PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 03 Jan 2018, 3:49 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).PFC might be the initials of my beloved football club (PUP), but it also sums up the recent weather here on the West Coast of New England. So, nothing much better than to look forward to the wide open expanse of Kapalua's Plantation Course and the drop-dead gorgeous Pacific views from almost every hole.

2).Many of the Tour's leading and lesser lights seem to have had nothing better to do this "holiday" period than to rub shoulders on Florida fairways with the bloke with the bigger button (trust they'll pay their share of the $43M that such outings have reportedly cost the tax-payer so far), but hopefully we can get some Tour golf in before the nuclear option becomes reality.

3).37 golfers qualified for this week's "Sentry Tournament of Champions". Messrs Garcia, Rose and Stenson are non-runners, but 34 remain and will be richly rewarded with even the last-place finisher banking $60K-ish and a couple of owgr points.
The US golfers in the field will also be looking to start their 2018 Ryder Cup qualification in earnest. Current placings for each team's automatic selection look like this:
US: Koepka, Thomas, Spieth, Dustin, Kuchar, Fowler, Harman, Reed.
Europe: Rose, Hatton, Rahm, Fitz, Sergio, Dunners, Fleetwood, Fish.

4).(And RIP to Ryder Cuppers of years past who went to the clubhouse in the sky during 2017, among them Ken Still, John Jacobs and Tommy Horton. They join the great Roberto DiVicenzo, the legendary Simon Hobday, a pioneeer of the anchored putter - not to mention cross-handed grip - Charlie Owens, fellow Senior Tour pros Bob Brue and John Paul Cain, and multi-Major winning caddie Dave Musgrove.)

5).The 2018 season could well see the Tour's final schedule in its traditional configuration with the spectre of the PGA Championship moving forward three months from August to May, The Players returning to March, and plenty of musical chairs to be played as a result. Texas mainstays of the Tour, Colonial and the Houston Open, plus Firestone, are currently the biggest tournaments without a prospective chair when the music stops but other changes could see:
~A reshuffle of the March calendar.
~Elimination of a Play-Off tournament, probably the TPC Boston event. Which begs the question as to whether there might be another Boston-area event, or will this just be a further example of migration from the North-East and (with Firestone's possible loss) Mid-West?
~Shifting of the summer WGC from Firestone to Memphis.
~Possible shuffling of Greenbrier to the autumn (tho' not sure what that would do to the Greenbrier's life expectancy; it's always looked like one man's ego trip, and perhaps this is au revoir, if not yet goodbye).
~And: Who knows about the Washington-area stop?

robopz will figure out all the ramifications well before the PGA Tour so no further speculation here, but this will mean a lot of change for tournament directors, players and agents to assimilate, let alone us poor saps who follow the game and pay some of the bills. (And talking of bills, great to see Buffalo Bills in the NFL Play-Offs.)

6).There'll be daily speculation this year as to T.Woods's playing schedule; suffice it to say that it will be considerably less intensive than Rory's return with, what?, seven events in nine weeks.
(And did you see that another US Open Champion, Michael Campbell, is returning from retirement?)

7).Brandt Snedeker joins a long list of Pros to have dumped their caddie (or vice versa); Scott Vail has a strong Canadian connection with his father having been a top ice hockey pro for a decade, so interesting to see where he winds up.
Sneds will be busy in the next couple of months as he strives for an owgr Top 50 spot and resultant invitation to Augusta National. He has a terrific record at Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach - you'd think, based upon past history, if he doesn't do it there, he'll probably not do it anywhere.
EDIT: Just saw Doug Ferguson's report that Berger has also changed caddies, going to Lance Bennett, who worked for Kuchar until late 2015.

8).This year will see a handful of European players try their luck on the PGA Tour:
Pieters, Hatton, Fleetwood, Fisher and Noren.
While Casey will go back to double-dipping
Ian Poulter would have been in the running for Comeback Player of 2017 if such an award still existed. Wonder if he can sustain that level of play which includes 19 consecutive cuts made.
Plenty of one-time stars whose collective lights have dimmed recently will be looking (or maybe not) for a Poults-like comeback year: Luke Donald and Graeme McDowell for instance. And Nick Watney & Hunter Mahan. Not to mention Shane Lowry.

9).Andrew Johnston's taste of Tour life will sour unless he feasts on his very limited "minor medical" extension. Perversely he never seemed to have the appetite for US touring, though obviously still has the stomach.
Padraig Harrington is taking a minor medical extension and also has Past Champion status; and could take a one-time career money earnings exemption next year if all else fails.
Freddie Jac has a "major medical", whilst Cejka (also a Past Champion of course), Jaeger and Power have web.com "graduate" status.
Greg Owen - despite 2 x runner-up finishes last season he still contrived not to achieve fully exempt status - Kjeldsen, Davis, Pettersson, Chopra and Richard S.Johnson have varying degrees of ever diminishing "conditional status" while Gonzo will get into some web.com events to go with his retrieved European Tour card.

