PGA Tour: John Deere Classic - 6 Weeks To Go: Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: John Deere Classic - 6 Weeks To Go: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 12 Jul 2017, 3:53 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).6 weeks to go, that is, in the 2016/2017 Tour season; just 5 weeks if a player doesn't qualify for the PGA Championship. The calendar looks like this:
John Deere Classic (Quad Cities)
Open Championship / Barbasol Championship (Alabama)
RBC Canadian Open
WGC-Bridgestone Invitational / Barracuda Championship (Reno)
PGA Championship
Wyndham Championship (Greensboro)
Then the FedEx Play-Offs start with Northern Trust action, next season to resume at the Safeway tournament in early October.

2).This week the Tour has moved to America's Mid-West, the Quad Cities either side of the Mississippi (Iowa to the west, Illinois to the east); some in the field will be in Lancashire next week so a charter is provided for those playing both weeks, though presumably anyone missing Friday's 36-hole cut high-tail it to Chicago and fly out early so that they can catch an extra couple of days of cricket from Trent Bridge. This week's winner also gets a ticket to Birkdale as well as the normal perks, so plenty to play for.

3).Last week saw the first win by a Xander, Schauffele perhaps making a name for himself before Zander Lombard passes the winning post. Schauffele finished 5th at Erin Hills and seems to have a pretty rounded game, but for every young Spieth or Berger or Thomas, there's a highly-touted young gun or three that is launched out of college onto the Tour in a flurry of sponsor exemptions and either doesn't fancy it or doesn't quite have the right stuff.
We watched Sanderson Farms winner Cody Gribble stumble round Hartford a few weeks ago; sure he enjoyed an early win, but I'd be surprised if went on to a solid Tour career unless he undergoes an attitude adjustment. At least Gribble will dribble his way into the Play-Offs, but last year's winner straight out of the stalls, Smylie Kaufman, has struggled this year and competes this week at 134th in the FedEx points list. Only time will tell if he's anything more than best buddies with Spieth or has the fortitude to carve out a good career.

4).Along these lines is the curious case of Bryson DeChambeau, he of the set of irons, all the same length. He's surely made more money this year in endorsements than on the course, but seems to be finding some form at last. Faldo expressed the opinion on CBS last weekend that he was not in favour of the one-length-fits-all irons strategerie, that it limits him and doesn't offer an outlet for a Plan B when things go awry. Not sure but DeChambo certainly goes through some troughs along with occasional good results; he suffered thru eight straight missed cuts before stitching together a hat-trick of Top 26's the past three weeks.

5).The Greenbrier's Old White course looked great last week; hadn't realised they'd had to replace all the greens, which makes the recovery from the floods even more impressive. If robopz is correct, expect to see this tournament played a week earlier next year. Which reminds me: Don't think the 2017/2018 Tour Schedule has been published yet. Has it?  

6).Regardless, the PGA Of America calendar shows its Championships still scheduled for August, and not the much-speculated move to May:
Quail Hollow (Charlotte) this year, Bellerive (St.Louis) in 2018, etc. Including 2022 at TI Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey.
TI GC is, coincidentally, hosting this week's US Women's Open for the USGA.

7).It sounds as if the USGA's executive committee reviewed inflammatory comments by the Bedminster course's owner a couple of years ago and considered moving the Championship - USA Today reported this week that USGA Executive Director, Mike Davis, told committee members, "You can't do that. He's going to sue us." That's par for every course for course owner Drumpf, but it's usually just bullying bluster; he seldom wins when he does sue and being POTUS won't make any difference.
But one might suggest that the R&A would be playing with fire if Turnberry were awarded The Open Championship anytime soon, or at least under current ownership.
Meanwhile, no comment from the USGA or Drumpf Organization. Or from The Kremlin.

8).Ben Curtis has followed Scott Piercy in withdrawing from The Open, and is replaced in the field by Tony Finau - anyone going to Birkdale would do worse than to follow Finau for a few holes. He absolutely murders the ball off the tee with a much lower flight, for instance, than Dustin Johnson. If only his short game were as impressive, but it's not quite there yet. Meanwhile, James Hahn is first in the revised "alternate" queue, followed by Danny Lee.

9).Very few Europeans playing the excellent Weibring design at TPC Deere Run; those who turn up badly need to turbo-charge their game if they want to secure fully exempt Tour status for next season. The list, with their current FedEx position:
Gonzo: 175th
Owen: 153rd
Cejka: 138th
Pettersson: 195th
Power: 145th (someone needs to remind Seamus of the value of finishing in the Top 150)
. . . . plus qualifier Sam Horsfield.

