PGA Tour: WGC-HSBC "Champions" / Sandersons Farms Championship: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 04 Nov 2015, 4:27 pm

1).Last week's CIMB "Classic" was pretty much an out-of-sight, out-of-mind event in kwiniville, didn't see a single shot, but kudos to Justin Thomas for extending the string of first-time winners. And a welcome return to tournament leaderboards for Adam Scott, suggesting his Presidents Cup demolition of Rickie Fowler was no fluke.
Only time will tell if Thomas has what(ever?) it takes to reach the level predicted for him; it's not so much a criticism as it is an observation that he's already had more blips in his career than Jordan Spieth may ever have.
What about Adam Scott? It's almost as if his season got a second wind with the Presidents Cup, which was followed by a Top Ten in Japan and now his best pay-day on Tour since winning Colonial 18 months ago. Worth watching him this week and his Fifth Major, Aussie Open, comes up in three weeks' time. As his putter goes, so goes Adam.

2).With so many established golfers in poor form, and so many young 'uns making hay, the World Ranking positions between about 35th and 70th are more congested than the M25 (almost).
The guys needing parachutes are finding that "decent" tournaments with a nice pay cheque are no guarantee of moving up in the rankings. For instance, Donaldson, Poulter and Westwood in Turkey must have been chuffed with Top 16 finishes, but each slipped down the owgr list by 3, 2 and 2 places respectively. OK if you're securely esconced in the Top 30, no good at all when your ranking is in freefall. Bradley, Mahan, McDowell, Schwartzel and Simpson are all in the same boat. Not much good.

3).And then there's Luke Donald. Were the Europeans who showed up for the CIMB merely intent on adding a PGA Tour event-notch on their season and sleep-walking through the Kuala Lumpur heat and humidity?
That might work for the likes of Casey (now anyway), Garcia and Stenson, but not for Lukey unless he actually makes an effort. A T64 result does him no good whatsoever.
Even at his best, Luke tended towards short and crooked, but a glimpse at three stats over the past five years suggest his short-game brilliance is fading fast. Year by year, from 2011 to 2015:
Total Putting: 1st, 1st, 5th, 10th, 79th,
Scrambling: 7th, 5th, 22nd, 38th, 46th,
Par 5 Scoring: 8th, 15th, 78th, 61st, 124th.
(Incidentally, Stricker in his prime had similar Par 5 success, but when the short game goes, short-hitters are toast.)

4).Anyway, back in the saddle for Lukey, Westy and Poults this week in Shanghai at the mis-named HSBC Champions. Must do better boys.
And how can this possibly be called a "Champions" event when Victor Dubuisson's win is disregarded, whilst guys like the aforementioned all manage to squeak in, with nary a Top Two finish on European or PGA Tours between them all year? (Just picking on our English friends, more egregious inclusions could be mentioned.)
Meanwhile, both Donaldson and Molinari will find themselves with some catching up to do as they miss out on freebies at CIMB and the WGC-HSBC.

5).What a moron Steve Williams is for slagging off Tiger Woods in his book. Woods may not be perfect, OK, anything but perfect, but Williams's incendiary comments will do Tiger little or no harm at all, but will tarnish what people think of the otherwise respected caddie, and unnecessarily brings unwanted attention to other of his recent employers. Not what Adam Scott needs.

6).It looks as if HSBC has re-upped for a five-year extension for the Shanghai WGC shindig (and for Abu Dhabi), but doubt there's smoke without at least a trace of fire from the GolfWeek article, so wouldn't be surprised if some changes are in the offing.

7).And it sounds as if the European Tour is seriously contemplating a slight tweak to the minimum number of events necessary for a player to sustain Membership.
In the longer term, Keith Pelley must know all the fiddling with such details is merely wallpaper and what he really needs is some more BIG tournaments so that golfers have more viable options. No sign of anything of the kind on the near horizon.

8)."Opposite field" events on the PGA Tour have a definite place in the schedule, opportunities for young players to make a name for themselves (recent beneficiaries include Spieth and Grillo), the Tour to take its act to different parts of the country, albeit in the already overserved South and West, and for graduates from web.com action to be guaranteed tee-times. And the money's not bad either.
Europeans in this week's field in Mississippi include Blixt, Cejka, Laird, Brian Davis, Jacobson, Pettersson and Norlander, while Robert Karlsson Monday-qualified. Last year the new venue of Country Club of Jackson looked an attractive old-style course.
Jason Bohn is the in-form local boy while Wills Wilcox and McGirt may also be worth watching. And it's just about time Tim Clark extended his incredible run of years with a runner-up finish - last year's came at the WGC-HSBC when he was desperately unlucky to run in to some Bubbagolf magic (or flukes depending upon one's point of view).

