PGA Tour: WGC-Cadillac Championship: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 02 Mar 2016, 3:51 pm

First topic message reminder :

1)."Let's get any mention of his name out of the way first thing: The nastiest man in America has his name all over both PGA Tour venues this week:
The WGC-Cadillac Championship will be staged at the Drumpf National Doral in the Miami area . . . . "
Oops, That's the opening of my thread two years ago . . . . . . some things don't change, (except we're not playing Puerto Rico this week).

2).What has changed is that we now have a couple of years to assess the $250M Gil Hanse redesign of the one-time Blue Monster, and we can now look forward to four days of golf at one of the most gratuitously penal, and longest courses on the PGA Tour. This is not to discourage investments in medium-to-short hitters, but they have to play at their absolute rock-solid, very best to succeed at Doral. Top six last year:
Dustin, Bubba and JB, Adam Scott & Stenson, King Louis. Just saying.

3).The Tour's "Florida Swing" teed off last week at PGA National; a new, improved Adam Scott won quite convincingly I thought, despite the narrow one-stroke margin over Sergio. Take away Adam's one-hole meltdown on #15 in Round 3, a tee shot missing wide right and a wedge from the drop area which flew over the pin before just dribbling into the water, and it was the most impressive ball-striking seen from Scott since his first 68 holes at Lytham. Why shouldn't the Bubba/Adam/Bubba sequence at Augusta National be renewed? Especially if Scott can putt like that.

4).But what of the other one-time anchorers? Not so good, with Bradley, David Hearn and Simpson all struggling and Tim Clark playing well in Hawaii but awol for the past month.
There are others but perhaps the most successful so far, other than Scott, may be Brendan Steele who registers consistently good results without ever really contending.
Carl Pettersson has curiously got the best strokes-gained-putting stats, but the rest of his game has been terrible. An early candidate to lose his card.

5).We are now about 1/3 of the way thru the Tour season and the FedEx Cup Points listing starts to become relevant. Among Europeans outside the Top 50 whose season is, by comparison with the rank-and-file, is just beginning, these are the current positions:
McDowell: 7th.**
Jacobson: 22nd. **
Cejka: 26th.
Blixt: 41st.
Laird: 74th.
Owen: 83rd.
Harrington: 93rd. **
Donald: 124th.
Norlander: 160th.
Molinari: 166th.
Poulter: 167th.
Donaldson: 177th.
Pettersson: 182nd.
Davis: 194th.
** indicates those with exemption for next year, excluding those, like Donald, who might need to use a one-off career earnings free pass.

6).And what of Paul Casey? After eschewing European Tour membership for this year, you'd think he'd be hard at work cementing his PGA Tour status, no? No! Only played 5 times and wallowing at 127th in FedEx points. Important week at Doral then, where at least some points are a guarantee, following a season where he'd already registered two runner up finishes by this time.

7).One of the traditions of the pros' time in Florida is the Seminole Golf Club Pro-Member. On Monday, Justin Rose shot a 63 to win, with Luke Donald two strokes back in 2nd. Jason Day and McDool were among 8 a further stroke back, Scott and McIlroy in with 68's. Justin Rose could be a terrific choice to fly under the radar this week, depending on tweaks to the course at Doral.

8).Note 2). above notwithstanding, there have been some small changes to Doral since last year, following consultations with two of the Tour's more respected players, Snedeker and Ryan Moore.
The problem, as described by Sneds to Rex Hoggard, included:
"There were times when I was hitting to a fairway that was 12 yards wide, while some of the longer guys were hitting into fairways that were 35 yards wide." Wonder which golf course owner ever thought that was a good idea?
Anyway, Gil Hanse studied the ShotLink stats and found that, for one particular bunker, "It was obvious that the longer hitters weren't even thinking about that bunker" etc, etc.
Hopefully the changes will make for a more balanced tournament.

9).As observed by others, there's no Luke Donald this year, no Poults, no Westwood, and Fitzpatrick, Sullivan and Wood have taken their places. Danny Willett finished 12th here last year and could be a good bet this week. (Not to mention most times he plays these days.)

