DAN REARDON: Thursday PGA Notebook
Seeing is Believing – Tiger Woods declared himself pain free after his practice round at Valhalla Wednesday and admitted to some mild stiffness after his opening three over 74. Tiger’s media scrum lasted less than five minutes and he spent even less time between signing his card and taking the podium.
When Tiger finished, the assembled press waited to hear from Phil Mickelson who was paired with Woods. I headed back to the media center. “Pain free, mildly stiff” Tiger took the same route. Five minutes after his exchanges with the press Woods had changed his shoes in the parking lot, got in his running car and left the course for more “physio”
It would appear this week Tiger is working more on his back than his game.
Glories Last Shout – More than any other major, PGA Champions haven’t necessarily gone on to Hall of Fame careers. John Daly (‘91), Mark Brooks (‘96) and Rich Beem (‘99) were paired for the opening two rounds this year’s PGA Championship.
The trio turned in rounds of 78, 76, 74 respectively, twelve over par, and posted only three birdies and fifteen bogeys for the day.
Cup Casualties – Being a part of this year’s US Ryder Cup team may be as much about passing a physical as earning enough points. Tiger Woods hopes of being added to the team are wrapped around his ongoing back issues and absence from the game.
Dustin Johnson, a points lock, has disappeared for ‘pharmaceutical’ reasons. On Thursday two other Cuppers went on the disabled list. Matt Kuchar withdrew from the PGA Championship citing back problems. Current PGA Champion Jason Dufner followed Kooch to the sidelines, withdrawing after ten holes with neck problems.
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