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PGA Tour: Happy New Year: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 29 Dec 2011, 2:25 pm

What we know going in to 2012 and some things we think we know:

1).A funky first three weeks:
~Hyundai Tournament of Champions starts next FRIDAY, Jan 6th, and concludes Monday, Jan 12th, presumably to facilitate "prime time" TV viewing figures.
~Sony Open at Waialae maintains it's customary Thursday (Jan 12th) to Sunday schedule, but:
~The Humana Challenge, formerly the "Bob Hope", is now a four-day event, Thursday, Jan 19th to Sunday, and not a five-dayer as in years/decades past. Sensible move.

2).As expected, this year's PGA Tour will not include the Million Dollar Kodak Challenge, a million bucks understandably extravagant largesse for a company on the financial precipice. So Streelman, Merritt and Lunde will be consigned to million dollar trivia.

3).The field for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions will be published Friday, Dec 30th, but don't expect a star-studded field. Among those who have not yet committed are injury doubts Dustin Johnson, Snedeker and Stricker. Which brings us to:

4).A number of players will be making comebacks from long-term injury-enforced absences in 2012 including Messrs Tim Clark, Oberholser, Weir, Holmes, Sutherland, Jamie Lovermark and even, it is rumoured, Hank Kuehne.

5).While others such as Johnson, Snedeker and Stricker with short-term aches and pains include Marino, Appleby and Verplank.

6).Seven big names will hope for a return to the winners enclosure after disappointing years in 2011: Casey, Garcia, Kim, Immelman, Cabrera and Villegas. And Stewart Cink. I was hoping to post a link to a half-hour interview with Cink from the yahoo sport website. Hopefully you can find it, very informative insight from one articulate (if not exactly worldly) pro. Not to mention that the interview is conducted by Golf Channel's Win McMurry who, beneath the Barbie face, is the proud possessor of mounding architecture that would even attract a rating on the notorious Doak Scale.

7).The five leading money winners still to score a Tour win will be going at it again: Baird, Quigley (not too sure of his status after he dropped out of Q-School, veteran player only I imagine, which means he'll get very few starts), Brian Davis, Marino and Jeff Overton (if he can stay sober long enough to keep out of Finchem's doghouse).

8).Not many young PGA Tour players win enough tournaments to stamp a lasting legacy on Tour; Jason Day, Fowler, Kuchar (not that young any more) and Mahan just four non-winners from 2011 who treated tournaments more like ATM's.

9).Trivia time: Which fully exempt PGA Tour pro has just two top tens in the past eleven seasons? (That's tough to do, think about it!)

10).Happy 36th birthday to Tiger Woods as he finishes a second consecutive season without a win. What I wish from Tiger in 2012 is that he plays a full PGA Tour schedule. But a fat chance of that.


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Post by McLaren Thu 29 Dec 2011, 2:30 pm

9) Duval??
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Post by hend085 Thu 29 Dec 2011, 2:31 pm

Duvals not exempt! Todd Hamilton?

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 29 Dec 2011, 2:32 pm

9).Not Duval, Mac. In fact Duval is no longer fully exempt.

PS: And nor is Todd Hamilton!

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Post by McLaren Thu 29 Dec 2011, 2:36 pm

What! nothing from career earnings?

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 29 Dec 2011, 2:42 pm

Mac,
He's exhausted all his exemptions. Sad but true.

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Post by Shotrock Thu 29 Dec 2011, 2:46 pm

Kwin - Thanks for the write up. Nice stuff. Tiger does play a full schedule ... at least full for him!

I predict a very good year for Casey, Garcia, and Fowler. We'll see.



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Post by pedro Thu 29 Dec 2011, 3:47 pm

Happy New year Kwini!

Re. the trivia: Is it one of the older guys with life time memberships? Or how do you define a PGA Tour Pro?

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Post by super_realist Thu 29 Dec 2011, 3:49 pm

Fat Mark O Meara?

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 29 Dec 2011, 3:58 pm

Cheers Shotrock, finally feels like winter up here in the tundra, bitterly cold week in prospect for the first week of January. Off to "the Valley" tomorrow, back asap! Happy New Year.


