PGA Tour: Masters Brexit, Windy Hilton Head: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 18 Apr 2019, 2:45 pm

1)."He who beats Justin Rose wins The Masters": Got that one right. 65 times.
Well done, Tiger Woods. Was this your last hurrah, or the start of something big? The PGA Championship @ Bethpage will be the next tournament he takes seriously, followed by the US Open @ Pebble Beach - and he's won Majors at both courses, a golfing generation ago, then Portrush where no-one's played a Major since Max Faulkner won the 1951 Open Championship.

2).But: What of Justin Rose? And Paul Casey too for that matter? And the rest of the GB&I contingent, Ian Poulter's excellent effort excepted?
No clue here. We heard Rory complaining of unexpectedly slow greens and flyers out of the rough (sorry, second cut), both of which sounded borderline moronic (hit 'em harder and straighter), and Matt Fitzpatrick played very nicely except he started a day late. But Fleetwood, Hatton, Willett, Wallace, Pepperell, Lowry were all irrelevant.

3).Why? No clue, but have the boys been playing too much golf? Has the reconfigured season calendar persuaded them to over-golf the early season?
Certainly you can't blame Casey, McIlroy or Rose for playing too much, but Fleetwood has played 8 of the last 11 weeks, and is "committed" to this week and next, then a week off presumably, then two more weeks finishing with the PGA. Even for someone who confesses to playing a heavier schedule than most, that's surely too much, especially given the travel he condemns himself to.
Fitzpatrick tied for second, behind Schauffele, in scoring for last Friday, Saturday and Sunday - that's good golf even if it was merely progress from being almost tailed off after Thursday's 78 and then speeding past beaten horses.
Well worth watching these next few weeks I should think.

4).The Americans and Aussies, who've largely been awol these past six or eight weeks, mostly seemed to find some form - what does that say about their uncompetitive trek through Florida? Too early to say, but I'm sensing that we'll see an increasingly selective early-season schedule from the top 15 or so Americans, not called Johnson or Koepka; they seem immune.
And I was bitterly disappointed for Francesco Molinari - a lazy swing on 12 and a bonehead lay-up on 15 cost him perhaps four shots. Otherwise, he outplayed the field. Looked shattered at the end though and surprised that he's in the field this week.

5).Before leaving Augusta, I can't remember a year when the CBS/ESPN commentators were more deferential, sycophantic, abdicating of their responsibility as reporters. I didn't hear anyone criticise a bad shot, call a spade a spade as it were. Faldo seemed to be trying his best, a grain of corn or two, and a stifled jeezus, but the rest couldn't get out of their Hootie-designed broadcasting straight-jackets. Just awful.

6).Tiger proved last week that there's no substitute for course knowledge and that, more than anything else, was what separated him from the rest - he "took his medicine", never made anything worse than bogey and navigated his way round on Sunday without snaking in any long putts or executing Tigerish chips or pitch-ins. Just good solid golf from someone who knew he didn't need to gamble.

7).And if course knowledge was important last week, it could be even more on show this week, at Harbour Town on lovely Hilton Head Island. The RBC Heritage (sub-titled the Luke Donald Invitational) is already underway. Harbour Town is Pete Dye's first Championship course (with an assist from Jack Nicklaus).
Davis Love (the long) has won here five times, Luke Donald (the short) has runnered up five times, and course specialists invariably play well. Despite the relative inexperience of the past three winners, Grace, Bryan, Kodaira.
I would expect guys like Badds, Furyk, Kuchar, Kisner, Simpson, McDowell & Knox all to go well on one of increasingly few Tour courses which prize golfing precision over length.

8).Early doors yet, but the US Ryder Cup Team is already taking shape!!!!
I'd expect at least eight (and wouldn't rule out anyone) of the current Top Twelve to be in Stricker's Team:
Woods, Dustin, Kisner, Schauffele, Koepka, Kuchar, Furyk (possibly an odd man out?), Simpson, Finau, Cantlay, Thomas, Fowler. (Bubba is 13th, Phil 18th, BDeC 20th, Spieth 23rd, Reed 24th).

