PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 13 Jun 2017, 8:05 pm

First topic message reminder :

Not much insight on this week that's not readily available to all, but a few notes following Danny Berger's Memphis win and some other random odds and sods:

1).There was once a famous jockey in Britain, even before my time, called Harry Wragg, and they used to call him "The Head Waiter" as he'd be riding the only horse moving forward at the finish line when every other nag was treading water or had run its race. That came to mind last weekend as Berger was the only Pro* in the field to either equal his previous round or improve his score from Thursday thru Sunday. That's a recipe for finishing well before the final groups, sitting watching TV and swigging a pint of Brickwoods as the pace-setters all fell back.
Daniel duly won his second title and is only one behind the total of ATP titles won by Father Jay - but Jay reached #7 in the world rankings so at #24 Danny Boy still has some way to go.

2).Jay also played two years of Davis Cup and Daniel reached #5 in the US Presidents Cup qualification league table.

3).*The wonderfully named amateur college student, Braden Thornberry, may sound like a judge in My Cousin Vinny, or perhaps a retired Wingco Tory MP from the shires, but Thorney (perhaps the Wingco was stationed there?) also improved, by two shots a day, 71, 69, 67, 65. Who does he think he is? Renato Paratore?? Both play in a hurry so happy about that.

4).Unfortunately, and perhaps unfairly, such a performance by an amateur gets him nothing more than sponsor invitations on the PGA Tour; a similar plight befell Lee McCoy when he finished 4th at the 2016 Valspar and he couldn't even play Q-School because of an injury. "Hang on Sloopy", the Tour said, "You can't prove you're the Real McCoy yet because success as an amateur don't get nuttin as a Pro". Unless you're Scott Verplank or Phil Mickelson.
I believe I'm correct in saying that Thorney's Top Ten doesn't even get him into Hartford, but hopefully The Travelers will take him under their umbrella and get him a sponsor invite tout suite.
So now he's left with the thorny dilemma as to whether to turn pro or return to U Of Mississippi for another year or two.

5).OK, A cage was rattled on last week's thread by saying that Berger can be tough to pull for. Won't revisit that, but Golf Digest has a timely list of the Tour's Top Thirty "Good Guys" - over fifties excluded so Steve Stricker can't win again, a bit like Comeback Player of the Year really. (By the way, who'd vote against Stewart Cink as Comeback Player of 2017?) But I digress . . . . .

6). . . . . Number One Mr.Good Guy, as voted by "players, caddies, media, members (of what?), various golf officials and insiders", Golf Digest put Jordan Spieth at the head of the class. Followed by:
T2 Finau, Adam Scott.
4: Cink
5: Fowler
6: Billy Hurley
7: Ogilvy (of course, he must be the tour's most quoted as well)
8: Snedeker
9: Rose
10: Andrew Johnston (and I have a bit of a beef with that one. Who'd they ask? Arby's??
They list 30 in all and I reckon Jason Day is the only one I'd really quibble with.
Three who I would've thought would make the list but were overlooked are: Nick Watney, Luke Donald, Molinari. Oh well.

7).Our friend "Undercover Tour Pro" is at it again, following up on Phil's assertion that questioned the way "a number of guys on tour" mark their ball. Undercover reckons "maybe 20 guys deliberately fudge their mark within a half-inch", the Lexi Thompson margin in error.
All I'd say is "you ain't seen nothing yet" as the new rule about dropping the ball, instead of from shoulder height to an inch above ground, is sure to be abused. Can't see any reason for that change whatsoever.
As an aside, I'm often pleasantly surprised how gentlemanly the dialogue is between officials and pros. Within the space of two hours at a tournament a year or two ago, we watched Bud Cauley, Chris Stroud and Charlie Wi all accept with full equanimity rulings that could have been debated or contended. Good to see.

8).I know nothing about Erin Hills, the golf course. The golf media has written at length about the design and ownership haggles going back to its inception, but all I really think I know about the course is that it has wide fairways, is as long as they want, and has unforgiving rough (although, following players' reactions, but not necessarily because of them - clear throat - they're now cutting the fescue).
My picks this week will probably be the best drivers combined with US Open temperament and a decent short game. The Tour's driving (combination of distance and accuracy rankings) show this Top Ten of those playing:
Fowler, Garcia, (Stanley is a non-runner), Bubba, Glover, (DeLaet, n/r), Bradley, Lowry, Steele, Henley, Molinari, Matsuyama.
No idea if that's instructive or a red herring with 50 or 60 yard-wide fairways.

