PGA Tour: PGA Championship - Where were You on 9/11? - Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed Aug 08, 2018 7:09 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).I know where I was, but the leading golfers of the day were at Bellerive Country Club, outside St.Louis, preparing for the WGC-Amex Championship. A dozen or so of the pros who were there that day are back for more, Mickelson and Woods for two, and young pups like Poulter and Adam Scott for two more.
The Tour rightly cancelled the event, but it is somewhat surprising that it took the Tour seven years to return, for Camilo Villegas's BMW Championship win, and (technically anyway) haven't been back to Bellerive since, with this year's PGA Championship's course selection being under the purview of the PGA of America.

2).Bellerive is a Robert Trent Jones, Par-70, design, re-done by Rees Jones and plays to a length of about 7,300 yards. Although the forecast is for fine weather, at least for the first couple of rounds, the course is wet and greens are likely to be on the slower side. With conventional wisdom otherwise suggesting "fairways and greens" practitioners would be favoured, perhaps conditions will now balance that with balls not running out and high-ball, long hitters now having some advantage. Either way, hit the fairways.  

3).Gary Player completed his major Grand Slam here at the 1965 US Open and Nick Price was the 1994 PGA winner, but very few of this week's field have competed here with a motley crew on the 2008 BMW leaderboard.
Camilo won, from Dudley Hart, with Jim Furyk and Anthony Kim tied for 3rd. Other "notables" who are playing Thursday:
13th: Brian Gay
17th: Phil
20th: Sergio
22nd: Streelman (who has replaced Thomas Bjorn)
28th: Bubba
33rd: Holmes & Reavie
50th: Scott
55th: Sneedeker

4).Don't suppose many golf-watchers were sorry to see the back of Firestone CC last Sunday, but difficult to see how they can spice up "TPC Southwind" in Memphis to make next year's equivalent WGC-FedEx any more attractive. It's a demanding, ball-strikers' course but scenic or telegenic it's not.

5).It wasn't just the course that was boring last week, the tournament was too. Rory, Poulter and Fleetwood fell away, and Jason Day got into contention only to disappear quickly.
So, well done Justin Thomas. Apparently he's been using a fractionally shorter driver and it appears to have done the trick, from the moment he poked his nose in front he never looked likely to be beaten. Tough to think he won't be in contention again this week, Dustin too.

6).Not happy that those three Europeans stumbled on Sunday, is that becoming too much of a habit? Fleetwood especially seems to be in the form of his life but not winning on the biggest stages.
Not yet? Or not ever??
Westwood & Montgomerie had spells where they played as well as anyone, but always found someone to beat them. Perhaps this week for Tommy?

7).And: What of Woods? Lots in the press about his body tiring (stiffening?) as the season wears on. It seems his swing speed is down quite a bit from earlier in the season, and his driver certainly went awol on him last weekend. Is he wearing down and, if so, what value will (seems will rather than would) he be in the Ryder Cup? Of course, he could give the FedEx Play-Offs a miss and give his body a breather, but can't see him sitting out more than one of those; probably wishes there were just three Play-Off tournaments, as there will be next year.
Imagine he's already a burden for Furyk.
(Like Garcia might be for Bjorn?)

8).Davis Love plays his 100th Major Championship this week. The top ten appearances were all by players now well into their sixties or beyond:
Nicklaus (164), Player, Watson, Palmer, Floyd, Snead, Crenshaw, Sarazen, O'Meara, Kite (109). Followed by a few who may have more to play:
106: Langer
104: Mickelson
102: Els
Faldo notched his century and seems to have called it a day, but doesn't sound as if Love is done yet.
Imagine Vijay & Furyk are next on the list, possibly followed by Woods - Sergio just about to go ahead of Westwood as he contests his 81st.

9).Shane Lowry fizzled just when it looked like he might challenge for last week's "Barracuda Championshp", and Seamus Power missed a great opportunity to secure his card for next season. Lowry's in the PGA field but Power has earned this week off. Just Greensboro left as a safety net for them.

