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Mavs Weekly European & Challenge tour update - WGC HSBC Champions

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Post by Maverick Tue 01 Nov 2011, 10:37 pm

So to start the weeks update with a little touch of de Ja vu, in as much that we are again congratulating Sergio Garcia on a tournament win in Spain. The thing El Nino can take from his 2nd victory in as many weeks is that this time he closed out when not playing his best, unlike the previous week where he left the field in his wake. Moving back up to number 18 in the world is a great step on the road to recovery for Sergio and let’s hope it’s truly just the begining.
So now we move forward to the WGC HSBC Champions event at Sheshan International Club in Shanghai.
Last year this event became a bit of a 2 horse race between Francesco Molinari and Lee Westwood. Notable tied 3rd place finshers were Luke Donald who has now gone onto become World No.1 and Richie Ramsey who has hit form in his last 2 events before returning to China.

SO what do we know about this week?

1. Firstly the main notable absentee, OWGR #1 Luke Donald. No point really highlighting the field and trying to pick a winner as except for Luke and a few high profile yanks everyone that is anyone plus a few more is here.

2. 11 of the finishers inside the top 12 at Sheshan in 2010 were European tour members

3. There will be 13 major winners competing at Sheshan this week

4. Established in 2009 by Diasuke Maruyama and then matched by Ernie Els and Rory McIlroy, in the
same event, the course record stands at 63

5. There has only ever been one player to win this event after leading every round from round 1 through 4 and that’s defending champion Francesco Molinari

6. The course opened in 2004, Measures at 7253 yards and holes 16, 17 and 18 are course designers Neil Haworth’s perfect picture finish to his course.

Not much else to say about this event other than it’s on at ridiculous o’clock in the morning so viewing figures will really vary which is what makes this the hardest WGC to follow unless your able to be up at the crack of dawn.

Challenge Tour

So its grand final week on the CT, this is it. It’s do or die moment for many players looking to make the tour proper in the very last event. The ones that are locked on to make are likely to be numbers 1-12 on the money list with the ones outside that number likely to fluctuate over the course of the event.
San Domenico is the venue for this event and last year’s winner our very own (through my association and constant will for him to make it) Matt Haines secured number 2 spot on the CT Money list, so many will be looking to emulate that this week.

Tommy Fleetwood who has led the money list for so long this season see’s himself at #2 now on the list having been passed by fellow Englishman Sam Little, both playing will want to secure bragging rights to being the number 1 ranked player to have finished the season on the CT and with just over 11000Euros separating them it really is going to the wire.
So can someone from this year’s CT emulate the likes of previous graduate Ed Molinari and go on to win the following season on the ET proper or will they be heading back to Q-School next year. One things for sure for all of these guys whatever happens the work really begins this Thursday either way


*MODS any chance of the usual weekly sticky please

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 02 Nov 2011, 1:29 pm

Action underway in San Domenico.

Benny Hebert tied for the early lead; how good is he? Do Hebert and Wattel have what it takes to reach the level above Havret, Rafa and Levet?

(Duboisson(sp?) a good young player also, a bit tempestuous though when I've seen him on the box.)

Disappointed to see some old lags struggling to get their cards: Philip Archer, Pelle Edberg (what ever happened to him?).

Pavan up there, Fleetwood fishing in the middle of the pack.

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Post by NedB-H Wed 02 Nov 2011, 1:41 pm

Kwini

To be honest I rate his co-leader Guerrier more; thought he was very unlucky not to keep his card last year, hit some late summer form then couldn't get into the final few tournaments off his exemption. Got to be good for the game though, 6 other Frenchmen competing this week besides those two, 3 of them with cards sewn up already.

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Post by Maverick Wed 02 Nov 2011, 1:48 pm

Hebert is a talent, he needs to learn from his last timeout on ET but certainly has the game to out do anything we've seen from Havrey, Rafa and Levet.

