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Post by GPB on Mon 14 Jan 2019, 6:56 pm

First topic message reminder :

New Year, Time for a New Thread.

EuroTour makes it 2019 Debut this week with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Classic Presented by EGA.  Next week is Dubai and the following week is the New Saudi Event

Guessing that the EGA Presentation got Abu Dhabi a promotion to a Rolex Series event.


DJ and BK are playing in Abu Dhabi.  So is Fleetwood, Stenson, Oosthuizen, RCB, Barnrat, Poulter, and Oleson

Despite the the Hired Guns from USA and Rolex Promotion, Abu Dhabi will have its lowest OWGR rating in 10 yrs.  Pelley can't be happy about that.

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Post by super_realist on Mon 04 Feb 2019, 7:45 pm

McLaren wrote:It would be a slow and painful way to go.

Probably a more fruitful way to kill time than what you've been doing for the last 5 years Mac.

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Post by pedro on Mon 04 Feb 2019, 7:46 pm

robopz wrote:
Roller_Coaster wrote:For punishment how's about he has to read all of yours and Super's arguments on here over the last 5 years? Whistle Whistle Whistle
Sheesh, all the guy did was hack up a bunch of greens, and now you want to give him the DEATH PENALTY? Harsh man, harsh.. laughing
Saudi style, robo.. Whistle

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Post by Shotrock on Mon 04 Feb 2019, 8:30 pm

Did pea brain damage the course with intent? Yes. Did he know that could disrupt the people following? Of course he did. That's cheating.

Remember, this pea brain didn't just do it for one hole, but for hole after hole. Bizarre behavior and total lack of emotional control.

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Post by Davie on Mon 04 Feb 2019, 8:33 pm

It's still not cheating. Disgraceful behaviour maybe but not cheating

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Post by Shotrock on Mon 04 Feb 2019, 8:41 pm

Hey, let's call it "free course modifications that may affect competitors playing behind me." Rolling Eyes

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Post by McLaren on Mon 04 Feb 2019, 9:08 pm

If you knowingly break a pretty serious rule for five holes in a row how is that not cheating?

Dyson got labelled a cheat for one stud mark repair.
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Post by pedro on Mon 04 Feb 2019, 11:01 pm

One green is ok, sh!t happens. But 5 consecutive greens? I wonder what he was thinking, if anything.

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Post by super_realist on Tue 05 Feb 2019, 8:02 am

McLaren wrote:If you knowingly break a pretty serious rule for five holes in a row how is that not cheating?

Dyson got labelled a cheat for one stud mark repair.

HIs motive was clearly frustration. Do you genuinely think he thought that he could recoup strokes on the field by sabotaging the green? I know you're naïve Mac, but Christ, you'd have to be very green to think he thought he was doing it to gain advantage (which is what cheating is) He was simply being a complete knob who can't control his temper which was compounded hole after hole.

Dyson was caught for IMPROVING his lie to gain an advantage, there's no reason to think that Garcia was deliberately trying to scupper the chances of other players and thus gain an advantage.
There's no excusing what he did, but there's nothing to suggest he was doing it in order to cheat.

You've admitted that you'd like bunkers not to be raked, maybe even left them unraked yourself, is that because you want to leave it tricky for someone behind you? Garcia gained nothing from his hissy, petulant fit. Once again you're showing you can't even be consistent.

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Post by McLaren on Tue 05 Feb 2019, 2:43 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/golf/47119588

Not a bad take from Carter. Makes the point that an ET ban for Garcia would just mean he adds a pgat event or two to his schedule, and this is my addition,and achieves the Rory dream of not having to play the ET at all.


Also I take it none of us are shocked be tiger and the bear teeing it up with trump. Jack was an open supporter and tiger hasn't done what his father predicted about him changing the world for African Americans.
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Post by pedro on Tue 05 Feb 2019, 6:37 pm

McLaren wrote:tiger hasn't done what his father predicted about him changing the world for African Americans.
Playing with Obama didn’t help much either...
Does Liam Neeson play golf?

