PGA Tour: Memorial Tournament and Canadian Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 28 May - 21:06

First topic message reminder :

1).The late spring diet of terrific courses for the PGA Tour Pros to play continues as we move from Bethpage, through Colonial to Muirfield Village, Jack Nicklaus's masterpiece. Next week the boys will head north of the border to Ontario's Hamilton Golf and Country Club (a Harry Colt design) and then on to Pebble Beach for the US Open.

2).But first: What about Colonial?
Kevin Na convincingly won his third Tour event, and his apparent good humour moved him from the bottom of my Tour pro likeability chart. I thought Na's comments on Sunday about Colonial being one of only about 7 or 8 courses he feels he can still expect to win were instructive. And made his withdrawal this week kinda surprising seeing as he was a little unlucky to runner up to Matsuyama just a few years ago. Perhaps he fancies a rest before going to Pebble Beach, where his criteria would seem to suit him.

3).Na's closest challengers stumbled their way through Sunday's round; lots of observation by the CBS crew about Tony Finau which I thought was interesting. Still doesn't make enough putts and needs to go on a Dustin Johnson-like course of practice with his scoring clubs, 8-iron thru' his wedges.
And Jordan Spieth had everyone at CBS in a dizzy tizzy after his putter came alive in Rounds 1, 2 & 3, but scarcely made a thing on Sunday which magnified his problems off the tee.
Still, four Europeans (household names Blixt, Sabbatini, Hatton & Knox) kept their wits about them in finishing T8 or better; too bad Martins Kaymer and Laird made a mess on Sunday, spoiling potentially good finishes - the story of their year so far.

4).With only ten tournaments available between now and the end of the "Regular Season", FedEx Points are at a premium and this week's Memorial Tournament at Jack's place doesn't help the strugglers, as it is yet another limited field "invitational".

5).Among those Europeans and other "notables" who still have to secure their "playing privileges" for 2019/2020 are:
Hatton, Knox and Blixt, whose fine week at Colonial got each of them within 50-ish points of the likely Top 125 threshold.
Uihlein, Watney - within 100 points of safety.
Berger, Power, Lowry, Laird and Noren all 150 - 200 points to go.
Harman, Haas, Dufner, Frittelli, Henley, Willett, Schniederjans, Schwartzel, Lahiri & Kaymer all in pretty desperate shape.
Not much time to go, chaps.

6).Muirfield Village will stretch out to about 7,400 yards and is largely modelled after Nicklaus's game: Wide fairways, second shot favouring a high fade, fast greens.
Only four PGA Tour events have seen a player hit all 56 fairways: And three of them have been here: twice by Calvin Peete and once by Brian Claar. The other was in Tucson by David Frost.
And Frosty also holds the Tour record of fewest putts in a tournament, 92 at Harbour Town.
The record for greens hit in regulation is 69 out of 72, by Jacobsen and Jerry Kelly.

7).You'll see one of the best quartets of Par-5's anywhere, and the great short Par-4 14th - hopefully the Tour (or a following wind) will persuade the pros to give it a lash one day during the tournament. I'm not sure Nicklaus has got his 16th hole quite right yet, a very unforgiving mid-length Par-3, but otherwise the course is a gem.
Unfortunately it could be a wet "gem," if storms forecast for late Wednesday and Thursday materialise. Cooler, drier weather should drain the place out for the weekend.

8).It's amazing to me that Rory McIlroy has still to contend here, a course pretty much tailor-made for him. Obviously Woods has a handful of wins here and conditions could suit him, but Justin Rose, another course specialist has struggled this past couple of months. Matt Kuchar has a strong record so Kooch each way (probably about 25's?) looks a good bet to moi.

9).Remaining US Open "Sectional Qualifying" will take place on Monday, June 3rd - recent qualifiers via the owgr Top 60 include Furyk, Scott, Harding and Pan, Lowry, Snedeker and Putnam.
And there'll be another last gasp crack at qualifying via the Top 60 at the Canadian Open next week.

