A look back at the final major

By |  August 17, 2015 0 Comments

The 2015 PGA Championship was my first experience at a major as a professional or spectator. After watching so many on TV I finally understand what people mean when they say it looks so much better in person.

The crew and volunteers at Whistling Straits did a fantastic job preparing and maintaining the course for the tournament. The amount of time some of those guys spent just raking bunkers around the course was crazy.


This group of volunteers take the time to enjoy a Golfdom magazine during one of their well deserved breaks.

I got a little taste of what their days were like. On Thursday morning my alarm was set for 2:55 a.m. so I had time to get ready and take the one hour drive from my hotel in downtown Milwaukee to the course.

I was only slightly worried that I would sleep through my alarm but I only had to hit snooze once before I got out of bed. What I didn’t see coming was the exit off the highway I had used the previous three days was closed at 4:15 a.m. Luckily the next exit was open and I made it to the maintenance facility as the guys were rolling out to the course.

After all that hard work you have to feel great for a guy like Chris Zugel, superintendent of Whistling Straits’ Straits Course, and his crew. The memories of the 2010 PGA Championship have been washed out by this year’s tournament.

You could tell from his Twitter account he appreciated what the pros were saying about the course.

The only other guy who you might feel better for is Jason Day. The Australian had come so close and finally won his first major. Soon after he sank his final putt I had multiple people ask if I had talked to Day while I was on the course.

The short answer. Yes.

The long answer. During Tuesday’s practice round I saw Day coming from the 9th hole and knew he probably didn’t want to talk in the middle of his practice round but I’m used to being rejected in this industry so I decided to approach him.

Thanks for the duck face photo, Jason.

I caught Jason at the perfect moment during his Tuesday practice round while making a duck face.

I shook Day’s hand while introducing myself and then asked if he was done for the day. He told me he was playing the back nine but I still wanted a quote from the guy and I asked if he could stop and talk about course conditions for a second.

It was at this time Day could have told me off and made me feel as small as an ant (honestly I probably wouldn’t have blamed him) but he gave me a genuine, “sorry man, I’ll get you tomorrow.”

I did not get that interview the next day but I gained a lot of respect for him in that moment and appreciated him not destroying me.

With the fourth and final major tournament in the books two things are certain.

I’m very excited for football season to start very soon but the first round at Augusta National on April 7 cannot come soon enough.

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