PGA Tour: Return to Pebble Beach, And Now Riviera: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 07 Feb 2020, 4:29 pm

Just to get a thread going this week: And now this week too:

1).Round 1 of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am already complete and Round 2 just about to start.
You all know that the first three rounds of the tournament are played over three courses, Monterey Peninsula, Spyglass Hill and Pebble Beach, with the Top 60 and ties playing Sunday at Pebble. Scoring for Round 1 across each course was fairly even with Monterey Peninsula playing about 3/4 of a shot easier than the other two which were fairly even.

2).Canada's Nick Taylor played Monterey Peninsula and takes a two-stroke (to par) lead into Round 2.
Taylor is an interesting example of the golfer who has trouble turning a terrific amateur career into becoming a solid pro, albeit one who is under almost everyone's radar. From Number 1 Amateur in the World over a decade ago he stumbled along on the Candian Tour for three years before earning his PGA Tour card via Q-School - and then won an "opposite field" event in Mississippi almost immediately. He's kept his card ever since - but without another top 3 finish in 150+ events since, but banking $5M despite it all.

3).Pros are slowly qualifying for the WGC-Mexico (or, in the case of some big names like Mickelson & Spieth, not made it so far).
With the leading European Tour players slowly migrating to the US for this week and next, the R2D qualifiers for Mexico are already established - those not already sure to be otherwise exempt include:
Lucas Herbert
McDowell (probably in via owgr To 50)
Grace
Bezuidenhout
Larrazabal

4).The courses this week play short by Tour standards, as does next week's venue, Riviera, classic courses that no doubt figure in any thinking about "Distance".
There's loads of opinion and comment about what to do, and the "problem" if indeed there is one, is that the golf ball travels about a yard further off the tee each year.
A devil's advocate might say that there never ever was a certain preferred distance for the ball to travel, so why not make equipment adjustments to somehow regulate distance to fit most courses?
Regardless, so long as long and straight always brings players an advantage over the rest, I can't see why "regulation" is an issue - a load of nonsense guys like Mickelson saying greater athleticism should be rewarded. Of course it should but not by playing on 9,000 yard courses with no rough - there's got to be a better way, so all credit to Phil and DJ tailoring their games to enjoy such success at Pebble, and to Bubba for shot-making his way to three Rivera wins (not to mention three "Travelers" wins.

5).Anyway, there's a nice mix of long and not quite so long on this week's leaderboard, though not yet any Europeans in the Top 20. The weather is fine but chilly, with calmish conditions today, breezy for Round 3.
Let's hope the golf matches the gorgeous scenery around the Monterey Peninsula.

Riviera:

6).Great field for the Genesis Open, can't remember a stronger field except for WGC's / Players /Majors.
But a shame that Tommy Fleetwood won't be there, would think Riviera is right up his street.


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 4:41 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 07 Feb 2020, 7:37 pm

Alex Noren doing himself some good, through the most difficult stretch of 10 holes at Pebble in -6 - a strong finish this week could be the making of his season. St Luke also showing more modest signs of life.

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Post by GPB on Fri 07 Feb 2020, 9:10 pm

Another Chicken Little Story Telling from the USGA and R/A. IMO, if they rollback the golf ball then the Bombers (Rory, DJ) are going to have an even bigger advantage over "Dinkers' (Simpson, Kuchar).

Assuming the Rollback is linear, (both Bombers (Rory, DJ) and Dinkers (Kuchar, Simpson) lose the same amount of yardage), then the Bombers are going to have an even bigger advantage over "Dinkers'.

The Strokes Gained 'delta' on Approach shots from 125 and 150 yds is smaller than it is from 150 and 175 yds. All things being equal if both the Bombers and Dinkers have 25 more yards on their approach shots, the scoring difference gets larger.

==========

As of the OWGR rankings on Monday, I count 78 players qualified for WGC-Mexico. Ian Poulter and Ben An are vulnerable of falling out of the Top 50 this week and losing their exemption but none of the bubble boys (Hadwin, Spieth) are not playing well enough to challenge getting into the Top 50.

