Woody Austin PGA Championship notes from Southern Hills: Is Woody Austin the Barney Fife of golf?

TULSA, Okla. - Woody Austin is one of the more candid golfers on the PGA Tour, at least when talking about himself. It seems as if he doesn't have a perfect round, he needs an anti-depressive pill.

Austin shot a 70 at Friday's second-round of the PGA Championship at Southern Hills, which is a good round on this difficult course, but all he could do was look back at what might have been.

"I feel like I've lost a great opportunity to be out front because I've had way too many chances," Austin said. "You just can't have that many chances, when you're someone in my position who's never won a major. I don't have that luxury."

Austin might be described as the Barney Fife of golf if he weren't so athletically inclined.

"I'm a very nervous person and it shows," Austin said. "It shows in putting. It's very hard to make a putting stroke when you're nervous. It's a lot easier to make a golf swing when you're nervous as opposed to putting.

"So the putting stroke, it's going to show up the most and unfortunately that's the most important part of the game. It showed up a lot today. I should have shot a hell of a lot better."

Watch, listen and learn

You think PGA Tour pros don't watch each other? It's only logical, really. What better place to learn than from the best, up close and personal.

John Senden learned from watching Zach Johnson win The Masters.

"He's a guy that won The Masters and I watched him coming down the stretch," said Senden, among those in striking distance after Friday's second round after shooting an even-par 70. "It looked like he was so involved and so in control of his feelings and emotions.

"You know, you've got Tiger Woods chasing his tail, but he just sort of stuck to his guns at that tournament. And when I watched him come up here, I sort of think, he's a young guy, he's won a major tournament. And I think that I can."

First-day leader Graeme Storm noticed Phil Mickelson at the Scottish Open, which Mickelson played to prepare for the British Open.

"The thing I learned is when he did hit a bad shot, he never got flustered," Storm said.

He should have put that to use Friday, when he soared to a 76.

Tulsa too hot for even players from India

Jeev Milka Singh - no relation to Vijay - and Jyoti Randhawa, both from India, are the first from their homeland to compete in a PGA Championship. Randhawa withdrew because of a "heat-related illness."

Now, what does that say about the Oklahoma heat?

August 11, 2007

Veteran golf writer Tim McDonald keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation.

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