9).Some of the field played the US Amateur when Kelly Kraft was the Champion. He's failed to qualify, probably crying in his beer over the perceived inequities of the owgrs. He beat Cantlay in the Final but neither he nor the beaten semi-finalists have made the field.
But of those who played and return this week:
QFinalists: Spieth, Uihlein,
3rd Round: None
2nd Round: Justin Thomas, Harris English, DeChambeau, Russell Henley,
1st Round: Stephan Jaeger,
A few others didn't qualify for Match Play, but one curiosity which shows how careers can diverge: Spieth and Thomas were beaten by the same man: Jack Senior!

10).News coming through that the USGA is cutting the rough.
It seems there are guys and girls on hot seats wherever you look these days:
Terry May and her Tory grandees.
Drumpf and the editorial staff at Breitbart.
Mike Davis and his USGA grandees, and they have put their c0cks firmly on the block this year with the selection, and course set-up, of Erin Hills as this year's venue. Advance press reports haven't exactly been glowing, but only time will tell whether this is another Chambers Bay or a Wisconsin version of Birkdale (give or take an ocean). I'm looking forward to finding out (albeit via the dreaded Fox TV).
Meanwhile, where's Jack Senior when you need him?


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Tue 13 Jun 2017, 8:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by wiretapper on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 4:58 pm

Some really good scoring out there. Are the USGA regretting the fescue trimming?

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Shotrock on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 4:59 pm

Not just Rahm -- Willett uninspired at the moment (among others).

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 5:51 pm

Not watching it yet, but more than five hours gone and first threesomes out still seem to be playing their 18th. #logjam afternoon.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 5:54 pm

Shotrock wrote:Not just Rahm -- Willett uninspired at the moment (among others).

Willett's been uninspired since April 2016

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 6:09 pm

What is it with these programmes. There I was quite happy watching a "Featured Group" - Fowler, Rahm and Matsuyama - when Sky cut it short and go to Clarke Harmon and Livingstone at a studio. The Featured Group hadn't finished, so why? #justwanttoseegolf

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 6:25 pm

(Fai)led zeppelin:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/local/wisconsin/2017/06/15/blimp-reportedly-crashes-near-u-s-open-erin-hills/400017001/

Sounds as if it went down like Danny's golf game.

Mike Davis of USGA ordered extra supplies of MiracleGro.


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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 6:40 pm

I saw smoke earlier on TV, must have been that.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by sirbenson on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 6:42 pm

Since Willett's brother spouted his nonsense, his form has been poor...I really don't think it's anything to do with the pressure of being a major champion

What do others think?

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 7:00 pm

His game has been pretty rank since his major win. Perhaps killing his hunger.

His caddy is now on Branden Grace's bag. Nice promotion there, a man who always finishes high up, but seldom wins, probably better than being on a one major winners bag.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 7:02 pm

sirbenson wrote:Since Willett's brother spouted his nonsense, his form has been poor...I really don't think it's anything to do with the pressure of being a major champion

What do others think?


His form wasn't great before that, but Willett's brother made Grayson Murray look intellectual. I DO think that affected him, but surely something else is awry?

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by sirbenson on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 7:04 pm

Yeah, I suppose his form wasn't great after the Masters but since the Ryder Cup his form has been so bad, especially in the bigger events!

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by sirbenson on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 7:06 pm

Fowler's putting stroke is so good! So aggressive

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 7:29 pm

Willett finishes with an 81 after a birdie on his last hole, talk about whipped cream on sh!t

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 7:40 pm

1GrumpyGolfer wrote:Willett finishes with an 81 after a birdie on his last hole, talk about whipped cream on sh!t


Thought you were talking about the POTUS's hair for a moment there Grumps . . . . . . .

Ernie, possibly in his final US Open, the unlikeliest lad on the early leaderboard.

Apparently the first threesome finished in 5hrs 8 mins. Ridiculous.
I'd be surprised if next week's first round took 4hrs 8 mins.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by sirbenson on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 8:01 pm

Adam Scott with an Ernie Els like putt from the Masters last year!

