PGA Tour: Road Trips to Mexico & Puerto Rico: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 20 Feb 2019, 7:58 pm

1).That's right, get yer passports out. Trips to Mexico, Puerto Rico (or the beach) signify the Tour season approaching its 40% mark.

2).The pros at the WGC at Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico who played Riviera will have to deal with an almost 8,000 feet elevation change. Not that that appears to have affected Dustin Johnson or Phil Mickelson, winners the past two years.

3).But what of Rainy Riviera? I'm not a fan of slow play, think it's inexcusable, but JB Holmes got the sort of negative press that would not have accompanied a Day, or DeChambeau or Spieth win. Tricky conditions, playing partners who were struggling, plus a clogged up course all conspired to slow things down - Scott & Thomas couldn't have played a twosome any more than ten minutes faster.
As it is, JB gets slagged off but he's slowly (sorry JB) building himself a strong golfing CV:
5 wins, a played 2, won 2 Ryder Cup matches, (a Paul Lawrie-type record!) and up to 50th on the "career earnings" list.

3).Talking of Ryder Cup matches, Steve Stricker has been appointed Captain of the US Team in his home State of Wisconsin, matched up against Padraig Harrington.
Stricker will be the first US Captain without a Major to his name and it's a bit of a puzzle as to exactly what he's done to earn the gig. Other than living in Wisconsin.
His record in three Cups is won 3, lost 7, halved 1. Tiger-esque perhaps but a pretty grim record.
But it was enough to get him on the US Ryder Cup Task Force and he scored a Presidents Cup win as Captain in 2017.
Pretty slim credentials, whichever way you look at it - a fine player but being an FOT was probably his most important passport to the job.
And: One assumes Phil is brushing up his Italian for Rome. Or wherever they can finally get a course ready to play host.

4). Perhaps it's too early to look seriously at the top end of the FedEx points list, we still have 4 Majors, 3 WGC's and The Players to go.
But it's not too soon to see who's not playing well and wonder what to make of it.
Established pros not in the top 150 on the FedEx list include:
Schwartzel - really, what's gone wrong with Charl?
Hoffman
Spieth
Schneiderjans - how motivated his Ollie?
Kirk
Berger - just coming back from injury. Let's assume he'll bounce back when fully fit.
Dufner
Jimmy Walker
Lovemark - is he fit?
Harman
Steele - usually a fast starter

5).We haven't figured out whassup with King Charl;
Hoffman, Dufner & Walker could be at that certain age where motivation might not be all it once was;
Schneiderjans & Lovemark are young enough where their careers might be expected to rebound;
And Harman, Kirk & Steele probably don't need to drop their level much to slip significantly.

6).But what about Jordan Spieth?
It's 18 months now since his Miracle at Birkdale, and seven months from his final round flame out at Carnoustie, his most recent Top Ten finish. Best this season has been a T35 at Torrey Pines. Weird thing is, in each of the four events (from six starts) he's made the cut this year he's had fabulous opening rounds, but then what?
Las Vegas: 66, 68, 71, 72
San Diego: 65, 72, 72, 72
Pebble Beach: 66, 68, 74, 75
Los Angeles: 64, 70, 70, 81 EIGHTY ONE!
So he's regressing over the weekend. Stats shouldn't change much over the course of a tournament so you'd have to think there's something else going on. But whatever could that be. Among his lowlights last Sunday were a flare/shank (his provisional was not much better) with his approach on #2 which resulted in a double bogey, and an 8 on the short par-4 10th hole, from a greenside bunker.
No idea.

7).Gene Littler died last week, 88 and taking one of golf's silky/smoothest swings to the clubhouse in the sky.
We seem to agree that Jackie Burke is the oldest living Major Championship winner, followed by Goalby, Finsterwald, January, Player, Charles, Nichols, Coody, Geiberger and Lou Graham.
It's been speculated that one or two of these are on the alternate list for this week's Puerto Rico event - there's an utterly abysmal turn out for a $3M purse.
Berger, Uihlein & Schwartzel are the only pros in the field ranked 138 or better. For $3M!!
If anyone (you know, like Grayson Murray) who isn't playing this week complains about losing their card at the end of the season, it will take a good British epithet to respond: B0ll0cks to you.
Martin Laird, Seamus Power are absent too: What are you thinking??!!
McDowell plays though, and his season has got off to a respectable start, given his loss of status.