10).Which brings us back to Kapalua and Sentry Insurance's debut as a Tour sponsor. Dustin Johnson, Spieth and Thomas are the only previous TOC Champions returning this year and I reckon it must be even money that one of them will win again.
Regardless, Happy New Year to everyone. And mine will be a very happy one if Europe recover the Ryder Cup en Paris.


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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Jan 2018, 12:26 pm

Mac prefers architectural features like Lexi Thompson's false front . . . .


Jim Mackay must reckon that carrying Thomas's bag pays better than his Golf Channel gig. Sure he's right, but Bones is pretty good on the course.


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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Sun 07 Jan 2018, 1:01 pm

pedro wrote:One thing is sure: TOC is pretty boring to watch on TV.

It's even worse to spectate at Pedro.

It's a fun course for a club golfer, mostly because it gives you the chance to shoot your lowest scores, but in terms of design and architecture, it's really nothing remotely special. I realise that is sacrilege to Mac, because of the history of the course, but it's like saying Turf Moor is a great stadium simply because it's old. It doesn't make it so.

If Mac cares to, We could discuss hole by hole exactly why he thinks it's so great. It's fun, but my goodness, there's a lot of very straight forward and uninspiring holes on it.

Probably the least entertaining course of all majors.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Sun 07 Jan 2018, 2:26 pm

Super, it is you that constantly mentions the history of TOC but this has nothing to do with why I think it is a great course. It is a great course because of the architectural features.
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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Sun 07 Jan 2018, 2:38 pm

In that case you won't mind going into what makes them so special.
Let's start with hole 1 shall we? What's so special about that, considering it's not even the hole it was designed to be played, so how good is the "architecture" (a truly dreadful term) when the current hole isn't even as it was designed.

In my opinion as someone who has played it probably 100+ times, only 7, 12 and 17 are standout holes. The rest don't really have anything design wise or "architecture" wise which make them stand out, but seeing as you think you know more than anyone about the matter, perhaps you can explain, or are you as suspected simply taking your views from Doak, because in reality you don't know any more about "architecture" then any of the rest of us do.

For instance Mac, where is the architectural "brilliance" in terms of driving? It's all very straight forward, you aren't forced into anything.
From the fairway it's very hard to miss a green because they are all so massive, from a greens point of view barring a few and a bad shot, none are especially difficult, from a bunkering point of view, you're barely ever in them.

So what are these amazing "architectural" features which make it so good? You'll see better examples if you travel down to Kingsbarns, Crail, Leven, Elie, Lundin etc. There's some properly well thought out holes there which are still relevant, and are played as intended.


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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Jan 2018, 2:38 pm

Jason Dufner leading the TOC field in putting.
With that stat (wonder if it's ever happened before?) you'd think he'd have a five stroke lead.
Wonder what Amanda is up to these days?

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Sun 07 Jan 2018, 3:31 pm

Super

I have no problem admitting the 1st isn't the best hole on the course but it is still a good hole. The weak point of the hole is probably how little pressure is put on the drive, it would be a stretch to say there is a significantly better angle to attack the green.

But the green complex including the burn in front of it do provide for a challenging set of shots.

The approach which can actually by a mid iron for the shorter player requires a forced carry over the burn, not ideal but a feature much loved by many, especially on here. But it is one of the only forced carries the player will face over the 18 and therefore adds to the variety of the shots faced over the whole round. How many times have you played with people whos second shot doesn't even reach the burn due to misjudging the wind?

Then we have the green which is actually pretty tricky in some parts compared to what you would think from the tv coverage. If the pin is placed in towards the back of the green a three putt is possible for those not paying attention.

overall plenty of interest for an opener.
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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Sun 07 Jan 2018, 4:13 pm

It's an easy hole, not saying it's a bad hole, but very much a case of a bogey is a disastrous start and a birdie wouldn't be a surprise,  but in terms of "architecture" it's not got much, it's as wide as two football pitches and other then the burn, it has zero challenges.

The forced carry is probably it's only good design feature on an otherwise drab hole.
I've played with a lot of people who have misjudged the wind, myself included, but that doesn't make it a good design feature, it means I've not judged the conditions.

There is ONE bit on the green which is tricky, mid to back left. Other than that it is virtually flat.
THe green is quite large front to back, so there's no reason not to take the extra club and get over the burn.

