Was this the first time the PGA Championship has been played on a mini-putt course? I mean, since when are spectators allowed to tramp through the sand traps? . . . Jay Mariotti, at FanHouse: “Oh, that was a bunker? Looked like a dusty back road to a Wisconsin dairy farm, actually. And when was the last time a player hitting from a ‘sand trap’ was surrounded by dozens of fans lined up on both sides of him — on the 72nd hole of a major championship, no less — as he was positioned to win the event, validate himself as an emerging standout on the PGA Tour and, above all, purge the awful memories of choking away his final-round lead at the U.S. Open?” . . .
Ray Ratto, at CBSSports.com: “Dustin Johnson will have a fascinating tale to tell on Ryder Cup media day, the one about how a road is a bunker and a one-stroke lead is a one-stroke loss all at the same time.” . . .
The first round of last week’s PGA Championship was televised by TNT, and The Wall Street Journal put the clock on Tiger Woods as he played the front nine. The WSJ found that Woods took two hours 13 minutes to play the nine holes and that he received 23 minutes 14 seconds of TV time “or about 17.5 per cent of the broadcast.” Woods got more air time than did commercials (22 minutes 4 seconds). . . . And who was No. 2? Stuart Appleby, at 11 minutes, 6 seconds. . . . According to the newspaper, Bubba Watson and Francesco Molinari, who shared the first-round lead, combined for 3 minutes 59 seconds of exposure. . . . A sure sign of things to come: Sears has its Christmas Wish Book available today. . . .
Here’s Fark.com, after the New York Knicks hired Isiah Thomas as a consultant: “Any time you have a chance to hire back the failed GM and coach who set your team back 10 years and also cost you $11 million in a sexual harassment lawsuit, you have to do it.” . . . David Whitley at FanHouse.com put it this way: “This isn't just like the Redskins rehiring Steve Spurrier or Enron exhuming Ken Lay. This is like the Titanic rehiring the iceberg." . . . A couple of days later, of course, Thomas, who also is the head coach at Florida International, walked away from the Knicks after the NBA said his hiring was in contravention of league bylaws. . . . Ex-Kamloops Blazers captain Jared Aulin has signed a tryout deal with the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. Aulin, 28, put up 37 points in 64 games with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch last season, after not playing professionally since a 13-game stint in 2006-07. . . .
Kamloops’ own Steve Seibel is one of 10 referees who will work Group B games in Istanbul during the FIBA World Championship that opens in a week. He flew to Toronto a couple of weeks ago and worked two men’s exhibition games between Canada and France. Earlier this week, it was off to Ankara, Turkey, for the Efes Pilsen World Cup, a tournament that features Argentina, Canada, Lebanon and Turkey, and serves as a warmup to the big one. . . . He also found time to feel good for best friend Michael Weiland of Calgary, who was hired earlier this month by the NBA Development League. Weiland, 29, just may end up becoming the first Canadian to referee in the NBA. . . . Did the last person to leave Alberta and head this way remember to turn out the lights? . . .
After learning that the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and New Jersey Nets will play two regular-season games in London — as in London, England — in March, the Left Coast Sports Babe stated: “And we accuse China of exporting junk!” . . . After a team meeting during training camp, Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden tweeted: “These fines ain't no joke! Somebody phone alarm went off in the meeting and all Coach Mangini said was ‘that will b $1760!’ ” . . . Cam Hutchinson, in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix: “The Tampa Bay Bucs’ practices have been closed to the public. Shouldn’t the B.C. Lions do the same with their home games?” . . . The 1-6 Lions may be in the throes of a horrible season but, this being the CFL, they are still in the chase to win the Grey Cup. . . . One more from Hutchinson: “How is this for absurd? (Chris) Berman is in the (Pro Football) Hall of Fame and Howard Cosell isn’t. Cosell revolutionized sports broadcasting, while Berman has set it back, back, back.” . . .
Greg Cote, in the Miami Herald: “Sure, he has been struggling. But I wonder. What do homeless people with little hope and nowhere to turn think when they hear Tiger Woods — still worth more than $600 million — described as having hit ‘rock bottom?’ ” . . . Headline at TheOnion.com: “Tiger Woods hits rock bottom, aside from being worth over $600 million." . . . Some folks in Boston have a new name for Shaq. They’ve taken to calling him The Big Shamrock. And I hear there is a move afoot to name the state Shaqachussetts. . . . Mike Lupica, in the New York Daily News: “I love hearing Steve Mariucci say that (Brett) Favre hates all this attention. Sure he does. Favre hates attention the way Jacques Cousteau hated water.” . . .
Mike Bianchi, in the Orlando Sentinel: “True story: There is still a movement in Knoxville to name the sewage treatment plant after former Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin. It's a great idea and could actually start a trend. For instance, in Gainesville, after Urban Meyer leaves, they could name the courthouse after him.” . . . Rob Vanstone, in the Regina Leader-Post: “As I watch the comedy act that is the (B.C.) Lions' offence, I keep wondering: Why doesn't Wally Buono give Kerry Joseph a call? Joseph would be vastly preferable to Jarious Jackson or Travis Lulay.” . . . Headline at Fark.com: "Milton Bradley to have knee surgery. Don't touch the sides . . . BUZZZZZZZZ."
Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit his blog at gdrinnan.blogspot.com. Keeping Score appears Saturdays.