PGA Tour: Memphis Slim Pickings: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 4:06 pm

1).This looks like being a week in Memphis heat when generous sponsors put up a $6+M purse and scarcely anyone shows up; only Dustin Johnson, Mickelson and Koepka from the owgr Top 40 have condescended to make the trip, and that's a miserable turnout for FedEx who have rescued the Memphis event from the knacker's yard and also richly endow the Play-Off pool.

2).Just a word about FedEx for those of you who like that sort of thing:
I got myself a tour of most facets of their Memphis facilities many years ago, a day topped off in the control tower in late evening at MEM when FedEx's flights were coming in, getting unloaded and reloaded, and starting to go out again. Fascinating for a logistics kinda guy, and the way they apply basic data to their entire operation is extraordinary. Makes analysis of "Strokes Gained" on the PGA Tour look like primary school arithmetic, which it pretty much is.
If you get the chance, GO!!

3).So, given that the Tour's players aren't that much interested in the FedEx dosh, perhaps we should spend a few notes talking about other Tours for once.

4).So far as I could see, and apart from Luke Donald, the only other US-based Briton to advance from Sectional Qualifying to next week's US Open is University of Florida golfer Sam Horsfield, who last week won the Phil Mickelson award for the outstanding freshman (first year player) in US College Golf.
Ian Poulter has been trumpeting Horsfield's golf for a few years now and, at his age anyway, young Sam is the real thing; let's hope he trains on and becomes the successful Pro that his amateur career would suggest.
Remember the name and watch for him in the US Open!

5).The feeder tournament for the LPGA Tour is the "Symetra Tour" and the money list is dominated so far this year by Sweden's Madelene Sagstrom. She's banked $103K ytd; next best is $38K!!
Sagstrom: An unfortunate name perhaps but potentially a glittering future.

6).Compatriot Anna Nordqvist became the first European winner this year on the LPGA Tour when she successfully defended her "ShopRite Classic" title last weekend.
The LPGA plays its PGA Championship this week at Sahalee CC in the Seattle area, previously host to a PGA Championship (Vijay in 1998) and WGC (Popeye in 2002) plus a Senior US Open (Bernhard Langer in 2010). A shame the men don't go there more often.
There's a strong European presence including Jodi Ewart, Charley Hull, Catriona Matthew, Becky Morgan, Laura Davies, Mel Reid, Felicity Johnson and Holly Clyburn. Time for one of the British young'uns to step up, but Charley Hull has pocketed $380K this season so hopefully she's ready to contend.

7).The web.com Tour may not have seen a British winner recently, but Seamus Power carried the Irish flag to victory recently and is on pace to earn his PGA Tour card. He probably needs one more good tournament to clinch the Top 25 money-list position that gets him his Card.
Dornoch's Jimmy Gunn lies 39th, but Leicester City's Greg Eason languishes in 68th.

8).The Seniors play another "Major" this week, the "Constellation Senior Players" at Philadelphia Cricket Club. No word as to who's in the slips or covers, at gully or point, or whose legs are fine, short or square, but there are a bunch of "silly"s.
Not Bernhard Langer of course, though his putting stroke is very silly and continues to look to be a giant p1ss take.
Langer has already earned $1.1M this season, Montgomerie $600K and Jimenez & Parnevik $500K.
There's a new quasi play-off at the end of this Champions Tour season and one imagines that the year-end bounty will cause this lot to play a little more during the summer, possibly a lot more in the autumn.

9).And then there's the PGA Tour. TPC Southwind is a fairways-and-greens test, intended as a warm-up for next week's US Open. It won't just be a warm-up this year, it'll be a heat-up as temps will close in on 100F degrees. Donaldson and Molinari are in the field and the course may suit them as each needs a good result or three. Harrington, McDowell and Freddie Jac (decent form here) are also in town, while Brian Davis and Greg Owen have runnered up here in the past.
Last week we saw two Tour-winners-in-waiting, McGirt and Curran playing off at the Memorial - both likely winners, but surprised it was there! But I won't be surprised if the likes of Hoge and Wilcox play well this week.