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Post by I'm never wrong on Wed 13 Feb 2019, 10:27 am

ET says it will have richest winners cheque for a golf tournament. Other events have boosted top prizes,but fund remains fixed. Fields are reduced. http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2019/tournamentid=2019095/news/newsid=365854.html

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Post by pedro on Wed 13 Feb 2019, 12:18 pm

A bit strange to change the qualification criteria after the season has started.

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Post by McLaren on Wed 13 Feb 2019, 1:01 pm

I'm never wrong wrote:ET says it will have richest winners cheque for a golf tournament. Other events have boosted top prizes,but fund remains fixed. Fields are reduced. http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2019/tournamentid=2019095/news/newsid=365854.html

Unless they have increased the overall budget that just means those not winning get lower pay cheques.
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Post by I'm never wrong on Wed 13 Feb 2019, 3:52 pm

Err Mac. Did you read my post? Fields are reduced = less people to pay. Doh

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Post by McLaren on Wed 13 Feb 2019, 3:54 pm

INW

Turns out you are sometimes. If the fields have been reduced that definitely reduces some players chances of picking up a cheque. Doh
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Post by I'm never wrong on Wed 13 Feb 2019, 3:58 pm

McLaren wrote:INW

Turns out you are sometimes.  If the fields have been reduced that definitely reduces some players chances of picking up a cheque.  Doh

Mac, not necessarily. It could be that those that win, win more, those that don't win, win as much as they did before.

If your talking about those people who didn't get into the tournament, why didn't you say so? I wasn't.

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Post by McLaren on Wed 13 Feb 2019, 4:27 pm

Whatever position you look at it from it isn't spreading the wealth.
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Post by super_realist on Wed 13 Feb 2019, 6:53 pm

McLaren wrote:Whatever position you look at it from it isn't spreading the wealth.

Can never leave your Corbynista views behind can you?

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Post by robopz on Thu 14 Feb 2019, 1:44 am

RE ET announcement on Turkey, Nedbank & Dubai changes...   Fact is the top dual tour players are only gonna play so much from Sept on... and there's added pressure to get some PGAT starts in sometime in the fall too...  

Bottom line:  "For every action there's an opposite and equal reaction". In this case, the reaction may not be exactly equal in every case, but for the most part every player who adds either/or Turkey, Nedbank and Dubai... will be taking something else off  their schedule. IMO this is the kind of thing the ET had to do to remain competitive, but I doubt it means any of the Euro stars will be playing any more ET events than before... just sayin...

More concerning to the ET should be L.A. Open going to invitational status.  That most probably means the OWGR top-50 will all get invites now like Bay Hill and Memorial... that's one more start for the Fitz's of the world to earn their PGAT bones... Now they have the potential of 4 majors, 4 WGC's, 3 Invitationals... PLUS they can play PLUS one more Sponsors Exemption PLUS the Players championship...

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Post by GPB on Thu 28 Feb 2019, 7:34 pm

BETFRED takes over as title sponsor of British Masters.

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Post by GPB on Sun 03 Mar 2019, 3:12 pm

2nd win of 2018-19 for Kitayama

Six of the 12 wins thus far on the EuroTour have been won by Americans (2x for Kitayama and DJohnson, 1x by Lipsky and DeChambeau).

The other six wins were from England (Rai), Ireland (Lowry), Scotland (Law), South Africa (Oosthuizen), Australia (Cam Smith), & New Zealand (Fox)

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 1:06 pm

300th career top ten finish from a resurgent Ernie Els.
Interesting stats from princedrac regarding the top top-ten finishers in the owgr era:
300: Els, followed by:
Vijay
Jumbo
Tiger
Montgomerie
Phil
lw1
Retief
Langer
Furyk, who could well add to his 201 today.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 31 Mar 2019, 12:09 pm

Out of the Blues? Big win for Stevie G.

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Post by GPB on Sat 06 Apr 2019, 1:32 pm

Surprised there are no comments about the Jordan Mixed Open this week.

The Challenge, Staysure, and LET Tour are coming together to compete against each other.

Not sure how they are handicapping (with respect to tee locations) but an LET member is leading (unless there is a dude named Meghan).


