PGA Tour: It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 23 Sep 2015, 2:51 pm

1).Maybe not, Yogi, but the 2015/16 season will end this coming Sunday in Atlanta. The Tour Championship (by a fizzy drink) will see 29 survivors of the FedEx Play-Offs compete on a highly regarded, but visually boring, Donald Ross original, East Lake Golf Club, a Par-70 test which will hopefully reward fine golf and not just the winner of the long-drive contest.

2).Yup, 18 of the Top 40 leaders in driving distance have made it this far, only Zach Johnson, Danny Lee and Kevin Na surviving among the shortest eighty players on Tour. The PGA Tour is becoming a bomber's paradise, with shorter hitters at an ever increasing disadvantage. Truly drive for dough, putt for show.
Even a few weeks ago, at The Barclays, this was apparent as the likes of Dustin, Bubba and Jason Day were able to carry uphill landing areas and fairway bunkers that were in play for 80% of the field. No point in returning to Plainfield until that imbalance is rectified.

3).We know "chicks dig the long ball", but how fair was it that the Tour used forward tees and friendly pin-placements on Day 2 of last week's BMW Championship, presumably so that the long-ballers were able to maintain their advantage? Pointless choosing a course such as Conway Farms that stretches to 7,200+ yards if you actually play the event at 6,900.

4).Nothing to detract from Jason Day's clinic in Rounds 1 and 2, but it sure makes for a boring tournament if you eliminate half the field before they've started. Exaggeration but that's what things are coming to.

5).What do we think of Jason Day vs Jordan Spieth for POTY? I'll go for multiple Majors every time.
And, it's not recognized as such in the guidelines for the title, but Spieth's two titles after the 2014/15 PGA Tour season started were arguably the jump start he needed, his final round in Sydney to win the Aussie Open as good as any round in the past twelve months.

6).Jim Furyk is absent this week and there must now be the very real chance that he'll miss the Presidents Cup. Jay Haas would then be free to pick anyone he liked and I would hope that he's put JB Holmes on standby, next in line in the qualifying list, coming off a 4th place finish at the Beemer and, last but not least, 5th in driving distance.

7).In 2008 we went to the Travelers tournament in Hartford for the first time and followed a young Jason Day. He played beautifully, making up in length and power for what he lacked in touch around the greens, and you could see he was a star in the making. But he was outplayed on that day by Jon Mills.
The third member of the threesome was Chez Reavie who looked no more a pro golfer than half a dozen guys from the local club; sure enough Reavie won later that year in Canada, played in the 2011 Tour Championship, got injured, lost his card, but won this past week's WTF event in North Carolina round about the same hour JASON DAY holed the winning BMW putt, and thus retrieved his Tour card.
Jon Mills? Last I saw this summer he was struggling to make cuts on the Canadian Tour.

8).Other WTF competitors who have ensured they'll be on next season's PGA Tour include Anirban Lahiri and Emiliano Grillo, two losses to the European Tour. But Martin Kaymer is back, though wonder why he's not playing in Germany this week? Sponsorship conflict perhaps, or just making a protest at the VW emission shenanigans??

9).Just had a thought. The belly putter will be officially banned from the PGA Tour once the '14/'15 season wraps up, so will Adam Scott be allowed to "anchor" in the Presidents Cup?
Fingers crossed that the winners will be remembered for their excellent play and not for picking up their ball. (Is it correct that Annika was accused of giving advice because she told the European ladies "never to give another effing putt while I'm around"? Imagine she'll be European Captain in 2017.)

10).Still fancy Oosthuizen to play well in these Play-Offs so expecting he'll do well this week. But, in tribute to Yogi, I'm hoping that Henrik Stenson brings home the Tour Championship, deja vu all over again.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Wed 23 Sep 2015, 3:40 pm

Nice write-up, as usual, Kwini. Thanks. That distance 'stat' is interesting isn't it? Goes some way to confirming that distance is the key contribution to winning. Maybe more obvious now given the modern ball's lack of sidespin etc off straight-faced clubs cf. the balata of old.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 23 Sep 2015, 4:02 pm

Yup, The philosophy of 130 yards from the rough versus 175 from the fairway is winning out, at least on courses where guys can be long and crooked with impunity.
I was shocked at the disparity at Plainfield, where even guys previously considered "long" are now at a significant disadvantage, especially on holes where an exceptional "carry" is beneficial.
Perhaps it's more noticeable at courses which only host the Tour players sporadically because at most of the "regular" Tour stops the risk/reward seems more in balance, places like Doral probably the exception.