9).With five non-Americans winning the past seven Tour events, I wonder if that trend will resume this week?
Can't figure out why Fleetwood and Molinari think playing this week is a good idea, but the aforementioned British contingent of Fitz, Luke, McDool and Knox could all go well, Pepperell too if his Players form can be recaptured.

10).Weather played its part in Augusta and will be even more of a factor this week with storms coming through Thursday night and Friday, with windy conditions exacerbated especially on the holes beside the seaside. There'll be sunny skies back for Saturday & Sunday but winds will only subside gradually.
Still, not many places I'd rather be than Hilton Head, and it'll still look good on my TV screen. Just hope Nantz and Kostis and Pepper and the ever-unctuous Baker Finch remember they're there to report what's going on, not just what a bunch of stuffy, white gazillionaires want them to say. Je suis Kouchi on that!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 18 Apr 2019, 4:27 pm

Some guy called Lowry leading the way early on. He could use a really good result this week to secure qualification for Pebble Beach, and a REALLY good result for Portrush.
Lukey c0cking up the Par-5's.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 18 Apr 2019, 10:49 pm

And signs of life from Alex Noren, signing for a 67. Wonder what's been ailing him?

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Post by McLaren on Fri 19 Apr 2019, 10:35 am

Tiger Woods. Was this your last hurrah, or the start of something big?

I half joked when he won that he should retire in the press conference because it won't get any better than that. But then I didn't think he would win another Major in the first place. The main hurdle to any further Majors has to be his health, there are no miracle surgeries and his back won't hold out for that much longer.

Could he only focus on the majors, mail his minimum events, to preserve his back or would that leave him under baked through lack of competitive "reps"?



"And I was bitterly disappointed for Francesco Molinari - a lazy swing on 12 and a bonehead lay-up on 15 cost him perhaps four shots. Otherwise, he outplayed the field."

Don't mean to sound too rude, but that sounds like those guys in the bar that say they would be playing off 5 if they could keep the 3 sevens off their card.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 19 Apr 2019, 11:20 am

Don't think the guys in the bar had an Open Championship, a Ryder Cup clean sweep and a spreadeagled Bay Hill field behind them. Or a 3-stroke lead at The Masters.


The afternoon "wave" yesterday at Hilton Head had the better of the Round One conditions by more than a one-stroke margin; but the boot could be on the other foot today as winds are up and "weather" approaches - most unlikely the later tee-times will get to play until Saturday.

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Post by Diggers on Fri 19 Apr 2019, 12:31 pm

Molinari made a few decent putts to save par on Sunday, he was really battling most of the day. The guy I remember missing the birdie putts was Koepka.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 19 Apr 2019, 4:04 pm

Not all small-ball at Harbour Town with Ryan Palmer and Dustin among the leaders, Scott Piercy not far back.

Poulter playing really well on a course he's had success on recently, But Seamus Power throwing away a promising round.
Weather looks like it'll hit in mid-afternoon now; still windy though, 20 - 25 mph which will feel even stronger on #'s 17 & 18; not exactly Dogger Bank or Malin Head (went there once!) but strong for Calibogie Sound.

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Post by GPB on Fri 19 Apr 2019, 5:09 pm

Kwini: Crooked Stick opened five years before Harbour Town. I consider that Pete Dye's first Championship golf course.

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

Team DFW (Spieth-Palmer) have played the last two Zurichs. Palmer has dumped Spieth in favor of Jon Rahm.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 19 Apr 2019, 5:31 pm

GPB wrote:Kwini:  Crooked Stick opened five years before Harbour Town.  I consider that Pete Dye's first Championship golf course.

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

Team DFW (Spieth-Palmer) have played the last two Zurichs.  Palmer has dumped Spieth in favor of Jon Rahm.

Yup, I wondered about Crooked Stick . . . . . . .

