PGA Tour: The Masters - Never Mind The Width, Feel The Quality: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 3:50 pm

First topic message reminder :

(One of our regular golf posters frequently writes amazing articles on the major events going on in the golfing world. v2 poster McLaren has suggested that as The Masters is underway, that you might all want to share in the debate - Enjoy!
Adam D)

Kwinigolfer wrote:

1).When has there ever been a Masters when so many top golfers came to Augusta at the peak of their form, or very close to it? The field of 89 may be the smallest for 14 years, and at least 20 amateurs or ceremonial entrants are irrelevant, but cases could easily be made for dozens of others, strong cases for at least a dozen.

2).I watched an old BBC documentary last night about the music and life of the great Ronnie Lane, and Kenney Jones came up with an especially bon mot that surely also seems to apply to writers talking about The Masters. Talking about speaking by phone to a dying Ronnie in Colorado, Kenney said words to the effect of:
"Ronnie, I know you can't talk to me so I'm going to ask questions that I think you'd ask me, and then I'll answer them." Brilliant. Apparently Ronnie was lying there in hysterics!
But isn't that just like writers, and especially "tourists" from other sports, regurgitating the same old stories about the same old stars? The same old Rory this, Jordan that, Jason the other, rhetorical crap??

3).First, the field. Should it be even smaller, eliminating the seniors and amateurs? Not in my book, with some caveats. Some of the amateur qualifications might seem a tad/lot contrived, but I like the Past Champion exemption, so long as there's some performance criteria attached - even if it's five strikes (missed cuts in a row) and you're out. Celebrating Past Champions is part of the appeal to the "patrons"; this year's Rounds 1 & 2 will be a lovefest for Tom Watson. Perhaps O'Meara and Mize, Lyle and Woosie will stay at home soon but you can see the likes of Couples, Langer and Vijay playing until they get kicked out.
Next year the 2016 Olympic winner will also be exempt, as he will be for all four Majors.

4).Who would you include in the Field to make it more competitive? I would say Pieters has a strong case, but he's about the only one. Aussie Open Champ Matt Jones should be there, and he would have been if he hadn't pretty much tanked the past few months, so no sympathy there. Any others?

5).Unluckiest guy not to be competing is surely David Clark. Carried Adam Scott's bag to his most successful run for two or three years but shoved aside for Steve Williams in the Majors.

6).Who do you fancy? I'll look beyond the Top Three. Just something about Jason Day but wouldn't be shocked if he ran away like Spieth did last year.
Spieth doesn't seem quite at ease with his game and would be surprised if he wins here again, this year anyway.
And Rory (hole in one on #16 yesterday!) seems a bit Sergio-like right now; just when he looks like he's moving into top gear, he hits a mental speed bump of sorts, plus his putting has been unconvincing, to say the least. His stroke looks OK so does he just have trouble reading greens, even with that laser surgery?

7).Continental Europe hasn't seen a Masters winner for almost twenty years and I can't see that changing, much as I'd like to see Stenson win the Major he perhaps deserves. The head-cover is coming off Henrik's driver this week so that's a welcome(?) tactical switch.
And GB&I are lacking convincing form, tho' Casey and Rose seem to reserve some of their best weeks for Augusta.
The Asian contingent could surprise but question marks against their best players persist: Matsuyma's putting, Ben An's neck (he reckons he hasn't hit full shots since w/d'ing from his WGC Match vs Cabrera Bello).

8).Branden Grace had a fabulous season last year, but he's missed his past two Masters cuts and doesn't seem to be in top form just yet. But Oosthuizen and Schwartzel have been flying and both seem great each way bets.
Interesting that Phil Mickelson has overtaken Woods as leading Masters money winner; can Phil's chances ever be dismissed here? In decent form all year and certainly in my top five, along with Bubba. Rickie Fowler is a popular choice in the US media but I'll look past him and prefer Dustin Johnson and Snedeker as well as Bubba among the Americans. (No American under the age of 35 has won a PGA Tournament since Spieth three months ago in Hawaii, other than Finau in the opposite field event anyhow.)

9).Which leaves Adam Scott; one month ago no-one was playing better than Scott & Watson, and even with Excitable Boy bagman Williams keeping him company rather than the calming influence of Clark, I like Adam Scott a lot. Top Five then for moi with PP odds (e.w. paying top 7!):
Scott (11/1), Watson (11/1), Mickelson (18/1), Oosthuizen (33/1), Schwartzel (35/1). Rose top Brit, Kisner top rookie and Snedeker best outsider (55/1). Regional loyalties compel the choice of Derek Bard as leading amateur.    

