We have quotage from today’s early 3rd round coverage of the PGA Championship on TNT. As mentioned earlier, host Ernie Johnson, Jr. was not part of the broadcast as his father, Ernie Johnson, Sr. passed away the night before. Verne Lundquist took Ernie’s place as host and did rather well. We have the quotes from TNT’s coverage as CBS is now on the air.
Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the PGA Championship from Atlanta Athletic Club, Atlanta, GA
Third Round (11 a.m. -2 p.m. ET) – Saturday, August 13, 2011
TNT’s Fourth Round coverage of the PGA Championship continues Sun ., August 14 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. ET.
Announcers: Verne Lindquist, Ian Baker-Finch , Bill Kratzert and Jim Huber.
Baker-Finch on expectations from the field during the third round: “Guys out there early have to shoot a low number if they are going to contend tomorrow morning. This weekend we could see someone from well back and over par win here. It is not going to be that low of a number that ends up winning the Wannamaker Trophy.”
TNT’s Jim Huber interviews Rickie Fowler prior to his third round
Fowler on his weekend prediction: “(I feel like I’m) in a good spot, obviously a little ways back. We are into the weekend so we have a good chance. If we put together a good round today and get in good position, it could be a pretty successfully weekend.”
Fowler on his colorful wardrobe: “For the majors we lay out in advance what I will be wearing. We’ve chosen light and stayed away from some dark colors and it has helped out this weekend.”
Baker-Finch on Fowler’s fashionable wardrobe: “The young golfers out there are really enjoying his swash-buckling style, but we just want to see a win out of him.”
TNT’s Jim Huber interviews Luke Donald (+1) prior to his third round
Donald on pressure trying to win a Major: “There is pressure because I haven’t won a major. There is always pressure to win one. Even six shots back, I feel like I’m in a place where I can still win one.”
Kratzert on Rory Mcllroy’s wrist injury: “The good news for Rory Mcllroy is that it is tissue damage; nothing structural. So going forward it is just a matter of letting it rest and he should be fine.”
TNT’s Jim Huber interviews Matt Kuchar (+2) prior to his third round
Kuchar on the local support: “It is fun to be here in Atlanta. This is great. A lot of Georgia tech supporters and a lot of Georgia fans.”
Kuchar on his weekend performance: “This course allows us to make some birdies and there have been some low scores, but it has been tough. I think if I can shoot a couple of rounds 66, 65 … then I have a chance.”
Baker-Finch on Sergio Garcia (+1): “Sergio has been playing nicely this year. I think he is on the way back. He’s starting to rebuild his confidence.”
Baker-Finch comments on Seung-yul Noh and the number of very good Asian players on the different professional golf tours: “One of four South Koreans playing in the field today – KT Kim, Y.E. Yang, Seung-yul Noh and K.J. Choi. So many fine players coming out of Asia – not only Korea but Taiwan, China,Thailand…Pretty amazing the players playing at this high level coming from Asia.”
Baker-Finch comments on club pro Mike Small: “Golf coach at the University of Illinois and good friend of Steve Stricker. Mike Small is one of the best club pros in the business.”
Kratzert comments on Phil Mickelson’s chances today – “Moving Day”: “I think he understands 68 or better puts him in one of the last three pairings tomorrow.”
Baker-Finch comments on the set up of the Atlanta Athletic Club: “The course is immaculately set up, the sand is the one thing the players complain about.”
At the Turn
Lundquist, Baker-Finch and Kratzert discussing the players who teed off early Saturday:
Lundquist: “This has gotten interesting.”
Baker-Finch: “It’s what can happen on a tough golf course when you get out there early. The greens still have a little moisture, the putting is a little easier and you can shoot a low number and get yourself back in the mix. We’ve seen four or five guys – Molinari, Ben Crane, David Toms – climb up there and they could very well be on the first page of the leaderboard by the end of their rounds. Then the other guys have to go out later in the day and see what they can do with a little more pressure.”
Kratzert: “I expect the scoring to maintain [for the guys playing this morning]. In the afternoon, when the pressure is on these players, the golf course – the fairways – become a little narrower and it is a little tougher to shoot at. There was no pressure when they went out this morning – Hunter Mahan, Molinari, Ben Crane, K.J. Choi – you get those guys out there, they’re free-wheeling it and they start playing well. It’s happened and now they’ve put themselves in position. It’s interesting…I love it. This is what this golf course yields.”
Jim Huber interviewing co-leader Keegan Bradley two hours before his tee time:
Huber: “Two hours before your tee time? Is it something where you don’t want to sit around the hotel room all day?
Bradley: “That’s exactly what it is. It’s fun to be out here in the atmosphere.”
Huber: “How are your nerves?”
Bradley: “My nerves are great right now. I spent the morning playing with my little 10-month-old nephew and it was very relaxing.”
Jim Huber interviewing Jerry Kelly about what’s happening so far on the golf course and the difference between Kelly’s Thursday and Friday rounds.
Kelly: “It was a different golf course [on Thursday morning compared to Friday afternoon].
Kelly on whether or not he looks at the leaderboard when he’s near the top: “I always look at the leaderboard to see what the guys are doing.”
Baker-Finch on the difficulty of the par-3 No. 15 hole playing more than 260 yards at the Atlanta Athletic Club during the week: “Is it unfair? It’s a little too long for my liking.”
Jim Huber interviewing player agent Chubby Chandler on the chances that his client Lee Westwood will help him achieve the “Chubby Slam” – having all four of his clients win major championships this year.
Chandler: “I’m thinking he’s going to be in contention this weekend.”
Jim Huber interviewing Davis Love III on balancing his duties between 2012 Ryder Cup captain and contender for the 2011 PGA Championship:
Love: “Well the Ryder Cup is a long way off. Right now, I’m focused on this Championship and then trying to make Freddy’s team [Couples' President's Cup team]. My wife is worried about the clothes and picking out the wives rain suits. Day to day stuff, mostly she is doing. PGA Championship has a great staff and they are keeping me on schedule to be ready for the 2012.
That will be it.