PGA Tour: "Danny, Champion of The World"?: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 2:41 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).Well done Danny Willett! Hopefully The Masters will prove to be the first of many Major wins.

2).Anyone blaming the 12th hole water safari for Jordan Spieth's defeat is missing parts of a bigger picture. After his Round 1 66, Spieth reckoned that he got everything he possibly could have out of his round. Perhaps he proved it from Friday to Sunday as his +4 over Rounds 2, 3 & 4 was only 19th best in the field. Willett by contrast went -3, DJ was -2, Westwood and Holmes -1 and the rest even par or worse.

3).Willett ranked 1st or 2nd in both Par-3 and Par-4 scoring, but was only even par on the Par-5's, whereas Spieth was -11 (and Rory -10, Casey -9). Angel Cabrera was +5 on the Par-5's, +8 on the 15th hole alone, a birdie hole for almost everyone else in the field, yet still finished 24th at 6 over par.

4).Other random thoughts from Masters week:
How bad did Arnold Palmer look at the ceremonial opening drive? Thank goodness he didn't try to swing the club. He talks about his damaged shoulder but rumours abound that there's something much more serious chasing him. Sadly can't see any more Champions Dinners for Arnie.

5).Didn't the 350 yard Par-4 3rd hole prove that there's room at Augusta National for something more strategic than the otherwise relentless diet of 450+ yard Par-4's?

6).Billy Payne needs to let CBS TV have course reporters following the golfers. Or CBS needs to insist on it.
And CBS's broadcast crew have an average age of about 60. It was good to hear Dottie Pepper on the broadcast, but surely some younger blood would freshen things up a little/lot?
The magnanimous Green Jackets announced the award of a lifetime membership to Peter Oosterhuis - sure Peter is thrilled, but how cynical can Augusta National get?

7).Olympic stuff:
Paul Casey must have thought a 4th place finish would close the gap between him and Willett in the qualifying race for Team GB. Wrong, so expect to see Casey play a little more often now (starting this week) as it's probable that his only route to Rio is to secure a Top 15 owg ranking - unlikely he'll overhaul Willett & Rose.
And Fiji probably won't be represented with Vijay opting to concentrate on the PGA Tour.

8).Low Amateur was the golfer known to CBS as Bryson Deeee Sham Bo. He's now turned pro and debuts at this week's RBC Heritage.
Also returning to action will be Jason Bohn after apparently having recovered from his Honda heart attack. Good health to him.

9).Harbour Town has undergone some changes. The greens have been laid with TifEagle Bermuda (will that also mean they are firmer, this year anyway?) and tee-boxes, fairways and rough reseeded; a new irrigation system will hopefully improve the course's sustainability for the 51 weeks a year the Tour's circus is not in town.
Weather will have its say again this week, with winds an ever-present unwanted guest and rain expected, especially on Friday.

10).Good to see Matt Fitzpatrick committed for a week beside the seaside.
But this is also an important week for compadre Luke Donald who has a fantastic (for a non-winner anyway) record here. He's accumulated 3x 2nd place finishes and 2 x 3rd's since 2009, so if he's ever going to recapture his form, this will be a friendly place to start.
Two of Lukey's Ryder Cup mates from 2010 and 2012, McDowell (2013 winner here) & Molinari are also playing and both could use a return to form.
Harbour Town is among the shortest courses on the PGA Tour at 7,000+ yds and is probably the most "playable" for amateurs, low and high handicap golfers alike. A gorgeous place.
We've had the streak of "International" winners this spring. Now for a European streak?

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Post by pedro on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 8:23 pm

Justin Thomas Justin the water. 3 times.

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Post by GPB on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 8:42 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:This week's sideshow, Deee Shambo needs a top ten finish to enable him to save a sponsor's invitation (he has six remaining, and why do they pronounce his name like that?),

How do you think it should be pronounced?

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Post by SmithersJones on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 8:45 pm

Duh not Deee and Shombo not Shambo
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Post by McLaren on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 8:50 pm

d'shambo
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Post by McLaren on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 8:50 pm

What smithers said.
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Post by pedro on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 8:55 pm

ChateauDeBriand?

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Post by GPB on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 9:07 pm

I think it should be pronounced the way that Bryson says it is pronounced.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 9:17 pm

All I think is:
Come on Luke!!

