PGA Tour: Desert Golf: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 16 Jan 2019, 6:31 pm

1).Desert golf in two ways, PGA Tour action in Palm Desert (not to mention ET play in AD also) this week, but the Desert Classic, the old "Bob Hope" has been deserted by its "Career Builder" sponsor. robo seems to have more insight into the likely future of the long-time Tour Palm Desert stop, but I wonder if this has been considered:

2).Shift it to the autumn and have a second West Coast "swing": San Francisco, Napa, Palm Desert, Las Vegas.
The early season schedule needs room to breathe, Adam Scott presumably just the first to suggest he may not sign up for the two WGC's, Mexico & MatchPlay.
Anyway, spreading out the "Big" events on the "Big" tour seems inevitable.

3).But not for this year and there's a decent, but not great, field scheduled to tee off Thursday, though one star attraction, Justin Rose, will be without caddie Mark Fulcher who's undergoing a "minor" (easy for me to say) heart valve procedure and will be replaced by Gareth Lord. Jon Rahm defends his title and he could use a good result - no wins on Tour since then.

4).A bit late for your fantasy game last week, but Charlie Howell played his 18th consecutive Sony Hawaii Open last week; he's made the cut every trip, with 2 x runner ups, 2 x 3rd's, and six other top ten finishes, including T8 last Sunday. Amazing how some pros have fantastic records at certain courses. CHIII goes well in the Desert too, 6 x Top 20's in 13 trips, including the last nine.
Tiger signing up (good field with Thomas, Rosey, Rory, Rahm, Rickie & Spieth) to have a go at his 9th pro win in San Diego reminds me that Howell's Hawaii record is not Woodsian, or ever Philian, but everyone knows about their exploits!

5).And, talking of last week, Chez Reavie holed out from 100+ yards for eagle on THREE Par-4's last Friday, apparently the first time that's been done on Tour since 1983 - wonder who that would have been?

6).Matt Kuchar followed up last autumn's victory at Mayakoba with a fine win, completing the Patton Kizzire double. No word yet on how much Kooch paid John Wood, but his win elevated him to 7th on the US Presidents Cup qualifying list. Current Top Ten:
BDeC, Schauffele, Thomas, Koepka, DJ, Finau, Kuchar, Woodland, Simpson, Cantlay (like him and Hadwin this week). Howell is 11th, Reed 14th, Woods 21st, Mickelson 22nd, Spieth 38th.

7).The web.com season-opener is wrapping up in the Bahamas. Whoever wins, kudos to Morgan Hoffmann who made the cut despite his MD diagnosis. I don't know how he does it, thank goodness, but long may his career last.

8).Talking of which, sort of, long-time MS patient Tony Johnstone must have the most interesting Twitter feed, a wildlife treasure trove, plus all the other good stuff he posts.

9).The Champions Tour tees off in Hawaii - and the news that Gary Nicklaus turned 50 today (16th) makes me feel even older than normal. He'll join fellow PGA Champion sons Dave Stockton & Brent Geiberger striving for Champo Tour sponsor invites.

10).Martin Laird (badly needs some good results) and Russell Knox play this week, but Graeme McDowell takes the week off. Probably not surprising as he hasn't played there for 16 years but relatively short courses with a premium on putting should suit him. Would imagine he, Laird & Seamus Power will all struggle this year, but interested to see how Danny Willett goes.
Patrick Cantlay is one of the top men in the field and he seldom wastes a start, but I'm hoping Adam Hadwin, who shot 59 here two years ago, makes a small improvement on his past three trips: 6th, 2nd, 3rd, and gets his just desserts.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 16 Jan 2019, 8:45 pm

I'd never heard of Callum Tarren before this week; now I know a little bit more:

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/golf/callum-tarren-china-gold-pga-tour-michael-skelton-tiger-woods-rory-mcilroy-a8645011.html


And he's primed to earn a decent cheque having finished about 13th in the year's first web.com event, a result which should be good for something like $10+K.

EDIT: T12 and $13.2K in the bank - a good start to the season for Tarren and he goes again next week, on Sunday!


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Post by GPB on Wed 16 Jan 2019, 9:30 pm

Kwini, Regarding Kuchar, are you familiar with the American Game Show, "Deal or No Deal"

If so, how about simulating a game of DEAL or NEW DEAL, PGATour style  In a spoiler box because it is long.

