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 kwinigolfer on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 2:20 am

Here's the hourly forecast for Saturday's Round 3:

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

Windy, to say the least.

He's been under the radar, but Weisberger's been playing very well - just +1; and who can forget Kjeldsen's Tour de RCD in howling winds last spring?

Having said all of which:
Dismal showing from the English Friday after such a promising opening:

Willett:      70 - 74
Wood:       72 - 73
Westwood: 71 - 75
Casey:       69 - 77
Rose:         69 -77      
Fitzpatrick: 71 - 76
Poulter:      69 - 78

All above made the cut, plus:

Sullivan:    80 - 77  
What happened to his game?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 2:47 am

Round 3 tee times:

http://www.masters.com/en_US/players/pairings/index.html?promo=espn

Wouldn't fancy getting caught behind the 1.30 p.m. pair: Jason Day, Bernhard Langer.

Spieth & McIlroy are out of the traps at 2.50 p.m.; only makes sense then that TV coverage begins at 3.00 p.m..

The Green Jackets and CBS are such a bunch of tosspots . . . . . . . . .

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Post by super_realist on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 7:22 am

McLaren wrote:Doesn't look like anyone will better a 71?  Wonder if there has been another Masters day where no one broke 70?

Interesting stat about the Masters I wheel out every year is that there has never been a tournament when ANY player has had 4 rounds in the 60's.
Chalk up another for 2016.

Kwini, not all Euro hopes on Pubehead. Kjeldsen, Willett, Garcia and Shoreditch Shane all in with a shout.

Pubehead was 8 behind at one point yesterday, so even the likes of Rose and Poulter could come back into this with stellar rounds.

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Post by pedro on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 8:55 am

If the wind stays up Kjeldsen may be in with a chance. Otherwise he seems a tad too short off tee.

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Post by super_realist on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 9:12 am

Pedro, don't forget that Bible Johnson and Mike Weir both won Masters despite being short hitters, whilst the likes of Donald and Poulter have contended before despite supposed driving shortcomings.

All set for an exciting weekend anyway especially with the battle of minds between Pubehead and The Science Denier. Interesting to see what a head to head in the meat of a tournament will produce. Who blinks first?

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Post by beninho on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 9:42 am

They said it's been almost 10 years since no one broke 70. It's a difficult course. Still very open. Rory playing well and getting his fair share of birdies to make up for his usual bogeys and doubles. Another tough weather day and an early starter could get himself right back into it. Think snedeker is one to watch.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 11:25 am

Agree super, and I mentioned Wiesberger & Kjeldsen in a later post.; thing I liked about both is their consistency this week.

It sounds as if the hole placements yesterday were, in some cases at least, incompatible with the forecast wind. Hope they make appropriate allowances today - think average scoring Thursday was about 74.1, Friday about 75.1. Should be lower today without Clarke and Woosnam; hope someone comes out with a low round early.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 12:22 pm

Hilton Head next week and noteworthy contestants scheduled to include Jason Bohn, less than two months after being ambulanced away from the course following a heart attack.

Casey, Donald, McDool, Poulter and Fitzpatrick among other committed starters.

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Post by pedro on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 1:10 pm

Spieth sounded a bit upset and out of balance in the post round presser last night. If Rory jingles the change in his pocket early on I think he could get the better of him.


Last edited by pedro on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 3:34 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by pedro on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 1:16 pm

Bubba playing with a marker. Hope he gets knoxed out.

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Post by McLaren on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 2:34 pm

Spieth claimed he was 2 shots worse than his goal for the day. But I reckon he thought he would finish the day at -8 or better, and has thrown a wobbly at not making that number.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 2:48 pm

Funny (peculiar) old comments from Jordan Spieth to the effect he'd rather not be playing with someone he considers an immediate rival.
Hope Rory plays his own game, most importantly at his own pace, and doesn't get sucked in to Spieth's pace of play, perhaps even try to make Spieth hurry a little, which he didn't seem to fancy Friday.

