PGA Tour: Colonial Times & Driving/Irons/Putts: The Best: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 25 May 2016, 2:56 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).The US Open at Oakmont is just three weeks away and the pros are fine-tuning their schedules and games in preparation for the big week - those who are qualified at any rate. Local Qualifying has been in progress thru'out the United States (except Northern New England for some reason) and Sectional Qualifying, already complete in Japan, begins in earnest at Walton Heath on Monday followed by ten US sites (excluding the entire North-East) on June 6th.

2).Oakmont sees the US Open more often than any other course but it will be almost unrecognizable in June as most(all?) of the trees remaining from 2007 have been cleared and the course will look more like it did when it first hosted the US Open in 1927. In complete contrast to Ernie Els's walk through a forest in a sweltering 1994. (The year I listened to Monday's BBC radio commentary of every stroke from Montgomerie, Roberts & Els on an open phone line in my San Jose, CA, office. Work did have its compensations after all.)

3).By the way, how much do you remember about Cabrera's win in 2007, when he was the only golfer to shoot two rounds in the 60's?
Do you remember who the 18-hole leader was, with an opening 69?
Or who the 54-hole leader was only to triple bogey his 55th hole?
Or even which one-time European Ryder Cupper finished 4th?
'Course you don't. Answers in note 10A). below!

4).But we're getting ahead of ourselves. The Tour is in Texas, again, this week for the fifth time in two months, this time at Colonial CC in Fort Worth, just the other side of DFW Airport from last week's shenanigans outside Dallas.
Colonial was the home of Ben Hogan so TV coverage will be dripping with reverential homage, all while name-dropping the new Colonial sponsor, Dean & Deluca. Not sure myself, but worked with a Kwini DeLuca in Hertfordshire once - related? Didn't think so.  

5).Anyway, Colonial is a course-specialist's course, rather like Harbour Town. Whereas last week's winner, Sergio Garcia, was the first repeat winner of the "Byron Nelson" since the tournament moved to its TPC Four Seasons digs about 30 years ago, seven of the Colonial champs have been repeat winners in the same time: Crenshaw, Lietzke, Pavin, Price, Perry, Mickelson & Zach Johnson. Not to mention serial contenders such as multiple runners up like Furyk, Dufner, Tim Clark. All I'm saying is: Think horses for courses. I'm thinking Matt Kuchar.

6).Talking of which, three other Colonial habituees, Jerry Kelly, David Toms (one win, one 2nd), and Steve Stricker (won 2009) will be making their final trips here as full-time PGA Tour members as each turns 50 this coming winter.

7).Golf Digest had an interesting feature in its June edition: "Best on Tour". They did a forensic examination of stats from 2014 to "determine" the best in seven categories and added an opinion on "best swing on Tour". And the added condiment was the Tour players' (50 of 'em) opinions:
Driver: Dustin Johnson: (players picked McIlroy from DJ, Scott & Bubba)
Irons: Stenson: (players  chose Scott, Stenson, Sergio)
Wedge: Rose: (Zach, Stricker, Donald)
Trouble: Day: (Bubba, Phil, Spieth)
Bunker: Na: (KJ Choi, Donald, Spieth)
Putter: Spieth (Spieth, Snedeker, Kisner)
Finisher: Bubba Watson: (Spieth, McIlroy, Woods)
Swing: Adam Scott: (Scott, Oosthuizen, Rose).
I thought it was interesting anyway.

8).Iain Carter's piece on the BBC website this week talks about the BMW PGA being eclipsed by a "middle of the road event", Colonial, boasting "an unremarkable field". Trouble is that "unremarkable field", which contains Spieth, Scott, Reed, Oosthuizen, Snedeker, ZJohnson, Kuchar etc, has a strength of field, as measured by the world golf rankings, 25% higher than will be lining up at Wentworth.
Factors mitigating against the Wentworth turn-out presumably include the date, especially this year, but it's also increasingly clear that the players don't enjoy the changes to the course, let alone conditioning problems. More work in store after the tournament is over apparently.
In contrast, PGA Tour players ranked Colonial 5th, of 50-odd courses ranked, five years ago, placed neatly in the rankings between Pebble Beach and Muirfield Village. Sometimes the two Dallas / Fort Worth venues look more like browned-out dog tracks but even TPC Four Seasons looked good last week after recent rains and expect Colonial to look the same. Between the thundershowers anyway.