10).Finally, the Open Championship has such a contrived series of qualification criteria that a player could finish 3rd in US Open play at Pebble Beach but miss out, but qualify via the preceding week's Canadian Open by finishing Top Ten. Daft I tell you, just plain daft. The R&A Slumbers sometimes.


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Wed 5 Jun - 15:28; edited 1 time in total

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 4 Jun - 22:22

GPB wrote:Yes, opposite of HSBC

I think Sanderson got "promoted" to a full regular event to be played in early October

Thanks, That's good, Mississippi makes the big time at last - good for them. What's it been since the Magnolia Classic started? 50+ years??
Viking & Sanderson seem to have done a good job of breathing life into it and a good course as well.

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Post by NedB-H on Tue 4 Jun - 22:44

robopz wrote:Shocking to read people apparently still butthurt over Tigers Boulder ruling.  Must be either total ignorance of the rules/decisions of golf of the day or just some bone to pick. Oh well..

Love the Seve - Ken Green story... 🤣
Not “butthurt” at all, I’m no Woods fan for sure but I couldn’t care less about a rules decision in a regular tour event 20 years ago. But I still think the ruling was a ridiculous one, and it’s still a good example to bring up in a discussion of questionable rulings being given to high profile players.

I like the sound of this Bermuda tournament. Think it’s a good thing for the PGA Tour to get out of its southern US comfort zone, and Central America/Caribbean (Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, now Bermuda) makes more sense than the Asian expansion. I also like the alternate events, they often have interesting fields and storylines that would get overlooked most other weeks, and they can be crucial guaranteed starts for players that get cut out of invitationals and limited fields. In a similar vein a few of the better golf twitter accounts were complaining yesterday about there being a Web.com event the same weekend as the US Open, but I couldn’t disagree more. Realistically only a few web.com players will be making the US Open field, and for the rest there should be as many tournaments as possible, especially at this time of year.

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Post by GPB on Wed 5 Jun - 0:37

Amateur Matt Parziale makes the US Open field for the third straight year.

He is a fireman, not sure how he can afford room/board every year. Especially Pebble Beach.

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Post by Plunky on Wed 5 Jun - 13:05

I read that he has a group of benefactors who help out with expenses (including massachusetts amateur golf alliance).  He was a pro on the mini tours  some years ago, but had very little succes and didn't like the life style.  So he followed his father into the fire department.  

Very happy to learn of the Bermuda event.   Always fun to see the pros play a course you know well,  and Port Royal is my favorite !

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 5 Jun - 15:49

Final practice today for the RBC Canadian Open, in Hamilton, Ontario.

The boys will be playing Hamilton Golf & Country Club, a Harry Colt design which has reportedly pretty much been de-forested since the PGA Tour last visited in 2012. Not sure if that means a parkland- or heathland-type lay-out, but the course will be soft, at least for Round 1, but weather should dry the place out through the weekend. Hopefully enough wind to keep things interesting.

As robo noted, the strength of field is the highest for at least 15 years, with Messrs DJ (who just parted ways with Coach Harmon), Koepka, Rory and Thomas in attendance. Not sure if they'll truly be "competing" but they'll be there even if for a brief pit-stop en route to Pebble Beach.

There's a strong European turn-out also. Apart from Rory, this includes:
Blixt
Noren
Garcia
Bjerregard
McDowell
Stenson
Willett
Harrington
Lingmerth
Lowry
Laird
Power
Donald

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Post by wiretapper on Wed 5 Jun - 16:02

McDowell's chasing an Open slot and what with being in his hometown, I can't say I blame him.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 5 Jun - 16:16

wire,
Said it before, and not usually supportive of ceremonial hand-outs, but what a shame that the R&A can't dish him out an invite.
Hope he makes it despite Slumbers.

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Post by GPB on Wed 5 Jun - 18:20

Maybe deforested, but not degrassed

https://twitter.com/PGATOUR/status/1136050246629224448

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 5 Jun - 18:30

GPB wrote:Maybe deforested, but not degrassed

https://twitter.com/PGATOUR/status/1136050246629224448


I love it!

