PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 3:36 pm

1).At a time when almost every major European sport is in high gear, the US enters a period of mid-summer sporting doldrums, all but the most engaged sports fans in hiatus between off-season chatter (free agency, draft, mini-camps etc) from the NFL and the start of "training camp" for NFL players sometime in mid/late July. The family pastime of baseball notwithstanding, and yes, I'll be at the Yankees/Sawx Saturday evening.

So it is with the PGA Tour, with many top players not teeing it up in the US between last week's "Travelers" and the Bridgestone in August.
That doesn't mean the tournaments are unimportant - quite the contrary for 75% of the PGA Tourists, as they battle to keep their cards, improve their FedEx Cup positions or otherwise patronise events for which they have some affiliation, local boys like Leishman this week, Bubbs & Phil (sort of) at Greenbrier, Zach and others at the John Deere for instance.

2).The owgr awards 100 points to the winners of Majors and The Travelers last week had a strong field and Bubba earned 58 owgr points; the next four events will probably fall short of 140 points total.

3).This week's action is the Tiger Woods inspired Quicken Loans National, outside Washington DC at TPC Potomac (formerly known as TPC Avenel but extensively redesigned as it entered the witness protection progamme after being convicted of masquerading as a championship golf course).
Woods is here but his fall from sponsor's grace caused AT&T to abandon their support and next year Quicken Loans continues its sponsorship at a venue in Detroit. By some accounts, Woods has been seeking to revive sponsorship in the "DC" area, but to no avail - too bad for golf fans there, but this tournament has never caught the imagination either of the public or of players. Will it fare any better in Detroit? Let's hope so!

4).The Travelers once again presented a wonderful tournament at Hartford's TPC River Highlands, a course where pros continually threaten to go low, and some times go very low, but few can stitch together consecutive low scores on a course that rewards "shotmakers" more than short or long hitters - not surprising that Bubba completed two hat-tricks there last week, his 3rd Travelers title and his 3rd win of the year.
We followed Jordan Spieth on Friday morning, following his Thursday 63 - he quickly threw shots away (as did Thomas & Rory in the threesome behind) as if to emphasise the difficulty in putting two low rounds together, but he was entertaining thru'out and huge crowds loved him, as if he was everyone's favourite son or elder brother, rather than the more combustible Rory or Tiger fan - which after all reflects the way they play.

5).Spieth was playing with Russell Knox who had a great round of 64, playing one or two absolutely terrific shots from difficult positions, but playing within himself thru'out. And always good with the gallery. He had a disappointing weekend, but hopefully Russell can keep up the good work in Europe.

6).Didn't watch the Mad Scientist but he certainly attracted attention on his 72nd hole TV coverage by whipping out what the CBS commentators called a protractor (with emphasis on the PRO as if he worked for Massey Ferguson). But it was actually a compass which he was using to validate the greens book that he carries. And it worked. Apparently that's legal, but wonder if he can do that efficiently and complete his shot in reasonable time? He's deathly slow at the best of times so imagine Paramore will be looking on with interest as BDeC continues his summer with a busman's holiday in the British Isles.

7).Sorry to see Casey blow up on Sunday, but why did he have to play so defensively? One or two bad breaks, which he inflicted upon himself, and he was effectively playing catch-up, and couldn't change gear. He's made a habit of that the past few years which is strange for one who was a good closer and excellent matchplayer in his heyday.

8).As well as the Quicken Loans tournament, this week sees the US Senior Open, in Colorado.
I know Senior golf is treated with something between scepticism and contempt by many, but the Champions Tour has been a lucrative retirement plan for a few Europeans, and not just Bernhard Langer. Here are the leading European Senior/Champions Tour career earners, in $M, which are in addition to their European Senior swag:
Langer: 25.6M
Montgomerie: 8.1
Canizares: 7.2
Jimenez: 4.8
Des Smyth: 4.5
Mark James: 4.4
Roger Chapman: 2.6
Broadhurst: 2.3
Parnevik: 1.9

9).Most Europeans are back in Europe, but Molinari is at the "Quicken Loans" trying to assure his Tour card for 18/19; Martin Laird went close last year, and Seamus Power continues to plug along, but still needs a top finish or two.
Last year, Kyle Stanley won in a play-off against Charlie Howell - Woods and Fowler, Leishman and Kiradech are here but I've no real idea of a likely winner. But if it's warm, Danny Lee must have a chance, it's his time of year!

