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Pro golfers descend on Tulsa for PGA tourney



Fifteen days and counting to when the world's best golfers will tee up at Tulsa's Southern Hills Country Club for the 89th PGA Championship.

Fortunately for Oklahoma golfing enthusiasts, tickets still are available for the prestigious event, which traditionally features a more diverse field and more world-ranked players than any other PGA tournament.

Tiger Woods will be playing, as will:
" Phil Mickelson,
" Sergio Garcia,
" Ernie Els,
" Vijay Singh,
" Padraig Harrington and
" Angel Cabrera.

There should be plenty of local flavor, with former Oklahoma State and University of Oklahoma stars like:
" Charles Howell III,
" Scott Verplank,
" Bob Tway,
" Hunter Mahan
" Anthony Kim and
" Todd Hamilton.

But back to Tiger: One reason this year's final shot at a major title figures to be so wide open is the fact that Woods never has managed to bring his "A" game to Southern Hills.

At the 2001 Open, Woods struggled to recover from an opening-round 74 and eventually settled for a tie for 12th. In his rookie season, he carded a second-round 78 at The Tour Championship and went on to finish tied for 21st.

Maybe someone like Garcia can find the magic needed to win his first major? The young Spaniard played incredibly well for three rounds in the 2001 Open at Southern Hills before seeing his title hopes derailed by a final-round 77.

Even though he's only 27, it would be nice to see Garcia get the monkey off his back with a win here in Oklahoma. "Jay C. Upchurch


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