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Post by robopz on Mon 15 Apr 2019, 10:38 pm

Hey all... haven't been around much lately... Hope all of you are well... Wow... what a Masters, huh? Hope Super survived it...

Anyway... what got me over here was I happened across the Euro Tour Race to Dubai list and saw Kevin Kisner's name at the top. Huh? What? Obviously from his WGC Match Play win, but I hadn't realized Kisner had taken membership on the ET... But for a top PGA Tour player, I guess why not? If Kisner has taken conditional status, this first year he has NO requirement to play X events on the ET... and in subsequent years he's only required to play 4 non-major/WGC events. (3 if he qualifies for either Ryder or Presidents Cup). So a guy like Kisner can basically play an Open warm-up and two Rolex Series events and qualify for potential R2D bonus money.

http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/racetodubai/rankings/index.html

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 15 Apr 2019, 10:50 pm

Thanks robo,
Some things get stupider by the day.
Very lukewarm comments from European Tour players about Pelley in the survey linked by GPB last week. They seem to like the money, but not much else. Easy to see why.

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Post by robopz on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 4:36 am

Kwini... This is probably beating a dead horse, but it's pretty clear there are surely positives to the upgraded Rolex series events, membership policies and the new schedule opportunities, but there's been some significant unintended consequences.

The way I see it... The downside is the way ET have it put together it almost guarantees most of the dual tour European big names are going to play near the ET minimum.

But there is a potential long-range upside. I think this new PGAT schedule ending in August will get more Americans to pick up an extra ET event or 2 beyond the one or two they might already be playing. I mean if it can get Kevin Kisner out of the U.S. to play a couple of times, that means it might be able to attract anybody.

Right now ET has DeChambeau, Kisner, Schauffele, Finau, Wise, Horschel, Reed & Merritt taking up some form of dual membership on the ET. And with the 4 event minimum, the RC/PC qualifed guys aren't going to have any problems with getting 3 PGA Tour conflicting event releases. And even the guys who aren't PC/RC qualified, if they play 20 on the PGAT, they can automatically get the 4 releases they need to make their ET minimum.

Then on the other side of the coin they have Americans playing ET full-time trying to earn status on the PGA tour, like Chase Koepka, David Lipsky & Julian Suri & Kitayama. But that's no real loss of star power to the ET if those guys move away to the PGAT.

But the big elephant in the room that most people don't even realise is there is the PGA tour has finally woken up to the inequities of the OWGR bias favoring smaller tours. But more importantly, they're determined to do something about it.    Too much to get into here right now, but the ramifications of creating a real ranking system based on real results (and the politics out of it) go lot deeper than people realize.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 2:30 pm

robo,
As you know I've long felt that it was Finchem's agenda to rule the golfing world, and Monahan and Pelley, wittingly and possibly unwittingly, seem hellbent on pursuing Finchem's agenda.
Don't necessarily expect you to agree with that but I can see some anomalies, especially with any seismic re-jig of the owgr ranking criteria.

In no particular order:
~Just a month ago, Justin Harding was the poster child for the inequities of the owgr's, yet now he's beaten the winners of almost four dozen Majors in the Hootie Invitational. Guess those Djakarta Four-Balls had some merit after all?

~The tournament bar for earning and retaining European Tour membership is ridiculously low, as you seem to agree - great that tourists can play ET events, but not that such players can share in end of season ET largesse - unless such country members are so reciprocated in FedEx bounty. Which they won't be.

~The non-Americans who play the PGA Tour enhance the strength of field for many of those tournaments, Hilton Head being a prime example, but much of the Florida Swing also - according to drac, this week's field matches the strongest Heritage field for 20 years, but not because of Americans' presence.

~Good golfers are not going to stop being good golfers just because the Tour demands ranking changes, they're going to gravitate increasingly to the PGA Tour. At the expense of young Americans. And many of them are going to be Asian players, not too dissimilar to the invasion on the LPGA Tour, and look at the doldrums that's been in since Sorenstam and Ochoa left the scene.

