Monday Notebook: A Bad Tee Shot, End Of Divisions And Valet Parking

PGA Championship - Final Round

Photo: Getty Images

Mito Pereira says when he was standing on the 18th tee on the final hole of the PGA Championship he wasn't thinking about the water as he only needed par to win the tournament. Maybe he should have thought about that water. His ball landed in the water and he made double-bogey and missed the playoff where Justin Thomas beat Will Zalatoris in a three-hole playoff.

Thomas rallied from seven shots back to win his second major and is only the second golfer to come from that many strokes down. John Mahaffey was seven back when he won the 1978 PGA Championship in a playoff as well.

Pereira is a tour rookie at age 27 and had never been in the position he was. And many will play golf analyst and discuss what he should have done on 18. I am not skilled at golf and won't play sport expert. I won't criticize his decision to play the hole the same way he did the three previous rounds. I've never played in a major and there is a good chance I never will. Yes, Pereira is a professional and weekend hackers are not and therefore he should know the situation where he is up one and why risk any chance of having the water come into play. It's called nerves. It's called getting caught up in the moment. The guy is trying to win a major and win his first PGA event. Did he choke? Welcome to the great sports debate where media and fans argue about how they would handle a moment 99.9% have never nor will ever be in but we know exactly how we would have handled that situation and just assume we wouldn't be nervous and we wouldn't feel the pressure.

I have no idea if Mito Pereira will ever win a PGA tournament and ever be in a major with a chance to win again. And yes, I know he could have won $2.7M had he won and added a lifetime exemption to the tour, and he will settle for $870,000 and may never be a factor again, but can we all just stop with the "I know what I would have done in that spot" talk.

Justin Thomas is one of the world's best golfers and he rallied with a group of golfers in front of him who have never won a tournament. Thomas has been in the spot in majors before and also made some big shots and may go on to win several more majors.

As for runner-up Will Zalatoris? That dude has five top-10 finishes in his last six majors and that guy is going to win a lot of golf tournaments in the years to come...but what do I know?...

The NCAA(yes, they still exist) has dropped the need for a conference to use divisions in order to play a conference title game in football. Minutes after that announcement the Pac 12 announced they would get rid of divisions and most P5 leagues are expected to follow. The SEC has not announced, yet, they would dump divisions and it will be interesting to see what the soon-to-be 16-team league does. 

The feeling is a conference should give itself the best chance to get teams into a four, or even 12-team, playoff and if a 8-4 team that won a division beat a 12-0 team in a conference title game that the league might lose out on a playoff spot. Instead, they want the top two teams to play in the title game. I get it but I also don't like it. Here's why, I think an 8-4 team could be one of the hottest teams at the end of the season. What if a team was riddled with injuries early in the season and sat 1-3 but then got healthy and was playing its best football late. If that team beats an unbeaten team in the conference title game, so be it. Reward the hot team at the end of the season. And here's a concept, expand your playoff to 12-teams and then guarantee a conference champion a spot in your playoff. That would still leave seven at-large bids(six if you wanted to guarantee a G5 team a spot). One of the reasons to also dump divisions is schools didn't like the schedule rotation and have some schools not play another in their conference for a decade. Again, I understand why they did this but I also want four rematches of games played late in the season and all four outcomes have the losing team in the first game beat the other team so we can hear the "we beat them earlier, why do they get to go to the playoff instead of us"...

Monday nuggets: Props to UCF softball as the Knights advance to their first Super Regional by winning their regional this past weekend. Cindy Ball-Malone's team beat Villanova on Friday and then beat Michigan 4-3 in 11 innings on Saturday in a game that went over four hours and saw UCF pitcher Kama Woodall throw 181 pitches(that's even a lot in softball). The Knights then beat Michigan again on Sunday 9-4 and at 49-12 they will head to Norman to play top-ranked Oklahoma. The Sooners are 52-2 and have outscored their opponents 500-47. Yes, they have allowed 47 runs in 54 games. But Ball-Malone has done an amazing job at UCF and has become one of the top coaches in the country and why not get to play the number one team and see where you stack up...Incredible final day for the Premier League where Manchester City scores three times in five minutes after being down 2-0 to Everton and claim another title. The drama of scoreboard watching as Liverpool was tied 1-1 with Wolverhampton made for a dramatic final hour of the season. A Liverpool win and City loss would have given Liverpool the crown but Manchester City's triple goal run led to an electric home crowd reaction. The final Sunday delivered again in the Premier League...Haven't watched a dozen plays in the USFL in a month and while I am not criticizing spring football, I don't see why I would start watching any league any time soon...Any chance we get a close game in the Heat-Celtics series?...The Warriors roster might be the deepest the league has seen in years. How can they not win the title?...Ever really think about the concept of valet parking? We pull up at a place and just hand the keys to our car, house, office, PO Box to a complete stranger who hands us a ticket with numbers on it. You have no idea who is taking your car or how to get in contact with him. Your car likely has your home address and other personal information in there and you are going to be away from your car for several hours and yet we just hand over the keys and leave. The car could take your car and drive to your home and take what he wants or let his friends know you are out of pocket for hours but we never think about it and just smile and assume he will care for your vehicle and then bring it back when you need it. What in the world are we doing?...

Final note: Justin Thomas was just 16 years old when he made the cut at the Wyndham Championship in 2009...

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