Do you think Palmer dumped Spieth? I'd rather imagine Spieth decided to play Harbour Town and then take a break until the BN as he'll presumably be playing at least three in a row then, possibly four straight and, if so, five out of six. Hoping he'll skip Memorial for Hartford, no commitment yet though.

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Post by GPB on Fri 19 Apr 2019, 7:59 pm

I wonder what the Back-Stopping opponents think of this shot from the LPGA tournament yesterday

https://twitter.com/espn/status/1119055537725956102

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 19 Apr 2019, 9:55 pm

Strange turn of events: Golf Channel has the coverage, the boys are playing, yet they're showing tape of this morning's golf.
Obviously don't fancy having to show Shane Lowry.
Pathetic.

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Post by GPB on Fri 19 Apr 2019, 10:08 pm

PGATour Live has live coverage of featured groups.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 19 Apr 2019, 10:34 pm

GPB wrote:PGATour Live has live coverage of featured groups.

But I have to pay extra for that. Plus watch it on my PC.
Golf Channel does a good job of marginalising itself. B0ll0cks to them.

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Post by GPB on Fri 19 Apr 2019, 10:41 pm

They taped the morning coverage because they thought the afternoon would get rained out.

Lots of Overtime to pay if the all of the production crew remained out there all day for afternoon coverage. Don't blame them a bit for Round 2 coverage.

60 bucks for PGATour Live amortized over 30+ tournament comes out to less than $1/round. Trivial. I hook up my computer to TV via HDMI cable. Easy Peasy!

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Post by robopz on Sat 20 Apr 2019, 1:03 am

GPB wrote:They taped the morning coverage because they thought the afternoon would get rained out.

Lots of Overtime to pay if the all of the production crew remained out there all day for afternoon coverage.  Don't blame them a bit for Round 2 coverage.

60 bucks for PGATour Live amortized over 30+ tournament comes out to less than $1/round. Trivial.  I hook up my computer to TV via HDMI cable.  Easy Peasy!
correct. Molly Solomon (GC VP of Content and Executive Producer) sent out a tweet this morning saying what they were going to do... https://twitter.com/mollysolomon_gc/status/1119201978498859011?s=19

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Post by robopz on Sat 20 Apr 2019, 1:08 am

kwinigolfer wrote:
GPB wrote:Kwini:  Crooked Stick opened five years before Harbour Town.  I consider that Pete Dye's first Championship golf course.

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

Team DFW (Spieth-Palmer) have played the last two Zurichs.  Palmer has dumped Spieth in favor of Jon Rahm.

Yup, I wondered about Crooked Stick . . . . . . .

Do you think Palmer dumped Spieth? I'd rather imagine Spieth decided to play Harbour Town and then take a break until the BN as he'll presumably be playing at least three in a row then, possibly four straight and, if so, five out of six. Hoping he'll skip Memorial for Hartford, no commitment yet though.
confirmed Spieth is skipping the Zurich team event... Kwini, my bet is for exactly the reasons you stated. Field here: https://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/zurich-classic-of-new-orleans/field.html

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 20 Apr 2019, 1:16 am

robopz wrote:
GPB wrote:They taped the morning coverage because they thought the afternoon would get rained out.

Lots of Overtime to pay if the all of the production crew remained out there all day for afternoon coverage.  Don't blame them a bit for Round 2 coverage.

60 bucks for PGATour Live amortized over 30+ tournament comes out to less than $1/round. Trivial.  I hook up my computer to TV via HDMI cable.  Easy Peasy!
correct. Molly Solomon (GC VP of Content and Executive Producer) sent out a tweet this morning saying what they were going to do... https://twitter.com/mollysolomon_gc/status/1119201978498859011?s=19


Disappointing. Imagine that's close to a violation of their contract; bonehead decision regardless.