10).Who do you fancy this week? And, especially, who do you see to beat Thomas & Johnson?? Loads of ifs for me, especially where Europeans are concerned:
If Rose is fit, you'd think he'd be in the shake-up.
If Tommy Fleet can put four rounds together.
If Noren & Stenson can find their fairways and greens game.
If Rory can fit his driver into the fairway. (Tip, Otherwise use your 3-wood, you still hit it far enough.)
If Olesen can continue his summer form.
And ditto: If Molinari can recapture his summer form.
You could make a case for all of them to make the top ten, but I can't see past the Dustin and Justin show.
Can't even see a dark horse, not to win anyway, though could easily see Zach Johnson being good each way value @ about 80's.

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Post by wiretapper on Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:54 pm

Kiss of death? Sorry Thomas

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Post by GPB on Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:54 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Sycophantic tosspots wire . . . . .

Meanwhile, I'd never've thunk the Antwerp Diamond would be up there. Birdie! If he could somehow post -14, you just never know.

In the creek

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:05 pm

GPB wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Sycophantic tosspots wire . . . . .

Meanwhile, I'd never've thunk the Antwerp Diamond would be up there. Birdie! If he could somehow post -14, you just never know.

In the creek

Twice unfortunately.

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Post by GPB on Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:15 pm

I think Bjorns skivvies would have tighten up if Pieters suddenly got in the mix.

And Sergio's
And Stenson's
And Casey's
And Olesen's
And RCB's

At this time, I can't imagine Bjorn picking both Stenson and Sergio. And Casey has to be falling down the pecking order.

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Post by pedro on Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:16 pm

He’d have needed an eagle so probably gave it a bit extra

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Post by owen10ozzy on Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:17 pm

PGA should be embarassed at the shambles that they have sold the rights to....eleven sports is truly attrocious! Constant lagging and cutting into coverage so we can hear the views of bill and bob (no thats not their name but you catch my drift)..

As for the tournament, sizzling up nicely but I feel like Koepka two shot lead is enough on an essentially target golf lay out.

Question for any american residents on the board, are all US golf courses terrified of penalising players who go into bunkers? Its sad that at majors we see players hitting it off line only to find themselves with a lovely line into the hole regardless...might as well get them out a deck chair and a pina colada whilst they are in their.

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Post by pedro on Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:22 pm

That’s not only bunkers owen. Rough too.

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Post by owen10ozzy on Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:25 pm

Yeh true as well Pedro,think the bunkers bother me more because they are man made, when designing a course they are put their to penalise poor shots and make the course tougher...if your then going to rake it so its completely flat, no chance of plugging then whats the point. I mean half of them dont even have any depth to them. Just completely useless.

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Post by wiretapper on Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:28 pm

Agree ElevenSports have been rubbish. 5 minutes of Holyer and Donaldson in a hut in Milton Keynes with no idea of what footage is coming next then 5 mins of the CBS crew and back again.

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Post by pedro on Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:29 pm

But they could grow the rough to penalise wayward drives more. But they don’t to favourise bombers.

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Post by pedro on Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:30 pm

Is Tiger back?

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Post by GPB on Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:37 pm

In terms of labor, Bunkers are the most expensive real estate on a golf course and IMO, minimal bunkers would make golf cheaper for the masses.

My former golf course did not have many bunkers, and the ones they did have would take considerable to maintain every day. It was a rural neighborhood were their was no leash law and the dogs would come and dig in the bunkers. Even where there was leash laws, there would be wild fauna.

I am no fan of riveted face bunkers (lots of labor there too) or even pot bunkers.

Why not rake the bunkers like Jack tried at Memorial (furrowed rakes)

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:38 pm

owen,
Would say this is a typical American parkland course; a bit short for these guys. Fairway bunkers are not penal at all, but I kinda like the distance from the greens the greenside bunkers are - though every single one could be a lot deeper.

Don't care how he ends up (hopefully podium), but love watching Shane Lowry hitting the ball . . . . . . .

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Post by owen10ozzy on Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:52 pm

If Tiger can sort his drive out even 40% then that man is grabbing a few more majors....health permitting obviously.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:13 pm

Worse shot than Pieters's and gets away with it . . . . . . .

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Post by wiretapper on Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:19 pm

Brooks has this, I’m off to my bed

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Post by pedro on Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:19 pm

Unless Tiger wins, Webb Simpson won’t have to spam text Furyk.

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Post by pedro on Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:22 pm

wiretapper wrote:Brooks has this, I’m off to my bed
Ever heard of Van de Velde?

