PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 15 Feb 2017, 7:06 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).Genesis? Conjures up images of Charterhouse lads selling England by the pound and lambs lying down on Broadway.
Or ancient fiction.
But, no, let there be light.
We're talking about LA'S historic "Open" being sponsored by a South Korean motor company - pity they couldn't have called it the Genesis LA Open though. Instead, it just sounds like a revival of the old Genny Open. RIP.

2).Whatever they call it, the quality of the course and field cannot be doubted, as good a field as we're likely to find this "regular" season on one of the Tour's elite courses, George Thomas's Par 71 Riviera CC. Southern California, and Los Angeles in particular, is scheduled for some of golf's premier events these next few years; apart from the Tour stops in San Diego and LA, we'll look forward to:
~US Open: 2021: Torrey Pines
~US Open: 2023: Los Angeles CC
~Walker Cup: 2017: Los Angeles CC
~US Amateur: 2017: Rivera

3).With the World Rankings, and especially the OWGR Top Ten, featuring an almost record Number of young players, the focus is increasingly on youth, but perhaps Riviera will demand experience as well. Bill Haas was the last player younger than 30 (and he was in his 30th year) to win here and he was making his 7th visit.
So: Will any upstart yute emulate the feats of Thomas (2), Swafford, Rahm, Matsuyama and Spieth so far this year and earn a 7th successive win this year for a 20-something.

4).Those 6 x young guns are climbing the World Rankings (well, Spieth will be climbing again) but age is no protector of continued status. Once a player starts plummeting down the rankings it usually demands a sustained string of good results to reverse trend and move back up the charts.
Some big plungers who started out 2017 in the top 200 and are headed south in a hurry include:
Senden's ranking has slid 30.9%
Harrington's: 30.4%
Karlberg: 28.7%
Chris Wood: 25.6%
Danny Lee: 25.4%
Honourable Mentions to: Donaldson (down 22.4%), Dubuisson (down 24.1%), both in free fall.
For the Kaufman fan club, he's down 23.5% which is nothing to get smylie about. He withdrew this week, complaining about poa annua greens and looking forward to being back on Bermuda.

5).For all the beauty of the Monterey Peninsula, the final round at Pebble Beach must have been as dreary an 18 holes' TV as we've watched in a long time; in such circumstances I reckon the TV commentators have a responsibility to do more than rhapsodise about the scenery, rabbit on about "celebrities" we've never heard of and offer endless analysis of Konica Minolta BizHub Swing Vision slo-mos. CBS can and should do better. Player interviews would be a good start.

6).Which takes nothing away from Jordan Spieth and the apparently effortless way he strolled to his 9th Tour win. And he's played well (4th, 12th, mc) enough at Riviera to suggest he has the course knowledge to win again.

7).One of the interesting aspects of Riviera are the two holes that open the front and back nines:
1st hole: About the easiest Par-5 on Tour with a scoring average of 4.2
10th hole: The iconic short Par-4 that remains a fine short hole but the green has got firmer, harder and more unforgiving to the extent that it can sometimes seem unfair. I thought there was a move afoot to re-do the green but I can't find anything to shed light on that. Well overdue if they haven't.

8).So: Who's here?
Top Tenners: Day, Dustin, Hideki, Spieth, Scott Thomas (not Kristin), Sergio, Reed.
Among course specialists are: Phil (2 wins), Bubba (2 wins) whilst Adam Scott has a win and 2 runners up, Dustin has runnered up twice and I like his chances this week after playing well at Pebble.

9).Europeans include:
Casey and Donald, both past runners up - but no European win since Faldo 20 years ago (and, yes, you can be sure we'll hear all about it) - Sergio, Harrington, Rose, Molinari, Lowry, McDowell and Kjeldsen (Soren needs some good results, and quick. Otherwise he might as well head back to Europe).
And Thomas Pieters who won the 2012 NCAA individual championship beating Cantlay, Rodgers and Justin Thomas, among others.
Albert Hammond was hashtagging "alternative facts" when he sang It Never Rains In Southern California, and we could be in for a dousing on Friday, perhaps showers other days; which will help approach shots to #10 at least.

