PGA Tour: Thumbs Up (Or Down) for US Open - Travelers: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 19 Jun 2019, 2:04 pm

Just a few thoughts from last week:

Thumbs Up:

1).Great course at Pebble Beach, looking fantastic (if somewhat fogged in) and fine set-up by the new USGA now that Mike Davis has passed set-up duties on. Let's see what they do with Winged Foot next year. (Tip: Keep well away, Mr.Davis.)

2).And big thumbs up to Gary Woodland: He wouldn't have been in my top 40 choices, but a decent tee-to-green game plus getting up and down from the proverbial ballwasher led to a richly deserved win. Would never've thunk it, but chapeau to him! Flash in the pan or will he train on??

3).For the most part, the best golfers rose towards the top:
From the owgr Top 44, just a few missed the cut:
Justin Thomas (7): Back from injury and no excuses from JT - he goes again at Hartford this week.
Finau (14)
Watson (20)
Na (31)
Poulter (33): Undone by a Par-4 snowman.
Bradley (37)
Noren (41): The slump continues - any ideas why?

That probably means the course played very fair. And, YES! The leaderboard was peppered with bombers, but it was just as much their superior short games that got them into contention.

4).The Europeans:
Ten in the Top 20, but all out of contention by the final five holes.

5).Most of FOX TV commentators: Azinger and Strange both accurately predicted Rose's deflowering and both rode the Woodland and Koepka horses. The guys on the course were OK too, but what a shame that none of Maltbie, Kostis or Bones were there.

Thumbs Down:
6).That damn "marine layer". Sick of hearing such a stupid euphemism, sick of seeing it!

7).Tiger & Phil: Neither really got going; Tiger complaining about stiffness in the cool weather and must have come up short on his wedges dozens of times.
"Phil being Phil" is becoming a caricature of a great golfer. He'll be 50 by the time he reaches Winged Foot.

8).The Europeans, specifically Tommy Fleetwood who seems to have lost his mojo until further notice, Alex Noren and Sergio.

9).FOX TV direction (they just can't tell a story and showed tapes of shots which happened 10 or 15 minutes earlier without tape delay attribution). Fake news.
And anchor Joe Buck ("I'm Joe Buck" every fifteen minutes as if he'd ever let us forget; he ruins every sport he covers - just awful). Wanchor more like.

Meanwhile:
10).I'm off the grid for a couple of days, headed to The Travelers Championship in Hartford, CT. I thought the Travelers would suffer more than most with the new Tour schedule, but "robopz" was adamant they'd be a beneficiary - and so it has proved. The TPC River Highlands course can yield low scores (e.g. Furyk's 58) and final round meltdowns, like Bubba a few years ago and Casey last year.
Thursday's weather looks rainy so the course could stay soft thru the weekend. Provided the tee-times don't get screwed up too much, we're hoping to follow Fleetwood (never seen him play) and Hovland among plenty of attractive groups.
Casey and Knox both have fine records here and am hoping that Molinari recaptures his fantastic form of this time last year. Hoping to see 'em all!


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Sun 23 Jun 2019, 4:22 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Roller_Coaster on Wed 19 Jun 2019, 2:46 pm

Enjoy Kwin. Fleetwood Live analysis if and when you get a sec.

Disappointed if Power isn't playing! Would have liked a play by play, even though it would probably be "good, good, better, good, hmmm, poor, struggling, weekend off"

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Post by Roller_Coaster on Wed 19 Jun 2019, 2:48 pm

And to save all you smarty pants (yes, I know I'd be the one most likely to do it) Fleetwood Live analysis = grim, northern seaside town, isn't Blackpool etc etc Smile

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Post by I'm never wrong on Wed 19 Jun 2019, 3:10 pm

I often have a look on Google to see where the courses are. This one has a "housing estate" right in the middle of it. Google maps. Reminds me of a time I had a holiday in Florida. Stayed at a friends house which had membership of a golf course. Each hole had fairway, a strip of rough each side and then you were in someones front (or back) garden. Made you hit it straight!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 19 Jun 2019, 3:13 pm

Roller_Coaster wrote:And to save all you smarty pants (yes, I know I'd be the one most likely to do it) Fleetwood Live analysis = grim, northern seaside town, isn't Blackpool etc etc Smile

Cheers Roller,
Surprised you couldn't squeeze Fisherman's favourite Friend Joey Barton in there.


Inw,
The houses rarely come into play, a sliced drive on #9 being the only real likelihood. Plus the course looks very playable for all levels of golfer, a nice aspect of very few US Tour courses. And great for viewing.

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Post by wiretapper on Wed 19 Jun 2019, 3:54 pm

Roller_Coaster wrote:Enjoy Kwin. Fleetwood Live analysis if and when you get a sec.