Deal or No Deal:
A simulated Game of DEAL or NO DEAL. (But Only the Opening Round)

HOWIE MANDELL = GPB
BANKER = MATT KUCHAR
Contestant = El Toucan (Kuchar's caddie at Mayakoba)

Matt Kuchar entered Mayakoba at a late date, and gave his regular PGATour Professional John Wood the week off because it is an international tournament.

No other Tour Caddies are available because it is out of the country and expensive place to travel and lodge.

Kuchar finds local Caddie El Toucan and GPB tells El Toucan picks one of 132 Briefcases. Background:  El Toucan is a family man, living Hand to Mouth in poverty.

GPB tells El Toucan that

1. ONE of those Briefcases contains $130000 (1st Place)
2. ONE Briefcases Contains $54000 (2nd Place)
3. TWO Briefcases Contains $30000 (T-3rd)
4. 11 Briefcases contain amounts of $10K to $20K (other Top 10s)
5. 10 Briefcases contain amounts from $3700 to $6500 (Top 15 to T21)
6. 47 Briefcases contain amounts from $700 to $2700 (Make Cut, but finish outside Top 25)
7. 60 Briefcases contain ZERO DOLLARS (Miss Cuts, DQs, WDs)

RING RING RING (its the Phone)

GPB answers the Phone and lo and behold, ITS KUCHAR aka THE BANKER

KUCHAR tells GPB that he is offering EL TOUCAN $3000 to buy that Briefcase

$3000 to a man living in poverty. GPB tells EL TOUCAN

15 of the 132 cases contain more than $10K,
10 more contain more than $3k but less than $10K
107 of the cases (81%) contain less than $3K

The expected (average) value of the briefcases is $3800 but only 25 of those cases contain that much money.

GPB says to EL TOUCAN that banker will buy his briefcase for $3000

DEAL OR NO DEAL....

No other offers will be forthcoming.

DEAL OR NO DEAL

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 16 Jan 2019, 10:40 pm

Not exactly a "course specialist" because they've played this on different courses thru'out his 15 appearances, but Bill Haas has won about 11% of his career earnings at this tournament . . . . . . . . he's been floundering since his Ferrari accident so maybe the Desert Classic will set him straight.

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Post by NedB-H on Wed 16 Jan 2019, 10:46 pm

Cheers Kwini,

I was well on board with your Charlie Howell tip for Hawaii last week. Unfortunately it was for an each way bet to seven places. At least he softened the blow by being in my NLU fantasy team.

Seems that the New Year is the season for golf pros to vent their bottled feelings on their peers. Tom Gillis kicked off the Kuchar furore last week, and was backed up by Steve Flesch and Cameron Percy, of all people. And now Gonzo has gone all in with the Twitter put down on Simon Dyson:

PGA Tour: Desert Golf: Notes from the Ballwasher 60444910

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 17 Jan 2019, 2:43 pm

What is it with Tom Gillis and his social media sh1t-stirring - chip on his shoulder?

But I don't understand GPB's Let's Make A Deal either - are you suggesting that a Mexican caddie in poverty is less deserving of a 10% customary "present" than millionaire John Wood?

Chance of fog and rain this morning in the Palm Desert - and I think I've got problems sharpening my shovels for 18 - 24 inches of snow incoming . . . . . . . .


EDIT: Play delayed for 30 minutes at all three courses - strange to think fog is evenly dense but there you go.


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Post by GPB on Thu 17 Jan 2019, 3:44 pm

Kwini:

I am suggesting that a Bird in the Hand is worth two in the bush.

Kuchar might have offered El Toucan a SURE THING of $3K (or now $5K) rather than the normal Caddie payout bonus structure of 10% for 1st place, 7% for a top 10, and 5% otherwise.

and 5% of a Missed Cut is 0 dollars

and Yes, symbolically, there is a difference between John Wood and El Toucan. A trip to Mayakoba might have cost John Wood 2-3K for Airfare and Hotel. El Toucan is a local.