WGC Mexico now fills the Field to the Top 72 players, but it looks like there will be enough players that there will be no alternates.


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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 07 Feb 2020, 10:57 pm

Terrific field in prospect for next week's Riviera action. It looks like all the owgr Top Ten will be in LA.

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Post by GPB on Fri 07 Feb 2020, 11:08 pm

9/10 ... Webb not in the field.

13/15...#11 Fleetwood not in the field either

17/20... No Oosty


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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 07 Feb 2020, 11:29 pm

GPB wrote:9/10 ... Webb not in the field.  

13/15...#11 Fleetwood not in the field either

17/20... No Oosty


Could be a better field than "Mexico" . . . . .

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Post by GPB on Sat 08 Feb 2020, 12:03 am

PD is estimating an OWGR-70

Despite bogeying the last hole I wonder if the Mickelson critics might be watching "The Breakfast Club" this weekend on Netflix.

Don't You Forget About Me!

Going for PGATour wins in 4 decades, IIRC, Only Snead, Floyd, DL-III have done that. And trying to tie Floyd for the biggest spread between first and last win.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 08 Feb 2020, 12:39 am

Forgotten man on the leaderboard: St. Charl up to T4 - missed you Charl.

Sad to see Duval withdraw after a pretty abysmal showing. Imagine that what's left of his Tour career is petering out.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 08 Feb 2020, 1:42 am

I see another withdrawal: Ernie Els is handing over the Presidents Cup reins, reportedly to one of his 2019 VC's: Ogilvy or Immelman, Weir or KJ Choi.
As the next PC is in the US, I'd imagine it's a toss up between KJ and Weirsy.

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Post by GPB on Sat 08 Feb 2020, 2:49 pm

Weirsy is a good bet in 2023.

Pretty Good Chance that the next Int'l venue for the Prez Cup is returning to your neck of the woods to Royal Montreal.

within 5 miles of my Aunt's former address in Beaconsfield. She relocated more than 40 yrs ago to Vancouver.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 08 Feb 2020, 3:47 pm

Meantime, one of Mike Weir's erstwhile Pres Cup teammates is, somewhat fittingly, leading this week's Korn Ferry event: Camilo Villegas, in Bogota!


It could be a tad parky in the Monterey area today, highs in the low 50's and a stiffening breeze - could favour the group of golfers playing Spyglass Hill which is somewhat more protected from the elements, slightly inland.

As robo said on another thread, will Phil keep up the good work after his travels - and also welcome cameos on the Tour leaderboard from Jason (Sick) Day and Dustin Johnson.

Lastly, two Champions making their Champo Tour debuts this week in Florida: Tim Lumpy Herron and Robert Karlsson.

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Post by GPB on Sat 08 Feb 2020, 9:44 pm

Two way T2nd for Mickelson will get him to he OWGR #50 slot.  Knocking out Poulter who is not in the Riviera field

IIRC, This would be the first WGC event that he didn't qualify.  He skipped a lot of them, but he qualified for them

Spieth needs to get to solo 13th or better to get ahead inside the top 50.  Tall order considering he is making the cut on the number but he has mulligan next week as he is playing Riviera.

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Post by robopz on Sat 08 Feb 2020, 10:13 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:
GPB wrote:9/10 ... Webb not in the field.  

13/15...#11 Fleetwood not in the field either

17/20... No Oosty

 

Could be a better field than "Mexico" . . . . .
Riveria's gain might be Mexico's loss. As of now only 6/10 OWGR top-10 committed to Mexico... 32 of top-50.  Last year it was 10/46.  I suspect Tiger commits and with the way they use "blank entries" in this event, it should finish up maybe 8/45. (but as low as 7/40 wouldn't surprise me)

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Post by GPB on Sat 08 Feb 2020, 10:30 pm

Thanks Robo, Using the current Top 50, I counted 78 players exempt for Mexico.

