Throughout this week, ESPN.com golf editor Jason Sobel will be live blogging from the PGA Championship, bringing you inside information and analysis from Southern Hills Country Club. Refresh this page often to keep track of all the entries during each round.
Have a question or comment for Sobel? E-mail him at email@example.com.
7:00 p.m.: Updating the last prop bet: John Daly birdies the final hole to shoot 73, beating the number on both my over/under and the one in Vegas. Pretty solid round for J.D., especially after starting with a pair of bogeys.
Well, that's it for me today, folks. Hope you enjoyed it. I've received 1,196 reader e-mails through the first two rounds, so if you didn't get yours posted, there's always tomorrow.
I'll go live with the blog when Tiger Woods and Scott Verplank go live with their rounds tomorrow. See you then. Keep serging!
6:56 p.m.: From Jim in Mendocino, Calif.:
- Can you say "tournament over"? You've got to know that Tiger is gonna be pissed that he got jobbed on that last putt and he's gonna take it out on the rest of the field. See ya guys, wouldn't want to be ya.
If you've read any of my previous live blogs, you know I'm a big proponent of the "It's not over 'til it's over" philosophy. I've compared the 36-hole leader of a golf tournament to the halftime leader of an NBA game.
When that leader is Tiger Woods and he's shooting 63, well, let's just say Jim might be right.
6:48 p.m.: More on Tiger in just a minute, but a quick look at the first prop bet of the day shows we're going right down to the wire.
I set an over/under of 74.5 for John Daly's round today and he's currently at 4-over through 17 holes. (For the record, I've heard Vegas had it at 73.5.)
6:44 p.m.: Tiger Woods hits the putt ... a little left-to-right break ... right at the hole ... AND IT HORSESHOES AROUND THE CUP AND STAYS OUT!
Wow. The slo-mo TV replay gives a great look at the entirety of the ball almost all the way into the hole and then inexplicably jumping back out.
Unbelievable. Tiger has to "settle" for a 63. He'll be your 36-hole leader entering the weekend.
6:37 p.m.: Tiger Woods to 12 feet on the final hole. Birdie for 62, par for 63.
And, oh by the way, he ain't three-putting, so it'll either be a record or a share of the record.
Anyone wanna bet against him?
6:34 p.m.: After pars on 16 and 17, Tiger Woods is walking up 18 with a chance to break the all-time major championship single-round scoring record. A birdie means an 8-under 62. Very exciting ...
6:29 p.m.: John Daly certainly isn't lighting things up -- uh, other than his cigarettes -- but he's doing pretty well, all things considered. Through 16 holes, he's 4-over for the day and 1-over for the tournament.
Just got this e-mail from a buddy of Daly's, talking about his favorite musical selection:
- I can tell you that he's retired "Knockin On Heaven's Door" and officially has a new favorite tune -- "Haven't Seen For a While" by the Pat McGee Band.
Well, that title certainly sounds appropriate for Daly so far this week, huh?
6:18 p.m.: Haven't mentioned Pat Perez yet today, but he's hanging tough at 1-under through 13 holes. How can you not root for a guy who uses this as a head cover (third pic down)?
6:13 p.m.: Oh, THAT Blog Jinx.
The one that got ahold of Geoff Ogilvy, mentioning his solid round, before a bogey-bogey finish.
Meanwhile, Sergio Garcia taps in for par on 18. We'll get to make "serging" jokes all weekend!
6:12 p.m.: From Beau in Atlanta:
- This is really gut-check time for the Blog Jinx. If Tiger tosses one or two back to the field, you'll know that you do control their destinies.
Blog Jinx? What Blog Jinx?
6:08 p.m.: Peter in Slovakia reminds us that we've forgotten about someone recently:
- With all that Tiger-mania, we have almost forgotten about Sergio Garcia. I see he's gotten some bad breaks on holes 14, 15, 16 and 17. Let's hope No. 18 will be kind to Sergio.
Wow. Sergio obviously getting no breaks today. Four straight bogeys and if he makes a fifth on the 18th hole, he's going home for the weekend.
6:02 p.m.: Good reminder from Jason in Parts Unknown:
- Tiger still has a chance at a 59 ...
Not really. He'd have to hole out for eagle on a par-4. But 60 is a possibility.
Jake in Webb City, Mo., agrees:
- The way the kid is playin', I wouldn't be surprised to see him birdie out. This is the Tiger we all know and love.
A 60? In a major? That's unfathomable. And yet, it could happen ...
5:53 p.m.: From Ryan in Tennessee:
- With Tiger at 5-under and looking likely to stay there or go one or two lower, how many guys do you think still have a realistic shot? Tiger's probably not going to shoot any worse than even (maybe 2-over at the worst?) on the weekend. Guys are going to have to come get him on a course in which only nine guys are currently under par for a couple rounds. Realistically, are we looking at about five guys that have a shot right now?
Well, I always tend to think more players have a chance than it seems, but you're right, with Tiger Woods going so low right now, you've got to imagine players are going to have to go out and catch him, rather than watch him come back to the pack.
And right on cue, Tiger buries the birdie putt on 15. Guy is ON FIRE.
Par-birdie-par finish means a 62 and the all-time record. Can he do it?