8).I'm never sure what to make of Chapultepec - the course looks as if it should favour straight hitters a la Colonial but Dustin Johnson and Phil (from Justin Thomas) suggests bombers aren't disadvantaged.
I fancy Jon Rahm & Thomas, perhaps with a dose of Rafa as an each-way punt.

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Post by GPB on Wed 20 Feb 2019, 11:30 pm

No passport needed for Americans to Puerto Rico.

$3M purse is a BIG EVENT on the EuroTour.

Michael Greller's (Spieth's caddie) father died this week.  Spieth will have his own father on the bag. Presumably El Tucan was unavailable.

Grayson Murray has played 5 straight weeks and other than Sony and RSM, has played every tourney that he can in the 2018-19 season.  I don't blame him for taking a week off.  Ditto Martin Laird, played all the same tournaments.  Seamus Power has missed only one tournament.   Not convinced they need to play more.  They just need to play better.

Jimmy Walker?  Maybe still suffering the residual effects of Lyme's disease.  He still has a couple years on his 5 yr exemption from winning the PGA.

Steele (and of course Spieth) is exempt through next season.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 2:28 am

GPB,
I'm not saying these guys are in danger of losing their cards, they're just playing awful golf and I wonder why.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 10:13 am

Jimmy Walker?  Maybe still suffering the residual effects of Lyme's disease
No he isn't.


From the opening of a BMJ article, but you can find many, many more.
in the US, Lyme disease is at the centre of a long running and bitter controversy. It is no longer a disease but a legal and political battleground. At the core of the disagreement is the possibility that the Lyme bacterium could survive initial treatment, evade detection, and cause disabling symptoms for months or even years. A growing and vociferous patient lobby thinks it can. Mainstream medical opinion thinks it can't.

https://www.bmj.com/content/335/7626/910

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18452806
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25999227
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 1:22 pm

Mac,
Whatever you call it, what Jimmy Walker has had has been pretty debilitating.
Not as bad as Tim Simpson though, pretty much career-ending for him.


Graeme McDowell off to a decent start in PR.
With the all-time Tour career leader in slow play and unfunny videos, Ben Crane, sharing the lead.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 1:23 pm

A nice piece here from Golf Channel's Rex Hoggard in tribute to Phil's 600th career Tour start this week:

https://www.golfchannel.com/news/phil-mickelsons-600th-start-milestone-career-overrun-milestones


Good little story about playing an early practice round with Seve.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 1:49 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Mac,
Whatever you call it, what Jimmy Walker has had has been pretty debilitating.

Bad form? It happens.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 2:05 pm

McLaren wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Mac,
Whatever you call it, what Jimmy Walker has had has been pretty debilitating.

Bad form? It happens.

I know, that's why I pointed out his poor record so far this season - I thought he'd pretty much got over it, but it stays with the patient a long time.

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Post by GPB on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 3:02 pm

First two citations you listed are more than 10 years old, the other is 4 years old and reading it, I really don't know what they are trying to tell me. Sounds Oliver Stone-ish, who never met a conspiracy he didn't like.

I do know that the brother of a friend of mine died of complications of Lyme's disease. I went to the funeral about 25 years ago. He was about 40 years old.

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

Barnrat has played 10 PGATour* events in the last two years. earning 13.28 gross OWGR pts (1.33 per event)
Barnrat has played 5 WGCs in the last two years, earning 54.3 gross OWGR pts ( 10.86 pts per event)

*PGATour events that were not co-sanctioned by the Euro Tour, but it does include the 2018 CIMB which was co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour.

