PGA Tour: "Shell Houston Open": Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 30 Mar 2016, 7:14 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).Just the ticket from Jason Day last week, starting with a very scratchy performance against McDowell, who failed to capitalise even when Day started oohing and aahing about his back, free pass against an ailing Casey (deja vu from last year there), followed by a terrific weekend.

2).Hope Jason Day gets properly fit; he's too good to become a self-obsessed golfing diva. Plus, time for Colin Swatton to persuade him to play a bit more quickly; golf is not well served when its two top players (sorry Rory) are among its slowest coaches. At their present pace, one can only imagine what the R&A and/or John Paramor will make of them. Which would detract from the quality of golf they've produced these past two years.

3).And, talking of caddies: It seemed that Spieth and Greller were on different pages at various times last week, especially in the match vs Oosthuizen. Any opinions on that? Would think that, by any standards (except pay), schoolmaster Greller qualifies as an amateur caddie, but what are the pros and cons of caddies that are not necessarily steeped in the game? Patrick Reed and Dustin Johnson two more who have inexperience on their bag.

4).Not much change to Ryder Cup qualifying line-ups with only Rafa CB taking any significant stride forward - the US automatic qualifiers have been largely unchanged for the past month or so; the European crew currently looks like:
Rory, Willett, Fitzpatrick, Sullivan, Stenson, Rose, Rafa, Sergio, Pieters. With McDowell, Dubuisson, Donaldson etc, even Poulter I suppose, among those not taking advantage of last week's opportunities.

5).What a pathetic performance by English golfers in the Match Play.
Not excusing other Europeans who, Rafa & Rory apart, similarly disappointed, but no point in having English patience with crapp like this:
Casey, Fitzpatrick, Rose, Sullivan, Westwood, Willett and Wood chalked up a 21-match record of: Won 6, Lost 13, Halved 2.
Especially dismal in comparison with last year when Casey, Fleetwood and Willett all reached the Q-Finals and Westwood beat Spieth!

6).It was noted by "GPB" last week that Kaymer is on the threshold of departing the owgr Top 50. Meanwhile, both Keegan Bradley and Hunner Mahan probably need good results in Houston to survive the Top 100 - wouldn't have expected either's demise a year ago, but now they're on the edge. (Both have decent records at "Houston" though.)

7).For a decade the Shell Houston Open has amounted to final foreplay prior to the big event, in this case The Masters.
The winner takes the final spot at Augusta, joining about 90-ish competitors, but none of the Houston winners to have taken their last chance at a Masters invite have come close to emulating Davis Love who scampered from his somewhat fortuitous play-off win in New Orleans to Augusta and runnered up behind Crenshaw.

8).There's a strong European representation in Houston, including "tourists" Rafa CB, Lowry, Westwood and Wiesberger. Plus Donaldson (quite fancy him this week), Sergio, Padraig and Stenson.
As a recent Houston winner you'd perhaps expect Casey to be playing but his strange schedule has got stranger so he's at home.
Spieth plays Rounds 1 & 2 with Dustin Johnson and Reed, and Rickie Fowler is also in the house.

9).It'll be another chance for Sung Kang to resume his profitable and serendipitous partnership with Fluff Cowan - but this is a bizarre opportunity for Kang, only in the field following the withdrawal of Bronson Burgoon.
The alliterative one only dropped out when someone pointed out to him that he has a wedding scheduled for Saturday, his own. More Burgoon than Bronson unless he has a death wish.

10).While we don't yet know whether Woods will turn up for more than the Spieth barbecue, we DO know that he won't be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame next year as the WGHOF has just raised its qualifying age from 40 to 50.
And they've replaced Arnold Palmer on the selection committee (with Player, Sorenstam and Lopez) with some guy called Nicklaus.
Another sign, following his withdrawal from honorary Masters starter duty, that Arnie isn't getting any younger.

Should also add that the first Ladies' Major is being played this week in California. The "Dinah Shore" is now known as the ANA Inspiration and Jody Ewart, Charley, Bronte Law, Leona Maguire, Catriona Matthew and Mel Reid are all in the field. But no Laura Davies, and no Holly Clyburn who seems to have missed out on qualification by $76.00. More golfers named Lee (8) in the field than from GB&I.

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Post by GPB on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 9:35 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:But lw1 hasn't been playing full time . . . . .

Had he been playing full time, chances are pretty good that he would not have qualified for the Match Play.

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Post by puligny on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 10:12 pm

What about Miguel Angel for Paris?
Excellent 2 weeks for RCB

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 10:25 pm

What about Miguel Angel for Mississippi, best round by a Spaniard today as his 64 clinches the Champions Tour event.

Nah, can't see them going to him after clearly overlooking him in favour of Clarke.

