PGA Tour: Pebble Beach. If not the Best, Is it the Most Fun?: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 10 Feb 2016, 3:58 pm

1)."If I only had one more round to play, I would choose to play it at Pebble Beach."
So said Jack Nicklaus, and I wonder which course we'd choose to play our designated "last round" at?
A slightly different question from the excellent "If you could only play one course for the rest of your life, which would it be?" thread of a few months ago. Tough for me to argue against Pebble Beach. It's certainly NOT a collection of 18 great holes, but does have at least one very special Par-3, Par-4 and Par-5 to go along with drop dead gorgeous views of the Pacific.

2).This week the Pros play three courses Thursday thru Saturday, Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula CC; the top 70 and ties make the cut, but only the top 60 and ties get to play the final 18 holes at Pebble Beach on Sunday. Each course is relatively short (under 7,000 yds) by PGA Tour standards, and the weather forecast is good through Sunday. If we can get by the sycophantic drivel from commentators drooling over amateurs, whether captains of industry or just the 49'ers, we should have a most enjoyable tournament to look forward to.

3).As for Pebble Beach's iconic holes, I'd say the Par-4 8th is as good a Par-4 as there is anywhere, certainly the most "heroic" second shot for an amateur.
And how many Par-5 closing holes in golf are better than Pebble's 18th?
Best Par-3? The 7th must be on any short list and pgatour.com's Helen Ross has paid delightful homage:
http://www.pgatour.com/long-form/2016/02/09/pebble-beach-seventh-hole.html

4).Every TV broadcast showing anything to do with Pebble Beach seems to include US Open video of Tom Watson's chip-in on the 17th in 1982.
But equally important (and equally tinged with good fortune?) was Tom Kite's chip-in at #7 during his final round in 1992. The wind was howling, the 7th green was too firm for the conditions (as it seemed to be in 2010) and pars anywhere on the course were at a premium; Kite's chip nailed the pin at about the same speed as Watson's ten years earlier and dropped, and that slice of good fortune propelled the man with pebble glasses to US Open Champion at Pebble Beach.

5).Incidentally, the 17th received a facelift for this year's tournament, essentially the same hole but with redefinition of the bunkering and it looks as if they've enlarged the green. Looking forward to seeing that - it was almost unplayable during Round 4 of McDowell's US Open.

6).Rickie Fowler will be taking a breather this weekend, wondering perhaps how the Phoenix Open title slipped from his grasp. The publicity machine can't wait to anoint Rickie as a member of a Big Four, but they'll have to wait awhile. He's quoted by Paddy Power at 16/1 for The Masters, behind Spieth (9/2), McIlroy (13/2), Day (8's) and Watson (14/1). T.Woods is quoted at 33/1. Oosthuizen looks good e/w value at 66/1 . . . . .

7).Jose Maria Olazabal is among the 250/1 others; Olly turned 50 last Friday, and it occurred that there is now a pretty solid "team" of Europeans qualified for, or aspiring to, the US Champions Tour. Langer, Montgomerie, Olazabal, Jimenez, Woosie, Broadhurst, Lane, Lyle, even Forsbrand. Even Faldo.

8).The "AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am" tournament has plenty of repeat winners: Among those in this week's field Mickelson, Love, Snedeker and Dustin Johnson. Vijay's capable of stitching 2 or 3 good rounds together and he has a win, plus 3 x runner-up finishes, whilst Jimmy Walker, Spieth and Day all have fine records here. It's all the more surprising then that Graeme McDowell, who after all won a biggie here in 2010, and could use a return to his autumn form, has chosen to spend his week elsewhere. (Nick Watney too, runner up last year and several other good finishes, but awol this week.)

9).Talking of McDowell, his dismal form so far in 2016 has already seen him drop 15 places in the World Golf Rankings. Others who are plummeting include Adam Scott (6 places), Kuchar (6), Kaymer (6), Schwartzel (8), Lahiri (9), Henley (13), Mahan and Bradley (15 each).

10).I'll choose Pebble Beach for my last round, lunch (between 18's?) at the Beach & Tennis Club and spend a few nights in Carmel. Sounds perfect. And, if it happens to be set up as it will be for the 2019 US Open, so much the better

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Post by GPB on Thu 11 Feb 2016, 12:03 am

Looks like the Irish Open is taking lessons from the WMPO.

