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PGA Championship Preview: Tiger's Back, Rory's Streak

PGA Championship - Preview Day 2

The PGA Championship tees off this morning at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. (Here’s the leaderboard) Since it is a Major, our resident golf nut and longtime commenter Spencer096 is here to talk about the Rory’s run, the Expendables franchise and, of course, Sergio’s chances.

CRM: Spencer!

spencer096: What?

CRM: Did you forget we have the PGA Championship this week?

spencer096: You mean this glorified PGA Tour event held at a dump three weeks after the last major that golfers actually care about was held?

CRM: Yeah, that one.

spencer096: Honestly? Thought it was next week. So yea, guess I did forget.

CRM: Well, we can’t watch this bootleg of Expendables 3 until we’ve done the PGA Championship preview.

spence096: Oooh! In that case let’s hustle! Doesn’t really feel like we should be having another major already.

CRM: It does feel like the British Open was just yesterday, doesn’t it? That was a helluva tournament with some great names jockeying for position behind Rory who looks to be on the upswing as you predicted earlier.

spencer096: Why yes I did predict that, didn’t I?

CRM: You most certainly did!

spencer096: After Rory’s wins at the British and in Akron last week, it’s hard not consider him the heavy, heavy, HEAVY favorite here. He’s on absolute fire right now, and we’re headed to a course that’s basically a bomber’s paradise. I could keep on going, but there’s really nothing much more to say…

He’s driving the ball better than anyone on the planet, hitting these ridiculously sky-high long and mid irons that barely roll out and every other aspect of his game is rock solid, especially his mental game where, for the first time I can remember, he looks like he KNOWS he’s the most talented player on Earth.

Is he unbeatable? Hyperbole aside, it’s getting harder and harder to make an argument against that sentiment. Jack Nicklaus always had an advantage over the field simply because he was such a great driver and could hit his long and mid irons super high. And if it feels like I’m repeating something I just said, it’s true because I just said the same thing about Rory…at this point, he’s truly separated himself from the rest of a field that’s never been better at hitting it long. In a field full of Ferrari’s, he’s bringing Formula One game.

CRM: Is it really that easy this week? Surely there will be someone presenting a challenge…after all, this is the same place where journeyman Bob May took an in-his-prime Tiger Woods to a playoff.

spencer096: I’m not ready to say that Rory’s at the same level Tiger was back then, but that’s only because I don’t personally like him. That’s really it. Rory’s not the same type of player that Tiger was back then, but he’s got the same type of advantage over the rest of the field, and at this unremarkable, dogshit track, if he didn’t run away from the field, I’d be positively shocked.

CRM: You really don’t like this place, do you?

spencer096: HELL NO. It’s the embodiment of everything I loathe about modern golf course architecture and…

CRM: Oh no…

spencer096: …how in the HELL are you giving a course this basic. This boring. This all hat and no cattle it’s SIXTH huge event since 1996? This is it’s third PGA and it’s hosted the 2008 Ryder Cup and two Senior PGA Championships…for a course that needed a complete reconstruction of every single green on the course in the fall of 2011.

That fact alone should completely disqualify it from being a major championship course, never mind the fact that, simply by taking Valhalla, you eliminate a multitude of other courses that are FAR more interesting and historic than an Applebee’s calling itself The French Laundry.

CRM: Thanks, Dennis Mil…

spencer096: And that’s not even touching on the quality of the architecture. We just had a tournament at a Firestone, which features stunning conditions on a course almost solely comprised of really, really long, really, really straight holes…one that, despite its own architectural flaws, has more character and tradition than Valhalla…so why not do it all again?!?! Yeehaw!!!

This is one of the four most important tournaments of the season. It deserves better.

CRM: Feel better?

spencer096: Much. Thanks.

CRM: Lets cut to the chase…you’re picking Rory, right?

spencer096: Yea.

CRM: OK. So who do you think, if anyone, will even pose a threat?

World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational - Final Roundspencer096: Well, before Dustin Johnson went rogue, I might even have picked him to win. Like I said above…this is a bomber’s paradise. I like Bubba Watson here a lot. I think if he brings his A-game, he’s got the firepower to stay right with Rory. I don’t think there’s enough trouble here to really kill his chances so I’d be pretty surprised not to see him in the mix.