10).That's about it for this week - Notes next week will focus on the Barbasol Championship, so early warning for someone who knows plenty more about Birkdale than I ever will to start an Open Championship thread.

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Re: PGA Tour: John Deere Classic - 6 Weeks To Go: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Shotrock on Mon 17 Jul 2017, 2:40 am

I enjoy the non-traditional approach ... nice W on the Big Tour!

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Re: PGA Tour: John Deere Classic - 6 Weeks To Go: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 17 Jul 2017, 6:39 pm

The "Big Tour" has got its work cut out for it this week; Champions Tour non-exempts filling out the "alternates" roster at the Barbasol. And to think the Madeira Open used to get ridiculed!

Seriously though, this is bad for the sponsors, shocking really that Ponte Vedra Towers couldn't rustle up a few more players. It's like a landscape polluted by delapidated buildings: looks much better when they're not there, so perhaps they should look at reducing the golfers in the Barbasol field?

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Re: PGA Tour: John Deere Classic - 6 Weeks To Go: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Shotrock on Mon 17 Jul 2017, 7:27 pm

Wow. Ridiculing the US PGA tour field the week of Open Championship? As difficult to understand as Rory's missed cuts.

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Re: PGA Tour: John Deere Classic - 6 Weeks To Go: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 17 Jul 2017, 7:35 pm

Trying to make a serious point.
It's beyond daft for the web.com to have a tournament the same week as an opposite-field event, especially this late in the year. A disincentive for many fringe players to play your big tour, and blocks out youngsters from getting a slot in the web.com field.

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Re: PGA Tour: John Deere Classic - 6 Weeks To Go: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Wed 19 Jul 2017, 12:14 pm

Kwini... update on 2017-18 PGA Tour Schedule... all appears set through at least The Travelers...  

Highlights... 2 additions, 1 name change

October - NEW EVENT $9.25 mil. CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in Korea
March - Puerto Rico Open moves earlier to be alternate event for WGC-MEXICO
March - NEW EVENT Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship (Dominican Republic) - Alternate event to WGC-Match Play
April - Houston retains it's pre-Masters spot with name change for now to just "Houston Open"

All other events are same as last year and in same order

08-Oct - Safeway Open
16-Oct - CIMB Classic
22-Oct - CJ Cup at Nine Bridges - Korea
29-Oct - WGC-HSBC Champions
29-Oct - Sanderson Farms Championship (Alternate)
5-Nov - Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
12-Nov - OHL Classic at Mayakoba
19-Nov - RSM Classic
07-Jan - SBS Tournament of Champions
14-Jan - Sony Open in Hawaii
21-Jan - CareerBuilder Challenge
28-Jan - Farmers Insurance Open
04-Feb - Waste Management Phoenix Open
11-Feb - AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
18-Feb - Genesis Open
25-Feb - The Honda Classic
04-Mar - WGC-Mexico Championship
04-Mar - Puerto Rico Open (Alternate)
11-Mar - Valspar Championship
18-Mar - Arnold Palmer Invitational
25-Mar - WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
25-Mar - Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship (Alternate)
01-Apr - Houston Open
08-Apr - Masters Tournament
15-Apr - RBC Heritage
22-Apr - Valero Texas Open
29-Apr - Zurich Classic of New Orleans
07-May - Wells Fargo Championship
13-May - The Players Championship
20-May - AT&T Byron Nelson
27-May - Dean & DeLuca Invitational
03-Jun - The Memorial Tournament
10-Jun - FedEx St. Jude Classic
18-Jun - U.S. Open
24-Jun - Travelers Championship

PS - Can't say for sure but I "think" schedule is being announced officially this week... maybe today... the 2018 tab was added to the future fields list in the PGAT internals last night, but not yet populated....


Last edited by robopz on Wed 19 Jul 2017, 2:47 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: PGA Tour: John Deere Classic - 6 Weeks To Go: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Wed 19 Jul 2017, 12:44 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Trying to make a serious point.
It's beyond daft for the web.com to have a tournament the same week as an opposite-field event, especially this late in the year. A disincentive for many fringe players to play your big tour, and blocks out youngsters from getting a slot in the web.com field.
I disagree. PGA Tour events are for PGA Tour players... Web.com Tour events are for Web.Com Players. The object of the Web.com Tour is to graduate players to the PGAT for NEXT season, not give them playing opportunities on the "big tour" this year (except for a 3 event winner)

Besides... while the field for this year's Barbisol alternate event is going all the way down into the "Beyond 150" category, those are PGA Tour players who "earned" that status via their play on last year's PGAT. They shouldn't be bumped. Also doing it this way actually HELPS the lower rung players get a start on the Web.com because Barbisol is siphoning off players who might otherwise be playing the WEB this week via either SE or other status.


