PGA Tour: "Valero Texas Open": Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 3:36 pm

1).It seems we've jumped overnight from the "Beginning of the Golf Season" at The Masters, to the second half of the PGA Tour season - and well into the second half for those not certain to reach the FedEx Cup Play-Offs (and guarantee their "card" for another year). (Pros like Molinari, Poulter, de Jonge, and Morgan Hoffmann.)

2).What have we learned so far?
Young Guns silenced?
But the oldies are far from golden?
"Internationals" beating Americans?
Changing of the GB&I guard continues?

3).The narrative during the first few weeks of the 15/16 season was all about the youth movement, with Grillo, Kaufman, Thomas, Knox, Malnati and Spieth all winning tournaments before the middle of January. But since then, only Tony Finau among Young Americans has won, but Jason Day, Matsuyama, Danny Willett and Branden Grace are (with Knox and Grillo) proving that the "Tour" is now truly international as they represent every corner of the world.

4).With McDowell, Gomez, Scott and Schwartzel also winning, Americans have only won 11 of the 23 events so far. Just a few years ago, over-40's like Vijay and Kenny Perry were winning as often on Tour as any youngster not called Tiger or Phil, but there hasn't been an over-40 winner since 51-y-o Davis Love won at Greensboro last summer, JJ Henry (remember him?) before Davis.

5).Recent runner-up finishes from Donald and Westwood notwithstanding, the changing of the GB&I guard continues. One by one established players are slipping out of the owgr Top 50 and that will exclude them from some big tournaments. For instance, these luminaries are outside qualifying positions for specified Majors & WGC's:
Donald: Not in US Open, Open Championship or Bridgestone.
Donaldson: Very dodgy for Players and US Open, not in Bridgestone.
Harrington: Not in US Open or Bridgestone.
McDowell: Not in Open Championship or Bridgestone.
Poulter: Not in US Open, Open Championship or Bridgestone.
(Westwood should now be OK for Oakmont and Baltusrol, and hopefully Bridgestone.)
Whilst up-and-comers like Lowry, Knox, Willett, Fitzpatrick, Sullivan, Wood etc should be OK for the lot, just a small? against Wood for Bridgestone.

6).Perhaps US golfers will find their mojo in Texas after only Spieth earned a podium finish at Augusta or Hilton Head. The "Valero Texas Open" is the first full (156 golfers) full-field event since last summer and every web.com graduate (yup, even Brian Davis) gets into the field, plus several with "conditional status".
It is also, year in, year out, among the Tour's biggest contributors to local charities, far ahead of events that attract far better fields and media attention. A bit like the Byron Nelson in Dallas in that respect.
The Greg Norman/Sergio Garcia design at TPC San Antonio is a demanding Par-72 lay-out which seems to play exponentially harder the tougher the conditions.
Last year's scoring average was the highest of any non-Major, and the Par-5's the toughest.

7).Branden Grace is the top-ranked player in the field, but Patrick Reed, Snedeker, Zach, Phil, Holmes, Kuchar, Billy Ho and last year's winner, local boy Jimmy Walker, are all in San Antonio
So is Charley Hoffman, he of many recent appearances on Thursday leaderboards. Charley may be at it again, as he is a bona fide course specialist, never worse than 13th in each of the Tour's six visits to the course and the tournament leader in many categories. But not wins of course.

8).Jordan Spieth has played here the past three years but he's clearly rationalising his Tour schedule. He's already cut out San Diego and Hilton Head, now Texas as he morphs towards more of a galactico schedule. And, talking of water sports, Spieth is messing about on boats in the Bahamas with Messrs Fowler, Kaufman and Justin Thomas (who contrived to shoot 82 round Harbour Town on Sunday - not sure about that boy).

9).Martin Laird won "Texas" three years ago, which makes one wonder why he's not shown up this year.
Luke Donald is here; it's not exactly Harbour Town but if Lukey's short game is as good as it was last week perhaps another decent finish is in prospect. Harrington's here too, and he's played San Antonio well before - more please Padraig.

10).Branden Grace played superbly last weekend at Harbour Town with some fantastic shot-making - it's asking a lot to expect him to follow up that effort (Coup de Grace as one headline put it) with something similar this week, but his win was a timely follow-up to his US Open, PGA and Presidents Cup performances of last year.
Would you choose anyone ahead of Grace to win a "first Major" in the next year or so? Thought not.