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Post by Roller_Coaster on Wed 23 Sep 2015, 4:23 pm

Kaymer omission as a result of his mission as an emissary of emission submissions?

I thought Anchoring was 1/1/16 (or 1/1/16 if written in US...). Also and a little tangentially. Isn't 1/1/16 the date that the old grooves are no longer permissible in certain levels of amateur play (such as county comps etc). So if it is, wonder if/how it'll be policed or whether people will still have spinny grooves.


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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 23 Sep 2015, 4:48 pm

Anchoring definitely verboten on the PGA Tour during the 2015/2016 season which starts in October. Presumably Scott gets permission for some remission between two "regular" seasons?

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Post by Shotrock on Wed 23 Sep 2015, 7:59 pm

Wonderful write up Kwin. I'm surprised Adam Scott hasn't switched putters yet.

Agree with you about East Lake and do wish they would move that location around.

Not pertinent to this week specifically, but certainly to this season is an eye-opening look into the shenanigans (best word I could think of) regarding the boy's club at the USGA and the Walker Cup. Fascinating read (IMO): http://www.golfchannel.com/news/ryan-lavner/us-approach-walker-cup-needs-changing/

And let's not forget the USGA is sitting on almost $400 Million in assets: http://digital.usga.org/#&pageSet=24&page=0

I'm guessing that kind of wealth breeds some nutty decisions?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 23 Sep 2015, 9:13 pm

Sr,
Yes, I read that Lavner article at the time; was going through it wondering when he'd acknowledge that GB&I might actually have had a pretty good team and a couple more college kids might not have made too much difference.
But the USGA will always make your head spin; nice to see Ernie give Mike Davis a dig during his Payne Stewart Award acceptance. Bad year for Davis but not even he can eff up Oakmont, can he?

Interesting to read Finchem has no plan in the near future to sanction players skipping FedEx Play-Off tournaments. Would imagine common sense will keep it that way.

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Post by SmithersJones on Wed 23 Sep 2015, 9:14 pm

So the US Walker Cup captain didn't pick his team, or the order they played in or who they played with. But he did cry when they lost, so that's ok. picard
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Post by Shotrock on Wed 23 Sep 2015, 9:23 pm

Derek Bard might have helped the cause, Kwin.

But good for GB&I ... hope they continue form as the USGA continues with their inane protocol.

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Post by raycastleunited on Thu 24 Sep 2015, 2:27 pm

Good writing as usual Kwini.

I understand your point of view on long hitters, but I strongly believe that players should be able to benefit from hitting it a long way. Driving the ball a long way is a skill, they still have to find the mown grass after all. And however far you hit it, 50% of golf remains on and around the greens.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 24 Sep 2015, 2:44 pm

True enough ray, but there should surely be a balance in course set-up so that straight hitters who drive the ball in the fairway are not at a disadvantage to long hitters who miss fairways with impunity.
There's a reason the Bubbas and Dustins don't play certain courses, but we'd be in a sorry state if the Zachs and Lukes and Furyks of this world avoided premier tournaments, incl most of this year's FedEx events, Doral, Whistling Straits etc because they couldn't realistically compete.
Imagine there's nothing new about this discussion, eh Arnie, Jack?!?

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Post by GPB on Thu 24 Sep 2015, 3:57 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:
9).Just had a thought. The belly putter will be officially banned from the PGA Tour once the '14/'15 season wraps up, so will Adam Scott be allowed to "anchor" in the Presidents Cup?
Fingers crossed that the winners will be remembered for their excellent play and not for picking up their ball. (Is it correct that Annika was accused of giving advice because she told the European ladies "never to give another effing putt while I'm around"? Imagine she'll be European Captain in 2017.)

