PGA Tour: Horses for Courses / Tales of Hoffman: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 26 Apr 2016, 7:29 pm

1).Well, about time for Charley Hoffman. The veteran finally put together four good rounds in San Antonio and squeaked out his fourth Tour win last Sunday, at the Valero Texas Open. The man who had ranked dead last in "fourth round scoring" (not quite as bad as it sounds - Mike Weir hasn't played a fourth round yet) stitched together a somewhat erratic 69 to pip Patrick Reed by one stroke.

2).But it's also about time for Charley as he's a bona fide course specialist at TPC San Antonio, registering his 7th Top 13 finish since the Texas Open first moved there seven years ago. Similarly Brendan Steele, who played in the final group only to fade to 13th, regularly plays well there, debuted with a win in 2011, and has a 4th and 8th place finish since. Daniel Summerhays (who?) has finished 29th, 7th, 2nd, 4th in the past four years, followed by a T13 this week.

3).So what makes a Tour winner? Usually the winner falls into one of five categories:
~So good he can win every time he tees it up. Think T.Woods, one part of his genius being that he was so damn good he won even when the course that didn't really suit him - like two Players titles.
~Top players in a rich vein of form - Spieth last year obviously, Jason Day too and Rory when he gets it going. Adam Scott's purple patch in Florida this year.
~Local golfers. Even as the Tour becomes an increasingly international circus, local players/residents still thrive - think Phil in California and Arizona. Patrick Reed originally hails from San Antonio - second this year. Jimmy Walker lives thereabouts - won "Texas" last year - Ryan Palmer (4th) is relatively local, Martin Piller (also 4th with his best Tour result so far) too.
~Horses for Courses - Charley Hoffman last week was an obvious likely lad considering his record there. He came in playing well, Sundays excepted, and only last week Luke Donald thrived at the previous week's Heritage after finishing Top 3 in five of the previous seven years.
~Out of the blue! Like Jim Herman in Houston for instance. Not sure that there were any converging trends there but, hey, these guys are good, even the ones we've seldom heard from.

4).How would I characterise this year's winners, listed by month:
~January: Spieth (so good!), Gomez (a surprise but the Sony lay-out demands his fairways-and-greens kind of game), Dufner (improving form at a place he'd enjoyed some success - I did tip him after all), Snedeker (plays well in California, course specialist, 3rd and 2nd in previous events).

~February: Matsuyama (2nd the year before), Vaughn Taylor (completely out of the blue, to him too!), Watson (previous winner plus 4 x top 20's), Scott (2nd previous week), Scott (Won previous wk!).

~March: Schwartzel (kinda out of the blue, but in form and recent win), Day (so good!), Day (won previous wk!!), Herman (way out of the blue).

~April: Willett (recent win, played well in Masters debut), Grace (one good win already this year, plus 7th in course debut).
Surprisingly no local winners yet this year but that'll change.

5).Point is, and especially among  those interested in each way value, there are plenty of clues every week as to who might contend; you won't necessarily get the winner but very unusual that there are not strong pointers each week as to who'll play well. Rob Bolton writes a "Comfort Zone" column every week on pgatour.com and that often highlights some of the things I've scribbled above, fyi.

6).Charley Hoffman played his way into 12th place on the US Ryder Cup qualifying list, nudging out Kisner (who was a fairly local boy when he won last November at McGladrey), and Patrick Reed leap-frogged JB Holmes from 9th to 8th. Reed might be worth watching for the next few weeks but so might Chris Kirk, better value and looking a bit more interested recently.  

7).We travel east to New Orleans for the Zurich Classic, one tournament week where these trends are less obvious than usual, not many top local pros (Toms, Kaufman, Loupe among others) and, for some reason, recent winners/contenders have not necessarily returned, Dufner, Watson, Simpson, Els among the more prominent recent examples. Justin Rose defends his title and I'd expect him and Jason Day to contend again this year. Fowler might have his head in the Bahamas but we're coming up to the sites of his first two Tour wins.

8).This is the third event of spring's Pete Dye season, following Austin CC and Harbour Town, with TPC Sawgrass still ahead. TPC Louisiana is not necessarily the strategic test that we see at Harbour Town or Sawgrass and there'll be plenty of low scores this week if the weather cooperates at all - could be breezy thru Saturday and possible storms on Sunday but the course is likely to be playing softer than they'd like after heavy rains this spring.

