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PGA Tour: WGC Accenture MatchPlay: Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: WGC Accenture MatchPlay: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty PGA Tour: WGC Accenture MatchPlay: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer Tue 19 Feb 2013, 3:33 pm

1).All set for Tim Finchem's annual international get-together in the desert as we travel east from one of the most revered courses on the PGA Tour to one rated by PGA Tour pros as amongst the very worst on Tour. But the action should be compelling, Tiger plays with Chuckie, Rory plays with Shane, truly "Jeux Sans Frontieres".

2).But before we say, "Hello, Dove Mountain," we should offer a very fond au revoir to Riviera which looked at its absolute Major-worthy very best last week for the "Northern Trust Open", won eventually by John Merrick - and who'd've thunk it? Such a fantastic leaderboard and the two to come out on top were the two least heralded of the lot.
Until now, Merrick seemed to be the archetypal Tour journeyman, making the FedEx play-offs in each of the past six years, with an annual trip to the top of a leaderboard (two runner-ups), but never a winner. Now he's off to Augusta (where he finished 6th on his first visit), has a ticket to the stroke-play WGC's and may even reach the US Open (where he's also finished 6th).

We pointed out the inherent advantage that California boys had for the three coastal California events and John Merrick, from nearby Long Beach, joins Tiger as winners this year. Sure Snedeker won at Pebble Beach, but two lesser-known Californians, Hahn and Stadler crowded on to the podium.

3).And then there's Charlie Beljan. Most Tour pros play further right than Theo Walcott but Beljan is something else:
"Praying that Paul Ryan and Romney can beat the biggest D Bag this country has ever seen," he elegantly tweeted last August.
He then likened President Obama to the bad person issues at Penn State University and his uncomplimentary observations following last November's election preceded the deletion of his Twitter account.
Ironically, he was then carted away from the Disney tournament by health care workers and stuffed in to an ambulance destined for hospital where he overnighted - presumably partly Government services that his ideal world would abolish.
He was at it again in the press room on Sunday with his description of the highly regarded 10th hole:
"I really don't have anything good to say about the 10th hole." "It's a tough hole to have a play-off on. We might as well go and put a windmill out there," before going on to say they should blow it up.
Pity he's not in the Match Play, "Adolf plays with Beljan . . . ."

4).In fairness, the green on Riviera's 10th might be getting a little severe but there were still eagles to be had and birdies a-plenty. Azinger mentioned that, when he played the 10th as his first hole, before he felt properly warmed up, he'd lay up; when he played it as his 10th hole, he'd go for the green.
Great tournament regardless, a loss that Bill Haas will have nightmares about, and an opportunity for all the Europeans except Freddie Jac to flatter only to disappointingly deceive. Ironic that the Swedish Seve should miss a 4-footer for a play-off berth.

5).Let's keep an eye on Ross Fisher this season. He secured his "playing privileges" via an excellent Q-School result and has four tournaments under his belt: 56th, 21st, cut, and now 38th at Riviera.
He led the Northern Trust in greens in regulation so 38th was a disappointing result. He gets this week off, will presumably then play Honda, Puerto Rico, Tampa, week off for Bay Hill, and perhaps Houston and San Antonio before The Masters. If the pgatour.com web-site ever returns to normal, we'll know for sure where he stands on the "reshuffle" as the Tour heads east, but he's probably lost about six or eight places, to perhaps 12th. Just guessing.

6).Dustin Johnson dominated the field at Kapalua but since he embarked on his synchronised gymnastics with Paulina Gretzky his sequence of finshes is: withdrawn (you couldn't make it up, could you), 51st, cut, cut. T33 is the worst he can do this week unless he withdraws again or gets dq'd for unsportsmanlike conduct.

7).The weather forecast for Round One of the Match Play is dismal, cold (forties), strong winds and the likelihood of rain. Or perhaps snow. Wind gusts today could reach 40 mph.
Conditions Wednesday are likely to be worst early so Rory and Tiger might benefit from later tee-times (12.05 p.m. & 12.25 p.m. local) as they get to renew friendly rivalries with Lowry and CHIII - Woods and Howell first met in the 1996 US Amateur when Chuckie was a mere yute of 17, but subsequently became near-ish neighbours at Isleworth.

