PGA Tour: The California Riviera: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 17 Feb 2016, 4:21 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).Perfect conditions last weekend for the "AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am" but a shame that Sunday's round, by the overnight leaders at least, was more a war of attrition than a swashbuckling exhibition of risk/reward play that Phil Mickelson rewarded us with the last time he contended here.
On that occasion, in 2012, Phil started Round 4 six strokes off the lead and stormed through the first seven holes in five under par and shooting a 64 to win by two. The fact that he was grouped with Tiger (shot 75 for a T15 finish) made Phil's round all the more electrifying and he won his fourth "Crosby".

2).Alas, this was a below par Mickelson; he got off to a poor start and never asserted himself while others, initially Blixt but later Vaughn Taylor, seized the initiative.
Does this diminish Mickelson as a force to be reckoned with going forward? Not at all in my view; don't expect much from him in Florida but he'll surely be highly competitive at Augusta National, at the very least. And the PGA is back at Baltusrol where he won his (EDIT: Second!) Major.

3).In the event, Vaughn Taylor was the man who went out and won at Pebble Beach, clearly a surprise to everyone even though he played well there last year (10th).
For reasons that one can't articulately explain, there are middle-of-the-road (OK, more hard shoulder in Taylor's case) pros who I always take an interest in, and Taylor is one of them, partly due to the easy rhythm of his swing which makes one wonder why he struggles.  

4).Eighteen months ago Taylor had a scare when his fishing skiff capsized and he had to swim ashore battling the fast current from the Savannah River.
He missed earning "conditional status" on this year's Tour by a fraction, literally, of a FedEx point and played at Pebble Beach only as an alternate from his "Past Champion" status. The weekend before he had to w/d, suffering from a stomach virus, from a web.com event in Colombia, spending time in hospital hooked up to an I/V instead. Beware the ailing golfer indeed; all of a sudden he's 13th (very early days obviously) in Ryder Cup qualifying - he played in Ireland ten years ago.
Regardless, don't expect him to be using a carry-bag, as he did last weekend, instead of a Tour bag again anytime soon. Even pros sometimes take whatever steps are deemed necessary to save a buck or two.

5).This is the last weekend to qualify for the WGC-Cadillac Championship, at Doral in a fortnight, via the Top Ten in the Race to Dubai. Top ten so far:
Stenson, Grace, Willett, Charl, C-Bello, Wood, An, Sullivan, Pieters, Holman. With a good pay-day in Malaysia, the Maybank winner and, almost certainly, runner-up will qualify so Pieters and Holman could be bumped.
This Monday's, and the following Monday's owgr Top 50 qualify as do the Top ten in FedEx points as at Feb 29th.

6).The Tour is still undecided as to whether or not to return to Doral.
Meanwhile, Dean & Deluca have been announced as title sponsor of the "Colonial" tournament in Fort Worth.
And Northern Trust are being replaced next year as sponsor of the LA Open by Hyundai.
The musical chairs continue with Northern Trust replacing Barclays as sponsor of the first FedEx Play-Off event, but no announcement has yet been made about who will replace DeutscheBank as sponsor of FedEx Play-Off Round 2.
Speculation increases that the Play-Offs will be reduced from four events to three in light of concerns that the top players are being "overworked" prior to Ryder and President Cup action.

7).Riviera is one of the premier courses in America in general, on the PGA Tour certainly, and this week's field for the final "Northern Trust Open" in Los Angeles reflects the quality of the course and the history of the tournament.
It is the first Tour event to attract a truly international field this year with Messrs McIlroy, Scott, Schwartzel, Garcia, Wiesberger and Sullivan all making their 2016 debuts. Scott (2005 winner), Charl and Sergio (one of a handful who let victory slip through their fingers last year) all have good records here, whilst Casey is another who could've, should've won in 2015 instead of James Hahn.