10).Back to FedEx. I wonder if they've considered sponsoring a WGC event, given the worldwide reach of their business? I guarantee that, if they transferred their $6M allegiance to, say, Valderama, they'd get a better turn out than the Tour has dealt them in Memphis, Finchem's suggestions that his members play a variety of tournaments having fallen on deaf ears.


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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 08 Jun 2016, 8:20 pm

princedrac reporting that the Memphis tournament has its second-lowest strength of field since such things were measured.

By my reckoning it's the lowest since (a 132-golfer field at) Mayakoba when McDowell won last autumn, probably the only time a full field Tour event had a lower strength field in calendar years 2015 or 2016.
Memphis has a full field of 156 golfers and a win's a win, complete with 2-year exemption and invites to PGA, Masters, Players, TOC, invitationals. Lots to play for.

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Post by GPB on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 2:24 am

FSJC has gone deep into the Past Champions/Veterans category.  Troy Matteson was the first alternate as of this afternoon and a player like Charlie Wi got in w/o a sponsor exemption.

Univ. of Alabama player Robby Shelton is making his pro debut this week.  He finished T3 at the opposite field Barbasol event last summer.

I have played the TPC Southwind a couple of times, in late Fall.  The bermuda rough could be really lush.  Memphis has had a very wet spring.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 9:13 am

I guess it has to happen to someone, the PGAT can't go full throttle from start to finish. Although with 4 spots in The Open up for grabs and the chance to warm up for Oakmont you would think a few more might have turned up.
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Post by McLaren on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 9:57 am

Looks like Shell will end Houston Open sponsorship.

http://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepage/2016/6/8/shell-ending-third-longest-sponsorship-run-in-houston.html


Tough times for the Oil industry, maybe Super could provide some thoughts on this?
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Post by super_realist on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 10:04 am

Mac, not a surprise at all. Despite rising oil prices of 100% since January, companies like Shell, who recently bought BG for $35bn are cutting costs, getting out of various countries and prioritising their expenditure.
Most companies are doing the same.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 1:08 pm

Missed the Shell news last night; what a shame! "Houston" has consistently improved the quality of its tournament - and they attract exactly the quality of field the week before The Masters that "Memphis" can only wish for the week before the US Open.

Mac,
I hardly think the possibility of a spot at Troon is in the top 100 reasons why a pro might want to play if they are otherwise not interested. That's the utter stupidity of the R&A's qualifying system - Karlberg runners up @ Wentworth, McGirt wins Memorial and that doesn't get them anywhere, yet some rinky dink journeyman will probably score a trip to Troon in Memphis when it is the last thing on his mind.
I'd much prefer they opened Open Qualifying to a wider pool of players and stopped cutting sweetheart deals with certain tournaments. Ridiculous.

Anyway, here we go in Memphis, one old lag after another sh1tting himself in 100F degree excitement at the prospect of Ayrshire in July.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 4:40 pm

DJ six under par (and still going?) in a five-hole stretch - that's what American commentators call "golfing your ball".

Jamie Donaldson playing nicely, Davis better than he has been, but Harrington & McDool sstruggling.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 5:45 pm

Kwini

I still don't get your issue with the Open qualifying series and calling it "utter stupidity" is clearly just an opinion. The players know where they can and can't get in and should prioritise those events if they really care about The Open.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 6:30 pm

Mac,
This Board is either Fact or Opinion; that's my opinion in response to yr comment that "4 spots in The Open" being "up for grabs" might be a compelling reason to play Memphis.
I would further offer the opinion that none of the 156 go to Memphis caring "about The Open"; sure they might like to, but it's a priority for very, very few. Surely?
So, YES! I think the R&A's Open Qualifying system is utterly stupid. My opinion, but arguably a fact!