No doubt we'll hear more this week about Dustin Johnson severing ties with Butch & ClaudeIII Harmon. There's been so much commentary about ratcheting up his wedge game from average to superior under Harmon tutelage - wonder whether he'll retain his dedication and excellence with his mate & College Coach Alan Terrell keeping an eye?

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Post by GPB on Wed 5 Jun - 18:46

C'Mon, Kwini,

That kind of long grass has absolutely no place on a golf course. SLOW PLAY

That needs to be either marked as Hazard or Out of Bounds.

A golfer should be able to have a chance to reasonably find his golf ball without a forecaddie

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Post by McLaren on Wed 5 Jun - 19:46

I don't want to be that guy again but rough like that isn't what you would call progressive golf course architecture.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 5 Jun - 19:49

It depends where it is on the course, surely.

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Post by GPB on Wed 5 Jun - 19:53

IMO, Grass that long has no place on a course, unless it is marked as a penalty area.

And stop calling me Shirley! Very Happy

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Post by navyblueshorts on Wed 5 Jun - 21:20

Re. long grass. Ummm, don't hit it there then?
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Post by GPB on Wed 5 Jun - 22:03

Ah the typical flippant, sarcastic, snarky response!!! Such a cliche


I never played golf in a vacuum.

My issue with it mainly slow play.  And I don't control where the golfers ahead of me hit, nor do I control where my playing competitors hit the ball.

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Post by super_realist on Thu 6 Jun - 8:29

GPB wrote:IMO, Grass that long has no place on a course, unless it is marked as a penalty area.

And stop calling me Shirley!  Very Happy

I'll hope to see no complaints of people driving it far too long in future events then GPB.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Thu 6 Jun - 8:39

GPB wrote:Ah the typical flippant, sarcastic, snarky response!!!  Such a cliche


I never played golf in a vacuum.

My issue with it mainly slow play.  And I don't control where the golfers ahead of me hit, nor do I control where my playing competitors hit the ball.
If you say so Laugh. So hit a provisional if the first is smashed into the cabbage. You only have 3 mins to find the first one now anyway.
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Post by pedro on Thu 6 Jun - 10:45

Long grass is fine in principle. There should be a penalty for driving it 50 yds wide. I never like when pros have a free / open shot despite driving it 50 yds wide.

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Post by GPB on Thu 6 Jun - 13:23

super_realist wrote:
GPB wrote:IMO, Grass that long has no place on a course, unless it is marked as a penalty area.

And stop calling me Shirley!  Very Happy

I'll hope to see no complaints of people driving it far too long in future events then GPB.

I see the strawman has arrived.

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Post by GPB on Thu 6 Jun - 13:24

pedro wrote:Long grass is fine in principle. There should be a penalty for driving it 50 yds wide. I never like when pros have a free / open shot despite driving it 50 yds wide.

Yes, Its called Out of Bounds or an Penalty Area

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Post by Davie on Thu 6 Jun - 13:40

Seems this topic has got a bit confused. Some seem to be talking about ridiculously long rough at a championship course for a ranking professional tournament (OK in my opinion) - with ridiculously long rough at a members' club for a monthly medal (never OK)

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Post by GPB on Thu 6 Jun - 14:11

I don't think ridiculously long rough is OK at any time.

Long rough doesn't magically appear on Monday of Championship week. Do you think that course was sitting without any play for the last 6 weeks? No the membership (or stakeholders) were playing it, and presumably losing golf balls.

And it is a process to take the rough down to normal height. Its not simply a case of running a bush-hog to the rough. The superintendent has to mow the rough down gradually so has to keep the integrity of grass in tact.

Golf season in Toronto is not very long and IMO, the course is going to be nearly unplayable for weekend warriors for about 33% of the season.

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Post by GPB on Thu 6 Jun - 14:40

Watching the French Open, I don't see the tournament committee changing the dimensions of the tennis court to make it harder for Nadal, D-Joker, and Federer.

I don't see basketball rims being increased to 12' for the NBA finals.

I don't follow the World Cup much, but I don't think the field of play is changed nor the net dimensions altered for the best players in the world.

yep, perhaps a strawman argument, but I believe Golf is the only mainstream sport that makes the playing field tougher for its championships.