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Re: PGA Tour: John Deere Classic - 6 Weeks To Go: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 19 Jul 2017, 1:07 pm

Thanks robo,

The North American WGC dates make no sense to moi, but trust that'll change in 2019.

But, as much I respect your advocacy for Past Champs and Vet Players, the Champions Tour was surely designed to offer a lucrative retirement plan to guys like Bradley, Janzen & Waldorf, Carter, Lancaster & Clearwater?

Meanwhile, shouldn't the Tour undertake to deliver a respectable field for the sponsor? Otherwise, what's the point?? (Interesting that Barbie ambassadors Palmer and Piller (play in Nebraska) aren't in attendance!)

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Re: PGA Tour: John Deere Classic - 6 Weeks To Go: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Wed 19 Jul 2017, 1:26 pm

Kwini... IMO the "names" out of the past champions category adds more "sponsor value" than anyone else they can get. Adding them in at the bottom of the field has more upside interest value than simply removing spots. Plus... The sponsors of these alternate events know what they are, or more importantly what they're not, so I just don't see the issue. And by the way... It's actually happened where an alternate event didn't even fill it's field, and played 1 or 2 players short. I can't look it up right now, but it's been in the last year or two.

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Re: PGA Tour: John Deere Classic - 6 Weeks To Go: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Wed 19 Jul 2017, 1:31 pm

Yes... WGC Mexico will be fixed next year. Tour scheduled it the way they did because of the fit Pelley threw over the prior year's WGC and Pelley wanting to protect his Golf Sixes event. But trust me, it'll be a cold day in hell before PGAT makes that mistake again.

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Re: PGA Tour: John Deere Classic - 6 Weeks To Go: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Wed 19 Jul 2017, 1:54 pm

Kwini... one other point on the "Past Champions"... It's not a matter of me being and advocate for them, more just and understanding the PGAT wants relatively full fields in these events and the objective is to fill their fields the best, and most attractive way they can. Add to that the PGAT is a members organization, and the past champions/veterans are members for life.

And all those in the "reorder" category aren't just a bunch of over the hill geezers either. There's 21 players in the field out of that category this week including Villegas, Cabrera, Byrd, Yang, & Chesson Hadley. Some "beyond 150" guys are in this week because of what they did on the actual "big tour" just last year, not any veteran or past champions category.


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Re: PGA Tour: John Deere Classic - 6 Weeks To Go: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 19 Jul 2017, 2:00 pm

robopz wrote:Kwini... IMO the "names" out of the past champions category adds more "sponsor value" than anyone else they can get.   Adding them in at the bottom of  the field has more upside interest value than simply removing spots.  Plus... The sponsors of these alternate events know what they are, or more importantly what they're not, so I just don't see the issue.  And by the way... It's actually happened where an alternate event didn't even fill it's field, and played 1 or 2 players short. I can't look it up right now, but it's been in the last year or two.

Happy to agree to disagree! And, yes, I also recall the event that wasn't filled, possibly here a year or so ago. Big chance for those who do show up and hoping guys like Power, Matt Jones, Ricky Barnes and Spencer Levin do themselves some good. And Romero too of course!

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Re: PGA Tour: John Deere Classic - 6 Weeks To Go: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Wed 19 Jul 2017, 2:43 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Happy to agree to disagree! And, yes, I also recall the event that wasn't filled, possibly here a year or so ago. Big chance for those who do show up and hoping guys like Power, Matt Jones, Ricky Barnes and Spencer Levin do themselves some good. And Romero too of course!
Well whatever.... bottom line is for the most part this alternate event will still get more viewership than any other (except maybe China) because it's on air after most the Open coverage.  The alternates to WGC Mexico and WGC Match Play get very, VERY little viewership.  And by the way... does seem a bit odd Piller isn't there, he is in the WEB event... so I assume he's thinking he better keep his eggs in that basket for now...

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Re: PGA Tour: John Deere Classic - 6 Weeks To Go: Notes from the Ballwasher

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