If there is that many No-shows, they very well could get somewhat deep into the alternate list, good news for IJP and Spieth, if they want to play.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 09 Feb 2020, 12:46 pm

It's going to be a long day beside the seaside at Pebble Beach today.
With foursomes leading off the action, and 20 / 30 mph wind gusts (not exactly Ciara but they'll still cause delays), we could be looking at rounds taking well over 5 hours, possibly much closer to 6.

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Post by McLaren on Sun 09 Feb 2020, 1:26 pm

GPB wrote:

The Strokes Gained 'delta' on Approach shots from 125 and 150 yds is smaller than it is from 150 and 175 yds.  All things being equal if both the Bombers and Dinkers have 25 more yards on their approach shots, the scoring difference gets larger.


As a Tiger fan boy this appeals to me. Tiger was unreal from 150+ yards in strokes gained, this feels like the shots that really matter. I would be happy to see Rory and DJ destroy fields based on strong iron play.
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Post by GPB on Sun 09 Feb 2020, 4:06 pm

Phil's Strokes Gained (Around the green) was 4.3 shots, the highest I can remember for one round.

SG AtG per round typically has low variance, most of the time between -2 and +2 so a 4.2

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 09 Feb 2020, 9:20 pm

Glacial pace today, final group playing the 12th hole after 3 1/2 hours.

European interest? Gone with the wind.


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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 09 Feb 2020, 9:38 pm

Casey in with an 81 - how'd that happen? Runner up here last year.

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Post by GPB on Mon 10 Feb 2020, 3:49 pm

Rory is the new number 1 by a narrow margin (0.03 pts) over Koepka.  It looks a lot closer than it is as Brooks is adding events to his divisor every week he plays.  Brooks was on the disabled list in early 2018 so any events he plays early in the year are "added events" in his two year resume

Both are playing this week but Koepka needs to finish at least T5th to have any chance of retaking the #1 ranking, even if Rory whiffs this week and misses the cut.  

Similarly, Rahm has to be finish in at least a T3rd to have any chance to overtake Rory as he also adding an tournament to his divisor (because he did not play Riviera two years ago).

Has Poulter been taking scheduling lessons from Shane Lowry.  Sitting out Pebble and Los Angeles has possibly cost him a spot in the WGC Mexico, depending on the alternate situation.  Spieth's low round of the day at Pebble got him a Top 10 and pushed IJP down to #51.

Pssst, IJP, this is a Ryder Cup year and WGCs are worth both OWGR and Euro Points.  (and a lot of them)

Rob Bolton has 74 qualifiers for WGC-Mexico.  Assuming no additions after Riviera, there needs to be 3 players to not play, before they start filling the field with alternates.  I think IJP is the #1 alternate

Mickelson is playing Riviera, 5th tournament in a row with a trip around the world right in the middle.  Just missed out getting into the Top 50 with his solo 3rd at Pebble.  Wonder if he will play Mexico if he qualifies this week (or gets in as an alternate) as his 6th tournament in a row.  (he has to be running on fumes).

Speaking of Mickelson, this was the 30th season in a row where he has had Top 10.  Only Sam Snead (34) and Ray Floyd (32) have longer streaks.  If you include the 1979 Open Championship, Nicklaus has a streak of 25 years with either a win or a 2nd place finish. (1962-1986).

Edit: Mickelson not playing WGC-Mexico, even if he qualifies

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Post by robopz on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 2:16 am

GPB... I checked the WGC Mexico Field strength again just now... Currently it's still only 6 of the top 10 committed (same count as last week) but the top-50 count has gone up from 32 to 42 today. For reference, last year was 10/10 top-10 & 46 top-50.  Commit deadline is same as normal... This Friday 5:00 pm.  Last year there were only 3 commits after Monday the week before (today)... Tiger Woods on Tuesday and the last 2 fill the field alternates on the Monday of the event.

