PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 2:33 pm

1).Houston has a problem, no sponsor! And the very real possibility that it might be one of the tournaments left standing without a seat when the PGA Tour's "Musical Chairs" department publishes its schedule for 2019. Shell looked after the event for more than 20 years before abruptly capping it's gusher prior to last year's event. Houston has been preoccupied since then with more important things, like life, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey's invasion last summer; the GC of Houston was mostly underwater, but by all accounts is in fine condition again for today's action - though overnight storms may have left a puddle or two.
Nice article on pgatour.com about Chris Stroud, Bobby Gates, etc:
https://www.pgatour.com/news/2017/12/14/chris-stroud-texas-charity-hurricane-harvey-relief.html


2).The Houston tournament has offered an attractive warm-up destination for Masters competitors; apart from the winner earning the last invitation from the Hooties, green complexes are manicured to go someway to replicating those that might be anticipated at Augusta. The pre-Masters week next year will go to San Antonio, an event which, despite a lousy date (usually) on the schedule and a course that's never been fully embraced by Tour regulars, thrives with a long-term sponsor - Valero - and one of the largest charitable contributions of the Tour year.
Unless I'm mistaken, the juxtaposition (if Houston keeps its tournament) of 2019 dates is a one-off quirk caused by the calendar, as in 2013 when Martin Laird won (from R.McIlroy), but it surely adds to the uncertainty.

3).Will Tour players flock to San Antonio if the pre-Masters date switch DOES turn out to be permanent? Not likely if JB Holmes, winner at Houston in 2015, is to be believed: I think the Tour "will be surprised with the people who normally play (Houston) who won't play (Valero)".

4).Martin Kaymer returns from injury this week and he's one of a number of Europeans who are in danger of missing the FedEx Play-Offs as we close in on the halfway point of the pre play-offs season. Currently outside the all-important Top 125 are:
130th: Pieters -Terrible season so far, streaky is fine so long as there are some good streaks to go with the bad - 13th at the "Honda" is his only Top 25 finish in a PGA Tour event since August, second since Augusta.
139th: Jaeger - some promising starts, heart of his season still ahead of him.
154th: Lingmerth
178th: Blixt
185th: Donald - Luke's Major comes in a fortnight, at Harbour Town. No Top Ten there and you'd think a fine career is fizzling out.
190th: Fisher - Deja vu, incomprehensible, Lowry-like, scheduling, with only four events played so far. Imagine he'll be foregoing his "privileges" by default.
194th: Lowry - Speechless.
211th: Davis - Lucrative journeyman career fizzling out.
218th: Harrington - Only Past Champ status this year, presumably will take a "career earnings" exemption for 2019.
223th: Chopra
234th: Kaymer

5).Not much to say about the MatchPlay last week, d'ya think? Bubba a worthy winner, interesting to see guys like Poults and Kisner (and Thomas?) "hit the wall" - and disappointing to see Noren's putter go cold when he needed just one more holed putt to put Kis away. By and large a missed opportunity for a number of Europeans, and their limited field, easy pickings tournament opportunities are dwindling rapidly.

6).Irish eyes smiled for Power and Paul Dunne last week in the Dominican Republic, Dunners' return to form earning him a place in Houston this week, alongside Padraig, Shane & Seamus.

7).Paul Casey won Houston nine years ago, but has largely avoided the place since, or "mailed it in", one 9th place finish excepted.
Don't know why players avoid events they've done well at, but then he's only returned to the Irish Open once, and the KLM not at all, since winning each event to help resurrect his career 4 or 5 years ago. As "snap hook" remarked on his "villain" Poulter in his very excellent post on last week's thread: Don't forget you meet the same people on your way down as you do on your way up, or words to that effect.

8).An exception to that would be gents like Steve Stricker whose invitation to "Houston" when he was down on his uppers, with only "past champion" status remaining, helped lift his career back from beyond the brink. He's almost always returned to Houston since, and is back in the field this week as he continues to double-dip, two wins in two weeks as the new sheriff in town on the Champions Tour.

9).Last year, my one-and-done for Houston banked on the confluence of decent current form and consistent course form: Russell Henley had finished 45-7-4-5th in his career at Houston, and won by three. Not sure he's playing quite as well coming in as he was last year, but knocking at the winner's door is Luke List, and I like his e.w. chances, provided he doesn't have to putt with his wedge.  

10).Lastly, a shout out to "snap hook" for his "Heroes and Villains" post on last week's Ballwasher thread. Don't necessarily agree with his choices but that's the point.
Hope he reposts as a stand alone thread. Otherwise, interesting and thought-provoking . . . . . . (as in McLaren's and Shotrock's five "villains", presumably Garcia x 5.)