9).One other nitpick, and it's with the qualification process for The Open Championship:
Why does qualifying for Open Championship play, via the World Rankings, close so early seven weeks ahead of Troon action? Meanwhile, the top 4 not otherwise exempt finishing inside the top 12 at this week's Mizuno event in Japan qualify. But NOT high finishers at Wentworth (except the winner). Moronic.

10).With Grumpy's Fantasy game being played in Europe for two weeks I'll again pick my choices for Colonial (last week's efforts in Dallas would have yielded seven made cuts, some low rounds and 1st & 3rd; must do better this week):
A).Zach, Kuchar, Scott
B).Kirk, Dufner, Palmer
C).Hoge, Stricker, Toms
Winner: Kuchar

10A).2007 US Open answers:
~18-hole leader: Nick Dougherty (ultimately finished 7th, ahead of Casey and Rose who tied for 10th).
~54-hole leader: Aaron Baddeley
~Fourth-place finisher: Niclas Fasth!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 29 May 2016, 1:43 pm

Delay at Colonial and re-jigging of tee-times.
Now in threesomes off the 1st & 10th tees, scheduled kick-off @ 10.19 a.m.

Hopefully someone will catch fire early and give the leaders something to chase down. Or not.

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Post by sirbenson on Sun 29 May 2016, 11:08 pm

Absolutely incredible from Jordan Spieth!!! Shut the doubters up quite quickly, seriously some people went way over the top after the Masters and last week...His class is permanent make no mistake!!

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Post by Shotrock on Sun 29 May 2016, 11:20 pm

Way to go Jordan!!!! Smile Smile

Totally agree with you sirbenson. He's in that master class.

Glad to hear that Justin's back is, well, back.

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Post by McLaren on Sun 29 May 2016, 11:29 pm

According to a Jason Sobel tweet;

Tiger wins @ 23 = 7
Jordan wins @ 23 = 8
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Post by sirbenson on Sun 29 May 2016, 11:31 pm

SR, Sometimes losing a chance to win a major will actually make him stronger in the future! Let's face it he is no Garcia who feels sorry for himself when he loses and feels like he is owed a major lol!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 29 May 2016, 11:35 pm

I'd say completely the opposite, except brilliant putting.
If Spieth plays Oakmont like he did this week he won't make the top twenty.

Halfway through, and before Spieth putted on #8, Faldo reported only 9 putts longer than 20ft holed.
So Spieth canned a 32 footer and 2-putted 9.
Then:
10: 20 feet bird
11: excellent up and down for birdie
12: 4 ft bird
13: 2ft bogey putt
14: 13ft par
15: 2 putt par (what happened?)
16: 20ft bird
17: tee shot off marshall's foot, iron 30yds long except hit grandstand, drop just off the green, chip in.
18: 34ft bird
=twelve putts over his final eleven holes.

I don't call that good golf, but the short game was Tigeresque. Brilliant.
Good for him.

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Post by Shotrock on Mon 30 May 2016, 12:39 am

Kwin - So, that's not"good golf"? Is the "short game" now somehow not part of golf? Rolling Eyes

And SB agree with you fully about hole-spitting, shoe-throwing, major-less and pea-brained Sergio.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 30 May 2016, 12:45 am

Thought you were a bit quiet last week Shotrock,
No, I don't call it good golf, I call it brilliant short game and Tigeresque but I sure as hell don't call it good golf. How can anyone possibly say 17 was good golf, for instance?