10).The Masters throws up some surprising groupings and it's a shame that they haven't taken advantage of the smaller field to send them out in pairs for Rounds 1 & 2.
Who do you think they'll send out with Tom Watson? Snedeker perhaps, and a youngster would be my guess.
One of the most anticipated groupings of recent years was: Who will be playing with Woods following his Mississippi rehab in 2010? Do you remember who they chose??
For the next five days I'll accept The Masters for what it is and enjoy the action; chance of rain on Thursday and cool and breezy every day thru Saturday. Perfect forecast for Sunday and I can't wait. Enjoy!

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Post by McLaren on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 11:00 am

Kwini

I reckon Spieth will get to -8, decided on -9 now.  

And a second prediction is that Rory finishes the day closer to the cut line than to Spieth.
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Post by pedro on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 11:23 am

kwinigolfer wrote:
So: Ernie wasn't the only US Open winner to register a NINE then!
PS: The other one still had a decent round.
El Pato

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Post by pedro on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 11:26 am

Spieth's putting is the difference. His long game is a bit shaky from time to time but his putting within 15 ft saves him.

I also have the feeling Lowry left a few shots out there (on the green). He could easily have been a few more under.

And Rory... If he could just put like Kjeldsen's son he would be in the mix every week.

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Post by pedro on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 11:32 am

McLaren wrote:Be careful knocking guy in theit 60's you will have Gary Player on your case.  Did you read/hear his rant about Nobilo and another GC commentators comments during the ceremonial tee shots?

Apparently we don't know what humans can do these days!

http://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepage/2016/4/7/gary-player-i-listened-to-the-golf-channel-yesterday-and-ive.html
Player is so right. Nobilo and that other guy is full of BS.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 11:36 am

Surely it's not just about McIlroy & Spieth, Mac? (Tho' I think you're wrong!)

It's never clear on TV how big a factor the wind is at Augusta, not having a Ken Brown/Peter Kostis on the ground really detracts from the coverage.
But it seems there's been a few more drops of rain early this morning and conditions should be relatively calm for a few more hours before 15 - 20 mph winds pick up later and the place really starts to dry out.
So perhaps the morning wave might get to Spieth's number, at least. Horschel, Snedeker, Lowry/El Pato, maybe even Day , Poults and Willett could all get going early. Whereas forecast for later in the day should see the course becoming firmer and faster.

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Post by raycastleunited on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 11:44 am

I didn't catch any of the coverage last night. Did Sky have Radar Riley out on the course? He is the ideal guy to have out there looking at the lie, assessing the wind, commenting on club selection and and shot choice.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 11:46 am

Quite, ray. But not allowed by the Green Jackets. Which is tone deaf from The Masters and CBS (why don't they demand it?).

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Post by McLaren on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 12:00 pm

Kwini

I am not saying it is just about McIlroy and Spieth but I was just predicting how the two big guns would finish the day.

From a UK perspective lets hope Willet, Rose, Shane, Casey etc have a fine day. Wouldn't be surprised if Rose shot something like a 68, and I think he is the most likely to challenge of the UK contingent.


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Post by Snap Hook on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 12:43 pm

Monty was agreeing with the Green Jackets about only players and caddies on the fairways, he should remember who is paying his wages. A couple of discreet on course reporters with the top groups are not going to make any difference to the 'beauty of Augusta'. On a positive note the adverts are significantly less on Sky during Masters coverage.

Therefore two things to make the Masters perfect, full coverage to start at 2pm UK time each day and on course commentators for 2 select groups.

For what it is worth, think Spieth is going to walk it again, nothing against him, would just like a bit of drama. Though never complained when Tiger was thrashing everybody, so not sure how that logic works!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 12:54 pm

Hope you guys are getting good coverage; ours was pretty much unwatchable, gave up after a couple of hours and just followed it on-line.

Mac,
If the afternoon's winds are as strong as forecast, Rose's tee-time could see him out in the worst of it. Played really well yesterday, and probably feels he left a couple of shots out there.
Wish they had to play in our weather- wet snow here right now. But no wind!

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Post by Snap Hook on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 1:13 pm

Kwini,

Sky do pretty well with the hand they are dealt. Commentator wise we do much better having watched the US stuff earlier in the season. All the key players seem happy to give them an interview, not just at the Masters but most weeks.