8).Much will be made of Spieth and McIlroy being in the field together and it's a shame that Jason Day and Fowler are not joining them. Others from Team GB&I include:
Casey, Donald, Harrington, Laird, Owen and Justin Rose. Good finish in his Pebble Beach debut for Rose last week.
But Luke Donald made a complete horlicks of his 71st and 72nd holes, bogey/double bogey, which is just the sort of thing one sees from pros who are struggling; it's not the money that Luke needs, it's the points, owgr (currently 87th) and FedEx (120th), and that's the reason he'll be sitting at home watching the WGC's and Majors on the telly unless he can turn good golf into good results.  

9).Good news: Bernhard Langer won his 26th Champions Tour tournament this past week, ranking him 3rd in career Champo Tour wins. To put his achievement in perspective, no-one else born 1950 or later has more than Jay Haas's 17 wins.

10).Bad news: Have you seen Langer's putting style?
He uses a long putter which he holds out from his chest, but any gap is almost imperceptible and certainly can't see how anyone, playing competitor or official, can judge whether he's "anchoring" or not. I've never agreed with eliminating "anchoring", but rules is rules and Langer seems to be ensuring no-one can tell whether his stroke is within the rules or not. It looks for all the world as if he's taking the p1ss, two Germanic fingers in the direction of Golf Officialdom while he laughs all the way to the bank.


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Wed 24 Feb 2016, 2:31 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by McLaren on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 2:06 pm

kwini

Agreed, It wasn't so long ago that Rory chucked in 78 in what seemed like almost every week on tour.
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Post by Shotrock on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 2:11 pm

Jordan learning what all us experienced hackers know all too well ... some days you're the bug, some days you're the windshield.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 2:19 pm

Fabulous weather forecast for the next three days in LA. Will that give the course time to become as firm and fast as the pros found it on Tuesday? Hopefully so, at least for Sunday.
Winning score last year was -6 - imagine it will be much lower this week. -15 is the lowest score by a 2000-something winner and you'd think they'll be challenging that by Sunday.

Sr,
Don't you think Spieth succeeded the past couple of years by doing the ordinary extraordinarily well?
Just ordinary yesterday and never looked like doing anything better. That 8-foot putt (and the missed tiddler that followed it) that he failed to hole for par on the last probably sealed his fate, but a 64 could still make the weekend.

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Post by super_realist on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 2:43 pm

It's only one round for goodness sake. Given the amount of time Spieth has spent touring, playing more events than most players, sponsor duties, pro-ams and denying science, it's no wonder he's had a bad round.

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Post by Roller_Coaster on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 4:04 pm

It was God's will yesterday!

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Post by skiddy on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 4:56 pm

Take a look at allenby's 4th hole on shotlink. How can you possibly hit it 290y on a 230 y hole?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 5:16 pm

skids,
I wouldn't trust shotlink, but it could easily have hit a cartpath . . . . . . otherwise, dunno.

Shotlink looks like it's having a bad day; either that or pgatour.com's live scoring is on the blink. Both propably.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 6:14 pm

Spieth making a fine recovery, offsetting a couple of early bogeys with six birds. Needs four or five more, though, to be around for tomorrow.

Charley Hoffman has been hibernating since September but he has the best round in progress, five under after 11 holes.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 8:50 pm

Early clubhouse lead for Dustin Johnson (tied w/Troy Merritt).
If DJ stays at the head of affairs, you can guarantee the theme of media coverage will refer to squandered leads by Dustin over the past 11 months, most notably at Chambers Bay and TOC. He has a super record at Riviera over the years so here's hoping he can prove the naysayers wrong.

A 5-foot missed putt at the last puts Casey's further participation at risk - cutline ekeing towards -1, potentially leaving Paul stranded at even par.

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Post by GPB on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 9:19 pm

I think there are 70 players qualified for Cadillac, however 6 of them are vulnerable to falling out of the FEX Top 10, RtD top 10, or OWGR Top 50


