Matt Jones, Jason Day, Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson are all in contention at the PGA Championship, as the third round kicks off Saturday at Whistling Straits.
While Spieth has become one of the two biggest stars in golf, if not the biggest star in golf, Day and Johnson are still seeking their first major championship. With Day sitting at 9-under-135 halfway through the tournament, could this be the weekend he finally breaks through?
“Yeah, I think so. Well, who knows?” Sports Business insider Rick Horrow said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “It’s interesting that Day, Spieth and Dustin Johnson seem to be up there on a regular basis. Why not Dustin? Why not Jordan Spieth? It is still early, but you’ve got two rounds (to go), and when it’s not a tropical, downpour thunderstorm, the course seems to be relatively benign. Who would’ve thought that 9-under would be leading halfway through it?”
That might not be the case for long, as Spieth, who is sitting at 6-under-138, picked up five strokes on Friday. That has to cause unease for everyone ahead of him, knowing that the 22-year-old Texan is lurking in the weeds.
“I followed him around, and he is absolutely unflappable,” Horrow said. “He does a slow burn when he does something that other people would call stupid – three-putting or overshooting the green or whatever. But he has the ability to come back so quickly.”
So does Dustin Johnson. The 31-year-old has top-six finishes at all four majors, including runner-ups at the U.S. Open and Open Championship. But for him, meltdowns have become the rule, not the exception. Even this weekend, he shot an opening-round 66 and was atop the leaderboard. Then he shot a second-round 73.
He is still in contention, but he’s hovering around tenth.
“Dustin Johnson is right there,” Horrow said. “But you just got to feel with Dustin that there will be some calamity that will befall him before the end of the event. Although people are buzzing about him as well, Rory fell back a little bit. Nobody cares about Tiger – nobody cares about Tiger. It’s interesting. You got to feel sorry for him again.”
Woods shot a 1-over-73 on Friday to miss the cut for the fourth time in 10 starts this season. He has not won since the 2013 Bridgestone invitational, and his best finish this year was a tie for 17th at the Master’s.
While it’s been a rough season – make that a rough couple of seasons – for Woods, it’s been a great weekend for Kohler, Wisconsin, the site of the PGA Championship.
“As far as the tournament is concerned, they’re on record to break 200,000 (and have) $100 million of economic impact,” Horrow said. “About 50 percent or more come from out of Wisconsin. When you look at the license plates, there are more non-Wisconsin license plates. This is truly a regional tournament. Good for the tournament. It’s great to have it here and it’s really fun to be here.”