PGA Tour: Hartford's Travelers: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 02 Aug 2016, 7:18 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).The PGA Of America have the excellence of Jimmy Walker's and Jason Day's golf, and the Baltusrol grounds crew, to thank for an absorbing conclusion to last week's PGA Championship. The Logistics staff of the PGA chose a lousy time to take the week off and reaction to weather delays, course flooding and condition sometimes seemed hapless, but no-one could argue with the final result as a worthy Champion was crowned.

2).Henrik Stenson was the only European to get into Sunday's argument, but he seemed to run out of inspiration, finally falling asleep in the 15th fairway and taking five to get down from 145 yards. Otherwise, nice tournaments from Kaymer and Harrington, Hatton and Casey, and good to see Gregory Bourdy continue a very good season with his second 18th place finish in the last two US Majors.

3).Some good stories behind last week's headlines:
Most especially the odyssey of Jimmy Walker's caddie, Andy Sanders, one-time hot-shot collegiate golfer (and rival of Jimmy Walker) and up and coming pro who was diagnosed with MS early in his Nationwide (as the web.com circuit was known then) career. Efforts to continue his pro golf career were unsuccessful so he got into caddying, finally helping Walker out with his putting, and taking his bag full-time eight years ago. He still undergoes monthly treatments, but otherwise continues his new career. With obvious success in a way they possibly wouldn't have imagined when they played a US Amateur practice round together in 2000. At Baltusrol.

4).What about Padraig Harrington??!! A terrific result to finish 13th, only his second Top 15 finish since his improbable win last year at the "Honda", and his best Major result since finishing 4th behind Webb Simpson in the 2012 US Open. Padraig's playing this week's "Travelers Championship" at Hartford, a course where he's always popular and often played well.
He'll need a top finish, probably about a Top 6, this week to qualify for the FedEx Play-Offs, because he's off to Rio and fully intends to embrace the Olympic experience and opportunity. So he won't be at next week's John Deere event or Greensboro the week after.
Wouldn't you think he's a realistic dark horse for a Rio medal? Apart from anything else, he's one of very few players in the field with a win in Brazil, albeit in Sao Paolo, and a runner-up in Rio, both in 2000.  


5).Padraig's fellow PGA Champ, Rich Beem, also made quite a splash. With PXG clubs he would have had to pay for himself, but his credit card was maxed out. After his opening 69 he asked PXG if that was good enough to get the sticks for free, and apparently it was as Beemer went on to make his first PGA Tour cut since the 2012 PGA Championship. No word yet as to whether that will be good enough for him to ditch the microphone and go back to competition, but I think we know the answer.

6).TNT TV's coverage of the first two days was nigh on unwatchable but perhaps Beem might have a new competitor plying his trade as an on-course commentator. Mike Weir did the duties for TNT and was really quite good. Like Beem he's pretty much exhausted his Tours' (European & PGA) status so perhaps he'll find a home along the fairways (which he's been having trouble finding for a few years now). They're both the same age (46) so have four good years ahead of them before they take up Champions Tour residence.

7).The Travelers Championship is played at TPC River Highlands, a relatively short course outside Hartford, Connecticut, just a couple of hours to the East of Baltusrol. The course has been remodelled several times and has had a facelift since we were there last year. A few dozen bunkers were removed, and most of those remaining have been redefined, in some cases moved to bring the course up to date. Bubba Watson has won here twice and is one of a surprisingly high number of participants to be competing in advance of their Olympic action. Fellow USA Team members Kuchar and Reed are also playing, plus Harrington, Kjeldsen & Cejka.

8).There was nervousness that a revised date, about seven weeks later than its usual post US Open slot, would water down the quality of the field, but not so. With a current estimate of 50 owgr points to the winner, this year's event would have a marginally stronger field than the best of the past ten years.

9).There can't be many PGA Tournaments that are better managed than The Travelers, with a world-class practice range and everything the fan could reasonably want on-site; plus ample accommodation and Interstate highways within a couple of miles. European Tournament Directors take note. Hopefully the weather gods will strike a happy medium between the burned out vision of Glen Abbey two weeks ago and last week's saturated course.
Fine weather is expected and the tweaks to the course may be just enough to give second thoughts to the course specialists like Bubba who probably think they can sleepwalk round and still shoot 66. Ryan Moore has sleepwalked through the summer, but I'm hoping he'll wake up in time to reward an e.w. investment. Who knows with him?

