TULSA, Ocala ( Associated Press) — Dave Stockton won the 1970 PGA Championship in Southern Hills, and his nostalgia this week included a swapping of tales of great shots, a champion dinner for terrifying people and memories of career-making victories .
He was disappointed by the low turnout. Only 11 former champions, playing this week, participated. Stockton said no one misses the Masters Champion dinner.
“That’s what it should be,” he said. “I don’t understand why because I think it’s very important for us to be back as champions.”
Other former PGA champions who were there: Colin Morikawa, Rory McIlroy, Jason Dufner, Keegan Bradley, Martin Kemmer, Padraig Harrington, Shawn Mitchell, Rich Beam, Mark Brooks and Jeff Slumman.
Who missed: Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Jason Day, Ye Yang, Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and John Daly.
One player Stockton didn’t leave? Defending Champion Phil Mickelson.
Lefty withdrew from the tournament last week as he continued his break from golf following his inflammatory comments about the Saudi-funded rival league that opposes the PGA Tour.
“It was a fun evening. Phil was not missed. I think Phil would have been a huge distraction if he was here,” Stockton said. “The story here this week is PGA.”
Mickelson would usually be the host and choose a gift for the players. This time around, the PGA of America chose the gift and kept it with an outdoor theme.
So the champion got an outdoor fire pit with the PGA logo, quite a coincidence. The quotes causing the most problems for Mickelson come from an excerpt from the unauthorized biography of Alan Shipnk. It was published on a website called “The Fire Pit Collective”.
coming to America
Long flights, odd hours and jet lag. Lots and lots of jet lag.
Belgium’s Thomas Peters said ahead of the PGA Championship on Wednesday that coming to the US for three out of four majors could be difficult for players from Europe.
Peters has already traveled between Europe, the Middle East and the United States to play several times this season and the pace exhausted him after the Masters, where he missed the cut.
It took several weeks before he returned to take a top-10 finish at the Soudal Open in his native Belgium last week. Then he boarded a flight to Tulsa.
“I think I haven’t even done well in America over the years, just because travel, for me, gets me going. It gets lonely when you have to do it yourself. Like I said, when you go back and forth six, seven, eight times, it takes a toll on your body,” he said.
“It’s always been last minute for me, like receiving invitations and playing my way into things,” Peters said.
Because his body is still out of time for the change, Peters said he was grateful he made it to Thursday’s first round at 9:17 a.m. He is awake before dawn and is tired by noon.
“I will be fine by (Thursday),” he said.
Still, he doesn’t have plans to go to America.
“I’ll invite you to Belgium. It’s a lovely country,” said Peters. “My family is there, my girlfriend, my baby, my daughter. So no, I’m not moving here anytime soon. My life is there.” “
Denmark’s Nikolai Hjgaard is quick to admit that he would not be playing in the PGA Championship if not for his brother Rasmus, and the way the twins pushed each other on the golf course over the years.
Rasmus isn’t in the fray this week, but he made it to last year’s PGA at Kiawah Island.
“They gave me some insight into what to expect from playing a major championship here in the states,” Nikolai said. “It’s a little different here than in Europe and the climate, as well – it’s very hot here. They gave some good stuff I could use this week.”
Things weren’t always so lenient between the 21-year-old brothers, who combined to win five times in Europe, and won one week after the other last year.
“In those days when we were fighting, we could rise in battle,” said Nikolai. “If I shoot a good round and Rasmus is played poorly or the other way around, we can start fighting. We’ve had talks in the past, and even now, how do we deal with the ups and downs. Someday we can Probably won’t play the same tour and how do we deal with it? We’ve talked. Golf is like that. That’s how life is. As long as we have each other, it’s a bonus.”
We. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson is already looking at more than just golf for next year’s matches in Rome.
Johnson is a self-described “geography nerd” and a foodie. The prospects of exploring the Italian countryside and its cuisine leave her a little giddy.
“My parents have been there twice or thrice, my wife has been there twice. The consensus outside this great nation is this is their favorite country,” Johnson said Wednesday. “I know the makeup. I know you have the Mediterranean Sea downstairs, and I know the Alps are to the north and the beauty of that country is the people within, so I’m excited to meet them.”
and eat with them. eat a lot.
“I don’t eat to live, I live to eat,” said the 46-year-old. “It probably is, it depends on how you look at it, not a great recipe to go with because I’m guessing, I eat until I’m uncomfortable. So it’s going to be quite a lot.” It’s gonna be. Actually that’s a good thing.”
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