I haven't seen anything about the anchor ban starting at the onset of the 2015-16 season.  If that is true, how would the HSBC and CIMB tournaments be affected as they are co-sanctioned with other Tours.

I can't imagine that Adam would not be able to use the anchor putter for the Frys (if he plays) and then be able to use for the HSBC a week or two later.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 24 Sep 2015, 4:20 pm

I'm 99% sure the putter ban includes all 2015/2016 PGA Tour season, not 100% though. Otherwise, the PGA Tour season could include apples and oranges, two different rules. Don't know about CIMB & HSBC but assumed no anchoring allowed.

(PS: I see they DID adjust tee-times to account for Allenby's defection at the WTF event in Ohio!)

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Post by Hibbz on Thu 24 Sep 2015, 4:34 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:we'd be in a sorry state if the Zachs and Lukes and Furyks of this world avoided premier tournaments, incl most of this year's FedEx events, Doral, Whistling Straits etc because they couldn't realistically compete.

They do always have the option of learning or developing the ability to hit the ball further?

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Post by GPB on Thu 24 Sep 2015, 5:31 pm

Not sure why you would assume HSBC would be a non anchored tournament when it is populated by mosty non-PGATour players.

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Post by raycastleunited on Thu 24 Sep 2015, 5:40 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:True enough ray, but there should surely be a balance in course set-up so that straight hitters who drive the ball in the fairway are not at a disadvantage to long hitters who miss fairways with impunity.
There's a reason the Bubbas and Dustins don't play certain courses, but we'd be in a sorry state if the Zachs and Lukes and Furyks of this world avoided premier tournaments, incl most of this year's FedEx events, Doral, Whistling Straits etc because they couldn't realistically compete.
Imagine there's nothing new about this discussion, eh Arnie, Jack?!?

Holes do still feature rough, trees, water etc beyond the 300 yard mark, so long hitters don't really miss fairways with impunity, and good courses feature a balance.

At club level there are plenty of golfers who prod the ball around short and straight and can be competitive in the monthly medal. I don't believe that should apply in the professional game, the young pro's coming through now have dynamic athletic swings and hit the ball a long way. Its only right that the Zachs and Lukes learn to hit it further or face becoming obsolete. As I said earlier, even the biggest hitters still need to chip and putt to win.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 24 Sep 2015, 5:51 pm

Are you a refugee from Aleppo Hibbz?

You might want to plead yr case w/Grumps about yr Euro Open choice of the wrong Lawrie; pretty sure Paul, who wasn't entered, would have been a Category B player, so your case for Peter should be sound.

Surely golf is a game demanding several different skills, and courses were originally designed to reward/penalize expertise with all those skills? Let's just agree that many courses originally designed for big tournaments are increasingly obsolescent! Glad to see Doral, at least, is being modified to restore some balance.

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Post by Hibbz on Thu 24 Sep 2015, 6:12 pm

Sorry Kwini I don't get your reference. Probably being thick.

I think the courses do still recognise those skills it's just as Ray has stated the newer players have developed one of the skills more than the players you've named.

I don't think I do agree that any courses originally for big tournaments are becoming obsolete just because players are going round in fewer shots. I'll agree that the game has changed though and whether for the better is another discussion. That's life though mate.

As for Grumps is game I'll leave the decision to him. Schoolboy error and not the first one I've made I'm afraid.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 24 Sep 2015, 7:46 pm

Suppose one should see this coming a mile off. Oosthuizen walks off halfway thru his back nine complaining of a hamstring injury. That follows having a cyst removed earlier. My fantasy team takes a w/d hit for the second week running Doh

Ohio State University's "Scarlet Course" is the venue for this week's WTF Round 3 and is proving a handful for PGA Tour wannabes. 23 golfers under par and 80-ish above par as all the "afternoon wave" have departed. Brian Davis in with a 3-over 75 which could be better than it sounds by the time the day is done. Regardless, this is a cut he badly needs to make. Gonzo off to a good start, Siem not so much.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 24 Sep 2015, 9:06 pm

Nice to see Rory holing some putts - up to 3rd, just four strokes behind Stenson!

