PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 7:56 pm

1).The USGA stages the US Open at its favourite course, Oakmont, this week, just a few minutes outside Pittsburgh famous for its sporting Steelers, its Pirates, its Panthers and even its Penguins, who this weekend won ice hockey's Stanley Cup. Ironic then that, just as Pittsburgh, the Steel City, celebrates its latest sports championship, it should parade a Stanley Cup made in Sheffield.

2).And golf's most recent Major winner, Danny Willett, also travels from Sheffield, much more under the radar than Lord Stanley's Cup, with media attention focussed on who didn't win the Masters rather than the steely performer who kept his head to win the green jacket.

3).This will be Danny Willett's first competitive visit to Oakmont but one would think he has just the game to thrive on US Open lay-outs. Three Englishmen earned a Top Ten finish at Oakmont's 2007 US Open, led by Nick Dougherty, followed by Casey and Rose. Nick's no doubt got more desirable thoughts on his mind, but Casey and Rose are among 17 golfers here this year who made the cut nine years ago, led by Cabrera, of course, and followed by local boy Jim Furyk. Others include:
Toms & Watson (T5), Snedeker (T23), JJ Henry (T26), Hanson, McDowell & Schwartzel (T30), Westwood & Jeev Milkha (T36), Ogilvy (T42), Zach Johnson (T45), Els (the 1994 winner, T51) and Dufner (62nd).

Ryan Moore, an injured Mickelson, Donald, Kjeldsen, Garcia, Goosen, Scott & Stenson all missed the cut.

4).Ernie Els was the 1994 Champion, US Open specialist Jeff Maggert top tenned, Furyk, in his first US Open, finished T28 (tied with Nicklaus), while Mickelson also made the cut.

Lastly, Bill Haas made the Q-Finals of the 2003 US Amateur here, while JB Holmes, Hurley, Levin, McGirt and Senedker also qualified for Match Play.

5).Oakmont remains the one and only golf course designed by WC Fownes; originally farmland on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, the members lined fairways with trees which have now been almost completely removed, restored to the members' idea of its original design. The rough will be deep and the greens will be fast, lightning fast, specially greased by the USGA with every encouragement from members who will be thrilled to see the best pros embarrassed rather than merely identified.
Conventional wisdom has been that it favours a high-ball hitter. Low-ball hitting Larry Nelson took a lesson from 1953 Champ Ben Hogan as he tried to adjust his swing specially for Oakmont prior to Nelson's 1983 win.

6).The course will play about 7,250 yards, to a par of 70, approximately the same as 2007 when top ten finishes by Furyk, Toms and Verplank proved that precision and putting were as important as length off the tee. Although many of the Par-4's will be 470+ yard brutes, six are short by today's standards and straight "driving irons", and less, will be equally important as accuracy with the driver. Five over par won it in 2007 and no-one is expecting anyone to finish 72 holes under par.

7).This will be the second year of Fox TV doing the coverage and let's hope their effort is more professional and watchable than last year's (when they weren't helped by the unfamiliar moonscape of Chambers Bay).
Joe Buck was dreadful as anchor man (Will Ferrell would have been an improvement), but Greg Norman has been kicked out in favour of Paul Azinger who has transferred from ABC/espn. Zinger is articulate and perceptive, but not good at getting to know the golfers off his parochial radar. A bit like Johnny Miller then.

8).This will also be the penultimate week for European Tour golfers to qualify for The Open Championship via the "top five not otherwise qualified, but inside the Top 20 of the Race 2 Dubai". As I read it, the current leaders are Luiten, Karlberg, Soomin Lee, Hend and Beef, followed by Dredge and Wang. Beef looks like the only one playing this week - last chance will be in Germany next week.

9).Phil Mickelson has famously earned/suffered six 2nd place finishes in US Open competition and he certainly warmed up well (with, yes, another runner-up finish) in Memphis. Kuchar is making a habit of getting close in Majors and has finished Top 30 in his last six US Opens; plus he's been in terrific form over the past three months.
At Chambers Bay we saw Americans (3), Aussies (3), South Africans (3) and Irish N&S (2) fill out the top 11 finishers. Would expect a similarly cosmopolitan leaderboard this year.

