PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 19 Apr 2017, 4:58 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).The Tour heads 1,300 miles WSW this week, from Hilton Head Island on the South Carolina coast to San Antonio, deep in the heart of Texas, for the Valero Texas Open.
They've been playing the Texas Open at various courses in the San Antonio area for almost a century - Walter Hagen won in 1923 and champs since then have included Snead and Nelson, Hogan and Jackie Burke, Littler and Palmer, Trevino and Crenshaw, Price and Adam Scott.
Valero Energy has been the title sponsor for fifteen years and year in, year out, delivers among the very highest amount of financial charitable contributions to the community. So it makes perfect sense that the Tour in its wisdom rewards it with just about the crappiest date of the year; prize money has largely stagnated in the past decade and the strength of field will be the weakest since last autumn's RSM (McGladrey) Classic.
The course, TPC San Antonio (Oaks course), seems to be a bit Marmite for the pros though those that like it tend to love it!
Perhaps it wasn't quite ready for prime time when it opened for tournament play but it's now maturing nicely and hopefully the Tour might pair it with the WGC-MatchPlay in (relatively) nearby Austin. Meanwhile, from 2,000 miles away, it still seems bizarre that such a historic, well supported (by the sponsor and community) event has become the Tour's "ugly sister".
But it is what it is for this year and we'll get back to that soon.

2).Congrats to Wes Bryan for his wonderful win at the "RBC Heritage", much more than one half a trick-shot-artist duo with his brother George and likely on his way to a long and successful PGA Tour career.
Luke Donald runnered up there for the fifth time and his 7th Harbour Town podium in all, whilst Poulter finished T11 and received just about as much attention as the two leaders.
So everyone now knows that Poults needs another $31K in earnings this week to retain his Tour card for the remainder of the season. Whatever happens he'll likely get at least another half dozen starts this season, either via Past Champion status or sponsor invites so the focus should be more on what he needs to do to secure his card for the 17/18 season.

3).And what about the rest of the European contingent?
Some have exemption for next year already wrapped up, and are on track to fulfil their 15-tournament requirement:
Rahm, Rose, Garcia, Casey, Molinari, Knox, Donald, Laird, McDowell, Lowry, Lingmerth

4).Already exempt but not on pace to squeeze in 15 events:
McIlroy (5 tournaments played so far) and Stenson (6 played) are a long way down the FedEx rankings and need some high finishes to qualify for the Tour Championship . . . . which it looks as if they're banking on to fit in their 15 tournaments. Perhaps Rory will have some kind of sick-note pass but it's increasingly difficult to see where Henrik fits in his events. And Danny Willett is almost at the point of no return.
Watch this space on the three of them!

All the rest need to reach the FedEx Play-Offs (Top 125) to keep their cards:

5).Two of the most intriguing conundrums face Soren Kjeldsen and Rafa C-Bello.
Soren has started to hit his stride with a quarter-final finish at the MatchPlay, but frittered away FedEx points (and owgr points) with a final Masters round of 78 and missed playing Harbour Town which is a course he should be comfortable on. Prior to the Texas Open which he's playing, Soren is 62nd in the world and that would leave him out of The Players (unless he scores at least a T2 this week), US Open and Bridgestone - and this will mean he needs to start making important schedule decisions until his Fed Ex ranking, currently 100th, improves sufficiently to assure him a spot in the Play-Offs.

Rafa is in a similar spot, with only 8 tournaments played but assured of playing The Players, 3 x Majors and the Bridgestone. But he's languishing at 107th in FedEx points and falling fast.

6).We know about Poulter, he's at 124th in FedEx points; Padraig Harrington and Freddie Jac will also be eligible for Major Medical Extension which offers them a safety net, plus Harrington has a one-year career earnings freebie.

7).Which leaves this lot, listed with current FedEx position, and all struggling to be in the Top 125 at season's end:
Owen - currently 119th - Power (134th) Johnston (183rd) and Gonzo (194th), will only get another 6 to 8 starts apiece and Johnston will presumably lose one or two of those playing in Europe.
Whilst Cejka (127th) and Pettersson (206th) play a full schedule this season but clearly need to get their skates on. (Which Pettersson won't do.)