As for alternates... IJP may be 1st alt now, but they fill the field off of next weeks OWGR... No telling then

Also for comparison, Genesis is checking in with 9/10, 21/30 and 31/50.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 9:52 am

I see Phil is quoted as saying he won't play Mexico even if he qualifies.
Kinda surprising decision for an event he won so recently. Phil being Phil though.

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Post by robopz on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 3:19 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:I see Phil is quoted as saying he won't play Mexico even if he qualifies.
Kinda surprising decision for an event he won so recently. Phil being Phil though.
I'm actually not surprised. I used to bag on Phil pretty good when he used to skip the match play played on these same dates. I thought he was using the family time with kids thing as an excuse. But not anymore. I think it really was the legit reason why he wasn't playing, and certainly the reason he's not playing this year. Granted, 6 in a row is too much for a 50-year-old, but if he wasn't planning on taking family time this week I think he would have scheduled differently so Mexico wouldn't have been 6 in a row... Probably would have dropped Torry again...

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Post by robopz on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 3:29 pm

PGA Tour eviscerates Hank Haney in their request for dismissal of Haney's lawsuit... yikes...
https://finance.yahoo.com/amphtml/news/pga-tour-asks-judge-dismiss-161525950.html

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 3:45 pm

robo,
I agree w/Phil and his family vacation, but I'm still (faux) surprised that he would indulge the Saudi's and skip the WGC given his success there.

Haney being penalised for saying what a lot of observers must be thinking - plenty of blame to go around, and no credit to anyone in that mess.

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Post by robopz on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 4:02 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:robo,
I agree w/Phil and his family vacation, but I'm still (faux) surprised that he would indulge the Saudi's and skip the WGC given his success there.

Haney being penalised for saying what a lot of observers must be thinking - plenty of blame to go around, and no credit to anyone in that mess.
I think we know now there was a lot more behind that Saudi thing than we thought (PGL). Phil wasn't over there for a couple mil in short-term money, He's thinking tens or hundreds of millions in long-term money.

And I think Haney was totally screwed over those innocuous LPGA comments. but that's the woke snowflake world we live in today. If somebody says something that offends our tender sensibilities, it's no longer sufficient to disagree, we must now overreact and demand termination of their career... it sucks. BUT, I saw no sign of any kind of vendetta of the tour against Haney like he claims... I don't like it, but the PGA tour has every right to be spineless snowflakes in this matter if they want to be, so if they thought Hank needed to go from their PGA Tour branded Sirius program, then bye-bye.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 7:54 pm

Hadn't properly grasped that Woods is doubtful for next week's WGC . . . . . . . .

Also interested to see the quality of next week's PR field - imagine that several "established" pros might be realising that the season is catching up on them and that opportunities to make up ground for the Top 125 could easily start to dry up.
Arithmetic slightly different from the last few years.

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Post by Plunky on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 8:39 pm

I am neither woke (whatever that means) nor a snowflake but I found Haney's comments annoying.  It doesn't seem too much to expect the host of a golf radio talk show to have a thoughtful answer when asked about the upcoming US Ladies Open.  Given that he accepts $$$$ for teaching girls to play golf I was surprised to find he knows so little about the women's game. But I wouldn't have fired him.

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Post by robopz on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 10:08 pm

Plunky wrote:I am neither woke (whatever that means) nor a snowflake but I found Haney's comments annoying.  It doesn't seem too much to expect the host of a golf radio talk show to have a thoughtful answer when asked about the upcoming US Ladies Open.  Given that he accepts $$$$ for teaching girls to play golf I was surprised to find he knows so little about the women's game.  But I wouldn't have fired him.    
I was surprised at his comments too, but the reaction to them was so ridiculously over the top it was just plain stupid. Haney was a damn good listen on Sirius... I disagreed with him a lot of times but at least he made me think and consider alternate points of view. Apparently that's a career ending crime now.

Kwini... If I was a betting man, I still think Tiger plays Mexico. I talked to some people this afternoon, and they have the feeling he's getting so much heat to play Honda, he's just delaying his commitment to Mexico to make it look like it's a hard choice. They think if he wasn't going to play Mexico he would have said so today. Only caveat... If there's something physical going on.