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 1:37 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Roller_Coaster on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 2:56 pm

Christ - we're not limiting Super to only 5 "villains" are we? Unless he nominates continents, there's just not the scope!!! Smile

Good notes as per. Still amazes me that the regular season is around halfway done. The Masters will always be the curtain raiser for my personal interest in results!

Match play - Watson a worthy winner indeed. Don't care who does and doesn't like him, or why. The way he plays is always interesting and a classic feast or famine, "ooh amazing" or "ooh, that's awful" his consistency in his inconsistency is still refreshing.

Note 4. Please tell me Jaeger is a long hitter. Never heard of him, but the chance for a Jaeger-bomb pun would be ruined if he's merely average off the tee.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by sirbenson on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 3:03 pm

Great article Kwini!
The Shell Houston has always been my favourite tournament the week before a major, shame that it's ceasing or getting moved!

Talking about golfing villains
Garcia by a mile! For some reason he has a huge following? Who knows why!

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 7:17 pm

I can see why people dislike Garcia, but if you've ever seen him close up hit a ball, you might see why he has a large following.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 8:08 pm

Not sure who my five "Heroes" would be, but let's try:

1).Tony Jacklin
2).Seve
3).Used to love watching Calcavecchia - most aggressive/fastest top player I've followed.
4).Rest of the '87 Ryder Cup winning team.
5).Rest of the '95 Ryder Cup winning team.

Villains would include:
1).Kevin Na - slow, obnoxious, ill-mannered.
2).Peter Dawson - because he comes across as such a stuck-up prat.
3).Whoever the head Hootie is - tho' they do manage to put on a wonderful tournament despite themselves.
4).Tim Finchem - brilliant businessman but can't stand him.
5).Drumpf - ruined the Doral course and lost the tournament. There's a metaphor there somewhere but better not go there.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 8:22 pm

Off to watch some baseball. But looks like par for the day is about 70, only 7 players above par as the early birds finish their rounds.

Happy to see Lucas Glover emerging from hibernation, wonderful "ball striker".

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by sirbenson on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 9:34 pm

Great round from Paddy!

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by NedB-H on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 10:54 pm

Thanks for another great set of notes Kwini. Most surprising point of all for me was that Kaymer has membership this year. Obviously still only 4 years since he won the Players and the US Open, but I would have swore blind that he’d jacked in tour status (again) and was just playing on invites. He will be soon anyway. Something of a wasted talent.

Good to see Calc getting a mention. Ryder Cup biases aside always been on my shortlist of favourite American players, along with the obvious (Phil, Freddie, JD) and the less so (Goydos, Ben Curtis, Robbie Castro). Speaking of which, thanks for the reminder of just what a good guy Stricker is.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 11:28 pm

sirbenson wrote:Great round from Paddy!

Ditto Seamus Power, after a poor start as well. Phil on phire.

Yup, Thanks Ned, Kaymer has re-upped on the Tour, but he needs to secure some top finishes, will really struggle to get in 15 (or 14 or whatever it now might be) tournaments before season's end. And, if these guys don't make the play-offs, what's the point?

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 1:46 am

sirbenson wrote:Great round from Paddy!

Team Ireland -20, with Dunners (-6 after 14) still to finish. guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness guinness

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Hibbz on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 6:17 am

Right, own up who was it told Poulter T126 was enough to qualify for The Masters?

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 11:46 am

Hot Cross Buns being served with bacon sarnies no doubt on the Houston practice range this morning.

Should be good weather for Poults when he finishes his round (don't imagine even the pros fancy starting their day on the 18th tee) and forecast now fine for the rest of the weekend.

Weather for Augusta next week looks a bit of a mixed bag - much of the Eastern US suffered thru a cold March (Feb was warmer in lots of places) but weather to start the week looks warm and dry, cooler and iffier from Wednesday on.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 12:43 pm

As Poults once said: Soon it’ll just be Tiger and me. ...Watching The Masters on tele.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by beninho on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 2:29 pm

Don't think Kaymer is a wasted talent. 2 majors and a players and a stint at world number 1 puts him above the vast majority of any that have played!

Saw AK on a video on twitter, now thats a wasted talent.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 2:41 pm

AK IS a wasted talent . . . . . . and Shane Lowry kicks off Round 2 with a birdie.

Paul Dunne completed Round 1 with 2 more birdies and that leaves him with the first round lead at -8. Note that there seems some confusion as to Dunners' score on #18, but it looks provisionally as if he signed for a 64 clap .

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 4:08 pm

Re JB Holmes comment

I think I saw that only 19 players already exempt for the Masters is playing Houston this week.

Perhaps fewer than that will play Texas, but I don't think it will be significant.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 4:51 pm

I'd have to check, but this looks a weaker Houston field than we've been used to seeing . . . . . .