Super round by Donaldson, very disappointing by Davis & McDool, tragic from Harrington.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 9:28 pm

Sorry didn't mean to dismiss your opinion was just looking for a bit of detail on why you think it is "utterly stupid". It provides a way for players with an already packed schedule to double up on goals when playing an event. You play for points, prizes and a shot at The Open. If the players won't engage with the concept that is their loss, don't you think?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 09 Jun 2016, 10:16 pm

Yes, But why waste coveted (for some) Open places on contrivances that reward the ambivalent? Political correctness gone to the point of absurdity. Much prefer the USGA way of handling things. Far simpler, always a good thing, and fairer.


The Seniors are having a tough old time at Shotrock's Philadelphia Cricket Club, perhaps they left the wicket uncovered? Only five golfers under par, Jay Don Blake (now there's a really silly name, "Jay Don", I ask you) leading the way at -2.


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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 12:55 am

DC and Thongchai following Woods out of the US Open. More to follow, no doubt.

EDIT: Shane Lowry is forsaking les eclairs et profiteroles and going for tyres instead. Not altogether surprising as he hasn't played en Paris since 2012, he has a title to defend, and he needs FedEx points and a PGA Tour appearance.

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Post by sirbenson on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 2:18 pm

Interesting to see what quirky tee times the USGA will come up with today! Looking forward to Oakmont! What a test it will be.

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Post by GPB on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 2:30 pm

In case you missed it, Curtis Cup is being played this weekend. 

Team GBI leads USA 2 matches to one after the Friday Morning session.  Its being played in Dublin.

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Post by McLaren on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 3:02 pm

GPB

I did miss that, so thanks.


Any news on whether Inbee Park will hang her clubs up after the PGA this week?
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Post by McLaren on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 3:05 pm

Also, other than quibbles about spots for the Open doubt memphis will generate much interest on here, so can anyone see past Spieth for the win next week?

Has anyone ever had a more perfect grindy type game than Spieth?
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Post by super_realist on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 3:13 pm

It's got a habit of giving us unfancied players. Cabrera, Ogilvy, Glover, The Fat Accountant, Kaymer etc.

Cabrera was the last winner at Oakmont, and Els before him. So is Spieth a big enough hitter? Perhaps not. Maybe a longer hitter might be more likely to win this than the Science Denier.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 3:19 pm

Can't fancy Spieth at all unless he's suddenly rediscovered his driving accuracy.

One of the first pieces I scribbled on 606 was titled something like "Why Tiger Woods won't win the US Open" at Oakmont. But then he nearly did.

But I still don't fancy Spieth.

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Post by super_realist on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 3:23 pm

It's also the first major since his hilarious capitulation. Will he feel the pressure again should he be in contention?

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Post by McLaren on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 3:34 pm

If not Spieth then who?
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Post by super_realist on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 3:39 pm

Well, someone longer, more accurate with a deft putting touch.
There's over 120 people in it Mac. It's not a case of Spieth on his own at all.

If Pubehead gets his putter going, could be him, he's long enough, aggressive enough.
Have you forgotten about Day Mac? Not sure why you'd pick Spieth over him given current form and more suitable attributes in his game.
Pretty sure there are probably a dozen players with the capability of matching the course, Rose if his back is good? Who knows, but to look at Spieth only is a bookies dream.

Not that my opinion matters much given my Crystal Palace type Fantasy League form, but history says you need to be long at Oakmont. Doesn't that cause a problem for Spieth?

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Post by sirbenson on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 3:44 pm

SR
A bit harsh on Ogilvy and Kaymer especially....Kaymer had won the players just a month previously, and having been a former number one and a major champion he was hardly a surprise winner at the US Open...Ogilvy also had won the matchplay in the year he won the US Open.

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Post by McLaren on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 3:45 pm

I had actually forgotten about Day. I keep expecting his bubble to burst.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 3:47 pm

Furyk, Toms & Verplunk all in Top 10 in 2007 - would say straight is at least as crucial as long. "Deft putting stroke" essential - will Rory be deft enough?

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Post by GPB on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 3:53 pm

McLaren wrote:Also, other than quibbles about spots for the Open doubt memphis will generate much interest on here, so can anyone see past Spieth for the win next week?

