PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 10 May 2017, 2:23 pm

Technical problems here at Ballwasher Controls so will post what I can and may return later:

1).Only saw the final hour of last weekend's Wells Fargo play from Eagle Point, but an exciting finish and the course looked terrific - the golfers seemed to enjoy it and they may get to return in 2021 when the Presidents Cup is staged at Quail Hollow. Super win for Brian Harman, almost a local lad, (as he also will be this week) and not much rust on DJ's game.

2).Disappointed to see the Team Europe challenge fizzle, but promising work from Molinari and Noren, while McDowell seems to be running into form. Rahm is relentless, this just in, but possibly not this week.
Another good experience too for Seamus Power - hopefully he can capitalise on his good play by stitching together four good rounds instead of two or three, perhaps at the Byron Nelson as he'll be sitting it out this week.

3).I like The Players Championship and I've grown to enjoy the course, especially the Par-5's. We'll see some changes this week, with Par-4's #6 and #7 being modified and the Par-4 12th shortened to be driveable - that's the intention anyway but reports from practice rounds suggests that player strategy will be dictated largely by the pin positions (and wind obviously). It always seemed to be a sleeper of a hole, fall asleep and bogey awaits, but the Tour clearly wanted a driveable Par-4 and now it has one, though it all looks a bit contrived to me.

4).TPC Sawgrass is a Pete Dye creation of course, the third in five weeks, and demands at least as much precision as pure power which makes wins by Woods and Jason Day all the more impressive. I still like course specialists here and McDowell (100/1 ish) & Molinari (50/1) are two who are worth looking at. And Sergio excels, with two runners up finishes as well as his 2008 win.

5).The Tour announced yesterday that the FedEx Cup sponsorship contract would be renewed for another ten years; and also announced that there are no immediate plans to revert The Players to March. Even if the key word there is "immediate", I still like this May date, though the Tour's March schedule continues to be questionable.

6).Bizarre caddie/player goings on with Willett and Tweeter Murray both changing their partnerships, in seemingly abrupt fashion. Danny Willett certainly needs something to turbo-charge his season which has been a bit of a waste so far - he's going to find it increasingly difficult to stop a rankings free-fall.

7).A couple of Major Championship qualifying dates to take note of:
US Open: owgr Top 60 as at May 22nd qualify. There's a second bite at that cherry on June 12th.
Open Championship: owgr Top 50 on May 29th.

8).The weather looks reasonably good for the week, there's extensive TV coverage, the fridge is full of brewskis, what's not to like about this week?


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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by beninho on Wed 10 May 2017, 2:34 pm

Saw Sandy Lyle win the 1987 Players on TV last night, he got a 10 year tour exemption, which seems a lot, what does the winner get this time?

And Rory picks up $100m for playing Taylor Made. on Top of whatever he gets from Nike.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Wed 10 May 2017, 2:43 pm

Doesn't it seem amazing that a company like Taylor Made which is leaking money like Mac in front of a Doak book can pay McIlroy £100m when they are losing that much every year.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 10 May 2017, 2:56 pm

The Tour exemption for The Players champion is now five years.
There are no Tour exemptions for longer than five years now, except for Life Members, Love, Woods & Singh.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Roller_Coaster on Wed 10 May 2017, 2:59 pm

$ isn't it Soops? at I presume $10m a year.

Whilst it'd be hard to prove, I imagine he'd probably boost sales sufficiently to make the move neutral at worst for TM.

Although already having DJ and Sergio (who is marketable regardless of Mac's hatred) at or around the top of the game (plus countless others) makes it appear to me to be quite an expensive deal on purely clubs n balls as it may produce only marginal gains in sales.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by beninho on Wed 10 May 2017, 3:09 pm

Will Sergio, Dustin and Rory all playing TM balls, get them a bigger slice of the clearly lucrative golf ball market?

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Wed 10 May 2017, 3:14 pm

Seems a bit desperate to me, not like there's millions of glory hunting golfers looking to emulate their "hero" McIlroy.
Can't see it being like sales of football shirts making up the transfer fee following a marquee signing. I do have some TM gear, but it's because it works for me, not because whoever is on the staff.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by beninho on Wed 10 May 2017, 3:22 pm

I would guess that Taylor Made is probably the most popular brand played by us hacking amateurs. Having Rory, Serg and DJ playing them can only help with brand recognition. Paying big bucks to the worlds best is a proven way of getting brand exposure.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Diggers on Wed 10 May 2017, 3:43 pm

It's just maths, they will know the sums for having Rory use their clubs.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Wed 10 May 2017, 3:49 pm

Diggers wrote:It's just maths, they will know the sums for having Rory use their clubs.

