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 Diggers on Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:45 pm

If you were purely picking on current form (forgetting who he is) would you pick him Pedro? I mean, he’s barely not an automatic place and hasn’t exactly played much. 8th in stroke average on tour, which is really the only relevant stat at the end of the day.
I’d pick Johnson as well, then whoever is hot through the play offs.

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Post by pedro on Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:06 pm

Yes on current form I’d probably pick him. Can’t think of 4 players not on the team who’s more in form.

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Post by Diggers on Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:09 pm

Well, bearing in mind nobody has a scooby how well anyone will play, I’d just go with the best player option.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:45 am

TJ Vogel "Monday Qualifies" again, for Greensboro this time, the record-holder in that stat.

If he doesn't qualify for at least the web.com Tour next year, watch ouit Challenge Tour - even if he didn't qualify via Q-School, the C-Tour would be nuts not to give him as many exemptions as he wants. Hopefully he'll have a good week in Greensboro, qualify for the wtf Finals, and make the whole thing moot.

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Post by super_realist on Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:07 am

Diggers wrote: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?

Jesus Christ Diggers, I didn't say he hasn't "inspired" anyone. I said that people answer questions with a guarded nature and give predictable responses and so you  have to take answers with a pinch of salt as to what they actually think. When did you last see Mickelson for example tweet about how happy he is about Woods being back?

Yes, He has improved, and he is now back as one of the top 30 players at present, but I don't see him as being in the same class as he was before. He doesn't look like he's going to gain that spot as before as he doesn't have an invincible aura and he doesn't intimidate, and therefore, I don't think he's any more worthy of sycophancy than any other of the truly top players who are actually winning tournaments and majors, unlike Woods, who hasn't won a sausage in 5 years or a major in 10. THey don't seem to make those same remarks re Ryder Cup do they? Where are the tweets saying he's a great team player?

As for the Ryder Cup, yes, you might pick the best players, but that's been America's downfall for years and the only statistic which seems to make any difference and actually act as an reliable barometer is their  Ryder Cup records, and Woods, Watson and Mickelson have easily the worst records in US Ryder Cup history for repeat players.
Therefore, I'd pick Johnson and Kuchar before even considering Woods. I expect him to get a pick, but more because there's a limit on the number of US players in form and who have played or had decent Ryder Cup records. I would think that Furyk will be under pressure to pick him from a commercial point of view if nothing else.

Either way, probably good news for Europe.

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Post by Diggers on Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:22 am

Oh, you mean he hasn’t come back from what (people like you) said was an impossible injury to get over and at the age of 42 utterly dominated the way he used to, what an abject failure.
He’s easily playing top 10-15 golf right now and clearly getting better all the time. You would literally have been licking your own gonads had Poulter made a last day major charge like that.
Based on your usual sporting projection accuracy think we can safely say Woods is about to have a very successful RC.

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Post by Diggers on Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:38 am

Lets face it, this is your default response mode:
Someone says something complimentary about Woods. Your response of course they would do nothing anyone ever says means anything.
Woods wins 14 majors and god knows how many other records - Your response: he’s an idiot with no course management and an ugly swing and should have won so much more.
He’s clearly by far the most appealing player to watch, the only one who transcends the sport, attracts spectators multiple times other players - Your response, he has no charisma.
It’s the argument of a 5 year old ( I’m doing many 5 year olds a disservice), you don’t want something to be what it is so you stamp your feet and insist everything is made up. Bizarre.

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Post by wiretapper on Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:15 am

If you weren't already certain here's Capn Jim;

"He's the guy who can just will himself to play good golf," Furyk told BBC Sport. "I realise that right now we are here to celebrate the top eight players, but he's hard to ignore.

"He's played very good golf and obviously put himself in a very good position for a captain's pick."

"It is something I will discuss with Tiger and the other vice captains, what's best for the team.

"And we've kind of talked about that all year, what's best for Tiger, what's best for the team and we'll make that decision together and we'll move on.

"Either way, when you look at Tiger Woods as a player, as a vice captain, no matter what tag you put on that role, he's a huge asset to the team."

Tellingly, Furyk then added: "Even as a player he's been a vice captain, always has been."

Put your mortgage on it, he's getting a pick.

Full article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/golf/45172153

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Post by Born Slippy on Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:47 am

Doesn’t Woods also have an excellent record in the singles in the RC? I can see him being a very strong pick as, presumably, he will only want to play once per day - so 3/5 matches with one being a singles. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he’s unbeaten.