   
Byeong-Hun AnHideki MatsuyamaK.T. Kim
Kiradech AphibarnratRory McIlroyKevin Kisner
Sangmoon BaeYusaku MiyazatoSøren Kjeldsen
Daniel BergerKevin NaBrooks Koepka
Steven BowditchLouis OosthuizenMatt Kuchar
Kristoffer BrobergScott PiercyAnirban Lahiri
Paul CaseyPatrick ReedDanny Lee
George CoetzeeJustin RoseShane Lowry
Jason DayCharl SchwartzelSmylie Kaufman
Victor DubuissonBrandt SnedekerPhil Mickelson
Harris EnglishJordan SpiethRussell Knox
Ross FisherHenrik StensonEmiliano Grillo
Matt FitzpatrickRobert StrebMartin Kaymer
Rickie FowlerAndy SullivanDavid Lingmerth
Jim FurykJimmy WalkerJustin Thomas
Branden GraceBubba WatsonSoren Kjeldsen
Bill HaasBernd WiesbergerMatthew Fitzpatrick
Charley HoffmanDanny WillettRafael Cabrera Bello
Nathan HolmanChris WoodByeong Hun An
J.B. HolmesSergio GarciaMarc Leishman
Thongchai JaideeAdam ScottZach Johnson
Dustin Johnson
Vulnerable
*G. McDowell (7th in FEX)*BHorschel (48th in OWGR)*T Pieters (9th in RtD)
*F Gomez (9th in FEX)*C Kirk (50th in OWGR)*N Holman (10th in RtD)


Last edited by GPB on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 9:32 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Nathan Holman is already qualified via Australian OoM)

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 9:28 pm

Nathan Holman looking pretty good . . . .

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Post by GPB on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 9:29 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:A 5-foot missed putt at the last puts Casey's further participation at risk - cutline ekeing towards -1, potentially leaving Paul stranded at even par.

I think the cut has a much better chance of moving to +1 than it does -1.

On a personal note:  I got a decent Draftkings team this week, but it includes FreddieJac so I really need to the cut to move to +1.

Team = Freddie, Charl, Luuuke, CH-III, Adam, Duf-Daddy

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Post by GPB on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 9:31 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Nathan Holman looking pretty good . . . .

REAL Good:

just realized, he is already in via the OoM on the PGATour of Australia.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 19 Feb 2016, 9:36 pm

Yeah, I posted that this morning on the ET thread!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 1:06 am

Bogey-free round from King Charl, unfortunately offest by a triple and a double. Playing really well though, good to see him back in form.
Casey definitely inside the cutline;Greg Owen on his bike. Garcia and Wiesberger the only European Tour players to miss out.

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Post by beninho on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 7:07 am

Big brendon got a 4 shot penalty for having a damaged club, which he did not use. And it only had a dent bear the grip it seems. We all love this game, but sometimes it makes no sense at all.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 2:20 pm

Amazing thing is, ben, that he hadn't used it during his warm-up and hadn't noticed it since he damaged it the day before.


As it is, he gets an unwanted day off but the survivors go back out at 10.45 Pacific time; I'll follow Rory with KJ and Hideki.

Good walk spoiled by Ernie Els yesterday; seven under par after 11 holes but three bogeys coming home rather ruined his round. Still, signs of life and looks like he putted OK too. Old guys doing nicely with Vijay, Appleby, Cink, Goose, Padraig, Major Toms and Stricker all making the cut and Justin Leonard T7 with KJ.

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Post by skiddy on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 8:13 pm

I love how Lowry gets derided by some on this board for a lack of ambition. Nick Dougherty is currently showing us whats in Mcilroy's bag.....

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 9:35 pm

I think we question Lowry's playing schedule much more than his ambition . . . . . . .

Very impressed with Rory's distance control this week, after all the apparent mis-clubbing on wedge shots recently. Just needs to see a few putts go down . . . . . .

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Post by McLaren on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 9:58 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Just needs to see a few putts go down . . . . . .

Hasn't that been his issue for years now? Rory's putting stroke is probably all that wills stop him from matching Tiger's records.
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Post by skiddy on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 10:07 pm

But hes gaining a stroke on the field in putting. I think hes putted very well and has holed his fair share without setting the world alight

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Post by McLaren on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 10:38 pm

His putting must look worse than it is compared to others. Although if I had Tigers putting stroke I could probably make a PGAT cut.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 20 Feb 2016, 11:12 pm

Rory certainly made a beauty on the last. Terrific leaderboard.

Harrington's 66 tied for low round of the day.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 4:03 pm

They're serving bacon butties on the range at Riviera, action on the first tee at 8.20 a.m. Pacific.

