Golf Talk [Episode 034]

Tiger is now batting 0.300 in majors played as a professional despite two “slumps” during swing changes. Wow.

PodcastTiger Woods has captured his second major of the year, his fourth in the past two years, and his twelfth overall. Wow. Also this week, Tom Lehman’s captain’s picks for the Ryder Cup – Stewart Cink and Scott Verplank – Sergio Garcia “waiting” for a win, Shaun Micheel, drug testing on the PGA Tour, Dave Pelz’s dumb comments, Pat Hurst, and Carolyn Bivens. Tune in to this episode of Golf Talk for more.

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For this week’s Show Notes – links to articles we discuss in the show and additional information – just read on.

2006 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational Preview

Can Tiger make it four straight tour starts with a victory, while at the same time, capture his fifth Bridgestone Invitational? My money says, yes.

 Bridgestone Images BridgestoneinvitationalTiger Woods heads-up the field at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio in search of his fifth title at the famed course. Other than being on track for his fifth NEC Invitational, Woods is also trying to win his fourth straight start since the streak started at the British Open last month.

Last Year
Tiger Woods again showed why he likes the state of Ohio so much, as he drained a birdie putt on the 16th hole to grab a one-stroke lead over Chris DiMarco that would eventually hold up for his fourth title at Firestone Country Club.

Give the U.S. Amateur a Chance

A lot of golf fans overlook the U.S. Amateur Championship, but I’m not one of them.

Thrash TalkThe outcome of the PGA Championship this past weekend was pretty clear after three and a half rounds of action, but it was interesting to see who would finish second. Tiger Woods won his 12th major in convincing fashion and is well on his way to 25 for his career. Rees Jones redesigned Medinah after the 1999 PGA Championship, and he needs to do it again. I felt like I was watching the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.

Live Blogging: Tom Lehman’s Ryder Cup Captain’s Picks

Who will Tom Lehman choose to finish out the Ryder Cup team? It’s not as easy a pick as you might think.

Tom Lehman Announces Ryder Cup PicksRyder Cup captain Tom Lehman is holding a live press conference today to announce the final two captain’s for September’s team. We’re going to be live blogging all the way up through the press conference.

10:52 – Lehman: “I obviously hurt for the guys who didn’t get pick, but I feel tremendously confident with this squad.”

10:50 – Lehman: “Brett Wetterich makes a ton of birdies. He’s long and he’s strong [ed: “he’s about to get his freak shit on?”]. JJ Henry drives the ball straight. He’s way underrated. Zach Johnson, another solid ball striker and a great putter. He’s got everything you need. He’s not lacking. Vaughn Taylor – I’m not sure you can rate how much a guy hates to lose. But Vaughn really hates to lose.”

Fit Factors: Club Fitting, Part Two

It used to be the only variables to consider were grip size, shaft flex, length, and lie. Now technology has pushed fitting into whole new realms. If you’re serious about golf, it’s time to get serious about getting fit

Bag DropI once scripted a video we shot with Tom Watson at his home course in Kansas City. After the shoot, the crew was invited to play a few holes. Not having clubs with me, I was loaned a bag of Watson’s spares.

The shafts weren’t just stiff, they’d been tipped to make them even firmer. They felt so heavy I couldn’t even get the ball in the air and ended up playing out of someone else’s bag.

Golf clubs that don’t fit make an already hard game impossibly hard. In part one of our discussion we covered the basics. This week we take a look at some of the finer points of club fitting that new technology has made possible.

Volume Seventy-Two

When does domination from one person become a work of art? I think we need to start asking Mr. Woods that question

The final major championship of the year may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean Hittin’ the Links is going to go into hibernation! Check out this week’s links and relive one of the greatest shots in Masters History.

Live Blogging: Final Round of the 2006 PGA Championship

We’re live blogging the final round of the 2006 PGA Championship at Medinah. Will Tiger Woods win his 12th, or will someone else hoist the Wanamaker Trophy?

19:00 – The final standings of the 88th PGA Championship.

#    Player          Tot  Today  R1    R2    R3    R4   Total
---  --------------  ---  -----  --    --    --    --   -----
1    Tiger Woods     -18   -4    69    68    65    68    270
2    Shaun Micheel   -13   -3    69    70    67    69    275
T3   Luke Donald     -12   +2    68    68    66    74    276
T3   Sergio Garcia   -12   -2    69    70    67    70    276
T3   Adam Scott      -12   -5    71    69    69    67    276
6    Mike Weir       -11   +1    72    67    65    73    277
T7   K.J. Choi       -10   -1    73    67    67    71    278
T7   Steve Stricker  -10   -3    72    67    70    69    278
T9   Geoff Ogilvy     -9   +2    69    68    68    74    279
T9   Ian Poulter      -9   -1    70    70    68    71    279
T9   Ryan Moore       -9   -3    71    72    67    69    279
T12  Chris DiMarco    -8    E    71    70    67    72    280
T12  Sean O'Hair      -8   -4    72    70    70    68    280
T14  Tim Herron       -7   +1    69    67    72    73    281
T14  Henrik Stenson   -7    E    68    68    73    72    281

Nobody managed to gain any ground in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings. Tiger Woods has won his twelfth career major.

18:47 – Tiger backs off from his putt a second time, saying “you’ve gotta be kidding.” Nantz: “If it happens a third time Steve Williams is taking names.” I’m not sure what the disturbance is. Tiger rolls his putt to a foot. It’s over.

18:37 – Wadkins: “Tiger can still get them when he’s not playing his best. I don’t think Phil can.” Tiger finds the right intermediate cut on #18.

Woods Can be Toppled Today at the PGA

Players believe they finally have a shot at taking down the greatest player to ever play the game when he is tied for the lead. What exactly would it take for that to happen?

Luke DonaldTiger Woods is nearly unbeatable when he is tied for the lead on Sunday at a major championship. However, after watching yesterday’s round, I think there three things that could allow us to witness one of the most incredible David versus Goliath upsets in golf history. If one of the players follows the criteria below, they might be the one holding the Wanamaker trophy today instead of Woods.

Tiger Woods stood with CBS reporter Bill McAtee after Saturday’s round and let the world know just what kind of major championship was playing out before those in attendance and on the course.

“It honestly doesn’t feel like a major,” Woods said. “I mean in a major you expect that you’re going to look for a lot of pars and hope to sprinkle in a couple of birdies when you can, but you just can’t do that and hope to contend this week at week at Medinah with that mindset. I saw all the low scores early on, and some guys were three or four-under-par through six holes – when that kept happening I knew I had to go low.”

Nickent 3DX Hybrid Irons Review

With hybrids now mainstream equipment, Nickent leverages its success in this niche to introduce an integrated set of irons and hybrids that totally rethink loft progression. So is their lofty promise justified?

Nickent 3Dx Hybrid Iron HeroAs our editor, Erik J. Barzeski, reported in his review of the Nickent 3DX Pro irons, Nickent has taken on noted club designer John B. Hoeflich and, with his expertise, launched itself into the iron market in a big way.

Their latest offering is an evolutionary – maybe even revolutionary – take on set makeup. The Nickent 3DX Hybrid irons are designed from the hybrids on down. What this means is that there is no longer a gap in loft between the shortest hybrid and the longest iron. Loft progression through the set results in extremely strong mid-irons and weaker short irons.