5:47 p.m.: Tiger Woods hits an 8-iron to about pin-high, 20 feet away, on 15. Another chance for birdie and it's at about this time in his round that I should remind you of the following: The all-time major scoring record for a single round is 63, accomplished 21 times (including by Raymond Floyd here at Southern Hills in 1982, which is also the course record).
Tiger is currently 6-under for his round. If he plays the final four holes in 1-under, he'll equal the record. Anything better than that, and he'll have another of golf's hallowed records all to himself.
5:39 p.m.: Tiger Woods on 14 ... from just off the green ... with a wedge ... and it's in! Big fist-pump as Tiger Woods takes sole possession of the lead at 5-under ... for about 10 seconds ...
... Until Geoff Ogilvy makes a lengthy putt on 16 to join him at 5-under.
This is the second time in 17 minutes that both players made birdies within about 10 seconds of each other. Pretty cool stuff.
5:32 p.m.: Michael in Winston-Salem, N.C., checks in on one of our prop bets:
- It looks like FOUR PGA professionals may make the cut: Mike Small is in the clubhouse at 3-over, Ryan Benzel is 3-over through 17 holes, Brad Lardon is 3-over through 9 holes and Phil Schmitt is tied for 72nd at 6-over through 16 holes.
Remember, the top 70 and ties advance, so if Schmitt pars the last two,
Brad Lardon doesn't do worse than 3-over through the last nine holes, Ryan Benzel
doesn't blow up, and at least two other players drop to 6-over, we'd have four PGA
pros making the cut; as it is, it looks like at least three is a safe bet.
I need to go back and check some record books, but I'm willing to bet that four club pros making the cut would be the most in at least the last 20 years.
5:22 p.m.: Tiger Woods and Geoff Ogilvy make birdies within about 10 seconds of each other and both jump to 4-under in a tie for the lead with Scott Verplank. Shaping up to be a VERY good leaderboard right now.
5:21 p.m.: From Julio in Parts Unknown:
- Will the players 10 strokes behind the leader make the cut? Or in this case it's only 70 players and ties?
Nope, no 10-shot rule this week. Right now the cut line is still at 5-over.
5:15 p.m.: Interesting comment from Stephen Ames, who's currently 19th in the International team's Presidents Cup ranking. He was asked about Andres Romero, who made a meteoric rise to 10th on the list, but with a poor performance this week will fall back to 11th at best, which means he won't make the team unless he's selected:
- "If I was a captain ... I would be picking him without a doubt. Too good of a player to leave out."
5:02 p.m.: Wow, this looks like the Tiger Woods of 2000 right now. Woods pours in about a 35-foot par putt on 12 to remain in a share of second place. He's 4-under for the day. That was a huge save.
5:00 p.m.: From Grant in Victoria, British Columbia:
- It's looking like Mike Weir will miss the cut, leaving Gary Player the choice between picking Canada's adopted Stephen Ames or no Canuck whatsoever. I hope he picks Ames for his fabulous media tact. In response to the possibility of missing the President's Cup Ames responded, "I'm not going to go home and cry, like Sergio."
Let's be fair. The entire quote was, "I'm not going to go home and cry, like Sergio [after] losing majors." But it's still pretty funny.
And yes, for those of you who have pointed it out, I am making fun of Sergio an awful lot today.
If I don't show up to write the blog tomorrow, someone check Garcia's trunk.
4:52 p.m.: Phil in New York made me laugh out loud, though I'm not sure I have an answer to his question:
- If Camilo Villegas and John Daly are paired together tomorrow, will it be the greatest weight disparity in a pairing in major history?
I know you're kidding, but maybe someone out there has a few hours of work they'd rather not do and wants to actually look this up somehow. You'd have to check the record books -- and I'm not even sure you could find this sort of thing -- but I'm guessing maybe Craig Stadler and Jeff Sluman or (going way back) Jim Barnes and Gene Sarazen could have given the Daly/Villegas duo a run for their money.
4:50 p.m.: From Mike in Nashville, Tenn.:
- Speaking of Sergio and his bad luck, last week's Powerball numbers were so close to mine, I was only off by 3-5 from every one! I was so close, but if only they could've picked slightly different numbers, I'd be a millionaire right now!
Hey, Mike, stop "serging"!
4:46 p.m.: From the fringe on 12, Tiger Woods reads the birdie putt perfectly ... and leaves it just inches short of the hole. That's a par. Still one back.
4:39 p.m.: From Steve in Parts Unknown:
- A lot of analysts discounted Lumpy due to his alternative conditioning program (including you). He is moving up the leaderboard nicely today. Maybe the media is making too much out of this heat thing?
You, sir, should be writing speeches in the White House, you master of spin control. "Alternative conditioning program." Is that what it's called?
In any case, you're right. Tim Herron and John Daly were on everyone's short list of "players most likely to need an oxygen tank on the course," but Herron is playing very well, 4-under for the day and 1-over for the tournament. Perhaps he took a cue from J.D.'s suggestion of nicotine to beat the heat.
4:34 p.m.: If Tiger Woods is going to go major-less this year, he's isn't going to do so without putting up a fight. Woods makes birdie on 10 to move to 3-under, one shot behind Scott Verplank.
