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PGA Tour: "Wells Fargo Championship" etc: Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: "Wells Fargo Championship" etc: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty PGA Tour: "Wells Fargo Championship" etc: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:13 pm

1).Well, Billy Horschel finally got what's been coming to him, and good for him. Parts of his final 27 holes (played in 13 under par) were Tigeresque, and perhaps it was Saturday's back nine 31 that really did the job for him as he'd started Round 3 slowly. DA Points gave him quite the run for his money, and you've gotta pull for a guy who always thanks the fans for coming and applauds the galleries as he leaves the 72nd hole, but this was Horschel's week.

2).We've talked several times about Horschel's incendiary temperament but there's never been any doubting his ability to hit golf shots and the big question now is, "Will he move on to new heights?" or "Will he turn in to Anthony Kim?". Even money, I'd say.

3).Regardless, Horschel was reflective of past exhibitions, especially the 2011 McGladrey, in his victory interview: "I didn't play very well (understatement, particularly when he started shanking and effectively lost his playing card, ed!). But what hurt most was the way I handled myself on the golfcourse. It was pretty pathetic in my mind. I got called out on it by family and friends (and) that was a big turning point."
No word on the 2007 Walker Cup . . . .

4).Horschel has seemed like he's holing every putt he's looked at (including 49 out of 49 inside five feet at the Zurich) this past month, but one person who's not is Justin Rose. Horschel only missed one green on Sunday yet Justin led the field in greens hit in regulation AND proximity to the hole for the week but struggled in 15th place. Incredibly, Rose's short game stats for the season are:
Sand saves: 1st.
Scrambling: 5th.
Strokes gained putting: 142nd . . . .
. . . . which almost beggars belief.

5).Finally, before leaving New Orleans, a word about Lucas Glover. Since injuring himself at Kapalua last year he's been deep in the doldrums. Came back too early, played poorly and ended up shutting it down for the year late last summer.
Lucas can look a miserable ba5tard on the course, tall but always walks with his head in his chest. But he's a fabulous driver of the golfball, has something of an old-fashioned swing and is a very interesting interview with deep voice and dry humour.
Clearly he was a celebrity for a week in 2009 following his US Open win but, as far as one understands, he kept every single one of his playing commitments - we followed him a few days later in the Travelers tournament he was widely expected to miss. He was applauded virtually the whole way round the course, actually looked fans in the eye to acknowledge the new-found fame, and one hoped it would be the start of a special career. Alas, he has just the one win, at Quail Hollow in 2011, since then and mislaid his wife along the way. But he's happily (presumably) remarried and expects a pair of Baby Glovers in the coming fortnight.
A good ol' boy, still young enough to re-make his mark.

6).And speaking of Quail Hollow (we have to remind ourselves this is a golfcourse, not the intellectual assessment of a former US VP): is this week's "Wells Fargo Championship" in Charlotte slipping into the B list of non-majors after being close to the top of the tree for a decade?
It seems to have joined the long list of events dissed by Tiger Woods. In the ten previous years of the event, he's been a non-starter four times and missed the cut the last twice he showed up. That'll do it, despite his 2007 win; wonder if he'll be back?
And we're missing other leading players, Bradley, DJohnson (allegedly injured - we'll see, but he's a local boy and contended here in Rory's year), Snedeker, Rose, Scott, almost all the leading Saffers, McDowell, Stricker, Donald, Kuchar, Day and Dufner.

7).Charlotte's Quail Hollow is a George Cobb design updated 15 years ago by Tom Fazio. They're scheduled to host the 2017 PGA Championship and plan to replace their bent grass greens with Bermuda (allegedly for late summer heat resistance qualities). But unrelated problems with the 8th and 10th greens have brought forward that plan so all the greens will be dug up for Bermuda later this spring. By all accounts the two dodgy greens had no grass on them nine days ago and have been completely returfed!
Hope they've consulted Phil Mickelson who said in 2010:
"For as beautifully designed as this golfcourse is tee to green, the greens are by far the worst designed greens we play on Tour. Even though they're in immaculate shape."