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/feb/10/golf-rory-mcilroy-irish-open-phoenix-open?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 11 Feb 2016, 3:29 am

Every European Tour event, in Europe at least, should learn from PGA Tournaments.
Not sure that "Phoenix" is the ideal model, especially for something like the Irish Open which moves from site to site - the one-off logistics for Phoenix would cost a lot of money to reinvent on a different site year-to-year. But great that Rory is thinking outside the European box.

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Post by pedro on Thu 11 Feb 2016, 2:12 pm

Made in Denmark Open created a sold out tournament plus one of the most memorable holes on the ET (Himmerland Hill). It took them just 2 or 3 years. It just shows it can be done.

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Post by super_realist on Thu 11 Feb 2016, 2:36 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Every European Tour event, in Europe at least, should learn from PGA Tournaments.
Not sure that "Phoenix" is the ideal model, especially for something like the Irish Open which moves from site to site - the one-off logistics for Phoenix would cost a lot of money to reinvent on a different site year-to-year. But great that Rory is thinking outside the European box.

A potato instead of a ball? Run Leprechaun

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Post by McLaren on Thu 11 Feb 2016, 5:30 pm

One way to get more people to turn up to European tour events might be playing them near large populations where golf is a popular (relatively speaking) sport.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 11 Feb 2016, 7:00 pm

Early starters making the AT&T turn and scoring is very good, Bronson Burgoon to the fore.

Jason Day over par - vertigo kicking in? Jordan Spieth even after 6. Jet lag? But he'll still likely shoot 12 under . . . .

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Post by Davie on Thu 11 Feb 2016, 8:35 pm

I've no doubt Shotrock will be along soon to tell us how both Bronson and Burgoon and perfectly normal names and Raycastle will be weeping that he only picked him as reserve!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 11 Feb 2016, 9:04 pm

Five hours since the first foursome went out and no-one has completed their round yet.

Bronson still Burgooning it out front.

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Post by Shotrock on Thu 11 Feb 2016, 9:09 pm

Davie - These names are acceptable, though not preferred. Appreciate you checking in since it's important we keep proper naming conventions in line.

Whenever I see a telecast of Pebble Beach, I only ever want to to play #16 at Cypress.

Justin doing damage.

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Post by pedro on Thu 11 Feb 2016, 10:24 pm

Bronson Burgoon sounds like a Chevy Chase character.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 11 Feb 2016, 11:55 pm

Paul Dunne outplaying compadres Harrington and Lowry in Round 1. How good can he be?


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Post by raycastleunited on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 11:58 am

GPB wrote:Looks like the Irish Open is taking lessons from the WMPO.

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/feb/10/golf-rory-mcilroy-irish-open-phoenix-open?

Thanks for sharing this. Also enjoyed reading the article on Wentworth on the same site, especially the comments below.

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Post by raycastleunited on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 12:36 pm

Thank you Kwini, great read this week (as always).

My golfing memories don't stretch back to Watson and Kite, but I do clearly remember the ridiculous 17th in McDowell's Open. It was suicide to attempt to hit the green, so players were deliberately aiming for the sand and trying to get up and down for par.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 1:04 pm

Cheers ray,
The 17th is one of those holes where an amateur sees all the trouble and distractions, a pro just lasers in on the target. When I played it, I won't say when, just that greens fees were $75.00!, the back section of the hourglass green was barely visible from the tee, a nightmare! (That USGA set up was ridiculous.)

Good start for Justin Rose on his first trip there; extra points for guessing who he would succeed as the last tournament "rookie" to win.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 1:18 pm

Round 1 scoring averages by course:
Pebble Beach (Par 72): 72.06
Spyglass (Par 72): 71.88
Monterey Peninslua (Par 70) (EDIT: Par 71, thanks to 1GG): 69.33

The star golfers are mostly playing Monterey Peninsula today so expect some movement up the leaderboard.


