Monday, August 11, 2008

Ranking the Major Championship Setups

This PGA Championship could have been simply awful were it not for rain. With how things were going through the first 36 holes and a cut at +8, Oakland Hills was ready to crown a champion at about +5. Then, Mother Nature stepped in and the rain soaked the course to make it still firm, but playable. Were it not for the rain and the cool temperatures, this could have been a terrible finish.

In terms of performance for the year, the best major setup clearly went to the Davis staff at the USGA. It's not even close. Birkdale was not setup very well, but was fairly adaptable in practice. Augusta National was not setup well and was not adapted at all in response to the windy conditions. Oakland Hills got saved, but was on pace to be the worst.

Therefore, here we have:
1. US Open - Torrey Pines
2. Open Championship - Royal Birkdale
3. The Masters - Augusta National
4. PGA Championship - Oakland Hills

Last year, I would have said:
1. PGA Championship - Southern Hills (particularly after the 2001 US Open)
2. Open Championship - Carnoustie
3. The Masters - Augusta National
4. US Open - Oakmont

How a year changes things!

1 comment:

Andy Brown said...

The fact that they chose to cut down the rough a couple of rounds into the tournament really helped their cause. Oakland Hills really did look like it was giving Oakmont 07’ some serious competition but thanks to the heavy rains that didn’t happen. But one thing is for sure, no player was in a mood to give Oakland Hills rave reviews. This was in stark contrast to Torrey Pines, where despite the fact that the course was playing really tough, the players seemed to feel it was a fair course.

One thing that must be said is that despite the rain during the weekend the course was not all that easy and even though a few more players managed to break par it was not as if it was a bed of roses. In such conditions for Harrington to have managed to card a score of 8 under par in the last two rounds was a remarkable achievement and undoubtedly he was a truly deserving winner despite the fact that Sergio gave up a couple of shots towards the end. I wonder how the courses would be set up next year for the majors. Would the organizers consider an easier set up for added excitement? We will just have to wait and watch.