8).Wells Fargo's contract is up next year and no word yet as to whether they will renew. Surely someone will pick it up, it's a fabulous tournament, great crowds in a golf-crazy area with no competing major sports in April to deflect attention.
And Phil is here, Rory too, with a decent international contingent including Cabrera (who has form here), Kaymer, Westwood, Poulter, Colsaerts, Stenson, Matteo and Sergio (who has just the game to win here and should have done in 2005). They are joined by the usual contingent of Carolina boys led by Bill Haas and Webb Simpson and the 2011 play-off combatants Byrd and Glover, plus defending champ Rickie Fowler. No Billy Horschel though.

9).This week's winner will qualify, if not already exempt, for next week's "The Players Championship". I'm not quite sure how they "seal" the field, as in past years the Tour has shown its moronic side and sent a couple of pairs off as twosomes amidst a field of consenting threesomes. Luke Guthrie, Brian Stuard and James Hahn are reportedly the first three alternates.
I expect Haas and Simpson to contend this week, but would really like to see Ross Fisher find his game on a course perfectly suited to his customarily excellent tee-to-green game; Westwood too of course, but does this come too close to his 40th birthday celebrations?

10).And then there's Vijay. He beat a slumping Sergio and Furyk in a play-off here eight years ago and he'll be walking the fairways with Harrington and Immelman, perhaps offering a deer antler spray dissertation. If so, he's not saying anything to anyone else and it seems as if no self-respecting golf scribe has lost the opportunity to condemn the PGA Tour for not taking action against Vijay so far. Even Greg Norman got into the act but probably to give Finchem a dig more than Singh.
As they say, Watch this space.
(Finchem offering an interview in a few minutes so hopefully he'll be put on the spot.)




Last edited by kwinigolfer on Wed May 01, 2013 2:11 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:42 pm

Guess Vijay's off scot-free.
Wonder how Doug Barron feels about that?

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:59 pm

Perhaps Vijay's pockets are deeper than Finchem's? Naah . . . .

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed May 01, 2013 12:31 am

Bubba Watson getting flak for expressing anti-gay views, "God is Good"; just what the PGA Tour needs. What a pillock.

I for one feel the R&A and USGA should get a grip on its intolerant bible punchers before going after anchorers etc, etc. There's room for all sorts for goodness' sake.

Why is god the dominant force on the PGA Tour? Gimme a break.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed May 01, 2013 1:03 am

1).Poulter withdraws from this week's Wells Fargo tournament.

2).Ken Venturi withdraws from the WGHOF shindig, apparently on doctor's orders.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Wed May 01, 2013 3:08 am

That should be a job for the respective tours not the governing bodies Kwini.

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Post by super_realist Wed May 01, 2013 8:02 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Bubba Watson getting flak for expressing anti-gay views, "God is Good"; just what the PGA Tour needs. What a pillock.

I for one feel the R&A and USGA should get a grip on its intolerant bible punchers before going after anchorers etc, etc. There's room for all sorts for goodness' sake.

Why is god the dominant force on the PGA Tour? Gimme a break.

Agreed Kwini,
I'm amazed how stupid American golfers (those are usually the Bible Thumpers) can be.

Interviewer should be under contract to stop the broadcast at the first mention of anything god related. Either that or they should just laugh in their face.

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Post by incontinentia Wed May 01, 2013 8:14 am

have Bubba's comments anything to do with the nba player who came out recently? apparently the only openly gay top level athlete in the U.S.
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Post by super_realist Wed May 01, 2013 8:15 am

I wouldn't be surprised Inco, no doubt Watson thinks sport has somehow angered god. Rolling Eyes

Halfwit. Probably cried and prayed himself to sleep when he heard the news.

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Post by incontinentia Wed May 01, 2013 9:23 am

Bubba's next victory speech- "oh Lord. oooh you are so big. so absolutely huge. gosh, we're all really impressed down here i can tell you!".

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Post by super_realist Wed May 01, 2013 9:41 am

I'd love it if a player used a similar sort of speech to Watson, Simpson etc at the end but replaced the word god with Flying Spaghetti Monster.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed May 01, 2013 12:07 pm

Yes, Watson was tweeting in response to an ESPN contributor named Broussard who came up with:
"I'm a christian. I don't agree with homosexuality. I think it's a sin, as I think all sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is."