10).One European "senior" who divides opinion is David Feherty.
Like him or loathe him, here's an interesting Golf Digest insight from John Feinstein (like him or loathe him too), well worth a read:

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/david-feherty-on-comedy-and-tragedy


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 11:34 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 28 Jun 2018, 9:40 pm

Re Note 9). My One and Done looking increasingly done. Danny Lee +4 early on his second 9.
T.Woods looks to be spraying it a bit, +2 after 12.

But good Round 1 for Molinari, and a promising start for Power.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 1:56 pm

FWIW, Mickelson is not on the early commitment list at Greenbrier. Surprises me, considering how many commercials I have seen him pimping the Greenbrier area.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 2:29 pm

GPB wrote:FWIW, Mickelson is not on the early commitment list at Greenbrier.  Surprises me, considering how many commercials I have seen him pimping the Greenbrier area.


Surprises me too; sure he was in when I first looked at the early commitments - then playing Gullane the week after.

Whilst I look at that field, I see that Kevin Chappell is signed up; there's someone who's yet to catch fire this year, no idea why, but worth keeping an eye on and following when he finally shows signs of form. Nothing inside the Top 30 since March.

A couple of nice birdie putts already this morning for Woods - still not sure how to evaluate his "comeback", certainly hasn't shown much improvement over the past three months.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 5:16 pm

Tiger Woods seems to have found something this morning, birdies from 24ft, 19ft, 16ft, 80ft & 26ft, plus a few short misses. Four holes to play. He'll probably still say he "left a lot out there".
Hit all but two fairways as well, so far anyway.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 9:12 pm

Frankie having another solid round. He is probably pleased that few of the RC contenders are playing very well in France so his spot is not threatened

Notable exception is Rahm & Fitzpatrick. Hatton also in the Top 10

Oleson, Fleetwood, RCB missed the cut

Poulter made the cut on the number

I see that Stenson is in the Scottish Open

According to his website, Frankie is playing the John Deere, (but it does not list this week.

============

Looking like Kaymer has triple bogeyed his PGATour schedule once again. Played 9 events, 6 short of his obligation #200 something on the FEX list. Missed the cut badly in France. He certainly looks like a golfer who has lost his way. He should probably seek out some mentoring from Langer.


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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 10:04 pm

Kaymer T2 last week, one shot off the lead.
Imagine he has a superior record to Langer at their respective age, at least in terms of quality wins, though he certainly seems ambivalent about the PGA Tour - which several non-N.Americans are. If they do well, great, if they don't c'est la vie; so long as they keep their ranking up by playing well in Majors & WGC's (which Kaymer obviously hasn't recently).
I wonder if his exemption for winning at Pinehurst is for a straight five years, or whether he gets a bonus for his Players win - I can never figure that rule out.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 11:31 pm

GPB wrote:FWIW, Mickelson is not on the early commitment list at Greenbrier.  Surprises me, considering how many commercials I have seen him pimping the Greenbrier area.

Phil has his name among next week's Greenbrier runners & riders - three weeks in a row then for Mickelson.

Super round from Molinari, Laird struggling to make the cut at a place where you think he'd have good vibes after a fine result there last year.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Fri 29 Jun 2018, 11:34 pm

A player can only get exempt for 5 years, any add-ons does not count. Kaymer's 2014 double of Players/US Open is only good for 5 years, so next year is the last year of that exemption.

Mickelson did late commit to Greenbrier

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Be_the_ball on Sat 30 Jun 2018, 3:56 pm

I don't know if anyone has mentioned it yet, but has anyone read the Jeff Benedict Tiger Woods book? I'm nearly finished it, and am stunned at some of the revelations in it. It really doesn't paint him, Earl or Kultida in a good light. I don't know how close to reality it is, but if it's close to being true it's pretty sad.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by NedB-H on Sun 01 Jul 2018, 10:11 pm

Molinari coasting home here. After Rose the other week, maybe Euro players should only play where people don’t want them to play.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist on Mon 02 Jul 2018, 7:27 am

Molinari with a vintage Tiger Moobs type win. As the yanks would horribly say. He must be a "lock" for the Ryder Cup now.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 02 Jul 2018, 9:41 pm

Sad news from Jarrod Lyle, back home in Australia as he fights a third bout of leukaemia: According to Golf Channel he's lost his sight. Whether that will be permanent or not, only time will tell presumably, but obviously discouraging news, to say the very least.

Didn't see much of the weekend's golf, but well done to Franny, fantastic win. A bit of a rip-off though that his WGC apparently doesn't count as a Tour win. Too bad.

