PGA Tour: PGA Championship @ Bethpage: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 15 May 2019, 2:54 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).Still not a fan of the compressed PGA Tour season, with Majors coming one after the other, rat-a-tat-tat, in indecent haste. And the weather will certainly not be conducive to seeing Long Island's Bethpage Black at its best.
May has been as much a disappointment in the New York area as it has been on Downing Street, with temps below normal, and rainfall above.
So much so that Doncaster's very own Kerry Haigh, the highly regarded PGA course set-up man, was questioning, "Are the trees going to bud, is the grass going to grow?". Apparently both have happened (there, not here), but not in time for the rough to grow in properly, and two inches of rain early this week will leave the course "soft", possibly a euphemism for muddy.

2).Fortunately, the PGA has caught a break in the weather and a threat of rain has diminished (somewhat), and temps approaching 20C are threatened for Thursday. Shangri-La, but the fact remains that spring weather in the North-East is notoriously fickle and one hopes that won't discourage the PGA from holding its great Championship on the great courses here in the future. Venues to come include:
2020: Harding Park, San Francisco
2021: Kiawah Island, South Carolina
2022: Drumpf National, NJ
2023: Oak Hill, Rochester, NY - All PGA Committee members have fingers crossed that there's a warm spring beside Lake Ontario for that one.
2024: Valhalla, Louisville
2026: Aronimink, Shotrockville, Philadelphia
2028: Olympic Club, San Francisco
2029: Baltusrol, NJ
2031: Congressional, Maryland
2025, 2027, still TBA, but Southern Hills in Tulsa has been promised a date.

3).The US Open came to Bethpage for the first time in 2002 (won by Woods), revisited in 2009 (Glover) and the PGA Tour's "Barclays" arrived in 2012 (Watney) and 2016 (Reed). And, as part of the PGA's customary "package deal" for course venues, the 2024 Ryder Cup will be here - imagine any candidate to be appointed the US Captain will already have stipulated the pre-condition that all rough will be mowed to fairway length.

4).Bethpage Black is famously posted as "An extremely difficult course which we recommend only for highly skilled golfers".
Formerly best known as "Plunky's" home course, the "Black" is an AW Tillinghast gem, rated in Golf Digest as his third best design, behind Winged Foot (West), site of the 2020 US Open and San Francisco Golf Club.
"Tillie" is also responsible for Baltusrol (Lower and Upper), Winged Foot (East), Somerset Hills in NJ, Quaker Ridge (NY), Ridgewood CC (NJ), and Philadelphia Cricket Club, plus San Antonio's Breckenridge Park & Oak Hill CC. He had a hand in Inverness and Sleepy Hollow and is probably comparable only to Donald Ross in terms of influence and prolific productivity of great courses in the US.    

5).2002 US Open: Was this better known for Tiger's win, Phil's customary runner-up, the barracking of Sergio's "regripping" epidemic (on his way to a 4th place finish), or Nick Price being unable to reach a fairway or two (on his way to an 8th place finish)?
Harrington finished 8th alongside Charlie Howell, while players who might fancy their chances this week such as Kuchar, Cink, Walker, Scott and Perez all missed the cut.

6).Back again in 2009 and Bethpage was a quagmire with monsoon following monsoon. Lucas Glover took the honours on the Monday, with Phil (you know where he finished), Ross Fisher (5th), Woods (6th), Stenson (9th) and Sergio & Rory (T10th) close behind.
Others with decent finishes included McDowell, Bubba, Westwood, Poults, Holmes, Molinari, Scott and DJ.
Kaymer, Fowler, Sneds, Zach, Kuchar again, Casey, Harrington and Rose missed the cut.  

7).In 2012 the Tour brought the Barclays to Bethpage and all-we-want-is Watney led the way. Too many of this week's field played to mention in detail, but "notables" include:
2nd: Snedeker
T3: DJ, Sergio (great record here, played 3, top ten finishes 3)
T5: Westwood, Harman, Louis
10: Bubba
T19: Harrington, Holmes
T24: Rory & Day
T38: Tiger, Phil, Kooch

8).And in 2016 Patrick Reed won the Barclays. Others:
T4: Day, Woodland and Scott.
T7: Fowler
T10: Spieth
T13: Phil, Bubba
T18: DJ, Louis