~Pelley has got to stop chasing the high-rolling sponsorship Euro in favour of spreading the wealth a little more evenly. I love the Rolex idea, but not the fact that tournaments thus anointed seem to be so fickle - the demise of the Open De France is shameful!
My view is that Pelley (or his successor when he finally gets the inevitable golden handshake) needs to build the base, just as the PGA Tour has done so successfully - that way pros who wish to remain in Europe can make a fine living without chasing the almighty dollar. Offer communities the chance to make it a routine to see the top pros, just as they do here. As usual, "Hartford" is my prototype!

~Contrary to popular perception in the US media, Europe has a helluva lot going for it, but golf sponsorship doesn't so far seem to be one of them. But quality of life is enviable and some people (even top golfers) find that preferable to more materialistic living.

~Your elephant reference seems to suggest that PAC wahoos who don't properly understand (and nor do I) the "ranking system" want to change to a more BIG Tour-centric ranking criteria. But be careful what you ask for - most of those who grumble about overseas subsidies are pros with journeyman status, not the elite. And if a major change comes about, there'll be more overseas players on the web.com & PGA Tours, not fewer, and those journeymen will be out with the washing.
An annual (or less frequent) recalibration of subsidies would be very healthy, some can't be defended, but they're not wildly out either.


As you might imagine, I'm much more in favour of a slightly more socialistic world view of the game and especially that in Europe and possibly Japan, South Africa, Australia, etc. If that cannot be achieved, the elite will all be in America, they just won't be American.


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Post by GPB on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 3:11 pm

Re: French Open

The K Club was hosting the Smurfit European Open almost every year, until it hosted the 2006 Ryder Cup.

Celtic Manor was hosting a European Tour Event, until it hosted the 2010 Ryder Cup

GlenEagles was hosting an annual European Event, until it hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup.

Not a good trend for the Open de France and Le Club Nationale.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 3:21 pm

Even worse for Olgiata GC . . . . . . but perhaps the Molinaris will step in with a top class event in the Turin area.

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Post by robopz on Wed 17 Apr 2019, 11:49 am

Kwini,
I think you and I are in more agreement than you realize. To address a few of your points...

~ Absolutely agree on objectives of the PGA Tour and Monahan. Rule the golf world PERIOD. Only difference from Finchem is Monahan is attempting same with a nicer smile and more engaging personality. But make NO mistake, objective is the same.

~ IMO membership on a Tour should have both it's benefits AND responsibilities. That's where IMO the PGAT and ET have diverged. PGAT still has responsibilities to get benefits and play the FEX... ET membership rules have in effect removed those responsibilities from its players.

~ Sometimes you make it sound as if I think it's an American vs everybody else thing. NOTHING could be further from it. PGAT is in effect the "world tour" now despite the fact it plays only a fraction of the "worldly" schedule the ET does. I define "world tour" as where the worlds best players congregate to play. PGAT WANTS the best of the world here, it's NOT about protecting "American" playing spots on either WEB or PGAT.

~ There is and likely will be NO Asian invasion on the men's side of golf anything remotely close to what we saw on the women's side. That's a deep topic on its own, but basically... the Asian men simply do NOT enjoy the cultural advantages over their "western" male counterparts that the women do over theirs. Asian representation on both the PGAT and ET will continue to grow, but more because at this point they are underrepresented. (based on facilities and access/developmental opportunities, NOT population).

~ I think Europe is an EXCELLENT place to golf, live and play. And absolutely you don't have to sell me on the benefits of that. But make no mistake... IT IS ABOUT THE $$. They're professionals... it's what they do. There will be a few exceptions who will eschew the big money PGAT to stay home though. Like Pepperell might.

~ PELLEY... Agree with you probably 90% + on all that... As I've said many times before... I really liked him at the beginning, somebody needed to blow up the reactive nature of ET management for a more proactive one. And he's done that in spades. But what seems to be lacking is long term vision. Oh the vision to grow purses is there, but the way he's gone about it has almost as many negative ramifications as positive. IMO the mistake was approaching it from a standpoint of "Let's keep our stars home so they don't need to join the PGAT too". Unfortunately... the reverse has happened. They've made it easier to Dual Tour. The ONLY thing holding many top Euros to keep ET membership now is Ryder Cup eligibility...