I think the two withdrawals will start to eliminate some players from winning the $10mil, as the worst anyone can finish now is 28th - or lower if anyone else takes an early bath.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 12:34 am

Unusual stat:
Henrik Stenson has played five career Tour Championship rounds.
At the end of each of them he's had the lead.
Long may it continue!
Ca ching!!

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Post by navyblueshorts on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 8:35 am

raycastleunited wrote:Good writing as usual Kwini.

I understand your point of view on long hitters, but I strongly believe that players should be able to benefit from hitting it a long way. Driving the ball a long way is a skill, they still have to find the mown grass after all. And however far you hit it, 50% of golf remains on and around the greens.
They don't though do they? As long as they're not in serious doo-doo it's a demonstrable advantage to be longer, but maybe not as frequently on the fairway. Chipping/putting improvements (unless you're utter gash at them) have the smallest marginal gains, much smaller than hitting it further. If the game were to just become a bomb/pitch fest, it would be boring, boring, boring. Alternatively, driving course architecture to 7500+ yard courses is really silly from course maintenance costs, if nothing else.
Hitting it long is a skill, but they need to reign in the overly significant advantage these guys now have over the very skilled, but shorter guys.
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Post by McLaren on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 9:25 am

New balls maybe?
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Post by SmithersJones on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 9:35 am

I'm getting bored of saying it, but fairways don't have to run all the way from the tee to the green. Grow cabbage in the 300-350 yard range.
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Post by Bob_the_Job on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 9:47 am

SmithersJones wrote:I'm getting bored of saying it, but fairways don't have to run all the way from the tee to the green. Grow cabbage in the 300-350 yard range.

I'm getting bored of agreeing with you - it the cheapest way for sure. Maybe not grow it right across, but really narrow the fairways down at that range and make the rough really penal the closer you get to that range. So if you do hit it dead straight 320 then good luck, but if you stray by a few yards, you get major penalised.
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Post by SmithersJones on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 10:25 am

The thought did occur to me that it would impinge on members in the run up to a tournament but given that there are usually myriad tee choices at the type of course we're talking about there rough for them should still be out of driving distance. It would only need a month or so in advance of the tournament to grow out, and could be cut the following Monday.
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Post by McLaren on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 11:02 am

Why not just remove the hassle and cost of growing the rough and draw a red line across the fairway and give a penalty to any drive that goes over it?
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Post by Eyetoldyouso on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 12:13 pm

Why not make the fairway bunkers a potential penalty. How many times have we seen a player hit 200 yds + out of a fairway bunker with comparative impunity. Indeed, I reckon that most of them don't consider it to be any more difficult than hitting from the fairway.

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Post by MustPuttBetter on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 12:58 pm

Better than being in the rough for most as they know they can stop the ball
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Post by McLaren on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 1:36 pm

I get a lot of criticism on here for being into golf course architecture but if more of you engaged with it wouldn't currently have a thread where people are fawning over the idea of universal rough from 300-350 in the middle of every fairway.

It is a low day for the board if I remain the only voice of criticism on this issue. Sad
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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 1:45 pm

I don't have any issue with golfers achieving a 350 yard carry, good for them; my complaint is staging big events on courses where there is more penalty, fairway bunkers etc, for the 275-yard carries than there is for the long hitters. That just seems inequitable, but also inevitable until the R&A and USGA bring the ballistics of the equipment under control.
Interesting that Bubba doesn't much care for East Lake because he can't control the ball out of the Bermuda rough; tournament being led by Stenson who didn't use his driver at all in Round 1!! Good set up . . . . .

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Post by SmithersJones on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 2:02 pm

Come on then Mac, explain why it's not a valid means of bomber-proofing older courses? I'm genuinely interested to hear why you don't think it would be a good idea.
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Post by McLaren on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 3:10 pm

Smithers

For starts the complaint seemed to be that you can bomb it, end up in the rough and be in a better position than those on the fairway but further back. So unless you are proposing a hells half acre style hazard on every hole at the 300 yard mark, you haven't changed a thing.