But here comes Poults, determined to get a card from the Chief Hootie.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 5:56 pm

beninho wrote:Don't think Kaymer is a wasted talent. 2 majors and a players and a stint at world number 1 puts him above the vast majority of any that have played!

Saw AK on a video on twitter, now thats a wasted talent.

I think AK, (as much as he's a complete knob) has been very savvy. I heard he had an "injury" insurance policy which pays out $6m per year. If he goes back on tour, he loses that.
Now, there's part of me who thinks that if you're richer than Croesus you should be trying to slake your competitive urges, but on the other hand, it's easy to see why an average player is content to coin in more than he'd ever win in prize money.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 6:35 pm

$6M a year?
Heard about the insurance policy, but $6M? Per annum?? That's extraordinary. To say the very least.

Poults and Lowry both with very nice rounds going. Both need 'em but good to see.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 6:42 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:$6M a year?
Heard about the insurance policy, but $6M? Per annum?? That's extraordinary. To say the very least.

Poults and Lowry both with very nice rounds going. Both need 'em but good to see.

You know what these stories are like Kwini, they grow arms and legs, I've heard £10m total and $20 total etc, either way, he's probably doing better than if he was on tour.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by beninho on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 6:44 pm

I have no idea why he is a knob, he's been off the radar for years. Heard a clip from Na who saw him in Vegas recently just enjoying himself. But 6m a year is insane, why the hell would you bot cash in on that.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 7:04 pm

I've no idea if it's 100% accurate, but seems he's doing very well without having to play, but like that girl who won $1000 a week for life, only on a bigger scale.

If someone offered me $millions to not play golf, I'm sure I could find enjoyable ways to spend the money.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 7:40 pm

Poulter on fire. 8 under for today jumps him 109 places (as of now). I think he'll make the cut. I think Pedro's warning was acknowledged.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Hibbz on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 7:51 pm

Hibbz wrote:Right, own up who was it told Poulter T126 was enough to qualify for The Masters?

In my face. That's a great effort today.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by I'm never wrong on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 7:53 pm

Apologies Hibbz, thought it was Pedro.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 8:01 pm

Poulter is such an enigma. World class on his day, journeyman for the rest.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 8:21 pm

Kwini: I think you queried about Boo Weekley a few weeks ago. He just committed to play the Colonial....er....um...make that the Fort Worth Invitational.

I don't see BOO in the provisional RBC Heritage field, but I do see Darren Clarke as a sponsors invite

https://rbcheritage.com/news/2018-rbc-heritage-provisional-field

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 8:35 pm

GPB wrote:Kwini:  I think you queried about Boo Weekley a few weeks ago.  He just committed to play the Colonial....er....um...make that the Fort Worth Invitational.

I don't see BOO in the provisional RBC Heritage field, but I do see Darren Clarke as a sponsors invite

https://rbcheritage.com/news/2018-rbc-heritage-provisional-field

Thanks,

DC threw away a winning position many years ago, the year that Lonard won, when Clarke's wife was very sick - perhaps there's a goodwill gesture there from the Heritage.

Top effort from Poulter, how ironic if he could somehow conjure a "W". Maybe, just maybe? Nah.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 8:50 pm

Datagolf has really GEEKED out in golf.

They think Poulter has a 0.79% chance of winning.

Rickie is their favorite, currently at 22.12% chance of winning

If you are numbers man like I am, this predictive model is interesting.

http://datagolf.ca/live-predictive-model/

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 8:57 pm

GPB,
That's a yuuuuuge predicted chance for Rickie vs the rest, about 7/2 which is a green flag for anyone wanting to bet on most of the "others".


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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by NedB-H on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 9:05 pm

That probably reflects the names around him as much as anything Kwini. Taking it in isolation do we see Hossler winning this? Maybe. Dunne or Buuuud Cauley? Probably not. Bronson the Goon or Sam Ryder? Almost certainly not, apt golf name aside. Rickie isn’t great at closing things out himself, but there’s not a host of alternatives up there.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 9:14 pm

Stupid trousers Fowler has joined the 3 out of 4 round club lately. I'd be surprised if he won it.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 9:25 pm

NedB-H wrote:That probably reflects the names around him as much as anything Kwini. Taking it in isolation do we see Hossler winning this? Maybe. Dunne or Buuuud Cauley? Probably not. Bronson the Goon or Sam Ryder? Almost certainly not, apt golf name aside. Rickie isn’t great at closing things out himself, but there’s not a host of alternatives up there.


I could easily see Bud Cauley winning soon - but his best chance maybe in New Orleans playing w/Justin Thomas. IJP teamed up w/McDool for that incidentally.

Thing is, this week there are so many low scores out there, and just a few shots back are the posse, Rosey, H, Kuchar, maybe others by day's end.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by NedB-H on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 9:28 pm

Poulter/McDowell will be fun, not half as odd as the Jon Rahm/Wes Bryan pairing that’s been announced though. Would never have picked that.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Hibbz on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 9:47 pm

GPB wrote:Datagolf has really GEEKED out in golf.