Go Sergio . . . . . . !

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Post by McLaren on Mon 30 May 2016, 9:28 am

Kwini you might have a hard time convincing people that -17, final round 65 and 3 shot win isn't good golf. As we know it is all about the number on the card.


If sergio wasn't European would you still like him?
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Post by hend085 on Mon 30 May 2016, 10:59 am

did he shout fore on 17th tee shot?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 30 May 2016, 11:43 am

Mac,
I like Spieth well enough. But he produced the sort of short game display that made you think that 54 is very do-able. Incredible really. He was holing, relatively speaking, everything. Don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it.
I'll be interested to read the stats report when it's published . . . . . . .

(Anyway, I didn't realise that was what you and super meant about long approaches being preferable to short; airmail everything and get a drop beside the green after the ball has thudded against the grandstand!)

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Post by GPB on Mon 30 May 2016, 12:57 pm

Jordan just won his 8th PGAT tournament in his 87th start at age 22.  (2 majors)
Rory won his 8th PGAT tournament in his 81st start at age 25. (4 majors)
J-Day win his 8th PGAT tournament in his 177th start at age 28. (1 major)

Tiger won his 8th PGAT Tournament in his 53rd start at age 23 (1 major)
Phil won his 8th PGAT Tournament in his 88th start at age 25 (0 majors)

(only counting pro starts)

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Post by hend085 on Mon 30 May 2016, 1:34 pm

nice stat GBP. im surprised Jordan took more starts than Rory. I always considered him to be a poor closer in his early days but i suppose alot of that was on the eurotour.

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Post by sirbenson on Mon 30 May 2016, 2:53 pm

Not a surprise but Rose has withdrawn from the Memorial

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 30 May 2016, 3:02 pm

Ooh, Hadn't seen that about Justin Rose - that'll be a big miss for him, one win and two runners-up in his career at the Memorial. Perhaps he's really hurt after all and is dodgy for Oakmont? He doesn't need to be out too long or his Olympic place might be at risk, however unlikely that may seem.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 30 May 2016, 3:40 pm

Missing the olympics might feel like a slight silver lining if he had to go through a period of injury.
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Post by Shotrock on Mon 30 May 2016, 4:38 pm

It's a scorecard, not a postcard ... so, we'll agree to disagree on that one Kwin!

BTW, I had a caddie yesterday who worked for Wayne Levi for 2 years. Small world.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 30 May 2016, 4:45 pm

Sr,
One of his caddies was rescued from a bar in Thailand from the Tsunami a few years ago - perhaps that was the one?


You're so right about scorecard, but he needn't think he'll get away with that sort of play at Oakmont - bet against that particular favourite!

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Post by McLaren on Mon 30 May 2016, 5:26 pm

Kwini

I think Spieth has had quire a few rounds at Oakmont already this year so he should have worked out how to play it by the open.
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Post by McLaren on Mon 30 May 2016, 6:06 pm

Kinda weird undercover pro article in golf digest this week. This weeks undercover pro is from the LPGA tour and they seem to have gone over board in egging the LPGA "mean girls" analogy.

But who is the Lindsey Lohan character?


http://www.golfdigest.com/story/undercover-tour-pro-lpga-edition?mbid=social_twitter
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Post by pedro on Mon 30 May 2016, 8:00 pm

Obviously a British or Aussie player.

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Post by SmithersJones on Mon 30 May 2016, 8:37 pm

So bitchy about everyone, not just the bitches!
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Post by pedro on Mon 30 May 2016, 10:00 pm

Could be Bubba Watson.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 30 May 2016, 11:19 pm

Ian Poulter's name has disappeared from the runners and riders for Memorial, no reason seen so far.
Hope it's just a mental health week off and nothing physical.
Come back soon Poults (and he may, played well in Memphis recently).

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Post by GPB on Mon 30 May 2016, 11:27 pm

I saw a Rob Bolton post that IJP withdrew, but no reason given.