CRM: What about your boy Sergio? He’s looked pretty damn good of late.

spencer096: Yea he has, but I don’t see that continuing here, unfortunately. Sergio can hit the hell out of the ball, but he’s not one of the longer hitters anymore. If you watched the British and the final round from Firestone, you’d have noticed that Rory was lapping him all day. Sergio’d smoke a drive, Rory’d be 30 yards past. Sergio’d be taking a 3-wood into a par 5, Rory’d have a 5-iron. I just don’t think Sergio’s got the firepower to stick around here.

CRM: Wow. I don’t think you’ve ever completely discounted Sergio like that before.

spencer096: Just don’t see it this week. Same thing with Phil…he’s always been a bomber, but age catches up to everyone. He’s probably a half-step behind the bomber’s at this point, on his best days. On his worst? He’ll be lucky to make the cut. Now, for this week, I think Phil could make some noise for all the reasons Bubba could, but for the entire tournament, I just don’t see it happening.

CRM: What about Adam Scott?

spencer096: Now he’s a guy I think could sneak up there. And I say “sneak up” because he’s really been lurking for awhile now without making a move to the top. He’s got the distance and that extra-gear to win, but I’m not nearly as bullish on Scott (or Justin Rose or Rickie Fowler, for that matter) to think they could seriously challenge Rory.

CRM: You realize we haven’t even talked about defending PGA Champ Jason Dufner yet, right?

spencer096: Look, Jean-Cleaude Van Damme was in Expendables 2, but we’re not talking about him right now either.

CRM: Because neither JCVD or Dufner are having repeat performances?

spencer096: Unfortunately, no, because they were both awesome.

World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational - Round OneCRM: How about a total darkhorse?

spencer096: Mountain Bear.

CRM: MOUNTAIN BEAR! OF COURSE!!!

spencer096: Listen, there aren’t many guys that can keep up with Mountain Bear when…

CRM: Dude, stop. Nobody will get this.

spencer096: Uh…Mountain Bear is the nickname I just gave Mark Leishman.

CRM: MARK LEISHMAN! OF COURSE!!! Wait. I thought we were saving the Mountain Bear nickname for Kevin Love if he comes to Cleveland? [Editor's note: Love is apparently coming to Cleveland, but let's run with this as it would require an extensive re-write.]

spencer096: Let’s be honest. There can be only one Mountain Bear and until Kevin Love comes to Cleveland, that is pretty obviously Mark Leishman.

CRM: Yes. Leishman. Mountain Bear. Go on.

spencer096: He’s a big ol’ dude who’s been knocking on the door for awhile. If you’re looking for a relative nobody who might challenge, he fits the bill as well as anyone.

CRM: What about Lee Westwood?

spencer096: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. Lets all laugh at Lee Westwood!

CRM: Lol.

spencer096: LoL!

CRM: That felt good.What else you got?

spencer096: Remember when Luke Donald was the number 1 ranked player in the world?

CRM: No.

spencer096: Golf was so bad back then.

CRM: Remember when Tiger Woods used to be good?

spencer096: Yea, that was awesome.

CRM: Chuck Norris in Expendables 2 awesome.

spencer096: Exactly. Now Tiger just looks all grizzled and angry. He’s got that “get off my lawn” face going at all times…which is kinda funny, considering he’s playing a game held on a giant lawn.

CRM: If Jon Taffer were giving Tiger Woods a pep talk, what would he say?

spencer096: SHUT IT DOWN! SHUT IT DOWN NOW!

CRM: I really put that on a tee!

spencer096: Should we get back to the golf or just putter around?

CRM: Let’s just call it a day. We can iron out the kinks later.

spencer096: Par for the course, I’d say.

CRM: You seen “Homefront” yet?

spencer096: The Statham vehicle? I did…honestly, I was expecting more.

CRM: You were expecting more from a movie where James Franco plays the main villain named Gator with supporting roles from Winona Ryder and Kate Bosworth?

spencer096: I was.

CRM: Me too. Anyway, now that the preview is done, let’s kick Lisk out of the conference room and pop in this DVD.

Lisk: HEY!

spencer096: Not now, Lisk…we signed out the room for this time.

Lisk: No you didn’t! I wrote 3:30-5:30 in the book on Monday!

spencer096: Yea. In pencil. Dumbass. Now it says “Expendables 3 bootleg viewing party.”

CRM: Hey, guess who is in this one.

Lisk: Who?

spencer096: EVERYBODY!

CRM: Come on man, you’ve been in here all day.

Lisk: This isn’t…

…wait, what the hell? Is someone smok…YOU CANNOT DO THAT IN HERE, SPENCER.

CRM: We need to wrap this up now. Thanks again everyone. Watch golf.

Ronda Rousey in Expendables 3

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