Almost certain to be at least as windy today, perhaps even more so. Hope they've been sensible with the pace of greens and course set-up; greens yesterday started to get a bit crusty, no humidity in the air at all and even the chance of frost tonight.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 4:08 pm

One man off to a flying start. Larry Mize. Well, who did you expect?

Interesting from the GC.
Q).Who has most wins since 2010 after trailing thru 36 holes?
A).R.McIlroy

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Post by Shotrock on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 6:16 pm

Today: Rory goes straight and long, putts like he can, and leads by 4+ going in to tomorrow. Remember, you heard it here first.


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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 6:47 pm

Hope you're right Shotrock,
Lots of stuff in the US media about Rory being 28 strokes better than Jordan in 14 groupings together. Today is another day, however. Fingers crossed for Rory.
But there are more than a dozen lying in wait for slips by either. Or both.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 7:21 pm

Equal best round since Thursday from Oosthuizen, 71.
Nothing better than 75 otherwise, tho Bill Haas is closing out a good round.
Poulter and Justin Rose beating a retreat, Casey & Westwood struggling early..

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 7:48 pm

Langer up to 5th, Kaymer tied for last.

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Post by McLaren on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 8:47 pm

First 4 holes show you just how little advantage Rory's massively superior ball striking gives him if he doesn't use optimal course management. Again I ask WTF his caddie offers? But that might be a discussion for another day.

Spieth has hit it like a 12 handicapper and has gained 2 shots on Rory. I will take Spieths short game over Rory's long game in these conditions.
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Post by SmithersJones on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 8:55 pm

Day's drive on 10 showing as 384 yds on the tracker Shocked
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Post by McLaren on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 8:59 pm

Day must be on the Gray player diet.
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Post by GPB on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 9:01 pm

McLaren wrote:
Spieth has hit it like a 12 handicapper and has gained 2 shots on Rory.  I will take Spieths short game over Rory's long game in these conditions.

What 12 handicapper do you that could hit #2 in two shots?

I don't how you think Rory has had Superior Ball striking (versus Spieth) over the first 4 holes.

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Post by McLaren on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 9:07 pm

Spieth's miss hits so far.

Bit out the heel on the drive on 1
Too much draw on drive on 2.
Way right on 3
hooked again on 4
Toe or slightly skied 3 wood off the tee on 5 and slightly heavy second shot.


But my point was he has made some great recovery shots and is putting very well.
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Post by GPB on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 9:14 pm

McLaren wrote:Spieth's miss hits so far.

Bit out the heel on the drive on 1
Too much draw on drive on 2.
Way right on 3
hooked again on 4
Toe or slightly skied 3 wood off the tee on 5 and slightly heavy second shot.


But my point was he has made some great recovery shots and is putting very well.

Rory's drive on #2 was in the Fairway bunker
Rory's drive on #3 was in a fariway bunker
Rory also hooked his tee shot on #4

You said  " massively superior ball striking"  and I don't see how you can say Rory's ball striking has been better, let alone "Massively Superior".

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Post by McLaren on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 9:20 pm

GPB, I wasn't really speaking about today but rather in general. It was just obvious that Spieth wasn't exactly timing his shots all that well but still pulled out two on Rory, who seemed to be getting it out the middle but not aiming in the correct places.

I think you would agree that Day, Rory, Rose, Scott, Stenson, DJ all have ball striking and long games that are different to Spieths long game. You can sort of tell they have more length and higher clubhead speeds than Jordan.


And Spieth wild right again on 7 and probably got a little fortunate "bounce" off a patrons sneaker.
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Post by SmithersJones on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 9:25 pm

Who's the American on the beeb? Is it Zinger?
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Post by GPB on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 9:25 pm

So you are making a generalization based on 4 holes of Spieth's play against Rory's overall game?

OK Gotcha

Yes, when Rory is firing on all cylinders, his game is probably better than Spieth.

But the last time I checked, golf is played off the tee, from the fairway AND on the putting green.

If only tee to green counted, Moe Norman might be considered the best player to ever play the game.

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Post by McLaren on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 9:29 pm

No, I said it was clear that despite Rory's better ability to hit booming drives and towering long irons etc he cannot compete with Spieth if Spieth putts and chips to his ability. I meant the first 4 holes backed up this thought and not the the first 4 holes were the only basis for the thought.