Wattel, jury still out on that one for me, seems a little to streaky at the moment.

Dubuisson needs to settle his temprament down a little, again has the ability to go low but doing it consistently over 4 days is yet to be confirmed.

However Neds right the real talent other than Hebert is Guerrier, has the talent to be the best of the french golfers, certainly a lot of French, Italian and more importantly brits coming to the fore this year on the CT long may that continue

Not sure what the deal is with Archer at the moment, fine ball striker, all round solid short game if not spectacular but something definately missing there at the moment, betweewn the ears perhaps or maybe a case of not commiting to things with everything he has seems more likely at the moment. Edberg god knows, a talent that just fell away not sure how or why.

Pavan is going about building a career nicely and understated, gets into good positions under the radar and thats a good place to be. Fleetwood maybe a step to far after fine form on Europro, then taking that to CT and onto ET in his last couple events may just be a case of burn out after good form on all 3 tours.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 02 Nov 2011, 2:25 pm

Ned, Mav,
thumbsup

Appreciate the insight on Guerrier, hadn't taken much notice of him, assumed he was just another retread out there. I'll know better now!

Fleetwood trawling through the field now.

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Post by Faldono1fan Wed 02 Nov 2011, 2:43 pm

Watch Chris Lloyd.Very talented and only 19. Needs a good week, but off to a good start at 3 under. Me and my mate played him and his dad in the winter foursomes at my old club when he was only 8. It was clear even then that he was exceptionally talented. Whenever his dad put him in a bunker or missed the green he would stiff it! We won on the last.His dad was more upset then him!

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Post by Davie Thu 03 Nov 2011, 6:12 am

An opening 82 for Matteo in Shanghai? What's that all about?

Interesting to see Poulter and McDowell relatively high up the leaderboard early on though

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Post by Maverick Thu 03 Nov 2011, 7:19 am

Alls not well with Matteo, he said during the Castello he was making swing changes looking to add some distance and his game seemingly is for the time being going backwards, hopefully he rights that soon.. No idea why he felt the need to make changes to add distance, the boy is still a teenager distance will come as he grows..

Bradley tops the pile on day 1 how Timmy will hope it stays that way so he can get his own way with the POTY award

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Post by LadyPutt Thu 03 Nov 2011, 9:50 am

Why do golfers who are playing well (Woods, Harrington, Kaymer and now Manassero, for example) decide to make changes to their swing which has won them titles and money? If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
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Post by Lairdy Thu 03 Nov 2011, 10:42 am

Hopefully Manny looks at what happened to Donald when he tried that.

Next week I am going to look out my e/w bet and back him to be first round leader... Ramsay last week and Bradley this week!

Bradley will love the calm and soft conditions this week. Hits it long and high.

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Post by Maverick Thu 03 Nov 2011, 11:06 am

LP: With Woods I can understand the swing changes, as they are meant to put less stress on his left knee which we all know has been subject of several surgeries. As for Harrington he's a perenial tinkerer and cannot sit still for 5 minutes.

Matteo though someone in his camp should have informed him distance will come with age and growth.


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Post by EmmDee57 Thu 03 Nov 2011, 11:36 am

Wish I'd read up about Matteo's swing changes before adding him in my FL team this week Sad

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Post by raycastleunited Thu 03 Nov 2011, 11:46 am

LadyPutt wrote:Why do golfers who are playing well (Woods, Harrington, Kaymer and now Manassero, for example) decide to make changes to their swing which has won them titles and money? If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Because the game is continually evolving and players are getting better and better. If you stand still you go backwards!

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 03 Nov 2011, 12:29 pm

raycastle,
Agree with that to some extent, but Matteo wasn't standing still; he's still growing, still developing and, just as Lukey found when he tried to add yards to his tee shots, better to hit it straight than to overdo the distance and risk spraying it.
Amazing how much stronger a 21-year-old frame and core will be than, what, an 18-year-old one.
The cost to Matteo is likely to be exit stage right from the owgr Top 50 and nexzt year's Masters.


