As somewhat of a surprise, Corey Pavin played well in the ‘09 PGA Championship. No, it was actually a big surprise. The 49-year-old and 2010 Ryder Cup captain hadn’t done anything noteworthy for years. We’ve almost forgotten that he won the US Open in 1995.
He shot scores of 73-71-71-75, two-over for the tournament, and tied for 19th.
Pavin is one of the shortest hitters on the Tour and in the field. He proves distance isn’t as important as it’s been emphasized all week. Hazeltine is set up long — 7,646 to be exact.
Well, here’s a newflash: scoring isn’t all about distance. Accuracy and excellent ball striking were the secret to his success. In Saturday’s post-round interview, he said:
I need to keep the ball in play. I need to drive the ball well. I have to hit my drivers solidly and keep it in the fairway and that makes a big difference for me. I can’t really play this golf course from the rough, from 260 or 270 off the tee. It would be impossible.
Ah, he’s a man of his word. He’s known for having a great short game, which apparently he hasn’t needed to use much. Considering he probably had long irons and woods into the greens, it’s mighty impressive he’s been able to hold the firm greens. And, though he shot 3-over on Sunday (the same score as Tiger Woods, mind you), that’s a very good round under tough, wet conditions.
Here’s to the short guys. Keep on trekking, Pavin.