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Post by beninho on Thu 6 Jun - 14:48

Long rough, short rough, makes no difference. Big hitters will still take the risk. Look at Bethpage.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 6 Jun - 15:15

"Sitting without play for 6 weeks"? I seriously doubt the course was even open 6 weeks ago - certainly ours weren't.
And football pitches are not necessarily all the same dimensions, but within specific limits (wide/long).

Most courses have areas which are difficult to play from, whether woods, undergrowth, heather and gorse, water.
All perfectly acceptable so don't understand why long rough is not a valid penalty for errant shots, most especially as we don't even know where Whee Kim had that video taken.

Pebble Beach next week may see some shots being attempted from the beach dozens of feet below fairway level - is that unacceptable?

Nothing worse than a +3 out there halfway through the "morning wave", so nothing catastrophic happening.


And beninho is spot on.
Only difference in Hamilton is that the course is shorter which leaves the entire field with options, regardless of length.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 6 Jun - 16:06

Reasons for not having very thick rough.

Slow play
No chance of recovery (or at least no chance for those with exceptional recovery skills to show them of)
Diminishes available angles to the green
Detracts from the design of the green complex
Promotes one dimensional shot selection
Takes other hazards out of play. Eg ball not rolling to bunker.
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Post by GPB on Thu 6 Jun - 16:07

Pebble Beach next week may see some shots being attempted from the beach dozens of feet below fairway level - is that unacceptable?

I would wager a weeks salary that the beach is labeled a Penalty area.

Bet?

I am saying that any unkempt area of golf course should either be labeled as OB or a penalty area. If a course can't be bother to mow grass, it should not be part of the playable area of the course

Last time I checked, Out of Bounds results in a penalty, and in most cases so does a penalty area


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Post by McLaren on Thu 6 Jun - 16:13

GPB wrote:perhaps a strawman argument, but I believe Golf is the only mainstream sport that makes the playing field tougher for its championships.

Don't think this is a strawman argument and rises a good point. Other sports revel in increased performance and records being broken, think bolt or man City setting points records.

But not golf, and I can think of three reasons this might be the case. First of all golf prides itself on being hard and pros making it look easy doesn't fit this image. Secondly I think golf revers its legends more than other sports. Someone breaking Jack's or Arnies scoring records is seen almost as an insult to the lore of the legends rather than a great performance to be celebrated. And lastly the role of technology is seen to be giving modern players an advantage over those of the past. The argument goes the players are no better than those of old and it is only tech that is lowering scores, so the courses should be altered to rebalance the difficulty level.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 6 Jun - 16:25

GPB,
Do the new rules prohibit playing from a "penalty area"? I didn't know that.


Mac,
Every sport reveres its records, but every sport also likes to see competitors strive to break them. Surely that's the compulsion to watch everything Tiger does?

PS: Not sure what records Arnie might have that golf is trying to protect, you'll have to enlighten me.
If you don't have some design criteria - clearly you prefer one style, others go for something different - you might just as well hold The Open at the Littlehampton Par-3 course?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 6 Jun - 17:25

An appropriately international look to the leaderboard led by:
Ireland: Lowry
Vermont: Bradley
S.Korea: Im
Oh Canada: Nick Taylor


The current crop of Canadians/Canadiens haven't yet matched the top results of Weir & Ames, but probably have greater strength in depth than ever, including recent (relatively speaking) winners Hadwin, Conners, Hughes & Taylor. Good to see. Now, if only they'd bring the RBC Canadian Open back to Montreal . . . . . . .

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Post by McLaren on Thu 6 Jun - 18:06

Kwini

Other sports seem more accepting of athlete improvement being part of records going.

Arnie and Jack were just two quick examples of treasured legends.
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Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 6 Jun - 18:19

In Football, tennis and basketball you are not playing the course, you are playing another person or team. Another golfer doesn’t influence what one golfer does, but in the other sports, the opposition does.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 6 Jun - 18:44

McLaren wrote:Kwini

Other sports seem more accepting of athlete improvement being part of records going.