9).This week is the last chance to qualify for The Players, either via the owgr top 50 or FedEx top 10. Jamie Donaldson is the obvious golfer in need of a strong week - princedrac reckoning he'll need an 8th place finish to bounce back into the top 50. He's also one of Zurich's golf "ambassadors" for whatever that's worth; but Jamie needs a good week for a raft of reasons and is worth following despite missing the cut last year.

10).Charley Hoffman goes at it again in New Orleans but imagine emotion of last week plus the best food on Tour (and that's just all the goodies on the practice range) might sap his enthusiasm. But two other "Ho's" who are quietly having decent seasons have good form here and conform to the theme of this drivel: Charlie Howell and Billy Horschel.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 26 Apr 2016, 8:40 pm

A couple of young Europeans worth noting in this week's field:
France's Julien Brun (who won on the Challenge Tour while still an amateur) and Walton Heath's Ben Taylor (no, not Carly Simon & James's son).

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Post by McLaren on Tue 26 Apr 2016, 9:24 pm

Kisner not only nudged out of RC qualification but also nudged out (temporarily?) from his club. Got banned for posting a video of him racing carts on the course.

Really like your profile of winner types.

Any news on the reasons provided by the saffers for withdrawing from olympics?
Who do you think will join that list?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 26 Apr 2016, 10:00 pm

Saw that about Kisner - he likes his toys! And his huntin'.
Maybe he'll get one of these next:

http://www.golfchannel.com/news/grill-room/video-drone-delivery-could-be-coming-course-near-you/?cid=twitter-gc-a-video-drone-delivery-could-be-coming-course-near-you-042616

Haven't heard any more Olympic news but not surprised about the withdrawals. Imagine there'll be others but no idea who.

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Post by McLaren on Tue 26 Apr 2016, 11:48 pm

We knew Scott hadn't been all that enthusiastic about the Olympics for a while but I am surprised Louse and Charl pulled out. Obviously no surprise that VJ had to avoid more stringent drug testing.

Do you really think there will be others and why do you think so many might pull out?


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Post by GPB on Tue 26 Apr 2016, 11:48 pm

Great Hogan-esque story of SAFFER Marc Cayeux.

http://www.golfchannel.com/news/ryan-lavner/cayeux-still-chasing-dream-after-near-death-accident/

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Post by GPB on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 12:19 am

#9 Nitpick, I believe Quail Hollow's winner will get into the Players if he is not alreay qualified

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Post by GPB on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 12:48 am

Someone inquired about the Players Field:

As far as I can tell, there are about 148 players exempt at this time:


Top 125 from last year's FEDEX list

Plus players in the OWGR Top not already qualified 
126. Danny Willett
127. Branden Grace
128. Rafa Cabrera Bello
129. Beyong An
130. Andy Sullivan
131. Shane Lowry
132. Soren Kjeldson
133. Emiliano Grillo
134. Kiradech Aphibarnrat
135. Matt Fitzpatrick
136. Bernd Weisberger
137. Thongchai Jaidee
138. Smylie Kaufman

Plus PGATour winners since last Players not already qualifed

139. Peter Malnati
140. Vaughn Taylor
141. Graeme McDowell

Plus winners of the most 5 recent Players not already qualified

142. Martin Kaymer
143. Tiger Woods

Plus winners of Majors in the last 5 years not already qualified

144.  Darren Clarke
145.  Ernie Els

Plus Winner SR TPC

146. Jeff Maggert

Plus Web Leading money winner and WTF leading money winner

147. Patton Kizzire
148. Chez Reavie

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

Players on various versions of  medical leave according to Rotoworld who are qualified for TPC

Furyk
Woods
Knost
Overton
English

If the field is less than 144, I think the Tour will fill in alternates from the FEX list at the end of Zurich.  Which at this time I think #31 Jaime Lovemark is first on the list.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 1:18 am

I wonder if Furyk will give it a go or whether it comes too early for him?
Overton playing this week apparently, but not with Kip Henley on the bag, mutual separation (I love that boy) after a long partnership.