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Post by GPB on Sat 20 Apr 2019, 2:42 am

Re: Bonehead decision

You sure are good at spending other people's money and making people work 12 hours days. Do you think the decision was made capriciously and on a whim? Well thought out decision to give the viewer fresh content from earlier in the day rather than repeating yesterday's telecast (or last years).

Re: Zurich field. I was snarking on Spieth.

No idea why Cameron Davis invited PGATour Champions Player Kent Jones as his partner. Davis was in the OWGR top 100 when the season started in October, now down to 180th.


and ICYMI, Joaquin Niemann is playing the Latino Americas tournament in Chile this week. He is T3 mid-way through his 2nd round. Angel Cabrera is in the field... T12

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 20 Apr 2019, 1:51 pm

[quote="GPB"]Re:  Bonehead decision

"You sure are good at spending other people's money and making people work 12 hours days. Do you think the decision was made capriciously and on a whim?  Well thought out decision to give the viewer fresh content from earlier in the day rather than repeating yesterday's telecast  (or last years)."

Why should anyone have to pay for a Channel on the expectation of live entertainment and get canned goods instead, when there's clearly a live alternative? Can't tell me that if it was Woods leading and not Shane Lowry that they'd've opted for live coverage.
Having said which, US Networks seem to indulge in an obsession for taped programming, which is why one is so thankful for access to the Canadian Networks for Olympic coverage, for instance.

PS: Why shouldn't people work 12 hour days?


Meanwhile, good to see Lowry close out his Round. But McDowell busy squandering a terrific position.

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Post by robopz on Sat 20 Apr 2019, 2:28 pm

RE Heritage no live broadcast... Yeah seems to me that there's something could have been done to get some live coverage on the air. And they were able to get PGA Tour live out there, they could have at least picked up that maybe.

But I also understand what they're up against. The broadcast folks generally changed their policies after a bad weather situation at Bay Hill a few years ago. Now when they get these forecasts of severe storms with high winds they strip the towers of all the equipment and batten down the hatches. They can get it down in 15-20 minutes. But it takes hour or more to get it all back up.

And the other issue this week is they had a commitment to the LPGA LOTTE. I don't know for sure, but with the Heritage forecast their thinking was probably they wouldn't be able to get back to playing until they were into that already. Turns out weather moved through a little quicker than forecast so they lost about an hour of live coverage. Oh well...

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 20 Apr 2019, 3:13 pm

Good point about dismantling the towers . . . .

And: Talking of "dismantling", Badds shot five over on his final three holes to turn a 67 into a 72; tough to do that at Harbour Town, even for most of us. Always like watching Badds though, one of the best to follow.
Wasted trip to paradise from Wallace & Willett. And Molinari who'll now be able to take a few weeks off, looks like he needs them.

Regardless, moving on: An even 70 make the cut and they'll be off again in an hour. Big chance for Lowry, to state the bloomin' obvious. Looking forward to see what Poults can conjure up also.

Nice mix of power & finesse, old & young, Irish and Slovakian getting ready to go.

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Post by robopz on Sat 20 Apr 2019, 3:36 pm

Bizzare decision RE the PGA Tour's Tour Championship OWGR ranking points...  info pulled from a Rex Hoggard article...  

Quick recap... this year's Tour Championship will be in effect a "handicap" tournament where the higher your FedEX ranking going in, the more under par you start out... it's going to be done on this schedule:

First in FedEx Cup coming to Tour Championship: -10
Second: -8
Third: -7
Fourth: -6
Fifth: -5
6th-10th: -4
11th-15th: -3
16th-20th: -2
21st-25th: -1
26th-30th: E


So Basically if Rory is #1 in Fex points going into the tournament, he will start out -10.  If Ryan Moore was 30th coming in, he would start at EVEN par.  So in practice... Ryan Moore could shoot say 280 for the tournament while Rory shoots 288, but Rory would still beat Moore by 2 shots...  Your basic Handicap Tournament...

And while it "feels weird"..  I guess that's OK to decide a FedEx Champion, but should it be an official tournament for the PGA Tour and should it get OWGR points...  Well... according to the PGA Tour... YES... it will be an official event...