Happy New Year pedro!
This player has multiple career wins but no lifetime exemption. I define a PGA Tour pro as one who has a Full PGA Tour Membership, fully exempt for 2012, either via lifetime exemption (not applicable in this case), recent Major, WGC or Players wins, a PGA Tour win since 1/1/2010, last year's Top 125 moneywinners etc. This player is within these parameters.

And he's NOT fat Mark O'Meara. MO'M not one of my favourite players, whatever his weight. Always seemed a legend in his own mind, or, to use Ann Richards' baseball putdown on GHWBush, "He was born on third base and thought he'd hit a triple."

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Post by McLaren Thu 29 Dec 2011, 4:24 pm

Kwini

That is impossible; i have had a look around the net and can’t find anything.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 29 Dec 2011, 4:39 pm

Bingo Mac,
That's the idea.
If it was easy there'd be no point in posting it.

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Post by Faldono1fan Thu 29 Dec 2011, 5:10 pm

Hoch the choke?

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Post by McLaren Thu 29 Dec 2011, 5:12 pm

I am pretty sure it is not a recent major, players or WGC winner.

I would think they are from 125 on the money list as I had a skim over the last two seasons winners and nothing jumped out.

I guess I will have to keep looking.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 29 Dec 2011, 5:15 pm

Hi Nick,
Hoch is no longer a fully exempt player, entrenched on the Champions Tour where he's struggled with all sorts of injuries.


Keep looking Mac!

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Post by super_realist Thu 29 Dec 2011, 5:52 pm

McLaren wrote:I am pretty sure it is not a recent major, players or WGC winner.

I would think they are from 125 on the money list as I had a skim over the last two seasons winners and nothing jumped out.

I guess I will have to keep looking.

Of course Mac, how else could they only have two top tens? It couldn't be them if they'd been a winner recently.

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Post by Faldono1fan Thu 29 Dec 2011, 6:02 pm

Is it Michael Bradley Kwini?

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 29 Dec 2011, 6:16 pm

MICHAEL BRADLEY!
2 x Puerto Rico Open wins and no other top tens since the Oct 2000 Michelob!

Congrat's to Sir Nick! clap

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Post by Faldono1fan Thu 29 Dec 2011, 6:25 pm

Thanks Kwini. Happy new year to you!

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Post by princedracula Thu 29 Dec 2011, 6:32 pm

I see Bubba committed for Kapalua today, hope to see another one of those fancy driver shots of his from the fairway...

#9: In what category does Wes Short fall? He had only 2 top 10s (incl. a win) all his carreer...

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Post by Skydriver Thu 29 Dec 2011, 6:43 pm

In case I'm not on here again beforehand, I might as well add my best wishes for a happy Hogmanay / New Year to everyone out there.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 29 Dec 2011, 7:00 pm

pd,
Short is not technically "fully exempt" for 2012; if he plays again he's on a major medical exemption.

Plus of course the fact that I didn't even think of him because of that little wrinkle!

Good news about Bubba. But the Tournament Director must be sweating bullets while he waits for others to make up their minds.


Happy Hogmanay to you Sky . . . . .

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Post by Noel Thu 29 Dec 2011, 8:19 pm

Kwini and all, happy new year. Have misssed the very short closed season if one in fact exsists.Looking forward to next torney.
Looking for couple of outside/each way bets for Hyundai. Would appreciate input from anybody as to who does well on track of those likely to play.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 29 Dec 2011, 9:08 pm

Happy New Year Faldo, Noel,

I've been missing the tournaments too, Noel - I'd check with your bookie before getting too excited about e.w. propositions for the Hyundai; the field is likely to be about 30/35 strong, certainly not the full-size field we're accustomed to, so there'll likely be some restriction in odds and places for e/w investments.
And your buddie Jonathan Byrd is the defending Champion!

While the final field is yet to be confirmed, Martin Laird is sure to be teeing it up and he played very well there two years ago, could easily have won. Well worth keeping an eye on as his owgr placing has slipped badly and one would think he'll be motivated to start the New Year strongly.