It's a very easy introduction, generally no more than a 3 wood, and frequently less so you don't get too close and one which poses virtually no danger to the player. So there we have it. The first hole, nothing to really challenge your game or leave you gushing at great design. Plenty better and more well designed opening holes which give you options from the very first shot.

What do you have against forced carry, and if you think it's the only forced carry at St.Andrews, then you don't know the course.

Shall we go on to the second?

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Sun 07 Jan 2018, 6:05 pm

Super

If you want to go onto the second then start this conversation in another thread because we shouldn't be clogging up Kwinis thread with another TOC argument.
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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Sun 07 Jan 2018, 6:56 pm

Kwini doesn't care and TOC is virtually over.



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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Jan 2018, 7:12 pm

kwini doesn't care is right!!
My twopenny's worth - nothing wrong with a simple-ish opening hole, certainly doesn't do anything to diminish the other 17. If they're high quality.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Sun 07 Jan 2018, 8:07 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:kwini doesn't care is right!!
My twopenny's worth - nothing wrong with a simple-ish opening hole, certainly doesn't do anything to diminish the other 17. If they're high quality.

Trouble is though Kwini, there's someone who constantly carps on that the course is a masterpiece of "architecture" when so many of the holes of virtually nil and many are even worse than the first. 8,9,10,15, 18 for instance, whilst there are many as equally bland as 1.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Shotrock on Sun 07 Jan 2018, 11:23 pm

World #1 acting like it at the moment. That can change, but a "Big Tour" win in 2018 keeps the annual streak alive and is mighty impressive.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 07 Jan 2018, 11:48 pm

Meanwhile, Brooks Koepka mailing it in for the second limited field, no-cut event in a row.
$160+K for finishing last and last.
Pathetic.
Hope DJ wins going away. And Rahmbo to overtake Thomas in the owgr's.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 1:12 am

ICYMI, Pat Perez is signed up for Dubai in a couple weeks. Seems odd that he would choose a competing event to his hometown San Diego, where his father is part of the Tournament Committee. Think he is an announcer on the first (or 10th) tee. He took some sort of "affiliate" membership with the ET last year, but I am not sure how that works.

It looks like Pelley will do nearly anything within reason to get high ranking players to join the ET. I thought Kevin Na "joined" as well, but I don't think he has played any ET non-sanctioned events. He is down to #91 in the OWGR

DJohnson & Kuchar are the "full" time PGA Pros playing Abu Dhabi.

Early OWGR projection for Sony is 48...a strong 48

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Shotrock on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 1:22 am

What a drive by DJ. Tap in eagle.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 1:52 am

dRAHMa Queen needs a two way T4 or better to overtake Thomas. Looks like it is going to happen

Hideki cannot overtake Thomas no matter how he finishes. Close, but no cigar. Hideki will stay ahead of Rose, with a Top 10 finish.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 2:55 am

DJ may be thick as two short planks (tho' I somehow doubt it) but he's the best golfer in the world over the past two years and happy to see another "W".


Not sure I understand the comment about Jon Rahm, think I'll let that pass.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 7:57 am

He certainly appears thick Kwini. I've heard nothing to suggest he's especially bright.

I think Rahm is a bit petulant isn't he Kwini, hence the dRAHMa queen quip, though if I'd have made that connection then I'd get told off for being judgemental and unoriginal.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 11:45 am

super_realist wrote:

I think Rahm is a bit petulant isn't he Kwini, hence the dRAHMa queen quip, though if I'd have made that connection then I'd get told off for being judgemental and unoriginal.

75% of pro sport people are "a bit petulant" . . . . . . . . part of their competitive DNA I should imagine.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 12:23 pm

56 owgr points for DJ. The lowest in his last 8 wins.. How about that Mr. Westwood.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 12:46 pm

Rahm never seems like he is having a good time out on the course but in interviews he comes off a lot better than his on course demeanour would suggest.
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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 12:48 pm

DJ possibly just being a good brand ambassador but he praised the twistface tech of his m3 in a post round interview.
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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 4:33 pm

Yesterday, Rahm missed a short putt which he pulled badly IMO. The ball never started on line.

He did his best Sergio impression that the Golf Deities were against him.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 4:41 pm

Spieth was DFL in Strokes Gained Putting in the 4th round. (-2.3). Offset by 1st in Strokes Gained Tee to Green (+4.25)

SG data confirm that Dustin was dominant last week off the tee. +8.9 SG-Off the Tee.