Putting myself in El Toucan shoes, I would take the Bird in the Hand rather than the Two in the Bush. and Remember, Kuchar had been playing badly leading up to Mayakoba

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 17 Jan 2019, 3:59 pm

I just can't see why Kuchar wouldn't pay his caddie the usual rate . . . . . . . plus a one-time fee, say $3K.
It was Kuchar who got himself into this pickle, he came out smelling like a rose, but now smells like a complete dufus.

Still hope he actually forked over the proper fee - like to think the best of people until they absolutely, unequivocally prove to the contrary, and always felt that Kooch was a pretty upstanding guy. But now perhaps not.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 17 Jan 2019, 9:17 pm

Phil on phire

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Post by GPB on Fri 18 Jan 2019, 2:34 am

$3K as a base is a lot of money to pay a caddie that has NO Travel expenses

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Post by super_realist on Fri 18 Jan 2019, 8:06 am

GPB wrote:Kwini:

I am suggesting that a Bird in the Hand is worth two in the bush.

Kuchar might have offered El Toucan a SURE THING of $3K (or now $5K) rather than the normal Caddie payout bonus structure of 10% for 1st place, 7% for a top 10, and 5% otherwise.

and 5% of a Missed Cut is 0 dollars

and Yes, symbolically, there is a difference between John Wood and El Toucan.  A trip to Mayakoba might have cost John Wood 2-3K for Airfare and Hotel.  El Toucan is a local.

Putting myself in El Toucan shoes, I would take the Bird in the Hand rather than the Two in the Bush.  and Remember, Kuchar had been playing badly leading up to Mayakoba

Stop parroting on.

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Post by pedro on Fri 18 Jan 2019, 11:47 am

He’s toucaning.

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Post by Roller_Coaster on Fri 18 Jan 2019, 1:54 pm

Jesus guys. You're robin me of my enthusiasm for the thread.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 19 Jan 2019, 12:55 am

Total pig's ear from Martin Laird, from a T21, at worst, to a T90 over his final three holes.

Phil still philling it up, minus phour for the day despite a double bogey. Not bad.

Rahm & Cejka going nicely, Justin Rose treading water, and the rest of the leading Europeans need lights out on Saturday.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 19 Jan 2019, 1:50 am

Woods in for San Diego, Mickelson sitting his home tournament out.

Rory playing, Rosey too.

Plus:
Day, defending his title
Finau and Fowler, defending their winless streaks
Alex Noren, so close last year
Rahm, Reed, Schauffele, Scott, Spieth,
Plus many of the usual suspects.
Strong field!

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Post by super_realist on Sat 19 Jan 2019, 8:31 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Total pig's ear from Martin Laird, from a T21, at worst, to a T90 over his final three holes.

Phil still philling it up, minus phour for the day despite a double bogey. Not bad.

Rahm & Cejka going nicely, Justin Rose treading water, and the rest of the leading Europeans need lights out on Saturday.


Is Cejka the longest serving member from Europe? He seems to have been around for ages. First time I saw him was when I was on the scoreboard at the Dunhill, way back in '95. That's one hell of a long career.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 19 Jan 2019, 12:13 pm

Must be, super, in and out of sick bay these days, and still nuts!

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Post by GPB on Sat 19 Jan 2019, 5:48 pm

Rooting for Steve Marino to play today since apparently he is playing with this guy.

Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yapto_Soerjosoemarno

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 19 Jan 2019, 7:04 pm

GPB,
I believe this is Marino's final start on his MME. Must need something like a solo 2nd to keep his card - making a good fist of it, must be wondering where his form has been.


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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 19 Jan 2019, 8:21 pm

Mickelson sitting out San Diego and reportedly the LA Open at Riviera as well.
Not sure whether that is due to the compressed schedule over the coming months, but kinda surprising (especially LA) news.

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Post by GPB on Sat 19 Jan 2019, 9:38 pm

Phil never liked the Torrey South Redesign (Rees Jones) and he got pencil-whipped on the Torrey North redesign.

Phil at 2018 Safeway wrote:"And I'm 48. I'm not going to play tournaments with rough like that anymore. It's a waste of my time. I'm going to play courses that are playable and that I can play aggressive, attacking, make a lot of birdies, style of golf I like to play.''

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Post by pedro on Sun 20 Jan 2019, 12:14 am

So writing off the Ryder Cup and his home town event because it doesn’t represent the style of golf he likes to play.. Doh

What about the US Open Phil?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 20 Jan 2019, 3:52 pm

Looks windy and stormy for Round 1 of this week's web.commer in the Bahamas, more than half the morning starters at +3 or (much) worse as they make the turn. But at least they're playing which is more than they'd be doing here #blizzard.