Terrific leaderboard, and lots to play for for the Europeans still in action:

Rory, obviously.
Justin Rose: Probably too far (5 shots, but 13 golfers) back to win, running into form.
Martin Laird and Padraig T19 overnight. Both could use a top ten finish. Harrington played Friday wearing odd (not strange, though it is, but mis-matching) shoes, apparently someone else must have done too! Will they own up?
Molinari and Jamie Donaldson are way back but both need a strong finish - Jamie to potentially re-enter the owgr Top 50 and get in the Cadillac; Franny just needs to get his year going.
Lukey struggling again - lots of pars but not enough birds.
And what about Casey? Wouldn't sign up for the European Tour and has played sparingly and disappointingly here. No owgr points yet this year and will miss out for another week if he can't get his sh1t together today.
Andy Sullivan had it going Saturday; five under on his first 8 holes, gave them all back. Tied with Carl Pettersson, which kinda says it all.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 6:21 pm

Anyone having more luck with the pgatour.com leaderboard/live scoring/shotlink than I am?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 6:25 pm

Rory!
Adam!!
Where's GJtheAussieStud when we need him?

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Post by Hibbz on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 6:27 pm

Really looking forward to watching some of the coverage this evening, certainly an exciting start.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 7:12 pm

Oh Rory . . . . . . . .

. . . . Oh Padraig.

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Post by Shotrock on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 9:16 pm

Rory's putting now leaving lots to be desired ... shoulders slumping like Monty out there.
C'mon KJ!

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Post by pedro on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 9:23 pm

Rory hung his kok on a rak.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 9:50 pm

Perhaps Rory was just being too aggressive on a course he scarcely knows. The opening eagle might have been the worst possible start for him. Justin Rose not faring much better.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 21 Feb 2016, 10:57 pm

Martin Laird will finish leading British player; not sure I saw that coming, but he's been playing quite consistently.

Bombers vs Navigators this afternoon . . . . . . . .

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Post by owen10ozzy on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 12:45 am

Truly attrocious putting from Rory; again I question his approach play though, far to aggressive at times and what was with the constant cutting shots? I know it's necessary at times but as often as he was doing it.

Bubba looked very good and showed exactly how to play out a final day when in with a shout, steady...nothing spectacular but make sure you leave most putts within 10 ft.

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Post by GPB on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 1:43 am

Active players with less than 10 PGATour wins:
Bubba, DJohnson, Appleby at 9 wins
Choi , Weir, Sergio, Ogilvy, and Sneds at 8 wins
Day, Kuchar, Rose, Goosen and Spieth at 7 wins.

Who will be the next player to get to 10 wins.

Odds would favor Bubba and Dustin since they only have one win to go.  They could do it in the next tournament they play.

Weir and Goosen probably won't win again.  Ogilvy won an opposite field event a couple years ago.  Appleby probably won't win again, but he could catch lightning in a bottle like he did at Greenbrier a few years ago.

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Post by hend085 on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 9:06 am

owen10ozzy wrote:Truly attrocious putting from Rory; again I question his approach play though, far to aggressive at times and what was with the constant cutting shots? I know it's necessary at times but as often as he was doing it.
ft.

I agree with this completely. he tried to cut a 5wood to a front right pin on the back 9 par 5, overdid it, and ran up a 6. It seems like he never aims for middle of the greens.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 11:03 am

I guess we have to wonder again how much better could Rory's course management be with a better caddie?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 11:43 am

Rory's round never recovered from a 3-putt bogey from about 12 ft on a front-nine Par-3 (#6?). Can't blame JP for that, but Rory was (over?) aggressive on his putting thru'out.
It looked like he was just swinging for the fences after that, when pars would have kept him in contention . . . . . . Disappointing whichever way you look at it.

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 11:54 am

I think he got spooked by the start Adam Scott had and pressed the aggression button too hard too early. It was disappointing indeed though.
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Post by McLaren on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 1:01 pm

Another point to consider is that Rory winning a regular PGAT event (Not WGC, major or play off) is pretty Rare. In fact he has only ever won three regular PGAT events in his career and only one in the last three years (2015 quail hollow).

