San Francisco, August 6
Tiger Woods seems to have one thing new in retailer for this PGA Championship – his putter.
Woods has received all however one in all his 15 majors with a Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS, the putter he borrowed from Mark O’Meara in 1998 and by no means returned. The solely different time he switched at a significant was at St Andrews in 2010, when he used a Nike Method.
Woods has experimented with different putters since then, reminiscent of a TaylorMade selection in 2018 earlier than going again to his common putter on the Tour Championship, which he received.
This week he has been working with a putter similar to his Cameron Newport however with adjustable weights within the sole to regulate to inexperienced speeds. Golf Channel reported it will be within the bag on Thursday, and Woods used it throughout a apply spherical on Wednesday with Steve Stricker and Davis Love III.
“It’s basically the same putter with a little bit more flexibility,” Stricker mentioned.
“He’s able to change the weights around a little bit, but the length is the difference. He’s got a little more length on there, and that’s just so he can practice a little bit more without back pain. That’s what excites him the most is that he was able to put in a lot of time with this putter. And watching him putt, it looked exactly the same to me. He rolled the ball great.”
Notah Begay III, a long-time buddy who now works as an analyst for NBC and Golf Channel, mentioned Woods was trying “to create some new sensations in his hands.”
“The extra weight might give him something to at least work on and focus as he tries to find that putting stroke,” Begay mentioned.
Will he make the change? And if he does, for a way lengthy? “I promise you, old faithful is back at the place where he is staying right now,” Begay mentioned on Golf Channel. “It is not far away.”
Pay to play
This is the second straight yr the PGA Championship is being held on a public golf course, from Bethpage Black on Long Island, New York, to the TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. Both have affordable charges beneficial to native residents.
The going charges for Harding Park subsequent week: USD 80 for San Francisco residents, USD 200 for Bay Area residents and $300 for everybody else. At Bethpage Black, weekday charges are USD 65 for New York residents and USD 130 for these out-of-state, although getting a tee time can imply sleeping within the automotive in a single day to get in line.
“We’re always going to go to private courses because some of the private courses are some of the best in the world, and they’re courses that test the top players,” Rory McIlroy mentioned.
“But at the same time, it’s very refreshing that we do come to places like here, Bethpage, Torrey Pines. It is important to let the public see us on golf courses that they’ve played before, that are accessible for them, that aren’t too expensive to get on.”
That led to a query: When was the final time McIlroy paid to play?
“Valderrama, 2005,” he mentioned, including that he paid 250 euros.
“I’ve always liked the look at Valderrama. I was in Spain. Obviously, Ryder Cup course. The Tour Championship of The European Tour was there for a lot of years. I was there and spent a few months’ worth of pocket money to go and play.”
McIlroy returned three years later on the finish of 2008 — the final yr the Volvo Masters was at Valderrama earlier than the season-ending occasion moved to Dubai. That time, he was paid to play.
He had rounds of 74-73-75-73, tied for 39th and was paid 29,500 euros.
This PGA Championship might need set a report for many gamers who determined to not play.
Vaughn Taylor withdrew Wednesday, citing an harm. He is the 11th participant to withdraw from the PGA Championship because the subject was first launched six days in the past.
But it truly goes deeper than that. Four different gamers who had been both eligible or on the invitation record from being within the high 100 on this planet rating — Lee Westwood, Eddie Pepperell, Shugo Imahira and former PGA champion Y E Yang — knowledgeable the PGA of America they’d not be taking part in.
Yang performed two weeks in the past on the Korean PGA Tour.
Westwood, Pepperell and Harrington cited worldwide journey and the COVID-19 pandemic for not taking part in. Others cited accidents. Thomas Pieters of Belgium hasn’t performed because the European Tour shut down in March. Neither has Francesco Molinari, and his time has been consumed transferring his household from London to California.
Alex Noren changed Taylor within the subject. Next on the alternate record is Pat Perez, who was on the TPC Harding Park.
Perez mentioned it was a brief drive from Lake Tahoe on the Barracuda Championship and he had a spot to stick with Jason Kokrak. Otherwise, he mentioned he may not be on website. At this price, he may wind up getting a tee time, though the 155 gamers examined for the coronavirus all had detrimental outcomes.
That leaves the PGA Championship with 91 gamers from the highest 100 on this planet. AP