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Post by owen10ozzy on Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:22 pm

Koepkas got it won....2nd major of the year....3rd major....level with the much heralded Spieth..

Was spoken about as a talent but not sure many would have had him as a multiple major win this early on...do we have someone who can go on to win more majors than Rory & Spieth? Drives as well as the former but with better wedge play...doesn't put as lights out as the latter but always have the drive advantage over him..

The Americans head to the Ryder Cup with a firm strangle hold on the golfing majors

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Post by Be_the_ball on Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:24 pm

Hats off to Koepka, two much needed birds under pressure. Well done him, questions asked, questions answered.

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Post by Diggers on Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:34 pm

Can’t believe I can’t flick my finger to watch this. Stupid fricking spirts rights.

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Post by pedro on Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:43 pm

Fans going mental over Tiger.

Has he got a new GF?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:08 am

Pretty special for Koepka, shame for Adam Scott but the best guy won; in second gear?

Stewart Cink for the Ryder Cup? Definitely back next year, plus gets into The Masters.


PS: Lowry, Pieters, Hatton & Rafa are exempt for next May, at Bethpage.

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Post by pedro on Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:18 am

Well done Brooksy. Deserved winner.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:49 am

Brooksy missed the cut in his first two Majors (out of 20 played) and, since then, has:
3 wins
3 more Top 5's
2 more Top 10's
6 more Top 25's
4 more "cuts made".
And that's his Major career.

#2 in the World.

Confirmation that eight golfers qualified for the US Ryder Cup Team:
Koepka, DJ, Thomas, Reed, Watson, Spieth, Fowler, Simpson.

The next four are BDeC, Phil, Tont & Schauffele.

Quite likely the Furyk picks, barring something sensational.


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Post by owen10ozzy on Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:59 am

That's a very strong but most importantly synced core group for the Americans...

Weak spots would arguably be Watson/Simpson perhaps. Do you pick Tiger? He has the form to go with but would it upset the applecart in terms of team togetherness?


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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:12 am

Mickelson & Woods are cast iron dead certs, whether Furyk likes it or not.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:21 am

GPB wrote:I think Bjorns skivvies would have tighten up if Pieters suddenly got in the mix.

And Sergio's
And Stenson's
And Casey's
And Olesen's
And RCB's

At this time, I can't imagine Bjorn picking both Stenson and Sergio.  And Casey has to be falling down the pecking order.


Guessing that Rafa overtakes Poults for the final World Points position.
Casey sliding down to about 11th. With Sergio & Stenson behind him.
All very close and Casey destined to be the odd man out. Again. Possibly either Sergio or Stenson also.

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Post by GPB on Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:33 am

Poulter, Casey, Olesen, RCB are in a virtual tie for 8, within a couple of points. In that order. then a 12 pt drop to Fitz at #12. Sergio #14 and Stenson #16.

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Post by super_realist on Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:01 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Mickelson & Woods are cast iron dead certs, whether Furyk likes it or not.


Yahoo Laugh laughing Will Furyk pick the two players who statistically are the worst performers in American Ryder Cup history for players with 3 or more appearances?

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Post by super_realist on Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:03 am

owen10ozzy wrote:That's a very strong but most importantly synced core group for the Americans...

Weak spots would arguably be Watson/Simpson perhaps. Do you pick Tiger? He has the form to go with but would it upset the applecart in terms of team togetherness?


Is it that strong? Fowler isn't that great in Ryder Cup, Moobs and Mickelson certainly aren't. Watson has been terrible and Bryson de Chambeau is a flake with a hair trigger fuse. Simpson is off form more than he is on too.

I see massive strength in Rizla, Koepka and Thomas, but Spieth isn't exactly firing either. However, we've seen many times how little a big name, the number of majors or the strokeplay form actually matters, so it's wide open with no particular favourites at the moment. I would however say that home advantage is massive, and America traditionally don't travel well, and haven't won in Europe since Mac could get on the bus for free as an under 5.

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Post by pedro on Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:25 am

I'd say BdC is a gamble. He may do well in singles but his effect on the team is questionable. The same goes with Woods. The US hasn't won with Woods on the team since 1999.

