Since I could not attend (via telephone) a recent press conference held by Golf Channel with Brandel Chamblee and Frank Nobilo (aka @FrankNobiloGC), I received the transcript in which the analysts spoke about Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson’s dwindling chances to win the 2012 PGA Championship. Woods has certainly bounced back strong this season from debilitating problems on the home front but his mindset may not be ready for the majors. And what about Phil Mickelson’s chances…Is his crippling illness forcing him out of the game?
With regards to Tiger Woods’ likelihood to win the PGA Championship, Chamblee spoke about the unpredictability of the Ocean course and Tiger’s past weakness opening the doors to a lot of different players. Frank Nobilo noted that “he's at least been able to contend” and that the Ocean Course, “gives him a little bit of leeway and it's a big golf course.”
As for Mickelson, analyst Frank Nobilo pointed to Phil’s arthritic condition forcing a slowdown and having Lefty take life at a more leisurely pace with his family. With regards to Mickelson’s level of play, Frank noted, “there's been more time away from the game this year than ever before. And you know, physically, he just doesn't look 100 percent. Obviously his game is not sharp.”
Chamblee also made mention of Mickelson having to adjust his golf game in light of his slowed swing speed (down from 120 to 116 mph over the past couple of years.) The average golfer’s swing speed, as noted by Livestrong.com, states that Tour professionals average a swing speed of 105-110mph, LPGA Tour golfers “are measured at between 90 and 100 mph” and that, “the average female golfer swings between 60 and 70 mph.” Mickelson still has a healthy swing speed and, as long as his tempo remains fluid, I think he can manage his game.
The Golf Channel moderator then asked,
“How long do you think that he (Phil Mickelson) can stay motivated into his 40s, given what he's accomplished, and what's left to accomplish?
Brandel Chamblee said that Mickelson is motivated to win a career Grand Slam and still has a chance to win the U.S. Open.
Finally, does winning a major championship to these two veteran golfers, and to the rest of the field, have the same meaning as it once did?
Chamblee bluntly answered, no, not from a monetary standpoint but yes from a historical one.
Historically, for example, “when Shawn Micheel walks by, the first thing you think about is the 7-iron he hit to the final green winning the PGA Championship.”
Monetarily it may not mean that much to the higher ranked players, “Anywhere on the Money List, you're making deep seven figure incomes,” said Chamblee pointing out that Luke Donald earned twenty-five million dollars in the past two years without ever winning a major.”
photo credit: sportributor.com