Bubba jumped in with:
"Thanks @Chris Broussard for sharing your faith and the bible."

Not for nothing, but Bubba's statistically in conflict there with several of his fellow players.


Grumps,
Wouldn't you feel the PGA Of America is a governing body? It certainly represents the portal for most of the golf played in the U.S.
The story to me was the adversarial nature of the exchange with Dawson whose pomposity seems to know no bounds. But it also highlights the self interest of PGA Professionals, not Tour players, throughout the country.

PGA money vs R&A men only culture should make for a heavyweight bout.

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Post by SmithersJones Wed May 01, 2013 12:38 pm

I do wonder how many 'Christians' (I use inverted commas because I always understood compassion and forgiveness to be central tenets of that faith) could point to where the bible suggests that homosexuality is wrong. Of those few who can, I wonder how many know that Leviticus also bans tattoos and shellfish?
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Post by super_realist Wed May 01, 2013 12:46 pm

It also says to stone unruly children, stone adulterers, kill apostates and unbelievers as well as approving of slavery but I'm sure Mullet Watson wouldn't advocate that, or would he?

What does the bible say about Mullets, bad dress sense, being overly emotional and making poorly informed xenophobic comments?

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Post by Shotrock Wed May 01, 2013 1:11 pm

Fine write up Kwin.

And interesting how this tournament does seem to have slipped out of favor with so many of the top guys. Look for lots of participation a year or two before the PGA Championship.

Looking forward to Rory back in action.

Norman never missing a beat to voice his outrage. Gimme a break.

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Post by Shotrock Wed May 01, 2013 1:17 pm

Wow. Look at what Colt Knost put on social media:

http://instagram.com/p/YvZ5HakYyn/

You would think with all the brain power and $ these guys have, they would learn to not push their greens so much. God forbid they set them up for "normal" pace.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed May 01, 2013 1:39 pm

Yeah, Robert Karlsson and Johnson Wagner played there last week and seem to have sounded the alarm; I'm sure that's why Poulter pulled out but it raises the prospect that he'll play Travelers again and I'll look forward to seeing him there!

Curiously, greens up here are probably better than that. 1,000 miles north of Charlotte, NC, and Charlotte, VT, will be warmer this week as it'll be an unseasonally cool (60's) week at Quail Hollow.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed May 01, 2013 2:09 pm

Now Singh has withdrawn. This is becoming a bit of a mess.

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Post by SmithersJones Wed May 01, 2013 2:22 pm

Here's a thought - long course, requiring accuracy, but with rubbish greens. He may now be 40 but that sounds like LW1's ideal scenario to me, assuming the state of the greens takes away the advantage for better putters.
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed May 01, 2013 2:34 pm

Smithers,
He's certainly trending. In four visits his results have been:
Cut
T61
T38
T5 last year.

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Post by SmithersJones Wed May 01, 2013 2:39 pm

Thanks Kwini, good to know. Still not going to rush out and put the mortgage on him though!
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed May 01, 2013 4:01 pm

Lots of garbage on line, from local resident Webb Simpson among others, which says that the problems in Charlotte are due to a cooler than normal spring.
Rubbish! 15 days above the mean high temp for the month, 16 lows above the mean low temp for the month.
Let's face it, there's a more human reason for the shambles, certainly the weather isn't to blame.

Wonder what it costs to belong to Quail Hollow?
Apparently what members have got for their money so far this year is dead greens and, following the tournament, dug up greens. Great.

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Post by Shotrock Wed May 01, 2013 4:26 pm

Someone bet on the wrong horse Kwin, at least that's what I'm hearing. Damage started well before this Spring (again, what I'm told.)

Lots of people pointing fingers all around the table. Why bent grass and not bermuda? Too many trees, hindering airflow and sucking nutrients? Exacerbated by the last year's heat/humidity. Just a big cluster F.

Were I a member I would NOT be happy!

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Post by GPB Wed May 01, 2013 5:12 pm

David Eger, Champions Tour Player is allegedly the guy that made the call to ANGC about Tiger's improper drop. He texted one of the rules officials

David Eger is a former rules official for PGAT and USGA. And former Walker Cup Player.

