PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 1:36 pm

1).Bay Hill saw another wonderful tournament to add to a string of them on Tour this year. Great to see a glimpse of the Rory we used to take for granted, and amazing that he's already chalked up 14 PGA Tour wins. He has a pretty good success rate, too. Of those Pros under the age of 50 who have 8 or more wins on Tour, Rory's hit rate is 2nd only to Tiger:

2).Top Ten:
Woods earned the "W" at a rate of 23.7% of the tournaments he's played.
Rory: 10.3
Spieth: 8.2
Thomas: 7.8
Dustin: 7.5
Phil: 7.4
Day: 5.1
Scott: 4.5
Ernie: 4.2
Bubba: 3.6

3).There were a number of notable caddie/player divorces last season and it's perhaps noteworthy that Day, Mickelson and McIlroy have now all won since dispensing with Swatton, Bones and JP. Not sure if that's significant or not!

4).Tiger Woods is back as a force on the PGA Tour. I'd say he's been extremely impressive, great work by him and his surgeon, though interesting that the recent Golf Digest piece about Tiger's chances at Augusta included one or two aspersions cast by "insiders" about fact or fiction regarding his medical history.
Who knows, but I'd expect that the Woods we saw in Florida would be a serious contender whenever he teed it up. Plus, just as Cantlay and Rahm did last year, Tont will continue to rocket up the world golf rankings even without a win. Consistently good finishes will bring him into the Top 50 (and the "Bridgestone" for instance) by virtue of his low "divisor", and he'll likely stay there unless his form deteriorates sharply.

5).I can't warm to DeChambeau. Dread the idea of following him and Tyrrell Hatton in any tournament, too many amateur dramatics, plus he's so bl00dy slow - he and Stenson told to get a shift on during both weekend rounds at Bay Hill.

6).As mused on Sunday, don't think Stenson does well playing with someone who plays even slower than him - not sure who he was with, but he was paired with someone who was getting bad times at Bay Hill one of the years that Every won, and H started to get out of rhythm that year just as he clearly did on Sunday. And he hasn't done well playing with Spieth either.
Regardless, Henrik's record at Bay Hill is remarkable: The past six years he's finished T8, T5, 2nd, T3, cut, 4th.

7).It seems as if we're coming to the end of the foreplay of the Tour season - we've seen almost all of the Top 15 strut their stuff in the run up to The Masters, with only Spieth & Rickie and the injured Hideki & Koepka not really showing much form. But I'm always interested in the next level down and several golfers (who would be under the bookies' radar) below the top level had decent weeks at Bay Hill; Charley Hoffman (could fancy him to make another of his runs at Augusta), Chris Kirk and Ryan Moore will be worth keeping an eye on, and Kevin Chappell is quietly having a fine spell of form: Only out of the Top 31 once (missed cut) so far, and could see him winning again soon.

8).Let's hope there'll be new dates for both March WGC's when the revised Tour calendar is published later this year. As it is we're stuck with a diminished field for the MatchPlay, whether because of players' schedules or the format is difficult to say. As it is, we've lost Round 1 of the MatchPlay which I, for one, thought was one of the more compelling days of the season's golf.
The only two in this year's field who have qualified for (EDIT:) both of the last 16's in Austin are Johnsons, Dustin & Zach. No idea for likely contenders, but hope Casey & Rahm have good weeks.

9).There's the opportunity for a trip to the Caribbean for those outside the owgr Top 70, as the "opposite Field" event takes the Tour to the Dominican Republic, and the Corales Championship, formerly a web.com venue. There's a decent turn-out for about the Top 120 players, but many of the remaining dozen places are filled by guys ("veteran players" admittedly) who can't make it on the Champions Tour to the exclusion of some Tour nearly men who had a poor year in 2017. Arguments pro and con, I know, but I don't like it!
But Chris Wood is in the house, plus Zanotti, Grillo, Paul Dunne and McDowell. Kinda surprised more ET members didn't wangle invites.
One of the Tour's "bright young things" who came out of the US College system with accolades (plus 2 x Walker Cup appearances) and sponsor exemptions lavished upon him is playing, Patrick Rodgers. He ranked T3 in weekend play at Bay Hill, behind Rory (-13) and Rosey (-10) and tied with O'Hair at -7. (Woods was -6 for perspective.) Still only 25, I can see him breaking through this season. Grillo for me though, this week anyway.