Ewen Murray, Richard Boxall know their stuff, and get little wrong.

Butch Harmon knows key players well, so get some good insight from him and winds Monty up.

Monty is Monty, he says what he thinks, has toned down the Ryder Cup rhetoric it could be worse.

Paul McGinley, not quite sure what he adds, would possibly swap for Ken Brown if possible.

Missing Radar, as his is the best on the team, but Rich Beem has his job this week. Beem is pretty good, just ignore the Texaa bias!

All I ask is know your stuff, highlight what we don't know as hackers and talk only when required!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 1:19 pm

Big surprise for me yesterday was the eclipse of the SAFfers, only Oosthuizen (T21) in the Top 50.

No announced withdrawals so far this morning, tho' sure we can all think of appropriate candidates.

Biggest hope is a strong enough comeback from Sullivan to earn a Saturday tee-time.


Snap!
Great reviews!
Must admit, would find Montgomerie insufferable, but would definitely be interested in Lord Butch's insight, what with Rickie's 80 and DJ being +2 on the par-5's, all of which must play as Par-4's for him. Agree Riley is really good. And Beem does a good job, enjoy his slightly low-key, respectful insights.

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Post by McLaren on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 1:27 pm

Agreed, Monty is insufferable.  Although not as bad as bruce critchley.  Can't wait for the beeb to start broadcasting on saturday.


If you actually analyze what McGinely says he is usually babbling utter Poopie.
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Post by LadyPutt on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 1:32 pm

Anyone else find the play painfully slow yesterday? I almost fell asleep a couple of times and both LordPutt and I were shouting "get on with it" at the TV to several groups. Might have to watch something else occasionally to break the tedium tonight. Just because it's Augusta they seem to think they have to take even longer over shots, backing off several times and then either missing a putt or pulling a drive or iron (like Stenson on 12th who took an age to decide what club to take and then airmailed it 15ft over the green into the shrubbery  censored ).

Agree the Sky coverage, given that they have to take what pictures they are allowed, is pretty good (please, don't even think about having "Ken on the course" - I'd rather extract my own teeth!) and I with everyone on the stupidity of not allowing on-course reporters following the leading groups.  Having watched the Red Button coverage, and had to endure the US commentators, earlier in the evening, I'm so glad we have our own.
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Post by SmithersJones on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 1:34 pm

I thought Stenson (or his caddie) must have done the old 6/9 iron switcheroo, he hit it that far up that bank.
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Post by pedro on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 1:37 pm

Agree about Paul McGinley. Seat filler at best.
Monty gets some stick on here, but if you look past his personality he usually says something sensible.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 1:37 pm

LP,
Spieth's threesome was put on the clock yesterday.
Imagine Jason Day will be the next.

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Post by pedro on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 1:39 pm

I flipped between golf and the Dortmund-Liverpool game. Dunno what I'll to tonight.

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Post by McLaren on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 1:45 pm

It is odd but if you had said "Allenby's threesome was on the clock yesterday" we would take away a completely different meaning.
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Post by sirbenson on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 1:48 pm

Keep on going Shane! Interesting to find how much quicker the greens get today!

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Post by sirbenson on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 1:50 pm

Monty, Beemer, Boxall know their stuff and add great insight!

Ewen Murray is a cliche after cliche! McGinley is useless! Butch Harmon is so insincere lol!

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Post by Shotrock on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 1:50 pm

Lots of viewers watching the "unwatchable" Kwin.

Have a hunch about Justin Rose.

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Post by sirbenson on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 1:52 pm

And yes I agree Radar is the best on Sky's team, dunno why he isn't there this week!

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 2:02 pm

Some of the slow play might be to do with sight lines. Scott Piercy seemed to wait an age over his eagle attempt and subsequent birdie putt on 15 and it was mentioned twice that he was waiting on Jason Day was on 16 at that time.

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Post by raycastleunited on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 2:06 pm

I can't watch the beginning and the end of Sky's coverage, when they are chatting in the studio. I spend most of my time trying to avoid Butch Harmon's creepy stare, it's like he's trying to bewitch me or perform some sort of jedi mind trick.

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Post by pedro on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 2:08 pm

raycastleunited wrote:I can't watch the beginning and the end of Sky's coverage, when they are chatting in the studio. I spend most of my time trying to avoid Butch Harmon's creepy stare, it's like he's trying to bewitch me or perform some sort of jedi mind trick.
He does have a resemblance to Jabba the Hutt.