4:30 p.m.: Blog Jinx! From Jeremy in Victoria, British Columbia:
- That's got to be one of the greatest blog jinxs of all time -- you pick Goosen as a sleeper and then he completely mishits on into the water!
Does anyone else think that word between "completely" and "on" looks like something that shouldn't be on a family Web site like ESPN.com? (Although it does make the sentence that much funnier.)
4:23 p.m.: After making double-bogey on 11, Sergio Garcia hits his approach on 12 from the trees to within inches of the water just right of the green.
Who designed this course? Perry Maxwell? It's all his fault. Had the green been where the water is, he'd be right next to the hole!
4:15 p.m.: Serious question from Shane in Nashville, Tenn.:
- Since most golfers have either completed Round 2 or are more than halfway through, who would you pick as a sleeper for the weekend?
I'll give you two. The first one isn't really a "sleeper" in the sense that you'd be surprised if he won, but nobody will be talking about Retief Goosen entering the weekend and he's 1-over through 12 holes, just quietly going about his business as usual. He won the U.S. Open here in '01 and has been known to go low when everyone else is struggling in tough conditions (see: 2007 Masters), so keep an eye on him.
As for the more traditional "sleeper" pick, keep an eye on Will MacKenzie, playing in his first career major this week. He's already in with rounds of 72-70 and he's the type of guy who won't feel much pressure. I spoke with him a few weeks ago and he told me he had "figured some things out" with his game, so he's another one who could stick around.
4:11 p.m.: I'm getting a bunch of different versions of the same joke, but Steve in Waukegan, Ill., beat everyone to the punch:
- If that lip had been a few inches shorter, Sergio would have hit a great bunker shot. Twice
4:06 p.m.: Sergio Garcia leaves one in the greenside bunker on 11.
And another one!
Who invented sand anyway!?
3:55 p.m.: This is either funny or the heat is starting to get to me -- I'm not sure which, but I laughed out loud. From Josh in Glasgow, Ky.:
- If Brad Lardon was to miraculously win Sunday, I'd like to see him honored in some way special, such as maybe creating a Lardon Trophy. This could be given to the low PGA professional, or maybe to the high PGA professional, since we all enjoy watching train wrecks so much.
If you're ever writing a poem about all the guys who have ever competed in a major championship, you can rhyme Harry Vardon with Brad Lardon.
If I were Brad Lardon, I'd come up with my own grip and call it the Lardon Grip.
Eh, maybe not.
3:47 p.m.: From Gary in St. Augustine, Fla.:
- Is it time for us to review the "No Shorts" policy for the tour? What is your attire for the day?
You just want to catch a glimpse of John Daly's legs, don't you, Gary?
Actually, that's the No. 1 reason shorts shouldn't be allowed on tour. Besides, it'd be a rough transition period. Since these guys are so used to wearing pants all the time, there are some pretty pasty legs out on tour. I wouldn't want to be around for the first event in which they could wear shorts.
As for me? Shorts and a golf shirt, like just about every other media member here this week. (We're all dressed as if we were about to play a casual round of golf; you know, just in case we all get our work done early and there's an open course nearby.) Too hot for pants. Even the lime green slacks didn't make the trip with me this time.
3:38 p.m.: Phil Mickelson got himself into contention with a 1-under 69 today. Can't talk about him these days without wondering how that inflamed left wrist is doing. Well, he addressed it after his round:
- Q. Tough go since the injury, the Players, et cetera, what do you take from today?
PHIL MICKELSON: Well, that's interesting. This is the first week I feel just terrific. I haven't had any problems, haven't even thought about it. This is the first week I haven't had to numb it. Or last week was the first time I hadn't had to numb it up. It feels great. The heat is prohibiting me from excessive practice. My game is better. My hand feels pretty good, and I'm excited about playing golf.
If that wrist continues feeling "great" over the next two days, don't be surprised to find Lefty make a run at the Wanamaker Trophy come Sunday afternoon.
3:30 p.m.: I opened up a can of worms with the best golf videos. But Nathan in Denver offers up this one, which is too good not to share.
3:28 p.m.: Looks like it just took a few holes for the caffeine and nicotine to kick in, as after starting his round with a pair of bogeys, John Daly has calmed down and carded three straight pars.
And yes, I realize that's probably the first time the words "caffeine," "nicotine," "John Daly" and "calmed down" have ever been used in the same sentence.
3:18 p.m.: Will all due respect to the aforementioned Mr. Schmitt, the hottest golfer on the course right now is named Tiger Woods. The three-time PGA champ has made back-to-back birdies on Nos. 4 and 5, now at 3-under for the day and 2-under for the tournament.
3:09 p.m.: From Matthew in Traverse City, Mich.:
- How about giving some props to the hottest golfer on the course right now, Phil Schmitt from The Bluffs Country Club in St. Francisville, La. He's 4-under through eight holes. I'm sure you'll post this and then he'll do his best John Daly impersonation and explode with a "sexy," but if he pars in, then it's at least two club pros making the cut.
Here's hoping Schmitt is immune to the Blog Jinx. I'm not so sure he is ...