Meanwhile, Tommy Fleetwood as off and running in Challenge Tour Round 2, 5 shots ahead of Little Sam early on their back nines.

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Post by mystiroakey Thu 03 Nov 2011, 12:50 pm

woods did it because he was puting to much strain on his knee- he had no choice, same for plenty of others.

other reasons to chance your swing is to get even better than you are.

other reasons are because although you may not be injured you may have to tone down your swing due to age.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 03 Nov 2011, 2:44 pm

Fleetwood Mav!

61 today!!

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Post by Redrage Fri 04 Nov 2011, 4:15 am

Seldom has a night shift been this much fun, Sky Go really is a godsend! Birdies galore again today, Adam Scott, Freddy Jacobsen, Alvaro Quiros are flying, but somehow Noren in reverse gear.

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Post by Redrage Fri 04 Nov 2011, 4:18 am

Add King Louis to the flying squad, birdies at 7 and 8 to go -5 for today and -6 for the tournament, Paul Casey in the same 3 ball is only 1 behind him too.

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Post by Maverick Fri 04 Nov 2011, 10:42 am

Freddie Jacobsen putter gets hot, he holed everything he looked at down the stretch.

Biggest move fro King Louis though -9 for the day and into the last pairing on day 3.

Bit of form from Paul Casey as well.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 04 Nov 2011, 11:27 am

Most of the Americans nicely grouped between 39th and 59th, only four in the leading 38. Another tournament crying out for a 36-hole cut.

Looks like someone really lit a fire under Oosthuizen; he's been in very good nick these past two months - transformation from his early season futility.

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Post by Redrage Fri 04 Nov 2011, 12:15 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:
Looks like someone really lit a fire under Oosthuizen; he's been in very good nick these past two months - transformation from his early season futility.

He seems to do this Kwini, starts and finishes seasons well. He wont the Open off the back of a few missed cuts following a time out for injury or a paternity break. I see he has changed caddie recently though, maybe that is making a difference too. Did you ever find out why Fanny wasn't on Stenson's bag at Disney?

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 04 Nov 2011, 1:11 pm

Rr,
No idea what Fanny's up to. Or Stenson for that matter. It would be nice if he could get his game together though.

Fleetwood not really separating himself in San Domenico, perhaps he can grab a few birds coming in. Otherwise he and Pavan and some others will be in a dogfight Saturday.

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Post by Redrage Fri 04 Nov 2011, 1:27 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Rr,
No idea what Fanny's up to. Or Stenson for that matter. It would be nice if he could get his game together though.


Signs are looking good for him, if he can churn out 3 or 4 good rounds an event instead of 2 he'll be contending before long.

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Post by princedracula Fri 04 Nov 2011, 3:27 pm

Out in some sunnier places for a few days and luckily the internet connection is pretty c%@p around here... Interesting top of the LB in China after two days... really lucky that I picked Oosty in the last moment before I left for my ET FT. Compenstates me somewhat for that very poor showing from Matteo and Aiken. Will try and check it all again at the weekend...

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Post by Simba Sat 05 Nov 2011, 3:39 am

Mav,

Hate to disagree with you. But distance does not come with age after 16. You are long not because you get bigger and stronger. You are long because you swing hard. Club head speed is what get you there. If you still can't hit 300 on the fly after 16, chances are your swing is not the one that will get you there when you are 25 and weigh a ton more.

Another thing, if you are not one of the longest, you will not be winning a lot.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Sat 05 Nov 2011, 5:13 am

Last group making a bit of a mess on the par 5 8th. Over half an hour to play the hole.

Scott hooked it down the left side and landed in the stream, decided to play it out and caught it very fat, Lowry fat. Ball chunked not very far down the stream so headed miles back down the hole to find where he last crossed margin of the hazard. Scott decided but official not so sure, official went up to green where Freddy and Oosthuizen were to ask them about the flight of the ball. Oosthuizen was ready to putt when the official go to him.

