Knock-knock, who's there? 'Hard Knocks'
That's it for today, WatchDog Block Association.
Enjoy "Hard Knocks" tonight and Tiger tomorrow.
Here are some excerpts CBS sent of a PGA Championship conference call Monday that I would have participated in if I had not been in the Bronx:
(On surge of international players on PGA TOUR)
JIM NANTZ: This is where the game is going. It’s going young. It’s going international. Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland – he probably has to be considered the favorite going into the tournament this week. Then you’ve got an 18-year-old from Japan, Ryo Ishikawa, Oosthuizen, 27, just wins the Open Championship.
This is the game. This is where it’s going. It’s young. It’s fearless. And, it’s global. That doesn’t mean that Tiger is not going to have another set where he’s on top of the world. I just don’t think we’re ever going to see anything dominant like we’ve seen in the past. It’s definitely not a game that belongs just to the Americans.
We’ve got Americans, if you are trying to identify who they are in this next wave. I really think a guy like Jeff Overton from Indiana – he’s Top 10 every week now. This guy is fearless. He’s long. He kills it. He’s kind of a jumpy, jittery guy. But there’s something about the way he plays that is very appealing. He’s a big time talent. Hunter Mahan won yesterday (Sunday). Rickie Fowler hasn’t won yet— he’s 21 — and when he does, we’re all going to be saying, wow. Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy – this is where the game is.
We had a 10-year stretch where no one from (ages) 20-to-29 in the United States, or globally, really felt comfortable enough to go in there into a major championship and compete with Tiger, mainly Tiger, but with Tiger and Phil, and the upper echelon guys. This is where the game is now. This is not a one-year thing. This is where it’s going.
(On difficulty of staying on top of golfing world and sustain yourself physically and mentally, especially in regards to what Tiger is going through)
NICK FALDO: I was fortunate enough to be there for two years, and it does take a kind of mental stamina because obviously you’ve got each week with the spotlight on you. You’ve got more media, more attention from the sponsors, all sorts of things. You still have to organize your own golf game and your own time to yourself. I know Pete Sampras, in his reign among his 14 Grand Slams (majors), said the five years that he was world number one was also his greatest achievement being able to maintain that stamina to keep it going. I say the same thing. When you’re playing well, of course, that makes life a little easier because you’re walking in and talking about a good day. And with Tiger, things take a turn because he has to face a bad day on a golf course. And that’s obviously very different especially when you are frustrated because you want to get your game turned around, and you want to spend the time to do that. And in that particular time you want to have even more time to yourself. That’s the bottom line. It’s very physically and mentally demanding.
He’s going through a period in his life that no other man has really been through – coming from world number one to slipping down the mountain. And he’s got a lot to deal with. Both are going to bounce. We know what has happened off the golf course. He’s tried to get on the golf course most of the year. Now he’s having difficulty on the golf course.
(On Tiger ever being as dominant as he once was)
FALDO: That has a lot to do with Tiger and the determination of the man. His number one goal in life was to beat Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 majors. I’m sure that’s still in there. It’s not a straight road up a mountain. He’s hit a few rocks on the way up the mountain. If he maintains that determination, he could get there. But obviously, we know right now he has a lot to deal with, emotionally, mentally, technically, maybe even a few physical issues as well. Those are the challenges in life. It’s the golfing gods sending a little message to see how determined you really are to get to that Jack Nicklaus goal.
(On Ryder Cup and strength of European team with or without Lee Westwood)
FALDO: The European team is looking very strong. Lee Westwood was in my top three two years ago and unfortunately only managed to get a half-a-point that week. The European Tour is looking very good right now, same with the Americans. America has really perked up the past couple of weeks with Hunter [Mahan] making the team. Jeff Overton is looking very consistent. He makes a lot of birdies. Those kinds of guys could be very useful.
The American team has a lot of things against them — obviously coming to Europe. The European players are determined to get another win back. They have the home advantage. I would definitely say the European team is favored right now.
NANTZ: I would say the European team is the heavy, heavy favorite whether Lee Westwood is on that team or not. And that’s the one thing he’s [Corey Pavin] going to have going for him. That is on the American side, no one is going to believe we can match him up, just based on world rankings and what has happened in major championship play. No one is going to believe, on foreign soil, that the American team can win. It’s going to be one of the great advantages, if they have anything, because there’s enough talent to field a team with just Great Britain and Ireland. It could be like the old days…They’re just loaded. They’re going to have a real problem who to leave off the team, not who to put on it. Even without Westwood, if he can’t go.