Very, very interesting leaderboard after Day One. Props to Jason Sobel again for getting the Robert Karlsson pick right. I expect him to be right in this thing until the end, if he doesn’t hold on to win it. Jeev Milkha Singh is the pride of India, and actually a better player right now in my estimation than the other Singh. So watch out for him. My pick, Anthony Kim, is right there with a 70. Of course, Mickelson’s roller coaster 70 puts him right where he wants to be. The one thing that will somehow salvage CBS’ ratings and advertisers’ tempers this weekend will be if Mickelson wins, or pulls a Winged Foot (think of the ratings spike into 60 Minutes!).
Anyway, here are some headlines that caught my eye after Day One:
- Dave Dye reports on the “eye candy” group of Sergio, Villegas and Kim. Although I bet at least some of them strayed over to Adam Scott or Fred Couples, as is their historical, habitual wont.
- Greg Johnson reasons that “there may be hope for John Daly, thanks to Rick Smith.” And Golf Channel pointed out the interesting fact that Phil Mickelson left Smith for Butch Harmon, and now Daly has gone from Harmon to Smith.
- Kenny Perry withdrew after Round One due to an eye infection. Prior to the round, he took some cortisone and steroids for the pain from his doctor, prompting the question, will he be tested, and will said drug even be considered illicit per Tour regulations?
- Speaking of Scott, Larry Dorman writes that among other setbacks this year, Scott broke up with his longtime girlfriend. Great, another lame excuse why he can’t produce in the majors.
- Colin Montgomerie looks fated to miss the Ryder Cup after a poor showing Thursday and an even poorer disposition afterwards. Paul Mahoney writes:
Monty’s mood hadn’t mellowed by the time he signed his card. He stopped to talk to reporters for exactly 26 seconds. “Too long, too tough,” he huffed of Oakland Hills. “You can spray it 20 yards wide and you’re okay, but if you spin off by six inches or one foot, you’re not. It’s a shame.”
- Finally, some musings from Jeff Rude’s Championship blog:
As afternoon turned to night, the PGA Championship lead was nothing if not spiritual at the top. I mean, who lit the candles and made us meditate on the flames? Have we seen anything like this, at least since Larry Nelson and Kermit Zarley stopped competing in majors?
The clubhouse leaders were Robert Karlsson, something of professional golf’s Dali Lama, and Indian Jeev Milkha Singh, who meditates and has done yoga since his teens. On the scoreboard’s third line at the time was Retief Goosen, who must be spiritual because he has never shown an emotion in public.
What follows are pertinent quotes over the years from all three evolved men:
• Karlsson: “My only focus is on how I react to a golf shot, how I choose to react. To let it go, every shot. Then I’m totally clean and have nothing with me on the next shot. I’m free at the golf ball and that’s all I care about. I have no focus whatsoever on the result. It’s so much easier if you don’t care about bad shots, or good shots as well.”
• Singh: “I follow yoga meticulously. Now I can focus better, be patient and stay healthy. … I have learned to be humble. One should not forget where one started from.”
• Goosen: “ .”