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

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

First topic message reminder :

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 kwinigolfer on Mon 25 Apr 2016, 2:01 am

Frat boys in the Bahamas?
Or a quiet night at North Middx??

https://twitter.com/gcw/status/723617461388607488

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Post by GPB on Mon 25 Apr 2016, 2:38 am

Worth noting that husband/wife finished in the Top 5 of the PGATour and the LPGA tour this week.

Martin Piller and Gerina Piller.

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Post by Shotrock on Mon 25 Apr 2016, 2:51 am

Lukey for the Players? Not a bet I would make.

However, you will have some exciting odds at the window so best of luck! Shocked

But back to actual winners ... really solid finish by Hoffman. Well earned and happy to see it.


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Post by navyblueshorts on Mon 25 Apr 2016, 9:28 am

Re. the Hoff, anyone see that near top of the tee he hit in, I think, rd 3? Hope for us all...maybe.
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Post by sirbenson on Mon 25 Apr 2016, 12:27 pm

Congrats to Charley! Was only a matter of time given his starts to tournaments this season!

Shame about Harrington's putting but lots of positives to take from this week!

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Post by sirbenson on Mon 25 Apr 2016, 12:30 pm

Is there a way to find out the current field of the Players Championship!?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 25 Apr 2016, 1:01 pm

sirb,
I can't link it at the moment, but pgatour.com/fantasy/major-qualifiers will get you there.

Still to be added would be next week's winner, plus top 50 in owgr as at next Sunday evening, plus top ten in FedEx points as at next Sunday evening.

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Post by GPB on Mon 25 Apr 2016, 5:17 pm

The field for the Players is

Top 125 FE list from the prior year
Top 50 OWGR
Top 10 players on the current year FE List
Sr TPC Champ (Jeff Maggert)
Players champs from last 5 yrs (Which would include Tiger)
Web leading money winner (Kizzire)
WTF leader (Chez Reavie)
Recent Major Champions  (either 3 yrs or 5 yrs)

And if the field is less than 144 players, then alternates are added from the FEX money list.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 25 Apr 2016, 5:21 pm

Wood, Lahiri and Donaldson are owg ranked 51, 52 & 53. Donaldson & Lahiri play in New Orleans, but can't find any record of Chris Wood playing this coming week.

Haven't heard anything about Furyk with respect to his playing The Players. But imagine it might be right on the cusp of him wanting to try tournament play after his injury.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 25 Apr 2016, 6:34 pm

Gary Player is writing that Schwartzel, as well as Oosthuizen, have withdrawn his name from consideration for South Africa's Olympic Team. Player seems pretty p1ssed off about the whole thing.

And the USGA reports that T.Woods has registered for the US Open.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 25 Apr 2016, 8:48 pm

kwini

Do you think Tiger registered to cover all options just in case he wants to play or does he seriously intend to play?
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Post by GPB on Mon 25 Apr 2016, 8:59 pm

Mac, an Exempt player has to fill out his application for the US Open before April 27th.

It obviously does not mean he has to play.  Two weeks ago, I noted on another golf board that he had registered to play.

You can look at the status of any players application here:

http://www.usga.org/EntrantLookup/open_lookup/open_entrant_lookup.html

I checked Tiger's status right after the Masters and saw that he had filled out application.

Players that have to qualify or already exempt have to register by the 27th.

Players that become exempt between April 27th and June 5th do not have fill out an early application.  That would be someone like Westwood, who technically is not already exempt, but likely will be exempt via the OWGR Top 60 on June 5th.

FTR, Westwood has made his application.

If someone like Tiger (or Rory or Jordan) had not filed by April 27th, I think they would SOL.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 25 Apr 2016, 9:01 pm

Agree GPB, Why wouldn't any exempt player with a ghost of a chance of being able to compete not register?
Good for Tont.

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Post by GPB on Mon 25 Apr 2016, 9:24 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Agree GPB, Why wouldn't any exempt player with a ghost of a chance of being able to compete not register?
Good for Tont.

Well, there is a $175 dollar entry fee.  Tiger is notoriously frugal.   Shocked

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Post by pedro on Mon 25 Apr 2016, 9:45 pm

GPB wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Agree GPB, Why wouldn't any exempt player with a ghost of a chance of being able to compete not register?
Good for Tont.

Well, there is a $175 dollar entry fee.  Tiger is notoriously frugal.   Shocked
Less tips on his next night out.

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Post by pedro on Mon 25 Apr 2016, 10:04 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Gary Player is writing that Schwartzel, as well as Oosthuizen, have withdrawn his name from consideration for South Africa's Olympic Team. Player seems pretty p1ssed off about the whole thing.
.
At this rate Player may end up playing hilmself.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 25 Apr 2016, 10:21 pm

The brat pack would be better off spending their vacations like DJ, instead of topless with each other.

http://www.golfchannel.com/news/grill-room/dj-paulina-are-also-pretty-good-vacationing/?cid=twitter-gc-a-dj-paulina-are-also-pretty-good-vacationing-042516
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Post by GPB on Tue 26 Apr 2016, 12:17 am

Hitler is sad about the Olympic Withdrawals

http://captiongenerator.com/86982/Hitler-Olympic-Organizer

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Post by McLaren on Tue 26 Apr 2016, 12:30 am

gpb laughing
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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 26 Apr 2016, 1:03 pm

The latest Tont report:

http://espn.go.com/golf/story/_/id/15357304/tiger-woods-feels-pretty-good-playing-first-holes-2016

Rosaforte said last week not to be surprised if Woods played at Quail Hollow next week. Nothing in Bob Harig's ESPN piece to suggest that will happen; to which I would add that Quail Hollow is a much tougher walk than TPC Sawgrass, for instance. Who really knows??!!

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Post by McLaren on Tue 26 Apr 2016, 7:15 pm

I know it is meant to be his first 18 since last summer, but does anyone else think tigers follow through and finish looked a bit awkward?
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Post by SmithersJones on Tue 26 Apr 2016, 9:39 pm

Not awkward but possibly relatively restrained. Isn't that a good thing though?
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Post by McLaren on Tue 26 Apr 2016, 9:59 pm

Could be, depends if it is restrained by trying to swing at a nice even pace or because his back is too messed up to rotate his body properly?
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