10).It was interesting/instructive to listen to Jason Bohn talking about his Honda heart attack.
Sounds as if he is a lucky man. I've had "difficulty" on a golf course a couple of times, not heart-related thank goodness, and it's a pretty helpless feeling. But Bohn, who's been having another good season, is only 42. Not perhaps the first person you think of as an "athlete" on Tour, but certainly not a fatty either. One would like to think the Tour's policy would include thorough "physicals" every year but perhaps not. Nice that he's been in close touch with Erik Compton and Notah Begay regarding their experiences.
Regardless, good health to Mr.Bohn - his card is already secure for next season so hopefully he'll take his time and get back to rude good health before we see him again. Would actually be a breath of fresh air in the commentary box.

(PS: On the road for most of the next 3 wks so Notes will be short (not sweet) until the Tour hits Texas.)

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Post by McLaren on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 2:31 pm

I agree kwini, par or better and Rory cannot be caught.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 2:32 pm

Bowditch mailing it in.
Sums up part of what seems wrong about the WGC's; he'll still pocket at least $45K in official money, possibly even an owgr point.
Those not in the field, for whatever reason, would sweat buckets for that sort of result elsewhere.
P1ss poor effort Bowdo.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 4:00 pm

Plenty of "efforts" at Doral as limp as Benteke's penalty, absolutely pathetic.
But the good news is that it looks as if 60th place and worse receives no owgr points - they'll get their "official" money of $45+K, but that's it.
Bowditch finishes with an 84, no 2's, some 3's, a few 4's, 5's, 6's, a seven and an eight. Rubbish, complete and utter rubbish.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 6:35 pm

Golf Channel reporting that JB Holmes, who clearly was all set to repeat last year's Doral 62, was penalised two strokes on his first hole for taking an improper drop from a water hazard. Apparently, if an official hadn't notified him before he teed off on #2, he'd've been dq'd.
As it is, I have a ready-made excuse for my abysmal Grumps Fanto game "effort".

Grace and Rose both -5 on the course - a bit late for cream to rise to the top.

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Post by pedro on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 6:49 pm

Bowditch had no sub-80 rounds. Shocking.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 6:51 pm

Bowditch's four Rounds of 80 or more is reportedly the first time that has happened on the PGA Tour in at least 30 years. Can't be good for his depression . . . . . . .

Branden Grace in with a 68, only player to finish the round under par (72) so far.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 7:38 pm

Three opening pars and Rory extends his lead to 4.
Grace (68) and Rose (67) remain the only scores below par (72).

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 8:59 pm

Three closing (in effect) bogeys due to pulled irons to close out the front and lead vanishes. Wide right on the 10th - whatever next?

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Post by McLaren on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 9:18 pm

Rory choking badly.
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Post by Shotrock on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 9:47 pm

Rory making this interesting! Think you are wrong about the cream rising to the top Kwin ... it appears to be happening. Rory due to finish strong. But needs to start draining some putts.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 10:09 pm

No chance for Rory any more, completely out of sync.

Hoping that Danny Willett keeps focus to the end - Rory's certainly lost his.

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Post by Shotrock on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 10:14 pm

Scott's to win ... or lose.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 10:40 pm

Wtf was that bunker shot. Eye off of the ball maybe?

Important shot for Willett here

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 10:40 pm

D'oh sorry Danny...

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 10:59 pm

Holy Moly. There's a flat bit at the end with a flag to give ya hope. Mickelson off the grandstand and Scott in the hazard. Bubba looking good for a playoff.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 11:05 pm

Adam Scott! Well done mate. Stevie Williams, who are ya?

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Post by I'm never wrong on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 11:16 pm

Why didn't he ditch the broom handle sooner?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 11:27 pm

Adam Scott playing fantastic golf. Bubba & Adam must see their Masters odds shorten . . . . .

Dustin in with a 79 to finish low Johnson. He's still the last American to win a WGC.