10).Tiger Woods first played here 25 years ago (Q: "What do you think of Tiger Woods?" Sandy Lyle: "Dunno, never played it."). And he was going to celebrate with a return this week at a place he's never won as a Pro.
But he's withdrawn from the tournament, and withdrawn also from his twice rescheduled news conference.
Is this the end? No-one knows, but the days are surely numbered when he turns up and confidently(??) says he's only here to win the tournament.
Personal view is that he'd enjoy life a darn sight more if he just got well (perhaps find another doctor, diagnosis(??), this on's not working) and resigned himself to just playing for recreational enjoyment, whether at home or on Tour. He can play almost when and wherever he likes, why does he have to be so damn competitive?
Have fun Tiger; would have thought Arnold Palmer, among others, might have reminded you that it's only a game.

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro on Tue 21 Feb 2017, 10:42 pm

robopz wrote:
Well I don't know about a war, but if everyone who said they were gonna leave this country last November kept their promise, then I'd expect the biggest growth in world golf to be on the Canadian tour.... :-)
They just have to do the Oscars first..

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by raycastleunited on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 1:02 am

McLaren wrote:
What you have to wonder is if the bottom quartile on the ET are a lot worse than the bottom quartile on the PGAT.

Bottom quartile of an ET event is full of randoms like Kafelnikov, mates of the organisers, sons of sponsors, and local pros. Half of the ET events are not even ET events... they're Saffer, Asian, Australian events with a significant number of local players who aren't competitive.

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 11:48 am

Thomas Pieters seems to be confirming that he won't take up PGA Tour membership immediately he's eligible, and has committed to Thomas Bjorn that he'll stick with the European Tour at least through the 2018 Ryder Cup.
That can change, of course, and an agent might be able to offer him a road map to double-dip, but promising for Europe, for now at least.

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 11:51 am

Ray, Kafelnikov is not a regular on the European Tour at all. He's played a couple but isn't a regular my any means.

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 12:16 pm

Kwini

I would like to see Pieters try a new model for better ET players, and that is play the ET for longer and make sure you really establish yourself on the world stage and then go full time on the PGAT. While maybe playing the odd rolex series event on a sponsors exemption (if that is event possible).

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 1:03 pm

Mac,
Struggling to see why he couldn't do both once he properly consolidates his position in the upper reaches of the owgr Top 50.

Perhaps he can learn a little from his mate Colsaerts who spent a year as a PGA Tour member when he was struggling with fitness and putting his heart into events he felt he had to play.

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 1:06 pm

I think Tyrrel (Stupid name) Hatton is going for PGA this year.

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 1:37 pm

Not sure what to make of Hatton; he has something of the early Justin Rose strut about him which was never endearing. Hatton would do well to spend a year taking invitations that come his way and getting a feel for the types of courses best suited to him.
On the other hand, I once spent 24 hours that I'll never get back with a son of Ken Tyrrell (Mac drooling) and probably shoplifted from the same Marlow shops as Hatton when an itinerant ten-year-old.

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 1:46 pm

kwini

I just don't see why people would keep trying a method that seems increasingly unlikely to work. If Pieters can play a few years of solely ET membership while learning how to win the majors it would make more sense than straining to succeed on two tours and compromising his overall achievement.

Once an established player he can then go and have a proper crack at the PGAT without attempting to double dip. He would do well not to join the likes of Donaldson, Dubuisson, Kaymer'ish, Colseartes, Gonzo, Fisher, Hanson etc.

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 1:57 pm

Mac,
I DID say he was sticking to Europe for two years; and Dubuisson & Kaymer (and apparently Donaldson) took up membership but effectively decided it wasn't for them.
Fisher & Gonzo just haven't been good enough, Colsaerts & Hanson got injured and tried to play through it, effectively wasting more than a year of their careers - but if they'd've been 100% healthy, who knows?

Remember, unlike any of those you so selectively mention, Pieters did 4 yrs of Uni over here, so will presumably be better prepared for what would be ahead.

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by raycastleunited on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 2:13 pm

super_realist wrote:Ray, Kafelnikov is not a regular on the European Tour at all. He's played a couple but isn't a regular my any means.

Exactly. But his performance would infuence datagolf's analysis by bringing down the average field score. You don't get Pete Sampras turning up at the Genesis Open looking for a game, but you get all sorts at ET events. Look at the bottom of the leaderboard in most ET events and there's usually a few who have hacked it round in 15 over par or something like that.

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 2:27 pm

Actually, it's mostly Challenge events that people get invites for. It's pretty rare on the European Tour proper. I think Kafelnikov played Czech and Russian open's, which are hardly likely to attract stellar fields in the first place.

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 2:48 pm

FTR, PGATour also gives to exemptions to unheralded players.  Just last week the Genesis gave an exemption to Kevin Hall/  Ever hear of him? He is a deaf guy who is playing Mini-tours.  Sahith Theegala was also in the field, a local college kid who played a for an exemption.