Yet, they're haemorrhaging money and Adidas are trying to palm them off, so how well do they know the business?

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Wed 10 May 2017, 4:58 pm

IMO, the biggest issue with the PGA moving to mid May, is that it takes out most if not all of the courses North of the Mason Dixon line.

Recent venues like Oak Hill, Hazeltine would be out of the rota.

But it would introduce southern venues. Its been a LONG time since there was a major in Texas or Florida.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 10 May 2017, 6:41 pm

GPB,
They HAVE been to Oklahoma and Atlanta; not really that much difference and QH could be a heater this August.
I'd love the PGA to go further afield and don't see why they can't, except availability of Championship courses with requisite infrastructure.
Upcoming venues:
'17: Quail Hollow
'18: Bellerive
'19: Bethpage
'20: Harding Park
'21: Kiawah
'23: Oak Hill

I've omitted the 2022 venue as one can't imagine the PGA in its right mind would want to continue to be associated with the policies of the bloke that owns it, so there's an opportunity.

I went to Oak Hill for the 2008 Senior PGA in May, and it wasn't really Championship ready, plus it was freezing! So that rather eliminates the northern tier until very late May.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 10 May 2017, 6:52 pm

Local Qualifying for the US Open well underway; not many familiar names have turned up among the qualifiers yet, but Tadd Fujikawa is one, European Tour veteran Edward Loar is another, and Mr.56, Trevor Murphy also moves on to "Sectionals". And assume the Derek Ernst from Texas is the same Derek Ernst who won Quail Hollow four years ago.


Talking about Tour winners, I see that Jose Manuel Lara is caddying for Sergio this week and next while Glen Murray is on paternity leave (and scoring goals for Brighton?).

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Wed 10 May 2017, 10:44 pm

Last week, I was looking through Mackenzie Tour Q-school scores. Think Tadd Fujikawa got some sort of status on the Mackenzie Tour.

Saw the local qualifying scores where Loar/Ernst earned a trip to the sectionals.

Former Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo was in that local qualifier. Shot a respectable 75, but did not advance.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 11 May 2017, 3:19 am

It seems adidas is selling its golf brands (TaylorMade, Adams, Ashworth) to a private equity firm for $425M, presumably representing a yuuuuge loss on its original investment.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Thu 11 May 2017, 11:19 am

kwinigolfer wrote:It seems adidas is selling its golf brands (TaylorMade, Adams, Ashworth) to a private equity firm for $425M, presumably representing a yuuuuge loss on its original investment.

So someone has paid $425m for the privilege of paying Rory McIlroy $100m?
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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Thu 11 May 2017, 11:54 am

When you think about what they must pay Garcia, Rizla Man, Day and McIlroy is there any value in the actual product?

Saying that, they could be turned round. Ford sold JLR (and Volvo) for a massive loss and must be kicking themselves now that an Indian conglomerate knew how to operate a car company when Ford didn't.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 11 May 2017, 1:28 pm

Wouldn't be at all surprised if they just keep TM as their core business. Imagine they'd hope to disintegrate Ashworth & Adams and sell them off; not sure that really works with Ashworth but Adams has always been a niche player and could quite easily see it get a good price.

It's going to be a hot couple of days at The Players, highs in the mid-90's. But that won't bother Kevin Na who's already withdrawn for reasons as yet unknown.

UPDATE: Na reportedly called in sick after two holes.
David Toms has also bagged it with a bad back, but he didn't come under starter's orders.


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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 11 May 2017, 1:50 pm

Nothing to do with this week but I reckon Andrew Johnston has about nine tournaments (ten if he plays the Byron Nelson which he's yet to commit to) to earn his card for next season.
And in those nine events he'll need an average of at least a 20th place finish, possibly better. That would represent a considerable surge in form so you'd have to think the Beef will be burgering back to Europe unless he requalifies via the web.com Finals.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by wiretapper on Thu 11 May 2017, 3:08 pm

Decent start from Kyle Stanley.

It'll never last.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 11 May 2017, 4:38 pm

Kyle Stanley still doing OK.
Some big names up there tied for, or close to, the lead: Day, Fowler . . . . . . Molinari, Poulter


In the "You can't win it on Thursday, but you can certainly lose it" category, whassup with Harris English? Tailed off by five strokes with three holes still to go. Terrible season for him so far. And Russell Knox is not doing much better at +4.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 11 May 2017, 5:33 pm

wiretapper wrote:Decent start from Kyle Stanley. It'll never last.

