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

First topic message reminder :

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.

kwinigolfer

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Post by McLaren on Tue 03 May 2016, 6:57 pm

Funny story.

But I think a lot UK golf clubs have odd land ownership situations. I think many private clubs (the older ones anyway) are built on council/public owned land. I remember flicking through my clubs history once and noticing that in theory the locals could graze sheep on it if they wanted. The land was on some sort of lease from the council that allowed the land to be used for golf by the club.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 03 May 2016, 8:00 pm

http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/si-anonymous-poll-revealed-pga-champions-and-lpga-pros-answer-all


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Post by Davie on Tue 03 May 2016, 8:15 pm

What's wacky about that?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 03 May 2016, 10:40 pm

Nothing wacky, Just thought readers might be interested. Not much more to it really than what people say they think about Wie and Woods. Unsympathetic figures in my book. Deserve each other.

More relevant is that Stewart Cink will be away from the Tour indefinitely whilst his wife is treated for breast cancer - hope everything goes well there. Good health Mrs C.


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Post by Davie on Wed 04 May 2016, 5:27 am

Davie wrote:What's wacky about that?

Messages crossed - that was aimed at the comment about wacky land laws

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