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 6:15 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by I'm never wrong on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 3:43 pm

Point 5 Kwini...how many of those Europeans will be "encouraged" to play the French Open with its double-bubble rather than the Bridgestone?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 4:05 pm

I think McDowell is the only one who's come out and said they'll play France. But don't think he's qualified yet for Bridgestone so it might be a moot point!
Real answer: Dunno.

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Post by GPB on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 5:35 pm

GMac will be exempt for the US Open through 2020.

2010 US Open Champion.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 6:14 pm

Oops,
I'll correct that. Thanks GPB.

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Post by GPB on Wed 20 Apr 2016, 11:13 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:
... The "Valero Texas Open" is the first full (156 golfers) full-field event since last summer and every web.com graduate (yup, even Brian Davis) gets into the field, plus several with "conditional status"....

Not quite right Kwini,

RSM (akaMcGladrey), CareerBuilder, Farmers, and Pebble Beach were all 156 player fields.

They were conducted on multiple courses, pre-cut.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 21 Apr 2016, 10:26 am

Strangely enough Golf Digest are hacking off LPGA players

http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golf-central-blog/spiranac-digest-cover-irks-some-within-lpga/?cid=twitter-gc-a-spiranac-digest-cover-irks-some-within-lpga-042016

Paige Spiranac spread across the front of the latest issue hasn't gone down too well.

Is golf digest trying to fill the void left by the demise of Lads mags?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 21 Apr 2016, 2:58 pm

That didn't last long; a thunderstorm has been blowing through the area and the boys are back at the breakfast buffet. Imagine they'll be washing their bacon butties down shortly and back out there. More showers forecast for this afternoon.
EDIT: That may be optimistic, looks now as if things are going to get worse before they get better.

Drier on Friday and Saturday but more storms a-coming on Sunday, so they say.

Louis Oosthuizen the latest top player to remove himself from Olympic consideration.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 21 Apr 2016, 4:06 pm

Quite a long story about Tiger and how weird his life got after the death of his father.

http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/15278522/how-tiger-woods-life-unraveled-years-father-earl-woods-death?ex_cid=espntw
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Post by SmithersJones on Thu 21 Apr 2016, 5:28 pm

McLaren wrote:Quite a long story about Tiger and how weird his life got after the death of his father.

http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/15278522/how-tiger-woods-life-unraveled-years-father-earl-woods-death?ex_cid=espntw

Thanks for that Mac, interesting article that has made me feel quite sorry for him.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 21 Apr 2016, 7:21 pm

Wright Thompson is brilliant.

Fame and addictive/compulsive personality must be a dangerously potent combination.
Rather him than me.


Looks like they're back out there in San Antone - good scoring so far, the inevitable Charley Hoffman to the fore!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 21 Apr 2016, 9:25 pm

Early starters just coming up their 18th hole. Plenty under par, but nothing extravagant so far, Hoffman in front, of course.

Nothing extravagant - unlike last year when Baddeley made a birdie from about 330 yards on the Par-4 17th. He needs another one of them right now.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 21 Apr 2016, 11:06 pm

I wondered why there was so much coverage of the sage junior invitational going on, and now I know why.

Tiger currently hitting balls there while he gives a clinic.

Is he about to announce he will play The Players™?
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Post by McLaren on Thu 21 Apr 2016, 11:30 pm

Back?

PGA Tour: "Valero Texas Open": Notes from the Ballwasher CgmXmYxUcAEt5R3
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Post by McLaren on Thu 21 Apr 2016, 11:52 pm

Some video of Tiger hitting.

http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golf-central-blog/watch-woods-hits-balls-junior-clinic/?cid=twitter-gc-a-watch-woods-hits-balls-junior-clinic-042116
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Post by Roller_Coaster on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 8:47 am

McLaren wrote:Back?]

I believe that is the current manifestation of his injury, yes.

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Post by McLaren on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 11:15 am

Anyone been following the brat packs Bahama's trip?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 1:04 pm

Round 1 will be completed this morning with almost all Thursday's "afternoon wave" sill to finish their round.

Weather is forecast to co-operate, at least thru' Saturday evening so the tournament should be on schedule by then at the very latest. Still the chance that Round 2 might wrap up this evening.


