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

First topic message reminder :

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 Mon 09 Nov 2015, 7:31 pm

So, you make a mistake at the age of 25 and have to pay for it the rest of your career?
One day Finchem will get fulfil his dream and have an all American Tour, with all those poxy University symbols up against each name!

If Knox wants to play for Europe, if he's good enough, he'll find a way. If not, it wasn't meant to be. Or Finchem screwed him.

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Post by Shotrock on Mon 09 Nov 2015, 7:31 pm

Another case of "the man" keeping a player down! Shocked

I'm guessing that if the RC was important enough to Knox he would join the ET asap (assuming he wants to represent the continent).

Also, the ET should change their rules: If you are a professional golfer and watch part of an ET event on TV you have satisfied your eligibility requirement.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 09 Nov 2015, 7:43 pm

That's the reason Europe keeps on winning - a bunch of ex-pats qualifying by virtue of watching the Golf Channel on TV?

Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh, I see!


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Post by Shotrock on Mon 09 Nov 2015, 7:58 pm

I hear that Kwini ... whatever the continent is doing so far is clearly working for them!!

Don't change a thing.

But how can you not feel sorry for these poor golfers that are forced to play on the US tour? My heart bleeds.

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Post by pedro on Mon 09 Nov 2015, 8:12 pm

Shotrock wrote:
Also, the ET should change their rules: If you are a professional golfer and watch part of an ET event on TV you have satisfied your eligibility requirement.
Take care what you wish for. It's clearly going that way. Before you know it Boo Weekley and JB Holmes will claim eligibility for the Euro RC team due to their Neanderthal heritage.

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Post by robopz on Mon 09 Nov 2015, 10:47 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:If Knox wants to play for Europe, if he's good enough, he'll find a way. If not, it wasn't meant to be. Or Finchem screwed him.
Of course it's up to Knox... sounds like he's in the rare postion of being able to make a CHOICE....

But I call BS on Finchem screwing anybody... The problem AIN'T with the PGA Tour of Finchem enforcing rules that have been in effect since the 70's. The big problem has been lousy management of the Euro Tour, building a tour on a house of cards... run by agents... dominated by appearance fees... failing to significantly capitalize on it's successful players... and chasing money in a willy-nilly scheduling fashion wherever they can find it regardless of how it destroys the "fabric" of the Tour itself. Thus the ET hasn't been able to COMPETE with the PGA Tour and provide the opportunity to it's home players like they can get in the states.

The effect is much of the best of Europe either comes over here for college and stay... or even if they return to Europe after college to start their careers (or turn pro early).. they high-tail it to the PGA Tour first chance their success allows them to do so.

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Post by pedro on Mon 09 Nov 2015, 11:19 pm

You're right about the ET robo. Don't really know when it started to go wrong for the ET, but probably with the advent of Tiger and the explosion of prize and sponsor money on the PGATour.

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Post by pedro on Mon 09 Nov 2015, 11:33 pm

And who the f*** is Peter Malnati?

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Post by robopz on Mon 09 Nov 2015, 11:45 pm

pedro wrote:You're right about the ET robo. Don't really know when it started to go wrong for the ET, but probably with the advent of Tiger and the explosion of prize and sponsor money on the PGATour.
I hate to say it pedro... but that's what I've come to believe it is. And look... I'm NOT one of those snotty American Euro bashers... IMO the BEST thing for golf would be a STRONG Euro Tour that can keep it's best playing a strong schedule "at home"... and then feeding the best of theirs... along with the rest of the worlds best to the 8-10 "world level" events (like the WGC's/majors now). IMO that's what's best for fans in all regions, and serves world golf the best.

But this globe hopping mess the ET has got itself into, and seems bent on furthering seems to run contrary to "staying home". As it stands now... a dual PGAT/Euro player from UK or Europe hardly gets to play at home at all. He's almost got to play at least half if not a majority of his events in the Middle East, and/or far East. I just don't see how that's going to do anything to stem the exodus of it's "cream" to either dual tour, if not full time tour on the PGAT.

I'm actually believing this new model they're doing with Rory hosting the Irish, Lawrie with his event, rotating the Euro Masters between Poulter, Luke and whoever else is a HUGE step in the right direction. IMO another big element is getting the communities and local interests to buy in make those events theirs, and thus less subject to whims of some sponsor or management group that "owns it".

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 10 Nov 2015, 1:32 am

robo,
Agree with all you say, and I'm the first to say that Finchem is a genius. But too much of a good thing is very definitely too much of a good thing, power corrupts and all that.

I'm inclined to feel that he's going ott on a few of these changes, and today brings the thought that he might be closing the door even more on outsiders on the Champions Tour.