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Post by pedro on Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:59 am

Of course he's getting a pick. But the good news for Europe is that everything now seems to be about Tiger. So that also means they have to figure out who he can pair with, and this is where BdC comes into play. Which is also good news for Europe.

Other natural pairings would be: JT/Rickie, Spieth/Reed, Brooks/DJ, Bible boys Webb/Bubba.

Residue is Phil and whomever will get the last pick. Kis, Kooch or Zach will probably pair best wíth Phil as they can keep the ball in play.

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Post by Diggers on Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:02 pm

Why do you assume BDC will be a bad pick, he’ll certainly be prepared and can play? Woods could play with JT, even Koepka. I think people massively overthink all these things, it’s still just golf.

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Post by NedB-H on Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:21 pm

If we stick with the assumption that Woods will only play one match a day, that will surely mean he plays fourballs. His success this summer has been down to incredible recovery golf after struggling off the tee, which is a recipe for disaster in foursomes. If you play him in fourballs with a steady fairways and greens merchant it gives him a license to attack, although you also don’t want a partner who’ll be overawed by him. I’d probably pair him with Webb.

Fully expecting Jim to give a wildcard spot to Phil, but for me he hasn’t played well enough since the spring to justify it in the face of the competition. I’d go Tiger/Zach/Schauffele/Finau, although BdC has a good case also.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:45 pm

24 birdies at Bellerive for Finau, including TEN in Round 2 playing with Furyk.
That had to have made an impression . . . . . . . . . though not sure I'd pick him.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:23 pm

Confirmation from Tiger Woods (or at least his agent) that he'll play all three Play-Off events, at Ridgewood, TPC Bawston, Aronomink. That's three in a row, and qualification for the Tour Championship would make it five weeks out of six with the exhibition in Paris five days later.

Would be very surprised if any European RC'er committed himself to such a schedule; possibly Jon Rahm I suppose.

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Post by wiretapper on Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:57 am

That’s interesting regarding Tiger’s schedule. I expect if he does very well (and I mean very well) in one of the first two and guarantees qualification to the Tour Championship he will take one off.

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Post by super_realist on Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:10 am

Diggers wrote:Why do you assume BDC will be a bad pick, he’ll certainly be prepared and can play? Woods could play with JT, even Koepka. I think people massively overthink all these things, it’s still just golf.

Because he's a nutjob and a bottler.

If people massively overthink all these things, then why is it that Woods (for a man of his ability) has such a lamentable Ryder Cup record? If it's still just golf, then he should have a record which matches his general game, but he consistently underperforms in this event and he doesn't seem to gel with anyone, so if we're overthinking it, then so are Woods, the American team and the Captain.

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Post by Diggers on Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:07 am

Crap happens, he has a brilliant record in the US everyone else match. How did you justify that...by pretending it doesn’t exist of course. He’s also a brilliant match play golfer, it hasn’t worked out at the RC, your view on life is that it therefore never can. One day you’ll realise that’s not a great outlook.
As for BDC being a bottler, well the early European winning teams were full of players who did jack all individually but turned up and played great in RC matches, you have no clue as the whether he might do the same. Time will tell, I don’t think he’ll get a pick anyway.

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Post by pedro on Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:47 am

So basically you're saying the captain should gamble with his picks?

TW hasn't won a match play event in years, I'm not sure he even played in one. It's just a fact that the RC is a different beast and I think TW has proven he's nothing special in these events. The US hasn't won with him on the team since that infamous 1999. There's nowehere near the same pressure in individual events or the Presidents Cup.

As for BdC - besides him being a character, wouldn't it be a gamble to pick someone who has demonstrated several times he crumbles under pressure? Of course nobody knows if he will again, not even super, but stating that it may just work fine is a bit of a fluffy argument. There's nothing that would lead us to beleive this. If Furyk picks him, hopefully he has better insight than us.

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Post by Diggers on Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:48 am

I’m not saying gamble, I’m saying it’s a lottery. Other than BDC being a rookie nobody has a clue how he might perform.
I’m sure it’s pretty fine margins as to Woods being much worse than his contemporaries, he gets the focus though which is fine.
I don’t see a gamble in picking the best player on form as a pick - he clearly is this by an absolute street- who has a point to prove.


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Post by NedB-H on Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:13 pm

Woods is a certainty regardless of his RC record. If Furyk doesn’t pick him, the four people he does pick will be under ridiculous levels of pressure knowing that they’ve been chosen ahead of Tiger. Jim won’t take that chance of ruining the form of four of his team.