Barnrat's ten PGATour events

2019
-----
Genesis MC
WMPO T33
Farmers MC

2018
----
CIMB T33
QL Nat'l T48
St Jude MC
Memorial T13
Players T30
API MC
Honda T68

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Post by McLaren on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 3:05 pm

GPB wrote:

I do know that the brother of a friend of mine died of complications of Lyme's disease.  I went to the funeral about 25 years ago.  He was about 40 years old.


To be clear Lyme disease is a thing, and as you mention can be serious. It is chronic lyme that it is not considered mainstream science.
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Post by JAS on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 4:57 pm

McLaren wrote:
GPB wrote:

I do know that the brother of a friend of mine died of complications of Lyme's disease.  I went to the funeral about 25 years ago.  He was about 40 years old.


To be clear Lyme disease is a thing, and as you mention can be serious.  It is chronic lyme that it is not considered mainstream science.

So a bit like ME then. There are still medics that think there is no such thing and proving it either way can be quite elusive. Just because it can’t be proved doesn’t mean a chronic prognosis is not possible.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 6:17 pm

Watching the “Featured Groups” on Sky. McIlroy, Watson and Koepka followed by DJ Phil and JT. I think in the US it’s the free one hour Twitter feed. Karen Stupples assisting with commentary.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 6:26 pm

Justin Thomas just drove the green on a 415 yard hole. Wind and altitude assistance methinks.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 21 Feb 2019, 6:36 pm

....and three putts. Meanwhile DJ hits it miles wide, bumbles it through obstacles to the fringe and holes a putt for a birdie.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 5:13 pm

Hope the same Rory turns up in Mexico today . . . . .

And the same Schwartzel turns up in PR this weekend - good to see him taking advantage of the B-Teamers' opportunity. Perhaps McDowell can follow suit.

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Post by LadyPutt on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 7:33 pm

Oh Rickie. Two months into the new rules and you take an incorrect drop, the old way. What was your caddy doing letting you do it? Two shot penalty anyway Rolling Eyes
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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 7:47 pm

Has Tommy Fleet really started with 2 x Par-4 eagles??

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Post by GPB on Fri 22 Feb 2019, 8:08 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Has Tommy Fleet really started with 2 x Par-4 eagles??

In other words...an albatross.

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Run Run Run

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 23 Feb 2019, 12:39 am

No Woods or McIlroy next week at the "Honda".

Pretty strong leaderboard in Mexico, interesting that BDeC hasn't got his altimeter sorted out yet. Science? I tell ya.

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Post by GPB on Sat 23 Feb 2019, 6:17 pm

I didn't know Boo had cancer

https://twitter.com/PGATOUR/status/1099372004015308800

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 23 Feb 2019, 6:37 pm

GPB wrote:I didn't know Boo had cancer

https://twitter.com/PGATOUR/status/1099372004015308800


Nor did I until the commentary yesterday. Fine round today, and maybe a top result this week would persuade him to focus on his game instead of fishin', huntin' and killin' animals. Hope so, fantastic ball striker.


Casey & Westwood with sporty first nines, and good to see Willett in decent form.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 24 Feb 2019, 1:07 pm

Walk in the park for Dustin, or will Rory make a fight of it?

Surprisingly, the British have deserted next week's Honda in droves, only Knox & McDowell are signed up for it. (EDIT: Oops: Matt Wallace too. Looking for Wallace to play well in the US this year.)
That used to be a must play, so assume the WGC has taken its toll and they're all turning up for Bay Hill & The Players instead.
(And, does Luke Donald's absence mean he's injured again? Or is he reverting to semi-retirement?)

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Post by pedro on Sun 24 Feb 2019, 7:55 pm

The DJ and Rory tree incidents, on successive holes, just illustrate the absurdity of the rules.

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Post by McLaren on Sun 24 Feb 2019, 8:13 pm

What happened?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 24 Feb 2019, 8:29 pm

pedro wrote:The DJ and Rory tree incidents, on successive holes, just illustrate the absurdity of the rules.

Agreed! Absurd.


robo, GPB,
What's happened to Peter Jacobsen on Tiger TV? No sign last week. Or this. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing, just hope he's OK.