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Post by GPB on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 10:42 pm

I think Tiger's Mexico decision depends on whether he makes the cut or misses the cut.

If he misses Cut, he plays Mexico. ~19% to Miss Cut according to DataGolf.

Playing Honda would potentially mean that he plays 12 competitive rounds (Oh My!) in 18 days.

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Post by robopz on Tue 11 Feb 2020, 11:52 pm

GPB wrote:I think Tiger's Mexico decision depends on whether he makes the cut or misses the cut.  

If he misses Cut, he plays Mexico.  ~19% to Miss Cut according to DataGolf.

Playing Honda would potentially mean that he plays 12 competitive rounds (Oh My!) in 18 days.
I just don't see any scenario where he plays three in a row. So IMO it's either ...

1) Mexico, off, API, Players (no Honda). or...
2) Off, Honda, off, Players (no MEX, no API)

I know he wants to play reduced schedule, but I don't think he wants off as much as #2...

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 12:36 am

On a slightly different topic, a very nice article by Feinstein on Jim Furyk as he approaches 50. In this month's Golf Digest:

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/how-jim-furyk-carved-his-unique-path-to-a-hall-of-fame-career

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Post by robopz on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 3:57 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Hadn't properly grasped that Woods is doubtful for next week's WGC . . . . . . . .

Also interested to see the quality of next week's PR field - imagine that several "established" pros might be realising that the season is catching up on them and that opportunities to make up ground for the Top 125 could easily start to dry up.
Arithmetic slightly different from the last few years.
looked at the field strength statistics for PR today.... There may be plenty of "established" pros in the field, but very few ranked ones. As of now there's only three top 100 players in the field, none of them better than number 70... Only 1 more in top-125.

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Post by super_realist on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 7:51 am

kwinigolfer wrote:On a slightly different topic, a very nice article by Feinstein on Jim Furyk as he approaches 50. In this month's Golf Digest:

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/how-jim-furyk-carved-his-unique-path-to-a-hall-of-fame-career

Approaching 50? Bloody hell, he looks ancient, I thought he was at least 55.

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Post by GPB on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 4:07 pm

super_realist wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:On a slightly different topic, a very nice article by Feinstein on Jim Furyk as he approaches 50. In this month's Golf Digest:

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/how-jim-furyk-carved-his-unique-path-to-a-hall-of-fame-career

Approaching 50? Bloody hell, he looks ancient, I thought he was at least 55.

Ancient? How can that be? Yet he was never morbidly obese.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 4:20 pm

I see Tommy Gainey escaped jail time after being arrested for his role in a prostitution racket. He's got 11 months' probation, 100 hours of community service and $6+K in fees and fines.

Have been unable to confirm speculation that Drumpf intervened on Two Gloves' behalf and instructed Attorney General Barr to ensure a reduced sentence.

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Post by McLaren on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 6:32 pm

Does prostitution racket mean he was pimping rather than just using a sex worker? Got off lightly if so.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 7:45 pm

McLaren wrote:Does prostitution racket mean he was pimping rather than just using a sex worker?  Got off lightly if so.

"solicitation" I think Mac.

A few more decent results on the Korn Ferry circuit and he'll be back on the Big Tour - it would be nice if he was paired with Tiger at the first available opportunity.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 7:54 pm

Another week of picture perfect conditions at Riviera.

Strong European contingent:
Rory, Rahm, Rose, Casey, Francesco, Fitzpatrick, Willett, Sergio, Rafa, etc.
I'm interested in Alex Noren who's been playing very well but not getting the requisite really top finishes that boost his owgr or FedEx Points positions.