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Post by puligny on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 9:22 pm

With our trough, rough, through and bough etc etc I think we Brits should be the last to get fussed about pronunciation. Over in La Belle France things is different and I reckon they'd be quite picky about the pronunciation of De Chambeau. Irrespective of that, looks a good player - good luck young man - stay humble.

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Post by GPB on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 9:30 pm

How about "Le Chapeau" ?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 9:32 pm

Mister Grace is taking Harbour Town apart - not sure Lukey's game can keep pace.

The CBS crowd are pronouncing their latest prodigy's name differently today. Much more duh from them.



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Post by GPB on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 9:36 pm

Gossip question:

Wasn't Sergio engaged to a girl from Austria or Germany?

If he was, it must be over, because he is apparently going out with some gal from the Golf Channel.

https://twitter.com/TheSergioGarcia/status/721790834857775105

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 9:48 pm

Dunno what Angela Akins is like but his previous fling was absolutely gorgeous. Followed her following Sergio for 18 holes. Enjoyed every minute.


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Post by GPB on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 9:53 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Dunno what Angela Akins is like but his previous fling was absolutely gorgeous. Followed her following Sergio for 18 holes. Enjoyed every minute.


She has long dark hair.  She is definitely a head-turner, but not stunningly beautiful.

She recently got divorced, previous name was Angela Hamann and worked for Fox Sports.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUFV-v9Z7Ec

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Post by McLaren on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 10:00 pm

Anyone else reminded of this with us Brits trying to do French.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqwzvtjeYBQ


GPB

Good shout on Le Chapeau. Chef
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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 11:26 pm

The first of many wins on the PGA Tour for Branden Grace methinks.
Anyone be surprised if he won a Major Championship before the year is out?

Luke used up all his putts saving his round, not going out and winning the bl00dy thing, but great to see him playing well again.


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Post by SmithersJones on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 11:28 pm

Just seen this from @TweeterAlliss https://youtu.be/bjwTpOh3kQo
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Post by GPB on Sun 17 Apr 2016, 11:48 pm

The French might have invented the French language.

But the New World perfected it!

Shocked

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 12:33 am

The English might have invented the English language.

But the New World butchered it!

Ale

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Post by McLaren on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 12:37 am

Since when was Scotland in the new world Kwini?
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Post by Shotrock on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 12:48 am

Nah, Kwini ... the "New World" kept the language relevant. Wink

Not having to play in majors may suit Lukey!

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Post by McLaren on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 10:35 am

I didn't get a chance to watch the golf yesterday. Just wondering if it was a bit of a weak effort from Luke or was he just passed by someone playing sublime golf?


Would a win for Luke just have dragged out a declining career or is he genuinely on the up again?
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Post by SmithersJones on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 11:19 am

I didn't see much of it but Grace did shoot 66, so Luke needed to be -3 to beat him. Luke has form round there, and it's one of the shorter courses on tour so it's not certain that he's properly back but it has to be encouraging.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 11:35 am

Yup, Thought Luke played well but not great. But Grace played superbly, -6 over his final 19 holes and agree with Smithers that Luke could have played error-free golf (which he didn't) and still not won. His short game looked much better though, and that's been lacking the past year or so.
Almost certain now to keep his card for next season without using career exemptions and that's a plus.
Good to see Russell Knox playing a really strong round also.

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Post by pedro on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 12:51 pm

Backed Grace for the last couple of Majors, incl last weeks Masters. He had a few poor results this Spring but think he could pull a Major soon. Came pretty close at last years US Open.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 1:38 pm

Most owg points this year. Top Ten:
180: Willett
174: Scott
164: Day
154: Spieth
129: Fowler
127: Sneds
124: Bubba
115: Grace
114: RCB
102: Oosthuizen

Fair reflection of the year so far?

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Post by SmithersJones on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 2:05 pm

Sneds surprises me a little, otherwise yes.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 2:34 pm

Snedeker started the season 3, 2, 1, and has added a couple more Top Tens so about right.

So far this PGA Tour season (as opposed to year), USA have won 11 tournaments, ROTW 12.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 2:54 pm

Not all that surprising when you consider Day doesn't have a major this season and willett has also won the Dubai dessert classic.


What the list does show is that Rory is nowhere near the current form of most of the top 10.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 5:28 pm

Very true Mac,
Rory would be 13th, behind Dustin & Hideki and a fraction ahead of Stenson.

