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.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 01 May 2016, 5:27 pm

Have never heard McGinley. I think Faldo does OK, not my favourite but can be quite insightful and does his homework better than guys like Miller & Wadkins.

Nicklaus OK in very small doses, reverts Weiskopf-like to his playing past after half an hour or so.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 01 May 2016, 6:36 pm

Poor outlook at New Orleans; Erik Compton reports that "you know things are bad when the alligators are evacuating".

The Tour doesn't often allow a tournament to spill over into Tuesday so you'd think the Rules Officials will have some decisions to make pretty soon. 54-hole tournament with fingers crossed they can get it in?

COYS!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 01 May 2016, 11:11 pm

Play suspended for the day with Round 3 scheduled to resume at 7.45 a.m. Central Time on Monday. Officially now a 54-hole tournament and some scenarios where it might be further reduced to 36 holes, the Round 2 scores becoming the result if fewer than half the field are able to complete Round 3. I believe the owgr points would be reduced though, while it would also be an unoofficial win.

Who was the last golfer to win a 36-hole tournament on the PGA Tour?

If it becomes a 54-hole tournament, what would be different from the last three 54-hole events?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 01 May 2016, 11:23 pm

guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness

Big win for Ireland, as Seamus Power wins this week's web.com stop in Indiana after his two closest rivals royally c0ck up the closing holes. A very BIG step on Power's way to a PGA Tour card for 16/17.

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Post by McLaren on Sun 01 May 2016, 11:43 pm

Didn't Luke Donald win a shortened event, was it 36 holes?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 02 May 2016, 1:03 am

54 holes for Lukey, in Mississippi, 2002.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Mon 02 May 2016, 1:32 am

Dustin Johnson?

That it finishes on a Monday

Edit: could be a clue

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 02 May 2016, 2:09 am

Grumps,
No!
And, not sure about that. Definitely NOT what I was thinking of.



But DJ could be a clue regardless! Very cryptic.

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Post by sirbenson on Mon 02 May 2016, 9:31 am

Was it Adam Scott?

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Post by McLaren on Mon 02 May 2016, 9:52 am

Kwini

Just saw a video of Gribble put it in the water on 18. That sort of shot choice is probably why some guys are Web.com'ers and not on the PGAT. (Although this may be Gribble's first year on web.com?)
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Post by raycastleunited on Mon 02 May 2016, 10:14 am

McLaren wrote:  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.

This is a very good point.

Similar story from a friend who was at Swindon when Hoddle was manager. He struggled to convey his ideas, although in his forties he was still the best player in training, and was frustrated when his players didn't have the talent / skills to execute what he asked of them.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 02 May 2016, 10:48 am

"his players didn't have the talent / skills to execute"

Maybe they had sinned in a previous life?
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Post by super_realist on Mon 02 May 2016, 10:58 am

Pretty sure it was Hoddle's pride that stopped him picking one of England's most skillful ever players Matt Le Tissier as much as he should.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 02 May 2016, 11:07 am

Just had a look at the 1998 WC squad and Merson was in, so yes Le Tissier could have been in instead of him.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 02 May 2016, 11:37 am

sirbenson is correct about Adam Scott - beat Chad Campbell in a play-off at Riviera after both had completed just 36 holes. clap guinness clap

Part 2: What will certainly be different about this week's winner, if it's a 54-hole tournament, from the last three 54-hole events?

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Post by McLaren on Mon 02 May 2016, 11:59 am

Not sure but DJ has won 3 54 hole events. Given what we know about his frailties under pressure is it likely he would have won those events if he had to play the final round?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 02 May 2016, 12:21 pm

Yup, DJ can't win this one, unlike the past 3 54-hole tournaments. clap thumbsup Whisky

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Post by McLaren on Mon 02 May 2016, 1:07 pm

kwini

Sorry think I ruined the quiz, I didn't know that DJ was the answer, I just checked his profile after mention of him above and thought his number of 54 holes wins was noteworthy.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 02 May 2016, 1:25 pm

Think you got it spot on, Mac.

