Congratulations to Jason Dufner who won the PGA Championship yesterday. In doing so, he exercised some big time demons from his collapse at the PGA two years ago. At that time, Dufner blew a four-stroke lead over the final four holes and lost the title to Keegan Bradley in a playoff.
Even if he isn’t the most enthusiastic guy, Dufner is a popular winner on tour. He embodies the ‘every guy’ look with his baggy shirt and shaggy hair and that means popularity with the masses.
Dufner drove the ball incredibly well on Sunday and his irons were spot on as well. Had he putted a little better he may have shot another 63 but the -2 score was more than enough to hold off Jim Furyk.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Tiger Woods who finished 40th. It was a week ago that Woods blitzed the field at Firestone Country Club in Ohio and everyone thinking that the PGA would finally be the major he would win after his drought. Well…. It didn’t quite turn out that way and there are some factors that we can start to legitimately analyze as to why he isn’t winning majors.
Former PGA Champion Steve Elkington, who is a must-follow on Twitter by the way, mentioned something that I looked into. He said that the tournaments that Woods has won this season have featured courses with generous fairways. That’s one thing, but the other thing he mentioned was the rough.
Major tournaments are notorious for their thick and tall roughs and in Woods’ five victories this season he has had little rough to deal with. Take both the generous fairways and lack of rough into account and that fits Woods game perfectly.
Why? Because he has struggled with the driver for what seems like forever now and to his credit, he has been in contention in most majors hitting 3-woods and irons off a lot of tees.
The other factor has been putting. He is putting well in these non-major tournaments but is struggling in the majors. The reason in my mind is that he is putting for birdies in the lesser tournaments more often than he is in majors. This shouldn’t be something new for him though yet it is troubling. Putting for pars and bogeys is much more common in majors and that’s affecting him.
Another issue has to be the mental side of things. Is Woods putting too much pressure on himself? I can’t buy that because he has always measured greatness and himself against major titles and nothing else. I do however accept the premise that he could be pressing. He has done just about everything in golf in terms of winning since his 2009 troubles except win a major. Perhaps that pressure is what is keeping Woods from truly being ‘back.’
If there has been any over-riding topic through the first few weeks of National Football League Training Camps it’s been injuries. The problem I have though is the attention paid to them because we go through this every year.
To this point there have been roughly 20 season-ending injuries. I don’t mean to discount those men in any way, but this is football we are talking about and injuries will happen. The question I have is this; Are athletes today becoming so specialized that they are making themselves almost too finely-tuned?
Many of the season-ending injuries have been ACL or other knee injuries. Why the sudden epidemic?
I can’t say for sure if it is one thing versus another but something just doesn’t seem right because most of these injuries are occurring in non-contact situations. There is of course one other area I could suggest is a cause of these injuries but I’m not going there. At least not today.