhaps you’ll bet on my 5 top picks for Harding Park.
In my stable of picks will not includeTiger, as much as I’d like to see him in the hunt on Sunday, it won’t happen with his fragile back and temperatures that his body is not used too, its gonna be cold folks. I also don’t think Phil Mickelson will charge to the top at age 50. Nor will any other shorter hitter have a chance as the bombers have a HUGE advantage here like most PGA tour venues in this day and age.
So don’t waste your money on the older generation, it ain’t gonna happen for them. It’s going to be a 20 something winner or maybe even a 30 year old in Koepka. So here is my list where I am pretty sure a winner will emerge. But before I give it too you I’ll mention other players I don’t think will win. Dustin Johnson and Gary Woodland would normally be good picks here, but I don’t think either is in major championship form, Woodland recently faded in the hunt, and Johnson has been way too inconsistent.
So who are the good picks here?
The obvious pick is Justin Thomas, just off a fresh WGC victory yesterday and still motivated after his utter collapse at the Workday Charity Open event played at Muirfield Village in Ohio. I believe this newly crowned #1 player in the world is primed to win his first PGA Championship this week at Harding Park.
These are the rest of my picks:
2. Bryson De Chambeau
3. Rory McIlroy
4. Collin Morikawa
5. John Rahm
My two wild card picks are Daniel Berger and Xander Schauffele
Ok I know these picks are no big surprise, but with horses for courses, I believe that a winner will emerge from this group. Webb Simpson is playing great golf, but I think he’d need more length off the tee to challenge this converted par 72 in par 70 with holes 9 and 12 playing as par 4’s.
A great article I just read today written by Global Golf Post contributor John Steinbreder is a must read, check it out.
Stay tuned for more on the PGA Championship at Harding Park. And if your not subscribed to the Global Golf Post, you need to be, its free http://www.globalgolfpost.com
Why the hell did I use 76 on the North and 78 on the South course as my under/over numbers. I laughed to myself when I made a par on the tough 490 yard par 4 18th hole on the North to shoot exactly 76.
But on day two on the South course I thought what a joke 78 was, as I shot -1 35 on the front nine. My tendency in golf has always been to migrate to the cut line or qualifying number, and again I did it with my silly under/over prediction and shot a whopping 43 on the back nine for a 78.
Perhaps if I had predicted 71-74 you all would have bet against me, or at least rooted for the over. The mind is a powerful tool, and having goals and challenging yourself is always a good way to shoot lower scores.
I still remember when Johnny Miller spoke at the US Amateur dinner in 2007 at the Olympic Club, he said he sets a goal for every 3 holes. If its a tough three holes he uses par as his target goal, it there are easier holes then its 1-2 under par. He said it worked magically for him.
I used to use his formula and it seemed to work, on the tough stretches I would focus hard to grind out pars, and on the easier holes was more aggressive to make the birdies in the goal. It may sound cliche, but I think he gave us all good advice.
Perhaps these modern day bombers like Bryson look at every hole as a birdie chance when you can drive the ball consistently 350 yards. Even a long par 4 at 500 yards is now a short hole. So Bryson perhaps thinks in his mind that every hole is a birdie hole. The game has certainly changed.
Seems like -20 or better is required to win every tour event. I certainly hope that’s not the case at the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park. This converted 72 par to 70 will still play short for the bombers. The 18th hole is long, but not if you can fly it 300 yards over Lake Merced leaving less than 100 yards in. The shorter hitters will need to play off to the right having 175-200 yards into this narrow green.
Stay tuned for some video of a very young side saddler
15th hole on the North Course, its 200 yards downhill but only plays about 165 yards
Above on the left is Craig Davis 2019 British Senior Am Champion next is Tim Hogarth USGA Public Links Champ, past Cal State Am champ…etc and Randy Haag on the far right
I’d rather write about what an awesome place Torrey Pines is than talk about how I played the back nine on the South course yesterday. I am disgusted at my 35-43 =78 as I had a chance to make my very last round ever in the California State Am a very memorable one. But it didn’t happen.
The game of golf has changed so much over the past 10, 20 and 30 years that I wonder if the old style of shaping shots and moving the ball around will ever matter again. Corey Pavin once won a US Open by hitting precise shots off the tee and into the greens. If he were to play Torrey South today at 7800 yards, he would not have any reasonable chance to compete.
The 12th hole is a par 4 at 503 yards, and is into a stiff ocean breeze. The tee shot plays uphill unless you can fly the ball 300 yards to the top of the hill. All three of us hit our drives into the hill leaving us 270 yards to a back pin. Well good luck to the mere mortals that hit their 3 medal 240-250. Hogarth made his 10 footer for par while Craig Davis and I missed ours.
This was a stretch of holes when I went double bogey in 11 (215 yard par three into the wind) bogey 5 on 12, bogey 6 on the 13th, bogey on 14 and 15. I played that stretch 6 over par, while the younger generation had short shots into most of these holes.
The fact that the match play cut was -2 over the 36 holes of qualifying blows my mind. 32 players out of 156 shot 2 under par or better at a VERY tough test of golf. Granted the North Course is easier, but at over 7,000 yards long its no slouch.