The Beef:

http://www.golfchannel.com/media/andrew-johnston-joins-fairways-life/

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Post by raycastleunited on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 7:51 pm

During the interview he says he would be heading to the bar at North Middlesex golf club to celebrate. It is a pleasant but short (5,500 yards) cramped course where holes cross over each other and there are very little in the way of practice facilities.

Surprising to hear he didn't move to a "bigger" course as his talent emerged. I've played it a couple of times and you can get on for £15, the very opposite of the exclusivity of Queenwood etc. Quite a coup for the club!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 18 Apr 2016, 7:58 pm

He didn't say he was going to play there!
Just said he'd be at the bar at 10.00 a.m.!

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Post by beninho on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 10:38 am

So Danny Willett has taken PGA tour membership, suppose you would wouldn't you. And he is straight in at number 27 for the fedex cup bonanza based on two appearances, so thats not bad.

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Post by McLaren on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 10:49 am

Just saw that Benhino. http://www.weiunderpar.com/?p=44289


Anyone know how this will work for him?

For example how many PGAT events will he need to play this season?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 10:55 am

Wow!
Yup, interesting to see how they calibrate his obligations for the rest of the year.
Can't really see that it means anything other than FedEx Play-Off participation and bonus points.

Imagine DC is a bit disappointed.

And it raises the bar for guys around the cusp of the Top 125 in FedEx pts; even more so if DeShambo gets a win. Poulter pay attention.

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Post by McLaren on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 11:29 am

I know Willett won't get his faux fedex points from the 15/16 season WGC's he has earned so far, but does playing in the events count towards his obligatory minimum events?

I was really hoping that Willett would not take up double dipping. What he is doing has won him the Masters, why not go with it for a while and see what else you can achieve with his current schedule?
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Post by beninho on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 11:48 am

I would assume that they would be a bit flexible on his overall commitments, considering he has joined in part way through a season. Its a coup for the PGA tour, they poach ( for want of a better word) the newly crowned masters champion from Europe. I am sure he had discussions behind closed doors.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 11:56 am

Chubby probably "had discussions behind closed doors". Imagine there's no further obligation on Willett, perhaps beyond a couple of stops he might have played anyway.
He's played five, add three Majors and The Bridgestone, that's nine.
Possibly Memphis (week before Oakmont), then The Barclays & DeutscheBank both of which he'll surely qualify for.
Imagine Finchem's motivation is to ensure Danny is a Member for 16/17.

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Post by McLaren on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 12:00 pm

Kwini/ben

Do you think he should have taken up membership of the PGAT or stuck with just playing on the European tour for the time being?
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Post by beninho on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 12:07 pm

Cannot see any reason why he would not have taken it. He is pretty much guaranteed a place in the playoffs already, and probably only needs to tweak his schedule to add a couple of tournaments, as he already would have been playing a few events in America this year already. And with the potential money on offer, its a no brainer.

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Post by McLaren on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 12:34 pm

I am sure it seemed like a no brainer for; Westwood, Kaymer, Donaldson, Hanson, Molinari, Dubuisson, and Coasertes to name a few. But as I like to point out at every oppertunity double dipping has proved very detrimental to quite a few promising European careers in the last 5-10 year.

Only players at the very top like Donald, Rose and McIlroy have made a success out of double dipping.

What I find really odd is that outside this board I have never heard it mentioned that Europeans are finding it increasingly difficult to double dip. Surely some of the players and managers are now aware of the issue?

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Post by beninho on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 12:44 pm

But WIllet has a guarenteed 5 years on the PGA tour, subject to playing the right amount of events, so its hard to compare him to Colsearts, Dubisson, Molinari, Donaldson and Hansson, who to be fair, are decent but not exceptional players. Westwood did ok, but didnt he come back due to his relationship break up, and again. Think the similarities are with Kaymer, though im not sure how Kaymer messed up his schedule to lose his card.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 12:48 pm

Would also have thought it's a no-brainer for this year.
The devil will be in the details of what he does going forward.

For the golfers you mention, would think only Colsaerts has truly failed.
It was unlikely to do Westwood much good but he did OK, not great. Hanson got injured (serious mistake) and Dubuisson and Kaymer never really tried much last year. Jury still out on Donaldson & Molinari but obviously they are finding it difficult.

Stenson's done OK, Poulter too though at a lesser level. As for Harrington, who knows?

