Well, the Oak Hill members greatest fears came to fruition yesterday….that the modern day golfer would rip up their historic course. The Wednesday night rain softened the course and it turned into a birdie fest! With a lifelong history of being one of golfs sternest tests the course lost yesterday. The PGA traditionally sets up courses much easier than the USGA but the last couple PGA’s at Oak Hill were still very stern tests of golf. There were rumblings all week from Oak Hill staff and members that the course set up was too “player friendly” and perhaps they were right but you can’t control mother nature. There is more rain in the forecast for Friday so you may see more of the same but I suspect they will put a little more “bite” into the course with more difficult pin locations. Either way, it’s a wonderful course with a very good leaderboard!
Bill Haas had a fine opening round of 68! He got everything out of the round because he didn’t drive it very straight! Made some critical par saves and took advantage of his good shots by converting his birdie putts. Excellent start!
John Merrick didn’t fare as well. His round was opposite of Bill’s. He didn’t save many pars and didn’t take advantage of his good shots. The big difference between the two was putting. John had a dozen putts crawl over the edge of the hole and Bill putted beautifully. Funny the difference that putting makes. They both played very similar rounds from tee to green and the putter was Bill’s biggest ally. Good putting creates and maintains momentum and poor putting takes away all your good energy.
Wonderful to see Adam Scott emerging as one of the games major forces! You could not meet a finer young man and he is now peppering the leader boards in the majors. Good for him. Tiger and Phil’s double bogey finishes may have knocked them out of the championship. They both fought hard all day and to finish that way must have been very disappointing. It’s not only the 2 shots they handed to the leaders it’s the amount of people that are ahead of them. Puts enormous pressure on them to shoot good rounds today to get back in it. Wouldn’t surprise me if they did but today’s round will define their PGA Championship. Nice to see Rory get off to a good start. The game is better off when a talent like him is in the mix and plus he is also a wonderful young man like Adam Scott. Fridays round should be interesting and exciting.
It has been “cool” to be a Harmon this week. Having Craig as the host pro has out us a bit in the spotlight. Butch, Craig and I did a live spot on Golf Channel yesterday and Kelly Tilghman did a fabulous job of interviewing us. Lots of fun!
Looking forward to another great day and I’m sure we will see lots of birdies today!