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Post by Yadsendew Thu 29 Dec 2011, 10:37 pm

Kwini,

Any idea what big John's status, if any, will be this year? I suspect he will be reliant on invites? Not sure how is recent antics will have gone down in the States perhaps he might be looking for a few more guest appearances in Europe this year?

Thanks so much for your articles Kwini always a great, well informed read and I wish you the very best for 2012.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 30 Dec 2011, 1:17 am

Thanks Yads, Happy New Year to you.

Not sure about Daly, the press here treat him as a carnival act though of course he's still compelling copy for them, and the TV Networks love him even when they're slagging him off.

Imagine he might get in to Pebble Beach and would think he'll play San Diego as a past champion. After that his chances may be restricted for a while so perhaps he'll be using those frequent flyer miles again. I just wish he'd get himself sorted out and treat the game and the Tours, his fellow pros, with the respect they deserve. Champions Tour in a few years!

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Post by lorus59 Fri 30 Dec 2011, 3:22 am

If you want to get a few more spectators through the turnstiles, then Invite John Daly. He is the golf tour's equivalent of a freak show. Especially for the first two days when the crowds will be usually smaller due to that they are working days. The chances are he won't be around for the last two. So you invite him, don't have to pay him and get more spectators. Win/win for the tournament.

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Post by pedro Fri 30 Dec 2011, 8:59 am

lorus59 wrote:If you want to get a few more spectators through the turnstiles, then Invite John Daly. He is the golf tour's equivalent of a freak show.
Have to agree on that -- sad but true. He's even dressed like a circus clown.

Talking about seat fillers - and further to Kwini's trivia - I stumbled upon another fully exempt player with shocking stats: Rich Beem. What happened here? Hardly a top 10 since his PGA win in 2002. And with everything that has happened within the mobile phone market, I fear his old job won't be there for him when he loses exemption...

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 30 Dec 2011, 11:57 am

lorus,
And no doubt the crowds would increase at LPGA events if there was a rule that certain players appeared starkers, but Daly is disrespectful to everything that sport stands for. He has no standing on the PGA Tour other than past tournament winner, won't demean himself to go to Q-School and needs to tidy up his act or he'll be banned everywhere. As it is, he'll probably fall off his bar-stool at age about 55, bitter and twisted and still wondering where it all went wrong.
Personally, I would ban him from receiving any more PGA Tour invites.


pedro,
Rich Beem flunked Q-School and is no longer fully exempt. Always seems a good guy though and it would be good to see him enjoy some good fortune.

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Post by McLaren Fri 30 Dec 2011, 12:25 pm

I think beem has only made the cut in majors 11 times, does any other major winner have a worse record than that?
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Post by pedro Fri 30 Dec 2011, 12:56 pm

Thanks kwini,
for some reason I thought Beem had snug in as fully exempt...

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 30 Dec 2011, 1:35 pm

Mac,
Rich Beem's record in Majors:
Interesting. Just checked Paul Lawrie and he's up to 15, hopefully with many more to come.

Ben Curtis has 14 made cuts, how about Todd Hamilton: 15 cuts. Daly by comparison is up in the 30's!

Think we might have to delve a little deeper into the archives. Maybe next year.

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Post by McLaren Fri 30 Dec 2011, 2:05 pm

I guess some guy from way back when will hold the record but I was more thinking about it in terms of the last 40 years or so. When the players started to play all 4 and winners were given excemptions. Old tom probably only played in 15 majors.
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Post by venice1 Fri 30 Dec 2011, 8:04 pm

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and hopefully we'll get the same great articles from you kwini in the coming year.

As far as the PGA Tour goes, I hope they get their act together and offer the opening Hawaiian events and the Southwest desert tourneys the respect they deserve in terms of stability, financial and logistical support to keep the players and sponsors committed yearly. It seems like they're scrambling up to the last minute every January - March to maintain some form of continuity for these season opening events. Not sure if the elite players even care except to use as tuneups, etc.