How would a cross hazard distinguish between the player able to place a long drive and one with no control over the ball?

As kwini points out, why not ensure the hazards/design features are still relevant at the yardages the players can hit the ball, and bring the strategy back.


Cross hazards will create a forced carry which would ruin the game for some lesser players.


Would it not be rather dull to have to hit basically the same curtailed drive on every hole?
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Post by GPB on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 3:27 pm

SmithersJones wrote:The thought did occur to me that it would impinge on members in the run up to a tournament but given that there are usually myriad tee choices at the type of course we're talking about there rough for them should still be out of driving distance. It would only need a month or so in advance of the tournament to grow out, and could be cut the following Monday.

Have you ever cut 3" grass down to fairway height?  If you do it in one day, you will damage the turf by scalping it.  For bermuda rough, it would probably take a month to do it correctly.  Long bermuda grass gets thin at the roots and if you scalp 3" rough to a 3/8" fairway, you are going to have an unattractive brown/dirt mess.

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Post by GPB on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 3:37 pm

Remember, the PGATour and USGA rent the courses for a week.  The other 51 weeks the course belongs to its stakeholders. 

The PGAT (and USGA) should not force the course to grow thicker and longer rough, create deeper fairway bunkers, cut down trees to make room for longer holes.  That's lunacy IMO.

 Courses should not be designed and/or setup for PGAT vagabounds that show up once a year.  

If the Course wants to do that, fine, let them do it.  Courses should not be designed and/or setup for PGAT vagabonds that show up once a year.    

If I was renting my house for a week, I would not paint it purple and orange just to please the tenant.  I got to live in it for the rest of the year.

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Post by SmithersJones on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 3:38 pm

McLaren wrote:Smithers

For starts the complaint seemed to be that you can bomb it, end up in the rough and be in a better position than those on the fairway but further back.  So unless you are proposing a hells half acre style hazard on every hole at the 300 yard mark, you haven't changed a thing.

I did say grow cabbage.

McLaren wrote:
How would a cross hazard distinguish between the player able to place a long drive and one with no control over the ball?


As kwini points out, why not ensure the hazards/design features are still relevant at the yardages the players can hit the ball, and bring the strategy back.


As per Kwini's suggestion, make a narrow strip if you like.

McLaren wrote:
Cross hazards will create a forced carry which would ruin the game for some lesser players.

See my point about only doing this for tournaments, taking a month (maybe 6 weeks) to grow the cabbage and letting the members play from forward tees.

McLaren wrote:
Would it not be rather dull to have to hit basically the same curtailed drive on every hole?

I would suggest this is a remedy for some of the holes on older courses that measure 400-450yards which were designed to be approached with a mid to long iron but are now a drive and a wedge. It wouldn't make much sense on par 5s, or risk/reward shorter par 4s or even the 500 yard 4s that are now commonplace.
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Post by SmithersJones on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 3:40 pm

GPB wrote:Remember, the PGATour and USGA rent the courses for a week.  The other 51 weeks the course belongs to its stakeholders. 

The PGAT (and USGA) should not force the course to grow thicker and longer rough, create deeper fairway bunkers, cut down trees to make room for longer holes.  That's lunacy IMO.

 Courses should not be designed and/or setup for PGAT vagabounds that show up once a year.  

If the Course wants to do that, fine, let them do it.  Courses should not be designed and/or setup for PGAT vagabonds that show up once a year.    

If I was renting my house for a week, I would not paint it purple and orange just to please the tenant.  I got to live in it for the rest of the year.

If you were renting your house to a celebrity so that you could show off to your neighbours for the other 51 weeks of the year that your house was good enough for the best, you'd put up with a bit of purple and orange that could be easily wiped off by your housekeeper the day after they left!
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Post by raycastleunited on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 3:44 pm

SmithersJones wrote:I'm getting bored of saying it, but fairways don't have to run all the way from the tee to the green. Grow cabbage in the 300-350 yard range.

Effectively this approach is penalising the most skilful players for being too good. I'm sorry Mr McIlroy, but your ball striking is just too good, we'll have to put a stop to that and give Timmy Clark a better chance.