Arnie and Jack were just two quick examples of treasured legends.


What athletic improvement are you talking about, Mac?
As in all sports, there's continuous improvement, how can there not be??
Not really sure what that has to do with long grass, which may or may not come in to play.

Anyway, to sustain your mysterious narrative, here's something else to chew on:

https://www.golfchannel.com/news/patrick-cantlay-shows-pebble-beachs-extremely-thick-rough-ahead-2019-us-open

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 6 Jun - 20:09

And here are the tee-times for Cantlay and the rest of the lads:

https://www.usopen.com/tee-times.html


No doubt there are some quirky groupings; I'll have to take a closer look . . . . . .

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 6 Jun - 22:47

McDowell Portrush Watch:

An excellent 65 this afternoon and T6 (with some scores yet to be posted). Tied for the third highest finish of those not qualified for Portrush but, as things currently stand, he'd miss out on the owgr tie-breaker. Still, three more 65's and he'll be as big a dead cert as that a rusty John Stones playing out from the back will lead to a calamity. Or two.


EDIT: Now tied for 7th which will not quite do it; but a great start nevertheless. More please.

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Post by GPB on Fri 7 Jun - 4:29

No rule against playing out of penalty area.

In Football, tennis and basketball you are not playing the course, you are playing another person or team. Another golfer doesn’t influence what one golfer does, but in the other sports, the opposition does.

Agreed, but I don't what your point is. You might be playing on a golf course, but you are not playing against the Golf course. I have yet to seen the golf course be awarded the trophy at the end of the week. Carnoustie never got a trophy, nor did Oakmont or Winged Foot. And Pebble Beach won't get one next week at the end of week.

Formula One racing might be analogous. Do they coat the road with lubricant to make driving harder for their world class races? I don't think so.


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Post by I'm never wrong on Fri 7 Jun - 8:03

My point is this - and it depends on whether you believe players and equipment are getting better. So to counteract the players improvements, the course has to defend itself. So one way is to grow the rough. But this is all dependant on whether you want to see players scoring 40 under or not. If you don’t mind low scores then, yes, rough needn’t be long.

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Post by super_realist on Fri 7 Jun - 8:16

GPB wrote:I don't think ridiculously long rough is OK at any time.

Long rough doesn't magically appear on Monday of Championship week.  Do you think that course was sitting without any play for the last 6 weeks?  No the membership (or stakeholders) were playing it, and presumably losing golf balls.

And it is a process to take the rough down to normal height.  Its not simply a case of running a bush-hog to the rough.  The superintendent has to mow the rough down gradually so has to keep the integrity of grass in tact.

Golf season in Toronto is not very long and IMO, the course is going to be nearly unplayable for weekend warriors for about 33% of the season.

Why is "ridiculously long rough" any different to thick gorse, heather, trees, bushes, brush etc? Many courses have that in huge volume and every player knows to avoid it. It's course management, sadly something that a lot of people don't use very effectively.

You are right about rough management being difficult. Cutting it back can just make it grow quicker and thicker, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have thick rough simply because it is hard to take care of. Aren't we always saying how boring it is to see people bombing it 350 yards and how we'd like to see shotmaking and creativity come back?

Having a Championship at your course is something the membership generally accepts, not least for the financial gain. I have to do it, and whilst it's an inconvenience it's actually a treat to play it when the grandstands are in full flow and the course is set up for a Championship.
Interestingly a mate of mine from the R&A rules is over there at present, it will be interesting to say what he makes of the "unplayable rough"

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 7 Jun - 11:00

GPB wrote:No rule against playing out of penalty area.

In Football, tennis and basketball you are not playing the course, you are playing another person or team. Another golfer doesn’t influence what one golfer does, but in the other sports, the opposition does.

Agreed, but I don't what your point is.  You might be playing on a golf course, but you are not playing against the Golf course.  I have yet to seen the golf course be awarded the trophy at the end of the week. Carnoustie never got a trophy, nor did Oakmont or Winged Foot.  And Pebble Beach won't get one next week at the end of week.