8).No idea of who might fare well this week beyond the obvious - Luuuuke, South Africa - but some of the guys have previous, for better or for worse:
Most wins:
Woods: 33
Toms: 24
Poults: 18
Lukey: 16
Scott: 14
Those with more losses than wins include:
Westwood: 14
Els: 12
Furyk: 12
while Harrington has 11 wins to go with 11 losses.

9).Bernhard Langer continues to add to his Champions Tour fortune although his march to victory in Florida last Sunday wasn't without the occasional self-inflicted mishap. Since turning 50 in 2007, Bernhard has now won 17 times, more than any player reaching the Champo Tour since 1998. He's 14th on the list of all-time wins behind Irwin, Trevino, Gil Morgan, Barber, Charles and January, Rodriguez, Colbert and Crampton, Larry Nelson and Player, Fleisher and Mike Hill. Pretty good company considering the greatly reduced number of events now compared to the heyday of the Tour in the 80's and 90's.

10).Weather permitting, the first round of the "WGC Accenture Match Play" is as exciting/fascinating as any day of the golfing year, at least outside the Majors and Ryder Cup. TV coverage should be comprehensive starting at 5.00 p.m. GMT on Wednesday. Games without frontiers, war without tears.


Last edited by barragan on Tue 26 Feb 2013, 2:07 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Don't know east from west. Tks mighty.)

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 19 Feb 2013, 4:48 pm

Sorry to take all the excitement out of this for you, but just completed by "Fantasy Bracket" and, lo and behold, Schwartzel beats Lukey in the Final, Sergio and Peter Hanson the losing semi-finalists!
Who knew?

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Post by Shotrock Tue 19 Feb 2013, 4:54 pm

Nice write up as always Kwin.

I'm convinced one of the reasons so many professionals don't like this course is that all but two end this tournament with a head-to-head loss. Somewhat easier to blame the venue than their bad play or their opponents good play.

Good luck with any bracket predictions! But not an American in the final four? Sure, the "Internationals" are overdue ... but still. My money's on Rory.

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Post by navyblueshorts Tue 19 Feb 2013, 4:55 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:...Tiger plays with Chuckie, Rory plays with Shane, truly "Jeux Sans Frontieres"....
Very good clap.
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Post by NedB-H Tue 19 Feb 2013, 5:09 pm

I have Keegan Bradley to return to form with a run to the final, knocking out Rory in his semi; in the other one, Poults will down Westwood, and get his second title in the final....


Worth mentioning the new-look Web.com starts up this week in Panama, with a strong field on account of only the top 64 in the world having anywhere else to be this week. Seems like slightly eccentric scheduling. Knox, Cejka, Chopra and RS Johnson providing the European interest. Also, Ben Briscoe of Wales, who lost his card on this tour last year, was in action last week, getting a card at the Q-school for the PGA LatinoAmerica thingy...

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 19 Feb 2013, 5:29 pm

Ned,
Mark Murphy on the Latino circuit also . . . . .

Interesting field for Panama, apart from the Europeans there are PGA Tour veterans or past Champions by the bucketload, at least two dozen of them!
Surprised Gary Christian isn't travelling to Panama. Perhaps he reckons he'll get in to Honda but can't see it myself; don't know why these marginal guys wouldn't try and get as much web.com cash in to their pockets while they can. So pleased to see Knox playing.


Sr,
I had Moore and Woods getting to the last 16 but, to be fair, in lots of cases the US players will knock each other off. Even Keegs will have to get past Kuchar (or Rose).


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Post by I'm never wrong Tue 19 Feb 2013, 7:28 pm

I know it's a bit late but is anyone running a competition on WGC's/majors? I know Kwini isn't.