And a forceful accusation of cheating levelled by Joel Dahmen against Sung Kang (who went on to finish 3rd after taking a hotly disputed drop.

Crappy field scheduled to line up at The Greenbrier.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro on Mon 02 Jul 2018, 10:27 pm

Hatton, Rose, Tommy, Franny, Rahm, Noren and McIlroy must be “locks” for RC by now.

With two majors (does the Bridgestone count towards RC?) and two Rolex events left Casey, Fitz, Garcia, Poulter, RCB, Stenson and Olesen battling it out for the last automatic spot as I see it. Think Fish is too far away.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB on Tue 03 Jul 2018, 1:43 am

B-Stone counts for RC points for both Euro and USA teams

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 03 Jul 2018, 8:00 am

TJ Vogel Monday qualifies - again. 7th time, a record I think surpassing Patrick Reed of a few years ago.


As for the RC, Matty Fitz could be the guy to miss out now he's no longer in the automatic positions - which would be a touch unfortunate, overtaken by double-dippers. Tough decision for Bjorn, but Fitz needs to step up.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro on Tue 03 Jul 2018, 11:28 am

Agree, wouldn’t pick Fitz when TB would have more experienced options like Stenson, Garcia and Poults. As for the balance of the team I also think it’d be beneficial not having too many Englismen.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Tue 03 Jul 2018, 3:41 pm

Surprised TJ Vogel isn't getting any sponsor exemptions. Seems like that's the kind of guy I would want to get one of my unrestricted SE's.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Tue 03 Jul 2018, 4:03 pm

Pedro... I don't think the nationality makeup of the Euro team matters. I think they should go with who they think are the best players, period. Only exception to that is I would try to get a Frenchman on if he's reasonably pickable. Unfortunately Levy doesn't fall in that category right now.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Tue 03 Jul 2018, 4:32 pm

2018-19 PGA Tour schedule update in other thread... Main thing... Canadian Open confirmed to play the week BEFORE the US Open...  MUCH better week than between the US & British Opens as originally speculated....

Updates:

• Purse upgraded to a respectable $7.6 mil (still middle of the pack-ish for a regular PGAT event, but a HUGE improvement from $6.4 mil).

• Andy Pazder (PGAT #2) says there is an opportunity to resurrect the “Triple Crown” trophy to give out to the winner of the US Open, the Canadian Open and The Open Championship in the same year (Tiger Woods did it in 2000)


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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 03 Jul 2018, 6:26 pm

That'll be an interesting conundrum for the Canadian Open players and Tournament Director! RBC working overtime, twisting arms, but a tough ask in my opinion.

Hope Andy Pazder names the Triple Crown trophy the Trevino Trophy . . . . . .

Thanks robo, off to have a look.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Tue 03 Jul 2018, 6:59 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:That'll be an interesting conundrum for the Canadian Open players and Tournament Director! RBC working overtime, twisting arms, but a tough ask in my opinion.

Best possible week Canada could have gotten IMO. If the Canadian Open plays their cards right, I could very much see this becoming a similar lead-in to the US Open as the Scottish is to the Open. Plus I think the more moderate temps that time of year in Canada will entice a lot more of the top full time PGA Tour guys. My guess is this will probably pilfer some better players from The Travelers and move them to the Canadian.

But clearly better for Canada than any available spot between the Opens or after the playoffs.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 03 Jul 2018, 8:02 pm

I don't see that at all, robo!
Try selling US Tour players that they've got to play a course in Hamilton that they've probably never seen, then fly to Monterey. Not likely, but maybe they will.
And don't underestimate the core strength of The Travelers' pull - this year's turn out was exceptional but they'll still attract a 50+ owgr haul for the winner.

I'm thinking the March schedule is unnecessarily congested, something's got to give there!

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Tue 03 Jul 2018, 11:12 pm

Kwini... Long-term this date is head-and-shoulders above what they had, and better than anything else they could get during the summer with the possible exception of The Travelers date. I predict barring special circumstances Canadian open will significantly outperform Memphis in the same time slot. And with the Canadian open looking like they're going on a Rota, I wouldn't be surprised to see them try to match up future venues, time zones, etc. as best as they can to US Open venues.

As far as The Travelers is concerned, in my opinion it stays the strongest between the two opens only because it's not opposite a Rolex series event while the other three are. But I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see Quicken add to Fowler and/or 3M start their own Ambassador programs to start stocking up their events. If Travelers can hang in at 50- 52 level, that would be great.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Tue 03 Jul 2018, 11:20 pm

Kwini... As for the March schedule I agree, it's awfully congested. But all those events are strong. I don't see anything moving anywhere other than maybe flip-flopping a week or so depending on where the calendar falls in a given year.

