Please forgive my selection of graphic for the post. Looking over the choices for UGA alum and current PGA Tour member Brian Harman (who won this in 2017), I saw this particular one. And the darling little daughter in the photo caught me square in the feels. To explain, I have a child enrolled at UNC Charlotte, and after Tuesday’s events, I am beyond thankful that my family only experienced inconveniences. And I’m extremely sympathetic to those parents who are subjected to such a mindless tragedy. I can’t imagine the heartbreak that so many families must endure - we’ve had some devastating times on staff at Dawg Sports, and I know many of our readership have also suffered great losses. I hope each of you can find peace, and like you have done, lean on each other.
Sorry for the distraction, but I’m a dad, so....
On to golf:
Tournament: Wells Fargo Championship, May 2-5, 2019
Course: Quail Hollow Club, 7,554 yards, par 71.
Defending Champion: Aussie-turned-Buckeye-fan Jason Day. The former #1 player in the world shot all 4 rounds in the 60’s... a hard task on this course (only the 2nd time ever). He clinched the victory with birdies on 2 of the final 3 holes - maybe the most impressive thing he did all week. In this writer’s opinion, he also got the luckiest kick ever on the par 3 17th, but golf giveth and golf taketh away.
Fun Fact: The last 3 holes are nicknamed “The Green Mile”. It is literally the hardest 3 hole finishing stretch on the PGA Tour. A tough par 4 16th with water, a long par 3 17th with even more water, and a monstrous uphill par 4 18th with a creek running up the left-hand side. How long are these holes? 506, 223, 494 yards respectively. Which adds up to 3,669 feet. Okay, it’s a nickname, not a US Geological Survey Marker.
Television: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:45 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).
Former ‘Dawgs in the Field (Eight): Harris English, Russell Henley, Hudson Swafford, Brian Harman, Keith Mitchell, Sepp Straka, Joey Garber, and Brendon Todd.
What is making most of the news this week is who is not playing. Which golfer could move the needle that much? Is there a player whose attendance or lack thereof could dominate headlines in the world of golf? Yeah, there is. And his momma called him Eldrick.
Tiger Woods has not played competitively since winning the Masters in early April. And it appears he won’t play again until the PGA Championship at Bethpage later this month. Folks in Charlotte aren’t pleased, but this will be the new norm for Woods, kinda like the old one. He famously only played big events, some with limited fields, all with big purses, and he dominated like no one else. After all the knee and back surgeries (and a fused spine), he will take his time, recover for weeks at a time, and only play the majors plus some WGC events and a handful of others. Cherish the time with Tiger, because it will be rare.
There are other big names who will tee it up. Phil Mickelson is looking for his first Wells Fargo win, but he has a top 12 finish in all 12 tries here (that is so on brand for Phil). Rory McIlroy is the only two-time winner of the event and has a couple of top 5 finishes besides. All in all, 14 of the top 30 in FedEx Cup points will be on property.
And that includes our boys. As I mentioned earlier, Brian Harman did the dang thing in 2017. Seven other former Bulldogs will try to do that as well. Bubba Watson and Kevin Kisner both played in last week’s team event, the Zurich Classic in NOLA. And both will be playing in the PGA Championship, so they’re probably recharging and scoping out the Long Island, NY muni as we speak.
Jim Nantz will join Sir Nick Faldo on the coverage as we hit the meat of the spring/summer golf calendar. Nantz enjoyed a bit of a break after going NCAA Final 4/Masters back-2-back, so the gang is now all back together. If you don’t want to watch 4 hours of dribble preceding the Kentucky Derby Saturday, or need some white noise for a Sunday nap, flip it on over to CBS and catch ‘Dawgs chasing little white balls. And as always...