Danny Willett close to securing his Ryder Cup spot, wouldn't ya think?

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Post by McLaren on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 11:39 pm

How soon before Danny Willett reaches the OWGR top 10?
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Post by Shotrock on Sun 06 Mar 2016, 11:57 pm

Didn't see that Rory implosion coming. Very unimpressive final round for the GB&I favorite.

New streak started for the Aussies.

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Post by monty junior on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 12:11 am

Put 20 quid on Scotty before the final round, though all was lost but what a comeback. Cool

McIlroy's usually pretty bad in the wind, so not a massive surprise with his high flight. Certainly has nothing like the versatility in his game that Tiger had.

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Post by GPB on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 12:44 am

New OWGR thread was started with a Match Play bubble watch and Masters Top 50 bubble watch.

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Post by beninho on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 6:56 am

It seemed that rory went against his aggressive approach initially. Seemed content to play safe and tried to protect his lead. He even hit 3 wood instead of driver at times. While he didn't implode , playing with dustin who did can't of been easy!

Good on adam scott though. A really good player.

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 8:42 am

Great final round, well done Adam. Only disappointment was Drumpf wearing a baseball cap so we couldn't see his stupid comb-over blow about.
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Post by super_realist on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 9:04 am

monty junior wrote:Put 20 quid on Scotty before the final round, though all was lost but what a comeback. Cool

McIlroy's usually pretty bad in the wind, so not a massive surprise with his high flight. Certainly has nothing like the versatility in his game that Tiger had.

9C wasn't very good in wind either.

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Post by hend085 on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 9:40 am

the idea of a top 4 with ricky, rors, day and spieth seems quite silly now.

Bubba, Scott and Mickelson need to be every conversation - particularly fort the masters where all 3 have serious pedigree.

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 9:52 am

I agree hend - the standards are so high, and the depth of the fields so great, that you could make a case for 10 or 15 players being in the "top group". I think why the group you mention have been singled out is because of their (relatively young) age - the expectation being these guys will be going head to head for a good few years as they reach their prime.

Also of course, they are very personable, marketable etc etc..
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Post by gw on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 10:06 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Bowditch mailing it in.
Sums up part of what seems wrong about the WGC's; he'll still pocket at least $45K in official money, possibly even an owgr point.
Those not in the field, for whatever reason, would sweat buckets for that sort of result elsewhere.
P1ss poor effort Bowdo.
I'd embarrass myself for that sort of money too!!

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Post by super_realist on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 10:12 am

For no money on the Jamega tour, some hacker shot 92/104.
I don't care how hard the course was, scores of that sort are unacceptable. That player should be banned from playing in it.

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Post by gw on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 10:28 am

Wow seriously? He must have been ill or something.

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 10:34 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Bowditch mailing it in.
Sums up part of what seems wrong about the WGC's; he'll still pocket at least $45K in official money, possibly even an owgr point.
Those not in the field, for whatever reason, would sweat buckets for that sort of result elsewhere.
P1ss poor effort Bowdo.

He sweated buckets beforehand to do well enough to get into the field and then had an off few days - it happens. I'm sure he didn't set out to make a tw@t of himself, and given his mental history, the event probably nets out to be more harm to him than some money and a point.
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Post by super_realist on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 11:03 am

gw wrote:Wow seriously? He must have been ill or something.

Probably just a pipe dreaming kid bankrolled by a rich dad. Most of us wouldn't be that bad, even with a terminal disease. 104? Haven't shot a score that bad since I first took up golf.

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Post by wadey101 on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 11:55 am

Bowditch's second round was crazy, 5 birdies, 10 pars and still shot an 80!

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Post by McLaren on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 12:09 pm

wadey101 wrote:Bowditch's second round was crazy, 5 birdies, 10 pars and still shot an 80!

yes, pretty bizarre.

Still not convinced guaranteed swag in a golf event is worth worrying about.
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Post by Roller_Coaster on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 12:44 pm

wadey101 wrote:Bowditch's second round was crazy, 5 birdies, 10 pars and still shot an 80!