Not sure how many posters check out princedrac's projections, but I reckon that he's overlooked Bezuidenhout if he tees it up in Sunshineland - should he win he'll possibly bump a couple of his projections, or at least alternates.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 9:06 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Not sure how many posters check out princedrac's projections, but I reckon that he's overlooked Bezuidenhout if he tees it up in Sunshineland - should he win he'll possibly bump a couple of his projections, or at least alternates.
I do Kwini. Here is his Latest. Bezuidenhout is shown, as already qualified. I don't think he shows what happens to others if a particular player wins. I stand to be corrected.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 9:15 pm

I'm never wrong wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Not sure how many posters check out princedrac's projections, but I reckon that he's overlooked Bezuidenhout if he tees it up in Sunshineland - should he win he'll possibly bump a couple of his projections, or at least alternates.
I do Kwini. Here is his Latest. Bezuidenhout is shown, as already qualified. I don't think he shows what happens to others if a particular player wins. I stand to be corrected.


He shows him as "Not Playing", but perhaps that is irrelevant after all. He's invariably spot on . . . . . . .

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Post by GPB on Wed 12 Feb 2020, 10:02 pm

Robo: Can you tell if Tom Lewis has committed to Puerto Rico as Plan B to his alternate status for Mexico. OWGR #54He is DFL in the reshuffle so he probably won't get into any regular events (on merit) until after the Masters.

But he might get to play both WGC's in the next 6 weeks.


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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 13 Feb 2020, 12:39 pm

Bezuidenhout in with a Sunshine 61 - likely to reach the Top 50, just about, with a win.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 13 Feb 2020, 3:15 pm

Reports on golfchannel.com that the 2021 BMW Championship, Round 2 of the FedEx "Play Offs", will be staged in the Baltimore area, at Caves Valley, following this year's tournament in the Chicago area, at Olympia Fields (site of Furyk's 2003 US Open win).

Presumably, but not necessarily, this supersedes previous reports that BMW were planning to terminate their sponsorship. Not sure about that, I could have missed an announcement dispelling that report.

Either way, strange for the PGA Tour to harp on the old Western Open when they make their second trip to the East Coast (after Aronimink in 2018).

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Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 13 Feb 2020, 5:11 pm

Sky do PGA Tour Live, or the Twitter feed, I don;t know which. But anyway, I am going to watch a bit more of this tournament than usual. Mainly because donkeys years ago (1995), I watched the PGA Championship there. So I "know" the course, as much as a spectator can. But also because lots of top players....

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Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 13 Feb 2020, 5:18 pm

McIlroy just hit his second to the 17th 285 yards with a 3 wood, and holed the eagle putt.

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Post by robopz on Thu 13 Feb 2020, 5:49 pm

GPB wrote:Robo: Can you tell if Tom Lewis has committed to Puerto Rico as Plan B to his alternate status for Mexico.  OWGR #54He is DFL in the reshuffle so he probably won't get into any regular events (on merit) until after the Masters.

But he might get to play both WGC's in the next 6 weeks.

Kwini, I can't help on Tom Lewis. I can see all the strength the fields statistics, but I no longer have an access level to see who's committed much if any quicker than you will publicly on Friday.

EDIT... But the field is now showing one player in the top 70 OWGR for PR... Could be Lewis? I dunno.

And as for BMW.  That was a really strange turnaround. They were absolutely positively out going into last year's BMW... Then at the last minute they did a 180 about face and renewed their sponsorship for a longer term (although that term wasn't specified clearly, the release read like it was 4 years maybe?)


Last edited by robopz on Thu 13 Feb 2020, 5:57 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 13 Feb 2020, 5:52 pm

There's quite a bit more coverage than for your typical Tour event - looking forward to it.

Happy to see Alex Noren get off to another good start - be even nicer if he could sustain it.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 13 Feb 2020, 5:55 pm

Cheers robo,
From GPB et moi!

Two eagles in three holes for Rors.

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Post by robopz on Thu 13 Feb 2020, 6:01 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Cheers robo,
From GPB et moi!

Two eagles in three holes for Rors.
I edited the above because there is now one player showing in the OWGR top 70 that wasn't there last time I looked... Could be number 52 Lewis... But I can't know.

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