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

First topic message reminder :

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 about Chris Stroud, Bobby Gates, etc:

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 BlueCoverman on Wed 04 Apr 2018, 10:27 am

Think we're talking South African rather than German...


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

Post by pedro on Wed 04 Apr 2018, 11:01 am

BlueCoverman wrote:Think we're talking South African rather than German...
Well there’s one guy there, who’s in the field on past champion status (>10 years), who gets more airtime than the rest of the field combined... Very Happy


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

Post by raycastleunited on Wed 04 Apr 2018, 12:16 pm

GPB wrote:Finishing near DFL is finishing 90th in a field of 97.  Not 52nd.

Part of the perks of winning the Masters is the lifetime exemption.

Billy Andrade tells about the first time he played the Masters.  He got to play with Arnold Palmer in Round 1.  What a thrill for a young player to play with a legend of the game.  Billy Andrade attended Wake Forest on the Arnold Palmer scholarship

Golf may be the only sport where a new player can compete and play with a legend of the game.  Tom Brady never got to compete against Jim Brown.  Federer never got to play against Bjorn.  Serena never got to play against Chris Evert.

Mize, Lyle, Woosnam etc are not taking a spot from anyone, as if they don't play, no one else get to play  (unlike the Open and PGA)

I don't understand the angst about Past Champs playing the Masters.  IMO, it is part of what makes the Masters the best Golf Tournament of the Year.  I wouldn't want it changed.   #1 Ranked Amateur Joaquin Niemann from Chile gets to play with Fred Couples.  I thought he would play with Cabrera, but nevertheless, what a thrill for him.  Amateur Corey Conners from Canada played with Mike Weir a couple of years ago.  Past meets Future.  I like it.

I think it is one dimensional thinking to criticize the policy of allowing past champs to play the Masters.

Well said.

Watching golf is so much more than just the OWGR. That's why all tournaments offer sponsors' invitations and exemptions.

I love the past v future element to the Masters on the Thursday and Friday, as long as the old boys are vaguely competitive.

The Masters is first and foremost entertainment. I would much rather watch a bit of Couples or Langer ahead of Russell Henry and Patton Kizzire, let alone some guy ranked 100th in the world who is missing out this week. As long as when it comes to Sunday afternoon we have the world's best fighting it out... and we usually do.


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

Post by raycastleunited on Wed 04 Apr 2018, 12:22 pm

Diggers wrote:
pedro wrote:
Diggers wrote:IMO, 10 years would be a more than generous winners exception. After that, if you can't qualify you shouldn't be playing.
But, as Super has pointed out, I am a joy killing bar steward.
No Tiger then... Whistle

Not if he hadn't won it in the past 10 years or qualified this year.

He hasn't won in the last 10 years or qualified via ranking / recent performance. Tiger is in the field purely as an old timer. Same for Langer and Couples who often seem to feature on the first page of the leaderboard.

This is why you are a joy killing bar steward!


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

Post by Diggers on Wed 04 Apr 2018, 2:28 pm

The difference between Langer and Couples compared to Woods is they are happy to take the old timers tour cash even though they could possibly still compete on the real tour. Woods might not have made this Masters but he's back on track to be qualifying automatically.
I know a lot of people like to see Langer and Couples, I like Freddie but they are both cheat stick devotees so are on my villain list anyway.


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

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