PGA Tour: The California Riviera: Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: The California Riviera: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 14 Feb 2018, 6:38 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).OK, So who would you have chosen to hold the AT&T National trophy before play last Sunday?
The rather rotund cack-handed grunt, mini-tour veteran (and legend), or:
Blokes who had won multiple times at Pebble Beach, Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, or the Aussie who won at Torrey Pines a couple of weeks before and boasted a record of consistent PB top tens?
In the end, it was Ted Potter who was always the most comfortable, winning, as they say, like he'd been there before.

2).Which he had, one win on the PGA Tour, a couple of web.com trophies and over $500K in mini-tour winnings, fourth in career wins on the Hooters Tour for instance. (Chad Campbell leads that list with 13; incidentally, Lincoln's David Skinns also tied with Potter, but probably a bit late for him to emulate the others.)
Anyway, good for Ted Potter - it'll be interesting to see where his career goes from here. A long way from his first year on the web.com (Nationwide then) Tour when he missed all 24 cuts.

3).How long did that final round take for the leaders? 6 hours?? Surely the PGA needs to take a look at that, though it's also true that they were hit by a perfect storm of players qualified to compete on Sunday. But still . . . . . .

4).Pursuing last week's theme of horses for California courses, Torrey Pines, Pebble and Riviera at least.
Dustin doesn't play so well at Torrey Pines, but his record at Pebble Beach is phenomenal:
PB: Played 11, Cuts made 10, Top 10's 8, Top 5's 7, with 2 runners up, 2 wins.
Riv: Played 10, Cuts made 8, Top 10's 7, Top 5's 5, with 2 runners up and last year's win.

5).Jason Day doesn't play Riviera well and won't be in this year's field, but his record at Torrey Pines and PB is strong:
TP: Played 9, with four Top Tens and 2 wins and a 2nd in the past 6 visits.
PB: Played 9, Never missed a cut, 7 x Top 15's, 4 x Top 4's in the last 5 years.

6).Phil has 7 wins and 6 runner-up finishes just on these three courses.
Obviously Tiger reigned supreme at Torrey Pines, had two glorious weeks at Pebble Beach, but says of Riviera, "I love the course. I love the layout. it fits my eye. And I play awful. It's very simple." He's never won there, only really come close once, runner-up to Els in a past life for both.

7).But others also have fine records on these courses, all with somewhat similar grasses:
Snedeker's a dud at Rivera but mustard at Torrey Pines (7 x Top 10's, 5 x podiums incl 2 wins), and has 2 wins and a 4th in his last six trips to Pebble Beach. A great putting stroke for the greens, as indeed does Ted Potter.
JB Holmes obviously plays well in Phoenix but has 3 x Top 6's at San Diego the last 4 years, has his moments at PB but also plays well @ Riviera.

The point is that most Pros have courses where they far exceed the expectations based upon their overall career record, Steele at San Antonio and Silverado, Henley in Houston, Kuchar @ Memorial, Donald at Harbour Town, etc, etc.. If you can find them, you'll get substantially better odds than you'd expect and almost the guarantee of a run for your money.

8).Talking of courses, this week's is a beaut, George Thomas's Riviera. It's 10th hole is renowned as being amongst the best short Par-4's anywhere - some enjoyed Zac Blair's piece in a recent Golf Digest. This is his take on #10:
https://www.pgatour.com/news/2017/02/13/riviera-country-club-genesis-open-10th-hole-expert-s-insight-zac-blair.html

Recently the Tour has allowed the 10th green to get ridiculously firm, tricking the hole up to an unnecessary extent. Just let it play . . . . .
Woods's take perhaps suggests he's beginning to lighten up in middle age: "I've done both, I've gone for it and I've laid up, and I've been very unsuccessful both ways". First time at "Riv" for Tont since 2006, let's see how he does. He complained of sire feet after the Farmers, so hopefully he'll wear some comfy ECCO's this week and be good to go at "Honda".

9).More Euro-Tourists are on the bandwagon this week, Fleetwood, Kaymer, Pieters (2nd last year), etc. And Jim Furyk makes a cameo after 6 months out.  
Last Sunday Paul Casey made an early surge up the leaderboard, just reaching contention before making a horlicks of #'s 7 and 8. He's played Riviera well before, lost in a play-off 3 years ago when he probably should have won. If he's ever going to earn another win, this could well be the place. Strong e.w. chance anyway, but tough to look past DJ this week - is that too obvious?
No Sergio, though he plays Riviera well, but two other course experts are Bubba (Top 17, incl 2 x wins, whenever he's made the cut) and Jimmy Walker, just a few years removed from a fantastic run of Coastal Cal consistency.

