August 15, 2010 by staff
Nick Watney, Here is the new power generation Golf, which yesterday flexes muscles and open shoulders to Whistling Straits to create an attractive final day of the U.S. Championship the PGA.
On a beautiful day and the conditions of golf even better, Nick Watney, a student of the old teacher Butch Harmon, led the young, ripping apart a golf course that had been announced as one of the toughest on the circuit major championship. A third round of 66 gave the lie to that reputation, and also gave the young American a three-stroke lead over the field on 13 under par for the week.
It was an impressive effort Watney, although his performance was not the only attraction of the day. China Liang Wenchong celebrated by a record 64, eight under par, and a place among the top five, while compatriot Dustin Johnson Watney, another muscular protected Harmon, signed by a five-under par 67.
Rory McIlroy and Johnson score matched the final round will begin today in search of a leader – a position that can adapt to the youth of Ulster, whose previous performances suggest it is better to do as a man rather than the pursuit of the hunted man. Remember the final round 62 that earned him the Championship Quail Hollow earlier this year? Rest assured, it will be at the forefront of the mind McIlroy on the first tee today.
The European challenge in a week that has led to the clear star was also represented by Martin Kaymer, who finished on nine under par, news, one shot behind McIlroy – well at least for the captain of the Ryder Cup, Colin Montgomerie on a day when all the news threatened to be bad.
So much for the walkover in Wales – the expectation of an easy victory in Europe in the Ryder Cup has been more realistic with each passing day and seemed quite silly here during the third round yesterday.
On the one hand, classification by mid-afternoon had an attractive environment and America, with the likes of Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar to the fore in the chase to catch Watney, who at one point in the opening day of a four-shot lead.
Europe was represented by McIlroy and Kaymer, who played brilliantly in a day of calm conditions and low scores to move top of the leaderboard, and Simon Dyson – but, except for a win today, it is unlikely that the trip to Wales.
But the encouraging news ended for the home captain Montgomerie. Do you really expect anything else? Probably not a week after Montgomerie had. However, one thing to be the target of lewd hordes in matters that have nothing to do with golf and quite another to be placed in a difficult situation for golfers who are expected to be in the forefront of the ultimate triumph Ryder Cup for the old warhorse.
Two tournaments remain in the process of qualifying for the European team, but as the acknowledged master – or at least forced to accept some of the key calls that are not yet on the team – U.S. PGA Championship represented the crucial stage in the selection process.
“I hope that the selection of a very, very strong team the next fortnight,”said Montgomerie, on Friday night. No doubt he will, but most likely not the team that could have been considered as the stronger your – the performances of Luke Donald, Justin Rose and Padraig Harrington, the three of them missed the cut here, I have seen to that.
Similarly, the determination of all three to play in the FedEx Cup play-offs in the States instead of Johnny Walker Championship at Gleneagles, the final event in the process of qualifying for the team, has hardly helped, but Montgomerie refused to recognize as much. “I’ve talked to everyone who needs to talk to their hours and as Gleneagles and understand their obligations here. I’m fine with everything,”he said. I could not say anything else, but what must have been thinking after a double bogey on Harrington the final hole of the second trip delay and yesterday morning to miss the cut.
It was a poor effort by the Irish, and was accompanied by his apparent indifference to the possibility of exclusion from Celtic Manor. “At the end of the day, does not automatically qualify anyone deserves to be picked up. I worked hard, tried hard and if I want to be picked up ready to play and if it happens I’ll be disappointed,”he said.
“I hope Monty is a guy who looks through things and see stats. Sixteen top-10 finishes in the last year will be much comfort. I’m sure you need some experience on that team and some older guys that age. I’ve done everything I can now and there’s nothing I can do. My major companies have been poor this year, but everything else has been good,”he said.
“There is nothing else I can do” Really? Well, Harrington could make the trip to Scotland, although it may be inconvenient. The same suggestion can be made to Rose, Donald and, for that matter, Paul Casey, who for now remains outside the nine automatic places in the 12-man European team.
Things however, could break the right way for the European captain, both now and in the fifteen days to come, but given his recent luck probably not. In fact, the wrong combination of results would leave Harrington, Casey, Donald Rose and compete for the wild card three peaks.
Who to choose? Montgomerie will not be short for advice, but for what it is worth the efforts of Donald earlier this year – not least his decision to play in the Wales Open, while most of the leading candidates for the team played in the States – surely should count for something.
Of course, the European captain has no monopoly on victimization. His counterpart Corey Pavin has long been regarded as the man faces the most difficult problem of selection – where on earth was going to find 12 players capable of matching a strong European team? Furyk’s efforts, Johnson Watney yesterday and provided an answer, and so did the performance of Tiger Woods.
“It is under consideration,”Pavin said earlier this week when asked if the world No1 was likely that one of his four wildcard selections if required – a confusion that seemed silly at the time and looked even sillier Woods efforts after this week. Woods is still very far from their best and their chances of victory disappeared with a round of failures nominal level of 72 that left him in 39th place. But it was a different man from the silent and distrustful, contained finished second from last at Firestone last weekend. “I’m thinking about tomorrow,” he said after his tour. No doubt it is. And the next day and the day after that , and after the journey.
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