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Post by GPB on Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:55 pm

Everytime I talked to my stock broker, I am reminded about this!

PGA Tour: PGA Championship - Where were You on 9/11? - Notes from the Ballwasher - Page 4 Past-performance-is-no-guarantee-of-future-results-77151945

Yes, two of the Wildcards are in the books for the US team. As a US fan, I am more worried about Mickelson than Woods. And Mickelson has 3 wins US RC wins (vs Woods 1 win).

If you don't think Woods has changed, you are not paying attention

https://twitter.com/golfweek/status/1028781310821707776

Woods would have never done anything like in his first 10-12 yrs after a legit shot at winning the tournament.

I don't think Zach is going to get a pick. The only rookie on the team is Justin Thomas, and he is the 4th ranked player in the world, so we don't need any more experience. I think BDC has the leg up on the competition, he is been a practice partner of both Woods & Mickelson. I think Mickelson will be the one that is partnered with BDC.

That leaves the 4th pick which is made after the first three picks. This is where Zach, Kuchar, Xander, Kisner, Finau etc have a chance to claim the 4th and last pick. And with only two rookies on the team (JT and BDC), I don't think Kuchar and Zach win any tiebreakers. (BTW, Kuchar is good friends with both Tiger and Mickelson, and played with both of them in Team competitions.)

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Post by navyblueshorts on Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:08 pm

GPB wrote:Everytime I talked to my stock broker, I am reminded about this!

PGA Tour: PGA Championship - Where were You on 9/11? - Notes from the Ballwasher - Page 4 Past-performance-is-no-guarantee-of-future-results-77151945

Yes, two of the Wildcards are in the books for the US team.  As a US fan, I am more worried about Mickelson than Woods.  And Mickelson has 3 wins US RC wins (vs Woods 1 win).

If you don't think Woods has changed, you are not paying attention

https://twitter.com/golfweek/status/1028781310821707776

Woods would have never done anything like in his first 10-12 yrs after a legit shot at winning the tournament.

I don't think Zach is going to get a pick.  The only rookie on the team is Justin Thomas, and he is the 4th ranked player in the world, so we don't need any more experience.  I think BDC has the leg up on the competition, he is been a practice partner of both Woods & Mickelson.  I think Mickelson will be the one that is partnered with BDC.  

That leaves the 4th pick which is made after the first three picks.  This is where Zach, Kuchar, Xander, Kisner, Finau etc have a chance to claim the 4th and last pick.  And with only two rookies on the team (JT and BDC), I don't think Kuchar and Zach win any tiebreakers.  (BTW, Kuchar is good friends with both Tiger and Mickelson, and played with both of them in Team competitions.)
Some good points there, especially re. Mickleson. That man sucks. Woods does seem a lot more at ease with himself and life. May be his time. Looking at probable lineups, probably U.S. of A's to lose. We'll see I guess - well, I won't as I don't have Sky...
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Post by pedro on Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:36 pm

GPB, your stock broker means past GOOD results.

Yeah Tiger has changed to the better, as a person, but not as a player. But I’ll give you that maybe this could mean he’ll actually do well at the RC.

Good point re rookies. One should think Furyk would want to pick 2 rookies to ensure continuity on the team but maybe he won’t need it due the presumed longevity of JT, DJ, Jordan, Brooks, Rickie, Reed. Maybe he’ll take Xander in as buggy driver, given he’s the youngest of rookies on the bubble. Not much future in Kisner.

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Post by GPB on Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:55 pm

Sergio needs a Top 25 at the very worst to get to #125. Although according to the PGA FEX rankings he went from #135 to #131 last week, despite missing the cut.

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Post by GPB on Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:36 pm

Really weak field at Nordea Masters. If Olesen can't score some OWGR points and move ahead of both Poulter and Casey, he should not be considered for a pick.

Not sure how Stenson gets an Wyndham exemption from playing Nordea as I thought it was a requirement for Euro Tour players to play their home country event.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:49 pm

GPB wrote:Really weak field at Nordea Masters.  If Olesen can't score some OWGR points and move ahead of both Poulter and Casey, he should not be considered for a pick.

Not sure how Stenson gets an Wyndham exemption from playing Nordea as I thought it was a requirement for Euro Tour players to play their home country event.


Really weak field also at Greensboro - if you exclude the top seven international players; more European Tour golfers (4) from the Top 50 than Americans (2) in this week's turn-out.