10).Imagine Rory will play well again, but does Oakmont favour him with his terrific driving, or take that edge out of his hand too many times? Kaymer is playing well again without winning and Stenson is overdue a Major.
Seven Europeans finished in the leading dozen at this year's Masters; five Englishmen, led by Danny Willett of course, plus Kjeldsen (good e.w. bet?) and Rory.
No idea of a winner, probably Day or Rory if they can maintain their focus, but don't like their prices, 16's bar the "Top Three". Schwartzel has been in good form most of the year and looks a good each way shout at about 66's.
But wouldn't it be appropriate if Danny Willett brought the USGA's trophy back to Sheffield? (No, it wasn't made in Sheffield.)


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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 9:00 pm

And here's the weather forecast, especially for McLaren:

https://weather.com/weather/5day/l/USPA1290:1:US

Wednesday night thru Friday morning looks pretty grim. That's not going to make the rough any easier, so trust (but then why should we?) the USGA to set the course up sensibly otherwise not only will scores sky-rocket, but the pace of play will be extra slow.
Weekend looks ideal but, if there's a significant delay on Thursday, it'll need to be.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Tue 14 Jun 2016, 10:05 pm

Thank You Kwini. Picking up on your point 6). - I wonder what the winning score will be? I think it will be par - despite the rough and greens.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 12:33 am

The cut was +10 and the winning score +5 in 2007. Not sure things will be that different this time around.
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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 1:43 am

I wonder whether we'll be able to look at two US Opens at Oakmont and make comparisons about level of play/strength of depth?
I'm inclined to think that, although the winning score may be close to +5, the cut-line may be quite a bit lower than +10, especially if the greens soften/slow just a tad following Thursday's impending storms, then firm up in perfect weather over the weekend, warm and low humidity.

PS:
Bubba up to his tricks again:

http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golf-central-blog/watch-bubba-adds-trick-shot-repertoire/?cid=golfchannel_majorshomepage_us_open_latestnews_position_5_link_1


Amazing he finished T5 here in 2007, only his second US Open, just his second year on Tour.


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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 9:55 am

Kwini, you are correct, +10 does seem a bit high but given that it is a 70 on the scorecard the number over par is made to look worse. So +10 is only a pair of 75's.


Also what has bubba been up to, that is a link to a story about a cat that can travel?
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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Roller_Coaster on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 10:46 am

I for one hope that link was the intended post Mac.

Bubba loves God. God made cats. Cats hate travel. This cat doesn't. Bubba reads article. Bubba questions God. God punishes Bubba. Willet wins playoff.


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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 10:58 am

I thought cats were god?
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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Roller_Coaster on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 11:05 am

Advance joke warning, lest the written medium not make it obvious and unintended offence taken!

I thought you thought Tiger was God? Similar but not quite the same...




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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 12:19 pm

Tiger is just a sex idol.
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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 1:17 pm

Sorry Mac,
Hate it when that happens:

http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golf-central-blog/watch-bubba-adds-trick-shot-repertoire/?cid=golfchannel_majorshomepage_us_open_latestnews_position_5_link_1

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by sirbenson on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 2:30 pm

After backing Kaymer, Horschel and Dufner.....Wattel as a huge outsider lol!

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 2:34 pm

Kwini

I am intrigued by the cat travel training, are you thinking of taking your moggy on holiday?
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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 3:21 pm

GolfWRX reporting that Chris Crawford's caddie broke his ankle during one of the practice rounds. http://www.golfwrx.com/382714/how-a-caddie-broke-his-ankle-at-oakmont/

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 3:24 pm

Mac,
No cats here, linked it to my daughter who doesn't know any better, then failed to close the link.


Yup, Oakmont has started to bite back; caddies first, players later.
Forecast for tonight and Thursday not improving; expect delays/suspensions of play.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 5:44 pm

My investment adviser has come up with the following returns - if successful.
Day - 7/1; Fowler - 28/1; Fitzpatrick - 66/1; Cabrera-Bello - 150/1; Aphibarnrat - 250/1;
I think they go to sixth place at 1/4. A nice holiday if they finish in the right order!!!

