PGA Tour: Standing on a Corner in Phoenix Arizona: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 02 Feb 2016, 7:01 pm

1).OK, So they won't be playing at Winslow, but had to get a Glenn Frey reference in here somewhere.

2).Pristine conditions didn't last in San Diego, where Sneds was right, Round 4 WAS like playing an "Open Championship on a US Open set-up"; but no such concerns this week in Phoenix, the only wind and p1ss likely to come from the NBC commentary booth. Last year was the first playing of the "Waste Management Phoenix Open" since Weiskopf tweaked his TPC Scottsdale design; it still largely played under par for the week, the grip-it-and-rip-it tee balls still not enough to win unless you had a top notch short game.

3).It's not clear where Snedeker's round of 69 stands in the pantheon of extraordinary rounds (compared to the rest of the field); I suspect the lack of a "league table" to detail that infers that it was very, very, very good, but not quite so sh1t hot as one or two others, including recent rounds like Furyk's 59 and Holmes's 62 at Doral last year.
And the scores of those finishing Monday were slightly better than those who signed off on Sunday suggesting that, although the leaders seemed to make heavy weather of their final 8 holes, conditions during Snedeker's round were at least as challenging. Final round average was 77.9 strokes, the "second-toughest, non-major final round on the PGA Tour of the last 25 years" according to the Golf Channel.

4).Sneeedeker is now up to 3rd in the early season Ryder Cup standings. OK by me; I like Sneds but he was a bit of a weak link at Medinah with a won-one, lost-one in team matches with Furyk against McIlroy and McDowell, but then getting duffed up by Paul Lawrie in the singles.

5).And, speaking of Furyk, he's undergoing wrist surgery so that his five-month absence will be extended at least another three months. With Stenson saying he'll miss the WGC: MatchPlay and Furyk now out, it'll be golfers in the Top 66 of owgr positions who get to play the MatchPlay in March.

6).Branden Grace's win in Qatar elevates him to the short list du jour for the Colin Montgomerie trophy as best player without a major, presumably along with Fowler and Stenson.
Could be a poisoned chalice for Grace if he wins a Major, though; unless I've missed something, Retief Goosen in 2003 is the last time a South African won a Major and went on to win again on the PGA Tour, with Immelman, Oosthuizen, Schwartzel and Els all going winless since their last Major.

7).Still no announcement from the R&A as to the venue for the 2020 & 2021 Opens, and doesn't each passing day suggest that their statement that Turnberry was never considered for either not look increasingly disingenuous?
St.Andrews will get one, and they'll also host the 2018 Senior Open, following Carnoustie this year, Porthcawl next. Expect US participation to increase accordingly.

8).Talking of Seniors, Bob Estes turns 50 today. Can't imagine there's a Top 50 career money-winner who's less well known than Estes, even after 600+ tournaments and four wins. Once one of the Tour's slowest players, unaffectionately nicknamed RoboPro, he joins Todd Hamilton and Craig Parry now eligible to make their Champions Tour debut.  

9).Some speculation that Arnold Palmer is not in the best of health; will he appear at Bay Hill in six weeks' time?

10).Jason Dufner and Brandt Snedeker combined to win the Shark Shoot-Out in December, and now both have won, in consecutive weeks. Both play this week; Koepka is defending his title but his form has been inconsistent.
Great to see Paul Dunne joining Harrington and Lowry. Fancy all three more at Pebble Beach rather than Phoenix where Martin Laird had every chance to win last year.
This has been a very happy hunting ground for Bubba Watson and would be shocked if he didn't contend (win?) this week, while Kevin Na has a fine record here and streaky Billy Horschel has started to string good results together.
Stop Press: Good news for Lincoln's David Skinns who has Monday Qualified for his third career Tour start. If he does half as well as debutant Paul Dunne did last week, he'll have done very well. Good luck to him.


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Post by McLaren on Wed 03 Feb 2016, 11:11 am

Kwini

Grace has yet to crack the OWGR top 10, can he really be considered as one of the best players never to have won a major?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 03 Feb 2016, 11:46 am

He will be in a couple of weeks, Mac. And I DID say "du jour"; Difficult to make a case for anyone other than those three at the moment, though I'm sure you'll try.