Difficult to tell without a ton of research how course set-ups compare, between the USGA and PGA Tour - and now the PGA Of America. But, given wet/drying conditions (where's Derek Underwood when you need him?), one imagines that the winner will be a longer-than-average driver who can keep it straight and possibly hits a higher than average ball.
No doubt that could fit the likes of DJ & Koepka, Rory and Rosey, Scott & Sergio, Casey, Stenson & Louis Oosthuizen. Lucas Glover must be a decent e.w. pick and Tiger can't be ruled out if he's actually fit and undeterred by being sued for wrongful death. That seems like half the field,  Doh

9).The value of a good caddie is often debated on this Board, but there's no doubt that last week's Byron Nelson winner, Sung Kang, had a significant upturn in fortunes in early 2016 when Jim Furyk was sidelined and Kang hired Fluff Cowan on a tournament-by-tournament basis. After struggling through his first few events, Kang hired Cowan and immediately went on a T18, T8, T10, T22 run, including a 60 at Monterey Peninsula CC.
Disappointing weekend from Stenson and Seamus Power, Knox & Laird, but a renaissance round on Sunday from Padraig Harrington - you never know with him, and can quite imagine him plodding round Bethpage for a good result this week.

10).And, just remember, if you blink and miss this Major, there's only four weeks before we cross the country to Pebble Beach for another one, the 2019 US Open.

kwinigolfer

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Post by super_realist on Fri 24 May 2019, 8:04 am

McLaren wrote:
super_realist wrote:2 ball, no one in front, both low handicappers, par 70 course (Eden)

Just make sure you are not one of those arse holes who plays thinking about the clock, worrying about where they will get to play through and generally failing to grasp what golf is actually about.

I have played many rounds on my own at about that pace and to be honest it felt rushed, hard to imagine how rushed getting 2 players round in 2.20 (<5mins/hole) must feel.

To be fair Mac, you're a self confessed chopper so I wouldn't expect you to get round quickly.

I don't know if you've ever played the Eden, but it's a very quick course if you've got no one ahead of you. As I stated, tees and greens are very near one another, there's no real cabbage to speak of, most of the gorse has been removed, fairways are generous,the majority of the bunkers are not in play, the greens are pretty big so you don't miss many and there's tons of par 4's under 400 yards.

I see you can't do maths either (or MATH given your Yankee lean) as your claim of less than 5 min per hole would get you round in 1.5 hours, not 2.33 hours.

Given that most clubs have 8 minute tee time breaks and they don't expect you to get round in 2:20 then us getting round in just under 8 mins a hole would seem pretty reasonable attainable would it not?

I already stated that we weren't aware of the time, and didn't feel that we were rushing. The course is only 6250 yards, if we add on 1000 for meandering and going from tee to greens etc then that still only equates to about 51 yards PER MINUTE. Hardly rapid is it?

super_realist

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Post by beninho on Fri 24 May 2019, 9:08 am

What did you both score? And on average, from when you get to your ball how long did it take you both to play your shots?

beninho

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Post by Roller_Coaster on Fri 24 May 2019, 9:33 am

ralphjohn69 wrote:
beninho wrote:Just under 8mins a hole for a 2 ball. Thats pretty quick

Eh, sorry, it really isn't.

4 mph = 7000 yards per hour.
gives 2 people an hour to hit (say) 160 shots, of which (say) 72 are putts with 20 minutes to discuss how the hell people need longer walk from greens to tees.

Eminently do-able. I genuinely prefer to take longer as golf is what I've waited all week for, but it's not that eyebrow raising really.


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Post by super_realist on Fri 31 May 2019, 8:32 am

beninho wrote:What did you both score? And on average, from when you get to your ball how long did it take you both to play your shots?

Both shot low 70's. I don't take practice swings, I pick a target and hit towards it.

I don't know why you seem to think that 2:20 is something impossible. It's perfectly manageable when you aren't being held up and if you aren't taking many shots.
As has been quoted, if I walked at my average speed for 2 hours 20 Minutes (4mph) I would cover 9.33 miles (16400 yards) if'If the course only measure 6250 and with extra bits between green to tee etc, i'm doing just 7000 yards, then the walking part really ought to take only one hour of the 2:20, leaving 1:20 to hit about 73 shots, of which 28 or so are putts. Therefore on average it appears as if I spent over a minute per shot.
In reality, I should have been round quicker because a minute over every shot is excessive.

Just admit you're beaten on this, the numbers reflect it.

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