Thursday afternoon at the Atlanta Athletic Club, after 2003 PGA Championship winner Shaun Micheel posted a beautiful, bogey-free 4-under 66 in the first round of the last major of the season, he was asked what it was about this golf tournament that brought out the best in him, and what he thought his chances were this week in Georgia.
Micheel answered, "It's just, you know, it's the last major championship of 2011 and I really feel like I can win this."
The problem for Shaun is, for a moment, he forgot his record post-'03. Sure, you can never take away from what he did at that PGA Championship he won (his shot into 18 at Oak Hill that year was one of the best closing shots in major history), but it isn't exactly like his record shines after that week. He has one top-10 in all the majors, and no other wins on the PGA Tour.
And on Friday, when he followed up his bogey-free round on Thursday with a near par-free round of 78, making just four on his way to the 8-over round and could likely miss the cut after that great opening round, you remembered just why he hasn't done much since then.
You always root for the underdog stories like Micheel, because it was cool to see him take one of the big four away from the favorites, but rounds like his on Friday, that included eight bogeys, two double-bogeys, two birdies and an eagle, just show how crazy, and how difficult, major golf can be.
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