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Post by barragan Tue 19 Feb 2013, 7:34 pm

i was just thinking the same thing. after the shambles that were my ryder cup fantasy comp i ain't offering this time...

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Post by princedracula Tue 19 Feb 2013, 9:25 pm

Cheers, kwini. clap

I really look forward to this week and have to admit that I also have Schwartzy as the winner. I think he'll get a lot of votes this time, just hope he's well over the jetlag by now...

Just read this tweet from PGATour from Stricker's presser:

"This year, I'll probably play 11 events or so. I'll play the majors, minus the British, John Deere, THE PLAYERS, a few others"

What a....

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Post by Shotrock Tue 19 Feb 2013, 9:33 pm

Prince -

His loss, but I'm sure that's not the way he looks at it.

Unless any golfer breaks a commitment, I can't be critical of how they choose to pursue their career.


Last edited by Shotrock on Tue 19 Feb 2013, 9:50 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by princedracula Tue 19 Feb 2013, 9:42 pm

I understand Shotrock, that last line wasn't meant to be the begining of a criticism, more like the expression of a momentary feeling... Wink

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 19 Feb 2013, 10:12 pm

Hope Vijay's playing the John Deere, it's the least he can do.

Must admit, I don't have a problem with players skipping certain events, just don't care to listen to them moan (Poulter a guilty party here) about it when their season doesn't meet expectations. Or they don't get enough "reps".

Stricker's been hard at it for a long time, played in the first year of the Hogan Tour, played the Canadian Tour, and then probably played more events than he'd really want to when his career was in a funk. He might be one of the few Americans who plays the Champions Tour sparingly, if at all.


Edit: See Poulter's been tweeting that he didn't bother to watch the Arse this afternoon, "Wasn't going to have two hours pain at The Emirates." Fair weather fan. Disgraceful!
Thought Joey Barton had it about right. No "nastiness" - "You can't beat a bit of old fashioned aggression." Spot on Joey - Arsenal just a shadow of their former selves. Where's Peter Storey when you need him?

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Post by GPB Wed 20 Feb 2013, 4:48 am

Kwini, I was disappointed with no "One and Done" Pool this year. Crying or Very sad

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Post by super_realist Wed 20 Feb 2013, 7:43 am

What are the odds on Shane "John Candy" Lowry beating McIlroy?

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Post by Roller_Coaster Wed 20 Feb 2013, 8:39 am

Beating or Eating McIlroy?

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Post by John Cregan Wed 20 Feb 2013, 8:58 am

super_realist wrote:What are the odds on Shane "John Candy" Lowry beating McIlroy?

Prob get 5/2 with the bookies.......................

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Post by incontinentia Wed 20 Feb 2013, 9:01 am

super_realist wrote:What are the odds on Shane "John Candy" Lowry beating McIlroy?
Lowry will crush McIlroy, and you can take that to the bank.
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Post by super_realist Wed 20 Feb 2013, 9:06 am

Well, he will if he falls onto him.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 20 Feb 2013, 10:07 am

GPB,
Me too! But it just took too much time last year as interest diminished thru the season. Been trying to figure an easy alternative for the MatchPlay but anything short of filling out the complete draw (easily available elsewhere) is a bit of a non-starter.


Still not sure whether we're going to see rain, snow, hail or sleet today in the desert(!) but it will certainly be cool (40's), cloudy and windy.
Sixties and fair the rest of the week, though Thursday morning could see some frost.
Tiger talking about his suntan; what a sense of humour, every crack a cliche.

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Post by super_realist Wed 20 Feb 2013, 11:13 am

Yup, he's a laugh an hour Kwini, can't wait until he's on Parky.

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Post by jimbohammers Wed 20 Feb 2013, 11:29 am

Hi guys, haven't been on here for a while, just to double check that this event is a straight knockout isn't it? So if Mcilroy loses today he is out, its not like a 'league table'?

Sorry if it is a daft question

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Post by super_realist Wed 20 Feb 2013, 11:32 am

Straight knockout Jimbo, no round Robin.

