There was nothing to separate Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson through 71 holes with the former Ryder Cup partners both 15-under par as they stepped on to the 18th green at the Olympic Golf Course on Sunday afternoon.
The popularity of major champions is always easy to determine.
Jimmy Walker’s passion is astrophotography. It is unclear at which point he reckoned that, if taking pictures of the stars, he might as well shoot for them.
The thunderstorms and steady downpour that reduced the finely manicured Lower Course at Baltusrol Golf Club into marshy wetlands over the weekend finally relented yesterday afternoon, sparing tournament officials the headache of the first Monday finish at a PGA Championship since the season’s final major was last played here in 2005 – and further criticism over how it was handled.
It is just as well Matt Fitzpatrick has retained his sense of humour. Otherwise questions surrounding his participation in the Ryder Cup – which have been going on for just short of 11 months – could have reduced the 21-year-old to a rambling wreck.
Let’s call it the curse of Baltusrol. Or perhaps the Baltusrol blues. The US PGA Championship could be destined for a Monday finish upon its return to the New Jersey venue at which Phil Mickelson triumphed in 2005. Eleven years ago, the Wanamaker Trophy was handed over on Monday because of weather delays.
Golf has Olympic refuseniks, those who are sanguine about the sport’s imminent Games return, and Justin Rose.
There were enough reasons to doubt whether Jason Day could win back-to-back US PGA Championships – namely a pre-tournament rush to hospital with his wife, a mild bout of illness for Day himself, the failure to play a single practice hole at Baltusrol before Wednesday and, in round two, the playing of his first seven holes in two over par. Day was drifting.
A dispirited but candid Rory McIlroy admitted to a “pathetic” putting performance after missing the cut at the US PGA Championship to ensure 2016 will conclude without a major win for the Northern Irishman.
From golf’s turmoil comes opportunity.
Crisis, what crisis? Rory McIlroy has criticised what he regards as the negative perception of his 2016 to date. McIlroy has not won this year despite a consistent run of six top-10 finishes in nine strokeplay events. At the WGC Match Play Championship he was defeated in the semi-final.
Matt Kuchar moved into a tie for the lead after the second round of the Memorial Tournament in Ohio on Friday after posting a second successive round of 66. He stands in first place at 12-under par with his fellow American Brendan Steele, who has only one US tour win in his career - in 2011.
Perhaps the golfing gods will smile upon the honest man.
Peter Dawson, the president of the International Golf Federation, has accused his sport’s leading players of “overreaction” regarding the Zika virus threat after Jordan Spieth became the latest to withdraw from the Olympics.
With a dodgy back and an Open record that even a chiropractor cannot do much about, Justin Rose was not really expected to dominate Jordan Spieth on the sunny links. But he hit four birdies in a an opening round of three under while Spieth, a fully paid-up member of golf’s Big Four, managed only level par after fluffing the final hole.
The murmurings in relation to Paul Casey’s refusal to make himself eligible for the Ryder Cup could take the form of an epic storyline within days.
Old town as it is, of course St Andrews has its ghosts.
An escalating legal row between the membership of Wentworth and the Chinese owners of the club may impact on the European Tour, with questions now being raised over the staging of the BMW PGA Championship at the club in May.
Rickie Fowler’s surge towards the 2015 Players Championship title offered a scintillating storyline which will prove a regular source of reference. That this year’s version was dull in comparison owed everything to the skill and mental fortitude of one man.
Rickie Fowler has become the latest high-profile golfer to cast doubt on his participation in the Olympic Games. Fowler, speaking immediately after a missed cut at the US Open, cited security and the Zika virus as ongoing concerns.
No sooner had Hideki Matsuyama made history in Shanghai than scrutiny intensified as to what, in Turkey, the golfing world may encounter next. For Matsuyama, the 24-year-old from Japan, a three-week run has returned $2.7m and will ensure he is ranked sixth in the world.
Tiger Woods, beset by injuries and the decline of his playing career, appears to have at least one person who still believes in him. And that person is Tiger Woods. In an interview with Charlie Rose on PBS on Thursday night, the former world No1 said he is targeting an imminent return to golf as well as more victories in the majors.
Tiger Woods’s career outlook has taken its latest bleak turn with confirmation that he will not, as announced, return to competitive action at this week’s Safeway Open in California. Woods has also pulled out of November’s Turkish Airlines Open, citing the “vulnerable” state of his game.