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by John Cregan on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 8:28 pm

Bizarre behaviour from Mickelson. Complete lack of respect. Bet he's having a miserable time at the graduation.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by SmithersJones on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 8:36 pm

Not seen a great deal of the course but it doesn't look particularly tough, Rickie certainly made it look easy. Which makes it all the more annoying when Coltart and Butch start bangiing on about how badly a 15 handicapper would do round there. More likely to find the long stuff perhaps but they wasn't their point. SSS would probably be about 75 so on their day they could shoot 90 and probably win a handicap comp. So patronising!
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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 8:40 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Apparently the first threesome finished in 5hrs 8 mins. Ridiculous.
I'd be surprised if next week's first round took 4hrs 8 mins.

I'd be surprised if next week measures in around 7,800 yards. You have to wonder what their (USGA) expectations are when you play an event on a mammoth course with some significant walks between holes?

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 8:42 pm

Casey off to a flier, opening with two threes. Scoring like this doesn't suggest a typical US Open set up

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 8:48 pm

1GrumpyGolfer wrote:Casey off to a flier, opening with two threes.  Scoring like this doesn't suggest a typical US Open set up
3 under after 2 holes!!! Amazing.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 9:07 pm

Looks like you could be off to a flier too, INW. Here's hoping...

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 9:11 pm

raycastleunited wrote:I also noticed that one of the former regulars on this board, Maverick McNealy, has gone and shown us all up by qualifying as an amateur.

Some people on here, lead by diggers and hibbz if I remember rightly, doubted his stories of prodigeous hitting and low scoring. What a legend, I never doubted him for a moment Whistle

He'll want his very own statue if he keeps scoring at this rate. Two birdies to start his US Open run

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 11:15 pm

Jason Day moves to +6; hope there's an ambulance standing by at the 18th green.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by owen10ozzy on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 3:37 am

Just caught up with todays play...

Great stuff from Rickie, lets hope he can string together 4 great rounds (anyone taking bets on another year of first time major winners?)...Koepka the only real bomber whose taken apart the course thus far..

Moves me onto McIIroy, if someone sees me pick him in the fantasy game again you have my permission to ban me. Every time I lump for him last minute and I have no idea why...I've said on this board at least a dozen times...i'd be shocked to see him win more than 2 more majors and thats at a push..so why do I pick him! IDIOT!! (And skys constant swooning over him is ridiculous...he sprayed the ball all over the shop again today..that along with his erratic putting has constantly reared its head in the last 18 months..especially in the first round of majors)..

Day looks like he could do with stepping away from the course for a couple of months, as for Willett, showing just how hard it is to maintain focus and drive once a career goal has been completed.

I'd be surprised if an abundance of changes are made for tomorrows 2nd round...perhaps a few more blind pin positions ..personally think the cut line will fall at +2 and the clubhouse leader will be -10 by days end.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Roller_Coaster on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 8:01 am

USGA to place pins on fairway and in bunkers to help protect par. Extra windmills and clown heads being Fed-Ex'd in (other courier companies are not available). Eagles to be outlawed in competition on holes with a par of 4 or less with a 2 stroke penalty applied if transgression of rule occurs. Trump's wig manufacturers being flown in overnight to fescue up the fairways.

Joking aside though, looks like a great comp going on thus far. Scoreable if you play well and punitive if you spray well. To paraphrase the world number 2 if you can't hit a 60 yard wide fairway you might as well pack up and go home.

(FWIW - I'd just be placing my final T-Shirt in my carry on luggage right about now en route to the airport!!!)

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by wiretapper on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 9:15 am

There isn't a great deal the USGA can do is there? Shave a couple of mm off the greens maybe but no sub-air system to dry them out.

Pin positions seem like their greatest weapon so expect them to be tougher but I guess they'll be praying for wind.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by navyblueshorts on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 9:31 am

SmithersJones wrote:Not seen a great deal of the course but it doesn't look particularly tough, Rickie certainly made it look easy. Which makes it all the more annoying when Coltart and Butch start bangiing on about how badly a 15 handicapper would do round there. More likely to find the long stuff perhaps but they wasn't their point. SSS would probably be about 75 so on their day they could shoot 90 and probably win a handicap comp. So patronising!
They'd do sh!t, as would most of us. Round 1 was apparently playing at a stupidly long ~7,800 yards long. Don't know about you, but that's a tough ask together with some long grass and US Open greens (think I read they were at ~12.5). Were Butch etc taking into account SSS/CSS? Don't imagine they were.
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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 10:19 am

I reckon a 15 handicapper would do better than Willett's 81. Cool
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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 10:30 am

McLaren wrote:I reckon a 15 handicapper would do better than Willett's 81.  Cool

When are you playing it Mac?