Has anyone ever had a more perfect grindy type game than Spieth?

Nick Faldo?
Hale Irwin?
Curtis Strange?

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Post by GPB on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 3:57 pm

super_realist wrote:It's also the first major since his hilarious capitulation. Will he feel the pressure again should he be in contention?

You talking about Spieth.

In 2011, Rory shot 80 in the final round at Augusta after being in the lead after 54 hole including a trip to the sleeping cabins 80 yds left of the 10th fairway.

Then he goes onto win the 2011 US Open by 8 shots 2 months later.

I am not saying that Spieth is going to win, but there is no reason to think that he won't be in contention.

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Post by super_realist on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 4:05 pm

Of course, just surmising if it might be on his mind.
He probably will be in contention, but I think Mac suggesting that he can't see anyone other than Spieth winning this to be a bit of a silly statement when you look at the quality players who will be playing.

Who's to say Willett won't stand a good chance?

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Post by GPB on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 4:30 pm

super_realist wrote:Well, someone longer, more accurate with a deft putting touch.
There's over 120 people in it Mac. It's not a case of Spieth on his own at all.

If Pubehead gets his putter going, could be him, he's long enough, aggressive enough.
Have you forgotten about Day Mac? Not sure why you'd pick Spieth over him given current form and more suitable attributes in his game.
Pretty sure there are probably a dozen players with the capability of matching the course, Rose if his back is good? Who knows, but to look at Spieth only is a bookies dream.

Not that my opinion matters much given my Crystal Palace type Fantasy League form, but history says you need to be long at Oakmont. Doesn't that cause a problem for Spieth?

They say you have to be long at ANGC too, especially given winners of the Masters prior to Spieth winning

Bubba twice
Adam Scott
Schwartzel
Mickelson

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Post by I'm never wrong on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 4:31 pm

The US Open is one of the few times I visit a bookies. I usually go for a "banker" to try and get my money back (Shocked ), and then some medium and then long shots. (It's never worked) I've decided on Jason Day and Rickie Fowler, then my longer shots are Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Raphael Cabrera-Bello and Matthew Fitzpatrick.
S-R says his Fantasy league form is like Crystal Palace. Mine is like Aston Villa, so none of the above will therefore win or get anywhere near. Your have been advised.......

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 5:45 pm

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano has been in form like my beloved Portsmouth these past few years but he's just tied for the Round 2 lead at this week's web.com event in Illinois. Four holes still to play, plus two more rounds of course, but promising stuff and it's been a couple of years since we've been able to say that.



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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 10 Jun 2016, 8:30 pm

Oakmont tee-times:

http://www.pgatour.com/news/2016/06/10/us-open-tee-times.html

Rory/Willett/Fowler
lw1/Lukey/Kaymer
Zach/Spieth/DeChambo
Day/Louis/Scott
Hideki/Dustin/Sergio
Bubba/Kuchar/Reed
Phil/Rosey/Henrik

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 11 Jun 2016, 1:34 am

Mac reckons that "Memphis" wil not generate much interest here, but a pretty tasty leaderboard going in to Round 3:
Berger
Hoge - see note 9 above; (Wee Willy Wilcox imploded when inside the cut line - but he'll be back)
DJ, Phil, Koepka

Looking forward to the weekend.

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Post by super_realist on Sat 11 Jun 2016, 11:05 am

GPB wrote:
super_realist wrote:Well, someone longer, more accurate with a deft putting touch.
There's over 120 people in it Mac. It's not a case of Spieth on his own at all.

If Pubehead gets his putter going, could be him, he's long enough, aggressive enough.
Have you forgotten about Day Mac? Not sure why you'd pick Spieth over him given current form and more suitable attributes in his game.
Pretty sure there are probably a dozen players with the capability of matching the course, Rose if his back is good? Who knows, but to look at Spieth only is a bookies dream.

Not that my opinion matters much given my Crystal Palace type Fantasy League form, but history says you need to be long at Oakmont. Doesn't that cause a problem for Spieth?

