Kelly Selly Hate: Is Kelly Tilghman trying to retain the Woods Only fans by constant comparisons of Rory to Woods? Rory is always “trying to do what only one man has ever done before, and that man was Tiger Woods.” Is Tilghman trying to cultivate a loyal following of Rory “haters”? How is THAT healthy for golf? Give it a rest, Kelly. Golf is one hell of a game with an underlying foundation of good spirit and fairness and honor and joy. It doesn’t need your petty hate-mongering. Go away, Kelly. Just go away.
Paid by the Word: Just now, Kelly, bantering with a guy doing a remote, said, “You’re stubborn. They say Tiger Woods is stubborn, but you are as stubborn as he is.” She works Woods into every conversation. I’m convinced a sponsor pays her a bonus for every mention of Woods.
Rory’s Golf Ball: The price on Rory’s winning British Open golf ball has climbed from $12,000 to $19,000 since the PGA Championship began. Not to brag, but my prediction was $40,000 with a chance at six figures, and I think that’s looking pretty good. The auction ends tomorrow night shortly after the tournament should conclude.
PGA.com Live Stream: There will be a live stream again this morning at PGA.com. The marquee group is Bubba and Thorbjorn (Olesen). There is also coverage of a par-3. Both go live at 11:00 EDT. Of course, that’s when TNT’s television coverage starts, too.
Deja Vu: I had to go out for a while this morning. I returned and flipped on Golf Channel. A graphic comparison of Tiger and Jack’s majors is on the screen. Kelly is telling us what it means. You’d think it was 2007. Guys, give it up. How about a moratorium on “Woods chasing Jack” until Woods wins major number fifteen? Just shelve it until Woods wins another major. Doesn’t that make a lot of sense? He’s gone nearly seven years without winning one, so, let’s be realistic, the odds of him winning the “next” one are not very good. So rather then repeat your boring drivel for another seven years, let’s just stop the silliness.
Weather Report: Local Louisville weatherman says there’s a chance rain could stop play a time or two today, but there should not be a lengthy delay. Tomorrow looks about the same. The course played pretty well yesterday after all the early rain. From a fan’s perspective (well, those watching on television), the weather this weekend shouldn’t be more than a minor nuisance.
Hoggard on Day: Good reporting from Valhalla by Rex Hoggard on Morning Drive. He reports Jason Day weakened his grip last week at the WGC-Firestone, and that has allowed him to hit more range balls without aggravating his thumb. That’s fantastic news, and bodes well for Jason’s chances this weekend.
The Media’s Rory Story: The golf media is constructing a “Rory has it” narrative — his lead is a massive one stroke — secretly hoping to be wrong. Hedging their bets, so to speak. Rory’s great play is making it harder and harder for them to cling to their continuing Woods obsession. If Rory wins, they will say, “Ho, hum, we knew he would.” If he doesn’t, they will trot out their “He’s no Tiger Woods” crap. (Woods never won as a teenager like Rory and Spieth, of course, but such inconvenient factoids — and there are many — are to be ignored.)
Rickie Fowler: Rickie Fowler should be a much bigger focus than he is. A two-stroke deficit after 36 holes is Game On, not Game Over. Fowler is not the same player since he hooked up with Butch Harmon this year. You could see more grim-faced determination from the very start of the season. But even the “old Rickie” has positive memories of chasing Rory. Has everyone already forgotten about the Rickie-Rory playoff at Quail Hollow? Rickie bested Rory that day in 2012, a year Rory won five times, including the PGA Championship at Kiowah.
Friday Night Postgame: Golf Channel’s post-round coverage focused on — surprise, surprise — Tiger Woods. Fifteen of the first twenty minutes were devoted to Tiger Woods, who missed the cut. It did improve after that.
Morning Drive: I’m watching Morning Drive as I write. Twenty minutes into the show, they do a ten-minute “What next for Tiger?” segment, starting with “arty” black-and-white video. A graphic showed Woods made only five cuts this entire year; Woods certainly leads the PGA Tour in media-attention/cuts-made ratio.
Ryder Cup Fever: This is a big topic for the golf media because they can still do their “Should Tiger be on the team?” schtick. Morning Drive thus far (the first thirty minutes) has spent more time on the Ryder Cup than on the PGA Championship leaders. One thing I’ve noticed the past few days is this meme they push that Woods wants badly to be on the team. Does he really? If I’m him, I want to rehab my back.