Perhaps I was being a touch optimistic thinking there'd be no weather interference at TPC Scottsdale this week. Quite possible there could be a frost delay first thing Thursday morning, and that would likely have a ripple effect at least into Friday. Nothing serious though.

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Post by hend085 on Wed 03 Feb 2016, 12:17 pm

great write up! thats a remarkable stat re South African major jinx!

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Post by McLaren on Wed 03 Feb 2016, 12:38 pm

Kwini

It would certainly be well short of a surprise if Grace won a major this season. It would be more surprising if Sergio, Donald or Westwood finally got one.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 03 Feb 2016, 12:53 pm

Cheers hend0,
Looking forward to seeing how St.Padraig does this week - should have stood on the podium in Phoenix three years ago, and he certainly has flashed some form in Hawaii - can he continue that? Playing with Matsuyama Thursday and Friday, should suit Padraig!


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Post by Bob_the_Job on Wed 03 Feb 2016, 1:37 pm

Cheers Kwini - time for you to Take it Easy until the next write up.

I'd guess you'd include Garcia and DJ in that list for the Monty Trophy, both having come close - I still think DJ will do it, but Garcia will win one when Hell Freezes Over. But The Heat is On Grace for sure.

Wondering how Padraig will do in any given tournament is an exercise in futility - not even Padraig knows. But I'll be watching on TV and One of These Nights Padraig will be back living Life in the Fast Lane - we all know he's not the New Kid in Town, but in the Long Run he knows how to Take it to the Limit....
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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 03 Feb 2016, 2:33 pm

I'm sure super_ would refer to Padraig's Lyin' Eyes; in the meantime he's probably staying in the Hotel Arizona, drinking Tequila Sunrises trying to get over his Smugglers' Blues.

Good point on Golf Channel that Furyk must be Desperado to be fully fit and road-tested in time for the US Open at Oakmont, which is Sunny Jim's de facto local Major course, and along w/Tiger had only himself to blame not winning in 2007.

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Post by super_realist on Wed 03 Feb 2016, 2:43 pm

Reckon Snedeker, aka Cyclops must have some Oirish in him.

Actually had a software company come in the other week, and one of the guys doing a demo's eye's were very close together, guessed it before he even said a word that he was a Leprechaun

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Wed 03 Feb 2016, 3:44 pm

Did the diminutive stature, ginger beard and green hat not give it away too?

I'm sure you listed to his pitch in a respectful manner.
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Post by super_realist on Wed 03 Feb 2016, 3:53 pm

Bob_the_Job wrote:Did the diminutive stature, ginger beard and green hat not give it away too?

I'm sure you listed to his pitch in a respectful manner.

He was actually very good and a very clever chap, much better than the Scottish goon they had demonstrating the other bit.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 9:56 am

The ever popular arse wipe Gerry Watson.

http://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepage/2016/2/3/bubba-only-playing-tpc-scottsdale-t2-t2-for-his-sponsors.html

Apparently he only turned up in Phoenix for his sponsors and was so gracious in doing so.
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Post by Bob_the_Job on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 10:34 am

Gracious is certainly not the word that springs to mind when thinking of Bubba. That said, I have no issue in him criticising the changes to courses on the tour. That's his right as it affects his livelihood, and he does so from a position of knowledge, what with being a golf professional and all. CF with some on here have been very vocal and critical of changes to courses they've never played.....

I also think we all recognise that professional golfers sometimes have to do things and play tournaments they'd rather not due to sponsor commitments - all part and parcel of being a professional. But I agree, keeping your bunker shut when you don't like it should also be part of the professional code.
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Post by super_realist on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 10:39 am

I wonder if players have ever considered doing without sponsors. Someone like the ghastly Gerry Watson simply doesn't need them, they've got more money then they know what to do with, so if he's having to fulfil sponsor requirements that he'd rather not do, he's only got himself to blame. Plank.


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Post by Bob_the_Job on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 11:08 am

I suspect they need sponsors in the early days to fund their careers and to get sponsor invites, and if the sponsors are smart, they lock them in for a while to see some return on their investment. Then they get hooked on the huge money and feel they still need it. However, it would be interesting to see a top player go solo and independent.
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Post by golfermartin on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 11:16 am

They need sponsors to pay their management company, coach, psychologist, caddy, personal trainer, short game coach, and to get free balls, clubs, bags, clothes, gloves, watches. All the time you can get things for free, why would you pay? Just don't whinge about it!