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 2:54 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by SetupDeterminesTheMotion on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 1:32 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Cheers ray,
The 17th is one of those holes where an amateur sees all the trouble and distractions, a pro just lasers in on the target. When I played it, I won't say when, just that greens fees were $75.00!, the back section of the hourglass green was barely visible from the tee, a nightmare! (That USGA set up was ridiculous.)

Good start for Justin Rose on his first trip there; extra points for guessing who he would succeed as the last tournament "rookie" to win.

Eldrick by any other name ??
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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 2:03 pm

Not Tont . . . . . He did finish 2nd at his first attempt, but struggled for a couple of years before winning.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 2:11 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Round 1 scoring averages by course:
Pebble Beach (Par 72): 72.06
Spyglass (Par 72): 71.88
Monterey Peninslua (Par 70): 69.33

The star golfers are mostly playing Monterey Peninsula today so expect some movement up the leaderboard.

Kwini, MP's playing as a par 71

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 2:53 pm

Aaahhh! Thanks Grumps, I was wondering why their stat's didn't equal their arithmetic. I'll edit before GPB gives me a hard time.

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 3:16 pm

Cheers Kwini

Caught a few minutes of the pro-am last night on TV - specifically @PB. It was really interesting to see how they'd set up the greens - when GMac won the US Open there I remember the 13th (I think) as being almost impossible to hit and hold, yet even the high h'cap ams we're staying on the green (albeit usually with their 3rd shot)
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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 3:26 pm

Probably the 14th, Bob, the 13th is a nothing hole, just a way to get from #12 to the long, dogleg Par-5 14th.

It's one of those greens that probably yields more disasters for pros, with their exacting standards, than it does for amateurs who can easily cop out by playing to the right of the green and chipping. Rather than go straight at the (tiny) landing area and missing by a %age point and being almost unplayable, especially left.
Not really a fair championship green and surprised that they haven't modified it slightly.

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 4:01 pm

You could be correct..and I originally typed 14th then second guessed myself Smile
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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 7:08 pm

Phil is seven under par after 10 Monterey Peninsula holes - two par fives remaining and Grumpers reminds me it's Par 71.
Work to do, but you can bet Phil's on 59 watch, even if we're not. Yet.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 7:48 pm

Yes, well, that's that then.
Bogey on a Par-5 and that pours cold water over Phil's excitement. (As it would.)

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Post by pedro on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 7:51 pm

Is Shane Lowry hosting this weeks Champions Tour event?

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Post by Shotrock on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 7:53 pm

Ol' FIGJAM Phil went on at length last week in a post-round interview how he's now truly "on plane" and obviously dialed in. Looks like there's some truth to that!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 10:00 pm

Disappointing end to Phil's round, but leading, or thereabouts, going in to two rounds at Pebble Beach probably matches his wildest dreams.

Another dismal tournament for Ian Poulter, +7 for the day with three holes to play. He'll need a decent tournament soon or the repo man will be after his Ferraris.

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Post by raycastleunited on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 10:39 pm

Just seen there's a guy playing at PB called Jerry Tarde!

How unfortunate. What were the parents thinking? Although surely if you get lumbered with such a foolish name you make sure everyone calls you Jeremy or Jez or anything other than Jerry.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 11:18 pm

ray,
I think he's the editor, or publisher, or tea boy at Golf Digest . . . . . . . . . !

A round of 60 at Monterey Peninsula by someone called Sung Kang - should've done that three weeks ago at the KoreaBuilder.

Nice work from Justin Rose, just off the pace.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Fri 12 Feb 2016, 11:40 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:ray,
I think he's the editor, or publisher, or tea boy at Golf Digest . . . . . . . . . !

A round of 60 at Monterey Peninsula by someone called Sung Kang - should've done that three weeks ago at the KoreaBuilder.

Nice work from Justin Rose, just off the pace.

Would have been a late 59 watch but couldn't get another birdie on the par 3 ninth. He's also top pick in Cat C; can you guess who's pick he is?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 13 Feb 2016, 12:36 am

Oh no, Not the bloke from the Proclaimers who's always "haver"ing . . . . . . . ?

Dismayed to see I have FIVE golfers on the Even Par bubble. If they go backwards, I'm rocketing in reverse.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 13 Feb 2016, 12:44 am

Looks superficially as if next week's soiree at Riviera will see the strongest field of the year so far.
Spieth, Rors, Bubba, DJ, Adam Scott, Sergio, Rosey, field is stacked!

