PGA Championship Mail Bag

August 08, 2018

1. Being from Missouri I'm sure you've played Bellerive CC a million times. Give us viewers a quick summary of what to expect? Peter W. - Mt. Horeb, WI

Believe it or not, I've never played the course.  When the PGA Championship was last contested there in 1992 I was in stage 9 of Q-school in the Baja Sur, so the PGA Championship was the furthest thing from my mind.  More recently, I sent the head pro at Bellerive a text asking if I could drive over from Kansas City and play the course. He replied four days later with three of those 'laughter' emojis.  


2. The PGA Championship seems to get a bad rap as the worst of the 4 majors.  Do you agree with that assessment? Charlotte B. - Jacksonville, FL

Listen, there's not a single guy on tour that wouldn't tell you that the PGA is the least desirable of the 4 majors. That's just a fact. I think there are multiple factors at play here. It's late in the schedule and the players, fans and media are burned out, the venues are typically lackluster and for some strange reason the event often produces uninspiring champions.  A lot of people think that Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson *couldn't* win the PGA......I'm in a very small but focal minority that believes they just didn't *want* to.

3. Use your insight and knowledge of the game to give us some players to watch this weekend? Jessica K. - Salem, OR

Well, Nick Price won at Bellerive back in '92, so we know it's a bombers paradise.  Based on that, I'm looking for Brian Gay and Rory McIlroy to be in the mix.  Personally, I like one of the Kim brothers (Si Woo, Whee and Michael) to be in contention late. I also like several of the Club Pros to make strong runs, led of course by the legendary and revered club professional Omar Uresti.

4. The PGA of America recently decided to allow the players to wear shorts during practice rounds.  Are you cool with this?  Kyle LaFontaine - Yuma, AZ

I take no offense to it personally.  My only concern is where does it end?  This is one of those classic 'slippery slope' situations. This year it's shorts, next year at Bethpage it's ok to wear tank tops, then at Harding Park in 2020 they let the guys play see where I'm going here. I don't want the PGA of America to find themselves in a situation in 2029 at Baltusrol where Joaquin Niemann is walking up the 18th fairway in nothing but an Adidas loin cloth.

Jordan Spieth is already showing us the natural progression (below) if we continue down this path.

5. I can't believe I'm saying this but I think the FOX golf broadcast has eclipsed CBS's coverage. Am I crazy? Michelle Buck - St. Louis, MO

The FOX broadcast has come a long way since it's disastrous US Open debut at Chambers Bay back in 2015.  Gone are the weak Greg Norman clichés (that was an 'all-around' good putt) and the Charles Johnson (tell us about the birdie you shot on #16) post round interviews. However, CBS still leads the way due in large part to the emergence of Amanda Balionis.  Amanda has a very likable 'girl next door' persona and a natural ability to conduct post round interviews that rarely have those patented awkward moments.  I've reached out several times to Amanda on Twitter and she refuses to engage me in any way, which I think is part and parcel to the "cat and mouse" game that can go on in any early courtship. 

As for the CBS coverage, I'd like to see the network take a strong run at Larry Rinker for lead analyst duties but I doubt that will happen for several financial/logistical reasons.  Les Moonves would probably have to get involved and I have a feeling his plate is plenty full right now.






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