As the wind shifts across Southern Hills Country Club on Saturday and Round 3 of the 104th PGA Championship begins, we wonder if the change in direction will keep history from repeating itself. Southern Hills has hosted seven major championships. In ALL seven, the 36-hole leader has gone on to win the championship. Considering that fact, we presume this place is not one where players can come back to win.
Looking at the weather conditions and field scoring, what will it take for one player to rewrite history.
Let’s consider a few things… Even though you may not be challenging for a major championship, these same opportunities for catching up can be used by anyone who looks to reel-in a front-runner.
Before we get into the Championship conditions, let’s go back to Round 2. For anyone who made the weekend, you need to start by realizing you’ve 36-holes to get the job done. Yes, that’s less than 72, but the point remains, don’t try to pass the leader in your first nine. Be patient and design a strategy that allows for scoring and safety.
The best in the world develop a gameplan based on birdie opportunities and bogey avoidance. Practice patience in your own execution and gameplan. This is a very important pre-round step. Don’t just show up expecting to play well, plan for it.
This lesson in great mental preparation is meaningful. Showing up without a plan lessens anxiety. Most players in your tournaments or weekend rounds won’t have one. If you’re looking to leapfrog the field, implement a little intention pre-round.
Upon waking up to Southern Hills, and even prior to arriving, players will check the conditions. The wind has made a polar shift in direction. The rain rolled in overnight at Southern Hills. Players will reflect back on their practice round notes. Details determine outcomes. They will check their yardage books and adjust their on-course information where needed.
Early scoring conditions will be easier than later in the day. Watch the player’s warmup in the comprehensive coverage. Each of them will be testing out the turf. How does the ball react on and around the greens, how much will the wind affect the ball in flight?
To successfully execute your gameplan, you’ll need to adapt and be ready for the new conditions. This is an especially important point for amateurs. Most of your opponents won’t put the time into this extra preparation. That will give you an edge in chasing them down.
Watch the early groups make some moves today. Keep an eye on the players that do. We bet their actions deliver on their intentions