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

First topic message reminder :

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.


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Wed 03 Feb 2016, 12:32 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 08 Feb 2016, 9:54 pm

The thing is, GPB, he'd already smoked a 344 yard drive on #15, and that was without the benefit of running across a green. A 3-wood would have been plenty of club given how amped up he was.
Plus, it's not as if he didn't have the benefit of past history to know how risky his tee shot would be - only Sabbatini and, I think, Verplank had been in the drink on #17 more than Rickie over the last dozen or so years - now he's added two more to his total (9).

Your par/par point is a good one, but a high proportion of the field were making birdie so you'd've expected him to as well, especially given how sharp his short game was. A shame as he'd played so well.

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Post by pedro on Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:13 pm

He was leading by two on 17, wasn't he? No need to force a birdie. Even with a long iron he would have a wedge in and thus a decent birdie chance. Even if Hideki would make birdie and Rickie par, he'd still be 1 up on 18.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 08 Feb 2016, 10:47 pm

Nice piece here from Golf Channel about Joe LaCava:

http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golf-central-blog/lacava-turned-down-offers-work-other-players/?cid=twitter-gc-a-lacava-turned-down-other-players-020816

Sounds as if Tiger's paying him a retainer. A little bit surprised that he wouldn't moonlight with Freddie . . . . . . .

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Post by GPB on Mon 08 Feb 2016, 11:39 pm

Kwini:  Fowler hit 3 wood in the playoff and it went in the water.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 12:55 am

Of course, but he flushed his driver in "regulation"; had he flushed his 3-wood it would have been at least as good as Hideki's.

More likely, given his history on the hole, he thought he could take all trouble out of play with his driver. In the event, he brought trouble into play that he hadn't considered. But should have done.

He's got this week off and can't find the commitments for Riviera. Quite possible that he'll take three weeks off; not sure where his next best bet for a win is.

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Post by GPB on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 3:19 am

IMO, he didn't flush the Driver.  It looked to me like the 3-wood carried further than the Driver.

The problem was that the Driver shot landed far short of where it should have landed.  On the down-slope and it got a rocket turbo boost that went into the water.  If he had carried the ball 20 ft further, it would have landed on a level spot or an upslope.

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 11:42 am

I think it was damned if he did, damned if he didn't. If he'd gone conservative and dropped a shot to HM, then we'd have all been talking about bottling it (well some here would). The run out on the driver did look out of the ordinary, and with hindsight it seems the wrong selection, but at the time, I can see why he went for it. He erred on the side of aggression and got caught out - on another day he'd be 2 up on the 18th tee.
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Post by McLaren on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 12:30 pm

In the his post match press session, and through the tears, Rickie stated that he did not hit a full driver on the 17th but a cut shot with something taken off. Suggesting that he knew it was possible for driver to be too much club and that he needed to ensure that he did not hit it as far as he could.


Bob

The probability of a pro making worse than par on a 3 iron wedge is hole is pretty small. So, no. The iron play could not be legitimately criticised.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 12:55 pm

Rickie's cooling his jets this week but #1 and #2-elect are on the Monterey Peninsula, ready to recapture the spotlight (talking of "Spotlight", the film is terrific) and will do so in lovely weather conditions, though possibly a few degrees cooler than perfect.

Lots of course specialists, but a field of very uneven quality and all the web.com graduates (and plenty of "veteran) players will get an airing. Pity about the amateurs . . . . . . .

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Post by raycastleunited on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 3:37 pm

I think GBP has hit the nail on the head. The hole was playing like a long par 3, electing iron off the tee was putting him at a disadvantage to the field. Everyone would have slaughtered Rickie as a bottler if he'd laid up, finished par, par and then lost the play off.

Having said that, with a 2 shot lead he could have been safer with his line, aiming further right, and played 3 wood instead of driver. With the flag on the left of the green, a miss right would have left him plenty of room to get up and down.

On the tee, the conversation with his caddy was about taking the bunkers at 265 fully out of play. They believed 3 wood didn't do this, which is very surprising given how far he was smashing the driver. Don't think they factored in the extra adrenaline, surely this was the mistake.

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Post by raycastleunited on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 3:39 pm

I think it's unfortunate if Fowler's schedule means he won't play for a few weeks. One week off is ok but I think he needs to get straight back on the horse and banish any potential demons.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 3:46 pm

ray,
Announced this morning that Rickie has committed to "Honda". Don't want to mislead about Riviera, his website is down and I can't find "player commitments" for Riviera. So it would be maximum two weeks' off, at least one week.

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Post by McLaren on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 4:52 pm

When interviewed on the green after the play off Fowler said he would next play at the Honda.
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Post by GPB on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 6:21 pm

Rickie lives just a few miles North of Palm Beach Gardens were the Honda is played.

Virtual neighbors with Rory, and Tiger, and Jack, and the Shark and many other notables.

His probable upcoming schedule is Honda-Cadillac-off-Bay Hill-Dell Match Play-off-Masters

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Post by McLaren on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 6:42 pm

@APinv wrote:Arnold Palmer Inv.Verified account

Big player announcement coming soon! Stay tuned.  #GAMEONAPI #APinv


Tiger playing a warm up before the masters or something more mundane like Simba deciding to tee it up for arnie?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 6:57 pm

Has Arnie died?

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Post by McLaren on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 7:01 pm

Smile  

Maybe, would even super announce it that unsentimental a manner?
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Post by super_realist on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 7:03 pm

Be happy to Mac.
If we were betting on which golfer is the next to die, he'd have to be an early favourite.

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Post by McLaren on Tue 09 Feb 2016, 7:07 pm

APV player announcement and we know La Cava is still technically exclusively working for Tiger. Not a huge leap to suggest Tiger might be thinking of playing the APV.
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Post by raycastleunited on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 10:36 am

super_realist wrote:Be happy to Mac.
If we were betting on which golfer is the next to die, he'd have to be an early favourite.

Who are the other favourites? John Daly, Colt Knost, Lowry?

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Post by pedro on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 11:00 am

raycastleunited wrote:
super_realist wrote:Be happy to Mac.
If we were betting on which golfer is the next to die, he'd have to be an early favourite.

Who are the other favourites? John Daly, Colt Knost, Lowry?
Trump?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 11:57 am

Anything I can do to help, pedro?

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