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 10:36 am

If only.
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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by beninho on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 11:31 am

Saw bits of it last night, I don't dislike the look of the course, but why is it so bloody big. They said on the radio that the USGA had given a time of 4hr52 a round. Thats ridiculous. The walk that Fowler had from the 9th green back seemed to go on for ever.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Davie on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 12:33 pm

Xander Schauffele ??? laughing

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 1:22 pm

Think the USGA missed a trick there. They could've had Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler, and Charl Schwartzel in the same group.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by owen10ozzy on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 2:57 pm

Anyone currently watching featured groups...apparently you can watch McIlroy, Rose, Day but I don't seem to be able to find that anywhere on skysports...

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 3:10 pm

owen10ozzy wrote:Anyone currently watching featured groups...apparently you can watch McIlroy, Rose, Day but I don't seem to be able to find that anywhere on skysports...
I've got Bubba, Scott and Garcia....didn't get a choice on Sky....

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 3:12 pm

But on the USGA website I could watch the McIroy group.....

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by owen10ozzy on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 3:34 pm

Cheers INW....Not sure why I'm watching this group...must be a glutton for punishment..

I actually figure Rory isn't making the cut so im better of watching him than watch and ultimately curse Adam Scott. (one of my other fantasy picks)

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by beninho on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 3:39 pm

Watching a bit of the online coverage. How often d you notice Mcilroy ready to hit as soon as his partner has played, hes actually pretty quick. Though Jason Day is so slow!

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by sirbenson on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 3:57 pm

Scott's short putting is so bad, he must have had 3/4 chances insides 7 feet so far and missed them by a mile

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Davie on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 4:20 pm

Oh dear Paul Casey.....

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 4:34 pm

owen10ozzy wrote:Cheers INW....Not sure why I'm watching this group...must be a glutton for punishment..

I actually figure Rory isn't making the cut so im better of watching him than watch and ultimately curse Adam Scott. (one of my other fantasy picks)

Sky Featured Group has just switched to Rose McIlroy Day group. How long will that last?

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 4:37 pm

Snowing in June?

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 5:17 pm

Rory 4 putts from just off the green at a par 5. Needs a handful of birdies from now on to make cut.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Shotrock on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 5:19 pm

The bad news: big mountain to climb.

The good news: he's one of a handful of players with that extra gear and could certainly go on that run.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by sirbenson on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 5:20 pm

Impressive comeback from Casey

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Shotrock on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 5:25 pm

I'm hardly objective on this but I really like the Gil Hanse input on the US TV broadcast. Clarke as well.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by sirbenson on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 5:29 pm

Shotrock wrote:I'm hardly objective on this but I really like the Gil Hanse input on the US TV broadcast. Clarke as well.

Agree with Clarke, he is doing a bit of work with Sky this week too and he is a great addition. Offers a darn more insight than McGinley

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by owen10ozzy on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 5:33 pm

All of Rory's weaknesses have been shown up this week; people can talk about him being rusty all they like and SKY can talk him up as if he is the greatest player to walk earth but the fact is he hasn't won a major in almost 3 years now...and whilst he has been in the Top 10 on 4 occassions he has never really majorly challenged. His putting has been atrocious again today, far to many 2+ putts (and how does he continue to hit his putts so far past the hole)...he could have been +3/+4 and fighting to play the weekend had he taken his chances from Holes 16-1. The commentary and fawning over him these past two days has completely put me off watching him anymore (I've now switched to the other feature group).

Rose is showing his fighting qualities...Casey too has hung on in their following a shocking 3 holes early on..

No one is carding massive scores this afternoon and the scoring is likely increase this morning. Think if anyone can get to -9/-10 then they will definitely have clubhouse lead.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by beninho on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 5:40 pm

I see "Beef" is going along nicely, he won at Valderamma, which I gather is one of the toughest Euro tour courses and he won with +1, so he can grind out the result.

Its no real surprise to see Rory struggle, he has barely played this year due to his injury. He may not have won a major for a few years, but no one else looks like getting past his current total of majors just yet.

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Shotrock on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 5:44 pm

Paul Casey mighty impressive at the moment. And Beef will certainly like the Bratwurst that's a staple of an upper midwest cookout. That, and some beer and some German potato salad ...

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Re: PGA Tour: US Open - Wide Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

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