10).OK, Golfers who haven't won on the European or PGA Tours since their last Major win in the past 40 years:
10 x Multiple winners: North, Trevino, Green, Nicklaus, Strange, Crenshaw, Janzen, O'Meara, Stewart, Spieth.
13 with one win: Grady, Baker Finch, Brooks, Duval, Beem, Micheel, Hamilton, Immelman, Cink, Clarke, Willett, Walker, Koepka.
Grady and IB-F both won in Australia, Duval in Japan and Immelman when relegated to web.com action.
Would think there are a few good candidates for a worse record than Danny Willett, but I'll leave that to you!


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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 2:44 pm

Hadn't seen this before, but happy to see John Senden returning to action after his son's health issues:

https://www.pgatour.com/webcom/tour-insider/2018/03/21/john-senden-son-jacob-brain-tumor-battle.html

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 4:35 pm

Luke List - bent his putter. Using lofted club.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 4:37 pm

Kwini, re. your last point in note 8; am I correct in saying that the 14 other group winners from last year are not playing due to slipping rankings or other reasons? Wonder how many are down to ranking volatility?
Cheer, Grumps

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 4:43 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Hadn't seen this before, but happy to see John Senden returning to action after his son's health issues:

https://www.pgatour.com/webcom/tour-insider/2018/03/21/john-senden-son-jacob-brain-tumor-battle.html

Thanks for highlighting this Kwini. I followed his final round at Plainfield a few years back and was chatting with his swing coach who was happy to share some insights of working with a tour player.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 4:51 pm

1GrumpyGolfer wrote:Kwini, re. your last point in note 8; am I correct in saying that the 14 other group winners from last year are not playing due to slipping rankings or other reasons?  Wonder how many are down to ranking volatility?
Cheer, Grumps


Ah ha,
A typo!
I missed out the word "both". I'll insert an edit, thanks Grumps.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 5:39 pm

O'Meara won on the EuroT after his Open Championship.

in Dubai in 2004 (as well as the unofficial Wentworth MatchPlay)

Edit...the Senden link is working now.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Lairdy on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 7:39 pm

Hi Kwini, hope all is well. Been a while since I’ve been able to get on here but good to see the Notes still going. It’s been fascinating stuff this season so far.

Reckon you were a week too early with your Noren pick. I fancy Cabrera-Bello as another euro to do well this week. Grace for the ROTW and.... the resurgent Phil for the yanks.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 8:22 pm

Hey Lairdy, Yup, good here, better if the temp ever reaches the 40'sF.

Grace getting a drubber from Bubba at the minute.

Far more higher ranked players winning today, kinda surprising lack of surprises (Rory excepted of course).

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Lairdy on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 8:27 pm

Bubba out in 28! He’s a happy Bubba at the moment. Another to add to the Augusta hotpot.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 8:51 pm

Would like to see Cameron Smith qualify for The Masters - 50th in the owgr's at the moment and the deadline for qualifying this week. His win today helps a little.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 8:59 pm

Will money/OWGR points be decided on matches won/lost or will all the losing 48 get the same amount?

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 9:25 pm

INW, I think points are based on position within the group so wins will count/mean something even if they have no chance of qualifying by the time the final match is played.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 9:34 pm

Thanks Grumps. That makes sense.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Wed 21 Mar 2018, 10:57 pm

I'm never wrong wrote:Will money/OWGR points be decided on matches won/lost or will all the losing 48 get the same amount?

Decided on matches won/lost.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 22 Mar 2018, 12:52 am

GPB wrote:
I'm never wrong wrote:Will money/OWGR points be decided on matches won/lost or will all the losing 48 get the same amount?

Decided on matches won/lost.


I think you can get a pretty good idea from looking at last year's results how FedEx pts and money are distributed.
It doesn't help much for owgr pts but, to take the Cameron Smith example, he can't finish worse than 1 win, 2 losses and that would have earned just 2.26 owgr pts last year. Slightly different this year probably but pretty much the same.

https://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/wgc-dell-technologies-match-play/past-results.html

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Thu 22 Mar 2018, 1:14 am

Yeah, if Cam Smith doesn't make the Final 16, he has got to hope that nobody right behind him makes the final 16.