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Post by jimbohammers Wed 20 Feb 2013, 11:38 am

Thanks super_realist OK


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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 20 Feb 2013, 12:22 pm

jimbo,
Welcome back! Stick around . . . .

Sergio opening the batting this morning against Thongchai, followed by Kuchar's match then Poulter's. Action in two hours.

Splodges of green (not white) on the Arizona radar but not reaching the Tucson area yet. It might be cold to start with, but likely to get windier and wetter as the day goes on.

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Post by Bob_the_Job Wed 20 Feb 2013, 12:37 pm

Great summary Kwini..really looking forward to this - there's an extra tension when it's win or go home.

(Extra doff of the cap for the Gabriel quote.)
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Post by McLaren Wed 20 Feb 2013, 12:51 pm

If they had wanted to play in snow why did they not hold it Scotland?
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Post by jimbohammers Wed 20 Feb 2013, 1:02 pm

Thanks Kwini Very Happy

Will be interesting to see some of the european tour players and how they find it.

Some of the games im looking forward to..

Dustin Johnson vs Alex Noren
Bill Haas vs Nicolas Colsaerts
Hunter Mahan vs Matteo Manessero


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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 20 Feb 2013, 1:35 pm

Cheers Bob, Bit of a sledgehammer but the material wasn't that great.

Mac,
This is going to be a miserable day, cool and dry for the early birds' front nine, then wind picking up and showers developing around the time Rory and Tiger reach the first tee.
Unpleasant to say the least and sure "pace" of play will be at a dawdle.
Plus: These greens were not designed for the winds they're likely to get if gusts approach 30 mph which they're forecasting.

jimbo,
The defending champions (Poulter and Donald) have lost in the first round the past two years - and Matteo has never lost his first round. There's a trend there!


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Post by super_realist Wed 20 Feb 2013, 1:43 pm

Matteo is playing the Elephant Man isn't he?

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 20 Feb 2013, 1:52 pm

If the Elephant Man is also known to you as Shergar, then YES!

There's bound to be expert TV analysis that sh1tty conditions will favour the Europeans especially if Americans come a cropper.

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Post by Shotrock Wed 20 Feb 2013, 1:58 pm

Well, shouldn't the windier conditions favor the Europeans?

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Post by super_realist Wed 20 Feb 2013, 2:00 pm

Doesn't the wind blow in America SR?

Mahan reminds me of a wooden toothed, redneck woodsman from Deliverance.

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Post by Shotrock Wed 20 Feb 2013, 2:04 pm


One would suspect that learning the game in generally windier conditions would help those playing in the high winds today.

We'll see.

Maybe Westwood can finally win one of these events?

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 20 Feb 2013, 2:09 pm

Wind: Certainly no less than in GB, would think it's worse here actually, certainly is in the Valley here, bloody miserable sometimes.

The difference is surely in the prevalent courses, those in Britain mostly designed to be played year round in all sorts of conditions whereas so many here seem to be designed for 80 degrees Fahrenheit and no wind.

Yet you always hear drivel about players being good wind players because they grew up in Florida or Texas - biggest problem with wind here is in the media tent and broadcast booth.


Sr,
If there's one area where you certainly wouldn't say wind was a characteristic it is surely Westwood country, well inland and usually parkland or heathland-like courses.

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Post by Skydriver Wed 20 Feb 2013, 2:13 pm

With this talk about weather at the Accenture, I am reminded of M Kaymer wearing a snood (or a scarf at least) for the duration of the snowy tournament 2 years ago. And he actually didn't look completely silly.

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Post by Bob_the_Job Wed 20 Feb 2013, 2:40 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Cheers Bob, Bit of a sledgehammer but the material wasn't that great.

We do what we're told Kwini and don't give up .. you'll get to the big time eventually - I can see in your eyes you're destined for Solsbury Hill
Run
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 20 Feb 2013, 2:50 pm

SO:

Not sure if Sergio is just playing slowly, the WGC site is its usual sluggish self or they're using pgatour.com which has been increasingly primitive so far this season, but no scoreboard updates so far.
A touch warmer than forecast, and dry, so if the lead groups have any sense they'll get a move on.