2:43 p.m.: Still waiting for someone to come up with the Woody Austin-repeatedly-hitting-himself-in-the-head-with-his-putter video, but we do have a few more nominations for funniest golf video.
I'm sticking with Woosie as my favorite. But I defy you to watch the second of those videos and not spit on your computer screen six seconds into the clip.
2:34 p.m.: Ron in Chicago has an update on one of our prop bets:
- It looks like at least one PGA pro will make it to the weekend. University of Illinois coach Mike Small has finished up a second-round 70 to keep himself at 3-over. Woody Austin was tired playing eight straight weeks. This guy is gonna be playing seven straight days in this type of heat! (It was brutal temps and humidity for the Illinois Open, as well.)
If one other PGA pro can make the cut -- Brad Lardon? Ryan Benzel? -- the over on 1.5 will be a winner.
2:30 p.m.: John Daly follows his bogey at 10 with ... another bogey on 11. Wheels. Are. Off.
This is crazy, I know, but is there a chance that copious amounts of caffeine and nicotine in 100-degree temps aren't the best to ingest while playing competitive golf? Could Daly have been ... wrong?
2:27 p.m.: Sergio Garcia drains the birdie putt on No. 2 from about 25 feet. It wasn't a great putt, but it found the side pocket. Man, that guy just gets every break!
2:25 p.m.: From Jared at the DMV:
- Thanks for the blog. I have a 90-minute wait at the DMV, so I am reading it
on my Treo. Right now, they're on number B226 and I'm waiting on B285. It's like watching Ben Crane grind out a round.
Just don't let Sabbatini cut ahead.
2:22 p.m.: In the "How many holes until John Daly makes bogey?" prop bet, if you took the under at 2.5, you're a winner!
Daly bogeys his first hole of the day (the course's 10th) to drop to 2-under. Like I said earlier, the blow-up is unfortunate ... but inevitable.
2:16 p.m.: OK, I've only gotten a few hundred e-mails today asking about the cut line, so now that enough players have finished their second round and we can get a good read on the situation, I'll finally address it.
The top 70 and ties reach the weekend. As of right now, there are 80 players at 5-over or better. If it stays that way -- and it may not; good chance at least 10 guys will drop a few strokes -- Vijay Singh, Davis Love III, Robert Allenby, Ben Curtis and J.J. Henry will be among the trunk-slammers.
2:05 p.m.: Birdie for Tiger Woods on No. 1. He's back to even-par for the tournament, just four shots behind Scott Verplank and three in back of Stephen Ames.
How'd that be for a final pairing on Sunday? Of course, everyone remembers what Ames said prior to their opening-round pairing at last year's Match Play Championship: "Anything can happen, especially where he's hitting the ball." Woods won the match 9 and 8, and later said the comment motivated him to beat Ames.
We've talked about Tiger's little spat with Rory Sabbatini ... there's this history with Ames ... Woods and Sergio Garcia aren't exactly best buds -- that's a lot of "enemies" for a guy who really doesn't have a true rival and is the most respected player in the game. Makes for good copy when he gets paired with one of 'em on a Sunday, though.
1:49 p.m.: The always entertaining Woody Austin hit the interview room a little while ago. Here are some of the highlights:
- Q. I'm sure you've heard a lot of talk about your decision to skip the British Open this year. Just talk about it one more time and do you have any regrets, certainly the way you played today, about not going over there and trying to give it a shot?
WOODY AUSTIN: See, that's just it. If Tiger doesn't play more than two weeks in a row, and it's a rarity when he plays two weeks in a row because he talks about how mentally draining it is to play the game. I've played eight weeks in a row. The British Open would have been nine in a row after a 15-hour flight, get over there on Monday night and not be able to play a practice round until Tuesday afternoon.
I chose to not play nine weeks in a row, and I'm getting lambasted because it was the British Open. It had nothing to do with it being the British Open. It had to do with the fact that I was dead tired. I played horrible the last two events that I played and I was just beat.
If I can play in a British Open, I'm going to want to play, but I'm also not going to want to go over there and make a fool of myself and shoot 80 both days. I felt like I would have gone over there so dead tired and so mentally exhausted and tried to figure out a way to play European -- or play that golf course, when I'm not accustomed to it.
So I just felt as though it wasn't a good thing for me to do. I would have loved to have played because I want to play in majors, but I also don't want to, you know, go over there after nine straight weeks.
So I'm hoping, if I'm qualified for it early enough for next year, I'll be there, I guarantee it.
Q. Why are you so hard on yourself?
WOODY AUSTIN: Well, I like to look at it this way: If you're not happy with your job, if you don't feel as though you're getting 100 percent out of what you put in or what you do for your job, are you supposed to be happy?
I feel as though I've only succeeded or I've only -- you've only seen half of what I have. Fifty percent isn't good enough far as I'm concerned.
So I'm never -- at my age now, I'm never going to be able to show you how good I know I was, but you still don't see how good I really am, and that's disappointing. And, therefore, I'm not going to sit here and lie and say, 'Oh, yeah, this is all great, when I know that I'm better.'
Q. A couple of questions. First one, I didn't see this, but somebody told me to ask you, did you have something about your golf ball landing on a frog or something today?