Stenson making life difficult for himself. As usual.

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Post by Shotrock on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 11:20 pm

A no-name Yank stops the ROW streak on the big tour. Well played!



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Post by McLaren on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 11:23 pm

Henrick has to be a little disappointed that he couldn't out shoot Herman.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 11:33 pm

Looks like a case of "good guys finish first".
And second, third and fourth.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 11:36 pm

Mac,
Henrik had the equal-fifth best round of the day . . . . . . . . . it was tough out there.

Next week will be a good time for another "international" streak to begin.

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Post by GPB on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 11:55 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:

Next week will be a good time for another "international" streak to begin.

How Anti-American !!  Rolling Eyes

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Post by Shotrock on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 12:04 am

Typical GPB, typical.

And as predictable as a Sergio melt down ... Wink

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 12:17 am

!!!!!!!!!!!!
Pro non-American . . . . . . . . .

Rafa cementing his position in the Top 40, now certain for the US Open too, plus Players and remaining Majors. Likely in the Top 5 owgr points for the year so far.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 1:56 am

Charlie Hull posted a 69 for -11 and the clubhouse lead at the Dinah Shore ANA whatever it is now. Only a couple of groups left on the course and Lydia Ko has just stuck her approach at the 18th to almost a kick in birdie and most likely the win.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 10:36 am

Amazing back nine from Hull at the ANA yesterday. -5 for the last 9 holes propelled her to T2.

And a win for the "best swing in golf". Wink

Pretty crazy what she is doing and still only 18. Shocked

Matt Fitzpatrik was still getting arse wiped by his mother at that age.
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Post by super_realist on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 11:00 am

Are you genuinely interested in Ladies Golf Mac, or just trying to be right on?

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Post by McLaren on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 1:01 pm

Super

I usually watch some of the Majors in a season, but not much else. Just think Lydia Ko has a great swing and might be the most impressive newcomer since Tiger.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 1:02 pm

Terrific from the 20-year-old Charley Hull to play the back nine in -4.

By that age, Matt Fitzpatrick had already won the US Amateur.


Rafa CB is making quite the charge up the Ryder Cup qualifying table, another 16 pts banked yesterday, and now almost 40 points above the qualifying threshold. More hard yakka required but Rafa has been mighty impressive this past fortnight, another with a fine golf swing.

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Post by raycastleunited on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 1:36 pm

What surprised me about RCB was that he was up with rory and even out drove him a couple of times in the Matchplay last week.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 2:50 pm

As suggested over the weekend, Rafa CB has qualified for Special Temporary Membership on the PGA Tour. Seems he's giving it some sensible thought:

"I'm really happy playing in Europe. Europe has gotten my golf to what it is nowadays. I'd be happy also playing a little bit more over here, or complementing both schedules like other players do. But it's something I need to give some thought. I really feel as if I need to grow a little more as a player to play both Tours comfortably."

It would certainly be a tough commute for Rafa from the Canaries; but it sounds as if he's already getting some good advice. Good luck to him, whatever he chooses to do.
Incidentally, his compadre Gonzo is struggling to cover expenses on the web.com Tour, another cut made in Brazil this weekend, but less than a couple of $K in prize-money.

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Post by GPB on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:26 pm

Masters website is streaming the complete CBS broadcast of the 1986 Masters.  I have watched the first 35 minutes and Kwini might want to see the exchange between Brent Musburger and Gary Player about the international contigent.

Even I thought Musburger was a jingoistic **** during the segment.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:40 pm

Kwini

What day is your masters thread going up?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:46 pm

Nah, I daren't. Wonder if Musberger's ever been out of the country?

Looking forward to seeing Dottie Pepper on The Masters CBS broadcasts; she'll never stop wearing her stars and stripes knickers, but at least she'll have IBF, Faldo and even Peter Kostis to set her straight in a way no-one at NBC were ever inclined to do. And she really knows her golf!

Here's her (I thought) very thoughtful musings on anchoring, slow play, handicap rulings etc:

http://espn.go.com/golf/story/_/id/14355687/taking-golf-governing-bodies-task-anchor-ban-more

Plus, any child who cycles to play at "McGregor" is OK by me.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:55 pm

Mac,
Probably tomorrow. Haven't figured out what to write about yet. Any ideas?

I can show you the forecast, always a highlight for you:

https://weather.com/weather/tenday/l/USGA0032:1:US

Looks like Thursday's the only dodgy day for rain, but strong breezes look as if they might affect play, at least in Rounds 1 & 2. And: Note they've had three inches of rain in the past week - SubAir will have dealt with most of that, but heavy rain always affects the course, whatever the Green Jackets might say.

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Post by GPB on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 4:09 pm

Kwini, its worth watching, just for a contrast in the production of the broadcast.