Ikeda & Kizzire are in a virtual tie with Smith at #50 (and 51,52) so if they outperform Cam, he will most likely fall behind them.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 22 Mar 2018, 10:46 am

There'll be balls in the air shortly as the "opposite field" Corales Puntacana tournament gets underway in the Dominican; for some reason, the field I was looking at didn't include Paul Dunne, but he seems to be there and Note 9). above has been edited accordingly.
Seamus Power also on hand for an important start for him as early season promise has once again fizzled.
Hoping Chris Wood continues his decent form, and still surprised that more Europeans, whether Tour members or not, haven't taken a spot in the field.
Luke Donald for one could use some more reps before his fifth Major, the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 22 Mar 2018, 5:55 pm

Glad I mentioned Kevin Chappell's strong recent form - he just got clobbered by Tommy Fleetwood.
Plus Noren has ensured Pieters can take the weekend off.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 22 Mar 2018, 6:26 pm

Just found out about players tying. Or tieing. They play off - previous match between them doesn’t count.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Thu 22 Mar 2018, 7:06 pm

First time I've ever seen Daniel Berger, if he doesn't make it in the Golf game, he can always play the ukulele in the Deliverance remake.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 22 Mar 2018, 7:14 pm

Poulter wins again! Good man.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Thu 22 Mar 2018, 7:17 pm

How far would Poulter need to get for a Masters invite?

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 22 Mar 2018, 7:19 pm

About 4 1/2 owgr pts now for Poults - two more wins and, according to princedrac, he'd be in. Hopefully, though, he'll have five more wins.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 12:58 am

What do we know after Round 2?

These are all toast:
Dustin Johnson, Kizzire, List, Rahm, Bradley, Li, Charl, Miyazato, Vegas, Frittelli, Sharma, Berger, Fitz, Leishman, Hoffman, Pieters, Na, Kodaira, Woodland, Perez, Zach Johnson.
The remaining 43 still have some sort of chance.


EDIT: Casey, Hatton & Poults all just need a half to win. Fish, Fleetwood (same group as Poulter) & Rory are still in it.


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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 12:59 am

Meanwhile, decent opening rounds in the Dominican for Dunne, Power & McDool.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 8:42 am

Ha, would love to see Poults do well here. Would make a case for himself for the RC.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 10:46 am

pedro wrote:Ha, would love to see Poults do well here. Would make a case for himself for the RC.


Yup, This is crucially important for Poulter's season, pretty much in the same way that his Players performance was last year.
If he should qualify for the last 16, he'd play against the winner of the Day, Dufner, Louis, Hahn group, who are all currently tied on one point apiece. Definitely a play-off there, four-way if both matches today are halved!

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 12:05 pm

Every match on Wednesday mattered. And every match on Thursday mattered.
But not on Friday with 21 (20 according to the GC, not sure why the difference) golfers with no chance of winning the MatchPlay nevertheless competing where their result will affect other players.
As Paul Casey is quoted as saying: "It's frustrating when you know you can't possibly win the golf event. None of us turn up here to gain some points. It's to try and win an event."
Certainly Poulter, Cam Smith, Charlie Howell, Hahn, Uihlein, Suri, Levy might beg to differ as they still have the chance to scrape into The Masters, but I'd much rather revert to straight knockout, give the Friday charades a miss.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 12:16 pm

I get Paul's point. But isn't it similar to being 15 shots after going into round 4 of a regular event? Or having shot an 83 in the first round?

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 12:34 pm

pedro wrote:I get Paul's point. But isn't it similar to being 15 shots after going into round 4 of a regular event? Or having shot an 83 in the first round?

It is! But that would just affect one player, the golfer himself - here there are examples of pros playing matches that indirectly affect others. The old adage about protecting the field doesn't seem to apply here.
The competitiveness of Dustin Johnson's match against Kisner, for instance, affects Hadwin & Wiesberger; does Rahm put forward his best effort vs Barnrat? etc, etc.
And, as GC rightly says, Casey himself is in a similar match vs Matt Fitz.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 3:12 pm

Meanwhile, back in the Caribbean, Chris Wood had a nice opening nine holes this morning following his one under par 71 on Thursday. -4 for his front nine, -5 (and up to 19th place) now.
Whilst McDowell is the snake to Wood's ladder, +3 for his round today and in danger of spending his weekend on the beach.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 4:27 pm

To Pedro's point:

I have yet to see a player complain about playing a tournament round when they start the 4th round on Sunday morning 16 shots from the lead and 10 shots from a Top 10.

The b*tch*ng is tiresome. Poulter has complained about it. Stenson boycotts the tournament because of it. and Now Casey is opining with his displeasure.

I like this format better. Sure there are 5 totally meaningless matches, but in the old format, there would be only 8 matches today. Today there are 27 matches that can potentially impact the final 16. IMO, 27 matches is better than 8 matches.

I just don't see the whining about meaningless matches when every single one of these player will play a meaningless round sometime this year when they are T53rd and 15 shots out of the lead on Saturday night.


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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 4:40 pm

Matter of opinion. But I'd prefer just 8 matches if I knew that each match actually meant something.