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Post by Diggers on Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:32 pm

Had the debate before but for me 4 picks is at least 2 too many. Players are more or less expected to plan a season to gain points, that should be the main reason you get a pick.

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Post by GPB on Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:53 pm

Diggers wrote:Had the debate before but for me 4 picks is at least 2 too many. Players are much the or less expected to plan a season to gain points, that should be the main reason you get a pick.

I mostly agree. I don't like the Good Ole Boy club, where a Captain's peers and buddies have a competitive advantage over an up and coming player. I don't think Westwood would have got picked in 2016 if he weren't BFFs with Darren Clarke and he went winless for Europe.

Curtis Strange was a terrible pick for Lanny Wadkins in 1995.

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Post by GPB on Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:10 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:

Really weak field also at Greensboro - if you exclude the top seven international players; more European Tour golfers (4) from the Top 50 than Americans (2) in this week's turn-out.

The PGATour is diverse, and I really don't look at the flags on the leaderboard. The OWGR is not heavily subsidizing Wyndham like it is doing for Nordea. Swedes are accounting for 5 of the 34 SoF rating points for Nordea. Nordea would get an OWGR -13 rating instead of the 24 rating it is getting with the subsidies. That subsidy could keep Olesen ahead of RCB in the RC standings.

Apparently Olesen has got the Lost Luggage treatment from the airlines this week.

BTW, if you are jonesing for some golf this afternoon, the US Am is on Fox Sports1 this afternoon. I see a couple of England Flags, one from Ireland and one from Norway if that would piqued your interest.






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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:25 pm

GPB,
European Tour quite diverse also.

Alex Fitzpatrick in the US Amateur, brother of Matt, apparently an incoming student @ Wake Forest. Wonder if he'll hang about longer than Matt did @ NW?

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Post by pedro on Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:25 pm

2nd time in 2 weeks Olesen loses his clubs. Also happened before Bridgestone.

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Post by GPB on Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:01 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:GPB,
European Tour quite diverse also.

Alex Fitzpatrick in the US Amateur, brother of Matt, apparently an incoming student @ Wake Forest. Wonder if he'll hang about longer than Matt did @ NW?

Never implied that it wasn't. I was just trying to point out that Nationalities arenot something I look at when looking at the field.

I haven't done an analysis, but I pretty sure the ratio of OWGR points given vs taken on the PGATour is about the same for European player and American players and Int'l players over time.

Thanks for the info on Alex Fitzpatrick. Didn't know there was a legacy. Wouldn't take much for Alex to beat Matt for days at school.

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Post by super_realist on Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:57 am

GPB wrote:Really weak field at Nordea Masters.  If Olesen can't score some OWGR points and move ahead of both Poulter and Casey, he should not be considered for a pick.

Not sure how Stenson gets an Wyndham exemption from playing Nordea as I thought it was a requirement for Euro Tour players to play their home country event.

Where did you get that idea? Have you not seen how often people like Sergio give Spain a miss, same as English players ditching Wentworth.

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Post by beninho on Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:20 am

There is something about playing an event in your home country. I don't know if its policed or mandatory. Probably ok to skip if you commit the following year. Its why rose missed wentworth as he is hosting the British masters.

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Post by pedro on Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:31 am

At least Dru Love is playing Nordea.. He has 12 MCs from 15 events played as a pro.

What happened to Kafelnikov?

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Post by GPB on Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:26 pm

Its not mandatory to play your home event. But I do think you cannot play a competing event. Sergio didn't play the Open de Espana this year. But he also didn't play anywhere else either.

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Post by super_realist on Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:19 pm

GPB wrote:Its not mandatory to play your home event.  But I do think you cannot play a competing event.  Sergio didn't play the Open de Espana this year.  But he also didn't play anywhere else either.


Many a Brit has played in America instead of playing at Wentworth. Is it the Farmers that clashes with it? Sure before this year Poulter missed three on the bounce but played in America, Rose too I think.

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Post by Diggers on Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:12 pm

Presumably it depends what tour you are on as a main member? If Poukts is predominately PGA he can’t be obliged to play British events?

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Post by super_realist on Sat Aug 18, 2018 2:50 pm

Sergio would be the same then Diggers wouldn't he?

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Post by Diggers on Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:13 pm

No idea about double dippers and that kind of thing, but you if he’s mainly PGA then yeah...but I don’t really have a clue or particularly care.

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