Monday, August 11, 2008

PGA Championship

I made the drive to Bloomfield Hills with some buddies this past weekend for the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills. Our tickets were for Saturday, but we saw very little golf, as play was suspended at around two because of rain. It was something of a blessing in disguise, because that made the tickets good for Sunday's play. This was the first time I've attended a pro tournament, you can't get much better than the final round in a major. In the morning my friend Mike and I camped out in the grandstand at number 5, a par four that was eating players up. The pros make it look so easy, but you get a much better appreciation for how good they are in person than just by watching on TV. We saw Ernie Els hit the green from a fairway bunker about 190 yards away - I'd be thrilled to hit the green from the fairway at that distance. Watching the pros' touch around the greens was the most impressive thing.

In the afternoon we found seats behind the 17th green, a par 3. The two-tiered green funneled balls hit to the middle to the wrong tier, leaving a very difficult 2 putt. Players aiming for the pin often found their ball in the bunker. We watched Pedraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia, and Ben Curtis battle for the lead on the scoreboard, listening to the crowds at other holes to try to guess what had just happened. Garcia put his approach in the water on 16, a bogey that dropped him into a three way tie. Harrington and Garcia then hit two of the best three tee shots we saw that afternoon (Justin Rose almost holed his). However, Harrington hit a 10 foot, slippery down hill putt for birdie and Garcia's five foot, flat putt lipped out, opening the door for Harrington's victory after Curtis (playing in the next group) went on to bogey. What a great time!

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