Yup, I posted the Cayeux article on the ET thread. Good to hear how engaged Tony Johnstone has been.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 4:45 pm

John Daly turns 50 tomorrow, loads of press attention no doubt. He'll need to improve upon the pantomime-type performances he's produced elsewhere these past few years if he's going to succeed on the Champions Tour.

Billy Mayfair up next (in August), then Jerry Kelly (November) followed by David Toms (January) and Steve Stricker).

(Lots of Woody Allen headlines here after Woody Austin and Michael Allen won a lucrative Team event last weekend.)

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Post by McLaren on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 5:25 pm

Didn't woody Austin have some sort of meltdown at the Zurich classic one year?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 5:32 pm

He beat his putter against his head after missing a Harbour Town putt many years ago. Still assessing the damage.
I was standing across the pond from him when he tumbled into it playing a shot during the 2007 Presidents Cup (where he played very well in his new guise, complete with goggles, as Aquaman).

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 5:41 pm

There's a post on the Beeb's web-site that Dustin Johnson has also thumbed down Olympic participation. For golf anyway.

Can't find anything about it elsewhere. Anyone else seen anything?

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Post by McLaren on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 6:18 pm

Kwini

I can't even see the bbc post about it.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 8:39 pm

Could have just been a trial balloon someone put up about DJ.


Nice little Tiger tale for you Mac, as repeated by Hoggard:
Daly was at the bar enjoying a bevy following a 2004 round when in walked Woods in work-out togs, off to the gym.
"Tiger, come and have a beer with us. You don't need to work out. Come and have a beer with us."

To which the Tont response was: "If I had your talent I'd be doing the same thing you're doing."

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Post by McLaren on Wed 27 Apr 2016, 9:40 pm

Thanks for the tiger tale. thumbsup

I hope neither Tiger or Daly try and offer each other marriage advice.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 4:15 pm

Plenty of erstwhile anchorers having a hard time; Bradley & Simpson apparently in decline, Tim Clark has seemingly disappeared and Carl Pettersson's career looks to be in free fall as he's w/d'd this morning after yet another horrendous front nine at the office.

The Swedish Redneck is projected to drop to #200 in FedEx points and looks a surefire bet to lose his card unless he takes up his one "career earnings" free pass to next season. Even that is precarious as he's 46th in career earnings - unlikely to be overtaken by more than one golfer (Na) in the final four months of the season so he may survive in the career Top 50.
But what does the future hold for Carl, fat and not yet forty yet his career looks in jeopardy? It's not just his putting, he only found one fairway today and now complains of a wrist injury.

It looks like they'll be dodging thundershowers this afternoon, but morning scoring is good, Jason Day already -5 after 9 holes.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 7:33 pm

Round 1 is suspended in New Orleans with no swift resumption of play expected; the afternoon "wave" has still not left the clubhouse so Round 1 won't finish Thursday.
Better watch Liverpool then . . . . . . .

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Post by Davie on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 8:26 pm

You'd better play the Anfield bingo then kwini. A finger of liqour every time a commentator mentions the 96.... probably wouldn't make it until the second half

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 8:57 pm

Unfortunately we've got the dreaded Alexi Lalas commentating - he can't count to 96 plus probably can't read so won't be mentioning it.

Still no action in New Orleans, except for the early exit of another fatty, Marino off to the buffet with Pettersson.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 9:06 pm

Least he finished the round Kwini

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 28 Apr 2016, 10:21 pm

Marino could be suffering from food poisoning.

Regardless, action scheduled to resume at 4.50 p.m. local (CDT).

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 12:33 pm


OK, Round 1 action resumes shortly, Justin Rose etc; those completing their round will barely have time for a bacon butty before going back out for Round 2.
Fine forecast for Friday & Saturday so much of Round 2 should finish today and right on schedule to complete Round 3 on Saturday.

Yesterday's leader, Brian Stuard, only took 21 putts; good luck sustaining that pace for four rounds.

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Post by GPB on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 2:59 pm

PGATour Vet Ted Potter Jr makes his first start since July 2014 on the Web-com tour.  Shot 69 to be T5th.

He broke his ankle at the Canadian Open at his hotel.