9).No idea about likely winners this time around, but Rickie Fowler was one shot out of last year's play-off. (Not sure what the opposite of a non-runner might be, but it seems that Rory will be anything but if he fails to make his tee-time.)

10).Meanwhile, the Champions Tour "season-long race for the Charles Schwab Cup" comes down to its last tournament of the year with Montgomerie, Maggert and Langer all within 66 points of each other - that's neck and neck and neck - if any of the three win, they'll win the $1M Schwab swag.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 04 Nov 2015, 7:20 pm

Barclays reassessing their sports sponsorship, including the ATP Tour Finals.
Haven't seen anything regarding Golf but this should probably be a matter of concern for the Barclays FedEx stop.

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Post by sirbenson on Wed 04 Nov 2015, 11:52 pm

Mickelson and Butch Harmon have parted ways it seems....

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Wed 04 Nov 2015, 11:53 pm

They've already ended their sponsorship of the premiership so who knows what's going to happen with the golf.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 2:16 am

Hadn't seen that, sirb;
Here's the Golf Channel tight-lipped account:

http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golf-central-blog/mickelson-splits-swing-coach-harmon-after-eight-years/

Wonder where he's going for new ideas?

Thomas Aiken among the morning starters with some early birdies - what a difference a good finish here would make to his year. Down at the bottom of the web.com "reshuffle" category, but a $100K payday, or better of course, would get him close to the top and probably shoe-horn him in to at least half a dozen more events through spring. Big deal.

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 10:08 am

I wonder how much Butch gets paid for coaching someone like Phil, and how many hours he works?
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Post by hend085 on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 12:01 pm

its headline grabbing news but it doesn't seem to be quite the divorce that some outlets are portraying. hell probably be back with him by the masters.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 12:22 pm

Is butch making space in his calendar for some Tiger coaching?
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Post by super_realist on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 12:39 pm

Can't polish a turd Mac.
That would be like Alex Ferguson coaching Helen Keller to play for United.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 1:51 pm

Would she be any worse than Rooney at the moment?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 2:10 pm

Thought Rooney had a good game vs Kiev.

Meant to include this article in my notes:

http://www.golfworlddigital.com/gw/11_2_2015?sub_id=m6YFz2X7vbcH&pg=12#pg12

Probably just a matter of time before Trump tries to "develop" some of his course properties . . . . . .

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Post by super_realist on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 2:24 pm

By all accounts Kwini, the Turnberry changes are going to dramatically improve things there.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 2:30 pm

Kwini

Rooney is probably the worst player in the world being paid over £200000 per week.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 2:52 pm

super_,
Looking forward to seeing the finished product - it's just sad that it's at the behest of such a despicable d1ckhead.

Mac,
Quite possibly so. Still played well on Tuesday, and much better than several making 100K a week.


Good scoring in the early going in Mississippi, golden oldies Badds (OK, not so old in his case) and Toms leading the way. Hadn't appreciated that Gonzalo had squeaked into the field. Can't imagine anyone I'd like to win more than him.

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Post by super_realist on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 3:11 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:super_,
Looking forward to seeing the finished product - it's just sad that it's at the behest of such a despicable d1ckhead.

Mac,
Quite possibly so. Still played well on Tuesday, and much better than several making 100K a week.


Good scoring in the early going in Mississippi, golden oldies Badds (OK, not so old in his case) and Toms leading the way. Hadn't appreciated that Gonzalo had squeaked into the field. Can't imagine anyone I'd like to win more than him.

At the risk of envoking Godwins's law Kwini, even bad people can do good things. Hitler has some good ideas for which credit is due. Trump may well have done something decent to which he deserves acknowledgement.

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Post by beninho on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 3:14 pm

Id definitely take Rooney over Falcao. Who is earning well over 200k per week.


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Post by pedro on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 3:18 pm

super_realist wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:super_,
Looking forward to seeing the finished product - it's just sad that it's at the behest of such a despicable d1ckhead.

Mac,
Quite possibly so. Still played well on Tuesday, and much better than several making 100K a week.


Good scoring in the early going in Mississippi, golden oldies Badds (OK, not so old in his case) and Toms leading the way. Hadn't appreciated that Gonzalo had squeaked into the field. Can't imagine anyone I'd like to win more than him.

At the risk of envoking Godwins's law Kwini, even bad people can do good things. Hitler has some good ideas for which credit is due. Trump may well have done something decent to which he deserves acknowledgement.
Would you ever expect kwini to be unbiased?

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Post by pedro on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 3:20 pm

beninho wrote:Id definitely take Rooney over Falcao. Who is earning well over 200k per week.