Well I am expecting though is a little bit of continued future fallout on the WGCs. PGA Tour will have 16 events on its schedule at $9 million plus next year, so I don't see every player is going to necessarily see a WGC  as the imperative they used to. I'm kind of expecting for roughly 5 top-50 fallout's in all three of the ones here going forward, along with the usual 10 - 12 top-50 no shows in the China WGC.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro on Tue 03 Jul 2018, 11:28 pm

robopz wrote:Pedro... I don't think the nationality makeup of the Euro team matters. I think they should go with who they think are the best players, period.  Only exception to that is I would try to get a Frenchman on if he's reasonably pickable. Unfortunately Levy doesn't fall in that category right now.
Strongly disagree. It’s not only about the best players, but the best team. Our team needs continental players to balance out the chummy and fragile English mentality. There’s a slightly different approach to team competitions if you’re continental vs English/British. We need a combination of both - both to ‘gel’ better and to avoid cliques or outsiders - but also to win that thing.

Consequently I think TB would have second thoughts giving Casey a wild card. Mainly because he’s the proverbial English choker but also because of his limited affiliation to the ET and questionable ability to gel.

Finally I can’t particularly see why a Frenchman should be on the team vs someone from say Belgium. Just as I can’t see why Stricker should captain a US team if they were playing in Wisconsin. It’s not like they’d play/captain better is it? Or the fans wanting their team to win even more?

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 04 Jul 2018, 3:16 am

peds,
Agree about the English "matey" syndrome - can't think of a decent English twosome since Casey & Howell.
Casey has such a good RC record, even if so long ago, that I reckon he'd be considered an asset.


robo,
I agree that the Canadian "match up" notion is sound (just not this year, 2019). Don't underestimate The Travelers, it will deliver in the "52/54" range, no doubt about it as the players seem to love it.
Perhaps the WGC's have had their day? Personally, think they lost it a long time ago, but that's another story.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by NedB-H on Wed 04 Jul 2018, 6:26 am

If the WGCs are dying then it means the ET (and Asia and Japan) have dropped the ball. They are the ones the WGCs benefit.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Wed 04 Jul 2018, 4:23 pm

NedB-H wrote:If the WGCs are dying then it means the ET (and Asia and Japan) have dropped the ball. They are the ones the WGCs benefit.
I didn't mean to imply the WGCs are dying, because I don't think that's the case at all. It's more that I don't anticipate them remaining the 100% imperative "must play" for ALL the top players. Just most of them.

And I actually wouldn't be surprised to see the addition of one or two more WGCs in the next couple years. With this new schedule the PGA Tour has some opportunities to add a couple more events in the fall. Upgrading the CJ Cup (Korea), or adding a Japan or an Australia WGC might make sense now. CJ Cup purse is already near WGC levels.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz on Wed 04 Jul 2018, 4:46 pm

NedB-H... to expand further on WGC's.  I think too often we look at international schedules and what events are strong and what events aren't and we miss the big picture.

The big picture is BUSINESS...  And for the PGAT, the business is building their brand, not only in the U.S. but ESPECIALLY internationally.  Recently the PGAT signed a $2 billion 10-year agreement with Discovery for international broadcast and digital distribution.  That's in addition to about $300 million per year estimated to remain in the hands of other international outlets. (SKY, SBS etc)

The key to all of that is building international visibility, thus value... and the main 2 ways to accomplish that are pretty clear cut.  1) Create an avenue for more International players to get on the PGAT, and 2) create events to generate interest in PGAT internationally... specifically in the Pacific Rim (Korea, China, Japan, Malaysia, Australia etc)

So while I can't predict exactly WHAT the PGAT has in store for expansion,  it's enough to understand it's not about equity, or fairness to all concerned, or what the Euro (or any other Tour) wants or is doing... it's ALL about building the value of the PGA Tour product to as wide an audience as possible.

My best guess... additional WGCs and/or more events in the CJ Cup or CIMB model is the way the PGAT will approach it.  Any notion of some kind of "world tour" is just that, a notion.  The ONLY world Tour the PGAT has any interest in participating in is the one they control lock, stock and barrel.  Looking at it from purely a "business angle" that's the only way it makes sense to them right now.

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Re: PGA Tour: Dog Days of Summer: Notes from the Ballwasher

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