And according to the OWGR... YES... it will get OWGR points... but NOT the same way.  OWGR will go in and calculate the scores with the handicaps removed and award points that way. So basically... Rory could win the tournament in the PGA Tour's eyes... but my hypothetical #30 Ryan Moore above could finish 5th to Rory in the PGAT's eyes... but beat Rory by 8 shots total score and get the OWGR winner points...

I don't even know where to start... but this is so screwed up. Basically the PGA Tour and OWGR are having a Club Championship with net and gross divisions...


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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 20 Apr 2019, 3:55 pm

Just read that Hoggard piece meself. Bizarre and bizarrer.

But would say it's the Tour who got it wrong first, owgr just compounded it.

It'll still be breezy for Round 3 this afternoon, and about 15F degrees cooler than London!
Interested to see how Spieth goes this weekend after his excellent 66 in Round 2.
And BDeC continues his poor run, nothing better than a T15 since he left the Middle East in February and now an MC.

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Post by GPB on Sat 20 Apr 2019, 4:02 pm

I was wondering what the OWGR was going to do.  I figured it would happen this way or the OWGR would just ignore the tournament.  I would prefer that they just ignore it, it being a guaranteed tournament.  

I suppose Ryan Moore and Patrick Cantlay could tie for lowest score in the TourC and split 1st and 2nd OWGR points.

Ben An missed the cut for the first time since Memphis last season ending the longest current made cut streak.

Fowler, Fleetwood, and (surprise) Jason Kokrak now own the longest made cut streak.

Fleetwood has 6 No Cut events in his streak (4 WGCs, BMW, Tour Championship)
Fowler has 4  (2 WGCs, BMW, Tour Championship)
Kokrak has 3 (BMW, CIMB, CJCup)

Sungjae Im 4 putted the 17th hole and misses the cut by one shot.


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Post by robopz on Sat 20 Apr 2019, 4:04 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Just read that Hoggard piece meself. Bizarre and bizarrer.

But would say it's the Tour who got it wrong first, owgr just compounded it.

when two people pi$$ on a toaster does it really matter which ones started it?

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Post by robopz on Sat 20 Apr 2019, 4:14 pm

GPB... The thing that makes the Tour Championship a cluster is it's going to be an official event.

Imagine this scenario... Tiger Woods wins's Memorial for his 82nd win, then goes winless until the Tour Championship, where he's seeded #3.  Tiger shoots 280 but still wins the FedEX Cup, while number 30 Ryan Moore shoots 274 to win low net.  The PGA tour gives Tiger his 83rd win to pass Sam Snead, meanwhile the owgr is giving the win to Ryan Moore.  Heads would explode, and Tiger would have and even more bizarre "official PGA Tour" win on his resume than anything they could conjure up for Sam Snead.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Sat 20 Apr 2019, 8:46 pm

Nick Faldo describing the shape of the greens in relation to objects. One green was described as looking like a flip flop. Faldo then said another green looked like a boomerang. He used to know how to throw it, but he forgot. He was sure it would come back to him.

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Post by GPB on Sat 20 Apr 2019, 8:50 pm

robopz wrote:GPB... The thing that makes the Tour Championship a cluster is it's going to be an official event.

Imagine this scenario... Tiger Woods wins's Memorial for his 82nd win, then goes winless until the Tour Championship, where he's seeded #3.  Tiger shoots 280 but still wins the FedEX Cup, while number 30 Ryan Moore shoots 274 to win low net.  The PGA tour gives Tiger his 83rd win to pass Sam Snead, meanwhile the owgr is giving the win to Ryan Moore.  Heads would explode, and Tiger would have and even more bizarre "official PGA Tour" win on his resume than anything they could conjure up for Sam Snead.

I knew all this 7 months ago when the format was announced except how the OWGR was going to handle the situation.