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Post by McLaren on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 2:11 pm

You mean the later CGI Jabba or the original?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 2:12 pm

Sr,
Not many feel they have a choice. Guys like Macatee (did you know he was born in Rome?) & Lundquist have no idea who half the field are - they were both on local stations (WFAA I think) when I lived in Dallas. Golf never was their speciality!

I thought Nobilo would be good at Augusta but he must think he's paid by the word. Shut up Frank!

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 2:18 pm

I think over here ESPN interviewed Shane MacLowry after his round.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 2:29 pm

Profiling.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 2:31 pm

Woosie eases smoothly in to last place.

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Post by pedro on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 2:37 pm

1GrumpyGolfer wrote:I think over here ESPN interviewed Shane MacLowry after his round.  
Is he related to Hedrick Stetson?

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Post by Snap Hook on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 3:02 pm

Can only imagine what will happen if US TV interviews Aphibarnrat !

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 3:03 pm

Par-3 6th hole giving them fits this morning. First six golfers thru are +8, only Troy Merritt in with a par.

Not many birdies anywhere so far.

Snap,
Hope they don't call him McAphibarnrat.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 4:04 pm

Davis Love with the best start today, -3, and only Spieth of his likely Ryder Cup Team ahead of him.

Shocking tournaments so far for Grace (+6) and Schwartzel (+7); both falling away from the cut-line which is +4 until Spieth takes it lower.

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Post by JAS on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 4:09 pm

Howeller & Dougherty could have made the cut they way they're performing on the simulator on Masters Breakfast this morning. :-p

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 4:32 pm

Now Grace signs for a 7 on the Par-3 6th. Hole must be playing just about a full shot over par today, but a SEVEN is ridiculous.

England's strong start slipping a touch with Poults and Fitz struggling today.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 4:45 pm

BBC live text coverage suggested it took him six shots to reach the putting surface...

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Post by pedro on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 4:57 pm

Good for pedro who picked Grace in the fantasy game... Headscratch

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 5:01 pm

Don't worry Pedro, I've picked Blundering Watson. The high quality golf from them is driving them on....

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 5:20 pm

Looks like a 3-putt double bogey from Rory - Mac will be thrilled.

Only Love and Snedeker thru the front ine under par so far today - at least until Day finishes the 9th.

Imagine Billy Payne might meet Woosie by the 18th green and withdraw his invitation for next year - 2 x 80-somethings is guaranteed to attract Billy's attention.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 5:58 pm

Just seven players under par for their round today and some of them haven'y played many holes. Troy Merritt could be the first to post a sub par round if he makes par or better at the last.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 6:13 pm

After a birdie at the first this could be over by tonight if Spieth keeps this up. Casey must suck if he was the only one in his group not to birdie the first...

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 6:22 pm

!!
Spieth said yesterday he couldn't have got any more out of his round. Looks like that still applies.
Which is bad news for McDowell, among others.

Magic spell of ten pars to start his round with broken for St.Bernhard - but now on a bogey streak of two. Enough of that.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 6:30 pm

Spieth has failed to break par once in nine rounds and even then it was a level par round. I'm gonna rue discarding him from my selections this week.

The traditional leaderboard has Garcia making double on the ninth while the over/under leaderboard has him yet to finish that hole. What gives, maybe they need to do a recount like Ernie's opening hole yesterday.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 6:35 pm

Casey puts it right on the second hole, each player in that group -1 through their second hole

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 6:38 pm

Grumps, From the tracker it looks like Sergio hit his approach short on #9, then spuds'd at least two chips. Up and down for a 6 by the looks of it.

Casey now has the bird.

Looks like the cut-line will soon hoover the four-overs back up.

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Post by Shotrock on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 6:40 pm

Poulter and Jason Day in reverse.

Like Poulter to make the cut, but not much else.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 6:48 pm

Wouldn't be so sure about Poults - golfchannel.com reckons he shanked his second on 14 (double bogey) and when he puts the hosel into play there's no knowing where it will all end. Nightmares from Honda last year.

Keegan Bradley having a decent round but holding the rest of the field up, a walking roadblock. Five hour rounds only a few groups away unless Paramor is out there.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 6:56 pm

Am I right in thinking the cut is top 44 and ties and those with in 10 shots of the lead?

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