Check out these images from the practice rounds at Oakland Hills where players are making final preparations for Thursday's first round.
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Okay, so a European hasn't won the PGA Championship since Scotland's Tommy Armour in 1930. But here in New England, stats like that are meaningless since 2004 when the Red Sox did what no pro sports team had ever done before in rallying from a 3-0 deficit in the ALCS. So that's why we're ignoring that bit of history and picking Robert Karlsson (right, Classics Tour style #51112, StaSof glove) as one player to watch at the PGA. Well, that and the fact that he's the only player to finish in the top ten in all three majors this year - The Masters (T8), U.S. Open (T4) and The Open Championship (T7). In fact, the Big Swede hasn't finished outside the top 20 since March, a run that includes six top tens on the European Tour.
He's on an incredible run right now, one that has locked up his spot on Nick Faldo's European Ryder Cup squad. I expect that to continue at Oakland Hills, so keep an eye on the Big Swede this week...
FootJoy will be the #1 shoe at the PGA Championship just as it has been at all the previous majors and PGA Tour events this year. While you should keep an eye on FJ players you know, like Vijay Singh, Adam Scott, Zach Johnson and Lee Westwood, you might also want to keep an eye on the PGA Club Professionals who are in the field. Below is a list of FootJoy players who qualified through their performance at the 2008 PGA Professional National Championship, led by the winner, Scott Hebert (see story about Scott, who's playing in his home state this week, here).
CLICK THIS LINK TO MEET THE QUALIFIERS...
Vijay Singh swirled in a 3-foot par putt on the last hole to win his first career World Golf Championship event Sunday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Singh closed with a 2-under 68 for a one shot victory over fellow FootJoy player Lee Westwood (Classics Dry Premiere style #50672).
Singh, who wore DryJoys PODS Traditional (style #53562) and a SciFlex glove throughout the week, finished with a 10-under 270 total. The victory was the 32nd of his career on the PGA Tour and first on U.S. soil since the Arnold Palmer Invitational back in 2007. With the win, he is expected to move up to #4 in the World Golf Rankings ahead of this week's final major - the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills.
Westwood, who could have moved up to No. 4 in the world with his first U.S. title in 10 years, rallied from a five-shot deficit with 11 holes to play to get within one of the lead. But he missed a 7-foot birdie on the 17th, and his 15-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the 18th to tie for the lead was left all the way. He closed with a 69 to tie for second.
Wearing ReelFits (style #53843) and a SciFlex, Parker McLachlin shot a 2-over 74 Sunday to claim his first PGA Tour victory in convincing fashion at the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open. The 29-year-old UCLA grad finished the week with an 18-under 270 total for a seven shot victory and, in the process, punched his ticket to this week's PGA Championship at Oakland Hills.
"It feels like it has been a lifetime coming. It has been a dream of mine since I was about 12," said McLachlin, who grew up in Hawaii and played at UCLA. "This is a huge stepping stone for me."
McLachlin recovered from trouble time after time on Sunday to card 14 pars, three bogeys and a birdie on the 18th. He could afford to play conservatively on Sunday due to magnificent early round play that saw him fire a course record 10-under 62 on Friday and set the 54-hole record at 20-under on Saturday.