Anyone have any theories about why he doesn't win more often in regular tour events?
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Post by navyblueshorts on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 1:04 pm

McLaren wrote:Another point to consider is that Rory winning a regular PGAT event (Not WGC, major or play off) is pretty Rare.  In fact he has only ever won three regular PGAT events in his career and only one in the last three years (2015 quail hollow).

Anyone have any theories about why he doesn't win more often in regular tour events?
He doesn't care that much about them and is loaded already? Majors etc are legacy events, which he plainly does care about.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 1:22 pm

Mac,
He's only played a relative few, 29 I think, and has 3 wins plus 2 play-off losses.
Imagine plenty of top players would be pretty chuffed with that sort of record given that navy's point is also spot on.

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Post by Shotrock on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 1:31 pm

Rory will find his groove and look invincible soon enough ... but that was one sloppy round of golf after his first hole. Poor putting, poor course management and, once out of contention, looked like he was pretty disinterested. Surprised he didn't feign a toothache. He'll learn to be more patient I'm sure.

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Post by GPB on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 1:46 pm

McLaren wrote:Another point to consider is that Rory winning a regular PGAT event (Not WGC, major or play off) is pretty Rare.  In fact he has only ever won three regular PGAT events in his career and only one in the last three years (2015 quail hollow).

Anyone have any theories about why he doesn't win more often in regular tour events?

Mainly because he doesn't play many.

If you discount playoff events (and the Players) from "regular" events, then Rory can play a schedule of only 2 or 3 regular events

Lets say he is going to play the PGATour Min of 15 or 16 events.

4 are majors  (He has 4)
4 are WGCs (He has won 2
4 are Playoffs
1 is the Players
=========
13 events

And since the Ryder Cup counts as an "Event" towards the 15 min, he can actually play only 1 regular event on the PGATour, if he plays well enough to get to the TC

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Post by McLaren on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 2:00 pm

Sounds like a pretty reasonable explanation GPB, if you don't play them you can't win them.


Last year he played

The Honda
API
Wells Fargo
Frys.com (What season did that count in?)


Will he snub Jacks invitation to the Memorial again this year?
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Post by I'm never wrong on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 2:35 pm

Schedule a bit busy round that time Mac.
He is defending champion at the Wells Fargo May 5th
Players starting May 12th.
Irish Open May 19th.
BMW PGA Championship May 26th
Memorial June 2nd
Fedex St Jude 9th June.
US Open June 16th. I think he might miss PGA, Memorial and St Jude

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Post by GPB on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 3:06 pm

Rory is playing an exhibition in Detroit on June 10th.  It would make sense to play Memorial, that finishes on June 8th.  Detroit is about a 45 min flight from Columbus.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 3:15 pm

Mac,
Frys was 2015/2016.

As for Rory, I wonder how often he putts on poa annua greens? Not often in the States for sure; back to Bermuda this week which he seems to fare better on.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 3:16 pm

Not sure if this is true or not.


@GolfBetting12 wrote:The field for the Honda Classic Monday qualifier is stronger than the European Tour event this week.


If so it highlights just how irrelevant this portion of the European tour season has become.
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Post by McLaren on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 3:59 pm

Can any of the more well informed posters comment on this retweet from lawrence donegan.


@lawrencedonegan wrote:@lawrencedonegan Retweeted
‏@RobertLusetich wrote:I'm told #TigerWoods condition worsened. He can't move well; painful to sit. Sits in car with seat fully reclined. No forseeable return. Sad


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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 22 Feb 2016, 4:11 pm

Mac,
Whoever GolfBetting12 is, they're full of sh1t.
Just had a butcher's at the qualie field and can't see anyone from the owgr top 200 (tho' there may possibly be one or two).

According to the E.T. website, the Perth field still includes:
Oosthuizen, Fraser, Dubie, Olesen, plus, I would guess, at least a dozen more from the Top 200.

You post fairy tales sometimes - a bit like Republican candidates for President.

I can see that happening at a fourth-tier event but not this week. Your opportunity to denigrate the ET will have to wait.

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