Teeing Off

August 09, 2009

MY BAG

FOR THE PGACHAMPIONSHIP

PadraigHarrington

"The five-woodis my go-to club under pressure, and I've hit some of the best shots of mycareer with it."

BALL
Titleist
Pro V1x

DRIVER
Wilson
Staff Smooth (9°)
Shaft
Aldila
Voodoo (X flex)

PUTTER
Odyssey
2-ball

HYBRIDS
Wilson
Staff DH6 #3 (19°) and Staff DH6 #4 (22°)
Shafts
Hybrex
Helix Tour (X flex)

IRONS
Wilson
(Five through pitching wedge) Staff FG-Tour Forged
Shafts
Royal Precision
Tour Flighted 7.0

FAIRWAY METALS
TaylorMade
Burner (13°)
Shaft
Graphite Design P9003
P9003 (Stiff)
Wilson
Staff FwS (18°)
Shaft
Grafalloy
ProLite 3.5 (X flex)

WEDGES
Wilson
TW9 Satin (54° and 60°)
Shafts
Royal Precision
Tour Flighted 6.5

THIS WEEK'S MAINEVENT

PGACHAMPIONSHIP

Futures Market

While watchingnext week's PGA Championship, why not preview the 2016 Ryder Cup at the sametime? Hazeltine, in Chaska, Minn., will host both events, so set up a roster of12 likely Americans and a dozen of their Euro counterparts and see whoaccumulates a lower score for the week. Among the Euros will no doubt bedefending champ Padraig Harrington, who's looking to regain his major mojoafter struggling with swing changes. Hazeltine, with three par-5s that playmore than 600 yards, could take away the bombers' advantage and play right intoHarrington's hands.

One and Done

As majors go, thePGA Championship is fourth on the schedule and possibly fourth in prestige.Since 1980 the PGA has had more first-time major winners than any of the othermajors, and it has had the most single-major winners (below) holding itstrophy.

[The followingtext appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP12

BRITISH OPEN10

U.S. OPEN 10

MASTERS 8

—Compiled by SalJohnson

DRILLING DOWN

Tiger's LastRide

1 Tiger Woods notonly showed up for the final Buick Open, he also won it with a roller-coaster20-under 268 that included a sloppy first-day 71, electrifying follow-ups of 63and 65, and a cool closing 69 which had an air of inevitability to it. As theBuick Open motors off into the sunset, here's a look at the tournament'shistory as well as what it has meant to the world's No. 1 player.

2 BriefHistory

1958
Buick becomes the first corporate sponsor of the PGA Tour, and the Buick Opendebuts with the era's richest purse: $50,000. The inaugural winner, BillyCasper, takes home $9,000.

1963
Julius Boros becomes the only wire-to-wire champion.

1965
Tony Lema wins his second straight Buick Open, becoming the first multiplewinner and one of only two back-to-back winners.

1969
Dave Hill, from Jackson, becomes the first native of Michigan to win.

1970--71
The tournament is not played.

1972
The tournament returns as an unofficial Tour event with Buick as thesponsor.

1973--77
It remains an unofficial event without Buick as the sponsor.

1978
Buick Open returns to the Tour schedule.

1987
Robert Wrenn sets the tournament scoring record of 26-under-par 262.

1989
Tournament purse reaches $1 million.

1990
Chip Beck starts the final round eight shots down but rallies to win, markingthe event's largest comeback victory.

1997
Tiger Woods makes his Buick Open debut; Vijay Singh wins the first of his threetitles.

2000
Woods begins an endorsement deal with Buick reportedly worth about $7 million ayear.

2001
Buick Open purse reaches $3.1 million; Billy Mayfair sets the course record atWarwick Hills with a 61, a score matched by Woods in '05.

2002
Woods wins his first Buick Open.

2003
Purse reaches $4 million.

2006
Woods wins his second Buick Open and earns his 50th career victory to become,at 30, the youngest to reach that milestone.

2008
Buick Open reaches more than $10 million in charitable donations.

2009
Buick discontinues its sponsorship, and unable to find a new partner, thetournament comes to an end. Woods returns after a two-year absence and walksoff with the $918,000 first-place check while tying Singh's mark for most BuickOpen titles.

3 Tiger's Bank

In 24 starts atTour events sponsored by Buick (one as an amateur) Tiger Woods has earned $9.37million. Here's how he's done it.

[The followingtext appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

Missed Cut 1

6 Others

9 Wins

Fifth 1

Fourth 2

Third 2

Second 3

4 Old Money

No currentcorporate sponsor had a longer history with the Tour than Buick. Here are theactive leaders in sponsorship longevity.

[The followingtext appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

Honda Classic
25 Years

Bob Hope ChryslerClassic
23 Years

AT&T PebbleBeach National Pro-Am
23 Years

Shell HoustonOpen
17 Years

Mercedes-BenzChampionship
15 Years

SHORT GAME

Don't Look Back,Jack

Stat of the week:PGA Tour victories—Sam Snead 82 (won his 69th at age 41); Jack Nicklaus 73(69th at 40); Tiger Woods 69 (age 33). Cue the Jaws music....Woods has won 21of his last 39 Tour starts, or 54%. If President Obama can maintain that levelof support in the Senate, the Tour's independent contractors might get a littlegovernment health insurance....We have a new candidate in the eternal searchfor the "next Tiger." Twenty-year-old amateur Ricky Fowler (11-under263) nearly stole the Nationwide tour's Children's Hospital Invitational butlost a playoff to Derek Lamely. Could Fowler be the mythical Woods successor?Maybe, but right now he's not even the next Daniel Summerhays....Michelle Wie(right) was one of Beth Daniel's Solheim Cup captain's picks. She was 13th inthe standings but No. 1 in corporate voting....Perhaps Daniel thought Wie wouldbring something extra to the team room (besides her parents). Wie and teammateChristina Kim guarantee that there are at least two women of South Koreandescent in the field, which should help foster the illusion that the game'sbest are playing....Seriously, free ticket to the foursomes for anyone who canpick all three of the European tour's top qualifiers—Gwladys Nocera, TaniaElosegui and Diana Luna—out of a lineup....Fred Funk's Senior Open win gets himinto next year's U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. USGA rough together with Pebble'steensy greens will put a premium on accuracy and short-game prowess. Funk couldcompete, but he'll more likely end up with the Greg Norman--Tom Watsonheartbreaking-old-guy-in-a-major award.

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PHOTOCARYN LEVY/PGA TOUR/GETTY IMAGES (HARRINGTON) CHARTSLIM FILMS (CHART) TWO PHOTOSFRED VUICH (BALL AND BAG) PHOTOCHRIS GRAYTHEN/GETTY IMAGES (WOODS) TWO CHARTSERIC MARQUARD (CHARTS) PHOTOMIKE EHRMANN (WIE)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)