Fine round from Russell Knox in the "Desert Classic" yesterday, but most headline attention will be on Phil, and whether he can complete a start-to-finish win.
Laird, Willett, Power among those deserting the desert.



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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 20 Jan 2019, 7:01 pm

Good week for Mexico's Ortiz brothers, regardless of whether Carlos improves on his current 12th place in the Desert - brother Alvaro won the Latin America Amateur, thus earning a trip down Magnolia Lane in April.
(Better tell Drumpf they're not rapists, druggies, gangsters or killers.)

Justin Rose playing well on Sunday until he doubled the 9th; hopefully he can scrounge some owgr bounty with a strong back nine.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 20 Jan 2019, 11:52 pm

Extraordinary win.
Congrats Adam Long.
Whoever you are. Knew nothing about him, but he played like a winner all the way. Being Long matters.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 22 Jan 2019, 4:21 pm

Rickie Fowler's take on the Tour's genius schedule:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/golf/2019/01/22/rickie-fowler-pga-tour-tournament-schedule/2642865002/


He makes it clear that he's "not complaining", but will clearly go through the year with plenty of "regrets", and he's got to get those sponsor obligations in.
Anyway, this suggests he'll play the Scottish.

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Post by pedro on Tue 22 Jan 2019, 8:00 pm

In the long run, I wonder if it’s wise to surrender to the NFL? I guess other players face the same challenge as Rickie, with the risk of the 2nd tier tournaments (Colonial etc) getting even more dilluted. Don’t think sponsors will like that.
On top of that the PGAT is becoming more and more global, and noone outside the US gives a damn about the NFL. They (we) are basically left with stepping stone golf for 3+ months.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 22 Jan 2019, 9:22 pm

pedro wrote:In the long run, I wonder if it’s wise to surrender to the NFL? I guess other players face the same challenge as Rickie, with the risk of the 2nd tier tournaments (Colonial etc) getting even more dilluted. Don’t think sponsors will like that.
On top of that the PGAT is becoming more and more global, and noone outside the US gives a damn about the NFL. They (we) are basically left with stepping stone golf for 3+ months.


My thoughts too pedro, somewhat anyway. So much money sloshing around here though that everything at the top becomes very me-first, short-term. More law suits re CTE, and the lustre of the NFL may lose its shine, especially at the feeder school/college level, but it's king of the sporting hill here, tho' not sure why.

A few tiers below the galactico level, Brian Davis won the Monday Qualie for San Diego. Must be long odds against him making the cut on these courses, but hope he does.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 2:43 pm

Haven't watched any of the web.com action but final round just started with an interesting trio on top:
Erik Compton, on his third (at least) heart, just a few years removed from finishing three shots behind Martin Kaymer, US Open winner at Pinehurst.
Willy Wilcox, one-time ball-striking machine on the "Big Tour", but quite possibly nuts.
John Oda, a likely star of the future, not far behind TJ Vogel & Patrick Reed among Monday Qualie Qualifiers.

Ben Taylor the leading GB&I golfer, waddling (don't tell super) along in 30th place.

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Post by GPB on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 2:51 pm

Kaymer won by 8 shots at Pinehurst, Compton and Fowler were 2nd.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 2:53 pm

GPB wrote:Kaymer won by 8 shots at Pinehurst, Compton and Fowler were 2nd.

Oh, Phew. Thanks for correcting . . . . . . .

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Post by NedB-H on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 11:32 pm

Compton must be right up the top of the list of unlikely/forgotten major runner-ups. David Lynn, Greg Havret, Len Mattiace, Bob May.... some good competition.

Didn’t help him today anyway, +11 for the final round. First ever Puerto Rican on tour?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 1:26 am

I think Campos might do well on Tour, he's had some decent results which, seeing as he's from Puerto Rico, ain't easy.

I was surprised at Wilcox falling apart on the back nine. As for Compton (I grew up in the Denis era and he used to be at the same newsagent & pub in his/my later years), throwing in a TEN isn't ever going to help.

Really looking forward to the action tomorrow, Dubai as well as SD.

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