They think Poulter has a 0.79% chance of winning.

Rickie is their favorite, currently at 22.12% chance of winning

If you are numbers man like I am, this predictive model is interesting.

http://datagolf.ca/live-predictive-model/

That is tremendous for those of us that enjoy such things. Bookmarked immediately thanks GPB. Would love to know what the percentages are made up of.  Will be interesting to compare to in play bookmakers odds which are more influenced by liabilities already incurred.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 9:49 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:GPB,
That's a yuuuuuge predicted chance for Rickie vs the rest, about 7/2 which is a green flag for anyone wanting to bet on most of the "others".

Agree, right now, 25%. Rickie with only 4 wins in his PGATour career. No way he can be that high.

Rickie has 6 Euro and PGATour wins in his career. All of them were rated at OWGR 50 or higher. Both of his EuroT wins were OWGR-50 or higher.

I don't think anyone else with at least 6 wins on these tours can say that all their wins were OWGR 50 or higher. All of Rory's PGATour wins are higher than OWGR 50, but he has at least one Euro win that is lower.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 9:55 pm

Hibbz wrote:

That is tremendous for those of us that enjoy such things. Bookmarked immediately thanks GPB. Would love to know what the percentages are made up of.  Will be interesting to compare to in play bookmakers odds which are more influenced by liabilities already incurred.

No problem

Here is a recent article on how the model was built.

http://datagolf.ca/a-predictive-model-of-tournament-outcomes-on-the-pga-tour/

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 30 Mar 2018, 11:15 pm

Spieth doing his best Lord Baltimore . . . . . . . I see he's up to about 15/2.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 12:31 pm

OK, Rickie Fowler still has 89 horses to beat if he's to justify favouritism for "Houston", so there'll be a 54-hole cut later this evening.

Should be a lovely day for Round 3, but with enough of a breeze to dry the course out a bit more and keep the scores from going too low.

Action at Walsall and Houston starts at 3.00 p.m. Selhurst Park time.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 4:32 pm

Mickelson is bogey free this week.

But he has made two triple bogeys and a double.

Phil being Phil.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 6:21 pm

Poults up to T3. Would you Adam and Eve it?
Rose, Harrington, Westwood, Lowry, Stenson & Pieters all in reverse, defying the scoring average of the first 36 holes. Disappointing.
54-hole cut will likely be at -4, so Pieters & Padraig heading for Easter Sunday at home, possibly Phil too.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by NedB-H on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 8:49 pm

Poults going solo, logjam behind him though. But this is as well as I’ve seen him strike the ball for years. Maybe the time to point out that he has strokeplay wins on four different continents but not Nortg America...

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 9:17 pm

Poulter really wanting to play in The Masters.

If only he had this focus more often. I wonder if they still think his chance of winning is still 0.79%?

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 9:28 pm

super_realist wrote:Poulter really wanting to play in The Masters.

If only he had this focus more often. I wonder if they still think his chance of winning is still 0.79%?

Did you rush out to your local bookie to get IJP at 120/1?

The model is dynamic and constantly updating.

Poults is 18% to win as of right now.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by NedB-H on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 9:32 pm

Fowler’s probably longer after this meltdown on the par 5 though.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 9:37 pm

Fowler doing as expected and throwing in a dud round as per usual.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 9:39 pm

GPB wrote:
super_realist wrote:Poulter really wanting to play in The Masters.

If only he had this focus more often. I wonder if they still think his chance of winning is still 0.79%?

Did you rush out to your local bookie to get IJP at 120/1?

The model is dynamic and constantly updating.

Poults is 18% to win as of right now.

Sounds like the Hindsight Model of betting.
I don't expect Poulter to win, as like Fowler he's got a habit of not getting it done. Maybe done enough for the old farts at Augusta to extend an invite though, although not being Asian then they'll probably not bother.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 9:41 pm

"Phil being Phil" but Rickie being Phil too.
Nice interview w/Poults, would love to see him win.

Dunners still going well, and nice finish from H.

Pieters, Harrington & Westwood doing their best to pad datagolf's theories.
EDIT: Padraig +7 over his final five holes. Outathere.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 01 Apr 2018, 1:14 am

I wonder when was the last time The Masters had such a small field?
86? With one more possible; not surprising that Lyle & Woosie hang about. But hopefully Poultie can join them. Hopeful rather than optimistic, agree with supes on this one.

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Sun 01 Apr 2018, 1:31 pm

Seamus getting ready to tee off early this morning...

https://i62.servimg.com/u/f62/18/25/95/53/img_2010.jpg

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Re: PGA Tour: Houston has a Problem: Notes from the Ballwasher

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