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 6:11 pm

Kwini

Just as well it wasn't your porn that you had open.
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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 7:05 pm

Not on my computer Macm I'll leave that to you.

It's been a long time since I've seen less buzz prior to a Major - hope there's more interest (not just here, anywhere) when the action starts.

Surprised no-one has mentioned Thomas Aiken as a very dark horse; as straight a hitter as there is, but can he handle the greens?

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 7:43 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:It's been a long time since I've seen less buzz prior to a Major - hope there's more interest (not just here, anywhere) when the action starts.
I'm looking forward to it Kwini. Got things to do at the weekend, but they are in the morning both days, so hope to veg out in front of the box later on.
Don't want it to be a disaster, but I would like to see the pro's have a harder time this week.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 8:14 pm

Yup, I can't wait. Not quite sure why the media interest has been so muted, though Euros, NBA, etc take a lot of column inches.

Just hope the weather co-operates for Round 1; Friday p.m. and the weekend look terrific. 15 hours daylight should do the trick, but USGA have a track record of cow-towing to TV and not optimizing the hours available to them.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Davie on Wed 15 Jun 2016, 9:25 pm

Plenty of interest here kwini but as you say, over here at least, the Euros are grabbing most of the media attention

This will be the first major for a while though that I haven't had a little flutter. Odds for the top three are just too short and as for the rest, it's more of a lottery than the Grand National

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 11:40 am

Kwini

I think the media are being cautious as they cannot take the usual tactic of picking one of the top players and writing about how this is there time etc to win this major. They know that anyone in the field could be out of it with 3 doubles on Thursday's front nine. Davie said above it is a lottery for those outside the top 3, some would say it is a lottery for the whole field.
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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 11:50 am

Kwini

You were right about it ending up soft for the start of day one. Quite a lot of rain overnight apparently.

Does that remove some of the lottery if Day, Rory, Scott etc can go for a few more pins?
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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 12:13 pm

Maybe, Mac.
At least they're off on time and even some early birdies. USGA brass will be tearing out any hair they might have.

But I wouldn't rule out anyone on the basis of three early doubles . . . . . . . more than any other tournament, it's a marathon not a sprint.

Beef being served on the first fairway.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by sirbenson on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 2:35 pm

Despite the softer conditions than the practice rounds, still seems to be a brutal test of golf!

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 4:46 pm

Oakmont dodged a bullet there; more later?

(So much for my thought that Aiken and Toms were good outsiders . . . . . . )

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 5:06 pm

McIlroy playing himself out of contention quite nicely. His play has missed cut written all over it.
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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by sirbenson on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 5:17 pm

https://twitter.com/BWiesberger/status/743476192502812672


Haha I wonder would he be complaining if he made pars on the holes after the resumption!

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 6:39 pm

Love it sirb. Is that these young things call "pwned"?

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Davie on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 7:42 pm

Burned cheeseburger should keep his mouth shut on twitter, knowing the audience there. He does have a point, but he was always going to be slaughtered for that comment

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 8:14 pm

It looks as if Oakmont is surrounded:

https://weather.com/weather/today/l/USPA1290:1:US

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 8:15 pm

Sissy. I'll take your place then.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 16 Jun 2016, 10:12 pm

Would think it'll be a big advantage for the "afternoon wave" who now won't start Round 1 until Friday.

I see Wiesberger's beef, haven't seen Beef's beef, but Willett also had a word to say on the same subject. Typical that US pros don't say too much, left to non PGA Tour members to be quoted. Though Poults usually doesn't hold back . . . . . . .

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 2:13 am

Round 1 scheduled to begin @ 7.30 a.m. Friday.
Final Round 2 tee-time scheduled for 9.42 p.m., an hour after sunset. Those japesters at the USGA, always up to something.