My view is that O'Grady ensured that the European Tour hit rock bottom and that better days are coming. You suggest that and I sincerely hope it's true, not just for the health of the E.T. but also for the PGA Tour which has become all so SEC/ACC and all that crap.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 10 Nov 2015, 2:33 pm

The new chapter in Brian Davis's career:
Second "alternate" for Mayakoba; told that withdrawals had created spots in the field which he accepted. Bumped back out again when lower-ranked alternates leap-frogged Davis with Sanderson Farms Top Ten finishes. Now back to second alternate. He'll get in to the McGladrey field as they're using two Sea Island courses to accommodate A larger field, but Brian Davis is facing a whole new look at the facts of his life.
PS: His putting disintegrated in Rounds 3 & 4, otherwise he'd've had a Top Ten himself.

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Post by GPB on Tue 10 Nov 2015, 2:47 pm

Kwini, Because of the Monday finish in Mississippi, Web-com Q-school let Ollie the Schniederjans switch his qualifying site from this week in Florida to next week in California.

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Post by pedro on Tue 10 Nov 2015, 2:52 pm

Mayakoba is not the worst place to be second alternate. I'd just hang around for the weekend, just in case. appletini Whisky PGA Tour: WGC-HSBC "Champions" / Sandersons Farms Championship: Notes from the Ballwasher - Page 3 4278589029

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 10 Nov 2015, 3:04 pm

Thanks for that update, GPB.
Schneiderjeans is making heavy weather of his Tour opportunities, but doubt he'll be lacking in more sponsor invites.


Too true pedro, the Tour goes to some nice places . . . . Bubbly





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Post by GPB on Tue 10 Nov 2015, 3:30 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Thanks for that update, GPB.
Schneiderjeans is making heavy weather of his Tour opportunities, but doubt he'll be lacking in more sponsor invites.

Just like any golfer, he only gets Seven sponsors invites to PGATournaments unless he gets to 361 Faux FEX points.

He has three Invites already and only 64 Faux Pts.

He can always go with the Monday qualifying route.

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Post by robopz on Tue 10 Nov 2015, 9:32 pm

I have a contact at the PGA of A and asked on the  Russell Knox RC "which team" thing for a clarification  When they first replied they said they couldn't respond because the situation hadn't been resolved, but now apparently it has been.

Knox was asked after winning the WGC-HSBC what his preference would be and he said he'd "dearly love to play for Europe if the opportunity arose".  

Obviously, to be able to do that, he’d have to take up Membership of The European Tour which he can’t do just yet, he’d have to wait until the start of our 2016 season which begins the week after next in South Africa.

If he in fact joins the ET (which is still not certain), he is eligible to pick up RC ranking points, but not before which means, unfortunately for him, his win in China won’t count in terms of points.

So at this point... the PGA of A is considering Knox as a European player as far RC eligibility is concerned.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 10 Nov 2015, 10:10 pm

thumbsup Thanks robo,

All impediments notwithstanding, I reckon Knox could do this successfully, even if just for a few pre-family years.
Ryder Cup participation has to be earned, even for the Europeans (I can hear Shotrock saying).

Interesting stuff on the Champions Tour Play-Offs, looking forward to seeing the fine print. Perhaps a sneaky move to shift seniors along to the Champions Tour and not clog up PGA Tour fields. Davis, Miguel, Vijay.

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Post by super_realist on Tue 10 Nov 2015, 10:20 pm

Even if America were to start winning, it just seems such a joyless, disjointed and shambles of institution to be part of.
A herd of guys all keen to get the glory individually rather than work collectively as a team. No wonder Knox wouldn't want to be part of it.

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Post by robopz on Tue 10 Nov 2015, 11:27 pm

kwinigolfer wrote: thumbsup Thanks robo,

All impediments notwithstanding, I reckon Knox could do this successfully, even if just for a few pre-family years.
Ryder Cup participation has to be earned, even for the Europeans (I can hear Shotrock saying).
He could... and yes the impediments are great... especially with his WGC win not being retroactive towards European points...  

Personally, I think it would be a big mistake for Knox to try to qualify for the ET Ryder Cup team this time around. It appears gamewise he's finally coming into his own now and IMO he'd be better off concentrating on continuing to get BETTER instead of screwing around with his schedule to try to obtain something that's probably out of his reach at this point anyway.  I mean lets get real here... GREAT win for Knox, but this is still only his 4th top-10 of the entire year... hardly the resume of somebody that seems to be a prime candidate for "successful" dual touring at this point.

Next time around... if he's getting more consistent better results, staying WGC and Major eligible, and with the expected new ET event count rules...  probably a different story.

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Post by robopz on Tue 10 Nov 2015, 11:46 pm

kwinigolfer wrote: Interesting stuff on the Champions Tour Play-Offs, looking forward to seeing the fine print. Perhaps a sneaky move to shift seniors along to the Champions Tour and not clog up PGA Tour fields. Davis, Miguel, Vijay.
Hmmm... hadn't thought of the "shift" aspect of it all. My guess is it's just a reflection of the PGAT having found value in the FECup... and with an obviously willing 20-year partner in Schwab in the fold.. it adds some "oomph" to the Champo Tour.  