EDIT: Ah ha! golfchannel.com reports they both parred #1, so at least they're playing.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 20 Feb 2013, 3:16 pm

Scores available via the European Tour website, but not via pgatour.com.
Only wrinkle is that the "bracket" page doesn't report what hole they're playing unless you drill down to the player's scorecard.

Finchem gets everyone together for a WGC then can't communicate what's happening. Get your act together Timmy.

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Post by Shotrock Wed 20 Feb 2013, 4:11 pm

Maybe it's too cold to get the computers to work.

Is Schwartzel 2 down already as reported?

I love watching this format, and also understand why so many players don't!

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 20 Feb 2013, 4:16 pm

Yup,
Matches so far:
Sergio as after 10
Kooch 1 up after 8
Poults 2 up after 8
Van Pelt as after 7
Charl 2 down after 6
Zach 4 down after 6
Duff as down after 4
Hunner 2 up after 4
Justinian 3 up after 3
'Orses 1 down after 3
Adam 1 down after 2
Donaldson 1 down after 1
Bubba as after 1


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Post by John Cregan Wed 20 Feb 2013, 4:38 pm

The WGC Accenture website for the scoring is shockingly bad..................

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 20 Feb 2013, 4:45 pm

TV coverage starts at noon, meanwhile I'll update in the post above as best I can - but even golfchannel.com is glacial, perhaps like the pace of play and the weather.

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Post by princedracula Wed 20 Feb 2013, 4:54 pm

There are absolutely no excuses for this level of impotence and incompetence from all these multi-billion golf bodies that are so incapable to keep a simple leaderboard updated in this day and age...
No wonder that the main adds they run every minute on their websites are those for impotence drugs...

Rant over... (for now) Run

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 20 Feb 2013, 4:59 pm

pd,
The most insulting thing is that CDW advertise on the effing TV coverage boasting of their handling of data for the Tour. Unconscionable.

Finchem's probably still snoozing, like his flagship site.

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Post by hogie Wed 20 Feb 2013, 5:25 pm

John Cregan wrote:
super_realist wrote:What are the odds on Shane "John Candy" Lowry beating McIlroy?

Prob get 5/2 with the bookies.......................

This will only be Rory's third compeditave round with the Nike Clubs, if he get past the first round he could win the tournament but I can see this being an upset.





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Post by princedracula Wed 20 Feb 2013, 5:31 pm

Even those lesser tours around Asia have pretty good leaderboard and updating in place, maybe not as 'sophisticated' but certainly more reliable than this has been lately...

kwini, not looking great for our fantasy winner. Still plenty of time though...
Jason having a great Day... drumroll

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Post by I'm never wrong Wed 20 Feb 2013, 5:45 pm

Is there red rain forecast? If it is they'll be digging in the dirt. I don't think any of the lesser lights should give up because a win will take them into the big time, they've been waiting for the big one. McIlroy thinks he has the touch.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 20 Feb 2013, 5:59 pm

I see Fujita is wearing a Pearly Gates sweater.
Not sure if that's Japanese for one and done, or he's off to see the Angel Gabriel . . . .

Come on Charl, my bracket depends on you . . . .

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Post by princedracula Wed 20 Feb 2013, 6:02 pm

Schwartzy back on track...

Great effort by Colsaerts against Haas...

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 20 Feb 2013, 6:14 pm

I think they're huffing and puffing a bit here - this front should blow through pretty quickly and then they'll be back out, perhaps still dampish but not snowing.
Surprising that they're taking the players off the course.
And, it's unusual weather, but not THAT unusual!
Edit: Whoa! That's a pretty snowcovered landscape! Perhaps it WILL be a while before they're back in action. Be able to watch Barcelona after all.

Now, they've pretty much dictated that play won't finish today, so later starters will be back out in the bitter (perhaps there'll be frost) cold Thursday morning.

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