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:55 am

Wow Koepka what an incredible player in the majors. IIRC he's got one win on the regular PGA tour and one win one he European tour. But 3 majors inside 14months or so is remarkable. His driving off the tee is ridiculous, literally like a cannon

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Post by wiretapper on Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:45 am

Hats off to Koepka, fantastic display clap very calm and measured justifying my decision to retire early...

As for the US Ryder Cup team there are three more tournaments before the first 3 picks are announced and unless BdC wins one I cannot seeing him getting a pick. Mickelson and Woods are certs (which from a European perspective suits me just fine) and I think Schauffele will get the other.

The final pick which is made the week after and is supposed to be kept for whoever burns up the playoffs (it's not known as the Horschel Rule for nothing) so if someone a bit further down goes on a run they should get that space. The US team doesn't have an overload of rookies so it wouldn't be a problem picking another here.

If that doesn't happen and things are much the same as they are now I still don't see BdC getting that final pick as I think Furyk will play safe and go with either Kuch (or is it Kooch?) or Zach.


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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:28 pm

I wonder whether Woods will retain his VC role when he's "picked"?
Agree with wire that can't see Zach Johnson being left out of the action, but he could well be a VC rather than player.

Regardless, someone is going to have to tell Mickelson & Woods that they're only playing 18 holes a day.
Good job perhaps that Koepka can only play five matches at most.

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Post by pedro on Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:49 pm

Zach would be a good pick. One of the few yanks with a good RC record.

Apparantly BdC is Tigers little friend, and Tiger has spoken warmly about having him on the team. Here's hoping...

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Post by Diggers on Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:59 pm

There send to be a lot more love around for Woods at the moment from players, saw JT talking about how he was his inspiration. From Woods perspective I suspect he is relishing every minute of this Indian summer career and that would include another RC appearance.
All a bit of a lottery as to how players will go, especially rookies, so BDC could well work out.

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Post by Plunky on Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:28 pm

Saw footage the other day of Tiger at Carnoustie. He was coming off a practice area, nobody around apart from a handful of small children watching him. He walked right through them, literally pushing them out of his way. Seems he's only the new fan-friendly Tiger when he thinks he's on camera. Undoubtedly a great golfer, but I can't bring myself to root for him.

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Post by McLaren on Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:38 pm

Diggers

The current players are likely to be nicer to Tiger because he hasn't relentlessly beaten them. The likes of Els had huge chunks of their career ruined by Tiger.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:42 pm

Rory already suggesting he'll avoid next week's Northern Trust action @ Ridgewood.
Bet he won't be the last, possibly including the aforesaid Mr.Woods.

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Post by Diggers on Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:58 pm

Plunky wrote:Saw footage the other day of Tiger at Carnoustie.  He was coming off a practice area, nobody around apart from a handful of small children watching him. He walked right through them, literally pushing them out of his way.  Seems he's only the new fan-friendly Tiger when he thinks he's on camera.  Undoubtedly a great golfer, but I can't bring myself to root for him.  

Horrible little jock kids, best avoided.
To be honest, can you imagine a life where everyone recognises you, wants to say hello, get a selfie. He must have that so much more than any other player, virtually any other person. Easy to say he should be perfect all of the time, unless you’ve walked in his shoes hard to judge too much. Having worked in the media industry and met a fair few, all I can say is most have good and bad days just like everyone else.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:47 pm

It seems Furyk has answered my question about whether Woods would be a Playing VC. And the answer is no, he'd be replaced.
So, two more VC's for Furyk to choose, plus a third in lieu of Tiger.

Further to my thought that he'd choose Zach if he didn't make the team, he could add Kuchar also, for the same reason. Can't see who else is out there among his age group - Stewart Cink perhaps, David Toms possibly, I suppose, consolation prize for him. Or a respected caddie, Bones, Fluff, John Wood. Who knows? (And, for some, who cares??!!)

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Post by super_realist on Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:36 pm

Diggers wrote:There send to be a lot more love around for Woods at the moment from players, saw JT talking about how he was his inspiration. From Woods perspective I suspect he is relishing every minute of this Indian summer career and that would include another RC appearance.
All a bit of a lottery as to how players will go, especially rookies, so BDC could well work out.