10).A glance at last year's leaderboard illustrates the fickle nature of the game.
Among those following Bubba home were DeLaet (4th then, but recently took time away from the game to deal with chipping yips) and Carl Pettersson (5th, but has struggled this year and isn't even making the trip). Zach Johnson was 6th and a month later earned a Claret Jug, but Van Pelt was in 7th place and he hasn't been seen for six months.
Freddie Jac (2011) is the only European winner in the tournament's 65-year history, but Sergio & Casey have runnered up the past two years and there's a strong contingent here this time. As well as Harrington, Knox and Laird who have all played well here, we have Casey & Donald (7th last year), Hatton, Rahm, Molinari, Kjeldsen, Lowry and others.  
But this is a wonderfully user-friendly tournament, the biggest show around for the community, and I'm looking forward to telling you later this week that we saw a great 72 holes of golf.


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Post by GPB on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 9:52 pm

Should Berger win, Kuchar needs a Solo 45th or better to stay ahead of him.

Watson needs a Solo 21st or better to pass Sneds, Solo 12th or better to pass Holmes, Solo 4th to pass Zach.

Reed needs solo 19th, 12th and 4th respectively.
Kuchar needs solo 11th, 7th, and 3rd respectively

Zach is the only RC contender in the John Deere field. Any OWGR points earned next week doesn't count for the Euro RC team, even points earned at the Olympics.

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Post by pedro on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 10:17 pm

Re. The Olympics:
Do you really think multimillion dollar golfers fancy staying in dorms in the Olympic City sleeping in bunk beds with Ukrainian weightlifters while being looted by the locals? I think not.

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Post by GPB on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 10:39 pm

pedro wrote:Re. The Olympics:
Do you really think multimillion dollar golfers fancy staying in dorms in the Olympic City sleeping in bunk beds with Ukrainian weightlifters while being looted by the locals? I think not.

450,000 condoms can't be wrong!

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Post by I'm never wrong on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 10:45 pm

GPB wrote:
pedro wrote:Re. The Olympics:
Do you really think multimillion dollar golfers fancy staying in dorms in the Olympic City sleeping in bunk beds with Ukrainian weightlifters while being looted by the locals? I think not.

450,000 condoms can't be wrong!

My one abiding image from the 2012 Olympics is a not one of someone breaking a world record, but a picture of Usain Bolt partying with three members of the Swedish Handball team. I think they had a good time......

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 10:19 am

Saturday's tee-times were brought forward because of forecast storms. I'm not sure whether any significant rain actually fell at TPC River Highlands. If it stayed mostly dry, expect the course to play quite firm and fast for Round 4 of The Travelers - more 62's (or better?) in the cards? Should be a shoot-out.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 12:54 pm

Anyone interested in seeing how your favourite (or in some cases least favourite) golfer is doing, stroke by stroke, here's the Projected FedEx standings:

http://www.pgatour.com/fedexcup/projected-standings.html

Obviously the Top 125 is key to keeping one's card, but Top 150 (conditional status for next year) and Top 200 (qualify for web.com Finals) may also be crucial.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 3:10 pm

"More 62's (or better?) in the cards?"?
Furyk taking this to heart, six under par after seven holes - most of those birds were virtual tap-ins, but a 135 yarder for eagle on the Par-4 3rd was a bonus!
Just what he needs to get a ticket to Bethpage and The Barclays.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 3:17 pm

OK, Another birdie, needs a par on the ninth to shoot a front nine of 28.
59 watch officially on for someone who knows how to get it done.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 3:30 pm

Birdie on #9, another tap-in!
Front nine of 27.
58 watch on . . . . . . .

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 3:45 pm

Bl00dy Hell! Birdie on the relatively tough 10th, so nine under par for ten holes.
57 watch now on . . . . . . .

It looks like 11 putts for his first ten holes. More "scoring" holes coming up, then grind out the last three.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 3:52 pm

This is getting repetitive. Another 16-footer on #11 and Furyk can par in for a SIXTY!
56 watch on now . . . . .

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Post by sirbenson on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 3:57 pm

Absolutely insane golf from Furyk....playstation golf!