But that said, my experiences suggests they may not always think of everything, but not much escapes the thought/planning process in Ponte Vedre. So I'd guess the possibility of keeping a few 50-somethings otherwise occupied and out of the Fall series events and thus creating more playing spots for Webbies and the like was probably noted.  

Which brings up another "fall playing" issue... PGAT has had big issues getting the fields around the golf courses this fall, even without the rain issues they've had.  3 Events so far have had early rounds curtailed by darkness without rain issues.  But the last thing they want to do is shorten those fields any, except for maybe Sanderson Farms which went 30+ spots past the Webbie category anyway.  I know its a pain in the rear... but might be a good thing to see the fall events go dual-course like RMS (McGladry) is doing. That way they would not only get play in, but could expand their fields to 156.  It worked fine in Vegas for lots of years... Silverado has 36-holes... and there's a couple of nice championship caliber courses just a couple miles minutes N of Mayakoba...

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Post by robopz on Tue 10 Nov 2015, 11:59 pm

super_realist wrote:Even if America were to start winning, it just seems such a joyless, disjointed and shambles of  institution to be part of.
A herd of guys all keen to get the glory individually rather than work collectively as a team. No wonder Knox wouldn't want to be part of it.
Appears to me the "joyless" problem lies elsewhere... furious

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 11 Nov 2015, 1:33 am

Anything new on the notion of a Tour event in Cabo, robo?

Plus: Some top players turning 50 in the coming 18 months; Stricker, Estes, Mayfair, Toms, Kelly, Petrovic, etc, etc.

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Post by pedro on Wed 11 Nov 2015, 10:46 am

Interesting they start to kick out the 50+'s when they actually start winning something (Davis Love).

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Post by Shotrock on Wed 11 Nov 2015, 2:11 pm

Who is kicking out the 50+'s?

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Post by pedro on Wed 11 Nov 2015, 2:48 pm

Shotrock wrote:Who is kicking out the 50+'s?
Nudge rather. With the new Champions Tour play-off system and bonuses. Don’t you think?

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Post by Shotrock on Wed 11 Nov 2015, 3:30 pm

They can certainly ignore the fossil tour if they so choose, but I can understand the appeal it has for those aging in!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 11 Nov 2015, 3:32 pm

Some of us are ageing out . . . . . .

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Post by pedro on Wed 11 Nov 2015, 3:38 pm

And the Champions Tour has finally come of age...

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Post by GPB on Wed 11 Nov 2015, 10:51 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Anything new on the notion of a Tour event in Cabo, robo?

Plus: Some top players turning 50 in the coming 18 months; Stricker, Estes, Mayfair, Toms, Kelly, Petrovic, etc, etc.

John Daly has more majors than those 6 players put together. Less than 6 months until his 50th.

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Post by LadyPutt on Thu 12 Nov 2015, 12:04 pm

GPB wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Anything new on the notion of a Tour event in Cabo, robo?

Plus: Some top players turning 50 in the coming 18 months; Stricker, Estes, Mayfair, Toms, Kelly, Petrovic, etc, etc.

John Daly has more majors than those 6 players put together.  Less than 6 months until his 50th.
When I met JD about a year ago (yes, I know, name dropping - but he was on a promotional tour around the UK and visited a local golf club where I found him to be a very genial, honest. approachable and entertaining man ... and I have the signed photograph to prove it) he said he couldn't wait to join the Champions Tour where he could play with his "old buddies" and they didn't take themselves quite so seriously. Be interesting to see how he gets on.
LadyPutt
LadyPutt

Posts : 1055
Join date : 2011-01-27
Age : 68
Location : Fife, Scotland

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PGA Tour: WGC-HSBC "Champions" / Sandersons Farms Championship: Notes from the Ballwasher - Page 3 Empty Re: PGA Tour: WGC-HSBC "Champions" / Sandersons Farms Championship: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 12 Nov 2015, 12:23 pm

I wonder who his "old buddies" are though? Fuzzy Zoeller coming out of mothballs perhaps?

I just hope he treats his Champions Tour opportunity with more respect than he has recently on the various Tours he's patronised recently.

If Yes, he can be a tremendous asset.
If No, then there will most likely be tears and tantrums, not necessarily in that order.

kwinigolfer

Posts : 26230
Join date : 2011-05-18
Location : Vermont

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PGA Tour: WGC-HSBC "Champions" / Sandersons Farms Championship: Notes from the Ballwasher - Page 3 Empty Re: PGA Tour: WGC-HSBC "Champions" / Sandersons Farms Championship: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by AlciG on Thu 12 Nov 2015, 2:02 pm

robopz wrote:
Well... maybe "light years" go by quicker than he thought...

Or maybe he wasn't thinking as "light years" is a measurement of distance not time

AlciG

Posts : 605
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