Stories of interest you might have missed…
How is Jordan Spieth handling the "growing hysteria," as the headline to this Brad Townsend story in the Dallas Morning News put it? "The striking part wasn't the chaos that kept enveloping 22-year-old Spieth, but how serene he remained amid it," Townsend writes. "If he's stressed about this chance to join Ben Hogan (1953) and Tiger Woods (2000) as the only male golfers to win three professional majors in a calendar year, it didn't show Monday. In fact, on several occasions, Spieth called out to fans from the fairway, challenging them to try harder the next time he stopped to sign autographs."
"It was billed as a European Tour statement but it was far more than that. It was new executive director Keith Pelley making a statement, as he took an impressive hard line in the face of a clear act of provocation from the PGA Tour," Derek Lawrenson of the Daily Mail writes in the wake of the announcement that the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational won't be part of the European Tour schedule (and hence, no Ryder Cup points awarded). The PGA Tour scheduling the Bridgestone opposite the French Open in 2016 "was just plain nasty," Lawrenson writes.
The PGA Championship is unique among the major championship in that admits 20 PGA of America professionals, also known as club pros, into the field, but as their workloads increase in a difficult economy for golf, "the gap between the two groups has grown wider than ever," Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal writes. "No club pro has even made the cut at the tournament since 2011…And while the PGA remains the only major to reserve spots for them—there are 20 in a field of 156—this year's group will be fighting for relevance in an event that many believe belongs to them."
"Two PGA Championships. Two playoffs. Two champions who soon afterward ascended to No. 1 in the world ranking. One unfortunate 72nd-hole penalty. Whistling Straits was built for drama, and it has delivered," Gary D'Amato writes in this story on how Whistling Straits was designed to deliver compelling tournaments.
Amid all the talk about Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy comes this timely reminder from Michael Whitmer of the Boston Globe: The PGA Championship's reputation for producing first-time major winners. "[T]his tournament that dates to 1916 has a history of welcoming newcomers to the roll call of major champions," he writes. "The other three have recently followed, especially the US Open. Does that make the PGA Championship the trend-setter it's rarely accused of being? Imagine that."