Whoosh.

Did see that his 4th round took something like 2hrs 10 mins or so. Probably freed up a parking space for one of the top 20!

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Post by pedro on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 1:52 pm

I think he would have seen less ridicule if he had withdrawn with a tooth ache.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 2:07 pm

Next WGC event, Dell MatchPlay, coming up in a fortnight, open to top 66 (excluding Furyk & Stenson) in owgr's as at next Monday.
About 50 pts to the winner at Innisbrook for the "Valspar", so lots to play for, perhaps for Poulter more than most as he's projected to be on the "bubble".

Pretty much the same format, 3 round robin matches, then straight match play.

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Post by raycastleunited on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 2:12 pm

monty junior wrote:
McIlroy's usually pretty bad in the wind, so not a massive surprise with his high flight. Certainly has nothing like the versatility in his game that Tiger had.

This is true but surprising, given that Rory must have grown up playing loads of links golf

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 2:21 pm

Can't see that wind was a factor with Rory yesterday, unless it was in his head. He just hit bad shots at inopportune moments, pulling lots of irons - seemed to sort himself out towards the end but too late by then.

Couldn't have helped seeing DJ spraying it all over South Florida either, but that would be a poor excuse. Rory not doing himself justice on Sundays just now, but Dustin's final round "form" when in contention has been atrocious.

Agree w/Bob & hend0 about Scott, Bubba and Phil for Augusta, all very impressive the past month.

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Post by raycastleunited on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 2:22 pm

super_realist wrote:
monty junior wrote:Put 20 quid on Scotty before the final round, though all was lost but what a comeback. Cool

McIlroy's usually pretty bad in the wind, so not a massive surprise with his high flight. Certainly has nothing like the versatility in his game that Tiger had.

9C wasn't very good in wind either.

We all know that's a bit simplistic.

Tiger didn't win any Opens in high winds, but when conditions are like that it becomes a lottery. He certainly contended in windy conditions. His Open wins weren't played out in dead calm either, still plenty of breeze on some days. I've also witnessed Tiger drilling in a low arrow like straight ball or draw or fade under the wind, his "stinger" shot, which was very impressive first hand, and was a level of ball striking that only Garcia came close to back in the day.

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Post by GPB on Mon 07 Mar 2016, 5:13 pm

Victor Doobie finished T52nd this past weekend and earned more Ryder Cup points than Sergio earned when he finished 7th in Qatar a few weeks ago.

Dubuisson earned 51K Euro for finishing T52 this week
Sergio earned 50.7K Euro for finishing T7 in Dubai.

Heck, Kris Broberg won 43K euro towards his Ryder Cup standings.  For finishing next to Dead Last.

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Post by Roller_Coaster on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 8:09 am

Does sound a bit bizarre.

I won £25 ($40) in a club stableford last month, I feel I'm getting closer to the selection bubble. Wildcard into a WGC, beat 37 over and I'm almost on the 'plane.

Just a little bit torn as to whether to "double dip" the tours...

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 8:40 am

2014 and it was Freaky Fridays for McIlroy - he sorted that and went on quite the run.

Now it's Slippery Sundays....
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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 11:03 am

Hopefully there won't be weather delays at events he plays - we certainly don't want "Rainy Days and Mondays" to get him down. Or even Manic Mondays.

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Post by McLaren on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 11:05 am

This guy has some pics of the Rio olympic course.

https://www.instagram.com/alexrochagolf/
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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 11:10 am

Mac,
I think Alex Rocha was about the top ranked golfer they got to go down to "test drive" the course, make sure it met pro golfer criteria. All the leading PGA Tour pros that they asked declined. Think about 8 or 9 travelled eventually, girls and guys.

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Post by GPB on Tue 08 Mar 2016, 4:49 pm

2nd highest rank Brazilian, Lucas Lee was supposed to play the test Olympic event but he decided to try to 4-spot the Monday Qualifier for Valspar.

And succeeded.  shot 61

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