~ RANKING SYSTEM - Do we want a ranking system that PROPERLY ranks players to the best of our ability... or... do we want one that's "jiggered" to be ensure certain representations? I prefer the former. But where the rankings go sideways is people protecting turf, instead of protecting a ranking system. Current system is fairly accurately ranking at the top IMO... it's down the line where the issues begin. IMO those who deserve ranking top-50, 60, 64 spots to qualify for big events should be in them... PERIOD. If you want wide ranging world representation in those big events beyond that (which I want too)... you do it by adjusting the other entry criteria in these events beyond OWGR... ensuring X number off money lists or orders of merit from around the world are included... or whatever other field objectives you have are met.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 17 Apr 2019, 3:25 pm

Robo,
Re the Rankings system, I agree. But just two things:
~Harding's success last week suggests they're not as far off as some might suggest, especially for identifying young players.

~I still think the impact of Asian male pros is going to be significant, and combined with refugees from other countries who are already here, has a cumulative effect that will deny places in Tour fields for US pros. I'm sure there are stats on the %age compared from, say, 15 years ago to the present; that will continue and selling journeyman pros on the world tour narrative is a toughie. All are best served ultimately by stronger tours around the world.

Anyway, future developments will be illuminating!

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Post by robopz on Thu 18 Apr 2019, 2:57 am

Kwini... I guess I'm just not making myself clear that I don't really see the PGA Tour as an AMERICAN Tour anymore. Granted, most of it plays here, but it's more of the "World Tour" now because the best of the world are aspiring to get on the PGAT and while the access is not yet equal internationally compared to North Americans. it's getting closer every year.

Bottom line:  Long term I expect to see the PGAT pretty much represent the sizes of the talent pools throughout the various regions of the world... but that's NOT by population, its by access to facilities, quality instruction/training and developmental tours.  The R&A's annual World Golf Course Supply report says that Asia has about 17% of the worldwide courses. So I would expect at some point players representing those regions will be taking between 15-20% of PGA Tour spots on the PGAT or Europe tours.  And I do see a trend of Asians growing toward those proportions on both the PGAT and ET... They're close to halfway there now on tbe ET, maybe 1/3 on the PGA.

But what I'm NOT seeing is it being anything like we're seeing on the women's side.  Bottom line is the Asian women have a cultural advantage that the men just don't enjoy.  And the numbers show it as well...

Below a graph of the $ earned by Asians on the LPGA, PGA and EURO Tours since the start of this century.  We see how the Asian Women simply TOOK OVER... They are dramatically outperforming their expected rate... but we're seeing a more modest "expected" success growth rate on men's side.  

European Tour - 2019 - Page 3 Asians10

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 18 Apr 2019, 12:17 pm

robo,
I wasn't suggesting you saw the PGA Tour as an American Tour, but I bet some of the rank and file of Tour opinion still do, whether players, officials or media influencers . . . . . . . which was meant to be my "be careful what you (them, not robo!) wish for" point.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 18 Apr 2019, 12:26 pm

Robo

Great posts. But what are the cultural advantages that female Asian players have over their male counterparts?
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Post by GPB on Thu 18 Apr 2019, 2:29 pm

Kwini:

Wow, a lot of stock in a T17 finish in the Match Play and T12 in the Masters for Harding. Yep he won in Qatar and 2nd in Kenya to 11th hour qualify for the Masters. Purple patch. But he also missed the cut in San Antonio (by five shots) and Trunk Slammed in Oman.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 18 Apr 2019, 2:47 pm

GPB wrote:Kwini:

Wow, a lot of stock in a T17 finish in the Match Play and T12 in the Masters for Harding. Yep he won in Qatar and 2nd in Kenya to 11th hour qualify for the Masters.  Purple patch.  But he also missed the cut in San Antonio (by five shots) and Trunk Slammed in Oman.


Yup!

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Post by McLaren on Thu 18 Apr 2019, 3:59 pm

GPB wrote:Re: French Open

The K Club was hosting the Smurfit European Open almost every year, until it hosted the 2006 Ryder Cup.