Next best was Kevin Chappell at +5.56 SG-OTT

Despite all the drives at 375 yds and longer, Justin Thomas was the only player to average over 300 yds. Dustin was #2 at 297 yds. The long drives were extremely long, but the short drives were very short to drive the average lower.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by NedB-H on Mon 08 Jan 2018, 11:22 pm

However petulant Rahm or dim DJ is, neither can have anything on Brad Fritsch in the spectacular stupidity stakes:

https://m.facebook.com/Brad-Fritsch-591582087523560/

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Tue 09 Jan 2018, 7:51 am

Ha ha, What a typical fat knacker, looking for an easy route.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Tue 09 Jan 2018, 3:55 pm

IMO, its a little insulting by the EuroTour to the South African Open to be playing the Eurasian Match on the same weekend.

South African Open is one of the oldest tournament in the world and it deserves to be a stand-alone event, not a de-facto opposite field event.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by NedB-H on Tue 09 Jan 2018, 3:58 pm

If memory serves the SA Open used to be in December, with the Joburg in January. Not sure what the driver was to switching, whether it was primarily ET or Sunshine Tour

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 09 Jan 2018, 6:18 pm

The bigger "problem" could be that, given its history, the SA Open AND the Aussie Open should do a far better job of matching their supposed prestige with comparable prize funds; that doesn't mean to match the Majors, but 50% of that might be a good idea, not exactly as if SA or Oz economies are that bereft of funds. It may at least get the leading local golfers to compete - difficult to have sympathy when so-called history is so poorly rewarded.

EDIT: It's not that long ago, 2011?, when the Presidents Cup went up against the SA Open . . . . . . .

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Tue 09 Jan 2018, 7:01 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:

EDIT: It's not that long ago, 2011?, when the Presidents Cup went up against the SA Open . . . . . . .  

Actually George O'Grady and Chubby conspired to schedule to the 2011 SA Open against the 2011 Prez Cup to undermine Tim Finchem and the PGATour's Prez Cup.

Ernie Els flexed his muscles and got the 2011 SA Open rescheduled. It wasn't long after that when Ernie left ISM.

2011 Prez Cup was played Nov 17-20th.

2011 SA Open was played Nov 24-27th.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 1:03 pm

Happy 42nd birthday to Ian Poulter - 67th on the PGA Tour's career earnings list, but only $2M-ish off the Top 50. Would be good to see him have another year like 2017 - but with another "W" thrown in.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 3:35 pm

I have read some poker blogs, and apparently Sergio did NOT start the year in the Bahamas like he has done for the past few years.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 7:09 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Happy 42nd birthday to Ian Poulter - 67th on the PGA Tour's career earnings list, but only $2M-ish off the Top 50. Would be good to see him have another year like 2017 - but with another "W" thrown in.

Does Poulter need a win to get into The Masters or can he do it by improving his ranking?

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 7:29 pm

super_realist wrote:Does Poulter need a win to get into The Masters or can he do it by improving his ranking?
Either. What the Masters call a "full point" tournament win - I think that means NOT an opposite field event on the PGA tour, and then the final qualifying criteria "The 50 leaders on the Official World Golf Ranking published during the week prior to the current Masters Tournament"

Edit: There is one other, remote possibility. "The Masters Committee, at its discretion, also invites international players not otherwise qualified. "

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 8:27 pm

Currently ranked 54. Be interesting to see how he goes in a Ryder Cup year.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 9:17 pm

Happy New years all...

DJ... Wow... Just wow. Impressive performance, horses for courses aspects aside.

Spieth, couldn't putt his way outta paper bag last week. Who'd ever thought we see him that happless with a putter? Scary thing though... it's starting to look a little "yip-ish" to me. Hope I'm wrong on that one.

Rahm's a beast. I'm not entirely comfortable with a 3-win player passing 5x winner including a major (Thomas) in the OWGR, but checking their lines, Rahm really has been more consistent. More
higher top-10's , less missed cuts. Oh well... We'll see how that works out when Rahm starts getting his divisor added to every time he plays (after his next 2)

Guess the Middle East swing gains an event this year, but the way the 4 are split up looks like Abu Dhabi & Dubai will have good fields while Qatar and Oman three weeks later will mostly suck with reduced purses. I'm looking for a Rory rebound. That guys too good to stay down long...health permitting of course.

Not much new on PGAT sponsor front... Except Houston and the PGAT are apparently exploring the "multiple partners" angle like Colonial is as well.  Colonial has at least one of the three "partners" they need locked down, with another one pending announcement soon... Houston supposedly has 2 of the 3 they'd need close as well. No clue on "the National"

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 10:16 pm

Happy New Year robo,

Interesting list from pgatour.com of top 5 charitable endeavours - Colonial among them! Imagine Houston wouldn't be far behind, the TX events are always well organised and patronised. Wouldn't be good if they lost either in my view.

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Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year - TOC: Notes from the Ballwasher

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