In PR, King Charl and Jay Berger's boy pay for their flight with good results.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 24 Feb 2019, 10:57 pm

[quote="GPB"]First two citations you listed are more than 10 years old, the other is 4 years old and reading it, I really don't know what they are trying to tell me.  Sounds Oliver Stone-ish, who never met a conspiracy he didn't like.

I do know that the brother of a friend of mine died of complications of Lyme's disease.  I went to the funeral about 25 years ago.  He was about 40 years old.

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

Barnrat has played 10 PGATour* events in the last two years. earning 13.28 gross OWGR pts (1.33 per event)
Barnrat has played 5 WGCs in the last two years, earning 54.3 gross OWGR pts ( 10.86 pts per event)

Kiradech must have increased his OWGR pts average in WGC's.

Another check mark in my hypothesis against your golf data tenet on non-Americans.

7/11 of the European Ryder Cuppers in the top 24.

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Sun 24 Feb 2019, 11:05 pm

You’ve got to wonder how someone as great as Dustin Johnson only has one major when he’s so dominant at the WGC events. Johnson should really have 3-6 majors for someone of his ability.

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Post by pedro on Sun 24 Feb 2019, 11:46 pm

Yes, dominant performance from DJ. Looks so effortless. When he has got his A-game he’s hard to beat.
He should have had at least another major, but you can say that for a few other players as well. And tbh it’s only in the last handful of years he has got his nerves under control.

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Post by GPB on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 2:17 am

Kwini: Too tired to do the analysis after the final round, but this is what I did this morning after round three

-------------------

Through 3 rounds at the WGC Mexico, where PGATour and non-PGATour players compete against each other

72 players in the WGC Mexico, 47 have PGATour Cards, 25 do not possess PGATour Cards

Mean Scores, Std Deviations of PGATour players vs Non-PGATour Players

PGA - Mean 70.43, StDev 3.24
Non - Mean 72.42, StDev 3.45

ANOVA indicates there is a SIGNIFICANT Difference between PGATour Players scores and Non-PGATour players scores with 99% confidence

Placing of the non PGA Tour players:

1 player in the Top 12 (Lipsky)
2 players in the Top 19 (Lipsky, Westwood)
4 players in the Top 29 (Lipsky, Westwood, Fitzpatick, Sterne)
6 players in the Top half of the field (Lipsky, Westwood, Fitzpatick, Sterne, Li, Luiten)

100% of the bottom five players do not have PGATour cards

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Post by beninho on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 7:55 am

Dj really is very good. Loved the course, one of the most interesting I see them play. So much better then courses based on lots of water.

Free drops, whats the point? Unlesd the ball is on the path, you should play it where it is. Its a bit of a nonsense.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 8:29 am

For any of our American posters, as a tiger fan boy should I be bracing myself for him going down as part of the Robert kraft scandal?

Not gonna lie, I am slightly worried.
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Post by pedro on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 10:11 am

beninho wrote:Free drops, whats the point? Unlesd the ball is on the path, you should play it where it is. Its a bit of a nonsense.

In theory yes I agree, play it where it is. But realistically I don't think they'll go this far yet. But they definitely have to revise the drop rules somewhat. Maybe that you only get relief from non-permanent objects, like TV cables, and possibly also advertisement boards and grand stands. In any case a free drop shouldn't give you a significant advantage compared to your original lie and a free drop should always be taken within "the sprit of the game".

DJ's drop was not within the spirit of the game - but even if it made sense under the rules, as an isolated incidence, the absurdity of these same rules was perfectly illustrated when Rory in essence got the same lie on the next hole. I think it's fair to say it resulted in a two shot swing, which at that point could have made a hell of a difference.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 1:24 pm

I didn't see the detail of the DJ drop, just the before and after.
On the face of it, Rory had a good case if but, as Azinger pointed out, he should have taken the offer of a second opinion.
Back to DJ, I wonder who the official was - Rory had an ET official, but there seems to be a lack of consistency when officials from different tours apply rulings.
Not sure that's a good thing.


