Each day from Bellerive, four of the NCG team get together to ask each other the pressing questions on the fourth major. In this edition of Fourball, Dan Murphy, Steve Carroll, James Savage and Alex Perry take to the tee to discuss Tiger Woods’ chances, another missed cut for Sergio Garcia, and whether or not this PGA Championship is actually a classic…
Dan: With the likes of Koepka, DJ, Tiger, JT, Molinari, Rickie, Scott and Rahm all there or thereabouts as we head into the last round, can I put it to you that the much-maligned 100th PGA Championship might in fact go down as a belter?
Steve: The actors are better than the script, if that makes sense. Bellerive looks, and has played, like a bang average parkland for me and – until Tiger started charging on Saturday morning – I was fairly unenthused. Having said that, we’ve got a cast of characters that demand a viewing and plenty of scoring opportunities. We could still be remembering a classic rather than a turkey on Sunday.
James: It depends who wins. With all due respect, a Koepka, Kisner or Woodland win isn’t going to cause much of a ripple, on this side of the pond at least. And why do they insist on showing footage of players nowhere near the top of the leaderboard? I’ve just watched Ross Fisher and Brandt Snedeker hit shots who were in a tie for 41st…
Alex: It feels a bit like 50,000 people watching Sir Ian McKellen playing Macbeth in a village square. Bellerive doesn’t deserve the tantalising leaderboard that it’s been graced. Having said that, only a Tiger win will make this a PGA Championship to remember.
Alex: A fifth straight missed cut at majors for Sergio Garcia. Would you give him a wildcard pick for the Ryder Cup?
Dan: Much as it pains me to say it, I’m not sure I would, no. Especially given that fellow shoo-in wild card Stenson has also been far from impressive of late as well. That’s a massive problem for Captain Bjorn. I wonder how close Garcia is to falling on his sword and having a word with the skipper and telling him to look elsewhere. I will say again that this Ryder Cup is no place for veterans struggling with their games. And the US might have the same issue with Philly Mick.
Steve: No, although I think Thomas Bjorn is desperate to do so. He’s talked all the way through his captaincy about picking players on form and yet will he be able to turn down someone he must have thought would be one of his talismen when he took on the job? Garcia’s been desperate of late but, interestingly, his best finish in recent months has actually come at Le Golf National – in the Open de France. The 64 he shot in the third round might yet get him a wildcard berth.
James: Not for me. I think Darren Clarke made the mistake of picking players on reputation over form. I think we’d need to see something pretty special from Garcia over the next few weeks. However the only experienced heads who are certain to feature at the moment are McIlroy and Rose and that might be a concern for Bjorn. You’d think it’d be one of Poulter, Stenson and Garcia if all three fail to make it.
Speaking of Tiger, what are the team’s thoughts on his chances? Find out on the next page…