The PGA Championship

PGA Championship Notebook

Not only has a European not won a major in 16 tournaments, one hasn't won the PGA Championship since 1930

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) -- Forget about Tiger Woods' Grand Slam slump. The Europeans are in much worse shape.

The last player from the continent to win one of golf's four majors was Paul Lawrie of Scotland at the 1999 British Open. If no one comes through at the PGA Championship, Europe's drought will reach 17 tournaments.

Woods hasn't won a major since the U.S. Open last year.

Alex Cejka of Germany is the only European even in contention at Oak Hill after shooting a 2-under 68 Saturday to tie for fifth place, five strokes off the lead.

Only three Europeans have won the PGA Championship, and none since Tommy Armour in 1930.

Bernhard Langer wouldn't mind seeing the Europeans' streak broken.

"It would be nice," the European Ryder Cup captain said. "We had a few golden years where Europeans won a major every year."

From 1984-94, Europeans claimed 11 majors: five Masters and six British Opens. Nick Faldo of England had five of those victories, followed by Sandy Lyle of Scotland and Seve Ballesteros of Spain with two each.

The difference back then, Langer said, was that there was a group of Europeans that raised its level of play, including himself, Ian Woosnam and Jose Maria Olazabal.

Langer sees the same thing happening now with Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh.

Without providing a list, Langer said he also sees several young Europeans emerging.

"You know who I'm talking about," Langer said. "I see guys that have great prospects. Give them time to mature and develop."

The majors drought hasn't affected the Europeans' play at the Ryder Cup, where they've won three of the last four competitions.


MAKING HIS CASE: Bob Estes is 11th in the Presidents Cup standings and in good shape to at least stay in the top 12 after the PGA Championship.

Now all he needs is for Jack Nicklaus to take the 11th and 12th players as his captain's picks for Estes to make the U.S. team that plays an international team in South Africa in late November.

Estes has never played in a Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup.

He says Nicklaus' decision should be easy.

"It's not like you can go wrong taking me," Estes said. "Obviously, I can play a little bit."

To make his case, Estes noted that while he was 11th in the standings -- based on PGA Tour earnings the last three years -- he was No. 20 in the world ranking and has been in the top 30 for the last couple of years.

"I'm never going to get too far away from my game," Estes said. "And I'll get even better between now and when the Presidents Cup is played."


BIRDIES FOR CHARITY: Briny Baird tapes a photograph of a missing child to his golf bag during each tournament.

This week, the picture depicts 3-year-old Nathalia Munoz, who vanished from her home on Long Island seven years ago.

Since April, Canon has been donating $100 to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children each time Baird shoots a birdie and $250 for each eagle. He's earned almost $32,000 for the center so far, including $400 for his 3-under 67 at Oak Hill on Saturday.

Birdies have been so rare at Oak Hill, "they should donate an extra $50 every time I make a par," Baird said, joking.

Nearly 800,000 children are reported missing each year, according to the Justice Department.


IN AND OUT: With storm clouds threatening, a weather warning was placed on the scoreboards shortly before 8:45 a.m.; it was taken down four hours later when the sky cleared. The forecast for the final round called for partly cloudy skies and a high of 79. ... This marks the first time in five years that a PGA club professional is not competing in the final two rounds. Don Berry, of Maple Grove, Minn., came the closest, missing Friday's cut of 8 over by two strokes.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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