Donaldson, Lowry, Molinari & Poulter will be the ones to watch this year - all a bit precarious as the season enters its second half.

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Post by McLaren on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 12:57 pm

Kwini

I can't find the post but I don't know if you remember but I once compared OWGR positions before and after attempting to double dip and I think only Stenston, Rory and Rose improved after switching to double dipping.

So it isn't just that double dipping results in crappy form on the PGAT but that it harms the players overall position in world golf. It certainly doesn't seem to make it more likely to win a major. Which is the exact contrary to what I used to think, which was that Europeans needed to play in the US if they wanted to win more majors. For reasons such as getting comfortable on the greens.

Another measure that might be useful to look at is players who start double dipping after being on a Ryder cup team who then fail to make the team next time around.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 1:15 pm

Can't imagine that Casey and Donald wouldn't also fit the owgr litmus test, probably Poulter also.

Surely it depends on the player, his family and their goals? McDowell had a rotten season in 2015 but no doubt welcoming his child more than compensated. He'll start to find things more difficult now he's in the owgr 60's (or is it 70's now?). But he's almost assured of three Play-Off events . . . . . .

Plenty have abandoned Tour membership for those reasons, dating back to Miguel-Angel, Darren Clarke and others.

Two key things are sensible scheduling and fitness, plus being assured of a Top 50 owgr ranking.

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Post by GPB on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 4:14 pm

Willett won't held to 15 events this year as someone who joined halfway through the season.  My guess he will be asked to play 2 regular events (including the Players) plus the three majors/1 WGC and however far he makes it into the Playoffs.  

That will make 11 events (before Playoffs) as he as already played 5 PGATour events (3 WGCs, Valspar and Masters).

=============

The addition of the Fall events to the FEX schedule is making it harder for anyone playing a "lean" PGAT schedule to make the playoffs.  It use to take ~350-375 FEX pts to make the playoffs, but after adding the Fall Events it is now 450-475 pts.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 4:36 pm

Agree GPB,
More than halfway thru the season and, presumably, Donaldson is the new #125 and he's got 235 points so far.

Some "faces" who are outside the Top 125 at present include:
Simpson
Bradley
Poulter
Mahan
de Jonge
Cameron Smith
Hoffmann
Stricker (the JDC is yet to be played)

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Post by GPB on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 4:56 pm

Active Players exemptions

Lifetime:
Woods, Mickelson, Singh, Love

Exempt through 2020-21 season:
Speith, Day, Scott, Watson, Willett

Exempt through 2019-2020 season:
Rory, Rose, Kuch, Zach, Rickie, Jimmy Walker

Exempt through 2018-19 Season
Kaymer, Horschel, Knox, Sang Moon Bae

Exempt through 2017-18 season:
Spoiler:

Webb Simpson 
Charl Schwartzel
Henrik Stenson
Dustin Johnson
Shane Lowry
Patrick Reed
Matt Every
David Lingmerth
Brandt Snedeker
Emiliano Grillo
Smylie Kaufman
Chris Kirk 
Peter Malnati
Graeme McDowell
Justin Thomas
Kevin Kisner
Fabian Gomez
Hideki Matsuyama
Tony Finau
Vaughn Taylor
Jim Herman
Branden Grace


Exempt through  2016-17 season:
Spoiler:

Keegan Bradley 
Ernie Els 
Bill Haas
Steven Bowditch
Alex Cejka
Jim Furyk
James Hahn
Padraig Harrington
J.J. Henry
Charley Hoffman
J.B. Holmes
Brooks Koepka 
Danny Lee
Hunter Mahan
Ben Martin
Troy Merritt
Ryan Moore
Scott Piercy
Robert Streb
Steve Stricker 
Nick Taylor


Last edited by GPB on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 5:03 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Put spoiler tags to make post shorter)

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Post by McLaren on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 5:09 pm

GPB

thanks for the exemptions list.


But it raises an issue discussed on here a few days ago regarding Kaymer. He is on the above exempt list but at the same time lost his PGAT card this season for not playing enough events.

So what does that mean for his exemption though 2019? That must surely have been withdrawn as well?
McLaren
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Post by GPB on Tue 19 Apr 2016, 5:31 pm

Kaymer is can renew his membership for the 2016-17 season.

He had to spend a year in "purgatory" as a penalty for not playing enough events last season.

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