Off and splashing in New Orleans; remember, according to Tour rules, if more than half the field complete 54 holes today, it becomes a 54-hole tournament. Otherwise it reverts to 36-hole scores.
An incentive if ever there was one for the leaders to get a move on.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 02 May 2016, 2:03 pm

Bl00dy Hell, Bobby Wyatt takes a one-stroke lead with just a few holes to play for him, more for the posse.

Watched Wyatt play a couple of holes two years ago - the only time I've ever seen a spectator, in this case his father who clearly felt uber entitled, duck under the ropes and investigate his son's lie . . . . . . nauseating bloke, but his son seems to be quite the golfer.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 02 May 2016, 2:49 pm

Jason Day going quite well. No doubt he will have slowed to snails pace now. I wonder what the incentive would have to be to get him to quicken up a bit?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 02 May 2016, 3:01 pm

Just about to turn into a 54-hole tournament now, whatever the weather may throw at them.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 02 May 2016, 3:15 pm

Wouldn't mind seeing Lovemark win this, but Ben An looking good also. Making inroads into the Special Temp Membership whatever happens.

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Post by super_realist on Mon 02 May 2016, 3:26 pm

McLaren wrote:Jason Day going quite well.  No doubt he will have slowed to snails pace now.  I wonder what the incentive would have to be to get him to quicken up a bit?

Something to provoke his fear of heights. Maybe standing on a soapbox to play his shot.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 02 May 2016, 3:49 pm

How do you know he has a fear of heights?
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Post by GPB on Mon 02 May 2016, 4:17 pm

McLaren wrote:How do you know he has a fear of heights?

He suffers from Vertigo!  Smile

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Post by super_realist on Mon 02 May 2016, 4:21 pm

I'm waiting for Mac's pedantry garnered from his medical journals that vertigo isn't height related.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 02 May 2016, 4:29 pm

No, I just hadn't heard about his fear of heights before.


He missed out anyway.

If they are tied is there time for a play off?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 02 May 2016, 4:37 pm

Looks like it should be dry for another hour - second 3-man play-off for Lovemark. Rickie Fowler his co-runner up last time.

Fancy Ben An here.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 02 May 2016, 4:38 pm

If shottracker can be believed that was a lame effort from lovemark to win outright. Babied it badly.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 02 May 2016, 4:53 pm

Yup, Shame he wussied his second putt but it was a poor effort on his long first putt.

They need a SatNav they way they've laid up here.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 02 May 2016, 4:58 pm

Terrible 3rd from An . . . . . . advantage Lovemark.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 02 May 2016, 5:15 pm

They're making heavy weather of this. With the conditions as they are though, this is a terrific play-off hole!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 02 May 2016, 5:17 pm

B.Stuard, Grumps's favourite, in the driving seat. Great shot from 170 yards.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Mon 02 May 2016, 5:23 pm

Blue, LP, and Eye could be muttering that under their breath if he holds off Lovemark.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 02 May 2016, 5:24 pm

Lovemark 0-2 in Play-Offs.
If Jim Herman can win on Tour, why shouldn't B.Stuard? Well done.

Amazing stat's for Stuard this week. No bogeys, 100% in scrambling and not missed all week inside 10 feet. That'll do it.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 02 May 2016, 5:53 pm

Lovemark has been on tour a surprisingly long time, just saw a video on twitter of his ball bounce out the drink in the 2009 Fry's play off.

I sort of thought of him as a new'ish player on tour. Clearly not.
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Post by GPB on Mon 02 May 2016, 5:58 pm

Last week, I listed 148 players exempt for the Players.  

Add K.T. Kim and Brian Stuard to that list for a total of 150 players.

I think Jamie Lovemark would be the first alternate, but 6 or 7 players would have to WD and I don't see that happening.  Alternates are only added if the exempt list is less than 144 players.

FWIW, Scott Piercy fell out of the Top 50 but he was already exempt for the Players.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 02 May 2016, 6:14 pm

Mac,
Lovemark has been on and mostly off, missed a sh1tload of time due to Tont-like back surgery & rehab.
Tough to get back from health issues once you lose all status, just ask Casey.

