Thursday, August 11, 2011

Will Shane Bacon please pick up the red courtesy phone

Here's some very superficial golf analysis from one of the contributors at Devil Ball Golf-

The PGA Championship is this week, and I think most would agree that this is the least exciting major of the season. It doesn't have the sanctity of the Masters, the grind of the U.S. Open or the history of the British, but it does have one thing that most don't; a history of drama, and a lot of that drama was from one-hit wonders. Names like Rich Beem (pictured), Bob May, Shaun Micheel, Chad Campbell and Y.E. Yang come to mind. So what is it about this major that brings out the randoms?
Let's look at all the lesser lights who have either won, finished 2nd, or missed a major championship playoff by one shot since 2000. Shane Bacon used 2000 PGA Championship runner-up Bob May for an example, so we'll use that year as a cutoff point.

Masters- Charl Schwartzel, Zach Johnson, Trevor Immelman, Len Mattiace, Jason Day, Tim Clark

US Open- Stephen Leaney, Michael Campbell, Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover, Graeme McDowell, Jason Day, Gregory Havret, Ricky Barnes

Someone might even add Rory McIlroy. Forget all the hype and count his pro win total. It's three and that's less than YE Yang and equal to Rich Beem's!(Beem has five wins as a pro but two were team events.)

The British Open- Louis Oosthuizen, Todd Hamilton, Thomas Levet, Chris Wood, Andres Romero, Ben Curtis, Gary Evans, Niclas Fasth

Some people might add Shigeki Maruyama and Thomas Bjorn to this list.

If you're going to use Yang as an example, you then have to bring in European and other golfers who have done their primary winning on tours other than the PGA.

Also note Ben Curtis has notched a pretty good record since his coming out of nowhere at the 2003 British Open. I'm only including golfers who were at the time unrecognized. Chad Campbell finished runner-up at the 2009 Masters to Angel Cabrera. By that time Campbell had multiple PGA Tour wins and Cabrera a major championship title.

PGA- Bob May, Rich Beem, Shaun Micheel, Chad Campbell, YE Yang

Some people might put Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, and Martin Kaymer on this list.

So look at the lists again. Including the iffy ones,

The PGA has 8
The British Open has 10
The U.S. Open has 9
The Masters has 6

Conclusion- The PGA brings out the 2nd least randoms of the 4 major championships. I suggest Shane Bacon brush up on his major championship history.


JH Chappuis said...

The prestige of the other three events in terms of history, sanctity, and set up I think exempts the other 3 from the same scrutiny.

At least I believe that's the point he was trying to make.

WooIsMe said...

You've lumped together Angel Cabrera (2 wins & 7 other top 10s in majors) with Rich Beem, Todd Hamilton, and Bob May (only 1 Top 10 each).

And you make no allowance for age--Jason Day is 23 years old and has 2 seconds and a Top 10 in the 5 majors he has played in. Jason Day is not a "lesser light"; he's a flat-out stud.

The Florida Masochist said...

JH- I was taking Bacon on for the randomness of the winners, not which major title is more prestigious. It's either the US Open or Masters in my book.

Woolsme- Cabrera is arguably the most slightet two-time major champion with the exception of Andy North. He has a substantial record, but its not in the United States, and rightly or wrongly he gets judged on that.

If you're counting top 10's in majors, add up that list of US and British Open people I listed and lets see where it stands.

Day has had an impressive year, but he still has 2 professional victories. He's what I call one of those flavors of the year- Camilo Villegas, Anthony Kim, McIlroy, that get lots of hype but aren't exactly rolling in victories yet. One or more of these guys might be stars but right now their records are more hype than substance.