The PGA Championship: Day 1
August 11 2011
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Shaun Micheel has played in 23 majors and posted two top-10 finishes, both of which came at the PGA Championship.
The most memorable happened in 2003 at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y., when Micheel drilled a 7-iron from 175 yards to within inches on the 72nd hole to beat Chad Campbell by two strokes. Micheel was making his PGA Championship debut and the victory remains his one and only.
Micheel, who also finished second to Tiger Woods in 2006 at Medinah, is bidding for another this week at the 93rd renewal of the season’s final major. He fired a 66 on Thursday to finish three strokes off the lead held by Steve Stricker.
Micheel is at a loss to explain his success at the PGA.
"I guess since I won, I take a lot of pride, I think, in the trophy and coming in on Tuesday night to the champion’s dinner and really representing the men and women that are out there each and every week," Micheel said. "It’s been a very difficult year but for some reason, I seem to find a way to just kind of dig deep no matter how I’m playing, really, kind of leading into the tournament. …
"I love major championship golf. It’s exciting to see the fans come out and rooting you on. … And I love the difficult courses. But I think more than anything else, it’s just, you know, it’s the last major championship of 2011 and I really feel like I can win this."
Micheel has only had one top-10 finish in 21 starts, a tie for 22nd at the Memorial Tournament, this season. Micheel didn’t make a bogey on Thursday, though — joining Brandt Job and Stricker in playing Atlanta Athletic Club without dropping a shot to par.
Micheel has dealt with a variety of injuries over the years, including ear surgery in May that had him walking around in a "fog" for about two months. He also lost his mother last October and had dedicated the 2010 season to her. His motivation was lacking this season, as a result.
"I started this year … I just didn’t know who I wanted to play for and I was tired of playing for myself," Micheel said. "I didn’t have her kind of pushing me along. So I think maybe just a little bit of a poor attitude and you know there are some health issues. … You know, hey, we all play through certain things. It’s been a tough year.
"But trying to have a good attitude, and I just haven’t played well. So I’m really excited to be here, though, I really am. I’ve seen some things coming the last few weeks. Changed a little bit of my routine, some of my swing thoughts I guess, and you know, coming along."
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