WOODY AUSTIN: Yeah, my ball was in that little creek on 13 that I didn't know about was sitting right next to a huge dead frog. It was upside-down in the creek.
Q. And how did you negotiate that?
WOODY AUSTIN: I just pulled it out with my sand wedge. I didn't want to touch him. (Laughter).
Q. Lighten the mood a little bit, has Tabasco ever sent you a shirt that you refused to wear? I think you know where I'm going.
WOODY AUSTIN: No. The ones that I refuse to wear are the plain ones. I have a lot of plain ones with the Tabasco name or the leaf. But anybody can wear a plain white shirt. From what I understand, though, this will be the last year for me. So they are not making these shirts anymore. So everybody can leave me alone, I guess. At least I don't wear lavender purple pants with white belts. You know, at least my pants are -- they are just [pants]. At least I'm not wearing from head to toe in pink with pink shoes and matching tassels.
Q. You've had a really nice career, you're a multiple PGA Tour winner, but thanks to networks like [Golf Channel] at least, the lasting image until we are done may be that moment at Hilton Head. Do you look back with amusement at that moment?
WOODY AUSTIN: Well, I can't help -- I wish I could look back at amusement. But the way I look at it is -- I put it to you this way. Because I got a little upset by seeing it -- where was it the last time? Every time I'm on, the whole prelude into it is that.
My take on that is if you catch me on the golf course doing something bad, and you want to lead in with that, so be it. But if you're going to lead into that after I shoot 62 or win a golf tournament; why? That has nothing to do with the 62. You lead into everything that Tiger does with the fist-pumps and all the good stuff. You never lead in with all of his bad stuff. So why is my one thing in ten years, where I did something outrageous, the only thing that I'm looked at?
Your mission, golf fans, should you choose to accept it, is this: Find the video of Austin from Hilton Head years ago in which he leaves his putt 15 feet short and cracks himself over the head repeatedly with his putter. I've scanned youtube and other places on the Internet, but can't find it. Up until this, it was the funniest golf-related video around.
1:47 p.m.: Good work by Stephen Ames. He lasted a whopping 51 minutes before succumbing to the Blog Jinx. On the final hole, Ames short-sided himself with his approach, chipped to the front of the green and was lucky to two-putt for bogey, finishing with a 69 to end his day at 3-under, one shot behind Scott Verplank.
1:42 p.m.: From Mike in Tulsa, Okla.:
- I heard this morning coming into work that the Day 2 leader at Southern Hills has won the PGA Championship each time at Southern Hills going back to 1958.
That is true. Mostly. There have been some shared leads after 36 holes and obviously only one of those co-leaders could win the tournament, but no one who hasn't been in at least a share of the lead entering the weekend has ever won at Southern Hills -- that goes for three U.S. Opens in addition to the three PGAs.
1:35 p.m.: Sergio Garcia starts his round with a par on the first hole. It would have been a birdie if the hole was a par-5, so it's not his fault he didn't do better.
1:32 p.m.: From Brad in Chicago:
- How about some love for the Americans on top of the leaderboard. Four out of the top five are representing the red, white and blue (and aren't named Tiger Woods) in a year when two out of three majors have been won by international players.
Good point. And right on cue, local boy Scott Verplank posts a second-round 66 to take the early clubhouse lead. We keep talking about this course setting up well for accurate, mistake-free players who can churn out pars and Verplank totally fits the bill. Expect him to stick around through the weekend.
1:25 p.m.: Phil Mickelson just finished his round, following yesterday's 73 with a 1-under 69 today. That will bring up the inevitable question I always hear around this time at majors: How far out of the lead can a player be going into the weekend and still win the tournament?
My usual answer is that 8-9 strokes is certainly a differential from which a player can come back. And that's especially true at this course, where the leading score is fairly close to par (4-under right now), but as we've seen, there are 65s out there, too.
If a player -- Mickelson or anyone even further back -- can replicate Graeme Storm's round of 65 from yesterday in tomorrow or Sunday's round, they could find themselves in very good shape.
1:21 p.m.: I knew you guys wouldn't disappoint. Some of the better ones ...
From Scott in San Francisco:
- The Great Gabbatini
From Jake in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.:
- Siegfried and Roy (Don't screw with Tigers)
From Dale in West Hills, Calif.:
- Bogatini, Chokatini, Hackatini, Shankatini
1:09 p.m.: One more quick e-mail before a 5-minute lunch break. From Mike in Nashville, Tenn.:
- If Rory Sabbatini were to don an evil pro wrestling mask and go berserk, what would his stage name be? Or his signature move? The Final Hole Choke Slam? The Top Rope Triple Bogey? I think your readers can come up with better options than me ...
Unfortunately, the best name for him is already taken: Mouth of the South. I suppose Roarin' Rory could work, too. Anyone got anything better?
1:04 p.m.: E-mail from Houston, Texas:
- Does the Blog Jinx work just for golfers or will it work on my fellow co-workers? If so, please mention how good Randall and Carl are selling this
month. I need all the help I can get in this month's sales contest.
-- Name withheld in fear of Blog Jinx
Happy to help. Randall and Carl won't make a sale for the next week. If you can live with that kind of guilt, then so can I.