I'd definitely just take the 200K. Or even 100.

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 3:29 pm

pedro wrote:
Would you ever expect kwini to be unbiased?

You won't give the benefit of the doubt to somebody about them giving the benefit of the doubt to somebody else? Ironic

Not sure about comparisons with Hitler - it's a bit of cliche - "he made the trains run on time" and all that. But from a golfer's perspective, redevelopment of classic courses needs two things - sensitive redesign of the architecture and money. I know which one I think Trump brings to the table, I just don't really understand how he's got it. Part of me thinks it's just another giant Ponzi scheme and all the courses will end up owned by banks.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 3:38 pm

pedro thumbsup

Not much point going through life without forming opinions . . . . . you should see (actually you could!) the quasi-political stuff I "moderate" around here!

Bob,
You only have to look at the fate of some of his projects around the country, especially casinos in NJ, to know that is a real possibility.

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Post by SmithersJones on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 3:44 pm

I saw a stat recently that suggested that if he'd left daddy's money in the bank and sat on his hair all his life he'd be 2-3 times richer than he is.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 4:03 pm

As it is, he looks as if someone else sat on his hair all his life.
Equally probable is that he learned about the merits of greens sometimes having a false front from a golf architect, and took it a bit too literally.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 4:17 pm

Golf Channel reporting that Phil will work with an Aussie named Andrew Getson who works at the Grayhawk club that Phil has played at periodically.
Past clients of Getson reportedly include this motley crew: Kevin Streelman, Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew. Not exactly the pedigree you'd expect.

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Post by pedro on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 9:00 pm

Edgy opinions is what keeps a board alive. It's also what keeps politics and golf course architecture somewhat un-uninteresting.

The Donald may have a false front but he always seems to prefer being on the fringe.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 9:10 pm

I'd sooner he was in Hell Bunker.

Brian Davis and Martin Laird doing themselves some good in Mississippi; both could use a return to form.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 05 Nov 2015, 9:24 pm

More on Phil & Butch:

http://www.golfdigest.com/story/phil-mickelson-flew-to-las-vegas-to-break-up-with-butch-harmon-in-person?mbid=nl_110515_daily_hitlist&CNDID=25665405&spMailingID=8225353&spUserID=OTA2NDc1MDkyNzUS1&spJobID=800501689&spReportId=ODAwNTAxNjg5S0

More like two lovers whose relationship has got a bit stale but recognize they might still fancy each other in the future. Sounds good to me.

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Post by Roller_Coaster on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 10:12 am

Hey Tiger!

Huh?

Butch has got some free time now.

Yup

Well?

Nah.

OK, see you in Monday qualifying for the opposite field event next March then.






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Post by McLaren on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 11:54 am

Will any of you lot be reading Stevie Williams book?

Given the reports so far it seems pretty tame with no new information about Tiger, or even Norman.
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Post by Bob_the_Job on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 12:26 pm

Probably not Mac (and did he really write it himself - he doesn't come across as the most literate or eloquent of people) - I would have two issues in doing so. Firstly, as you say, I can't imagine it contains anything I really want to know, and secondly, I would resent giving money to him on the off chance it does.
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Post by McLaren on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 1:05 pm

Bob

Would you agree that if people like Williams - who are famous through someone elses achievements - are going to write books about those people, they should at least have the guts to reveal the juicy stuff?

The book will sell on the pretense of revealing things about Norman and Tiger and will of course fail to lead up to those expectations.
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Post by pedro on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 1:11 pm

The juicy stuff will be in newspaper anyway.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 1:29 pm

And can't imagine there'll be much of that as he signed a gag order with Tiger.


Signs of life from Team GB in China, especially from Russell Knox. But much better too from Donald and Westwood, and from most of the young Englishmen. Talking of which, there were only three scores better than David Howell's 68.

The Mississippi weather could be a little dodgy today and thunderstorms are in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow. Not bothering Brian Davis though, nine under par for his first 21 holes is good playing anywhere.

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Post by super_realist on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 1:29 pm

McLaren wrote:Will any of you lot be reading Stevie Williams book?

Given the reports so far it seems pretty tame with no new information about Tiger, or even Norman.

Has there ever been a book about a sportsman that has been interesting? Not that I recall, and given that Williams said he was oblivious to 9C's rodgerisation activities, what interest could it possibly hold about golfs most boring man?

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Post by raycastleunited on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 2:15 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:And can't imagine there'll be much of that as he signed a gag order with Tiger.

Although if you believe the press it was tiger's many women who were doing the gagging...

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Post by beninho on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 2:17 pm

David Millars book Racing through the dark ws a very good sports book. Ive got a book about Garrincha that was very good aswell. SO i would say yes, there has been a book about a sportsman that has been interesting.