Apparently he enlisted the help of our very own Mac and played Wembley last night Whistle

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Post by wiretapper on Wed 19 Jun 2019, 4:03 pm

Interesting stuff from Alex Miceli on the Cut this week. He reckons Tiger is done as tour golfer with now only majors plus a very light sprinkling of others on his schedule.

He also said he has no chance of playing at the President's Cup

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 19 Jun 2019, 4:12 pm

wiretapper wrote:Interesting stuff from Alex Miceli on the Cut this week. He reckons Tiger is done as tour golfer with now only majors plus a very light sprinkling of others on his schedule.

He also said he has no chance of playing at the President's Cup


wire,
He's certainly said he won't be playing again before Portrush, and little likelihood that he'll play the Memphis WGC. No idea if he'll contend the Play-Offs; can't believe he wouldn't want to get to East Lake somehow.

(PS: He also missed last year's Ryder Cup . . . . )

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Post by GPB on Wed 19 Jun 2019, 5:42 pm

Many modern courses are within housing developments.

TPC Avenel, where they used to play the Quicken Loans.  One of the houses there has an interesting object in the back yard.

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Post by Be_the_ball on Wed 19 Jun 2019, 7:25 pm

Cheers Kwini, enjoy yourself and have a good one thumbsup

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Post by Shotrock on Thu 20 Jun 2019, 9:39 pm

Interestingly (to me at least) I hosted 3 (VERY GOOD) golfers from St. George's Hill at my club today. Talk about older courses within a GREAT housing development ...

Also, I play TPC Avenel every year in a client outing. Surprised I haven't hit that airplane.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 22 Jun 2019, 12:27 pm

Great two days at TPC River Highlands, despite some torrential rain and getting thoroughly drenched, both days. Good for the Pros and the Tour for not interrupting play, but sometimes the weather, and course, must have been right on the edge.
More of that later.

82 players made the cut, so another top 70 and ties cut, today after 54 holes.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sun 23 Jun 2019, 2:26 am

Chez Reavie has a 6 (!) shot lead going into the final round after playing the back nine in 28 - ridiculous golf!
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Post by I'm never wrong on Sun 23 Jun 2019, 5:58 am

Players who lost a six shot lead...CLICK HERE

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 23 Jun 2019, 11:35 am

There'll be more low scores today, especially among early starters, unless the wind gets up. Calm right now but expected to be 10 - 15 mph this afternoon..
The course is still soft and, as the pros say, is definitely "gettable".
Reavie's tournament to lose though.

Some great early pairings:
Knox/Koepka first out of the stalls (less than 3 hours??), followed by Chico & Grillo.

Closer to the lead: Day & DeChambeau - hope they finish before dark.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 23 Jun 2019, 4:32 pm

It looks as if RK and BK will finish just under 3 hours, but Chico and Grillo are three holes adrift.
Molinari's fast enough so perhaps Grillo is a slowcoach. Dunno. But we know there'll be a logjam on the final six holes later today and it's the early starters (and officials) who set the tone.

Regardless, Russell Knox also gets a move on and it's paid off today: A round of 65 which comfortably secures his card for 2019/2020 - if there was ever any doubt.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sun 23 Jun 2019, 11:32 pm

That was a fun evening of golf, fair play to Bradley for making a real run at it and well done to Reavie for holding his nerve and cashing in on Bradley’s mistake on 17
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 12:28 am

A great shame that neither Fleetwood nor Laird made a run at it.

But agree, well done to Chezzer; he's in terrific form and goes again in Detroit next week..

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Post by GPB on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 2:51 am

Chez well inside the OWGR Top 30 now, and still not officially qualified for Portrush.

YET

But he will qualify as the 5 FEDEX leaders, not otherwise exempt. He is projected 12th.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 3:21 am

There'll be a few qualifiers tonight, via the FedEx and R2D channel.

Weird that Rocket Mortgage & John Deere send qualifiers but not the 3M tournament.

Martin Slumbers again.

V.Happy for Reavie, well deserved win.

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Post by GPB on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 3:48 am

But you get an endless supply of sticky notes by playing the 3M Classic.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 11:51 am

Confirmation on the European Tour website that these five luminaries have qualified, via R2D ranking, for The Open Championship:
Lipsky,
Sterne
van Rooyen
Macintyre
Kitayama

Awaiting final confirmation of those qualifying via the FedEx list, but sure that GPB is correct; Reavie will be one of them.


EDIT: Confirmation on pgatour.com that Charlie Howell and Ryan Palmer joined Chez Reavie in qualifying for Portrush.