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Post by sirbenson on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 4:04 pm

Another birdie for Furyk on 12!!!!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 4:18 pm

Play Station Golf: Great description!


Apart from his holed fairway shot on #3, he hasn't really holed anything outrageous, nothing longer than 16 ft according to Shot Link.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 4:35 pm

Rubbish; failed to birdie the Par-5 and missed a 10-footer at #14.
Maybe someone else will go better than him, Jim.

Driveable Par-4 here we come.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 4:50 pm

I think Zach Johnson is still the only man with two PGA Tour rounds of 60.
2 x 59's would be an ultimate one-upmanship.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 4:52 pm

BINGO!

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Post by sirbenson on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 5:03 pm

Super's 54 was actually a possibility here haha!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 5:17 pm

25 feet for a 57 . . . . .

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 5:25 pm

58 ain't bad.

Very questionable before as to whether Jim Furyk should be in the WGHOF, but I reckon a US Open, 17 wins, and a 59 followed by a 58 should do the job.


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Post by sirbenson on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 5:28 pm

58 it is! His58ry!

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Post by super_realist on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 5:36 pm

sirbenson wrote:Super's 54 was actually a possibility here haha!

It was only 254 I was talking about, roughly 4 rounds @ 63.5

Great for a relatively short hitter, someone considered to be past it, to shoot such a score. Outstanding.

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Post by sirbenson on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 5:44 pm

super_realist wrote:
sirbenson wrote:Super's 54 was actually a possibility here haha!

It was only 254 I was talking about, roughly 4 rounds @ 63.5

Great for a relatively short hitter, someone considered to be past it, to shoot such a score. Outstanding.

Oh I also thought you mentioned 54....Someone shot 250 on the Web.Com tour last week...

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 6:55 pm

The bandwagon's rolling at The Travelers and anyone not on board will be run over.
Rotten start from Kjeldsen (one tournament week too far?) whilst Laird and Hatton haven't really got going.

Big week for Harrington as he'll be hoping for a top ten to reach The Barclays - this will be his final "regular" season tournament.
And Molinari could enter the Ryder Cup picture with another low round today. Norlander already in with a 64.


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Post by super_realist on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 6:59 pm

No SirB, I've never mentioned someone shooting 54 as far as I remember, may have been someone else. That would be pretty incredible. Even I don't think there is a 54 on TOC.

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Post by pedro on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 7:40 pm

Jim thumbsup OK clap mo1

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 9:11 pm

Russell Knox needs to get his putts to the hole . . . . . . Great birdie opportunities coming up short.
Keep going Russell!

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Post by super_realist on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 9:31 pm

GPB wrote:
pedro wrote:Re. The Olympics:
Do you really think multimillion dollar golfers fancy staying in dorms in the Olympic City sleeping in bunk beds with Ukrainian weightlifters while being looted by the locals? I think not.

450,000 condoms can't be wrong!

That number sounds a bit too far fetched. That means for every athlete that is there (11,000) they are getting through 40 johnnies EACH in a couple of weeks. Considering about 7000 of these athletes have the equipment to use one, the number is even higher.

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Post by SmithersJones on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 9:35 pm

I seem to remember there being a Swedish initiative training young golfers to aim at birdieing every hole to shoot 54.
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Post by super_realist on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 9:37 pm

SmithersJones wrote:I seem to remember there being a Swedish initiative training young golfers to aim at birdieing every hole to shoot 54.

I suppose it is possible. I've certainly birdied every hole on the courses I play in an eclectic situation, potentially it could happen, but unlikely.

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Post by SmithersJones on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 9:41 pm

http://www.vision54.com/html/about-us.html
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Post by super_realist on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 9:42 pm

Won a few scrambles with that sort of score, but that takes 4 players playing well.

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Post by pedro on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 9:44 pm

Only a 54 is a perfect round, so not a bad idea striving for it.

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Post by super_realist on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 9:48 pm

Not quite perfect. Perfect would be technically to at least eagle the par 5's in addition to birdies on par 4's and 3's
Albatross's wouldn't be realistic.

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Post by pedro on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 9:50 pm

super_realist wrote:
GPB wrote:
pedro wrote:Re. The Olympics:
Do you really think multimillion dollar golfers fancy staying in dorms in the Olympic City sleeping in bunk beds with Ukrainian weightlifters while being looted by the locals? I think not.