12:56 p.m.: From Bradley in Vegas, Ontario, Canada:
- Give some props to our Canadian fella Stevie Ames. If you had to pick one
Canadian to do well, you would have chosen Stephen. Only for the fact that
unlike Mike Weir and every other Canadian-born human, he did not endure snow
as a child growing up in Trinidad & Tobago, and these temps are somewhat normal. I'm already throwing the anti-jinx on him by typing with one hand and crossing
the fingers with the other.
Ames is playing very well right now, the sole leader at 4-under.
Then again, if I could have only picked one Canadian, I was going with Disco Dick Zokol. I know, he's not entered, but how his idea of wearing headphones on the course (yes, it's legal, so long as no tips/advice is being dispensed) never took off with other players is beyond me.
12:49 p.m.: From Robert in Parts Unknown:
- Is Tiger Woods a certain Player of the Year winner this year, too? I would hope to see a major winner getting the prize at the end of the year.
I'm with you. Even though Tiger leads the tour with four victories, I still think I'd vote Zach Johnson POY right now. It's certainly an interesting question, one that's going to gain a lot of momentum in coming weeks. If a player who's having a good season so far can win this week -- Woods, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, K.J. Choi, Jim Furyk, Padraig Harrington, even Hunter Mahan -- he'll make a pretty good case for himself, too.
12:38 p.m.: Blog Jinx! Just as I mention John Senden's propensity for hitting greens in regulation, how this course suits his game, how he could be a good sleeper pick ... he makes bogey on 17.
Meanwhile, Scott Verplank just posted a birdie on 15 and he's tied for the lead with John Daly and Stephen Ames.
12:34 p.m.: One more for-entertainment-purposes-only prop bet from Chad in N.Y.:
- John Daly didn't make bogey until No. 16 yesterday (as you mentioned, probably his longest streak of bogey-free golf all season). What's the over/under on how many holes he makes it today before the first one? If it comes on his first (which is #10 today), it could be a long day.
I like it. Nos. 10 and 11 are playing as the 15th and 17th toughest holes, respectively, right now. But the 12th, a 458-yard par-4 ranks as the second-hardest. So let's set the over/under for Daly's first bogey at 2.5 holes.
I'm taking the under. And, uh, I hope someone out there is keeping track of all these prop bets! (Hint, hint.)
12:27 p.m.: Spy report from out on the course!
- I'm so bored that I'm reading your blog.
Great. Even the spies have given up. When it's too hot to do something as simple as "observe" and "communicate," then you know it's too hot.
12:20 p.m.: Good observation from James, another one in Parts Unknown:
- Interesting stat so far: The three Argentines are a combined 17-over on the par-3 holes. No. 6 is killing them. I think they are 13-over on that hole alone. Of course, the Duck's 10 makes up almost half of that, but the other two have tripled it at least once.
Let's take a look:
• Angel Cabrera: 9-over on the par-3 holes. After a septy and two bogeys yesterday, he made par on all four of 'em in today's round.
• Andres Romero: 6-over with one par-3 hole left to play.
• Jose Coceres: 2-over on the par-3 holes, with a triple on 6 today being his only blemish.
Somewhere, there's a joke about fellow countryman Manu Ginobili helping these guys shoot 3s ... but I can't find it.
12:11 p.m.: E-mail from Ronnie in Parts Unknown:
- I would appreciate it if you could get Daly to do "fat guy in a little coat" after his impending blow-up today. It will help ease the pain for us fans.
Uh, pretty sure that's not happening. But what do you think would happen if J.D. ever won the Masters? Would they pull Craig Stadler's green jacket out of the Champions Locker Room? Would they sew two of Tiger's together? Or would Daly actually pull a "fat guy in little coat" routine?
12:06 p.m.: John Senden is currently the leader (tied with John Daly at 3-under), despite making bogey on 9 and double on 10. Good course setup for him. He hits a ton of greens in regulation (almost 70 percent this season, fourth on tour). I had him pegged as a sleeper pick at Oakmont ... until he didn't make the field. Should have had him in mind this week, too.
11:59 a.m.: From Brad in Carlisle, Pa.:
- You mentioned Woody Austin's hideous shirts. I'm always on the lookout for the trendier fashions on tour. Who's looking good today and who is failing miserably?
There's one rule of thumb out here on tour: Woody Austin is the best dressed man every single week he tees it up. Everyone else is just playing for second place.
11:48 a.m.: The Imperfect Storm is now 4-over for the day and 1-under for the tournament. (And yes, for all of you who have suggested "Graeme Cracks" as a headline, you are to be commended.)
The following from David Whitley's column in today's Orlando Sentinel is too good not to share with everyone:
- The majors have had some surprise winners this year. But is the world ready for a Monkey Hanger to win the PGA Championship? ...
During the Napoleonic wars, a French ship wrecked just off the northwest England coast.
A monkey dressed in a French sailor's uniform washed ashore, and the simple fishing folk from Hartlepool had never seen a Frenchman.
They assumed the monkey was one, so they tried to interrogate it. The poor monkey couldn't respond in either English or French, so the locals figured it was a spy. They held a quick trial and hanged him from the mast of a fishing boat.
