Before the juiciness of the PGA is discussed, we must talk of the new format in Perth. It seems Keith Pelly knows that variety is the spice of life and could be the key to spicing up golf for the fraternity. After watching the event this morning, and after stuffing my face, Sky showed the Sporting Rivalries about the Ryder Cup. If that didn’t raise the hairs on the neck, I don’t know what will. Long story short, the combative format of taking on someone mano I mano is an inherent trait in all of us, made the more boisterous when tribal passion is at hand.
Guys do love to duke it out, but with such precious egos on hand, in a bracket style competition, no one wants a one and done. The World Matchplay does use a group stage, but it’s a three round that you might not see fifty-four holes in. Whereas with the HANDA Super six, there was two conventional rounds to make the cut, then the third used to whittle the number down to the remaining twenty four, where we saw Aussie Brett Rumford and Sons ascend to a five stroke lead. The sixteen lowest ranked players fought for a place in the questers against those top players that got through automatically. Each math lasting six holes, and if sudden death was necessary, a specifically designed 93 yard hole was set up where if scores were level, closest to the pin on the same hole would be the decider.
Did you get all that? Did you think there were enough convoluted rules in the game already? Brett was the eventual winner, so there will be no complaints. No bolt from the blue, which is just what this needed. If that were to have happened, first complaints would have been that it is too gimmicky to work. Naturally, the majors wouldn’t be conducted like this, but it doesn’t have to be too radical. Look at the Phoenix Open for example.
The European Tours relaxation of dress etiquette too is a fine idea, and nullifies the stuffiness that one is cognizant to be reminded of when one discusses golf. It’s LA Open time, which means the season finally really starts for the PGA. After torrential rain, Riviera still looks as splendid as ever.
Having experience in the area, I have nothing but love for George C Thomas’ designs. So beautiful, so old school, so elegant, and such a test of the game. With a pretty packed field, the moisture suited the longest of the long. I scribe this as Dustin Johnson stumbles along his final round, after bolting out of the gate to race to a pretty tasty lead. The rain and fog delay condensed the action, to make Sunday a thirty six hole affair, and we saw Dustin fire a 64 to make life a lot easier going into the final round, where a few blips marred a tournament where he went fifty holes sans bogey.
A bogey on nine followed by a delay on ten saw some veneer come off the performance, but that’s only being super critical of him. As he ascends to the top of the World Rankings, the boys in studio asked whether a top DJ beats a top Rory. It is an interesting debate. For what it’s worth, I take Rory. But sadly, not everything in life exists at the optimal level. If that were the case, I’d be on tour myself!
He is a deserving Number One and has gone a long way to redeem his image and career. There’s nothing like a comeback story and even though he seems to have it all, it’s hard to begrudge him.