August 8, 2012 - 11:24am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Tiger Woods
Getty Images
Many of our PGA.com Facebook friends identified Tiger Woods as the player to beat this week.

We asked PGA.com Facebook Nation who they thought would win the 94th PGA Championship at The Ocean Course. Check out the list of the top-9 potential winners identified by you, our PGA.com Facebook friends!

August 7, 2012 - 9:51pm
Posted by:
John Kim
john.kim's picture
John Kim, Scott Stallings
John Kim via Twitter
PGA.com's John Kim meets up with friend and two-time PGA Tour winner Scott Stallings.

Last year, just prior to the start of the PGA Championship, I was celebrating the first win of my friend Scott Stallings' PGA Tour career. Scott had won the 2011 Greenbrier Classic and was headed to Atlanta for the season's final major, and I even wrote a well-received piece detailing how we met, how much I respected his dedication and the challenges he had overcome.

So here we are, one year later. Scott, who has battled injuries all year, is finally feeling good and ready to contend this week here at The Ocean Course. Again, he is coming off a win (two weeks ago at the True South Classic) and sits just below the radar as one of the up-and-coming stars in golf.

But even more, he's still a humble, well-mannered and fun person. We had traded texts this week hoping to find time to say hello. Of course, schedules get crazy and we missed connecting -- until a chance meeting outside Fresh Fields on Kiawah Island.

And a short visit with him, his wife and some friends -- and one photo for Twitter later -- we parted ways, hoping to say hello again later in the week.

Good guy, good golfer and good friend. If you need a golfer to fill out your fantasy roster -- or just want to root for one of the good guys on tour -- I'm going to recommend Scott Stallings to you.

August 7, 2012 - 2:32pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture

The weather has been challenging, to say the least, today at the PGA Championship, where there already have been three weather delays for thunder, lightning and one epic downpour. Crazily enough, that’s not even the wackiest weather weirdness of the day affecting golf.

That honor goes to the Sunshine Big Easy Tour event down in Pretoria, South Africa, where Tuesday’s first round was delayed by snow.

Yup, for the first time in the history of southern Africa’s Sunshine Tour, an event was affected by snowfall. Play in the 36-hole tournament was halted at Maccauvlei Golf Club, and tournament officials are monitoring the situation.

“What started as a fresh morning on the banks of the Vaal River soon became an icy affair as snow built up around the course,” said a report on the Sunshine Tour's website.

While some players weathered it out in the halfway house, the story said, many took advantage of the rare weather conditions and made snow angels and had snowball fights.

According to South African news reports, this is the first time Pretoria has gotten snow since 1968.
 
Good news for the golfers – the high on Wednesday is supposed to be around 54 degrees Farenheit, so the show should be gone. The bad news – there’s a 40 percent chance of rain. The average high temperature for this time of year in Pretoria is about 75 degrees.

August 7, 2012 - 1:05am
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Phil Mickelson
Getty Images
Phil Mickelson joined a group headed by the O'Malley family in May, but will have no role in the team's say-to-day operations.

Phil Mickelson could be excused if he was a little distracted on Monday at the PGA Championship -- his group's purchase of the San Diego Padres was finalized on Monday night. All that's left now is formal approval by the other Major League Baseball owners, which could come as soon as an owners' meeting on Aug. 16.

Mickelson joined a group headed by the O'Malley family -- the longtime owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers -- and San Diego businessman Ron Fowler in May. Their group was one of five trying to buy the Padres from owner John Moores, and they later were selected as the winning group. Mickelson and his partners will pay about $800 million for the team, but there has been no word on how much Mickelson is kicking in or how large a piece of the ownership he will receive.

Asked about his proposed investment in May, Mickelson said only that it would be "a lot," and that it would be a "significant investment opportunity."
 
As for his role with the team?
 
"Day-to-day operations, running a sports organization, that's not my forte," Mickelson said. "I want to have a personal relationship with the players and find ways to get them tied to the community, things of that nature."

August 6, 2012 - 10:14pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
john.holmes's picture
Pete Dye
Getty Images

The daunting Ocean Course at Kiawah Island has been striking fear into the world’s top players since it was announced as the host venue for this week’s PGA Championship. But all the consternation from the tour pros is music to the ears of Pete Dye, the renowned course architect who conjured it up out of the dunes and linksland along the wild South Carolina coast.

“Hell, I can't think of anything better” than the game’s best players complaining about playing from the back tees while the general public turns out in droves to enjoy the course from the white tees, Dye told Tom Mackin of Golf Magazine last week.

The irascible Dye also discussed his plans for retirement, golf’s global future, which of his courses he thinks could host a major, what he would do if he was in charge of the making the rules, and more.

To read the full interview, click here.

August 6, 2012 - 9:14pm
Posted by:
John Kim
john.kim's picture
Kiawah's Ocean Course
Getty Images
The sand areas around the course will be treated as "natural sandy areas" and not bunkers.

 

Standing at the airport carousel, I see my old friend Mark Wilson - former Rules Chairman for the PGA of America and still on the rules committee. After an initial greeting, I bring up (and confirm) - "No bunkers at the Ocean Course."
 
"No bunkers at the Ocean Course," he nodded. And then he continued.
 
"You know we (the PGA of America) did not have bunkers here in 1991 during the Ryder Cup - nor at the 2005 PGA Professional National Championship nor the 2007 Senior PGA Championship. That rule is a product of architecture, not a reaction to any event that occured previously."
 
Of course, that was the infamous bunker at Whistling Straits that cost Dustin Johnson a spot in the playoff, ultimately won by Martin Kaymer.
 
This means players will be able to ground a club, remove a obstruction or take a practice swing in these areas. There will be plenty fescue, ponds, marshes, waste areas and even alligators to avoid - but bunkers will not be a problem.