Johannesburg - As the year’s second major - The PGA Championship - rolls around at Southern Hills Country Club, in Oklahoma, here are five things to watch out for as the tournament starts on Thursday.
5 - The Tiger comeback
Tiger Woods made a miraculous comeback from the horror leg injury - he sustained last year - at the Masters last month to make the cut and eventually finish 47th. However, it’s clear that Woods can now walk the course - albeit with a lot of discomfort - but whatever he does this week will be greatly exaggerated and blown out of proportion by commentators and the media. If Woods shoots a 72, the biased US commentators will talk of his round like he shot 68. So a good rule of thumb is to subtract four from his score to get an idea of just how much his exploits will be exaggerated.
4 - Jordan Spieth’s quest for the grand slam
Spieth has long been touted as the next player to win the career grand slam, having won The Masters and the US Open in 2015 before claiming victory in The Open in 2017. Since that victory in The Open in 2017, Spieth has had his struggles with form and only claimed his next PGA Tour victory in the Texas Open in April last year.
And now, Spieth won again at The RBC Heritage last month. It means one of the most dominant players in the game when he’s on form, has found his game once more - albeit with a putter that is still misbehaving. If he plays well this week, probably by putting well, there are few who could challenge him.
3 - 11 South Africans in the field
There’s a full cricket team with 11 SA players in the field this week. It’s also been 10 years since a South African won a major, and Louis Oosthuizen and a resurgent Charl Schwartzel will lead the charge. However, SA golf fans will also probably be left disappointed by the TV coverage which seldom show players from the Rainbow Nation unless they are leading or very close to the lead.
2 - How many times the US commentators say ‘he took dead aim’
The US golf commentators have a number of cringeworthy cliches at the best of times, but possibly the worst is when they say ‘he took dead aim’. Whenever a player knocks a shot close, the commentators will likely rattle off that cliche. Nevermind that the top players in the world that are playing in the PGA hit their irons almost exactly where they intend most of the time, and hitting it close is not only down to where they aim.
1 - Moving Day
Golf media and the general public consider the third round, which is Saturday, as the day players place themselves in contention. Thus it’s been called Moving Day. However, it’s one of the silliest cliches in golf as every day is moving day, and it’s always a good time to be in contention. Let’s see how the top players do this week on moving day - which is every day!