Freddy decided to hit it miles right to avoid the stream and then topped it in the rough! Commentators couldn't believe it. Hacked out with his third and then gave himself a chance to make par but he also had to wait a while to putt out with all that was going on with Scott. Freddy makes the putt for an eventful par.

Scott got himself in position after 4 shots but only about drive distance down the hole. It cost him dearly as he makes double bogey when he must have been thinking at least birdie, oh dear.

Oosthuizen made his birdie after being interrupted and walking miles on the 8th.

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Post by Simba Sat 05 Nov 2011, 6:20 am

Good run down of the action. Could be that the big clouds hanging over Stevie is affecting Scott. His cell phone must be going off with crazy amount of messages. "fire ur caddy!"

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Post by Davie Sat 05 Nov 2011, 6:46 am

Good to see Poults and GMac still hanging in there on day 3.

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Post by Maverick Sat 05 Nov 2011, 7:26 am

Simba wrote:Mav,

Hate to disagree with you. But distance does not come with age after 16. You are long not because you get bigger and stronger. You are long because you swing hard. Club head speed is what get you there. If you still can't hit 300 on the fly after 16, chances are your swing is not the one that will get you there when you are 25 and weigh a ton more.

Another thing, if you are not one of the longest, you will not be winning a lot.

Simba

Your statements could not be further from the truth, the body is still not finished developing strengthwise at 16. The male body continues to develop and build muscle fibres until the early 20's so a males natural physical peak without any exercises tends to be around the ages 23-25, so he would get naturally longer by allowing his body to grow, it may not be a huge gain in yards but there would still be a gain. Also you are not long because you swing hard, you are long because you can swing fast, theres a huge difference between swinging hard and swinging fast. Thats a common misconception in golfers. You could swing as hard as you like but still not generate masses of clubhead speed, but swing fast and loose and there will be a gain.

As for if your not the longest you will not be winning a lot, clearly you don't watch much golf if you believe that... Tell me what has one of the longest players in World Golf Dustin Johnson won this year, (1event a rain shortened one at that) and what has Luke Donald won this year (by far one of the shoter players on tour) oh thats right World No1, a WGC, PGA Tour event and 2 ET events. Clearly being a short hitter has meant he didn't win much!


Last edited by Maverick on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 7:31 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Spelling)

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Post by Maverick Sat 05 Nov 2011, 7:50 am

Nice little pitch holed out on the last from Adam Scott.

Freddie Jac putting superbly again, didn't look that good off the tee though.

Rory with a good round, but cannot take to the boy, and the obligatory shots on camera of him with Caroline Wozniacki are getting boring now

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 05 Nov 2011, 8:32 am

I see Adam Scott made eagle, birdie, bogey, double, on the par fives.
Just like his caddie - a mixed bag.

The European Ryder Cup Team came to play - I love it! But Freddie Jac's fellow Scandinavians are all having average to poor tournaments - shame after Noren's promising start.

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Post by Maverick Sat 05 Nov 2011, 8:35 am

Kwini have to wonder what the reception was like on course today for Adam and Stevie, frosty was the look between the two of them. Would say Scott done well to maintain a decent score today in light of the race comments from the ever self indulgent williams

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 05 Nov 2011, 8:44 am

Agreed Mav, This tournament's at a lousy time here for moi, have to get up early so it's virtually unwatchable. Couldn't believe the headlines this morning - I see the BBC even got Iain Carter out of bed to do a write-up on the latest violation of the caddies' instructions. Show up, Keep up, SHUT UP!
Stevie has stopped listening.
Hope there's a good option for Adam Scott to use in Melbourne (and Sydney). Not sure if it's too late to get Tony Navarro back buthe needs to replace Williams in a hurry.

