Kaymer's Championship win overshadowed

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:45 PM ET

MILWAUKEE — Poor Martin Kaymer.

The guy wins his first major to solidify his status as one of the true rising stars in golf — he has moved up to fifth in the world rankings from 13th — and the only thing people will talk about for a while is Dustin Johnson’s inability to hit pay-dirt because he touched some dirt.

The 92nd PGA Championship will go down less for Kaymer’s ability to be more steadfast than the rest of the field and more for Johnson’s two-stroke penalty for grounding his club in what passes for one of the estimated 1,200 bunkers at Whistling Straits.

The two shots cost Johnson a shot at the playoff that saw Kaymer beat American Bubba Watson by a shot when Watson doubled the 18th hole after hitting his second shot in the water.

Was the ruling against Johnson unfair?

Nope.

The PGA of America went out of its way to make it clear to the players all the sandy areas on the course — between the ropes and outside the ropes — were to be treated as hazards.

CBS analyst and part-time comedian David Feherty visited the spot from where Johnson hit his second shot and proclaimed “It looks like a manger.”

Funny and maybe partially true.

But as soon as a player at Whistling Straits saw more than two grains of sand huddled together, he should have asked if he was in a hazard. Especially while leading a major by a shot halfway up the 72nd hole.

Johnson admitted he didn’t even read the Supplementary Rules of Play distributed to the players at the beginning of the week and taped to mirrors in the lockerroom.

His bad.

Dumb.

So now the majors for 2010 are done. This used to mean that was it for the golf season. But there are a lot of interesting storylines to be played out over the next six weeks. The next competition of significance is the Ryder Cup (sorry, FedEx Cup folks) and the next date to circle is Sept. 7 which is when American captain Corey Pavin will announce his four captain’s picks for the competition.

Almost as an afterthought following the bizarre finish to the PGA Championship, the top eight spots were decided with Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, Watson, Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, Johnson, Jeff Overton and Matt Kuchar earning the automatic berths.

Johnson made enough points at the PGA to vault into the top eight, as did Watson.

Getting bumped out of the top eight by the performances at the PGA were Anthony Kim — who has missed much of the year after undergoing thumb surgery — and Lucas Glover.

There’s still a lot of golf to be played between now and the Ryder Cup. The FedEx Cup gets under way with The Barclays, after the Wyndham Championship this week.

Mike Weir of Bright’s Grove, Ont., is 126th in the FedEx Cup standings and on the outside looking in — he’ll have to at least make the cut at Greensboro — but the PGA Championship gives us some indication of where things stand heading into the final stretch of the season.

What we’ve seen is the Europeans look like they have a strong wave of young players coming up to replace the fading generation of Ryder Cup standouts (and we’ll include Sergio Garcia among the old guard; looks like he won’t be in Wales in October).

Kaymer and Rory McIlroy (tied for third at the PGA) look like they can take on any of the American 20-somethings.

With Tiger Woods struggling — though showing at least an indication of improvement last week while working with Canadian coach Sean Foley — Phil Mickelson’s inconsistency and Lee Westwood’s calf injury, the door has been opened and it’s the young guys who took advantage at the PGA.

A changing of the guard? Not quite.

But the next six weeks have the potential to be interesting.


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