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Post by super_realist on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 11:22 am

Watson, for example though, is mid thirties could easily do without sponsors if he finds Pro-Am's eats up into his bible thumping time.

There is a good deal they could do without in terms of people they had to pay if they could be bothered doing it themselves.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 11:41 am

bob

Why would Watson assume anyone cares whether or not he likes playing for the chance to win $1 million?

He has never said or done anything which suggests he knows the first thing about course design. He is a plonker and should keep he thoughts to himself. When you condemn all gay people you immediately lose any credibility.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 11:51 am

Mac,
I'm sure the question was asked in the context of Bubba having a fantastically consistent record at TPCS, plus he's a marquee player as far as press is concerned.
It certainly wasn't in the context of, "McLaren thinks you're a plonker and that you know nothing about course design. Having said that, what do you think of the changes Weiskopf has made?"

Ryan Moore pretty much went without sponsors for a while . . . . . .

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Post by skiddy on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 11:59 am

If Bubba wasnt a good golfer he would probably a homeless crackhead and thats an insult to homeless crackheads

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 12:37 pm

McLaren wrote:bob

Why would Watson assume anyone cares whether or not he likes playing for the chance to win $1 million?

I don't know - because somebody asked his opinion, then posted it, and then people like you pick up on it and repost it perhaps??  In the same vein, who would have thought anyone but Tiger's wife cared where Tiger stuck his...err.. tee peg?

McLaren wrote:bob
He has never said or done anything which suggests he knows the first thing about course design.

Well he's saying it now - is that not the point here?  So in summary you believe in "You've never before said you like cars so now you don't have the right to have a position on cars"??  

I would also contend as a professional golfer he understands more about championship course design than someone who just reads books about it - in the same way that many hackers know more about cyber security than college professors.

McLaren wrote:bob
He is a plonker and should keep he thoughts to himself.  

Pot - kettle anyone?

McLaren wrote:bob
When you condemn all gay people you immediately lose any credibility.
About golf course design? Really?  So if it turns out Doak or whoever it is you obsess over was homophobic, you'll be burning all his books and reversing your thinking on course design?
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Post by McLaren on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 1:01 pm

Bob

Yes, if you are homophobic it implies you lack any logic. You may have some true beliefs but you have probably just stumbled upon them rather using reasoning which would produce repeated good results. I am happy to discard the thoughts of some people based on one terrible belief that they hold. There are enough non-homophobic people in the world to use as sources of credible ideas without having to relay on those people who are homophobic.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 1:04 pm

skiddy,
That's a pretty offensive thing to say . . . . . . . . wonder how he feels about you. #tosspot.

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Post by super_realist on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 1:16 pm

McLaren wrote:Bob

Yes, if you are homophobic it implies you lack any logic.  You may have some true beliefs but you have probably just stumbled upon them rather using reasoning which would produce repeated good results.  I am happy to discard the thoughts of some people based on one terrible belief that they hold.  There are enough non-homophobic people in the world to use as sources of credible ideas without having to relay on those people who are homophobic.


That's an absurd stance Mac. It's unlikely you'd find a single person on earth who doesn't have one belief you deem to be terrible. Therefore, you must therefore not bother listening to anyone. If they aren't homophobic, you could probably find something objectionable about everyone.

For example, there are some things which Christopher Hitchens or Douglas Murray say which you might not agree with, but that doesn't mean everything you do agree with that they say can be discarded.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 1:21 pm

Super

Hitchens was good at rehashing the arguments against religion but I can find those same arguments, often made more convincingly, from other sources. Hitchens became very right wing and was clearly sexist.

Is anyone seeking out any work by Douglas Murray?


Kwini

A bit harsh. I don't think we should use the homeless as a mark of being a terrible person, but it remains true that Gerry is a horrible right wing religious bigot.
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Post by Bob_the_Job on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 1:27 pm

McLaren wrote:Bob


Yes, if you are homophobic it implies you lack any logic.  You may have some true beliefs but you have probably just stumbled upon them rather using reasoning which would produce repeated good results.  I am happy to discard the thoughts of some people based on one terrible belief that they hold.  There are enough non-homophobic people in the world to use as sources of credible ideas without having to relay on those people who are homophobic.