Meanwhile, Martin Kaymer's situation is intriguing as he's very close to regaining his card on "non-member" (phantom) FedEx points alone and perhaps he will and renew his exemption.
And Henrik Norlander has only qualified for 5 events, but has a play-off loss and, with luck and kind sponsors, could also qualify for next season.

8).OK, enough of that.
Seeing Paul Dunne and Ollie Schneiderjans playing so well last weekend got me to thinking about a happy coincidence for the amateurs who played so well in the 2015 Open at St.Andrews:
Jordan Niebrugge finished T6 that day (with Garcia, Rose & Willett as it happens), but his path has been uneven since turning Pro. But this weekend he finished T3 in a Canadian Tour qualie, argaubly his best result for over a year. He' has an invite to this week's Texas action.
Ashley Chesters was T12, and he scored his best Pro result so far in Morocco with an 8th place finish.
Schneiderjans was also T12, and his T3 at Harbour Town was his best Tour result.
While Dunners was in the final TOC group only to slide to T30 and we know that he was beaten by Eddie Molinari in Morocco's Trophee Hassan.
Romain Langasque slipped to T65 at St.Andrews but who wouldn't bet on him breaking through in the next 18 months?

9).In the seven years that the "Valero Texas Open" has been staged at the Oaks Course, some trends can be seen among the winners and close contenders. Length has served pros well, as usual, but Ben Curtis won five years ago and Luke Donald finished 13th in his only trip so far.
Last year's winner, Charley Hoffman is 43 under par, 29 strokes better than his closest pursuer. Summerhays has finished in the Top 15 the past four years, while 2011 winner Brendan Steele and Texan Ryan Palmer have consistent records here.
Patrick Reed was second last year but he's been in a funk for months, while Matt Kuchar has a consistent record here but blows very hot and ice cold right now. Local boy Jimmy Walker has been up and down but won in 2015, so it would be no surprise to see any of those mentioned grab the "W".
I kinda like Kevin Chappell to break through soon and he's struck form after a slow spell - my one-and-done for this week and I like him each way.

10).Ian Poulter obviously needs a good week and we'll be hearing about him incessantly - hopefully into the weekend. But Kjeldsen also is at a crossroads and, especially with a breezy forecast, could be a live outsider.
Whilst Seamus Power, Cejka, Freddie Jac (2nd here once), Gonzo, Owen and Beef need all the help they can get.
Golf Channel describes the "Valero" as "the dead spot of the spring calendar". Very unfair that it's (been?) dropped to that level in my opinion, so I hope for a great week, for the players (COYIJP) and sponsors.

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Be_the_ball on Sat 22 Apr 2017, 12:38 pm

Rory & Erica's big day today! Apparently Ed Sheeran & Stevie Wonder providing entertainment! Bubbly

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 22 Apr 2017, 12:51 pm

Coldplay as well?

Big weekend for Seamus Power, B_t_b; he's lost a bit of ground these past few weeks, largely because he han't been able to play. Time to make up for lost time.

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Be_the_ball on Sat 22 Apr 2017, 12:59 pm

Indeed Kwini, he needs to make the most of all the starts he gets. Sorry to see IJP miss out, but I'm sure he'll be back. The game needs characters like him, he may not be everyone's cup of tea but I'd take him over 50 Kevin Na's anyday!

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 22 Apr 2017, 2:24 pm

A nice philosophical perspective tweeted by IJP:
"The best thing about golf is that it gives you what you deserve."

I'm hoping he "deserves" a sponsors' invitation to The Travelers a tournament he's supported intermittently in the past, and at a course which should suit him down to the ground. He also needs to get his putter sorted out.

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Sat 22 Apr 2017, 8:25 pm

Here's something you don't see every day. Three generations have a hole in one at the same hole.

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Sat 22 Apr 2017, 10:32 pm

For the Record, Poulter would have completely fulfilled his Major Medical had the FEX point distribution not changed from last season to this season.

He needed ~218 pts and would have got ~221 pts if the old point distribution remained in place.

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 22 Apr 2017, 10:35 pm

Hadn't realised Carl Pettersson was pregnant. So, even if he doesn't reach the Top 125, he'll presumably receive a Medical Exemption?

The TX Open's last venue was overlooked by a roller coaster - this one produces roller coaster scorecards.


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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by raycastleunited on Sat 22 Apr 2017, 10:43 pm

It may not have a roller coaster but this is one ugly course. The least attractive golf course on tour.

