Altvater: PGA Championship’s Ocean Course on Kiawah is ‘Dye-abolical’Written by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
Just as Pete Dye envisioned, the winds howled off the Atlantic and blew the players’ scores into the stratosphere on Friday at the PGA Championship.
Rains on Wednesday night made the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island soft and long plus reasonably calm winds during the day on Thursday helped scoring be less painful.
I’m sure Mr. Dye was less than pleased.
Forty-four of the 152 golfers who teed it up in the first round broke par on one of the most difficult courses in the world.
On Friday in the heavy winds it was a completely different story: Only four players broke par.
Vijay Singh, 49, posted the low round for the day, a sizzling three-under par 69.
Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ian Poulter all shot one-under-par 71s.
Scoring was nearly impossible on Friday. Any shot not hit flush was at the mercy of the winds. Even good shots could end up in some very unsavory places.
The PGA should have issued chin straps.
Short game skills and patience became a necessity for any golfer hoping to survive the carnage on Friday.
On Thursday the par-4 No. 9 was ranked as the hardest hole on the course with 98 pars, 46 bogeys, seven dreaded others and a 4.340 stroke average.
On Friday it dropped to the sixth hardest hole but produced only 80 pars, 63 bogeys, 7 others and a stroke average of 4.474.
The par-4 No 10 became the most difficult on Friday with a 4.641 stroke average and 17 scores of double-bogey or higher.
If you liked to watch professional golfers struggle with the course and the elements it was your kind of day.
Tiger’s 71 has him tied with Vijay Singh and first-round leader Carl Pettersson, who shot a second round two-over par 74.
Tiger and Vijay will be paired together today and will go off at 3 p.m.
Ian Poulter is one shot back of the leaders and will play with Pettersson in the next-to-last group.
Rory McIlroy survived Friday with a 75 and is still in contention. He is just two shots behind the leaders and is in the second-to-last group off at 2:40 p.m.
Rory is trying to break out of his self-induced “Love Funk” and find his lost golf game.
Vijay Singh is trying to turn back the hands of time for one more “Major Fling” before he rides off into the Champions Tour.
Tiger Woods is chasing Jack Nicklaus and trying to shake off his personal demons, injuries and swing changes that have kept him out of the major winners circle since 2008.
Could we see a Rory vs. Tiger final pairing on Sunday?
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