Poulter has been silent on twitter for a week.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 31 May 2016, 12:48 am

I think the past two wks would have been very disappointing to Poults; two courses where he's enjoyed success, not the most intimidating fields, got himself in a decent Round 2 position, and imploded. Not good.
He's never done better than 30th at Memorial and has given it a miss since about 2009 so makes sense to give himself a breather and regroup.
If he can content himself with swallowing his ego and playing B List events, including opposite field stuff, he can regain some confidence. And hopefully he will.

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Post by super_realist on Tue 31 May 2016, 8:50 am

GPB wrote:I saw a Rob Bolton post that IJP withdrew, but no reason given.

Poulter has been silent on twitter for a week.

Isn't Poulter's mother seriously unwell? No surprise his year has been dismal.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 31 May 2016, 10:50 am

Didn't know that super.
But if that affects his play, he'd be far better off taking a compassionate medical leave. The Tour is unforgiving, and it IS his livelihood.

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Post by McLaren on Tue 31 May 2016, 10:59 am

Super just googled it, she was in hospital last year around the time of the British Masters and seemed to have recovered. Do you have more recent info?
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Post by super_realist on Tue 31 May 2016, 11:14 am

I thought she was scheduled to peg it Mac. Didn't hear she had recovered. So, If true, he has no excuses for his terrible form. Mind you, he is a specialist in playing better in the tail end of the season.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 31 May 2016, 11:33 am

It IS the tail end of the season, last 25% of his PGA Tour season anyway. His career is running on fumes . . . . . . .

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 01 Jun 2016, 10:43 am

Not clear what the future holds for Poulter, but his name is not among the early declarations for Memphis, kinda surprising as he finished 6th there just two years ago.
No idea if he'll enter US Open qualifying; if he misses the US Open that will halt a run of 40 consecutive Major appearances. And he's not exempt for Troon either.
Assuming he doesn't play US Open, he'll have a max of 9 PGA Tour events to keep his card.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 01 Jun 2016, 1:28 pm

Drumpf seems to think the PGA Tour is taking the WGC event formerly sponsored by Cadillac (among others) from Drumpf Doral to Mexico City.
Anyone got any clarification on this?

I know robo was expecting another tournament, possibly an "opposite field" event, to go to Mexico some time soon, but this is something way more extreme.

EDIT: Wonder what precautionary steps the Tours would take to ensure their players and "teams" were not kidnapped? PGA Champions Tour golfers have been robbed in Mexico, imagine each golfing galactico would go there with a bullseye on his back.

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Post by SmithersJones on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 7:01 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Drumpf seems to think the PGA Tour is taking the WGC event formerly sponsored by Cadillac (among others) from Drumpf Doral to Mexico City.
Anyone got any clarification on this?

I know robo was expecting another tournament, possibly an "opposite field" event, to go to Mexico some time soon, but this is something way more extreme.

EDIT: Wonder what precautionary steps the Tours would take to ensure their players and "teams" were not kidnapped? PGA Champions Tour golfers have been robbed in Mexico, imagine each golfing galactico would go there with a bullseye on his back.

Sounding just like Drumpf there Kwini, presumably they need protecting from the rapists and drug dealers too?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 7:22 pm

Yup, Sorry about that, but the track record is not great!

http://articles.latimes.com/2003/mar/14/sports/sp-seniorsep14

This tournament was withdrawn from the Tour schedule.
And the: They couldn't get the girls to the course on time:

http://www.beinsports.com/en/golf/news/lpga-delays-tee-times-after-mexico-city-con-1/137614

They will need to improve security and tournament "infrastructure" methinks to satisfy player concerns.

Drumpf's an idiot but this looks a strange scheduling decision for the WGC to me. Wonder what kind of get-out clause Finchem's negotiated?
(Interesting though that Finchem is saying prospective sponsors for Doral did not wish their sponsorship to be co-branded with Drumpf.)

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