Ray Otis played Pebble Beach
Michael Schoolcraft and Craig Hochnull played Phoenix.

Almost every week, a local club pro plays the PGATour event.  There are 4 unlimited sponsors invites that tournament has

And then there is Monday Qualifying for 4 spots into the tournaments

This week, Joey Garber and Brett Drewitt are two of the qualifiers for Honda.

Unknown players play the PGATour all the time.

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by raycastleunited on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 5:14 pm

super_realist wrote:Actually, it's mostly Challenge events that people get invites for. It's pretty rare on the European Tour proper. I think Kafelnikov played Czech and Russian open's, which are hardly likely to attract stellar fields in the first place.

I'm not talking about Wentworth or Abu Dhabi, but all the filler events that comprise the majority of the season. Malaysia recently, India, anything in Africa, that kind of tournament.

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 5:42 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Thomas Pieters seems to be confirming that he won't take up PGA Tour membership immediately he's eligible, and has committed to Thomas Bjorn that he'll stick with the European Tour at least through the 2018 Ryder Cup.
That can change, of course, and an agent might be able to offer him a road map to double-dip, but promising for Europe, for now at least.
I'm a bit surprised at that considering his comments he made after the Genesis. He was clear he wouldn't change his schedule this year, but seemed to be implying he would next year if he got his card. This from a GC article Sunday, last graph is key:

“Ideally I want to play here until May and then go back to Europe and play the events I want to play,” said Pieters, who plans to play next week’s Honda Classic followed by the WGC-Mexico Championship.

Pieters said that even if he were to earn a PGA Tour card he will keep his same schedule this year.

“I love playing in Europe," he said. "It will just make my schedule a little bit easier next year I think."


But who knows, could be last fall Colsaerts wasn't as off base on his contraversial comments regarding Pieters feelings about America as many thought.


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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 6:50 pm

Plenty of time to rethink and rethink again, robo.
Most important from a European Tour standpoint is that he'll play as much as necessary in Europe to optimise his chances for Ryder Cup Team qualification.

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 7:17 pm

I bet Pelley is hoping Rahm wins in Mexico so he can give him a tour card, without any controversy.

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 10:44 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Plenty of time to rethink and rethink again, robo.
Most important from a European Tour standpoint is that he'll play as much as necessary in Europe to optimise his chances for Ryder Cup Team qualification.
Agreed from the ET standpoint. But that in itself highlights the only big issue I have with the RC. I'm a heck of a lot more interested in what's best for an individual player's career as opposed to what's best for the tour. I love the RC, I just hate the way the ET uses it to handcuff many Euro player's career choices. I understand why they do it, I just don't like it.

I just can't help but to believe that a lot of Euro's give up way too much of what's best for them the other 103 weeks, just to play in that one. Love him or hate him, I admire the way Paul Casey effectively said "screw that" and did what he though was best for him and his career in the long run. I'm doubting he'll be the last.

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 11:36 pm

Based upon our record over the last couple of decades, it's all rather trying to solve a problem when none exists. I'd rather revert to pre-Pelley policies and roll the dice.

I imagine Casey is the only golfer on any Major Tour that has failed to defend three of his last four victories. Sure he was (arguably) screwed by Montgomerie, but get over it.
You can't please him; it's all about Paul. And why should we care? I can only find one golfer with more Tour career money and only one win. Both coincidentally in play-offs.

But Paul has a terrific RC record and would be an asset on any team he condescends to try and qualify for.


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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by raycastleunited on Thu 23 Feb 2017, 5:47 pm

robopz wrote:
I love the RC, I just hate the way the ET uses it to handcuff many Euro player's career choices. I understand why they do it, I just don't like it.

Agreed.

Imagine if Wales refused to select Gareth Bale because he plays for Real Madrid and not a Welsh team!

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Thu 23 Feb 2017, 6:07 pm

It's not really the same though Ray. He simply has to play in a few European Tour tournaments, Casey would hardly be handcuffed, he's just being a bell end.

England Rugby used to, (perhaps they still do) refuse to pick players who didn't play in Britain.

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by raycastleunited on Thu 23 Feb 2017, 9:55 pm

I believe England rugby still have that policy and it's exceptionally narrow minded and childish.

Surely the European Ryder Cup team would benefit from including world class players who only play on the PGA Tour, especially when the tournament is in the US. But I still agree with you about Casey. Total bell

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Re: PGA Tour: Golf in La La Land: Notes from the Ballwasher

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