Also:
Casey, Donald, Donaldson, Harrington, Molinari, Sullivan,

Sung Kang is 9th alternate . . . . .

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Post by pedro on Sat 13 Feb 2016, 9:15 am

Kang is #1 in cat. C so you would expect Mac picking him.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Sat 13 Feb 2016, 12:12 pm

raycastleunited wrote:Just seen there's a guy playing at PB called Jerry Tarde!

How unfortunate. What were the parents thinking? Although surely if you get lumbered with such a foolish name you make sure everyone calls you Jeremy or Jez or anything other than Jerry.

When the Olympic equestrienne Phillipa Nolan got married to Mr Funnell she made sure she is known as Pippa.

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Post by super_realist on Sat 13 Feb 2016, 12:39 pm

There was a chav couple in the paper once who had named their son Drew Peakcock.


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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 13 Feb 2016, 12:46 pm

Scoring more difficult on all three courses Friday.
Most of the big names now play Pebble Beach for two straight (if they make the cut) days - average score there yesterday: 73.00.

Cooer today, could be trouble with fog first thing, then breezier later.

PS: On the Champions Tour, the player with least "Chubb", Bernhard Langer, has a four stroke lead after Round 1. Man's a machine.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 13 Feb 2016, 2:56 pm

Jerry Tarde - a picture of the man himself:
https://twitter.com/GolfChannel/status/698512049807224832

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 13 Feb 2016, 4:05 pm

Round 3 delayed, provisionally for 30 minutes. Not sure if these applies for all three courses. And a half hour delay could be optimistic.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 13 Feb 2016, 4:40 pm

Balls in the air . . . .

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Post by super_realist on Sat 13 Feb 2016, 6:48 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Jerry Tarde - a picture of the man himself:
https://twitter.com/GolfChannel/status/698512049807224832

Looks like one too.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 14 Feb 2016, 11:49 am

No fog in the forecast, yet, so we should be in line for a 7.38 a.m. start, Pacific time.

Will Phil thrill?
Will Japanese golf reach a Iwata line?
Harrington's played well here in the past, can he challenge from his overnight T11?
Rose played PB for the first time yesterday - also T11 and can he improve on that?
Jason Day in the Top Ten, Spieth made Round 4 on the number.
Will Jimmy Walker improve upon yesterday's 63? (Hope so.)
Signs of life from Luke Donald, and wouldn't put it past Shane Lowry to get on a roll (super_ to add more specifics).
Will Poulter fall out of the owgr Top 60?

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Post by raycastleunited on Sun 14 Feb 2016, 1:39 pm

Sausage roll, Swiss roll, cheese roll?

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Sun 14 Feb 2016, 2:29 pm

All of the above

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 14 Feb 2016, 7:14 pm

No-one on a roll yet.
Not sure who's going to win this but the leaders are trying hard to lose it. Phil's game an ugly contrast to the swashbuckler who took Tiger to the cleaners here a few years ago.

Rosey in line for a good finish, Padraig slipping, Lukey treading water, Shane on the wrong kind of a roll, probably a bap.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Sun 14 Feb 2016, 9:57 pm

Commentators saying that a provisional tee shot hit by Phil could be a "practice shot". Bit sneaky if it was.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 14 Feb 2016, 10:22 pm

You know what they say about the rules of golf being giveth as well as taketh away . . . . . . . .

Not good enough today for Phil.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Sun 14 Feb 2016, 11:28 pm

Well that was an exciting finish. Well done Vaughn

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 15 Feb 2016, 5:44 pm

Well done indeed.

And he can add another tournament to his calendar as he's qualified for the newly minted "Dean & DeLuca Invitational", the new name for the Colonial tournament. I've known some DeLucas in my time but never Dean &, but they've signed up thru' 2021.
Well done to Timmy Finchem as well - where does he find these sponsors?

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Post by Shotrock on Mon 15 Feb 2016, 5:48 pm

Kwin - These sponsors, I'm sure, have been lining up for years. All money welcome on the big tour.


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