His call should have been taken more seriously and not been dismissed.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed May 01, 2013 6:21 pm

Agree GPB, The Masters needs to do a little soul-searching.

Meanwhile, the Goose has cooked his way out of Charlotte, just the latest defector.

Much as I like some of the guys who have left I'd say "Sod 'em", if playing for well over $1M isn't good enough for you, open your place in the tournament up for someone else.
Much more of this and Gary Christian and Russell Knox will get in.
As it is Pampling is on deck, Billy Mayfair (who's played well here) in the hole.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu May 02, 2013 1:46 am

There are Champions (in Houston) and web.com (in Georgia) events this week as well.

The usual European Champers Tour contingent are joined by Barry Lane and Forsbrand.

And there are approx 30 former winners or "veteran" players in a relatively high class web.com affair, with Micheel among the alternates. The usual European suspects (Cejka, Chopra, Christian, Johnson and Knox) will be trying to reach the all-important Top 25 who, at season's end, will have earned a PGA Tour card. All currently adrift.

Meanwhile, we'll be checking the PGA Tour's equivalent of the "waiver wire" to see if anyone else bails out of Charlotte. What a shame for a great tournament.

If, as some have said, the greens are in similar condition to those at Pebble Beach in February, you'd have to conclude the touring pros are over-reacting, but we'll know more at about five past seven Thursday morning when the first six players reach their respective greens. Let's hope for the best.


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Post by Lairdy Thu May 02, 2013 9:15 am

Hi Kwini, so what the devil has happened to Anthony Kim?!

I am assuming this week's bailouts are either too rich or their confidence in the putter is too fragile? Poor souls.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu May 02, 2013 11:31 am

'Morning Lairdy,
AK has had a number of injuries (thumb ligament surgery a few years ago, Achilles just recently), but there are also several reports of his "partying" behaviour, not least by Robert Allenby at a Presidents Cup - 2009?
Still only about 28 and sure we'll see him again before the end of the year.

Should be good scoring conditions every day in Charlotte, but cool. A bit breezy at times [perhaps and showers forecast for Sunday.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu May 02, 2013 12:48 pm

Birdies and bogeys in equal measure as the first groups trot down the first couple of furlongs - just like normal!
Looking forward to reading first accounts of the greens.

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Post by incontinentia Thu May 02, 2013 1:32 pm

Harrington has announced he will use a belly putter this week after previously stating they should be banned. Don't know about you but he has just lost a fan (me).
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Post by princedracula Thu May 02, 2013 1:44 pm

incontinentia wrote:Harrington has announced he will use a belly putter this week after previously stating they should be banned. Don't know about you but he has just lost a fan (me).
Heard that, but I'm still waiting to see it to believe it...
Glad that I 'sold' him to Shotrock a while ago...Wink

Looks like he missed a 4-footer at the 1st hole Yahoo laughing

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Post by Lairdy Thu May 02, 2013 1:52 pm

I'm sure I saw Kim in Vegas a few years back... Knew he had all the thumb issues but wondered if that was still what ails him? Does he have any status on tour?

Harrington the tinkerer annoys me greatly, but yet I still like to see him do well. Funny really.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu May 02, 2013 2:03 pm

Agree about Harrington! Tiresome isn't it??!! Now +2.

Kim hasn't played since May 2012 and is now on a "Major Medical Extension".
This will allow him to play sixteen events as, effectively, a full member but to retrieve full "playing privileges" he is required to earn $614K during those 16 tournaments.
Failing that, he will retain some status as a "past champion".

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu May 02, 2013 2:48 pm

Harrington two shots adrift of the field, already lost 1.5 strokes to the field on the greens.

But David Lynn, Martin Kaymer and Karlsson all going nicely.

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Post by Shotrock Thu May 02, 2013 2:56 pm

Don't count out multi Major winner Paddy just yet!

Forget the geeky glasses, the lunging swing, the Michael Jordan tongue hanging out ... he knows how to win big tournaments!