And Sergio Garcia thinks he's persecuted?
If it wasn't for whomever created Hartlepool and, therefore, helped shape the life of Graeme Storm, Garcia would have been two shots closer to the lead after Day 1. Poor guy can never catch a break!
11:42 a.m.: Woody Austin makes bogey on 13. Golf Gods and the Blog Jinx work their mysterious ways in harmony.
11:38 a.m.: Jay in Dayton, Ohio, with a prop bet:
- Here's one you can keep track of. The number of people who e-mail you to whine about Sergio whining. I'll set the number at 50 and take the under, just so the whiners will prove me wrong. By the way, if you whine about the people who whine about Sergio whining, it doesn't count. But if you whine about the people who whine about the people who whine about Sergio whining, it does count.
Unbelievably, I actually understand what you're getting at, Jay. (And for the rest of you, read it about three or four times; it'll sink in.) I'm taking the over ... and I think it's already hit. Let's just say Garcia didn't endear himself to too many fans when he made those post-British Open comments. He and Rory Sabbatini are, like Seve Ballesteros and Colin Montgomerie before them, now the players you love to hate.
And there's nothing wrong with that. Pro wrestling has built an entire empire based on villains and bad guys who are part of the story lines. Now, I'm not suggesting for a second that Rory start donning an evil mask and pile-driving Tiger from the top step of the clubhouse, but sometimes having players to root against is as important to the health of a sport as having players to root for, the "good guys," per se, like John Daly.
11:35 a.m.: From Kim in Stevensville, Md.:
- Daly taking notes? Not likely -- everyone knows how hard it is to write on those cocktail napkins.
Probably tough to find a pen and paper -- let alone an Internet scoring feed -- at the slot machines.
11:27 a.m.: Quick leaderboard check, upside-down style. Club pro Erik Wolf is holding the bottom spot right now, but Bubba Watson is high touring pro. He finished T-5 at the U.S. Open on a setup that didn't seem to suit his grip-it-and-rip-it style, but it's not working this time around at another short, narrow course.
Following yesterday's 79 that featured a quadruple-bogey, a triple-bogey, a double-bogey and three plain ol' regular bogeys, Watson is already 8-over for today's round through 13 holes. He has two doubles and five bogeys, which tells you what can happen when things go wrong for a long hitter out here. Wonder if John Daly is taking note?
11:18 a.m.: Quick leaderboard check shows Woody Austin (1-under for his round through 12 holes) and John Daly (teeing off at 2:05 p.m. local time) tied for the lead.
Many of you have written in saying that we don't need the Golf Gods to haunt Austin; the Blog Jinx will work its own crazy magic. Perhaps, but Deborah in Philadelphia (first two-time blog poster of the day!) has this idea:
- Considering the temperature in Tulsa, I'd gather it isn't Golf Gods who are around to oversee. And if it's golf demons in charge, who better than Austin to have an ungodly win?
Interesting. So you're saying Austin has a deal with the devil? I don't think I'd go that far. But it does explain those hideous shirts.
11:14 a.m.: From Kevin in Dallas:
- "Garciaing" is too hard to say. Let's switch it "serging," as in: "Quit your serging and pay up already!"
Might get confusing when we say one player is "surging up the leaderboard" while another is "serging down the leaderboard," but I like it. Done.
My personal serge: If time were slower, I'd be able to write more blog entries and post them quicker. Whoever invented time is totally screwing this blog.
11:08 a.m.: I've gotten about 100 e-mails for this next prop bet, so let's all take partial credit:
- Over/under on the number of "sexys" and "septys" in today's round?
Done. Now we have three prop bets.
For those who missed yesterday's blog (for the record, the only acceptable excuse is: "I was playing 36 holes, lost the match and the press and had to sell my computer to pay the guy"), a "sexy" is a sixtuple-bogey on any one hole (a score of 10 on a par-4, for instance) and a "septy" is a septuple-bogey (such as Angel Cabrera's 10 on the par-3 sixth hole yesterday).
I will set the over/under at 0.5. These scores almost never happened; that's why Cabrera's 10 made such big news yesterday. Everyone keep your eyes peeled to the leaderboard. If we get one, I'll be shocked. I'm taking the under.
11:02 a.m.: First spy report of the week!
For those who have followed the live blog from the previous three majors, I had spies all over the course relaying info that would otherwise go unknown. Guess my contacts aren't as good here in Tulsa, because the spy reports have dwindled, but here's the first one of the week:
- Henrik Stenson was just seen practicing a full swing in the locker room, with his instructor watching, because it's too hot to practice outside.
The spy report didn't include any further info, but I'm guessing Stenson punctuated each swing by angrily beating his club against the wall and stuffing Fred Funk in a locker. That Swedish temper is an ugly thing.
10:54 a.m.: E-mail from Deborah in Philadelphia, who would like to add another term to the "septy" that we got into urbandictionary.com yesterday:
- I do think the use of the word "garcia" as a verb can be widely promoted in the game. Whenever anyone blames fate or luck or the golf-ball-stealing faeries for
their woes, they can be said to be "garciaing."
