PGA Tour: Road Trip to Mexico: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 11 Nov 2015, 5:52 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).How would you feel if you followed two golfers for five years and, just when they're ready to take the next step, you bottle out and place your bets elsewhere; then watch them finish a WGC event in first place and runner up? That's kinda how I felt when Knox and Kisner took that next step to complete surely the most surprising one, two finish in a WGC or Major since Kevin Sutherland beat Scott McCarron in the Match Play, about fifteen years ago.
Fact is, I wouldn't have chosen Knox and Kisner for such a breakthrough week in a month of Sundays, but good for them - and let the Russell Knox for Europe's Ryder Cup Team debate begin.

2).Did Knox and Kisner just play out of their skins at the WGC-"Champions", or were they given huge assists by no-shows and lack-lustre "efforts" from the remaining galacticos? Probably a bit of both, but I know I won't be picking either of them for a US-based WGC or Major, not for the next eight months anyway. (PS: Wish they'd change the name of that WGC but at least Russell Knox will be a "Champion" next time round.)

3).Closer to the Tour's home, Peter Malnati was the last man standing in Mississippi and took home the Sanderson Farms chicken. Like winning the lottery for Malnati as the Tour's nearly men stumbled through Round 4 and handed the trophy to the guy who concentrated on fairways and greens, and holed almost 500 foot of putts. Would've thunk it?

4).Knox and Malnati play together this week at Mayakoba, grouped with Matt Kuchar. Knox will be the only man to play each of the first five tournaments of the new PGA Tour season.

5).As for Kuchar, he's one of a number of golfers on the World Rankings slippery slope trying to rediscover past glories. And he'll be doing it with a new caddie as he and Lance Bennett have parted ways after a long partnership. Kuchar misses about one cut per year but no Tour wins in 2015 spells change. Instead, he'll have Hunter Mahan's long-time caddie, John Wood, on the bag. John Wood and Hunner have been together for at least eight years, but Wood caddied for Bill Haas at the Presidents Cup and no real surprise that he's now moving on.
One of the more amusing memories from their work together is the "Jake's Takes" NBC segment on Tour caddies that ran a year or two ago. One of the cameos featured Wood describing how arduous a caddie's life could be, carrying a heavy bag in all elements - he was lugging the Tour bag, weighed down with rain gear, on a treadmill going at various speeds while Hunner was shown with a hosepipe, drenching Wood, umbrella, club cover and all. Made me chortle anyway.

6).Keegan Bradley, Cabrera, Clark, Dufner, Harris English, Graeme McDowell, Ogilvy, Todd and several others join Kuchar in the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately flight at Mayakoba. And the European challenge includes Gonzalo F'dez, Nacho Elvira and most of the usual suspects. One suspects that it will be a journeyman who leaves this lot behind as this tournament tends to be a one-off. For once the European Tour's points yield for the winner is double the PGA Tour reward.

7).Amid the discussion about Knox's Ryder Cup options, the shape of the US qualifying rankings has been left unmentioned, but this is the current Top Twelve following last week's WGC:
Spieth, Dustin, Zach, Fowler, Mickelson, Kisner, Bubba, Koepka, Holmes, Furyk, Reed, Streb.

8).On the Champions Tour, Bernhard Langer lost the 72-hole Schwab Championship last week, in a play-off with Billy Andrade. But he took home the $1M annuity that goes to the winner of the season-long Schwab Cup as the challenge of Montgomerie and Maggert fizzled.
Langer apparently keeps himself in fantastic shape - the skin on his face seems stretched as tight as Niki Lauda's these days, but now he has to contend with anchoring aweigh as well as Father Time. Remarkable second wind to his career whatever happens.

9).web.com Stage Two qualifying is taking place this week and next - no significant European Tourists entered and that seems to be the trend as there is no incentive for Europeans to up sticks unless they are based here.

10).As mentioned, Graeme McDowell tees it up in Mexico this week, his first appearance there for eight years. A year of golfing futility has seen a Tiger-like plummet from 15 in the World Rankings a year ago to the depths of #85 now, out of the Top 100 by year's end if he's not careful. It's a year since his last Top 15 finish on Tour and he placed golf in its rightful place as he took time out for his first fatherhood responsibilities.
But perhaps he also took time out for some Martin Kaymer-like celebrations - "It's very important that if you have big wins you enjoy them, so they have a meaning to you. For me, that's the best way to enjoy." "I practiced less!"
It been a year since Ryder Cup glory and almost eighteen months since his last win. A top result this week would be a good start or he'll risk seeing his brilliant future unfulfilled.

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Post by McLaren on Wed 18 Nov 2015, 4:25 pm

Will the Olympic golf event offer OWGR points?
McLaren
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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 18 Nov 2015, 6:51 pm

Can't see why.
Does the ATP award points for Olympic performance?


In Q-School Ollie the Schneiderjans had a rotten first round, 68th of 75 competitors, seven strokes adrift of the qualifying pace. Three rounds to make up for lost ground - if he's any good he'll do it. But so many Golden Balls come out of college and flunk their first q-school attempts.
EDIT: Walker Cupper Hunter stewart fared even worse. He finished 10th in Mayakoba, earning himself a place in this week's RSM field. But instead he went to Q-School and shot 77, 71st out of 78 starters and also seven shots in arrears of qualifying pace. One-time hot-shot Ben Kohles managed to come last.

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Post by robopz on Wed 18 Nov 2015, 7:48 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Strange posting that, Mac. He played pretty darn well in Mexico. Would expect him back in the owgr Top Fifty sooner rather than later.

Surprised to see Russell Knox's name is yet to be included in the Ryder Cup World Points list - does that indicate that bureaucracy is holding up his (assumed) application to join? Those 12 points he earned in Mexico might be important in the months ahead.
My PGA Tour source indicated to me that Knox was not eligible to join the Euro Tour until AFTER this season ends... and then he would be eligible for points.

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Post by robopz on Wed 18 Nov 2015, 7:56 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Interesting comments from Adam Scott, suggesting he might not go to Rio even if he qualifies for the Aussie Olympic Team.
"I've been pretty open and outspoken that it's not really a priority of my scheduling next year, which is based around the Majors, and if the Olympics fits in then it does. There is a gap in the schedule there . . . some time off sounds quite good actually."
etc, etc.

He goes on to criticise the format and the quality of the potential field, and doesn't see how it is likely to enhance or grow the game.

Well said Adam, agree 100% - have never seen the point of sports in the Olympics that don't recognize Olympic achievement is the pinnacle of the athlete's career.

Trying to figure out which Translation or amalgam of the below is correct:

Translation #1: Nobody consulted with me... so if the timing or format doesn't meet my fancy... then pffffffftttt!!!!

Translation #2: Since I'm probably not gonna qualify anyway... let me play this not so thinly veiled preemptive sour-grapes card...

Translation #3: Represent Home and Country? Pffffft... what's in it for me?

Translation #4: HA... and you didn't think I could out-Sergio Sergio in the aloof department did you?

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Post by pedro on Wed 18 Nov 2015, 8:10 pm

I always slam the nauseating political correctness of golfers and the golfing world and I should be delighted with such apparent honest comments from Scott. But I think robo is right on #1-3 and IMO Scott comes across as a bit of a d!ck on this. Think he has spent too much time with Steve Williams.

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