The PGA Championship 2009 closes out the four PGA majors of 2009 this weekend. Three days before the PGA Championship 2009, the buzz is naturally on Tiger Woods. The PGA Championship 2009 would be Woods’ third straight win in three weeks, impressive by even his standards. But more important, the PGA Championship 2009 is Tiger Woods’ last shot to win a major this season. After winning two straight tournaments, the PGA Championship 2009 should be easy for Tiger Woods – but historically, coming into a major after a win is the worst thing Woods can do.
The PGA Championship 2009 was always going to have Tiger Woods as a favorite. But after winning the Bridgestone Invitational yesterday for a second win in as many weeks, Woods’ name may be halfway engraved on the PGA Championship 2009 trophy already. However, that would be a dangerous mistake to make.
Woods has gone into every major this season having won his previous tournament. In this case, Woods goes into the PGA Championship 2009 having won his last two tournaments, in two weeks straight. Previously, Woods came into the Masters, US Open and British Open having won a tournament two weeks earlier.
But in the actual majors themselves, Woods got off to a bad start and struggled to stay in contention. In fact, Woods downright missed the British Open cut. So since Woods’ momentum going into the past three majors didn’t carry over, he may have cursed himself double by winning two straight events going into the PGA Championship.
The PGA Championship 2009 course, however, is friendly to Woods. It is held at Hazeltine National Golf Course in Chaska, Minnesota, where Woods came in second at the 2002 PGA Championship. Woods was only stopped by Rich Beem that year, in one of the biggest upsets in golf history.
Though Woods would like to carry over momentum into a major this time, defending PGA champion Padraig Harrington is looking to build some for the first time this year. Harrington was right up there with Woods at the Bridgestone Invitational, in his best finish by far since winning the PGA championship. However, Harrington would like to avoid holes this weekend like the triple bogey at 16 that cost him yesterday.
The PGA Championship 2009 is Woods’ last shot this year to redeem himself for the Masters, the US Open and the British Open. Another disappointing major finish will largely erase all of his highlights from the last two weeks. Woods was able to come back from big deficits in those events, but has never had to do that in a major.
The questions around Woods only stand to build up as the PGA Championship 2009 approaches on Thursday morning.
PGA Tour- “Final round notebook: Bridgestone Invitational” www.pgatour.com/2009/tournaments/r476/08/09/notebook_round4/
Bleacher Report- “2009 PGA Championship Preview: The Top 10 Contenders at Hazeltine” bleacherreport.com/articles/233350-2009-pga-championship-preview-the-top-10-contenders