Meanwhile, happy to see a former winner of this, Hunner Mahan, having a fine round in the Dominican, with another former winner, Geoff Ogilvy, close behind.

Not looking good though for former winner Rory, in this format even, unless he bucks his ideas up.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 5:04 pm

But there are 8 matches that actually mean something. plus 19 other matches that (might) mean something.

And only 5 matches that don't mean anything, and chances are pretty good that you won't see those matches on TV

I just don't understand where 8 is somehow better than 27.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 5:25 pm

Only thing I would say is, under the old format, there were:
32 matches that meant something on Wednesday.
16 on Thursday.
With real consequences to the loser.

But then I don't regard the Ryder Cup as an exhibition either.

Talking of which, in the matches that DO matter today, poor starts so far for Rory and Paul Casey, early stumbles by Sergio & Franny.


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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 5:47 pm

Brian Harman the first man to advance. Rory an ignominious goner.
And Casey could well be keeping his fingers crossed that Stanley & Henley play to a half, otherwise he could have a play-off unless he can cut into Fitz's lead.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 6:50 pm

GPB wrote:To Pedro's point:

I have yet to see a player complain about playing a tournament round when they start the 4th round on Sunday morning 16 shots from the lead and 10 shots from a Top 10.

The b*tch*ng is tiresome.  Poulter has complained about it.  Stenson boycotts the tournament because of it.  and Now Casey is opining with his displeasure.

I like this format better.  Sure there are 5 totally meaningless matches, but in the old format, there would be only 8 matches today. Today there are 27 matches that can potentially impact the final 16. IMO, 27 matches is better than 8 matches.

I just don't see the whining about meaningless matches when every single one of these player will play a meaningless round sometime this year when they are T53rd and 15 shots out of the lead on Saturday night.


Some players like Jeff Overton play nothing but meaningless rounds. Good point though.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 6:57 pm

Kwini

Rory is back.
avatar
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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 6:59 pm

Europe not winning a single match so far, except Fitz over Casey.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 7:02 pm

Is there a possibility that a few of these guys aren't really trying with Augusta just round the corner?
McIlroy laughably claimed he was "tired" coming into this week. Could it be they just want to get put out as quickly as possibly in order to prepare for Augusta?

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 7:09 pm

Stupid date whichever way you look at it. Casey's caddie took the week off - it's not just the players . . . . . . . . !
And surely not the most attractive course they could have chosen?

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 7:28 pm

I think Austin CC is stunning!

Of course the driving range net and the overhead electrical wires on the 17th tee are eyesores.

The course is beautiful.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 7:51 pm

Austin CC?

It may be, I just don't see much flow to the course, and I never care for apparently artificially created/contrived forced carries.

Much prefer the golf course to the stock market of the past month.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by NedB-H on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 9:24 pm

Agree with GPB on the course, it can be harder to get an idea of a venue sometimes when watching matchplay but what I've seen has impressed me so far.

But agree with Kwini on the format. I get the point about more golf to watch today, but for a better Friday we've traded in a more exciting Wednesday and Thursday, in my opinion. And after that you get to the round of sixteen and beyond which is the same anyway. So net loss of one good day.
Besides I don't see that things needed changing. Aren't we always hearing about the need for golf to become less repetitive and have more innovation in tournaments? Why not have one straight knockout every year and a second tournament with round robin. There's enough stroke play tournaments....



Anyone know what's happened to Kev Chappell? Showing a Poults win by concession, which is a bummer for Fleetwood.

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 9:49 pm

IMO, Wednesday in this format is the same as Wednesday in the prior format. 32 matches which not one player wants to lose

Thursday, again 32 matches in this format, vs 16 in the old format. And again, every player wants to win their match.

Friday. 32 matches in this format vs 8 in the old format. This time, there 5 matches that were totally meaningless as far as advancement to the R16. But that means there were 5 matches that were just like the old format (such as Reed/Spieth) and 22 matches that had some bearing on the overall outcome.

It just seems as though you are asking for $80 and you are disappointed when you are given $270.

GPB

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by sirbenson on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 10:15 pm

Noren is absolutely clutch, only a matter of time before he wins on the PGA Tour

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 10:38 pm

Chappell said his back was not right according to ET website

I'm never wrong

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by sirbenson on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 10:45 pm

DJ hit a drive 489 yards! haha! I know it's downhill and downwind but that's crazy!

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Fri 23 Mar 2018, 10:50 pm

Westwood and Kaymer in the Houston Open field.

GPB

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Re: PGA Tour: WGC:MatchPlay & Dominican: Notes from the Ballwasher

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