Tiger Woods seems to have one thing new in retailer for this PGA Championship: his putter.
Woods has gained all however one among his 15 majors with a Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS, the putter he borrowed from Mark O’Meara in 1998 and by no means returned. The solely different time he switched at a main was at St. Andrews in 2010, when he used a Nike Method.
Woods has experimented with different putters since then, akin to a TaylorMade selection in 2018 earlier than going again to his common putter at the Tour Championship, which he gained.
This week he has been working with a putter similar to his Cameron Newport however with adjustable weights in the sole to regulate to inexperienced speeds. Golf Channel reported it will be in the bag Thursday, and Woods used it throughout a follow spherical Wednesday with Steve Stricker and Davis Love III.
“It’s basically the same putter with a little bit more flexibility,” Stricker stated. “He’s able to change the weights around a little bit, but the length is the difference. He’s got a little more length on there, and that’s just so he can practice a little bit more without back pain. That’s what excites him the most is that he was able to put in a lot of time with this putter. And watching him putt, it looked exactly the same to me. He rolled the ball great.”
Notah Begay III, a longtime buddy who now works as an analyst for NBC and Golf Channel, stated Woods was trying “to create some new sensations in his hands.”
“The extra weight might give him something to at least work on and focus as he tries to find that putting stroke,” Begay stated.
Will he make the swap? And if he does, for how lengthy?
“I promise you, old faithful is back at the place where he is staying right now,” Begay stated on Golf Channel. “It is not far away.”
PAY TO PLAY
This is the second straight yr the PGA Championship is being held on a public golf course, from Bethpage Black on Long Island, New York, to the TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. Both have cheap charges favorable to native residents.
The going charges for Harding Park subsequent week: $80 for San Francisco residents, $200 for Bay Area residents and $300 for everybody else. At Bethpage Black, weekday charges are $65 for New York residents and $130 for these out-of-state, although getting a tee time can imply sleeping in the automotive in a single day to get in line.
“We’re always going to go to private courses because some of the private courses are some of the best in the world, and they’re courses that test the top players,” Rory McIlroy stated. “But at the same time, it’s very refreshing that we do come to places like here, Bethpage, Torrey Pines. It is important to let the public see us on golf courses that they’ve played before, that are accessible for them, that aren’t too expensive to get on.”
That led to a query: When was the final time McIlroy paid to play?
“Valderrama, 2005,” he stated, including that he paid 250 euros. “I’ve always liked the look at Valderrama. I was in Spain. Obviously, Ryder Cup course. The Tour Championship of The European Tour was there for a lot of years. I was there and spent a few months’ worth of pocket money to go and play.”
McIlroy returned three years later at the finish of 2008 — the final yr the Volvo Masters was at Valderrama earlier than the season-ending occasion moved to Dubai. That time, he was paid to play.
He had rounds of 74-73-75-73, tied for 39th and was paid 29,500 euros.
This PGA Championship might have set a file for most gamers who determined to not play.
Vaughn Taylor withdrew Wednesday, citing an damage. He is the 11th participant to withdraw from the PGA Championship since the discipline was first launched six days in the past.
But it really goes deeper than that. Four different gamers who have been both eligible or on the invitation listing from being in the high 100 in the world rating — Lee Westwood, Eddie Pepperell, Shugo Imahira and former PGA champion Y.E. Yang — knowledgeable the PGA of America they’d not be enjoying.
Yang performed two weeks in the past on the Korean PGA Tour.
Westwood, Pepperell and Harrington cited worldwide journey and the COVID-19 pandemic for not enjoying. Others cited accidents. Thomas Pieters of Belgium hasn’t performed since the European Tour shut down in March. Neither has Francesco Molinari, and his time has been consumed transferring his household from London to California.
Alex Noren changed Taylor in the discipline. Next on the alternate listing is Pat Perez, who was at the TPC Harding Park.
Perez stated it was a brief drive from Lake Tahoe at the Barracuda Championship and he had a place to stick with Jason Kokrak. Otherwise, he stated he might not be on web site. At this fee, he might wind up getting a tee time, though the 155 gamers examined for the coronavirus all had unfavourable outcomes.
That leaves the PGA Championship with 91 gamers from the high 100 in the world.
PACKING FOR A SUMMER MAJOR IN AMERICA
The PGA Championship in August for years meant warmth and loads of sweating. Not this one in San Francisco, the place temperatures have been in the 50s and 60s, a lot colder with the marine layer.
Justin Thomas stated he packed for his main no in another way from going to the British Open, with one distinction.
“The thing is for the Open, you’re most likely going to be throwing a rain suit on with whatever you have, whether it’s that cold or whether it’s just raining. That’s what I’ve done many times,” he stated. “The one difference at an Open Championship is three of the four days I’ve just gone to the course in sweatpants and haven’t even put golf pants on because I know I’m just going to wear my rain pants over them the entire day.”