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Post by beninho on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 2:19 pm

I caught a very small clip of the PGA event on sky yesterday. I could see people strolling around in the background. It looked like it was being filmed and played on the local course. I know its a very low ranked event, but it looked borderline amateur on TV.

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Post by raycastleunited on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 2:23 pm

super_realist wrote:
McLaren wrote:Will any of you lot be reading Stevie Williams book?

Given the reports so far it seems pretty tame with no new information about Tiger, or even Norman.

Has there ever been a book about a sportsman that has been interesting? Not that I recall, and given that Williams said he was oblivious to 9C's rodgerisation activities, what interest could it possibly hold about golfs most boring man?

I enjoyed Seve's book. And surprisingly Faldo's too - actually got some insight into his single minded character. Viv Richards, Botham, all good reads too.

Would never read a Rooney, Owen, Gerrard bio though... dull dull dull. Tried reading Arry Redknapp's book but zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...........

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Post by super_realist on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 2:27 pm

Can imagine footballers books would be atrocious, although I hear the ones from McGrath, Quinn and Cascarino were ok.


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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 2:40 pm

ben,
Pretty nice course by all accounts, playing very soft after bucketloads of rain (with more to come, so lift, clean and place yesterday at least) but greens supposed to be fantastic.
The sponsor must be happy, he signed up for another ten years.


Some sports books are terrific, but usually written by professional writers. But Simon Hughes' "A Lot Of Hard Yakka" is the best sports book I've read by a professional sportsman.

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 3:50 pm

McLaren wrote:Bob

Would you agree that if people like Williams - who are famous through someone elses achievements - are going to write books about those people, they should at least have the guts to reveal the juicy stuff?

The book will sell on the pretense of revealing things about Norman and Tiger and will of course fail to lead up to those expectations.

If by juicy you mean salacious gossip on the edge of what actually makes the achiever who he is, then no. If you mean providing insight on events and considered reasoning as to why they occurred or the effect they had, then yes. And in the latter case, that shouldn't require guts as it would be factual and defensible.
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Post by McLaren on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 4:37 pm

Why not both the gossip and the more revealing facts about how top players go about their lifes?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 4:38 pm

Play suspended in Mississippi, and won't resume for a while. This could very well be a 54-hole tournament, or possibly a Monday finish. Important for Brian Davis, especially, to continue to go low.

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Post by robopz on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 6:23 pm

Has it been settled? Is Bernd Weisberger Twitter's Secret Tour Pro?

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Post by super_realist on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 6:36 pm

McLaren wrote:Why not both the gossip and the more revealing facts about how top players go about their lifes?

Who cares Mac?


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Post by pedro on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 8:05 pm

McLaren wrote:Why not both the gossip and the more revealing facts about how top players go about their lifes?
Just follow Poulters Twitter account.

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Post by pedro on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 8:23 pm

McLaren wrote:Why not both the gossip and the more revealing facts about how top players go about their lifes?
Mac, here you go:
Honestly, this wraparound season sucks. It does, seriously, It's just, it's stupid. I still ain't figured out this FedEx - what does this FedEx Cup stuff do? It ain't doing nothing, but it is what it is. It's supposed to be the players' tour. It's Tim Finchem and them's tour is what it is. It's just golf after golf after golf. Ain't no time for hunting and fishing, man.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 8:29 pm

Health warning:
pedro is NOT making this up, and from a man (sort of) who cashed a $352K cheque here last year too!

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Post by GPB on Fri 06 Nov 2015, 11:01 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Play suspended in Mississippi, and won't resume for a while. This could very well be a 54-hole tournament, or possibly a Monday finish. Important for Brian Davis, especially, to continue to go low.

Monday Finish would not be good for "Ollie the Schniederjans" who starts 2nd stage Q-school on Tuesday.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 07 Nov 2015, 1:45 am

And not just O the S, I think.
That's a wet course they're playing though, so imagine any scenario will be on the table if play is significantly affected Saturday.

Rain in China too, but it looks like they're up and running. Lots to play for, there and here.

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Post by super_realist on Sat 07 Nov 2015, 8:33 am

pedro wrote:
McLaren wrote:Why not both the gossip and the more revealing facts about how top players go about their lifes?
Mac, here you go:
Honestly, this wraparound season sucks. It does, seriously, It's just, it's stupid. I still ain't figured out this FedEx - what does this FedEx Cup stuff do? It ain't doing nothing, but it is what it is. It's supposed to be the players' tour. It's Tim Finchem and them's tour is what it is. It's just golf after golf after golf. Ain't no time for hunting and fishing, man.

Shocking grammar. Which redneck was that? Boo Weekley?

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