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Welcome to PGA Championship Week

Posted Sunday, August 9th, 2009 09:56 pm GMT -6 in Golf

It’s finally here – the 91st PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota. Today I visited Hazeltine to pick up my media credentials, get familiar with this year’s layout and take a few pictures.

With the strong field at the WGC in Ohio, there weren’t a lot of golfers practicing today. In the four hours I was there, I only saw 5 or 6 people playing. One of them was 2002 PGA champion Rich Beem, though, who birdied 18. I believe I also saw 17-year-old Japanese sensation Ryo Ishikawa on the same hole – he was being followed by a small swarm of photographers and camera men, so I’m guessing that was him (no name on his bag or his caddie).

The course looked to be in wonderful condition, even with all the rain the past few days. There seemed to be a little water damage along sixteen, but that wasn’t in play and the rest of the course seemed to be draining fine. A few of the spectator paths were a little muddy, but the heat will dry that out.

I planned to stop and see if Hazletine professional (and Tapemark Pro-Am competitor) Mike Barge was in the pro shop, but I was surprised to find the normal Hazeltine pro shop has been converted into what looked to be a player dining room!

Not much else to report from the first day. Practice rounds begin tomorrow and run through Wednesday. Those days have always been my favorite as a fan because the players are more relaxed and chatty, many will sign autographs and you can bring your camera.

Speaking of cameras, make sure and visit the 7MM 2009 PGA photo gallery all week. We won’t be there on Monday, but watch for more photos from Tuesday through to the final round on Sunday.

Originally published by DK on August 9, 2009 at 9:56 pm

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