Major Miracle: J.T. Comes From Seven Back, Wins Second PGA - Dog Leg News

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Tom Edrington

Tom Edrington spent the first 10 years of his misguided youth as a sports writer for the Tampa Tribune. His career brought him face to face with many of sports greatest stars -- Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Muhammad Ali, Don Shula, countless Hall of Fame NFL stars, more PGA Tour players than he can count. In 1980 he was honored by the Golf Writers Association of America for writing the best news story that year, his coverage of Jack Nicklaus' U.S. Open victory at Baltusrol. Today, 36 years later, golf is still a great part of his life, thanks to competitive playing days and the wonderful people he has met on this fabulous journey.

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  1. 1

    baxter cepeda

    Jt called the day bizarre. I call it psychological torture thanks to the winning score being so unpredictable.

    What I mean is players in the end had to shoot what? -6 under to be in the playoff. But someone (pereira) had it to -10 under at some point. And it would be so hard to know as your playing if that -10 under will come back or keep moving forward, albeit slowly.

    So the players are left battling with themselves whether to be conservative or aggressive. A great course and fluctuating weather like they had this week is what makes these type of low and unpredictable winning scores, which make for the best nervy tournaments.

    I’m usually not a big fan of not leaderboard watching —Tiger watches everything — but JTs best play was probably putting his head down and focusing on his game.

    Rory seems like a huge victim of leaderboard watching. At times he can chase scores with the best of em but then he gets close and either chases too hard, or kinda gags trying to play safer. It’s hard to tell what’s happening.

    But while Rory finally didn’t play himself out on a Thursday, he still found ways to play himself out of it. Rory is Rory, really great, but there’s still something missing…
    and great championships on great courses never let even the greats get away with anything missing.

    It’s been said a lot but Southern hills is a true major venue. A marvelous spot. And as with Augusta, Kiawah last year, the tv technology of today, drones etc, really brought it to light.

    He is digging deep, and assuming he doesn’t hurt himself, these monumental efforts will pay off in the future.

    The big discussion at the Golf channel table early in the week—aside from fear mongering Phil— was Mcginley arguing Tiger needs more tournament reps, which of course is not a great argument considering Tiger can barely walk and play right now.

    But McGinely is correct IMO that in the future, if Tiger really wants to win majors, he is going to have to have some semblance of a schedule. The 1950s thing where Ben Hogan showed up to majors only and actually won them, it’s just hard to believe even Tiger woods can do that these days with all the factors that help today’s players. Tiger has to consider most of today’s players —like JT —learning so much directly and indirectly from Tiger himself. Hogan did not have to deal with that phenomenon.

    Hopefully Tiger can play at least 8-12 events in the future. A couple before the majors start, one between each major, and a couple more after major season.

    Afterwards the Chilean blamed Saturday’s round; as if he was in complete denial all he had to do was make par on 18; funny how these players psyche works.

    I will argue Mito, not JT, was the best player in the field. He was even more solid than JT tee to green and the South American has a truly sweet putting stroke. JTs putting is getting better but not at Mitos level, not even close really. There is still some inconsistency but I do like where JTs putting is headed.

    I though I liked where Zalatoris flat stick was headed but omg. He has some smooth strokes now, especially longer ones, but the closer he gets to the hole, I mean wow, very arguably the ugliest strokes we have ever seen still. I mean really, there is a lot of average putting on the top tour, but I don’t know how Zalatoris can contend with that stroke. He is a marvel.

    I would not call Fitzpatrick inexperienced. He really had nothing going but his solid striking and sublime putting, even though he didn’t make nearly to his standard this week, kept him in the game.

    Which brings us to who was not in the game: Phil.
    It was sad not to have Phil but I want to reiterate to Phil—because of course he reads DLN—that regardless or what he is hearing golfers do love him. We know he isn’t perfect. We have known for a long time just from what we see on the golf course Lefty is far from perfect. But what’s happening now is nothing Phil cannot recover from.
    Phil is ruffling the golf establishment bad.

    There are some serious things not to like about Phils venture with Liv. But at the end of the day Phil is bringing to the sport more money, more drama, more competition to watch, more to talk about.

    A lot of people may not like it right now—including Tiger himself—worried about their money—which Tiger calls legacy— but Phil is bringing a lot of excitement and uncertainty to golf; just as he has always done.

    Aside from the moral issues, competition is always good. As Rickie Fowler implied, this competition between tours will make the sport better.

    Lets be real the sport will still love the guys that go and want them back competing, especially at the majors.

    Because regardless of how many tours we have moving forward, where the money is coming from, and all that, majors like this great pga championship at southern hills is STILL what it’s all about.

    1. 1.1

      Tom Edrington

      Thanks for the novel, Baxter! OBW, I recall J.T. was my second pick after Scottie!

  2. 2

    baxter cepeda

    U know me. And U know what they say about second picks.

    I didn’t pick JT to motivate him, or not put too much pressure on him.
    But we all saw it coming.
    He’s an amazing golfer. No doubt about that.

    And it looks like this officially puts him past Kapalua-gate. Then again I just brought it up again. But only because he is such a likeable guy, and great player, one little mistake stands out.

    It’s worth noting overall jT has made his allegiance but has also kept his opinions about all the drama in golf these days pretty quiet; even Ho hum Sheffler and guarded Tiger and even make-everyone-happy Rickie have had more to say; thoughts which of course leads to some distractions.

    JT has been on a mission. And something tells me this mission is just getting started.

    Wilbon made the good point of the week IMO, saying this major win is unlike the ones most players enjoy during a great two year run, something I always talk about; but this win shows JT has real staying power; a player who can win the big ones throughout his career.

    Years ago I claimed JT would likely have a better career resume than Spieth. Its taking a while to pass Jordan, and he still hasn’t passed his friend in the major category, but with 15 tour wins JT now has 2 more than Spieth. As good as Jordan is playing again, jT is still a better pick to win the next major.

    Btw did you see the articles where ‘they’ are trying to get Jack in trouble now for his comments about talking with LIv?
    U know how I feel about that.
    So sad.

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