Brian Davis withdrew due to neck problems yesterday and there must now be question marks over his future as a touring Pro. In normal circumstances, and with the bigger fields of the summer months, he'd be in good shape to play most remaining events, but not if he's unfit. He could very well close out 2015/2016 with only "veteran" status remaining on Tour; not only that but, as a non-winner, he'll have no exemption status on the Champions Tour when the time comes.

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Post by McLaren on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 1:41 pm

In some ways I think Brain Davis deserves quite a bit of respect. I know he didn't try a whole lot of double dipping so life on the PGAT was a bit easier for him compared to other Europeans, but he managed to retain his card for at least 10 seasons.

When we think of some of the disastrous attempts made by Europeans on the PGAT over that period he has done pretty well. You have to think he could have been a top ten player on the European order of merit had he stayed in Europe, and possibly an outside chance of getting into a Ryder cup squad via the euro list.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 2:10 pm

Brian Davis never tried to double-dip; he qualified via Q-School (as did Greg Owen and one or two others) and committed himself 100% to the PGA Tour.
He's had a fine career, but feel it's a bit far-fetched to suggest he'd've been a top ten player on the ET with any regularity.

His career is now at a crossroads and it'll take a 'uooge effort for him to retrieve his Tour card. Scarcely long enough to be competitive on most Tour courses and his short game recently has seldom been good enough.

PS: Back underway with Round 1 in Texas. Round 2 starting within the hour.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 2:21 pm

How do you like them Apples, Kwini? In with a 67 and probably some points in the Fantasy League

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 2:29 pm

I like 'em! Think he closed out his round with five straight birds. He's been playing much better golf these past few weeks so hope he keeps it up. Patrick Reed going like a train now; wish I'd picked him!

And happy to see Molinari playing better; talk about someone who needs a good result . . . . . . .

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Post by McLaren on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 2:42 pm

http://www.golfdigest.com/story/did-soccer-superstar-gareth-bale-injure-himself-playing-golf?mbid=social_twitter

Since when was Bale thought of as more of a diver than usual?

Also, since when did we think "soccer" stars were versatile athletes?


Something a bit weird about the way that story is written.
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Post by Davie on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 2:45 pm

McLaren wrote:
Since when was Bale thought of as more of a diver than usual?

Always. He had a reputation as a diver right back to his Spurs days

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 2:52 pm

Doubt Bale ever played right back for Spurs.

Mac,
"Soccer stars were" certainly "versatile athletes" back in the days when so many also played county cricket, some even Test cricket.

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Post by Davie on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 3:44 pm

He should have been left back .. in the changing room

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Post by McLaren on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 4:07 pm

Davie, seems like you are not a fan of bale?
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Post by Davie on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 4:14 pm

File under "no sh*t Sherlock"

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 5:28 pm

The always sycophantic Tim Rosaforte is suggesting Woods will return to Tour action in two weeks in Charlotte, at Quail Hollow's Wells Fargo Championship. He's not yet on the "commitment" list and I'd be kinda surprised if he chose that event but stranger things have happened.

The "Texas" cut will be on or about even par; KJ Choi and Canada's Hearn & Taylor with promising Round 2's in progress.

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Post by sirbenson on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 6:48 pm

Probably no chance at all but would be cool if Rory could persuade Tiger to play the Irish Open

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 8:23 pm

Sounds like Rory's busy in Barbados with his lady.


Best round on the course is -4 thru 12 from Robby Ormand.
Who?
Never 'eard of 'im guv.

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Post by Davie on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 8:23 pm

Would be even cooler if Rory persuaded him to stay away. The Irish Open doesn't need that type of circus

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Post by GPB on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 9:37 pm

Looks like Rory was invited to the Bahamas Slumber Party with Rickie, J.T., Smylie, and Jordan.  And now he is regretting not going.

Haven't been able to find anything about Robby Ormand other than he has been playing mini tours and has played one Web-com event a few years ago (missed cut).  He is from Austin TX and played College golf at TCU (Horned Frogs)

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 22 Apr 2016, 10:59 pm

GPB,
Any idea why they didn't resume Round 1 this morning earlier than they did? Heavy overnight rain presumably??

Haven't the Golf Channel seen a water slide before?

Still possible the cut might slide to +1.

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Post by GPB on Sat 23 Apr 2016, 12:44 am

kwinigolfer wrote:GPB,
Any idea why they didn't resume Round 1 this morning earlier than they did? Heavy overnight rain presumably??