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Post by Davie on Mon 02 May 2016, 8:14 pm

McLaren wrote:No, I just hadn't heard about his fear of heights before.

You don't remember his antics at Chambers Bay?

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Post by McLaren on Mon 02 May 2016, 8:32 pm

Was he scared when atop the dunes or something?
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Post by beninho on Tue 03 May 2016, 9:52 am

I thought Vertigo and a fear of heights were different things. The NHS seems to confirm this as well.

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Vertigo/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Wasnt Jason Days issues at Chambers Bay, something to do with an ear infection, which caused his Vertigo problems.

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Post by super_realist on Tue 03 May 2016, 10:03 am

beninho wrote:I thought Vertigo and a fear of heights were different things. The NHS seems to confirm this as well.

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Vertigo/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Wasnt Jason Days issues at Chambers Bay, something to do with an ear infection, which caused his Vertigo problems.

They are different, but in common parlance, a fear of heights is often mistakingly called Vertigo (no doubt due to the "vert" part of the word and the association with "vertical") , wrongly of course, but seems to be accepted in the common vernacular, where in fact it's Acrophobia. (thanks to Mac's medical journals for the distinction)

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Post by beninho on Tue 03 May 2016, 10:10 am

Then I dont understand why people mentioned Jason Days fear of heights in this thread. Maybe Im just getting confused.

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Post by super_realist on Tue 03 May 2016, 10:17 am

Because I conflated vertigo with a fear of heights, rather than Day just having cheap ears, however, if the undulating course of Chambers Bay causes his problems, but a flat course like TOC doesn't, then maybe the elevation does have an influence.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Tue 03 May 2016, 12:46 pm

Didn't Day have an inner ear infection around time of Chambers Bay? Basically, his internal balance and perception of such were screwed until that was cleared up.
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Post by pedro on Tue 03 May 2016, 12:54 pm

I just think Day's pulse drops because he takes so long to hit a shot causing him to faint.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 03 May 2016, 3:21 pm

Dustin Johnson w/d's from his commitment to play Quail Hollow this week.
He was in the final pairing for Round 3 in 2010, played 2011 and not shown up since. Strange as it's almost his hometown event.
Maybe he was up to a bit of naughty in Charlotte five years ago and doesn't want to return to the scene of the xxxxxx?

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Post by Shotrock on Tue 03 May 2016, 6:27 pm

Maybe Dustin is a Leicester City fan and the bender goes through the weekend??

For more amusement, here's this story I heard about the goings on in leafy suburban London ... Maybe some of you Surrey residents (or Wentworth members) can confirm or deny ...

The new Chinese owners of Wentworth decided to sharply decrease the membership, ideally reaching the Chinese lucky number of 888, by forcing existing members to invest heavily in debentures and also by making annual dues affordable only to oligarchs. Since a good number of the present members are also very wealthy homeowners on the Wentworth Estate (think Ernie Els) these people “passed the hat”  and in no time at all raised about £150,000 to hire attorneys to look at the situation.   This move was not reported in the press, which only stated that members (quite a few of whom are high profile Brits) were displeased (and later reporting that the Chinese owners have indeed backed down).

But  according to the scuttlebutt I’m hearing, the actual story is more amusing. Britain’s property laws are pretty wacky, so first, it seems that the way the land is registered it is the homeowners who own (and are responsible for upkeep of) all the roads leading into the clubhouse, so they threatened to close them off to everyone not owning a house there (soon after allowing other club members access as well.) Better yet is that terms of the old deeds to the homeowners’ property seem to  go on into perpetuity and so it was noted that the people living in these multi-million dollar houses own the grazing rights to all the estate’s land. It was when their lawyers informed the Chinese that many homeowners had ordered truckloads of goats and sheep to be delivered that the owners capitulated.

Too funny ...

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 03 May 2016, 6:53 pm

I hope that's true! Not that I would doubt it . . . . . . clap

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