10).Finally, best wishes to Bill Haas and others injured in that LA car accident. Hopefully Haas will be back in the golfing saddle soon; he won Riviera in a thrilling finish a few years ago - perhaps he might even play in Hartford if he has to make up for lost time, he's an excellent guy to follow.

kwinigolfer

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Re: PGA Tour: The California Riviera: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 1:00 pm

In the who'd've thunk it column:
Phil Mickelson recorded a Top Ten finish for the third week running, his first hat-trick of top tens in consecutive weeks since 2009.

Another interesting stat shown on CBS was the number of Top 5 finishes for players in the past five seasons without a win. Can't recall the exact numbers but something like:
Casey with 17
Mickelson and Na with (about) 14.

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Re: PGA Tour: The California Riviera: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 3:26 pm

In case you missed it (and I sure you did), Tianlang Guan is playing collegiate golf for the University of Arizona.

Arizona played a 54 hole tournament in Hawaii this past weekend, Guan finished T76th, 21 shots behind the leader

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Re: PGA Tour: The California Riviera: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 4:07 pm

Something else I missed:
Seamus Power was third "alternate" for this week's "Honda" tournament - not sure yet who w/d'd or whether he received an invite, but he's now in the field - sure this is a bonus start for him.


Rickie Fowler defending this week - last year's win was his only proper victory since Abu Dhabi in early 2016. #overdue

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Re: PGA Tour: The California Riviera: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 4:53 pm

DA Points, SiWoo Kim, DeChambeau, SangMoon Bae all WDed this morning.

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Re: PGA Tour: The California Riviera: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 5:23 pm

Thanks - I don't know how to access that info.
Wonder if it brings pd's estimate pf a 54-point earnings for the winner? Strange that Kim withdrew, #51 in the owgr's so presumably doesn't fancy a week full of fajitas. Or perhaps not playing is his better option??

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Re: PGA Tour: The California Riviera: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 5:40 pm

Rob Bolton's is pretty quick to update the field changes on his twitter feed.  Thats how I knew those players had opted out.

Re:  SiWoo Kim.  Hard to believe that the reigning Players winner is not exempt for the WGC-Mexico.

Edit: I still have Honda as a OWGR-54, with SWK and Dechambeau's WD.

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Re: PGA Tour: The California Riviera: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 5:51 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Something else I missed:
Seamus Power was third "alternate" for this week's "Honda" tournament - not sure yet who w/d'd or whether he received an invite, but he's now in the field - sure this is a bonus start for him.


Rickie Fowler defending this week - last year's win was his only proper victory since Abu Dhabi in early 2016. #overdue

Mr Streaky. Doesn't seem to hold it together for 4 rounds very often these days.

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Re: PGA Tour: The California Riviera: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 8:35 pm

GPB wrote:Rob Bolton's is pretty quick to update the field changes on his twitter feed.  Thats how I knew those players had opted out.

Re:  SiWoo Kim.  Hard to believe that the reigning Players winner is not exempt for the WGC-Mexico.

Edit:  I still have Honda as a OWGR-54, with SWK and Dechambeau's WD.


Good tip re: Rob Bolton, I never think of that!

super: I reckon Rickie Fowler is pretty good, much better short and mental game than when he started out, but there must be something missing, not quite sure what after nearly ten years of near misses.

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Re: PGA Tour: The California Riviera: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 11:27 pm

Jeopardy Trivia:
If I had been told "Ed (son of Jack) Fryatt, Greg Owen and Gary Christian before 2017" were the answer, I might have offered a somewhat inappropriate question.
What would your's be?

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Re: PGA Tour: The California Riviera: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Mon 19 Feb 2018, 11:51 pm

"Who are three guys that have never been in my kitchen?"

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Re: PGA Tour: The California Riviera: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 1:02 am

I doubt there's irrefutable proof of that.

And it is certainly not a clue that I've watched Ed Fryatt's Dad play footie and posed a question for Gary C on an old pgatour.com blog about his broadcasting ambitions. As for Greg Owen, did anyone in PGA Tour history ever exemplify the term journeyman, in a millionaire sort of way, as much as G.O.?


Nothing to do with the above, or even the PGA Tour, but interesting to read the sparkling reviews on Greg Norman's Al Mouj course in Oman. Can't wait for Mac's opinion, or his thoughts on Augusta National's plans for lengthening the Par-4 5th hole in time for the 2019 Masters. Seems the long hitters like it, the short hitters hate it. Modern day architecture (if that word still applies) I suppose.

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Re: PGA Tour: The California Riviera: Notes from the Ballwasher

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