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Post by GPB on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 4:15 pm

Nearly 6 years ago, on May 2nd, 2010, 18 yr Ryo Ishikawa shot 58 to win the Crowns Tournament in Japan.  

Later that day, 20 yr old Rory McIlroy shot 62 to win his first PGATournament in Charlotte.

Rory has gone on to win 4 majors and Ryo has not played a tournament in nearly 3 months, with a bad back.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 4:32 pm

GPB,
I saw that about "The Wizard"; fellow pros were describing him as almost a golfing savant when he won. Seems a long time ago now and it's not just a broken ankle that's held him back . . . . . . . .

Scoring bonanza in New Orleans but Davis, Donaldson, Owen & Rose are all missing out. Round 2 just about to get underway.

Lousy form from Ryo recently, even Billy Payne has given up on him.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 6:25 pm

Another withdrawal after Round 1 by Brian Davis; not playing great, +2 in Round 1, but you'd figure he'd gut it out if he could. Last w/d was with a neck injury so probably more of the same. It's looking like a long road back for him.

Cut-line currently at -1 but will shortly go to -2 and probably stay there. No chance that all Rounds 2 will be complete this evening.

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Post by GPB on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 6:44 pm

Jim Furyk to start his comeback next week at Wells Fargo.  Also playing in Jacksonville.

I am sure there will be spike in khaki slacks and white shirts.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 7:15 pm

Good news for Furyk.
Nothing about Woods for Quail Hollow yet - three hours to commit . . . . . . .

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Post by GPB on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 8:37 pm

IMO:

Any evidence that Tiger was going to play Quail Hollow were all red herrings from Camp Tiger.

If Tiger was going to play QH, it would have been announced earlier this week.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 10:47 pm

Confirmation that no Woods at Quail Hollow. Rosaforte seemed to be the only person punting that idea, had to get a headline from somewhere.

Fine round of 69 from Jamie Donaldson will get him to the weekend; and he needs two more of them. Rose presumably flies back to Nassau.

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Post by McLaren on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 11:07 pm

Not sure why people thought woods would go from no holes played, to playing 5 holes to then playing a PGAT event in the space of two weeks. As you say kwini, just some folks trying to get a headline.

Did you see Roses duffed driver off the deck?
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Post by raycastleunited on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 11:24 pm

Just doing some catching up. Not seen any golf this week and only a little last week. If Pebble and Kapalua represent the visual highlights of the PGA tour season then last week San Antonio must be the lowlight.

Looked like the course bordered a prison? And then the buildings around the finish reminded me of the tacky ugly hotels that spoil niagara falls.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 29 Apr 2016, 11:28 pm

What Woods has been doing, how many holes he might have played, only he really knows. Can't believe he'd come back unprepared though, not to mention that Quail Hollow is a relatively tough walk.

So who is playing QH?
Casey, Donald, Donaldson, Harrington, Kaymer, Lowry, Rory, Molinari, Poults, Rose, Stenson etc.

plus Fowler, Grace, DJ, Hideki, Phil, Patrick Reed, Scott etc.


Plus: Didn't see that much of today's coverage so missed any Rosy rubbish.


Spot on ray . . . . . . . . .

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Post by GPB on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 12:49 am

raycastleunited wrote:Just doing some catching up. Not seen any golf this week and only a little last week. If Pebble and Kapalua represent the visual highlights of the PGA tour season then last week San Antonio must be the lowlight.

My vote for visual lowlights goes to whatever course the Open Championship is played.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 1:00 am

Oh dear, This thread has just hit a new low . . . . . . . .

Think my low would be Doral, but most of The Open venues would be visual highs. Nature (almost) as nature intended.

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Post by McLaren on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 1:39 am

I would second Doral being pretty bad on the eye.
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Post by GPB on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 3:22 am

I have hard time believing riveted face bunkers, shots over hotels, stone walls, roads, wooden planks in bunkers is anything natural.

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Post by raycastleunited on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 9:28 am

Not sure how you can come to that view GBP.

Although to be fair St Georges is hardly beautiful in a conventional sense: power station in the background and the sea is grey or brown.