(Increasing angst at the resumption of play with no warm up - apparently even Rev Spieth was miffed. Not just Bernd, sounds like the whole field was bernd.)

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 8:56 am

I disagree you need to "warm up". Definitely think he/they are being spoilt brats for complaining.

There's plenty time to have practice swings and get his pre-shot routine done upon resumption. He certainly deserved the clout he got. Particularly liked the "sympathy with you at this difficult time" tweet.

It's not like a proper sport where you might need to warm up again.


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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by beninho on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 9:53 am

These guys are playing for potentially millions of pounds. Us weekend warriors may not warm up, and tie our laces on the first tee, but I think its pretty unprofessional to just send them back out without the chance to warm up. All sportsmen tend to warm up before they play.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 10:00 am

Who cares. It was only an hour off. Weisberger could quite easily have gone somewhere to hit balls in his hour off, or just have a swing. He didn't need to sit on his backside.

It was also the same for everyone else, so he's being a petulant child. I also sincerely doubt he'd moan had he gone back out and played well. He's just being a bad workman.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 10:56 am

That's not correct super, they were "held in place" on the course for 70 minutes, some in portaloo areas or under stands where some couldn't even find a seat, or in Lowry's case, a hot dog. So to "hit balls" would have been illegal.

More rain overnight but once they get going, that should be the end of it, unless there's fog there!

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 11:20 am

Fair enough Kwini, but hardly too much of a hardship and not really worth complaining about.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 11:28 am

Pro golfers do have a speciality for whinging about F**K all. Boo hoo they didn't get a warm up. It was the same for everybody out there so get on with it.

Kwini, I do think you have to be a little more questioning of the supposed plight of pro golfers sometimes.
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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 11:52 am

B0ll0cks, both of you.
Some guys were stuck in a ploughed field for over an hour, others were getting massages in the clubhouse - all you can really ask is that all golfers are treated as equally as is reasonably possible, which in some cases these guys definitely weren't.

You don't tell cricketers or tennis players when there's a weather delay that some can put their feet up in the clubhouse/pavilion while the opposition have to be stuck trying to find shelter.


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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 12:01 pm

Kwini

It is just really hard to care if one golfer gets a slight advantage over the other. It might feel like an injustice to them but how can they not see the rest of the world doesn't give a s**t.
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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 12:16 pm

Very few, if any, fans out for resumption of play today as the car parks are swamped.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by sirbenson on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 12:31 pm

Fowler's struggles continue, in the majors so far! +14 for 30 holes played in RD 1's golf at majors this season!

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by sirbenson on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 12:43 pm

Fantastic round by Andrew Landry, that would be a bigger upset than Leicester City winning the league wouldn't it lol! Although he has no chance!

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 12:49 pm

Mac,
Some guys (Thursday's afternoon wave) already have a big weather-driven advantage, no need to give them an extra man-made advantage.
P1ss up in a brewery, lack of management of, comes to mind with USGA. Bunch of money-grabbers, but amateurs at running their biggest event.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Snap Hook on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 1:03 pm

BBC suggests weather is now good for the rest of the tournament, no idea how accurate that is!

Sky coverage just about to start, so working at home has its benefits.

Regards the tournament itself, I was hoping it would be on the brink of impossible, that doesn't look likely now, soft fairways and greens, suggest a sub par winning score is likely. Do the have sub air systems ?

Anyhow I will still enjoy it, but suspect long hitters will feature heavily at the top of the leaderboard.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 1:32 pm

Snap,
Forecast very good the rest of the way.

Birdie at the long Par-3 (288 yds?) for Westwood to go second. Only makes sense.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 1:42 pm

Snap, yes there is a sub air system. Green speeds reported to be a good two feet slower than yesterday/usual at Oakmont so that might cause some consternation on the greens

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by beninho on Fri 17 Jun 2016, 1:47 pm

Is there any way someone from yesterday starters will win this? They have been dicked by the weather, if they knew it was going to be so bad, what was the point in even starting. Start it today and use Monday if needs be after that. Or get them off very early saturday and sunday.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open in the (US's) Steel City: Notes from the Ballwasher

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