They say you have to be long at ANGC too, especially given winners of the Masters prior to Spieth winning

Bubba twice
Adam Scott
Schwartzel
Mickelson

ANGC is not always quite like that. There have been a lot of short hitters do well there. Bible Zach, Mike Weir and Spieth.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 11 Jun 2016, 12:53 pm

If you can't stand the heat, get out of Memphis. 95F degrees expected again today.
McDowell among those who left town early, not close to making the cut.
Don't know how close McDool is with Darren Clarke, but you'd think an in-form McDowell would be an invaluable ingredient for Hazeltine. But he's not in form, nowhere near his best, and can't imagine how DC can justify making him a Captain's Choice unless he can turn it around.
At this rate, I can't see anyone other than Rory from Ireland north or south making the Ryder Cup, especially with Lowry also in lousy form.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 11 Jun 2016, 1:18 pm

According to princedrac, the only golfers still competing this weekend who have a chance to crash the US Open field are:
CHIII (currently T61), Matt Jones (T35), Molinari (T24), who all need to WIN.
Joost Luiten who requires a solo 3rd in Austria. He's right in the shake-up, three strokes off the lead halfway thru his Round 3 back nine.
Ryan Palmer (T35) needs a solo 10th in Memphis.

Go Joost.

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Post by GPB on Sat 11 Jun 2016, 3:01 pm

Kwini:  True enough.  The USGA has reserved 6 spots for Top 60 party crashers.  One of them has already gone to William McGirt.  and a max of 3 more will be taken tomorrow.  

So at least two more alternates will get into the US Open.

But apparently no one knows who those two alternates.  The USGA has a list of alternates from the Sectional Qualifying sites, but it does NOT make the priority list public.

Three alternates have already got in via the WDs of Woods, Jaidee, and Darren Clarke.  They can from the Japan, England, and Memphis qualifiers.

There was a long twitter dialog between Bob Harig (ESPN) and Gary VanSickle (Golf-com) on Thursday about the lack of transparency.

Coincidentally, Gary VanSickle's son Mike is the first alternate from the Washington DC Sectional Qualifier.  The USGA has told Mike VanSickle that he was the fifth alternate but he doesn't know who was the 4th alternate.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 11 Jun 2016, 3:26 pm

Bad weather in Dublin at the Curtis Cup, but GB&I leading 5 - 4 after the morning's play.
GPB: Thanks for the heads-up on the Curtis Cup. I had no idea that was on; another failure of the US golfing press following the regrettable demise of Golf World.


As for USGA qualifying, the press seems to feel it's conventional wisdom that the first alternate (Summerhays) from the big (as opposed to the down market version) Columbus qualie gets in, so surprising that hasn't happened so far.

Important weekend for Donaldson & Molinari, so a bogey start for Jamie is not what his Doctor puligny ordered.

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Post by GPB on Sat 11 Jun 2016, 4:05 pm

Here is a list of the sectional alternates.


Sectional Alternates:

 Japan
1. Chuayprakong, Thitiphun (replaced Woods)
2. Fujimoto, Yoshinori
 
England
1. Jeev Milka Singh (replaced Jaidee)
2. Johan Edfors
 
Memphis
1. Thomas Aiken (replaced Darren Clarke)
2. Robert Garrigus
 
Vancouver, Washington
1. Austin Connelly
2. Frederick Wedel
 
San Francisco
1. Hunter Larson
2. David Gozzolo
 
Houston
1. Brandon Crick
2. Joshua Creel
 
Atlanta
1. Bryan Fox
2. Ryan Gildersleeve
 
Jacksonville
1. Zach Edmondson
2. Joey Garber
 
Washington DC
1. Mike VanSickle
2. Mike Bosdosh
 
NYC
1. Kevin Foley
2. Stewart Hagestat
 
Columbus #1
1. Daniel Summerhays
2. Adam Hadwin
 
Columbus #2
1. Tony Finau
2. Randy Lowry

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Post by GPB on Sat 11 Jun 2016, 4:10 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Bad weather in Dublin at the Curtis Cup, but GB&I leading 5 - 4 after the morning's play.
GPB: Thanks for the heads-up on the Curtis Cup. I had no idea that was on; another failure of the US golfing press following the regrettable demise of Golf World.