450,000 condoms can't be wrong!

That number sounds a bit too far fetched. That means for every athlete that is there (11,000) they are getting through 40 johnnies EACH in a couple of weeks. Considering about 7000 of these athletes have the equipment to use one, the number is even higher.
Still don't think it'd be difficult for top golfers getting laid elsewhere. I understand if you're a second drawer Peruvian javelin thrower or some Uzbek skeet shooter, but not a top golfer.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 9:56 pm

Henley playing #15 like it's a regatta.

Great story w/Jerry Kelly who went to the Uni of Hartford on an ice-hockey scholarship and ended up switching to the golf team. About thirty years ago.

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Post by super_realist on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 9:57 pm

In places like South America no one would even know they are Olympians, they'd never have heard of them, golf is about as big as Caber tossing in South America. They'd look like blatant tourists more than participants.

Hardly good looking guys in good shape though are they in general? Some slightly lardy guys with a farmers tan and white forehead? Not exactly what I imagine dusky Brazilian beauties are after, and to expect them to pump in excess of 40 times when they'll only be there until the golf tournament is over is pretty hilarious.

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Post by pedro on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 9:57 pm

super_realist wrote:Not quite perfect. Perfect would be technically to at least eagle the par 5's in addition to birdies on par 4's and 3's
Albatross's wouldn't be realistic.
You can't say that. A 'real' par 5 hole shouldn't be reachable in 2, just as a 'real' par 4 shouldn't be driveable. (Yes you can always hole out from the fairway or make HIO's but that categorises under luck.)

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Post by pedro on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 10:01 pm

super_realist wrote:and to expect them to pump in excess of 40 times when they'll only be there until the golf tournament is over is pretty hilarious.
Tiger doesn't think so.

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Post by super_realist on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 10:02 pm

Come on. You could hit a drive 280 or so, hit a 3 wood 240 ish, making the hole 520. How long do you think it should be?

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Post by pedro on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 10:07 pm

Let me put it another way: the average score on par 5's should be 5.00.

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Post by super_realist on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 10:09 pm

Eh? So why shouldn't the average score on a par 4 be 4?

Par 5's always have a high number of birdies in competitions.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 10:55 pm

"Hi Russell, Darren here."

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Post by pedro on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 11:00 pm

super_realist wrote:Eh? So why shouldn't the average score on a par 4 be 4?
It should

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Post by pedro on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 11:01 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:"Hi Russell, Darren here."
I'm afraid you're right. But I think he'll be a liability. Too much of a choker.

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Post by Be_the_ball on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 11:05 pm

What a likeable guy Russell Knox is, delighted for him. Saw his talent up close at the Irish Open, great to see him go on to win again on the PGA tour. Great putt to win on the last.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 11:11 pm

I agree with that B-t-b,
He's much more fun to follow than his TV persona appears. And a great ball-striker.
He's only won twice this season, presumably pedro feels he should have had half a dozen. But would that still be enough?


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Post by Be_the_ball on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 11:25 pm

Agreed Kwini, and he is a great ball striker, Simon Holmes just did a hatchet job on his swing on Sky that I thought was a bit bizarre but there ya go, seems like some people are never happy. DC would be delighted to get Knox on the team I would imagine.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 11:36 pm

Hatchet job, shmatchet job; according to CBS yesterday, he ranks Number One in "Strokes gained tee to green" on the PGA Tour 2012 - 2016.

Don't know who Simon Holmes is, but how can you argue against that sort of stat?

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Post by GPB on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 1:56 am

super_realist wrote:
GPB wrote:
pedro wrote:Re. The Olympics:
Do you really think multimillion dollar golfers fancy staying in dorms in the Olympic City sleeping in bunk beds with Ukrainian weightlifters while being looted by the locals? I think not.

450,000 condoms can't be wrong!

That number sounds a bit too far fetched. That means for every athlete that is there (11,000) they are getting through 40 johnnies EACH in a couple of weeks. Considering about 7000 of these athletes have the equipment to use one, the number is even higher.

Citation

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/rio-2016/2016/08/03/rio-olympics-450000-condoms-athletes-village/88039680/

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