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Post by SmithersJones on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 3:52 pm

I actually don't necessarily agree that it's a problem, I just think that if it is an issue that would be a solution to it. I do however think there's a justification for growing the rough at tour venues so that missing the fairway is a problem, even (especially?) if you miss it a long way down. Players often seem to agree that this makes for better courses.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 4:43 pm

The rewards for hitting the long ball:

http://www.golfdigest.com/gallery/7-photos-of-dustin-johnsons-incredible-new-house-island?mbid=nl_092415_daily_hitlist&CNDID=25665405&spMailingID=8098669&spUserID=OTA2NDc1MDkyNzUS1&spJobID=762645753&spReportId=NzYyNjQ1NzUzS0#1


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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 6:34 pm

East Lake got a right drenching last night.
There will be mudballs but no lift, clean and place.

Tough sledding for the WTF'ers in Ohio also. Leicester City's Greg Eason with a two-under-par 69, one of the rounds of the week so far.
It doesn't look good for Seamus Power to make the cut - one more week to post a high finish or it's back to the web.com for another year for young Seamus.

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Post by GPB on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 6:44 pm

SmithersJones wrote:
GPB wrote:Remember, the PGATour and USGA rent the courses for a week.  The other 51 weeks the course belongs to its stakeholders. 

The PGAT (and USGA) should not force the course to grow thicker and longer rough, create deeper fairway bunkers, cut down trees to make room for longer holes.  That's lunacy IMO.

 Courses should not be designed and/or setup for PGAT vagabounds that show up once a year.  

If the Course wants to do that, fine, let them do it.  Courses should not be designed and/or setup for PGAT vagabonds that show up once a year.    

If I was renting my house for a week, I would not paint it purple and orange just to please the tenant.  I got to live in it for the rest of the year.

If you were renting your house to a celebrity so that you could show off to your neighbours for the other 51 weeks of the year that your house was good enough for the best, you'd put up with a bit of purple and orange that could be easily wiped off by your housekeeper the day after they left!

Growing rough, deepening bunkers, cutting down trees to make for longer holes takes more than a sponge to repair.  see my post about cutting rough to fairway height.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 8:15 pm

Stenson needs to take a bit more care with his club selection on Par-3's over water . . . . . .

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Post by McLaren on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 8:18 pm

He sure does. But the player driven by money is currently 4 ahead of the player who couldn't care less about adding another $10 million to the bank.

But a pretty nice top 10 at the moment.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 8:49 pm

There seems to be an epidemic of mis-clubbing, long as well as short; perhaps the water is affecting the strike?

Tough going out there but Spieth's putter is in stringtime form.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 8:59 pm

There's a surprise, Stenson on the clock. Spieth and Day yesterday, and Spieth also got at least one bad time.
Time for Henrik to hole a snake, that'll hurry things up.

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Post by GPB on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 9:46 pm

Oosty has WDed from Dunhill to get healthy for Prez Cup.

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Post by Be_the_ball on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 9:57 pm

Great write up Kwini, im enjoying this so far. Spieth POTY for me also, wonderful play from Jason Day also though. I read an interview yesterday where Rory said he wasn't motivated by money any more, but reflected all the way back to 2007 where it took him all of 3 weeks as a pro to win £220,000, he then went and bought some watch he'd had his eye on.

This is great though, when the coverage is goin from Rory to Spieth to Day, you know its a quality tournament.

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Post by pyormin on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 11:24 pm

A very interesting article about relationship between player and caddie by Geoff Ogilvy. http://www.golfaustralia.com.au/marriages-made-and-broken-inside-the-ropes-ogilvy/

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 25 Sep 2015, 11:43 pm

Earlier start tomorrow morning so that NBC TV can break off to show Amateur Football instead of the world's best golfers.
But a cool morning with possibly damp fairways shouldn't affect the leaders who leave the first tee at 11.30 a.m.

Thanks for the King Louis info GPB, but he'll leave a strong field behind him; super-realist hasn't been much in evidence this week, perhaps he's honing his skills for the Dunhill? McLaren as caddie??

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