That's because he is a pick of mine.....

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Shotrock on Thu 11 May 2017, 5:51 pm

A number of people I know are saying this Taylor Made deal could be pretty solid. Why? PE guys, not a public company: half (only) in cash: strong endorsement stable, excellent product (particularly the woods). We'll see.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Thu 11 May 2017, 9:07 pm

pea brain losing it on Thursday. What a choker. Whistle
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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Shotrock on Thu 11 May 2017, 9:20 pm

Pea Brain still Augusta drunk. Not unlike Danny Willett, but Danny does not have PB's natural talent so not sure he will recover in the short term. Should be a fun weekend.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Be_the_ball on Thu 11 May 2017, 9:46 pm

Cheers Kwini, my golf watching plans have been severly impacted with family commitments the past two weeks, so determined to get some quality viewing in this week! Interesting week this, all the marquee players are coming back from a break of some sorts looking somewhat rusty in places so far.

TM have been the market leader in drivers and woods for quite some time, way ahead with R&D. Irons not at the same level imo. $10m pa for the 28yo best ball striker on the planet? Great decision, after his comments in China, I always thought he'd be playing a TM driver.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 11 May 2017, 10:46 pm

Cheers B_t_b,
Bad round so far from Shane.

And: Time for Danny Willett to behave. Nothing to do with yer caddie when you take five from a greenside bunker.

Team GB's players who started out well throwing strokes away, Donald, Poults, Hatton, you name 'em, Rory 3-putting from near and far, Laird, Fitz. Time to pay attention lads. Learn something from that bastion of consistency, your Great Uncle Lee.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Be_the_ball on Fri 12 May 2017, 12:09 am

Lee Westwood is a solid bloke, always is. He owes us nothing and deserves the world. As for team GB, does Rory not even qualify for GB&I ? Lol. If there's anything we can be happy about it's that within 1 generation of living in peace in NI, a Catholic from NI can get to Golf world no 1. Thats got to be seen as a great achievement, and a testament to the talent in NI from both sides of the political divide, and in an increasingly globalised world, maybe were not all that different after all.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 12 May 2017, 1:04 am

Thought I mentioned Rory . . . . . . . . . . . but his round was looking pretty parlous/less when I posted.

As a trivial piece of trivia, the father of my first girlfriend was the Chief Medical Officer of NI when the Troubles started (that dates me), had to make decisions on CS gas and how to treat it, plus the other horrors of (US financed?) terrorism. Probably at heart a good bloke, but seemed to me to sum up the Unionist attitude: Mansion house on Newtonards Road, but claimed his residency and paid his taxes on a beautiful loughfront spread in Donegal.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by puligny on Fri 12 May 2017, 9:23 am

watched a large slice of last nights coverage - very enjoyable. Not a fan of so much water dictating the way holes are played, but hey ho!
Seemed to get very hard for afternoon players without too much wind, so curious what will happen when it does blow?

Hope our politicians realise what they are dealing with re Troubles, and post Brexit borders etc. I have family from Sligo - over romanticising past exploits, and I've had Noraid collection tins rattled under my nose in Boston. Locals I was with thought it was a charity! No more please!

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by navyblueshorts on Fri 12 May 2017, 9:46 am

McLaren wrote:pea brain losing it on Thursday. What a choker. Whistle  
Nice ace on 17 for Garcia Whistle....
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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Fri 12 May 2017, 12:01 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:
McLaren wrote:pea brain losing it on Thursday. What a choker. :whistle:  
Nice ace on 17 for Garcia :whistle:....

It's a tricky green, with his putting stroke it would be advisable to hole the approach shot.
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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Roller_Coaster on Fri 12 May 2017, 1:31 pm

Anyone see the article on the US Open qualies on the BBC? NR fella, save yourself

One guy hit a lap at +55.

No, not called Kafelnikov.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Fri 12 May 2017, 1:43 pm

I can't believe anyone is so bad they would shoot that high.

I don't care how hard the course is, anyone calling themselves a pro wouldn't be anywhere near that.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 12 May 2017, 1:46 pm

Scoring looks a touch easier this morning but the GB crew out there are all level par or worse, collectively +5. Come on lads!

