Amanda Balionis On 2020 PGA Championship At TPC Harding Park: ‘The Ball Is Not Going To Go As Far As We’re Used To Seeing The Final Six Weeks’


(CBS San Francisco)- This week’s PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park will look totally different than any main that we’ve seen earlier than. No followers can be in attendance because of the coronavirus pandemic and the golfer’s tackle a Harding Park course that presents a wide range of totally different challenges.

CBS Sports activities golf reporter Amanda Balionis says that the dearth of followers will really check golfers otherwise on this explicit course.

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“I feel that basically simply permits the golf course to indicate all of its enamel. The tough gained’t be trampled down. The tough is round three and a half inches proper now, nevertheless it’s going to be actually thick and unpredictable and proceed to worsen,” stated Balionis in an interview with CBS Native’s Ryan Mayer. “I used to be simply speaking to Michelle Wie West earlier than this and you’ll’t actually see how large these bushes are or respect how large they’re on tv. She stated the truth that there are uncovered trunks can actually trigger extra chaos than you’d anticipate as a result of you’ll be able to see loopy bounces and touchdown areas.”

Apart for the potential hazards that golfers face for not preserving the ball within the fairway off the tee, the greens can be totally different than what they’re used to from a standard West Coast cease.

RELATED: TPC Harding Park Course Profile

“The greens have been resurfaced so that they’re not the bumpy Poana that we’re used to seeing out West however there’s simply sufficient Po left in it that you simply’re going to see some putts do issues they’re most likely not imagined to do in most likely some

Fog rolls in over TPC Harding Park. Credit score: Harry How/Getty Photographs

big-time moments particularly because the week rolls on and issues begin to agency up a bit,” stated Balionis.

These challenges are ones that golfers on the Tour are used to adjusting to every week. Every course presents differing lengths of tough, a unique pace to the greens and whether or not it’s bushes, bunkers or each, totally different hazards to keep away from with wayward tee pictures. However, one different side that can be fascinating to observe this weekend is the climate. The temperature is shaping as much as be within the mid-50s to low 60s with winds anyplace between 10 and 18 miles per hour with the added aspect of fog all through the weekend. Balionis says the fog, which she has affectionately named Carl, has made an enormous look already this week. Mix these climate components and there’s more likely to be much less size to pictures than guys are used to.

“It’s been 55 levels. Chilly, fog, the ball isn’t going to go so far as we’re used to seeing the final six weeks,” stated Balionis. “Accuracy goes to be key, size goes to be key and as at all times placing down the stretch can be as effectively.”


The PGA Championship is the first-ever main held at TPC Harding Park, a course that has seen its share of challenges over time. At one level, issues obtained so unhealthy that the course’s fairways had been used as parking tons for the 1998 U.S. Open held at Olympic Membership. Simply seven years later it held a WGC occasion at which John Daly remarked that the renovation of the course was so good “They should park vehicles on the Olympic Membership and play the U.S. Open over right here.” For Balionis, that is the half she loves concerning the PGA Championship. It’s held at programs that the general public can go and play to check their mettle on the similar place the professionals do.

“I feel that, to me, is among the coolest issues concerning the PGA Championship. We get to see public programs, municipal programs that me or you’ll be able to exit and play. Harding Park is admittedly the epitome of that,” stated Balionis. “If you go an roll up there, the clubhouse is a fairly common clubhouse, it’s not an intimidating place like Bethpage Black that has all of these indicators “Beware” and stuff. TPC Harding Park is a type of programs that makes you’re feeling such as you belong and you may get round on.”

“It’s Going To Be Who Can Be Longest And Straightest Off The Tee”

Make no mistake, the course is made harder for the professionals, Balionis says, however the level stays that it turns into a connection level for rising the sport with followers in a position to entry the identical course that the perfect on this planet performed. Talking of the perfect on this planet, they are going to be out in full pressure this week. The sector, as you’d anticipate for a significant, is stacked with the entire large names followers may hope for. So, with the challenges the course presents, who’s recreation finest measures up?

