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Aug 07, 2013 | 10:19 AM

PGA Primer

Because it lacks a distinct identity, the PGA Championship is like the ugly stepsister of the majors, particularly when it’s at a mishmash of a U.S. Open-wannabe course (circa 1980s) like Oak Hill, with lots of trees and high rough. The latter is extra juicy, too, because of all the rain this summer. Give us Kiawah or Whistling anytime. In five previous majors here, a total of only 10 players broke par over 72 holes. This year the layout will play to a par 70 of 7,163 yards with the ultra tough 17th and 18th par fours both lengthened to pretty much ensure no one birdies them. Despite the slog of a course, all could be saved if the cream rises and the world’s No. 1 and 2 players, Tiger and Phil, are in the final Sunday grouping for the first time in a major since the ’09 Masters. That’s a big if, though, given that a little-known player, Shaun Micheel, outdueled a somewhat lesser little-known player, Chad Campbell, here the last time in 2003. On the good side, at least the weather forecast is good with sunny skies and temps in the 70s.

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Aug 06, 2013 | 08:34 AM

Winsome Threesomes

In keeping with tradition, rounds one and two of the PGA Championship will pair the winners of the year’s three previous majors—Adam Scott, Justin Rose, and Phil Mickelson—at 1:45 off the first tee Thursday. On Friday, that prime-time TV slot belongs to Tiger Woods and fellow long-hitting PGA champions Keegan Bradley and Davis Love III. Although the PGA isn’t as creative with its pairings as is the USGA for the U.S. Open, there are a couple of interesting (albeit PGA-centric) groups: Shaun Micheel, Rich Beem, and Mark Brooks (former champions who haven’t won since); David Toms (above), Padraig Harrington, and Y.E. Yang (former PGA champions struggling to regain form); and Darren Clarke, Tom Watson, and Paul McGinley (Ryder Cup Captains).

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Aug 05, 2013 | 09:00 AM

PGA Championship TV Times

Live from Rochester, New York, it’s the PGA Championship. “Glory’s Last Shot” will receive 28 hours of coverage this weekend on TNT and CBS.

Thursday, Aug. 8: 1-7pm TNT

Friday, Aug. 9: 1-7pm TNT

Saturday, Aug. 10: 11am-2pm TNT

Saturday, Aug. 10: 2-7pm CBS

Sunday, Aug. 11: 11am-2pm TNT

Sunday, Aug. 11: 2-7pm CBS

All times Eastern

And speaking of CBS, there’s a very good chance that golf fans in New York City, Los Angeles, and other markets won’t be able to watch that network’s broadcasts from Oak Hill because of an ongoing fight between CBS and Time-Warner Cable. The cable provider has pulled the plug on CBS and its subsidiaries, meaning local viewers missed seeing the final round of Tiger’s win at Firestone. For a listing of the opening-round tee times, check out the PGA’s official website.

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Aug 02, 2013 | 10:01 AM

Golf's Economic Impact

Golf is an economic indicator. Housing sales, equipment sales, rounds played—put them together and they give a mini-snapshot of how America is doing. And how is it? Pretty good, according to Bloomberg.com, which says most of the strength is from sales of golf homes and courses, both on the rise. Debt-ridden courses are either cleaning out their books or being sold and prices are up. Rounds played rose in 2012 over 2011 (by nearly 500 million rounds, a 5.7% jump), but this year isn’t faring as well due to the crazy weather nationwide. But all is not lost: Revenue per round is up this year. The bad weather also slowed golf equipment sales, according to LINKS editors’ own chats with industry types. As for golf’s total financial impact, Bloomberg pegged it in 2011 at $69 billion for the “core business” (more than twice baseball or football); add in the “spillover effect” golf has on other industries and we’re talking $177 billion in economic activity. So give yourself a round of applause, golfers: We’re keeping America moving!

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