The final day of the PGA Championship is here, and the first thing I saw as I walked into the media center this morning was the face of Greg Norman on the big-screen TVs that flank the massive scoreboard here, extolling the virtues of GCSAA in one of the 15-second commercials that appear regularly on The Golf Channel. Let's hope that's an omen for a good day for Mark Kuhns, Scott Bosetti and the rest of the maintenance staff today.
Want another good omen? The Sunday morning edition of the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger features a lengthy article on golf course maintenance activities at the course. Staff writer Brad Parks and two photographers -- Aristide Economopoulos and Saed Hindash -- spent Thursday night and Friday morning with the maintenance team for this story. The entire story can be accessed at the Star-Ledger Web site, but just a note -- free access to this story is only available for the next two weeks. After that, you better have a credit card handy.
After a brutal day of heat yesterday -- the high of 100 here in Springfield was an all-time record and 158 spectators were treated for some heat-related stress -- conditions will moderate today ... a little. The Mobile Weather Team 8 a.m. report calls for a high today of 93, although a heat advisory remains in effect. The forecast also calls for a "good chance" of scattered showers and thunderstorms any time after noon, including this ominous warning -- "Some may be strong to severe." Let's hope the two previous good omens will overcome that one bad one and the tournament finishes up without a hitch.
One note leftover from Friday that I've been meaning to post are the unbelievably complimentary words of Rory Sabbatini, who stood at 4-under following the second round of play. "From tee to green, the course is in immaculate condition," he said in his post-round interview. "The fairways are pristine and the greens are just, you know, I don't think they get too much better than this. They are pretty much like rugs out there, just as smooth as can be." Couldn't have said it better myself, Rory.
Later this morning, I'll tie up a few loose ends left from yesterday before heading down to the maintenance facility. Before the end of play, I hope to post some details on the contingency plans the staff has in place to deal with any weather issues and a potential three hole playoff. There are 10 players within three shots of the lead right now, and Tiger Woods is lurking six shots back, so a little extra golf is a definite possibility.