As for USGA qualifying, the press seems to feel it's conventional wisdom that the first alternate (Summerhays) from the big (as opposed to the down market version) Columbus qualie gets in, so surprising that hasn't happened so far.


Golf Channel/ESPN seems to be ignoring the minor USGA events since NBC/ESPN lost the the USGA contract to FoxSports.

It seems like the England Sectional alternate normally gets in.  It might be a geography thing.  No sense in traveling from Europe to USA if a player is the 6th alternate.

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Post by GPB on Sat 11 Jun 2016, 5:54 pm

GB&I Curtis Cup Captain Elaine Farquharson-Black has not played Rochelle Morris in any of the first sessions this weekend.


Rochelle Morris will see her first action in the Sunday Singles. Alice Hewson has only played one of the four matches.


Has Elaine Farquharson-Black been taking advice from Mark James?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 11 Jun 2016, 7:31 pm

If so, Mark James has been offering good advice. Can't argue with an 8 - 4 lead.
GB&I Team quite a bit older than the teenaged Americans - hopefully that'll stand 'em in good stead tomorrow.


Howell, Jones, Molinari and Palmer not threatening US Open qualification so far.

And DJ six over par through his last six holes.What's wrong with him?

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Post by GPB on Sat 11 Jun 2016, 11:47 pm

Curtis Cup officials issued a slow play to Bailey Tardy of the US team.

I guess Tardy was tardy over at least one shot.

http://golfweek.com/2016/06/11/great-britain-ireland-surge-commanding-lead-curtis-cup/

Incidentally, Robin Burke is Team USA Captain.  Her husband twice captained US Ryder Cup teams.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 12 Jun 2016, 12:50 am

Blimey, Robin Burke must be the right age to be Jackie Burke's granddaughter.

These four are in the drivers seat for Open exemptions in Memphis:
Steve Stricker, Points, Noh and Knost.
How ironic if Stricker qualified, given the number of times he's given the finger to Open participation!?!

Decent days at the office for Donaldson and Molinari today - but must go lower still tomorrow, with their FedEx point situation still precarious.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 12 Jun 2016, 1:30 pm

Curtis Cup right on the cusp of being won by GB&I; still work to do, but even Stephen (or Stephanie) in today's singles which would result in a 4-point win.


In Pittsburgh, a hotel is cancelling Joost Luiten's provisional reservation; good news though for another alternate.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 12 Jun 2016, 2:33 pm

That'll do. Hopefully a forerunner for Ryder Cup success.
Well done ladies.
PS: Pity they couldn't have teamed Charlotte Thomas with Bronte Law. (Yawn.)

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Post by McLaren on Sun 12 Jun 2016, 4:55 pm

WTF happened in Orlando? Well done America. thumbsup
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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 12 Jun 2016, 5:20 pm

Mac,
If this turns out to be an Islamic terrorist attack, rather than an attack on the LGBT Community, it could trigger divisive rhetoric here the like of which the world has seldom seen. The fact that the assassin is reported to have born in Afghanistan doesn't help, whatever his motives.

Still can't comprehend how a gunfight w/police at 2.00 a.m. managed to escalate into 50 dead when it all ended at 5.00 a.m.


Hope the only shooting in Memphis is of birdies and eagles.

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Post by SmithersJones on Sun 12 Jun 2016, 8:01 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Mac,
If this turns out to be an Islamic terrorist attack, rather than an attack on the LGBT Community, it could trigger divisive rhetoric here the like of which the world has seldom seen.

Could well be both, surely?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 12 Jun 2016, 8:15 pm

Could very well be, but the anti-immigration lobby speaks far louder than any pro-LGBT or gun-control lobby.
NRA rhetoric already saying fewer of the club-goers would have been killed if they'd've been armed.

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