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Post by Maverick Sat 05 Nov 2011, 8:49 am

The far east events all at horrid times, I have to Sky+ them or i'll be like the walking dead.

I'd say the Navarro horse has bolted, but Adam needs to do a lot of thinking and fast, Williams position not only as Scotts caddy but surely in golf itself is now untennable

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Post by Redrage Sat 05 Nov 2011, 8:55 am

I am sure Adam Scott could have done without this on moving day (or any day tbh). He pulled it out of the fire over the last 3 holes, turned it into a decent round.

I'll need to get up early to watch this tomorrow, a lot of big guns capable of winning now.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 05 Nov 2011, 8:58 am

There used to be a European Tour caddie who would post intermittently on 606; can't remember his name but would love to get his inside scoop right now. Or lw1's for that matter, though Lee was very (and appropriately) circumspect with what he would post.

Adam Scott is best mates with (Pres Cup VC) Tim Clark; wonder if Timmy's man is available? Agree Navarro a long shot, obviously had a good relationship with Norman though, as well as Scott.

Agree Redrage, timing stinks.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 05 Nov 2011, 9:13 am

Second to last threesome on Sunday in Shanghai:
McDowell, McIlroy, Westwood.
You couldn't make it up!

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Post by Davie Sat 05 Nov 2011, 9:16 am

I wonder if WozzIlroy's old and new stable mates will show him the way

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 05 Nov 2011, 12:18 pm

I don't know anything about Andrew Johnston, but he's looking good to secure his Tour card today, possible that Pelle Edberg will also.
Very tight in the race for leading money-winner as Fleetwood's boat seems to have become becalmed.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 05 Nov 2011, 3:07 pm

Pavan wins so pavan' his way to join the Italian Job Nap hand with Gagli, Molinaris and Matteo.
Good recovery from Fleetwood and reckon both will enjoy solid Tour seasons in 2012.

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Post by Simba Sat 05 Nov 2011, 4:09 pm

Aside from Stevie Gate, the picture of Rory walking hand in hand with Wozniak after the round, just smack childish and unprofessional to me. I have seen girl friends hugged and kissed after rounds. But to include her in the whole possession in round and after is bit much. Come on, we pay to see him playing golf not to smooch with his honey in public.

Maverick,

We differ on weather distance will help you win or not. But have you ever thought what would Luke Donald be if he were as long as Phil and Tiger? Yes, he WOULD BE Phil and Tiger!

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Post by NedB-H Sat 05 Nov 2011, 5:33 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Pavan wins so pavan' his way to join the Italian Job Nap hand with Gagli, Molinaris and Matteo.
Good recovery from Fleetwood and reckon both will enjoy solid Tour seasons in 2012.
Pavan joined in the top 20 by two other Italians as well Kwini, Colombo the youngster and Tadini the old journeyman, scraping in at No. 20.

Andrew Johnston led affairs at Open Local Qualifying when I went down to watch it at Prince's last summer. Don't remember seeing anything of him other than his name on the leaderboard, but I've kept an eye on him on the CT since. Good to see him jump up the rankings.

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Post by Maverick Sat 05 Nov 2011, 9:53 pm

Simba wrote:Aside from Stevie Gate, the picture of Rory walking hand in hand with Wozniak after the round, just smack childish and unprofessional to me. I have seen girl friends hugged and kissed after rounds. But to include her in the whole possession in round and after is bit much. Come on, we pay to see him playing golf not to smooch with his honey in public.

Maverick,

We differ on weather distance will help you win or not. But have you ever thought what would Luke Donald be if he were as long as Phil and Tiger? Yes, he WOULD BE Phil and Tiger!

Totally agree regarding Rory, was like watching some lovesick 14year gripping onto his first girlfriends hand eefusing to let go as there maybe be other bigger boys lurking that may steal her away. Nothing wrong with a congralations kiss at end of round as long as its quick and brief. But the sorry affair we witnessed today was a poor PR stunt or the immaturity of a boy showing through as she certainly didn't seem impressed.