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Post by pedro on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 9:42 am

Haven't they learned??? Shocked steam
Think we're looking at another European win.

http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/davis-love-iii-tiger-woods-could-still-be-ryder-cup-captains-pick

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Post by McLaren on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 11:37 am

GPB

I guess no golf course really looks all that natural, but the amount of earth moved to create most of the courses on the open rota is minuscule compared to your average PGAT or european tour course.

What don't you like about the UK links look?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 12:15 pm

Woods a Captain's pick for Hazeltine?
I wonder where he thinks he'll start playing again?
The Players would be a stress-free walk but also the sort of course he could make a fool of himself if not quite 100%.
Byron Nelson might be a possibility - he used to play there before Nelson died, never since he's been gone.
He's never played Colonial so that's unlikely.
Then Memorial where he's had his successes of course, but also recent meltdowns.
Dunno.

Round 2 resumes in New Orleans at 7.45 a.m. CDT. T'showers in the Saturday & Sunday forecasts.

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Post by Shotrock on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 1:12 pm

GPB - Every time I play a links course in the UK and Ireland I'm impressed with the complexity of choices the golfer faces. Wind, fairway cant, bunkers, green surrounds, greens themselves, fescue, all make for getting around in a low score no small feat. When I see how the US has arguably been top dog the Open Championship (18 wins since 1980), I can see how lack of experience might even be beneficial. (Lots don't yet know how many ways there are to miss!).

Tough second day for Sean O'Hair. Looks like a weekend off.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 30 Apr 2016, 10:15 pm

Perhaps a blessing in disguise for Sean O'Hair and the rest of those who missed the 36-hole cut.
Not sure what the likelihood is of completing a 72-hole tournament, not before Tuesday at least.

But Ireland's Seamus Power is playing well at the web.com tournament in Indiana, tied for 4th in Round 3 with four holes still to play. Promising start to the season for him, projected to finish the week 24th on the money list if he can at least maintain his position; more Power to him.

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Post by raycastleunited on Sun 01 May 2016, 12:27 am

While Tiger talk is en vogue... I watched highlights of the 97 Masters today. It truly was a different era: Sarazen, Nelson and Snead hitting the ceremonial tee shots; Palmer, Player and Nicklaus all competing.

The thing that struck me was what a middle aged and pedestrian game it looked. Tiger really was a breath of fresh air. We are so lucky today with the dynamic exciting talent like Spieth, Day, McIlroy, Fowler etc.

Another thing was that The course looked so short. Tiger reaching 2nd with driver and 8 iron. Even more ridiculous was Tiger hitting driver wedge to the 15th green 2 days in a row. The stretching of Augusta made a lot of sense watching this tournament.

A great film to watch. Really showed the influence the main man has had in the last 18 years. And not a seal in sight.

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Post by raycastleunited on Sun 01 May 2016, 12:37 am

Just thought I'd add that after typing that last sentence I'm going to bed now humming killer by seal. A very apt song for mr woods.

Solitary brother....

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 01 May 2016, 12:12 pm

Chat from Reuters that T.Woods has booked "accommodation" for The Players and Memorial . . . . . .


Play in New Orleans scheduled to resume at 7.30 Central Time.


On both above subjects, your guess is as good (better) as mine.

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Post by McLaren on Sun 01 May 2016, 4:27 pm

Maybe Tiger will be in the commentary booth at those events?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 01 May 2016, 4:28 pm

More stormy weather has driven the players back to the clubhouse so they can take in the Southampton game. "COYS" I can hear them chanting from here.

If they ever complete Round 3, there'll be some mdf's for those outside the top 70 and ties - a moot point if they decide to call it a day after 54 holes.

Meanwhile, Jamie Donaldson is probably out of The Players as he would need a Top 5-ish finish to return to the owgr Top 50, and that's looking improbable. He's not in the US Open yet and will need to stay in the owgr Top 60 to qualify, so every step up the leaderboard would be invaluable.


Mac,
I wonder if he'd be any good doing commentary, whaddya think?

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Post by McLaren on Sun 01 May 2016, 5:09 pm

If Paul McGinely can keep getting paid to do commentary then the bar is set pretty low.

Did Nicklaus ever do a stint in the booth? Just wondering how players much better than their peers do when trying to comment on "normal" talents having a crack at the game. I can imagine players so much better than the rest find it difficult to imagine how some players can play so "badly", and have a skewed perspective on the game.
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