Celtic Manor was hosting a European Tour Event, until it hosted the 2010 Ryder Cup

GlenEagles was hosting an annual European Event, until it hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup.

Not a good trend for the Open de France and Le Club Nationale.

This really isn't good. Do the ET pump money into the venues to create publicity for the course by hosting tournaments and then stop doing this after the RC? So even if the events have existed for several years they get comfortable with the RC money which dries up after the event.

Or is has it just been bad luck for these venues?
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Post by robopz on Thu 18 Apr 2019, 11:11 pm

McLaren wrote:Robo

Great posts.  But what are the cultural advantages that female Asian players have over their male counterparts?
Asian girls (especially Koreans) are gladly willing to dedicate their young lives to golf at the virtual exclusion of all of the things, to earn the family honor. And the families are willing to go all in behind them. And there's a level of cultural single Focus discipline to those goals you just don't see near as much in females in Western cultures. Bottom line, the Asian women succeed because they been more dedicated and worked harder and are more prepared when they get there.

But in Western cultures on tbe male side... Being great at an athletic endeavor and being extremely focused and working extremely hard to perfect it is universally commonplace. You saw pictures of Tiger as a little kid, we saw Rory hitting golf balls into washing machines as little kid... Both of them total dedication to golf. That happens thousands and thousands of times over all around the world with males. Bottom line: when the Asian men emerge on the "World stage", they are facing the rest of the world's men who have been just as dedicated and have worked just as hard as they have to be prepared to succeed in golf.

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Post by GPB on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 6:07 pm

I see that three of the six Americans in the Morocco field are at (or near) the Top of the leaderboard.

4 of the Top 10 in the R2D standings are Americans and the R2D leader is Kevin Kisner who has NEVER (i think) played a European Event that was NOT co-sanctioned with the US PGATour.

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Post by pedro on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 11:51 pm

Had Tiger taken up ET membership he’d have won the OOM several times.

In 2002 Goosen won the OOM by having won only one small tournament in Oz. The rest was due to good results in WGC/Majors.

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Post by GPB on Sun 28 Apr 2019, 4:37 pm

At least Tiger and Goosen played events that were not co-sanctioned with the PGATour.

Kiz never has.

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Post by JAS on Wed 08 May 2019, 1:33 pm

Has to be said, a bit of a famine of Top Europeans supporting Tommy at Hillside this week, only Westwood of the last 4 tournament hosts has made the effort. Don’t think the scheduling has helped to be fair. I dare say the schedule must be tricky to set when playing 2nd fiddle to the PGAT but a top course that will draw huge crowds deserves better. Personally I’d have dropped it in to a slot after to US Open to give an extended Links swing of British Masters, Irish Open, Scottish Open and Open

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Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 09 May 2019, 11:03 am

My paper reporting that McIlroy has rejoined the European Tour at the last minute. He was down to play Scottish Open and European Open so just needs another two to complete requirements.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 12 May 2019, 12:55 pm

Hillside looking gorgeous. Sell-out, which is nice to see. Well done Tommy!!

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Post by GPB on Sun 12 May 2019, 1:14 pm

I'm never wrong wrote:My paper reporting that McIlroy has rejoined the European Tour at the last minute. He was down to play Scottish Open and European Open so just needs another two to complete requirements.

4 tournaments?  Brutal for Rory.

Kwini: Any comments on the decision of the BETFRED going with threesomes and split tees on a dry sunny Sunday with scheduled ending at 3 pm local time

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Post by I'm never wrong on Sun 12 May 2019, 1:49 pm

Final matches of the Premier League with the title on the line all kicking off at 3pm could be one answer.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 12 May 2019, 2:40 pm

Also, possibly, a request from players who are flying to JFK this evening. Travel from DFW may not need quite the same adjustment.

Though it's pretty bl00dy miserable in NYC just now, not missing desirable practice conditions for sure. Nor tomorrow either for that matter.
Becoming less March-like by Tuesday and drying out and slowly warming up thereafter.