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Be_the_ball on Sat 22 Apr 2017, 11:06 pm

GPB wrote:For the Record, Poulter would have completely fulfilled his Major Medical had the FEX point distribution not changed from last season to this season.

He needed ~218 pts and would have got ~221 pts if the old point distribution remained in place.

I hope no one tells poor old Poults this. steam

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro on Sun 23 Apr 2017, 12:19 am

Be_the_ball wrote:Rory & Erica's big day today! Apparently Ed Sheeran & Stevie Wonder providing entertainment! Bubbly
Stevie Wonder? I just called to say I dumped you...?

And Coldplay.. is that a reference to Rorys putter?

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Be_the_ball on Sun 23 Apr 2017, 12:34 am

pedro wrote:
Be_the_ball wrote:Rory & Erica's big day today! Apparently Ed Sheeran & Stevie Wonder providing entertainment! Bubbly
Stevie Wonder? I just called to say I dumped you...?

And Coldplay.. is that a reference to Rorys putter?

The cheek! Rory's sacked Dave Stockton and JP and Stevie's now on the bag helping line up putts.

Can't be any worse?!?!

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Sun 23 Apr 2017, 7:55 am

I'm never wrong wrote:Here's something you don't see every day. Three generations have a hole in one at the same hole.

I've had a hole in one at the same hole as my dad. 8th on the Jubilee at St. Andrews, difference is that the green was relocated between both events.

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 23 Apr 2017, 4:16 pm

A lovely day in San Antone by the looks of it, sunshine to spare, 70's and enough breeze for the boys to be paying attention.

Fingers crossed for Martin Laird to become the first repeat winner on this "Oaks" course, and for Gonzo, Beef, Kjeldsen & Power to do themselves some good.

Average score yesterday was 74.something, the toughest round for a "regular" season event this year; the wind may be slightly less troublesome today, but par will still be a good score.

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 23 Apr 2017, 8:18 pm

Gonzo en fuego.
What's the Spanish for don't eff it up now?

Ho hum for the other Europeans, tho' McDool is doing OK; Laird has stumbled on the front nine but can still grind out a good result. Can't he?

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro on Sun 23 Apr 2017, 11:13 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:
What's the Spanish for don't eff it up now?
Sergio Ramos

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Shotrock on Mon 24 Apr 2017, 1:41 am

Kwin - Wonderful call on Chappell! Was at that complex last Fall and hardly a person on the course.

Back from vacation ... Disney World immensely crowded and a large UK contingent. Asked why they don't "disney" closer to home and to a person they said "Disney prices, French attitude". Better to fly to Orlando.

My closest friend played Augusta last week. Said the greens were slick, but not anything like the tournament. Member tees far more forgiving.

Hats off to Sergio for bagging a major. Would have liked to see Rose play stronger down the stretch, but it was Sergio's time.

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Mon 24 Apr 2017, 8:27 am

kwinigolfer wrote:I kinda like Kevin Chappell to break through soon and he's struck form after a slow spell - my one-and-done for this week and I like him each way.

Amazing pick Kwini. Well done.

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Roller_Coaster on Mon 24 Apr 2017, 9:27 am

raycastleunited wrote:It may not have a roller coaster but this is one ugly course. The least attractive golf course on tour.

It nearly did. I missed out on Monday qualifying by 1, sorry Ray!

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 24 Apr 2017, 1:45 pm

I'm never wrong wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:I kinda like Kevin Chappell to break through soon and he's struck form after a slow spell - my one-and-done for this week and I like him each way.

Amazing pick Kwini. Well done.

Every squirrell . . . . . !
Could just as easily have chosen Grace for the same reasons; he seemed to miss every putt he looked at this weekend, but hopefully there's enough fuel in the tank that he and King Louis can reprise their Presidents Cut form with a W in NOLA.

After all the kerfuffle about Poulter and his Medical Extension status, Brian Gay came in under the radar and retrieved his card from the Major Medical status - I think that also gets him into The Players. Gay is one of the shorter hitters on Tour but has one of the best short games, super putter, especially on Bermuda.