If someone is asked about Woods, they're hardly going to say he's a miserable, divisive bumhole with a rotten Ryder Cup record who just says the same things all the time ("it was really tough out there, really tough, but I'm having fun"). Of course they're going to big him up, just like when you go to a gig the singer always says that whatever venue they are at is their favourite.

Also telling that Bubba Watson was voted the biggest bumhole on tour by his peers. Would you want him on your side, especially in France which he's on record as saying he dislikes.

Having serial Ryder Cup losers like Fat Phil, Moobs and Gerald Watson already means 25% of your team are going to have to have a massive turnaround in their fortune in the event.

If I were the Americans I think Kuchar would make a better pick than Woods.

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Post by Diggers on Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:54 pm

Super, it’s hardly a stretch to think that a bunch of American blokes who grew up obsessed with golf were inspired by the guy who was doing unbelievable things on the course. You can be as cynical as you like but in this case the obvious choice of the person who inspired them is the person named, as the phrase goes, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Last night Larrazabal tweeted (not questioned) that he was actually watching golf on TV again because of Woods. No need for players like him to be doing that other than the fact that Woods gives great of a bit of X factor it otherwise totally lacks.

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Post by Be_the_ball on Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:07 pm

Tiger is box office, there's no one in the world that is as electric to watch with a club in his hand. Super, I'd say if you were at the Taj Mahal with Miss World in one arm and a bottle of Champagne in the other you'd be moaning about something or other.
Lighten up, life is short, make a conscious effort to remind yourself of the things you love about it.

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Post by super_realist on Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:11 pm

Diggers wrote:Super, it’s hardly a stretch to think that a bunch of American blokes who grew up obsessed with golf were inspired by the guy who was doing unbelievable things on the course. You can be as cynical as you like but in this case the obvious choice of the person who inspired them is the person named, as the phrase goes, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Last night Larrazabal tweeted (not questioned) that he was actually watching golf on TV again because of Woods. No need for players like him to be doing that other than the fact that Woods gives great of a bit of X factor it otherwise totally lacks.

Of course, but no one is going to say anything bad about him regardless of what side of the fence they sit on when asked in that environment are they? I've no doubt some  might have been "inspired" by him, but leading questions usually result in the predictable answer the interviewer is/was obviously fishing for, and if there's one thing that golfers interviews can be relied upon, it's their predictability and lack of genuine insight. Therefore, I never really trust anything they say, because apart from lacking anything spontaneous or  anything remotely interesting, it's all just answering questions by numbers, platitudes, clichés, tired, hackneyed and stage managed responses and that's exactly what we got. Same as all those Europeans with their sycophancy around Seve.

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Post by Diggers on Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:21 pm

You can think what you like, read the actual interview, it’s hardly leading and his answers are enthusiastic, he also modelled his grip on Woods and dressed the same as him. Like I said, to think that many, many young golfers didn’t hero worship Woods is just stupid, they clearly did.
Again, lots of golfers tweeting about Woods being back...not answering questions, making a choice to say something. I saw his following group was something like 3 times the size of Koepka, why, because he has the charisma.
The fact you can still have a pop at they guy the day after he shoots a score like that on the last day of a major speaks volumes. As I remember you’d basically written him off as any form of possible contender, yet here he is. Why not man up and give home some credit?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:46 pm

It wasn't just the galleries following Woods instead of Koepka/Scott, it was the media; golfchannel.com reckons there was only one reporter following the final group all the way around, dozens following ETW.
And the TV coverage was certainly lop-sided, but it's been that way for twenty years, even when he was just scratching around.

I haven't seen a direct quote but reports suggest Woods has committed to both the first two Play-Off tournaments. Tough to believe he'd play the first two and miss the third so that would be an intense schedule by his standards.

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Post by Diggers on Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:24 pm

That’s the story though, Kwini. Koepka, the all American boy wins a 3rd major should be big news - maybe it would be if Woods wasn’t doing what he was doing - but it’s the PGA and for whatever reason Brooks just doesn’t really set the pulse racing. About the only thing that gets the tournament big media coverage is Woods challenging.

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Post by pedro on Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:36 pm

Yes Woods is box office and a super star who has inspired millions, etc. But if your job were to pick the best possible RC team, I’d hesitate to include Woods.

Of those not qualified Zach would be my first choice FTR.

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