Some of these kids (by kids I mean under 25 years old) are 5 foot 8 inches tall and 150 pounds and there are driving the ball in excess of 300 yards. These courses are now all lengthened and if you don’t bomb it, forget about how good your short game may be. In our group of the 3 oldest players in the tournament by a lot at ages 54-Tim Hogarth 58-Craig Davis and me at 61 there is just no chance for us to compete on a course this long when we kill a drive on a hole and have a 6 iron from 180, the kids have bombed a drive and they have a wedge from 140. Good luck with that!
Despite my ankle injury, I was determined to go out of this event playing with these two legendary players. Tim Hogarth has won EVERYTHING, and has played in the Masters. He’s won the Cal State Am, the USGA Public Links and about a thousand other local events. Craig Davis is another winner with a resume that includes his recent win in Scotland at the Senior Amateur against the best senior field in the world.
So I was thrilled to play with them, and actually had both of them with 9 holes to go on Torrey South. But as I played poorly, Tim got his act together and played beautifully on the back nine. I had a one shot lead over Craig going to the 18th hole, and proceeded to make bogey while Craig made a finishing birdie. So I ended up behind both of these stalwart players and enjoyed every second with them.
What I’ve learned is that I need to soak up all the great privileges and beautiful things while my senses are still acute. The beauty at Torrey Pines is stunning with the steep cliff that falls 500 feet down to the beach. I am so impressed with how the course looks with its 1000 trees taken out, it is open and beautiful. This is a must play course.
Check this out:
You can follow the progress of the Cal State Am here:
Stay tuned for some great photos I took at Torrey Pines
The wild ride of life continues, while I was on the 6th hole at Olympic Lake, while in the green side bunker I saw that my doctor was calling for the third time. I told my playing mates to play the hole out while I took the call.
I had an MRI at 7:15 am the day before on my left ankle that I re-injured while working in my new vegetable garden, I knew something was wrong, but didn’t know just how bad it is. Now I do, my Doc said I have a severely sprained ligament and also a torn ligament in my left ankle- here is the medical verbiage:
MR ANKLE LEFT – Details
1. Moderate sprains of the anterior tibiofibular and anterior talofibular
ligaments. Tear of the calcaneofibular ligament from the calcaneus.
2. Minimal tenosynovitis of the peroneus longus tendon.
3. Mild sinus Tarsi syndrome.
4. Minimal retrocalcaneal bursitis
Electronically signed by: Chan, Lawrence, M.D.
He said “NO GOLF” and you should be using your crutches. He then heard the wind blowing in my cell phone and asked me where I was. I said I was in the green side bunker at the Olympic Club on the 6th hole. He then replied “Randy are you crazy, you have a serious injury that will probably need surgery”.
I calmly said Doc if I cannot make this worse by playing golf, I am going to play next week in the California State Amateur in San Diego. He then replied “Randy, I highly advise against it, you need to see the Orthopedic Surgeon again” While on the course I tried to reach my surgeon, but was unable to, so off to San Diego I will go.
Perhaps the CA State Am will again result in a 200 drop in my WAGR (world amateur golf ranking) but I just don’t care. This will be my last California State Am and I am paired with legendary Tim Hogarth (he’s played in the Masters as an amateur) and Craig Davis last years British Senior Amateur Champion. So I am not missing to hand for two days with my two ole pals I’ve known for a very long time.
So why am I able to even play golf with a sprained and torn Ligament? Remember I actually won the Oakland City last weekend, while not 100%. But because I am taking massive doses of Optimend https://activz.com/go/optimend/?dist=1007777
And I have a new pair of Golf Shoes that have given my side ankle better support than any shoes I’ve ever worn. The are also the most comfortable shoes I’ve worn, they are like wearing a tennis shoe but with better support and comfort. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU CHECK THESE NEW SHOES OFFERED BY STRAIGHT DOWN GOLF.
these are the ones I have. They have some great technology that has nailed the perfect golf shoe in my experience.
If you decide to buy a pair, please give me a review as I’d love to know what you think?
So off to San Diego I will go today, with practice rounds on Friday and Saturday, Sunday I’ll rest my ankle and then off at 10:10 on Torrey North Course with my approved golf cart. Do I feel guilty about taking a cart….? Hell no, why should I, I would not be able to play without it since they are not allowing caddies.
My good pal Brad is coming down to play the practice rounds ($100 a hole game) and then will not be able to hang with me. Originally he was going to caddy, and I was going to walk, but there is no way I can carry my bag and walk those long courses.
So what is the under/over on what I will shoot. Here is what I think- North Course Day 1- 76 South Course Day 2 78=154
At Poppy Hills two weeks ago walking with a push cart I chopped to 77-79=156 so perhaps 154 total at Torrey will be satisfying. The chance of going from the top 156 Amateurs in the STATE to making match play of the top 32…..chance is less than 5%.
We will see, so stay tuned and I’ll be taking photos of both courses before the gun goes off on Monday.
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sorry no time to edit out the mistakes today:)