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Post by robopz on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 1:23 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Weird that Rocket Mortgage & John Deere send qualifiers but not the 3M tournament.

Martin Slumbers again.
What's weird about it? I wouldn't expect them to make every event a qualifying event.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 1:45 pm

robopz wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Weird that Rocket Mortgage & John Deere send qualifiers but not the 3M tournament.

Martin Slumbers again.
What's weird about it? I wouldn't expect them to make every event a qualifying event.


No, me neither.
But curious that 3M has been excluded whilst Detroit & Quad Cities have not. I don't recall the same selectivity (is that a word?) in previous years with Greenbrier etc.

robo,
Fun with so many top guys at The Travelers - they hoovered up the marauding masses leaving other very attractive groups with relatively small "galleries", just the way I like it! Just the proverbial one man and a dog (if my son will excuse the characterisation) following Fleetwood/Knox/Cam Smith.
A sense these last couple of years that The Travelers has got a teeny bit pleased with itself, commercial interests beginning to overwhelm the fan experience.

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Post by robopz on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 2:07 pm

Yeah Kwini... When events start moving up the "food chain", things change. But the end game is to raise more money for charities, so more corporate stuff to accomplish that isn't entirely a bad thing.

As for the open qualifying series... If anything was weird it was the Arnold Palmer being a qualifying series event this year. But when Arnie's event asks, who's going to turn them down? So they offered the same to Jack's Memorial, but Jack didn't want it. A couple of things do make sense though... It's still the same "as many as 9" additional qualifiers from PGA Tour qualifying events. Last year it was 4 for Quicken, 4 for Greenbrier, 1 from John Deere. This year it was 3 from API, 3 from Canadian, 2 from Rocket Mortgage, 1 from John Deere. I like the addition of Canada.

What's interesting (I'm trying to confirm but so far haven't been able to), I heard Pelley and crew were at the Canadian Open in discussion with them about Co-sanctioning with the European Tour. Supposedly the PGA Tour would somewhat reluctantly agree, but they're not changing the entry criteria. So if the Canadian open wants to give some of its 16 unrestricted sponsor exemptions to ET members (instead of Canadians), that's their prerogative. But the rest of the priority list is going to remain exactly the same. Have you, or anybody else on this board heard anything about that? On some level that makes sense, on others it doesn't.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 3:15 pm

robopz wrote:

What's interesting (I'm trying to confirm but so far haven't been able to), I heard Pelley and crew were at the Canadian Open in discussion with them about Co-sanctioning with the European Tour.  Supposedly the PGA Tour would somewhat reluctantly agree, but they're not changing the entry criteria. So if the Canadian open wants to give some of its 16 unrestricted sponsor exemptions to ET members (instead of Canadians), that's their prerogative. But the rest of the priority list is going to remain exactly the same.  Have you, or anybody else on this board heard anything about that?  On some level that makes sense, on others it doesn't.  

Haven't heard anything about that robo, but it makes perfect sense from an ET point of view; though only if it retains that date! But can't imagine that Canada Golf would go for it given what they and RBC have reportedly been doing to stimulate growth/excellence. Still a growth sport in Oh Canada.

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Post by robopz on Mon 24 Jun 2019, 3:50 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:
robopz wrote:

What's interesting (I'm trying to confirm but so far haven't been able to), I heard Pelley and crew were at the Canadian Open in discussion with them about Co-sanctioning with the European Tour.  Supposedly the PGA Tour would somewhat reluctantly agree, but they're not changing the entry criteria. So if the Canadian open wants to give some of its 16 unrestricted sponsor exemptions to ET members (instead of Canadians), that's their prerogative. But the rest of the priority list is going to remain exactly the same.  Have you, or anybody else on this board heard anything about that?  On some level that makes sense, on others it doesn't.  

Haven't heard anything about that robo, but it makes perfect sense from an ET point of view; though only if it retains that date! But can't imagine that Canada Golf would go for it given what they and RBC have reportedly been doing to stimulate growth/excellence. Still a growth sport in Oh Canada.
like I said it makes sense on some levels. But the downside to the ET would be, if that becomes an official Co-sanction, then that means top dual tour Euro players could pick up Canada as an official counting event towards their four minimum, and thus play in even less events across the pond.  But what it might do, would be to entice more PGA Tour members to take up dual membership. Effectively a top PGA Tour guy could play Canada, either the President's or Ryder Cup, and then only high grade 2 more Rolex series events and fulfill their membership obligation, with no "PGAT conflicting event release" problem.

And by the way, the only even remote confirmation that such conversations have been taking place was from of fairly low level volunteer who heard some scuttlebutt about it. But she wouldn't have been in the position to know anything close to official. Nobody I know that would have something more reliable has gotten back to me on it

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