Agree with puligny about the water, and the changes to the course look to have accentuated the intrusion of H2O. Always think such penal water as a design feature is because the "architect" has neither the wit nor savvy to produce something more interesting.

Also agree about Noraid of course . . . . . . . but don't tell Americans that.

Cut line currently at +1, and perhaps it will stay there, certainly no higher than +2, which means Rose and Donald, Fitz and Fish, Hatton and Fleetwood, Willett, Laird & Knox all need to get to work.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 12 May 2017, 2:00 pm

"Jon Rahm is relentless, but possibly not this week."
Half right, as he hits the front!

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Roller_Coaster on Fri 12 May 2017, 2:35 pm

Might have been an Am Soops, cutoff is 1.4 handicap according to the article...

Although being that bad makes me think he may have stolen/borrowed someone's profile who's handicap did qualify him! I'd certainly have put myself a few better than that and I'm quite often the worst 6/7 handicapper in the world!

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Davie on Fri 12 May 2017, 2:38 pm

A modern day Maurice Flitcroft!

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Fri 12 May 2017, 2:42 pm

Roller_Coaster wrote:Might have been an Am Soops, cutoff is 1.4 handicap according to the article...

Although being that bad makes me think he may have stolen/borrowed someone's profile who's handicap did qualify him! I'd certainly have put myself a few better than that and I'm quite often the worst 6/7 handicapper in the world!

Still terrible Roller. I'm fractionally lower than that qualifying mark and there's no way I would shoot + 55 on any course.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Be_the_ball on Fri 12 May 2017, 3:05 pm

Serious number of water balls on 17 so far today! Danny plugged in the bunker then 2nd into the water picard

It's widely touted that Tiger was the first to introduce fitness into the game of Golf, but before there was Tiger we had Tom Kite  Laugh



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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 12 May 2017, 3:23 pm

Danny has been playing like Tom Kite looks so has decided to call it a week.
I hope his post-Masters celebrations are still going well because his golf is going right down the drain. Too big a talent to let it all get p1ssed away.

Jon Rahm starting to miss short putts -no-one pulling away - 80 golfers within six strokes of leader McGirt.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Fri 12 May 2017, 3:24 pm

Wonder if Willett will stop this royal "we" he uses and start taking personal responsibility for his frightful form for once.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Roller_Coaster on Fri 12 May 2017, 3:51 pm

Be_the_ball wrote:Serious number of water balls on 17 so far today! Danny plugged in the bunker then 2nd into the water picard

It's widely touted that Tiger was the first to introduce fitness into the game of Golf, but before there was Tiger we had Tom Kite  Laugh



vomit laughing laughing laughing

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Fri 12 May 2017, 4:42 pm

super_realist wrote:Wonder if Willett will stop this royal "we" he uses and start taking personal responsibility for his frightful form for once.

He is one of the most annoying interviewees in golf due to that.
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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 12 May 2017, 5:53 pm

Still 83 golfers grouped within 6 strokes, but that doesn't include Shane who seems to have signed off with a fiasco on his final hole. Another disappointing season for the big man.


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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Fri 12 May 2017, 6:36 pm

Willett says he needs some rest.

He has been getting the weekends off lately. Guess that is not enough rest.

Reading between the lines, I suspect he has no intention to get his 15 PGATour events played this year.


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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 12 May 2017, 7:01 pm

Don't think you need to read between these lines any more, GPB.

British contingent really struggling this week, Casey & McDowell (T36) the only ones in the Top 45. Dismal, so hope the afternoon wave take it all a bit more seriously.


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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Fri 12 May 2017, 7:18 pm

This is Willett's 4th non-co-sanctioned PGATour event he has played since accepting his tour card, 13 months ago.

2016 Players (Missed Cut)
2017 Honda (Missed Cut)
2017 RBC Heritage (Missed Cut)
2017 Players (Withdrawal)

Datagolf didn't even include Willett in his analysis between the EuroTour and PGATour. Willett had not played enough rounds on the PGATour.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 12 May 2017, 7:31 pm

I was always thrilled to reach double figures when batting, but Lahiri has done that today, wrapping up an otherwise respectable round with a 10 on #18.
Nice.
And nice work from Rafa, tied for the clubhouse lead.

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Shotrock on Fri 12 May 2017, 8:35 pm

And how about Vijay in the mix? Impressive and hope he can keep it up.

Shotrock

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Re: PGA Tour: The Fifth Major, #Alternative Facts: Notes from the Ballwasher

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