Boy, you're icemen are taking a real beating these days. Are they regretting the coaching change? My L.A. Kings are skating well since Darryl Sutter became the coach last week despite last night's 1-0 loss to Winnipeg. The defense is already clicking. Hopefully the offense will catch up within the next couple of months.

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Post by navyblueshorts Fri 30 Dec 2011, 11:39 pm

Good post as usual Kwini. Happy New Year one-and-all.

kwinigolfer wrote:...the interview is conducted by Golf Channel's Win McMurry who, beneath the Barbie face, is the proud possessor of mounding architecture that would even attract a rating on the notorious Doak Scale...
Win McMurray. Seems like a nice girl! McMurray gave everyone a laugh when she mistakenly said of Tiger that he had a 'bulging d*ck' in one bulletin when she meant he had a 'bulging disc'. This not long after his infidelities were made public. Certainly gave me a chuckle.

Spoiler:
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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 31 Dec 2011, 11:29 pm

Thanks nbs, Happy New Year to you, and Thanks to you and ban_bam for all you do to keep s_r and Mac in line.

And thanks for the reminder of bulgingdickgate, a true Win-ner.


Right now, let's get to work.
Only half an hour to your New Year but still time to post a Wall Of Shame to those 2011 tournament winners who are dissing the Hyundai Tournament of Champions:
Dustin Johnson, Freddie Jac and Brandt Snedeker have long-term injuries for which they've had surgery, and Darren Clarke is not a PGA Tour member.
But Shame On:
Adam Scott
Justin Rose
Rory McIlroy
Luke Donald
Charl Schwartzel
Phil Mickelson

Mickelson is a serial offender in missing this event and Schwartzel may well be in the South Africa field a couple of days after this rescheduled effort concludes. But no excuse for the British contingent and Adam Scott. Bloody pathetic. The sponsors have rescued this tournament, clearly not liked on v2 but a good intention nonetheless, and the least these spoiled brats, at least two of whom were on my love-not-loathe list, could do is grace Kapalua with their presence.

And big round b0ll0ocks to Justin Rose especially if he comes looking for a Captain's Choice for Ryder Cup selection next summer. A very popular player among many of my friends on here but, Justin, you're not too good a player to diss your sponsors and fellow pros. Time to realise the bread needs to be buttered on both sides.



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Post by Skydriver Sun 01 Jan 2012, 10:29 am

"Win"? Short for... what, "Winnifred?"

It seems far too easy to make some other comment about Mr Woods' obsession with W's (as he calls them), so I shall refrain...

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Post by John Cregan Sun 01 Jan 2012, 11:28 am

Kwini,

The "shame" here is on the PGA Tour/tournament sonsors for persisting in this stupid "2011 winners only" format, especially given that early January is normally a time when the "elite" players take a break..............

Why should Donald, Rose & McIlroy be there at yet another mickey mouse event when they are right to be resting up for the propor tournaments to come in the following weeks??

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 01 Jan 2012, 12:17 pm

John,
Sure you and I will disagree on this but this is an established event at a gorgeous location on a Tour they've chosen to join; Rose was simpering about Monty's strange choices in Ryder Cup Captain's picks in 2010. Would have thought this was the perfect opportunity to harvest some points and get a couple of tournaments under his belt.

And Rory was bleating about how difficult it was to manage his US schedule two years ago. Two easy ones in Hawaii.

Not surprised Donald avoided it and he's managed his commitments superbly, but again, no-one forced him to fartarse down to S.Africa and Australia at the end of 2011.

Unfortunately this is a good tournament that the players have determined just doesn't fit. Biggest shame is that it can jeopardise the future of the Sony which is also a long-standing fixture, a "proper tournament" on a fine course.


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Post by John Cregan Sun 01 Jan 2012, 12:46 pm

If they really care about this tournament, then let everyone with a PGA Tour card turn up and play .................the rules for PGA Tour membership are clear and we all know that those who play both tours aren't going to play 35 events a year just to "support" both tours............