Formula One racing might be analogous.  Do they coat the road with lubricant to make driving harder for their world class races? I don't think so.



No, they just build chicanes.
Rumours here that Mac is hiring Doak to design a chicane at St.Andrews.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 7 Jun - 13:42

The five leading scores from Round 1 all came from the morning wave.
It looks like a gorgeous day in store for Hamilton, warming up towards 80F by afternoon, perhaps a chance for Round 2's morning crew to capitalise before the course starts to dry out.
McDowell, Stenson, Bjerregard, time to take advantage.

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Post by Shotrock on Fri 7 Jun - 15:09

I sure would like to see McDowell qualify for the Open Championship. If not, I hope they give him a special invitation.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 7 Jun - 16:32

Shotrock wrote:I sure would like to see McDowell qualify for the Open Championship. If not, I hope they give him a special invitation.

Agree. And agree.


59 watch with Sneedeker -8 after 14 holes, Par-70. Keep out of that rough, Sneds.
EDIT: -9 after 15.
EDIT: -10 in the house. Not bad.

McDool going really well - always feel it's a matter of motivation for him.
A couple of stumbles for McD but still well placed.

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Post by GPB on Sat 8 Jun - 0:08

super_realist wrote:

Why is "ridiculously long rough" any different to thick gorse, heather, trees, bushes, brush etc

Because every golf course owns one (or more) of these (or similar) and uses them daily.

Spoiler:
PGA Tour: Memorial Tournament and Canadian Open: Notes from the Ballwasher - Page 3 S-l640

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Post by dynamark on Sat 8 Jun - 12:23

Funny I drove by Hollinwell(Notts) yesterday and they have open quali next month.Few years back we played it just prior and the rough was about 2 feet tall after the fairway and first cut .But it was the type of spindly grass where you found your ball easily but could not get any club speed into it.members were doing their nut but it was pretty fair.
The stuff in that pic is just a no go area!

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Post by navyblueshorts on Sat 8 Jun - 12:27

dynamark wrote:Funny I drove by Hollinwell(Notts) yesterday and they have open quali next month.Few years back we played it just prior and the rough was about 2 feet tall after the fairway and first cut .But it was the type of spindly grass where you found your ball easily  but could not get any club speed into it.members were doing their nut  but it was pretty fair.
The stuff in that pic is just a no go area!
'The Pink' at Hollinwell has always been traditionally like that. Find it easy. Move it very far? No way. They have a pretty good balance with that grass.
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Post by Shotrock on Sat 8 Jun - 13:25

Another balancing factor to really difficult rough is the width of the fairways. I have no problem (for us that play mortal golf) with long rough beside a wide fairway.

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Post by GPB on Sat 8 Jun - 20:22

Looks like J-Day will have a new caddie next week. Steve Williams

https://twitter.com/GolfCentral/status/1137421659265216512

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 8 Jun - 20:56

GPB wrote:Maybe deforested, but not degrassed

https://twitter.com/PGATOUR/status/1136050246629224448


Not sure where Whee Kim was, but loving this Harry Colt golf course. Haven't seen anything as bad as Kim's exhibit in play so far, so if it's fifty yards from fairway's edge the penalty seems to fit the crime.

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Post by pedro on Sat 8 Jun - 21:38

GPB wrote:
pedro wrote:Long grass is fine in principle. There should be a penalty for driving it 50 yds wide. I never like when pros have a free / open shot despite driving it 50 yds wide.

Yes, Its called Out of Bounds or an Penalty Area
No it’s not, unfortunately. But it should / could be. There’s rarely OOB or penalty areas lining the fairways. In fact, on US parkland courses (think Augusta for instance) there’s no undergrowth (or long grass) anywhere on the course. So the only obstacle to a free / open / clean shot from the “rough” is the occasional bush or tree.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 8 Jun - 23:47

Disappointing even par round from McDowell but I believe it's enough to place him fourth in the race for the Top 3 to qualify for Portrush.

Wonderful round from Rory and pretty darn good from Shane Lowry.
Great leaderboard - Whee Kim nowhere to be seen.

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