I like it. This can translate to all walks of life, too, not just the golf course. But I think it needs to be a noun instead. As in: Can't get to work on time because the alarm clock broke and there was so much traffic? Stop being such a garcia!
In related news, Sergio Garcia has just said that if it wasn't for sun and water and dirt, grass would never grow so lengthy and he'd never be in the rough.
10:45 a.m.: A big thank you to Jake in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., for our second real prop bet that we can follow today:
- Over/under on the pro shop pros that actually make the cut? There are 20 of them out there, right?
Yes, there are. If memory serves correctly, none made the cut last year (I think University of Illinois coach Mike Small missed by a single stroke) and usually that's the case, though one or two sneak into the weekend on occasion.
But so far there are a few guys making a good run at it. Brad Lardon shot an even-par 70 yesterday and Ryan Benzel checked in with a 71. Will both of them make it? It's doubtful. So I'll set the over/under at 1.5 ... and not to be too cynical, but I'm taking the under. The combination of the heat, the course conditions, the pressure -- it'll be too much for at least one of these guys, even though we should all be rooting for 'em.
10:39 a.m.: OK, two more not-really-prop-bets-that-we-can-track-but-funny-enough-that-I-should-post-them prop bets ...
From Dan in Natick, Mass.:
- Over/under on the number of times Sergio Garcia blames everyone and everything but himself today: 42.5.
From Nick in Cincinnati:
- Over/under on the number of times God directly intervenes to raise Sergio's score, providing yet another excuse why he can not win a major.
This was classic from Garcia yesterday, the first thing he said to reporters after walking off the course with an even-par 70 in which he bogeyed his last two holes:
- "It is not a bad round, but it was a nice way of throwing a good round in the trash."
Sergio also blamed the sun for being hot, the Earth for rotating toward the sun, and "whoever created sweat glands" for making him sweaty.
If not for all those factors against him, he would have shot 68.
10:28 a.m.: Woody Austin is now tied atop the leaderboard with John Senden, Stephen Ames and John Daly. As you'll recall -- and as Brandon alluded to in the previous entry -- Austin was eligible for last month's British Open ... and decided to stay home. He cited the fact that he was "exhausted" from playing so many tournaments and added, "I don't know how to play that type of golf."
Scott Hoch used to do the same thing, skipping the British for a variety of reasons. (He once called St. Andrews "the worst piece of mess" he had played golf on.) And Fred Funk skipped it a few years ago while trying to gain valuable Ryder Cup points at an opposite U.S.-based event the same week. (He didn't get any points.)
Just my opinion, but Austin hasn't been criticized enough. So you go over to Scotland for a few days, withstand the rain and cold, shoot 78-82 and go home on Friday night. Big deal. IT'S THE FREAKIN' BRITISH OPEN! How do you skip it?
Golf Gods, are you hearing this? A guy who skipped the world's oldest and longest-running professional tournament just three weeks ago is now leading the year's final major. I assume you'll do something about this soon?
10:16 a.m.: The prop best are rolling in, but as I'll explain in a minute, there's one fundamental flaw with each of them.
From Patrick in Rochester, Minn.:
- Over/under on John Daly's packs of smokes? Diet Cokes? Pounds shed?
From Brandon in Cartersville, Ga.:
- Over/under on the number of British Opens Woody Austin would play if he were to win the PGA and get a five-year exemption.
From Yank in Charleston, S.C.:
- Over/under on the number of shirts Tim Herron sweats through today?
From Brian in Parts Unknown:
- Over/under on the number of times Henrik Stenson acts like a petulant and spoiled child who didn't get his second ride on the ferris wheel at Busch Gardens?
All very funny, very cute. You guys are getting creative today and I like it. (Hey, maybe more than two e-mailers -- a record low from yesterday's blog -- will make me laugh out loud today!)
But unless they start putting things like the number of cigarettes smoked, shirts sweated through and times acting like a child on the leaderboard statistics (not a terrible idea, by the way), it's going to be tough to keep track of these.
Let's try again with some good, solid numbers that we can track throughout the day.
10:08 a.m.: Uh-oh ... feel that? It feels like ... the Storm is ... over. The Imperfect Storm makes another bogey on No. 10 -- his fourth of the day, in addition to a double on the eighth -- and he's no longer in the lead.
10:00 a.m.: Good morning from Tulsa, golf fans, where it's just another pleasantly sweltering (or is that swelteringly pleasant?) day at the PGA Championship.
In early action, The Perfect Storm has subsided into a light drizzle, as Graeme Storm shot a front-side 37 to drop to 3-under for the tournament, now tied atop the leaderboard with John Senden (2-under for the day through seven holes) and John Daly, who has yet to tee off.
Speaking of J.D., it's time for our first for-entertainment-purposes-only prop bet of the week. Daly's over/under for today's round: 74.5. I'm taking the over -- the blow-up is inevitable; his final score could start with an "8" today -- and I'm not so sure Daly wouldn't do the same. After his round yesterday, he said, "To be honest with you, I was waiting to make a seven or eight because that's the way the year has been going."
Let's get some more of these prop bets going today. It's Friday, so loosen that tie, let the workload pile up and stay tuned to the live blog for the next eight hours. Here we go ...