OK ... maybe not this week ... Smile

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Post by SmithersJones Thu May 02, 2013 3:31 pm

Just thought I'd look to see how many putts he's taken with the cheat stick. Not that many, but he's hit 1 of 11 greens. Shocked
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Post by Shotrock Thu May 02, 2013 3:45 pm

Boo!!!

Smile

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu May 02, 2013 3:55 pm

Sr,
Harrington has forgotten how to contend in "big tournaments" let alone win them.
He loses his five-year exemption for his last Major this year, and he's quite likely to drop out of the top 125 in a couple of weeks if he doesn't turn things round rapidly. Could lose his card . . . . . .

Slipping down the rankings too with a big drop likely this week if he earns no points. No WGC for him unless he wins or climbs back to the Top 50.

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Post by SmithersJones Thu May 02, 2013 4:03 pm

I've not really followed Padraig's career that closely. Can his decline be traced directly back to parting with Bob Torrance?
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Post by incontinentia Thu May 02, 2013 4:31 pm

i imagine Harrington would be a nightmare to coach
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Post by Shotrock Thu May 02, 2013 4:45 pm

Kwin - Nonsense! Just a dip in the road for Paddy. A world beater. Puts the ball in the hole when needed.

(Could I sound anymore pollyanna-ish?)

Seriously, hope this long stick works for him.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu May 02, 2013 5:30 pm

Regarding the greens (not the green), here is the Boo View:
"They ain't 100%, but they're good enough to play on."

Looking forward to reading what Phil has to say; most likely that they've been improved!

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Post by GPB Thu May 02, 2013 6:09 pm

Harrington always as the Top 50 Career money leaders exemption in his hip pocket if he fails to be in the top 125.

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Post by robopz Thu May 02, 2013 6:18 pm

GPB wrote:Harrington always as the Top 50 Career money leaders exemption in his hip pocket if he fails to be in the top 125.
Good point, but I'd hate to see him have to use that at age 42... But just guessing, Paddy probably wouldn't have much problem getting enough SE's to play a fairly full schedule out of either the #126-150 or the past champions categories if it came down to it.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu May 02, 2013 6:31 pm

Confirmed that Harrington used an anchored putter this morning, tho it didn't do him much good. Opposite of John Kerry: He was against it before he was for it.

But he's also got to start hitting some greens, just six gir today.

Didn't see a leading round in Ryan Moore's future, certainly not here - no Top 25's for three months, which I suppose fits the Thompson/Merrick/Points/Laird profile.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu May 02, 2013 6:36 pm

105 yard pitch-in for Eagle for Colsaerts.


robo,
Are you going to see the Just For Men crowd this weekend? Bet Jeff Maggert can't wait to get back to playing The Woodlands on Tour . . . . . He should get his chance next year.

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Post by incontinentia Thu May 02, 2013 6:50 pm

i have suspected for some time that Paddy's affable/bonkers exterior may be a front, and that he is in fact evil. Slow player, numerous rules infractions and now rank hypocrisy in relation to belly putters.
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Post by robopz Thu May 02, 2013 7:34 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:robo,
Are you going to see the Just For Men crowd this weekend? Bet Jeff Maggert can't wait to get back to playing The Woodlands on Tour . . . . . He should get his chance next year.

Yep... they're almost right outside my door (literally 3-wood distance) and plan to get out tomorrow and Sunday. I used to work a bit more here, but not much this year. But I'll probably end up shooting last 10 groups or so in final round from one location... most likely 18 tee.

And yes for Maggs... he pulled it off. Pretty much got to play uninterrupted all the way to the Champions Tour... That's not NEAR as common as people might think. But nagging injuries for the last 3-4 years has really held him back. IMO he can be very competitive on the CT... but he's gonna need to get healthy to do it. He thinks the shoulder really is fixed and hopefully this wrist deal is something minor... but I haven't seen him since before San Antonio so I have no insight on that one.

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Post by princedracula Thu May 02, 2013 7:44 pm

C'mon Roooors!
Hoping Nicolas will join the leaders after this par 5...

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Post by John Cregan Thu May 02, 2013 7:44 pm

So Harrington has decided to start wearing glasses despite 20/20 vision. Now a belly putter.....................what next??

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