PGA Tour: Hello Columbus: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 30 May 2018, 6:21 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).Finally! The Tour caravan leaves the West and the South, for a week anyway, for Columbus, Ohio, and Jack Nicklaus's event, the Memorial Tournament, at his Muirfield Village - a top class event at a fantastic course.
Only Jon Rahm is missing from the world's Top 8 golfers and there won't be a stronger field outside the Majors, some WGC's and The Players all year. Anywhere.

2).Justin Rose is a course specialist, but will he have enough gas in the tank after his brilliant win at Colonial?
Long after his disingenuous nonsense about having to play Colonial as his "plus one" tournament is long forgotten, we'll remember Rosey taking the lead with a -10 start on Thursday and Friday, then repeating the trick over the weekend, spreadeagling the field with only Koepka putting up a realistic challenge.

3).Rose has obviously secured his spot in the Play-Offs, almost certainly has done enough to qualify for East Lake's Tour Championship. But what of other Europeans?
Some have clinched their Top 125 positions and competed frequently enough to be on track to fulfil criteria for playing next year, but others are struggling. Let's have a look:

*Rose, Rahm, Casey, Noren, Poulter, McIlroy, Rafa C-B, Fleetwood, Knox.
And, assuming 400 x FedEx points is the qualifying threshold (altho' stats suggest it'll be more like 375), Cejka and Laird are almost there.

5).But these two have work to do, quality of play and quantity of events played, despite their "Major" exemptions:
*Stenson has the points but only 7 tournaments played. He's playing the next three weeks and will presumably play Carnoustie, Bridgestone and the PGA. And he may "defend" his Greensboro title. Add in the Ryder Cup and Northern Trust and he'll be OK, tho' imagine he'll take a couple of "mental health" weekends during a busy schedule.
*Sergio has spent more time in Kiev and Crans recently than he has on Tour and perhaps he's checked out for the season, what with only 9 events under his belt (does Valspar count as his "extra"?), only a 70th place and four missed cuts since March, and just 316 points earned. He'll presumably play Shinnecock, Carnoustie, Bridgestone and the PGA, but could need another tournament (plus the Ryder Cup) to assure he's OK for 2018/19. Hopefully he'll play Hartford where he's played well in the past.

6).And some others have played often enough but not well enough!
*Molinari was terrific at Wentworth but only has 253 pts in the US. Given that he arguably rescued his Tour career at Memorial a few years ago, this week's action in Brescia comes at a bad time for him.
*Seamus Power (230 pts) will get into most fields after this week, and some of them will be pretty weak. He just needs to rediscover his form.
*McDowell is in trouble, just 216 pts and no finish better than 10th for almost two years. Not in Carnoustie, Bridgestone or the PGA.
*Lowry: 117 pts earned, not in Shinnecock, Bridgestone or the PGA and, barring a miracle, seemingly destined for Past Champion status next season as he loses his Bridgestone exemption. Hello Europe.

7).Whilst this lot seem to have thrown in the towel:
*Pieters, Fisher and Kaymer - none of them on pace to play often enough and certainly none playing well enough to turn their Tour season around, tho' with Pieters especially you never know.

8).Which, apart from one or two sundry Europeans (Lingmerth, Jaeger, Freddie etc), and Donald & Harrington who will take exemptions next year, leaves the enigma that is Tyrrell Hatton.
Hatton has 331 points but played just 9 events. He needs a return to form and to find at least one more event to assure himself of keeping his card. It could be a close run thing, and in the heart of the European season.
He's received a pretty bad press over here, possibly with justification. Iffy schedule; does he have his heart in it?

9).Muirfield Village has its course specialists, Woods obviously, and Justin Rose. Plus Kuchar who comes in to town in his worst form for yonks.
Can't think of a course that should suit Rory any better but his results haven't really reflected that. Time for that to change? 'Course, same could be said of Dustin and Justin (Thomas) too. And the course could be a little softer than they'd like, warm and stormy forecast for Thursday & Friday, clearing out and dry for the weekend.

10).Let's close with congratulations for Paul Broadhurst. 100% Ryder Cup record (in a losing Team effort) but his only Major distinction was the 63 he shot at St.Andrews in 1990.
Until he joined the Senior Tour, that is, and now he's added last week's Senior PGA Championship to the Senior Open he won at Carnoustie in 2016.
With Miguel Angel Jimenez winning the previous week's Tradition, and earlier "W"'s for Broadhurst & Langer, that's a good start for Europeans on the Champions Tour this year - already almost $2.4M of Champions Tour earnings in Broadhurst's bank account plus European Seniors' earnings. Oh to be 50 - if you've already passed that milestone by and can remember Ali MacGraw in Goodbye Columbus, anyway!


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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 06 Jun 2018, 1:51 pm

robopz wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:

Does Memorial Park have the attributes (and infrastructure) necessary to host a successful event?
Yes it does. The course was entirely refurbed a few years ago so it has the bones. But it still needs more work to get up to tour standards. They should be able to get that done in 2 years. And the location is fantastic. Immediately adjacent (3-5 minutes door to door) to Houston's uptown Galleria area... Great amenities for players, fans alike. It would be a truly urban venue... Think if a tournament were to be held in NY's Central Park...

Great! Good luck, Appreciate all the updates robo . . . . . .


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Post by NedB-H on Wed 06 Jun 2018, 6:50 pm

According to pd on twitter Grillo and An are guaranteed to qualify for the US Open via the OWGR. after Memphis, and Billy Horschel or James Hahn can do likewise if they win. I believe the USGA set aside six spots for this possibility which means that three, possibly four places will go to alternates. The “first alternates” from the twelve sectional qualifying sites are:
Riyuka Hoshino
Ryan Evans
Eddie Olson
Nathan Stamey
Bryce Hendrix (am)
Chase Wright
Mark Hoffman
Ted Potter Jr
Corey Conners
Max Greyserman
Scott Piercy
Blaine Hale Jr (am)

Not sure what the order of preference is on the alternates, and not aware of any injury doubts amongst players already in which might open up any more spots. Personally would like to see Evans and Conners make it.

19 amateurs qualified via sectional: Braden Thornberry (3rd in the World Amateur Rankings), Theo Humphrey (10), Shintaro Ban (15), Stewart Hagestad (23), Kristoffer Reitan (27), Chun-An Yu (33), Jacob Bergeron (47), Garrett Rank (74), Cole Miller (78), Ryan Lumsden (100), Luis Gagne (105), Tyler Strafaci (166), Philip Barbaree (196), Franklin Huang (221), Mickey DeMorat (268), Will Grimmer (278), Rhett Rasmussen (332), Sulman Raza (1120) and Timothy Wiseman (1472). All are American except for Reitan (Norway), Yu (Taiwan), Rank (Canada) and Lumsden (Scotland).

They join four amateurs who qualified from last summer’s big tournaments: Doug Ghim, Noah Goodwin, Matt Parziale and Harry Ellis; Doc Rodman and Joaquin Niemann were also exempt but forfeited by turning pro. As above there are also two amateurs on the reserve list, who would bring the total to 25 if they get in.

The actual number teeing up will be lower as some will turn pro between now and next Thursday - DeMorat and Miller are confirmed to do so already.
But it should still comfortably beat last year’s 14 amateurs. There’s been double figures the last five years, but 16 is the record this century (2009, 2015). I think you’d have to go back to at least the 70s to find over 20.


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