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 25 Apr 2017, 10:42 am

princedrac is projecting that there is a chance that Westwood could qualify for The Players; just needs to dodge any bullets fired by J. Wang who apparently needs a 17th place result in China to pip Lee.
Otherwise, Chris Wood and Thongchai Jaidee would need a win.
Probably odds against Lee but you never know.
And: Lee must also have a shot at staying in the owgr Top 60 for the US Open, especially if he doesn't play in the meantime!

Terrible forecast for this weekend in New Orleans, with very strong winds and thunderstorms in the forecast. No idea of the answer to this question, but isn't there a better date for the Tour to visit NOLA?

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Mon 01 May 2017, 10:02 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Mac,
I put these notes up partly in response to your ongoing derision of Pros playing two or more Tours - any comment or perspective?

Sorry didn't get much of a chance to post on here over the last week. I think your examples above show what I have said for a number of years and that is that it is now becoming almost impossible to improve your OWGR and double dip. Beef about to be the newest member of double dippers to come a cropper.

I sadly don't have a more novel explanation than the deepening of the field on the PGAT. You just can't beat guys playing roughly ten events more than you, unless you are one of the worlds top few.


I guess what I might be missing is the correct measure of success for the double dippers? But at the moment double dipping doesn't seem to improve OWGR, RC prospects, Major finishes, ET R2D finish. So what are double dippers achieving?
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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 01 May 2017, 1:30 pm

Mac,
Still don't think you can generalise too much except to say:

Isn't it the point that golfers need to hold a realistic view of their fitness, ability, ranking, scheduling imperatives before they have any business trying both Tours? Johnston certainly looks to have stumbled into mistaking faux "celebrity" for opportunity - he'd never had a sustained run of form to suggest he should double dip. Like Donaldson before him.

Lowry was arguably in the same boat but caught a week of lightning in the proverbial bottle by winning Bridgestone. But now he's struggling, largely due to bone-headed scheduling.

Kjeldsen is in an interesting position - probably a case of now or never at his age, and it's going to be touch and go whether he's successful.

On the other side of the coin is Molinari who took advantage of the additional rewards, especially owgr points, to be gained on the PGA Tour and, after a dodgy first few months a couple of seasons ago, had a brilliant finish at Muirfield Village and has now climbed back into the Top 50, hopefully for good.

Finally, I think we can now say for certain that Willett has given up trying to keep his membership for next year.

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Mon 01 May 2017, 3:59 pm

Not sure if it counts as generalization but at what point will top ET players, such as a Kaymer, Hanson, Donaldson, Beef, Willett, etc have to admit that DD'ing can only be detrimental to your career. At the moment it would seem only a financial incentive remains.
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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 01 May 2017, 4:22 pm

Of course it's a "generalisation"!
Kaymer and Willett are completely different cases than Beef & Donaldson, while Hanson is another case, for reasons explained ad nauseum on here, yet again.

For Scotland's answer to Denis Skinner, you're very Drumpf-like in getting a mantra in your bonnet and producing alternative facts in a dismal attempt to try and justify them.

I hardly think that Sergio and Rose, Donald and Poulter, Molinari and Stenson consider "DD'ing . . . . detrimental to their careers".

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Davie on Mon 01 May 2017, 8:28 pm

Mac banging on about double dipping is almost as predictable as super and his jewish sky zombie

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Mon 01 May 2017, 8:52 pm

Davie

Kwini asked what I thought about the Euro players on the PGAT, and I get that my response to that is repetitive but nothing has changed of late.

The way I think about it is what advice would you give a player who was considering DD'ing?

For example I would advise Pieters to take a close look at what happened to Colsearts between the 2014 and 2016 Ryder cups.
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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 01 May 2017, 9:22 pm

Yes, well, Colsaerts was another who get sucked into his fifteen minutes of fame and then tried to play thru injury.

Pieters seems a bit brighter than the Dude.

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Mon 01 May 2017, 9:52 pm

McLaren wrote:Davie

Kwini asked what I thought about the Euro players on the PGAT, and I get that my response to that is repetitive but nothing has changed of late.

The way I think about it is what advice would you give a player who was considering DD'ing?

For example I would advise Pieters to take a close look at what happened to Colsearts between the 2014 and 2016 Ryder cups.

Why? Because he's Belgian?

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Re: PGA Tour: Outlook for Europeans on Tour: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro on Mon 01 May 2017, 11:19 pm

Because the Flemish always take good advise from the Wallonians.

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