We'll agree to disagree there then Simba regards the length debate

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Post by NedB-H Sat 05 Nov 2011, 10:26 pm

Can't understand why McIlroy gets so much stick from people on here. "Oh he's changed his management company, what an idiot", "oh he's close to his girlfriend, how immature". Smacks of people wanting to do him down cos he's successful to me, I don't see how he's any more or less annoying than any other player.

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Post by Simba Sun 06 Nov 2011, 12:24 am

NedB,

On the contrary. Most of the people on this board have their own lives to live. I think I speak for almost everyone that we don't begrudge his success. Its totally irrelevant to our lives. I am not competing with him in golf. I am a business person. So, if you don't like the fact that we don't like Rory on going image change, it's not our problem.

It's just that Rory has been traveling down a path that is very unfamiliar to most of the stud sportsmen. He is like a little puppy being shooed around instead of a man knowing what he wants.

Making the management change is actually a good move, unless it was induced by his girlfriend. But holding hands during a WGC professional golf tournament is pathetic. There is a place for those kisses and hugs. Go get a room and act like a man, please.

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Post by Simba Sun 06 Nov 2011, 12:38 am

For risk of being accused of anti-Rory, I am a fan of his golf swings from the very beginning. When he first showed up in the US, he generated an excitement that I have not seen since a young Tiger bursts onto the scene. But the last couple of years, he has lost his youthful exuberance and been trying too hard to act cool and big shot. The fact is, he is still a young man. His ego has gradually exceeded his maturity level thus making him somewhat unbecoming. I sense a lot more genuiness in Rickie Fowler than Rory. There is a problem with how he is managed, no doubt!

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Post by Maverick Sun 06 Nov 2011, 12:43 am

Seems Simba and I have found common ground on the McIlroy issue here.

Ned from my point of view its nothing against the kids game which he clearly has plenty of. I cannot take to him because of his actions off the course always seems a little childish and this latest PR photo op at every opportunity just adds to that immaturity for me. Too often its said he's young etc but don't see other young stars so frquently getting caught acting like a tool.

As I said post round congratulatory kiss fine, but dragging her round like a love sick puppy just looks desperate and makes the relationship contrived and false especially when she looks unhappy being paraded (dragged) round by the hand literally

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Sun 06 Nov 2011, 5:32 am

Fascinating start to the final round. The greens early on seemed a little firmer than before and this caused the players a little difficulty.

McIlroy started off like a train and then the putting frailities seem to have struck again. Westwood seems to be playing more like when he was dropping to world no. 200 and something than the player who got to world no. 1. Puts 3rd shot into stream in front of green on 8, then is wild right off tee on 9, recovers and then chunks his next one. Did well to make bogey on 9 and turned in 40.

Casey has made a great charge and is 5 under after 10. He is putting the pressure on Freddy who has been a little wobbly on his level par front 9.

Glad the clocks go back tonight as I think this could have a great finish.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Sun 06 Nov 2011, 5:54 am

Kaymer has woken up, pars the first 6 and then 5 birdies of the next 6. Now tied for the lead with Freddy.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Sun 06 Nov 2011, 6:29 am

Kaymer makes another birdie on 13 for 4 in a row, he took a one shot lead but Freddy replied with one on 12.

McIlroy misses another good birdie chance on 13 and Casey's challenge maybe over on the 14th. Forced to lay up after a poor tee shot and then his third doesn't carry far enough and it trundles back into the water.

Kaymer went for the green in two and missed to the left, his third wasn't too clever and it was asking a lot to make it 5 in a row, settles for par.

Casey's not out of it yet, he makes a miraculous par by holing out from the waters edge to hang on in there. He's still 2 behind, he'll need to finish like Scott did yesterday to have a chance.

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