Each day from Bellerive, four of the NCG team get together to ask each other the pressing questions on the fourth major. In this final edition of Fourball, Steve Carroll, James Savage, Alex Perry and Dan Murphy take to the tee to discuss the quality of this PGA Championship, the Ryder Cup fallout, and that rivalry between best pals Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson…
Steve: Well that final day was quite exciting, wasn’t it? Did it do enough to save this year’s PGA Championship?
James: I enjoyed it. There was a great leaderboard with a few Ryder Cup sub-plots. If I’m going to rank my 2018 majors it would go 1. The Open; 2. PGA; 3. The Masters; 4. US Open.
Alex: Let’s face facts: It’s Tiger contending that has “saved” this PGA Championship. Take him out of that leaderboard, are you as pumped? I would say you’re not. But it was still a good final day, thoroughly enjoyable. It was better than The Masters and US Open.
Dan: It says to me that they have the golden ticket of major status and, therefore, a field of the very highest quality. They absolutely have to preserve the former and it is absolutely not to be taken for granted. The Players is an outstanding tournament in every respect and, crucially, it has the respect of the big names. I am pretty sure that the PGA needs to do better just to stand still let alone grow in stature.
James: Which European player do you think will have impressed Thomas Bjorn the most this week? Do we think Matt Wallace has brought himself into consideration?
Alex: “Mike” Wallace seems to be the right kind of personality for the Ryder Cup and I wouldn’t begrudge him getting there – especially after the year he’s had. But Thomas Pieters is the answer you’re looking for.
Dan: Thomas Pieters and, at the risk of blasphemy and offending some readers, God, no. In a week when Garcia and Stenson missed the cut while Olesen and Poulter ultimately came to nothing, this was extremely well-timed. Don’t forget, Pieters was our top scorer at Hazeltine and also Rory’s partner.
Steve: Thomas Pieters will be the obvious focus, particularly given what he did at Hazeltine two years ago. He seemed a lock to become a European stalwart then and I don’t think Bjorn will take too much more persuading – perhaps one more good week – to find a wild card spot for him next month.
So what did the team think of Eleven Sports’ performance overall? And who wins more majors between Koepka and DJ? Find out on the next page…