Sorry Kwini for hijacking your thread...
I dislike homophobia, but saying it implies a lack of logic is quite possibly the most stupid thing you've said, and to be honest, I thought you'd already bottomed out on that (no pun intended).

But since you've pressed others in the past to answer direct questions, answer mine - if it transpires that Doak is homophobic do you then think it makes all his views and ideas on course design invalid?  And further more, do you know for a fact that he's not homophobic or do you just hold his ideas in such high esteem through your ignorance on the matter (being non-homophobic you'll agree that's the only logical conclusion)?
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Post by super_realist on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 1:29 pm

Mac, It seems that you completely lack tolerance, which goes against everything you claim to believe in.

What makes you think Hitchens was sexist?

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Post by McLaren on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 1:32 pm

Bob

I am intrigued, could you please present the logical argument for supporting homophobia?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 1:37 pm

Mac,
You hi-jack every thread.

One might very well say that, if you removed right-wing, religious bigots from the PGA Tour (or the commentary boxes and architect ranks for that matter), the ranks of those remaining would look pretty thin.

Bubba may well have some pretty intolerant views but seriously doubt he's in the bottom quartile in that respect. So long as he brings up his children with slightly more enlightened views (sure Angie will take care of that), he'll have done alright in my book.

PS: Hope he plays well this week; I'd love to hear him get into a p1ssing contest with Weiskopf - who is probably far to Watson's right . . . . . . . .

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 1:40 pm

McLaren wrote:Bob

I am intrigued, could you please present the logical argument for supporting homophobia?

As far as I'm concerned there isn't one, but perhaps you could answer my question, you know since I asked first. Then if it hasn't sunk in that you've mouthed off and trapped yourself in a corner (and trust me, everyone else on this board knows this is what you've done), by all means say something else equally stupid.
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Post by McLaren on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 1:45 pm

Kwini

I am happy to move anything you request to off topic. thumbsup ( so check out off topic bob)

Just make sure you get some cut and thrust golf debate going. Sometimes the weather update isn't enough to inspire debate. Whistle
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Post by Bob_the_Job on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 1:52 pm

Don't think I'll bother - it's no fun pummeling the impaired.

Back to golf - I really dislike the 16th at this event, and the way the commentators go on and on about the atmosphere and how it's golf really letting it's hair down. I find it all cringe worthy, and suspect a lot of the players deep down don't like it either.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 2:01 pm

Mac,
I'm suspecting there's increasingly little stomach for "cut and thrust golf debate" on here. Perhaps if you moderated the incessant negativity of your rhetoric, the golf fans might return. Or at least initiated a McLaren thread . . . . . . . your own little homeless camp, skiddy invited of course.


Meanwhile, here's a "weather update":
Start of play today delayed by 30 minutes due to frost on the course. As speculated this time yesterday.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 2:04 pm

Bob,
I agree about the 16th circus, an unattractive hole attracting seemingly unattractive hordes. Might be fun for an hour, but it seems increasingly to define the tournament. Pretty ridiculous.

They bang on about record crowds, but they mostly seem funnelled to the 16th - probably a good course to follow 17 holes on.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 2:05 pm

Kwini

I was just messing, sorry if I upset you.  Hug


I really enjoy your thread.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 2:08 pm

Sad news posted by Ian Poulter, the death of Dave Renwick.
Carried more bags than the average US politician.
A lot of grieving in the Pro shop and Caddy shack . . . . . .

More: http://www.golfdigest.com/story/dave-renwick-caddie-to-three-major-winners-dies-at-62

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Post by McLaren on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 2:20 pm

Anyone know if another caddie has won majors with three different players.

Did Stevie Williams win with Norman, Tiger and Scott?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 2:23 pm

John Huggan in that article I linked said Dave Musgrove has.
Not sure who Norman had. Pete Bender? Tony Navarro?? Don't know.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 2:29 pm

"Tragically, he was asleep at the wheel of a car in which two of his fellow caddies died as he drove home overnight from a tournament in France"

That is bloody rough. Plus a detached Retina after a night out in Edinburgh. He should have been Allenby's caddie.
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Post by Bob_the_Job on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 3:06 pm

"As a mark of respect, players, caddies, media and officials wore black ribbons during the second round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic." Seems Golf Digest have a time machine.

