Pro Vision – September 2007

Would you like to see the PGA Championship go back to Match Play format?

The current scoring record for an 18-hole major golf tournament is 63. This feat has been accomplished 23 times, the first and most notable was Johnny Miller in the final round of the 1973 US Open at Oakmont. It has been the benchmark for greatness in the modern era of major championship golf. This record was challenged this year when Tiger Woods in the second round of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills carded a 63. He eventually went on to win his 13th major. Golf’s four major championships are tested on some of the world’s best canvases where the player must play the course and not his opponent. I hope the format stays the way it is. When the 62 or lower is shot it will not only make for great theatre, but it will be one of golf’s greatest accomplishments!

It’s been fifty years since Lionel Hebert defeated Dow Finsterwald 2 and 1 in 1957 PGA Championship. Due to the constraints of television this was the last time the PGA Championship used the Match Play format. I suspect this will still be the case when the boys tee it up in the 2057 edition. Personally, stroke play is just fine with me. Imagine the ratings disaster if we had a repeat of the 2002 Accenture Match Play Final between Kevin Sutherland and Scott McCarron. That’s enough to make Walter Hagan turn over in his grave. Speaking of dearly departed, I see where Lisa Marie Presley, thru the magic of modern technology just cut a duet with her late father, Elvis. Now if the PGA could somehow conjure up a match play final between Tiger Woods and Walter Hagen, I just might change my mind.

No. The best players in the world are more precisely identified in a Stroke Play format. I don’t believe making a major championship a Match Play format would do it justice. It wouldn’t hurt to have an additional event that is run by the PGA and is Match Play. If it is worthy of a major, then by public opinion, it will become one soon enough.

Next Month’s Question:

What changes would you like to see made to the FedEx Cup playoff?