Kite/Seve were paired together in that round, and they both holed out long shots for eagles (Kite from 100 yds, and Seve from 25 yds) on #8 after the broadcast started. Seve's shot put him in the lead.

And CBS did not have the shots recorded.

Masters coverage was leading edge back in 1986, and it looks so primitive compared to today's coverage.

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Post by hend085 on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 4:13 pm

i dont think Rafa has the short game to compete regularly on the US tour. he's very very nervous chipping.
dont think its a good thing for europe if someone as "nervy" makes the cut for the ryder cup

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 4:14 pm

Thanks for the tip GPB.

Fred Couples has announced his withdrawal from this week's Masters action, citing a bad back. Think that brings the number of starters down to 89.
Strange old report on golfchannel.com says Jason Day lost 11 pounds during MatchPlay week. Didn't seem to affect his driving distance . . . . . . There's always something up with Jason . . . . .

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Post by McLaren on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 4:20 pm

Kwini

Sorry, didn't mean to pressure you just wanted something to read to get me in the Masters zone. I am sure whatever you come up with it will be as good as usual.


Has there been any confirmation that Willett will turn up?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 4:33 pm

Mac, Willett has said he's playing.
I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear of more w/d's, but haven't heard anything that makes that any more than just a gut feeling. High quality field remaining though.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 5:17 pm

Are we set with 89 participants or is it likely that there will be more withdrawals?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 5:27 pm

Nothing I've heard Grumps, but Majors often have more last-minute w/d's than normal events. I'd go with wot you got.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 7:19 pm

Thanks Kwini, no doubt I'll post and someone will drop out.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 10:12 pm

No doubt!

But no doubt about this:
The Olympic Gold Medal winner will reportedly earn a free pass to next year's Masters. Magnanimous by Billy Payne, and something extra to play for, for Spieth and Day, Rory and Bubba and the rest of 'em . . . . . . . . . !

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Post by John Cregan on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 8:51 am

89 players in the Masters field. Seems like the lowest in a long time.

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Post by McLaren on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 9:47 am

Tiger must be getting board. Here he has written an 18 hole guide to ANGC; http://www.masters.com/en_US/news/articles/2016-04-04/tigers_tour_of_augusta_national_hole_by_hole.html
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Post by super_realist on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 9:53 am

Plus you can knock off about 30-40 players with zero chance.

Despite my appalling record in the Fantasy League, I often do well in the Masters betting.

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Post by super_realist on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 9:56 am

McLaren wrote:Tiger must be getting board.  Here he has written an 18 hole guide to ANGC; http://www.masters.com/en_US/news/articles/2016-04-04/tigers_tour_of_augusta_national_hole_by_hole.html

Couldn't get past the 5th hole Mac, what a lot of self indulgent crap. Sounds like Alan McInally on Sky Sports trying to live out his past glories, "When I was at Bayern".
Twot.


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Post by McLaren on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 10:06 am

A little disappointment that Hermen still chooses to fraternize with Drumpf.

http://www.golfdigest.com/story/if-youre-playing-against-jim-herman-and-donald-trump-you-have-no-chance?mbid=social_twitter



Super

I thought it was well written, eloquent and provided an interesting viewpoint on the course.
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Post by super_realist on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 10:43 am

It was written like a child Mac.

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Post by McLaren on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 10:55 am

It was conversational in tone, does that mean child like?
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Post by super_realist on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 11:01 am

The excessive use of the word "I" and constant projection to his own past is something I associate with a child, or at least someone of low intelligence.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 1:16 pm

Small adjustments made to Masters forecast, with Thursday's chance of rain reduced from 90% to 40%.
Otherwise should be clear and dry, high temps in the mid/high 60's but 15-20 mph winds Thursday thru Saturday, calmer on Sunday when conditions look perfect.

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Post by hend085 on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 2:15 pm

100% agree with SR. even down to the fact that he only references birdies and eagles hes made over the years.
tell us how tough a hole is and reference the time you made a double or a bogey at least!

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Post by Bob_the_Job on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 3:59 pm

Meh.. I think it's an ok-ish piece. I guess you would have to know what the ask was before being too critical...

"Hey Tiger, could you do a hole by hole description about how you used to play Augusta and how it's changed? Throw in a couple of your scores and some anecdotes."

Check

That said, I doubt he wrote all the words himself
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Post by raycastleunited on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 1:58 pm

McLaren wrote:Tiger must be getting board.  Here he has written an 18 hole guide to ANGC; http://www.masters.com/en_US/news/articles/2016-04-04/tigers_tour_of_augusta_national_hole_by_hole.html

What kind? Surf board? ironing board?

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 2:45 pm

If Super had his way probably water

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