Mac,
All I know from the Kraft stupidity is that there is rumoured to be another big name to be charged - "bigger than Kraft". No suggestions yet, but they've already snared a billionaire financier, and Jessica Korda's boyfriend seems deeply implicated in the sex trafficing part of the cases.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 2:01 pm

Surely he is now ex boyfriend?
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Post by GPB on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 3:12 pm

Re: Peter Jacobsen

He would not have been on the Riviera telecast. That was a CBS production, and Jake works for NBC. Pretty sure Jake was working at WMPO, the last NBC telecast prior to this week in Mexico.

NBC has a much bigger golf team than CBS, (Hicks, Zinger, Feherty, Koch, Jake, Maltbie, Bones, Notah, Rolfing, Tirico, Gannon, Sands) so last week must have been Jake's week off)

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Post by I'm never wrong on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 3:47 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Back to DJ, I wonder who the official was - Rory had an ET official, but there seems to be a lack of consistency when officials from different tours apply rulings.
I stand to be corrected, but I thought I read in my paper that it was a referee from the ET (Scotland area) on both occasions.

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PGA Tour: Road Trips to Mexico & Puerto Rico: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: Road Trips to Mexico & Puerto Rico: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 4:11 pm

Scottish refereeing is notoriously bad.
McLaren
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PGA Tour: Road Trips to Mexico & Puerto Rico: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: Road Trips to Mexico & Puerto Rico: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 4:12 pm

Yes it was the same ref. And I think both rulings were correct (as per the current rules).

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PGA Tour: Road Trips to Mexico & Puerto Rico: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: Road Trips to Mexico & Puerto Rico: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 5:30 pm

I'm never wrong wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Back to DJ, I wonder who the official was - Rory had an ET official, but there seems to be a lack of consistency when officials from different tours apply rulings.
I stand to be corrected, but I thought I read in my paper that it was a referee from the ET (Scotland area) on both occasions.


Thing is though, who gave DJ the favourable second opinion? Was it Michael Stewart or a PGA Tour official?

Further on DJ, I didn't realise, and perhaps he didn't either, that the Life Membership that he earned and exempts him for all PGA Tour events doesn't kick in until the completion of 15 yrs as a Member.And, according to Hoggard on golfchannel.com, that means Dustin will have to play the stipulated "additional" event that apparently he didn't think would apply to him. And he reckons it's going to be tough to fit one additional to his schedule.
Those jollies to the Middle East and the Maldives come at a price DJ.

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PGA Tour: Road Trips to Mexico & Puerto Rico: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: Road Trips to Mexico & Puerto Rico: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 8:50 pm

Next Monday is the cut-off for golfers qualifying for The Players Championship via:
Top 50 in owgr.
Top 10 in FedEx points.

It'll be interesting to see who ducks The Players due to the jam-packed schedule of top events. Phil is among those to have speculated he might skip it, for instance.

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PGA Tour: Road Trips to Mexico & Puerto Rico: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: Road Trips to Mexico & Puerto Rico: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Be_the_ball on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 11:35 pm

He's a good lad.

https://m.independent.ie/sport/golf/watch-hes-crying-because-you-lost-rory-mcilroy-has-a-surprise-for-biggest-young-fan-after-finishing-second-in-mexico-37852160.html

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PGA Tour: Road Trips to Mexico & Puerto Rico: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: Road Trips to Mexico & Puerto Rico: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 1:39 pm

And talking of the "good lad", I see The Open Championship returns to Hoylake for 2022. Good news for Rory.

So, the calendar looks like this:

2019: Portrush
2020: RSG
2021: TOC (59 watch if super qualifies)
2022: Royal Liverpool
2023: ?? Will Muirfield trump Turnberry?

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PGA Tour: Road Trips to Mexico & Puerto Rico: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: Road Trips to Mexico & Puerto Rico: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 26 Feb 2019, 4:32 pm

Past Champion Padraig Harrington was "committed" to make his comeback from injury at the Honda, but has now withdrawn without any apparent indication as to when he'll now make his return (already delayed by three weeks).

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PGA Tour: Road Trips to Mexico & Puerto Rico: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: Road Trips to Mexico & Puerto Rico: Notes from the Ballwasher

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