One day I'll look back at this past week and tell family and friends I saw Tiger Woods live. I was there. This must be what it felt like to see Elvis shake, rattle and roll or Muhammad Ali box some chump into oblivion.
To recap, Tiger Woods fired a record tying 7-under-par 63 on Friday. In essence, he captured the PGA Championship with 36 holes remaining in the tournament. It wasn't over but, it was over. Tiger knew it, his competitors knew it and the world knew it.
Woods now owns 13 major championships. He trails only Jack Nicklaus, the Golden Bear who captured 18 in his stellar career. Woods' victory at Southern Hills secured his second consecutive Wanamaker Trophy and 4th overall. He is simply (insert your own superlative here).
It's difficult squeezing a few hidden gems out of the Championship week. Everything has been dissected and rightfully so. But, alas, here is my point of view, which is usually a bit different.
The game "Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down" has been done to death. I'm going to try a PGA Championship version of "Hooray and Boo."
Here are my observations while pondering who sported the sweeter mullet--Charley Hoffman or his caddie.
Hooray: OSU product Hunter Mahan signed autographs during the practice rounds as did most of the golfers. When a fan stuck an OU hat in front of him he quipped, "Are you serious?" before bypassing the Sooner fan. Funny stuff.
Boo: Not to sound too much like Jerry Seinfeld, but what's the deal with autographs? I understand why kids attack the golfers with reckless abandon, but adults? Why are adults aggressively trying to get a ball cap signed? Are you going to sell that Camilo Villegas-signed beer cup on EBay?
Hooray: I must have seen a dozen women braving the elements during the week.
I couldn't get my wife out of the restroom much less walking a golf course in those conditions.
Boo: The smell of cheap cologne and perfume. The only odor more rank was the body odor that emanated from the galleries.
Hooray: John Daly is my hero. He drew the largest galleries this side of TW. His quotes on Thursday, after shooting 3-under-par 67, were classic: "I'm in better shape than Tiger Woods." Me too.
Boo: The merchandise tent was gigantic. Too big. The marked-up prices are expected, but the rows and rows of shirts made perusing most difficult. But word has it the memorabilia was mostly sold out by Sunday.
Hooray: I was skeptical when I realized the Cox channel would bring three hours of live coverage each night. The pro's pro Bill Land steered the ship nicely. The show provided a great platform for golf junkies to unwind at night's end.
Boo: If I had a quarter every time I heard a spectator say, "When I played that hole." Honestly, we don't care. The course setup is roughly 100 times different than "When you played that hole."
Hooray: I am a huge Ernie Johnson admirer. This guy hosts the number one basketball show with Charles Barkley and seamlessly shifts to golf play-by-play with Bobby Clampett. He is my idol. By the way, Clampett was a good sport when I asked him if people mistake him with Barkley. "I once finished 47th in a Charles Barkley look-alike contest," laughed the curly-headed, sweat-soaked Clampett.
Boo: A big BOO to any sportswriter who used the "Tulsa is hot" crutch. Everyone watched the weather report. Spectators were on the course. No one needs to read a weather report in the sports section; we get it--it was hot. Heck, some of us even left the media center.
Hooray: The regional support was phenomenal. I talked with groups from Nebraska, Louisiana, Kansas and a ton of people from Arkansas. You know what's funny--not one conversation concerned the weather.
Boo: The Ryder Cup should be up next for Tulsa's Southern Hills course. The word is the PGA of America is hesitant to host the event outside of a major city. Did Tulsa's support prove otherwise?
Hooray: Two kids were leaving the course on Friday euphoric. Why? They were telling anyone within earshot how they picked up one of Tiger Woods' divots. Yes, the kids were grasping onto a combination of dirt and grass. They couldn't have been happier.
Hooray: The Sunday crowds were marvelous. Temps reached a warm 102 degrees, but the patrons stayed and cheered all golfers. Pops could be heard every time Woody Austin or Ernie Els made a birdie. Of course, the ground shook when Tiger drained a few birdies of his own.
Hooray: Tiger Woods. He meticulously dismembered the course. He worked his way around Southern Hills like Picasso painting masterpieces. His cruise control is like fifth gear for most.
"For them to come out and support this event with the temperature the way it was absolutely phenomenal. It was just a great atmosphere all day, all week, especially today," said Woods after his final round 1-under-par 69.
Hooray: The Tulsa Talons won their first two playoff games. The only team to defeat them this year was the team from Arkansas. The Twisters were eliminated from postseason play.
Did we forget about the Talons, Drillers and others the past two weeks? Not on purpose. They suffered the same fate as other golfer this week. They were in the way of the Tiger.
No one survives the Eye.
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