The PGA/European tours can't have it both ways..................if dual membership is available to the likes of McIlroy/Donald, then they will make obvious, reasonable choices for themselves and in McIlroys case, that involves resting/practicing now and getting ready for a busy February.

It would be truly bizzare for McIlroy & Donald to turn up to this event given their schedules..........................and baffling that the likes of Woods, Fowler, Kim, Furyk, Villegas, Cink, Casey etc are excluded from participating in this event.................

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Post by John Cregan Sun 01 Jan 2012, 12:55 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:John,
no-one forced him to fartarse down to S.Africa and Australia at the end of 2011.

thumbsup
Maybe twas the money!!!

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 01 Jan 2012, 12:57 pm

See, I told you we'd disagree!

You're absolutely right of course that players are not going to play "events just to support both Tours", and nowhere is that exemplified better than this week's field.

At the same time, for those struggling with the balance of their schedule across two Tours, I always thought playing the two Hawaii events back-to-back was a no-brainer. I support the idea of a winners only limited field tournament, and the limited field top-money-winners Tour Championship. Difference is, the guys can plan to be in this week's event; they can't plan to make it to East Lake.

PS thumbsup Money indeed!

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Post by John Cregan Sun 01 Jan 2012, 1:26 pm

Every year we disagree on this one!!

If the tours got together though and stopped giving big fat OGWR points for these end of season jollies then other tournaments might prosper..........

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 01 Jan 2012, 1:33 pm

Well, we have the E.T's version coming up in South Africa in a few weeks, wider entry criteria and hopefully that will be well supported.

One of the things that frustrates me about Rose, I suppose, is that Kapalua should suit him and he's also played well in the past at Waialae.

But it leaves the door wide open for Martin Laird and hopefully he can prosper, at Kapalua at least.

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PGA Tour: Happy New Year: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Leff Mon 02 Jan 2012, 2:43 pm

Is Langer still playing in the Champions Tour? For about three years or so, he was dominating the old boys. Didn't hear his name last year.

Leff

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PGA Tour: Happy New Year: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer Mon 02 Jan 2012, 2:51 pm

Hi Leff, Happy New Year,
Langer had thumb surgery and missed much of the year.
He'll be back when they restart the Champos Tour in a couple of weeks.

kwinigolfer

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PGA Tour: Happy New Year: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by John Cregan Mon 02 Jan 2012, 2:58 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:
Langer had thumb surgery and missed much of the year.

Was it the Thumb problem that was slowing him down?!

John Cregan

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PGA Tour: Happy New Year: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Leff Mon 02 Jan 2012, 3:06 pm

Happy New Year, Kwini.

Thanks for the Langer update.

I wonder if Vijay will choose to play in the Champs Tour when he becomes eligible in a couple of years. I suspect he will mostly play in the main tour.

Leff

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PGA Tour: Happy New Year: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by princedracula Mon 02 Jan 2012, 3:20 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:And big round b0ll0ocks to Justin Rose especially if he comes looking for a Captain's Choice for Ryder Cup selection next summer. A very popular player among many of my friends on here but, Justin, you're not too good a player to diss your sponsors and fellow pros. Time to realise the bread needs to be buttered on both sides.
kwini, Rose actually has probably the best alibi of all, his wife just gave birth to a baby girl... Big congratulations to the Rose's!!!

2012 couldn't have started any better! Baby Charlotte Rose was born on 01/01/12! She and Kate are doing great. I couldn't be more  #♀

princedracula

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PGA Tour: Happy New Year: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: Happy New Year: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer Mon 02 Jan 2012, 3:26 pm

No doubt Vijay still thinks he can be a force on the PGA Tour, but he was maddeningly inconsistent in 2011 after seemingly being fully fit for the first time for a couple of years.
Think the first few months will be instructive, but I'd be surprised if he wins again and would think another year like the last three would make the Champions Tour increasingly attractive.
As it is, he won't be in the WGC's or the two "Opens".


pd,
I'm very glad to hear that, congratulations to them. Humble apologies to Mr.Rose.
And Happy New Year to the oracle of the owgr's.

kwinigolfer

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