Resources I presume

The Tour can prepare a course for a split tee start a lot quicker than it can prepare a course for a restart.

All 18 greens have to be mowed, traps raked etc for a restart.

For a split tee start only the first few holes have to be ready as the staff can finish the prep before the dewsweepers get to latter holes on each nine.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 23 Apr 2016, 12:13 pm

Round 2 to be resumed in a couple of hours, then Round 3 kicks off, in threesomes from both nines, just as the half-time whistles are being blown at the afternoon kick-offs.

The numbers suggest an American might actually win deep in the heart of Texas, but perhaps Appleby or Luke, or even Harrington who seemed to be playing nicely, can do something about that.

No Poulter in next week's field and he's going to be up against it next time he tees it up - he'll be about 140th in FedEx points by then.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 23 Apr 2016, 2:55 pm

It looks as if 80 players complete Round 2 at even par or better, so they'll contend Round 3 and there'll be a "secondary" cut after 54 holes for the Top 70 and ties; all outside the Top 70 will be mdf's.

Round 3 should wrap up today in fine weather, chance of thunderstorms on Sunday.

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Post by sirbenson on Sat 23 Apr 2016, 8:53 pm

Come on Paddy, keep it going!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 23 Apr 2016, 9:28 pm

All our yesterdays with Lukey & Padraig.
Scoring really good, GJtheaussiestud would be thrilled that Badds is having a g' (-6) day.

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Post by sirbenson on Sat 23 Apr 2016, 9:42 pm

What a poor bogey on the last from Paddy with a wedge in hand....shame!

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Post by raycastleunited on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 12:09 am

McLaren wrote:http://www.golfdigest.com/story/did-soccer-superstar-gareth-bale-injure-himself-playing-golf?mbid=social_twitter

Since when was Bale thought of as more of a diver than usual?

Also, since when did we think "soccer" stars were versatile athletes?


Something a bit weird about the way that story is written.

What a bizarre article. Obviously written by someone who is only learning English. You can tell by the poor grammar and incorrect use of vocabulary.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 12:40 am

For some bizarro reason they'll be playing in threesomes tomorrow.

Luke Donald will be in the final threesome. So will his brother Christian, caddying for Steele.
Hoffman, Horschel and Reed a pretty sporty group in front of them.

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Post by pedro on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 9:05 am

raycastleunited wrote:
McLaren wrote:http://www.golfdigest.com/story/did-soccer-superstar-gareth-bale-injure-himself-playing-golf?mbid=social_twitter

Since when was Bale thought of as more of a diver than usual?

Also, since when did we think "soccer" stars were versatile athletes?


Something a bit weird about the way that story is written.

What a bizarre article. Obviously written by someone who is only learning English. You can tell by the poor grammar and incorrect use of vocabulary.
After reading the article I sit back with the feeling: What the hell was that all about?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 11:45 am

"Scattered thunderstorms" are on the menu deep in the heart of Texas for Sunday, for almost every "hourly" forecast.
Way too early to know if play will be interrupted; let's just say fingers crossed for an exciting day's play, and St.Luke or St.Padraig walking away with the ugliest pair of cowboy boots you've ever seen at the end of it.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 6:46 pm

The GB&I contenders +3 after 7 collective holes. Not the start they were looking for, me neither.
Apart from anything else, both could use high finishes for Ryder Cup points, though such aspirations may be passing them by. (Just like the storms which were forecast earlier.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 9:07 pm

Doesn't anyone want to win this thing? Not Luke & Padraig apparently.


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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 10:55 pm

Will they show the last group finish?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 10:58 pm

Nice to see how chuffed Billy Ho was for Charley Ho. Patrick Reed? Not so much.

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Post by Shotrock on Sun 24 Apr 2016, 11:23 pm

Nice win for Hoffman on the big tour. Most excellent as I'm sure he's heard in California. Well done!!

Lukey went cool hand fast.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 25 Apr 2016, 1:13 am

Too bad Luke was the only one to go "cool" . . . . . . . Rolling Eyes

Players coming up, and don't bet against him there.


USA 12 vs ROTW 12

Not hearing much about the Young Americans these days. Except via Shutterfly from the Bahamas - thinking of going there meself in June. But I'll spare y'all the selfies.

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