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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Southern Hills: Best of all time often crowned in dull fashion

TULSA, Ocala ( Associated Press) — About a month before Dave Stockton won the PGA Championship in Southern Hills, his father had given him the self-help classic “Psycho-Cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz, and he wrote about a page highlighting various excerpts. go through. ,

“It was not a fun read,” Stockton said. “It was like reading sandpaper.”

However, he came up with two concrete ideas that applied perfectly to golf. The first was simple: Be aggressive. Another something athletes have championed for decades: Imagine you’ve already won.

“So instead of coming out of here and hoping that I play well, hoping I made the cut, all these different things, I stepped on the first tee on Monday morning at around 7:00 – because I It was over by 10:45 – and I imagined I had already won the tournament,” Stockton said. “My mindset was that I had already won it and I was going to go out and enjoy it. “

He made it so easy too. Stockton was tied for the lead after the second round, leading Raymond Floyd after third and a two-shot victory over Arnold Palmer and Bob Murphy in the 1970 championship.

In doing so, Stockton helped become a recurring theme in the Southern Hills: the venerable Perry Maxwell layout near downtown Tulsa. Some of the sport’s greatest players have been crowned during more major championships than any other American venue, and for the most part, they’ve been a terrible bore.

past four PGA Championships and three at the US Open, Stockton and Tiger Woods Only those who did not have at least a share of the lead after the opening round. And no one got out of the lead in the final round.

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Oklahoma native Tommy Bolt led after every round at the 1958 US Open, eventually converting a three-shot lead over Gene Littler after third in a four-shot victory over Gary Player. This wound up being Bolt’s only major, although he also played two Ryder Cups and, like everyone else, Stockton won the Southern Hills, ending up in the Hall of Fame.

Hubert Green also had the least lead in each round of the 1977 US Open and defeated Lou Graham by one shot on Sunday. But that tournament is best remembered by those who knew little at the time: He was threatened with a kill if Green played the 15th hole. He boldly did it anyway on his way to his first major title.

Nearing his 40th birthday, Floyd also went on to win the 1982 PGA Championship, three ahead of former champion Lanny Wadkins. He started with 63 and for the rest of the week he was never really a threat.

The easiest way could have been with Nick Price’s field in 1994.

Sure, he tied for a first-round lead with Colin Montgomery, but he was five shots clear of everyone else after the second round. Price finished with 11-under for a six-shot lead over Corey Pavin, becoming the first player in seven decades to capture the British Open and PGA in the same year.

When the Majors returned to the Southern Hills in 2001, Retef Goosen needed a Monday playoff with Mark Brooks to win the first of his two US Opens. Thrilling in theory, but no one wanted to win on Sunday. Goosein ran 10 feet past the birdie on the 72nd hole, then missed a 2-footer back, leaving him tied with Brooks, who bogeyed his final hole. And both were shots clear of Stewart Sink, who missed his own 2-footer to get into the playoffs.

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There were two major story lines the last time the PGA Championship took place in Southern Hills.

The first was the heat, which was near or above triple digits on all four days. The other was Woods, who regained control with a second round of 63. He led by five in the third and fourth rounds before being overtaken by a largely forgettable cast of characters such as Woody Austin, Aaron Oberholser and John Senden.

“I remember playing behind[John Daly]on day one, which was awesome,” Woods recalled this week. “It was, what, 109 I think the first day? And I asked JD how much water he drank there. He said, ‘No, I had 13 Diet Cokes.'”

Memorable stuff, really.

There are many reasons to believe that Southern Hills will eventually produce a classic This week though. This field has 95 of the top 100 In the world even after Bryson DeChambeau’s departure late Wednesday night, The course itself has undergone an extensive restoration, returning it to its former glory. The forecast looks clear and pleasant for most of the week.

“It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be really tough,” said Olympic gold medalist Xander Schöffele, who did two top-10s in the majors last year. “I think the PGA Championship for the most part, people. Looks like you can shoot less in them than most of the bigger companies. But I think this year is going to be a different story.”

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