Is all of this news to you?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 20 Apr 2019, 9:06 pm

Poults has made a good comeback after doubling the first hole.
And the Shane army marches on.

Meanwhile, the Slovakian team is wearing the ghastliest shirt since last week's Nike t-shirts (which are doubtless flying off shelves).

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 20 Apr 2019, 11:53 pm

Poulter vs Dustin in Sunday's final pair.
Come on Ian, you beat him in Paris, go and do it again!

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Post by robopz on Sun 21 Apr 2019, 12:17 am

GPB wrote:
robopz wrote:GPB... The thing that makes the Tour Championship a cluster is it's going to be an official event.

Imagine this scenario... Tiger Woods wins's Memorial for his 82nd win, then goes winless until the Tour Championship, where he's seeded #3.  Tiger shoots 280 but still wins the FedEX Cup, while number 30 Ryan Moore shoots 274 to win low net.  The PGA tour gives Tiger his 83rd win to pass Sam Snead, meanwhile the owgr is giving the win to Ryan Moore.  Heads would explode, and Tiger would have and even more bizarre "official PGA Tour" win on his resume than anything they could conjure up for Sam Snead.

I knew all this 7 months ago when the format was announced except how the OWGR was going to handle the situation.

Is all of this news to you?
Duh, are you having a memory lapse? We discussed it back then. I just think this thing with the OWGR brings it even more into focus how ridiculous it is.

I don't have any issues with the format to decide the FedEx Cup champion. Its having a handicap tournament as an official PGA tournament, and getting OWGR rated on an entirely different basis. It's just gone beyond bizarre.


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Post by Shotrock on Sun 21 Apr 2019, 1:02 am

Cmon Dustin ... or Shayne ... !!


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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 21 Apr 2019, 5:57 pm

Right, a gorgeous day in the Low Country, but no-one going low, not so far anyway.

Big days ahead for Shane & Ian James.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 21 Apr 2019, 9:39 pm

Terrific finish from Seamus Power, certainly a Top Ten, could be a Top Three the way the leaders are playing, even leading Irishman if Shane can't straighten himself out.

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Post by Be_the_ball on Sun 21 Apr 2019, 11:20 pm

Hats off to CT Pan, great finish very solid play bullet proof. Good result for Shane in the end, if you'd offered him that result on Wed evening I'd say he'd have taken your arm off. Brilliant from Seamus, that'll do wonders for his confidence. Difficult day for Poulter with DJ all over the place. Both prob ran out of steam a bit after last week's exploits.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 21 Apr 2019, 11:28 pm

Be_the_ball wrote:Hats off to CT Pan, great finish very solid play bullet proof. Good result for Shane in the end, if you'd offered him that result on Wed evening I'd say he'd have taken your arm off. Brilliant from Seamus, that'll do wonders for his confidence. Difficult day for Poulter with DJ all over the place. Both prob ran out of steam a bit after last week's exploits.


Agree all round; Shane pretty much clinches a trip to Pebble Beach and improves his chances of an encore at Portrush - probably needs one more good finish to make sure.

Very surprising collapse by DJ, possibly an example where an experienced professional caddie might have helped. But well done CT Pan, all 5 ft 6 inches of him.

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Post by pedro on Mon 22 Apr 2019, 6:12 pm

I fear CT may just well be a flash in the pan.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 22 Apr 2019, 9:50 pm

Rob Bolton is reporting that Lucas Bjerregard has accepted Special Temporary Membership of the PGA Tour.

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Post by robopz on Tue 23 Apr 2019, 4:33 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Rob Bolton is reporting that Lucas Bjerregard has accepted Special Temporary Membership of the PGA Tour.
Pepperell is on the cusp of getting it too, but he's said he's not interested in PGA Tour membership. If he does qualify will see if he sticks with that or not. A mid 30-ish finish in the PGA would qualify him. Haotong Li and Matt Wallace are about a 12th Place PGA finish away from STM, & Harding is playing Zurich this week.

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