Brooks Koepka. Credit score: Andy Lyons/Getty Photographs

“It’s going to be who may be the longest and straightest off the tee. If Brooks Koepka can straighten out a few the issues we noticed final week, he’s very a lot going to be in play right here going for that three-peat,” stated Balionis. “Rory McIlroy, you can not ignore Rory McIlroy this to me, screams his title.”

Kopeka, coming off a T-2nd final week on the WGC FedEx St. Jude Basic in Memphis, seems to have rounded again into type after being hampered by a knee damage to start with of the return to play. McIlroy, on the lookout for his first main win since 2014, has struggled a bit for the reason that return, his finest end being a T-11 on the Vacationers. Exterior of that he’s completed T-32, T-41, T-32 and T-47. However, he gained the WGC-Cadillac Match Play at Harding Park again in 2015.

One other participant that Balionis likes this week who is a little more off the crushed path is Daniel Berger. At present 20th within the Official World Golf Rankings, Berger completed T-2nd with Koepka and others final week. Balionis factors to his current monitor report and his recreation as causes she believes he may very well be within the hunt.

“Daniel Berger is one other one, somebody that perhaps can be thought-about a bit of little bit of a sleeper however only a few gamers have been as scorching as he’s been thus far with the restart,” stated Balionis. “He’s lengthy off the tee, extraordinarily correct and his putter has been pretty much as good because it’s ever been in his profession.

Daniel Berger. Credit score: Stacy Revere/Getty Photographs

Then, after all, there may be the speak of the golf world this summer time, Bryson DeChambeau. The 26-year-old has impressed loads of dialog primarily based on his bodily transformation and elevated size off the tee. That pleasure generated every week by seeing what he can do has been a constant theme for the reason that restart.

“Bryson DeChambeau, you’ll be able to by no means depend him out now, I really like that somebody apart from Tiger Woods has change into should watch golf, you by no means know what he’s going to do, what he’s going to say,” stated Balionis. “He’s labored his butt off and legitimately modified the sport. If he can overpower this golf course and hold it straight? He may very well be one which we see rise in a short time up the leaderboard.”

Balionis can be on the right track speaking with gamers as a part of THE CBS protection this weekend however she may also be a part of this month’s episode of We Want To Speak, which is ready to air at Three p.m. EDT heading into CBS’ golf protection at Four p.m. Balionis says she’s cherished her expertise engaged on the present and that she hopes it turns into extra of a norm and fewer an exception in relation to all-women hosted, produced and anchored sports activities speak reveals. Balionis says it’s been highly effective to focus on girls’s experiences like that of Michelle Wie West who’s juggling being a brand new mom, a broadcaster, a Solheim Cup assistant captain and trying to play within the occasion subsequent 12 months.

“Discuss a powerhouse. She simply had a child, she’s about to broadcast a significant and on prime of that has accepted the assistant captain job for the Solheim Cup oh and by the way in which in between her new child child’s naps, she’s taking the child out to the driving vary to get her recreation dialed in as a result of she hopes to be taking part in on that Solheim Cup group subsequent 12 months,” stated Balionis. “These are the issues that ladies, we simply we develop people, we now have people after which carry on working and that’s simply an expertise that’s so distinctive and so highly effective. It’s fantastic to have the ability to speak to these girls about that and see how they actually do all of it and nonetheless have such excessive expectations for themselves of their profession. I’ve to assume it’s massively motivational and inspirational and hopefully eye-opening too for our male counterparts.”

We Want To Speak airs this Saturday for the primary time on CBS starting at Three p.m. EST/PST and main into the community’s golf protection starting at Four p.m.

Watch the PGA Championship, Saturday, August 8, 4:00 – 10:00 p.m. EST/PST and Sunday, August 9, 3:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST/PST on CBS.


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