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Post by NedB-H on Sun 12 May 2019, 10:27 pm

Spent all of Thursday and Friday at Hillside, arriving just after the first groups went out at 7:30 and staying until gone 7 in the evening. Hillside is a fantastic course, and would make a great test for or an Open if there was a little more space for fans; the sole spectator entrance to the premises crossing the 18th fairway won’t do the job there. Saw a few complaints on the greens from the usual suspects - Hatton, Dunne - but conditions were fine from what we saw on four laps of the course. Interesting to see references to a “true links test” in the social and old media; while I don’t disagree with that overall, there are some distinct parkland elements too. Most obviously the twelfth, which is a textbook parkland par four, elevated tee to a dog leg right around a reed-filled lake. But also the pond-guarded green on the third, and the two-tiered green across a carry on the sixteenth. It’s a more unusual mix of holes than most links courses I can think of.

Pleased to see that Kinhult held on today as we followed his group around on Friday afternoon, on the basis of his low first round and with a backup plan of dropping back a group to follow Matt Jordan. Kinhult’s group went off the tenth, and barely had double figures following them for most of the way, a figure that included Kinhult’s parents. He looked totally capable of hanging around until late in the tournament, playing safe positions to every fairway and green but still leaving plenty of chances. Only saw him hit one really bad shot in 18 holes, a hook drive on the second OoB. His group also included Paratore and we could see exactly why people are excited by him; he hits the ball miles but totally controlled, and was -6 through 12 without breaking sweat before he let a few shots slip carelessly around the green. The third in the group was Matthew Cort, playing on the national invite in his mid 40s, and he showed as much emotion as anyone we saw when he made bogey on nine to miss the cut on the number.

Thursday we’d picked the Colsaerts/Larrazabal/Wiesberger group as an obvious follow and weren’t disappointed. Pablo was all over the place early on, playing military golf off the tees and lobbing his putter away on his second hole of the tournament when he took four from forty feet. But he ground out a few good pars and then got his game together on his second nine; easy to see why he’s so mercurial with his wide swirly swing though. Colsaerts had the reverse round, striking the ball beautifully for his first seven or eight holes before a needless bogey led to a run of careless shots. Looks like he only woke up again late on Friday to rally inside the cut. Wiesberger has a very low, squeezed ball flight which didn’t seem to have much which could go wrong with it, and put together a very steady bogey-free round. Colsaerts, Pablo and Bernd’s caddie also puffed their way through a pack of 20 each as they went around, and never mind that it rained all morning.
We went back round that afternoon, after a cold wet stint on the par 3 tenth, with David Howell, Canizares and John Catlin, an American off the Asian Tour (quick player, beautiful striker, didn’t shout fore when his ball sailed over a dune and past our heads). Canizares looked to have his game in decent order, with some lovely touches around the green, but missed five or six putts inside eight feet. Howeller just seemed to be there for the day out, without the slightest concern for anything except a slight annoyance whenever his famed putting let him down. Not sure who’s on his bag at the moment but he didn’t seem popular with the other two caddies in his group.

Friday morning we went around with Karlsson, Rock and Baldwin; Karlsson had shot 66 on Thursday but looked very ropey, took most of the front nine to find a fairway, had two tee shots in the water and a third that escaped by rolling over a bridge, and scrambled to a 73. Rock was very steady, seemed to it five iron off every tee and seven iron into every green to 30 feet. Baldwin is a local Merseyside lad and had support from John Parrott in the 30 or so following him. He played best of the three, going extremely quickly even before rumours of a weather warning; that was probably his downfall as he rushed a few shots around the green, but he had a run of outrageous par saves at the start of the back nine to keep his round together before he finished strongly.
They didn’t quite get around before a storm blew through around lunchtime, although the delay was only about an hour. Never experienced a weather delay at an event before; most people made for the catering areas but there was a strange sense of adventure among a few of us who tried to brave it out. After a few minutes some marshalls wandered over and said the course was being evacuated and people had to return to the car park, but knowing British weather better than that most people lurked in quiet spots between dunes until the rain passed, then pretended they’d never been told to leave.

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Post by pedro on Mon 13 May 2019, 12:38 am

Ned, thumbsup thumbsup

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