Brett Wetterich will join defending champion Stephen Ames, Masters champion Zach Johnson and event regular Fred Couples as the fearsome foursome in this year’s Skins Game. After Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Adam Scott and Vijay Singh turned down the offer, Wetterich became the highest available player from the 2006 PGA Tour money list. He finished 10th.
OK, we have officially given up on Phil Mickelson being the rival for Tiger Woods. We have found someone better, anyways. In case you have spent too much time at the 19th hole, that person is Rory Sabbatini. A formerrival of Woods in college when Sabbatini was at Arizona and Tiger was at Stanford, Sabbatini has continuously rocked the boat with comments about the world’s top-ranked player. The two played in the final group Sunday at the Bridgestone Invitational, a big-time event before this week’s PGA Championship. Unfortunately, the South African with the skull and crossbones belt buckle took himself out of contention early, firing a final-round 74 to finish tied for second with Justin Rose, eight shots back.
Speaking of Eldrick, he has had quite the year. Welcoming daughter Sam, starting his own tournament, being the face of golf and perhaps the most famous person in sports. What is it lacking? A major. Tiger Woods has 12 on his list of career achievements as he creeps up on Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18. Coming off a brilliant final round in a tournament he dominates, Tiger seems ready to pounce on No. 13.
Just like in other sports, golf is finding out what the stretch drive is all about. In addition to having spots on the line for next month’s Presidents Cup, there are only two weeks left before the inaugural FedEx Cup playoffs begin. The PGA put forth quite a bit into the four-week playoff system that begins with the Aug. 23-26 Barclays. Oh, by the way: Presidents Cup qualifying ends this week.
THIS WEEK’S TEE TIMES
EVENT: PGA Championship
WHERE: Tulsa, Okla.
COURSE: Southern Hills Country Club, par 70
DEFENDING CHAMP: Tiger Woods
EVENT: Canadian Women’s Open
WHEN: Aug. 16-19
WHERE: Edmonton, Alberta
COURSE: Royal Mayfair Golf and Country Club, par 72DEFENDING CHAMP: Christie Kerr
EVENT: JELD-WEN Tradition
WHEN: Aug. 16-19
WHERE: Sunriver, Ore.
COURSE: Crosswater Club at Sunriver, par 72
DEFENDING CHAMP: Eduardo Romero
EVENT: Northeast Pennsyl-vania Classic
WHERE: Scranton, Pa.
COURSE: Glenmaura National Golf Club, par 71
DEFENDING CHAMP: Craig Bowen
EVENT: Scottish Challenge
WHERE: Peebles, Scotland
COURSE: Macdonald Cardrona Hotel Golf and Country Club, par 72
DEFENDING CHAMP: Sam Walker