Sad story though.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 3:44 pm

An hour's frost delay but the boys are on the move, Martin Laird first out of the traps. Fell foul of another player in his Sunday group getting bad times and Laird losing focus on the final few holes. A bit like Stenson at Bay Hill, Harrington all those years ago at Firestone.
Better luck this year Martin.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 4:58 pm

I know some of you don't much care for the secret tour pro but we don't often get the opinion of any other pro's on the matters we discuss.

He was asked "how does Bubbas comments resonate in the locker room? On the outside he looks spoiled. Or just Bubba being Bubba?"

and responded

"@secrettourpro His comments belong in the same place as Rickies high tops! In the bin!"


(PS: I notice I only provided a link to Gerry's comments and no quote in my first post on the matter. To be clear his worst offence was not a criticism of the course but the implication that he couldn't be arsed to turn up and was only there to keep a sponsor happy. Which is of no help to the people trying to run the event or the fans who pay good money to hopefully see players at least try a little. I have no issue with players making controversial comments but if all they can come up with is ungrateful privileged drivel I will take even a monotone tiger press conference instead.)
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 5:26 pm

Mac,
Fair enough, but sometimes the pros need to speak out, though agree that his "only here because of my sponsors" rant was childish.
His criticism is of the changes Weiskopf made, and possibly a harbinger of things to come if the pros don't like the changes Weiskopf is contracted to make at Torrey Pines North.

As for the STP and the Undercover guy, I'd have much more respect for what they say if there was personal attribution; it seems Geoff Ogilvy is the only pro who criticises the Tour and its courses and gets away with it.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 6:58 pm

Heavyweight leaderboard with Phil and Shane tied for first.

It IS called Waist Management, right?

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Post by McLaren on Thu 04 Feb 2016, 7:45 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Heavyweight leaderboard with Phil and Shane tied for first.

It IS called Waist Management, right?


laughing
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Post by Shotrock on Fri 05 Feb 2016, 2:49 am

I've been to this tournament and it's not just the 16th hole that is crowded. Typically massive gate, but still easy enough to get around and find some prime viewing spots on the rest of the course.

The 16th requires special admission and is almost all (perhaps scratch almost) corporate invitation. Once a year is OK by me ... and if the contestants really didn't like it I'm sure they would vote via their attendance.

Rickie continues his form ... for a day at least.

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Fri 05 Feb 2016, 8:39 am

I like most of the rest of the course, although on TV the tee on 17 looks really close to the back of the grandstands on 16, and this year they seem to spoil the view more than in previous years.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 05 Feb 2016, 9:42 am

Happy 50th Birthday: Jose Maria Olazabal!!

As a WGHall of Fame member, he gets a free pass on the Champions Tour - it'll be interesting to see if he uses it.


Bad day at the office for Padraig (74) and Poults (+3 after 14 holes). Must do better.

And a bad day for Pepsi, as Keegan Bradley was penalized 2 strokes for playing his first hole with 15 clubs. Don't tell Miguel Angel Jimenez . . . . .

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Post by McLaren on Fri 05 Feb 2016, 10:09 am

Speaking of WGHall of Fame.

"You won't believe how many different states Tiger Woods qualifies for the Hall of Fame in"

http://www.golfdigest.com/story/you-wont-believe-how-many-different-states-tiger-woods-qualifies-for-the-hall-of-fame-in?mbid=social_twitter

Wow.
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Post by puligny on Fri 05 Feb 2016, 10:14 am

Watched some of the early feed on Sky showing 2 groups. Fowler group followed by Mickelson. Play was entertaining, and interesting after both F& M had played 8 holes starting from 10 they were both 5 under. M playing the better golf had holed what the commentators said was about 35' of putts to F 130'. Have to say Rickie looked terrific with the putter, and seemed as calm and controlled as anyone I've seen on a golf course - even so prone to a few misses.
Didn't see as far as Phil slipping up on his back 9 but very impressed as far as I watched (10 holes).

Assume sound was turned down on 16, as even tho it was am there is more noise in mother in laws care home at lunch time - and more animation!

Decided we will go back and play it in March, tho to date not been one of my favourites in Az.

Can we cut Bubba a bit of slack please. He sometimes says silly things - so do we all, but we don't get such a big audience judging us. He has some beliefs many of us don't share - so what, he's not making or dictating policy! If I swerved all my pals with crazy (even similar to Bubba) views it would be a very lonely hack round the golf course let alone anywhere else.

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