The 93rd US PGA Championship starts today at the Atlanta Athletic Cub in Johns Creek, Georgia.  This is the last major of the year and the big question is whether an American can win.  The last 6 majors have been won by Europeans and South Africans and the USA is feeling the pain.

 

Another person feeling pain is England's Paul Casey who told the Calgary Herald that he learned last week that the injury on his right foot is turf toe."I had an MRI done because it was so painful," said Casey, who scheduled the MRI immedately after the British Open. "Now that I know what it is, I can get it fixed." He didn't elaborate on what kind of treatment he would seek. Evergreen perhaps?

 

Rory McElroy has the shortest odds with the bookies, but has he recovered from his partying yet?  Will Lee Westwood or Luke Donald win their first major?  Could Rickie Fowler lift a major trophy dressed as Tango Man?  Can Tiger come roaring back and stick it to Steve Williams? 

 

Coverage starts today on Sky Sport 2 at 6pm.

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All the news will be about Tiger won't it?  Sky just can't seem to mention golf without referring to him.

 

Put all his personal stuff to one side and he's struggling with injuries and form.  I've read some interesting articles that suggest because of the way he bulked up so much he was always likely to have these issues.  So therefore he's simply a golfer having problems with injury and form and not every report has to mention him or his narcissistic former caddy.

 

Feel better having got that off my chest ;)

Betting tips anyone?

I'm going with Dustin Johnson.  He's 25/1 with Paddy Power so I thought that was worth a £5 punt.  They are also paying out for E/W bets for the first 6 places.  I've placed another £5 on that at 5/1.

 

If he wins I'll be £150 up, top 6 and I'll gain £20.

I think Ricky-I've got really awkward hair-Fowler may place.  I always dismissed him as a novelty but he seems to be doing really well.

Rory plays the 1st two rounds with his mate Darren Clarke - so am expecting both to stay relaxed and play well.

 

Really hope Lee or Luke can achieve their 1st major - if not, at least a European victory will make me happy!

 

Late nights looming for us - we're 7 hours ahead here in Cyprus....

So today's big question is "Has the curse of the SW picture struck again?"

 

Rory McElroy, in a moment of madness, decided to hit a full blooded shot against a tree root.  In so doing he damaged his right wrist and forearm.  The plucky Irishman battled through the pain to finish his round in level par and promptly went off for an MRI scan on his injury.  We will know later today whether he is fit to continue.

 

It was a mixed day too for the other Brits.  Simon Dyson is the leading challenger at 2 under, Brian Davis is 1 under and world number 1 Luke Donald level par.  Paul Casey (he of the turf toe) is 2 over and Lee Westwood 1 over as is Ross Fisher and Ian Poulter.  Darren Clark carded 8 over and seems to be still celebrating his Open victory.

 

Tiger Woods started well birdying 3 of his first 5 holes.  His game then fell apart when he decided to follow a scenic route visiting 2 lakes and an amazing 12 bunkers.  My one to watch Dustin Johnson struggled at 5 over, whilst tcir's tip Ricky Fowler only managed one stroke better.

 

Despite this the Americans must be encouraged.  Steve Stricker leads the way at 7 under par followed by 3 more Americans Jerry Kelly (-5), Shaun Micheel (-4) and Scott Verplank (-3).

I saw it and like many was glued to the action to see if he'd carry on.

Part of me feels he's being a teeny weeny bit of a drama queen. I hate saying that as I really like him.

It's probably his age.

No doubt it hurts a lot. Just feel he may have been going a little over the top with the towels and ice and grimaced every other minute.
tbh I couldn't decide what was funniest.  Rory's I've hurt my wittle hand and it hurts lots face or Monty's "he should stop now before he finishes his career" utterings.  Is Monty Rory's mother?

I can't stand Monty, I never used to understand why everyone hated him but it's dawning on me.

 

I did a search on Twitter regarding Rory and for every Yank that likes him there's one or two who can't stand him.  Usually from red-neck country though. 

 

I think more than anything Rory just wanted to everyone to know he'd hurt himself, which he obviously had, and that it was hurting like really really really really bad.  I'm sure there's plenty of jokes involved with a young man injuring his wrist.

Got it totally wrong with Darren Clarke!  Very disappointing.  And yeah, Rory did look a bit of a wimp - but hope he recovers.  My money's on G-Mac (+4!) and Luke Donald (not out of it yet).

 

They didn't show him much, but I do admire Miguel Angel Jimenez (-1).  He's 47 now and yet he's always up there and in the money in most of the tournaments.

 

btw - I like Monty.  He is a bit of an old woman, but he did have a point - Rory could have made things worse.  Clarke was also telling him to give it up.

Joint Leaders at the half way point are Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner on -5. Keegan is a tour rookie and playing in his first major and Jason has missed the cut in 5 of his last six events. So it will be interesting to see if either of them can hold their nerve.

There are 8 Americans in the top 10 with only John Senden (Australia -4) and Anders Hensen (Denmark -3) representing other countries. Lee Westwood carded a 68 to get to -1 with Simon Dyson and Ross Fisher on level par and Luke Donald a further shot back on 1 over.

The cut off point was +4 and those going home include Dustin Johnson (+7), Tiger Woods (+10), Graeme McDowell (+12) and Darren Clarke (+14). This was Tiger’s worst ever performance in a major. His absence over the remaining 2 days should allow the tv coverage to focus on other players. I really hope Tiger can come back to form but I won’t miss the idiots that shout “Get in the hole” when he hits his tee shots – even on a par 5.

Paul Casey scraped through on +4 but his reward is to play on his own teeing off at 13.20. Perhaps turf toe is contagious. Rory McElroy was +3 for the day and the tournament so continues to test his wrist injury later today.

The top of the leader board is as follows with the USA continuing to dominate.

Brendan Steele USA       -7
Jason Dufner USA          -7
Keegan Bradley USA      -6
Scott Verplank USA        -5
Steve Stricker USA         -4
Anders Hansen Denmark -3
D.A. Points USA             -3


These are followed by 12 players at 1 or 2 under including Luke Donald.  Luke had looked to be on a charge at 6 under for the day and -5 for the tournament through the first 15 holes but fell away towards the end of his round to finish at 1 under. Also on 1 under is Lee Westwood who shot an even par 70.

Rory McElroy fell away with a 4 over for the day to leave him at +7 and Paul Casey carded +8 to leave him at +12. This leaves Casey in last position and again due to go out on his own.

At this stage it looks as though the victory will go to an American, but with the difficulty of the final 4 holes, it could be an interesting finale.

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