I think you agree with what I am saying?
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Post by McLaren on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 9:32 pm

Do we need a better illustration of my point than 7? Rory cannot cope on these greens and Spieth is a putting machine at the moment.
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Post by SmithersJones on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 9:38 pm

Speith hitting a lot of 3 woods, even on the par 5s. Worked well on 2, where he wasn't straight but Rory put it in the bunker with driver, and now on 8 he's hit 3 wood right and Rory's in the bunker with driver.

Meanwhile, Matsuyama san is under par and Day being dragged along by Langer!
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Post by GPB on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 9:39 pm

No one is making much on these greens Mac.  Its not just Rory.

When you start itemizing Spieth's tee shots, without comparing them to Rory, yes I think you are taking some liberties with furthering your argument.

Spieth should be lauded (and not criticized) for exploiting his short game and putting prowess.

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Post by McLaren on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 9:51 pm

Anyway, someone else who can putt is Day, and now he must be the main threat to Spieth if he can birdie 15 and get home safely.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 9:55 pm

Nice comeback from lw1, 32 on the back nine and did ten press ups on the 18th green after he'd putted out.

Willett, Wood, Rose and even Casey with decent rounds.

Good news for Jeff Knox: He gets to play as a "marker" again.

Bad news for Jeff Knox: He'll likely be paired with Kevin Na.

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Post by pedro on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 9:56 pm

You check putting inside 15 ft and you'll understand why Spieth is leading this.

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Post by pedro on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 9:59 pm

Poor Jeff Knox. First Bubba, then Na.

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Post by pedro on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 10:00 pm

If Tom Watson couldn't win at 58 maybe Langer can.

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Post by McLaren on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 10:01 pm

It is hard to tell if Rory is more scared when he is putting or when Spieth is putting?
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Post by beninho on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 10:09 pm

Don't know how spieth is pulling this off. Into crowds and then appearing to get decent lies. Rory not been poor just not as good. The 7th was a killer hole. A par would have made such a difference. Can spieth scramble like this for the rest of the event??

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Post by McLaren on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 10:17 pm

FFS, McIlroy just can't get inside Spieth even when he has played an extra shot and is 40 yards closer to the green. How much longer can Rory go without a birdie before he is out of this?
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Post by pedro on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 10:19 pm

Only an eagle on 13 or 15 can save him

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Post by beninho on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 10:21 pm

He's bad tee shot has been punished and spieth bad tees shot have gotten away with a shot in. Anyone else within 4 or 5 tomorrow you'd have a chance but with jordan in this form it will be difficult for anyone not within a couple of shots. I can see rory taking on the par 5s and finding water on one of them.

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Post by pedro on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 10:28 pm

If Spieth is playing like a 12 hcp'er, Rory is playing like Ray Charles.

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Post by beninho on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 10:31 pm

Awful shot that. Again no luck with where he ended.

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Post by pedro on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 10:32 pm

pedro wrote:If Spieth is playing like a 12 hcp'er, Rory is playing like Ray Charles Stephen Hawking.
Had to correct that one...

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 10:33 pm

That was moronic . . . . . .

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Post by SmithersJones on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 10:36 pm

Rory is playing as poorly as I've seen him for some time. Speith isn't at his best but is clearly way better.
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Post by beninho on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 10:38 pm

Rory got suckered by jordan being jordan and saving almost everything. I think he felt the need to go for it way to early, still another day for fk sake.

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Post by beninho on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 10:41 pm

Lager in the last group Sunday. ...

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Post by SmithersJones on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 10:42 pm

I was really looking forward to a tight battle tonight, but with hindsight that would have only happened if the course was playing a bit easier. Something of a war of attrition with the course playing as it is. Shocked at Jordan 3 jabbing.
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Post by pedro on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 10:43 pm

If just Rory was chatting half as much with his caddie as Spieth he wouldn't be in this mess time after time.

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Post by beninho on Sat 09 Apr 2016, 10:44 pm

Still can't work out if I'm enjoying watching them struggle or not!

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