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PGA Tour: Tour Championship (by a fizzy drink): Notes from the Ballwasher

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navyblueshorts
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 18 Sep 2013, 7:17 pm

1).What's better than this for the PGA Tour's "Haves"? A limited field (30), no-cut event that guarantees participants at least $303K - $128K for coming last, plus $175K for being 30th in the FedEx bonus pool - for all thirty players, probably about $11M for the FedEx Cup winner.

2).Congrat's to Zach Johnson and Jim Furyk for their exploits at last week's BMW Championship at Conway Farms, outside Chicago. I followed Zach for 18 holes at the PGA and, while no-one that day could doubt his superb golf, I hope he played a bit more quickly at the Beemer.
Conway Farms looked to be set up for the bombers, but it was largely the navigators who prospered with Donald and Stricker also playing so well.

3).Zach Johnson also holds the course record (60) at East Lake so don't write him off completing an end-of-season double and walking off with the lion's share of FedEx's swag.

4).Sunday's rain in Chicago offered the opportunity to follow the final 18 holes of the third event of the web.com Tour Finals in Columbus, Ohio. S-Y Noh won the tournament, just one year after contesting the BMW Championship himself. He'll return to the 2013/2014 PGA Tour and other notables who are mathematically assured of qualifying for their Tour card are:
Immelman, Will MacKenzie, John Peterson, Cantlay, Ishikawa, Matteson and Bud Cauley; while Slocum and O'Hair are all but certainties.

5).The status of the Europeans involved is not that promising with Greg Owen the best positioned - and he would be even better placed but for a characteristic meltdown over his final few holes. Mansfield Man will need a Top Twenty result at least in next week's Finals finale in Florida.
Russell Knox missed the cut by one stroke and now probably needs a Top Ten result to advance, while Siem, Karlsson, Cejka and Johnson likely need a Top Five finish.

6).Lots of rhetoric surrounding Woods's latest penalty and refusal to admit his eyes need testing.
We see Tour Pros meticulously removing debris around their golfball all the time - but why even risk the possibility of at best an "oscillation", at worst a perceptible movement, as in Tiger's case?
But I saw TWO examples, by Justin Rose and Hudson Swafford (in the web.commer) of a penalty incurred for something I had never seen before:
Each took practice swings behind their golfball and saw the resultant divot strike their ball and roll it down the fairway!  

7).Some Europeans, and not necessarily the ones you'd most expect, have found great wealth in the FedEx bonus pool; that's the money dished out to the lucky ones AFTER normal tournament prize-money has been awarded. Their status going in to Atlanta after six years of having money thrown at them is:
1).Luke Donald: $4.96M, plus at least $175K this year.
2).Rory McIlroy: $3.14M plus $125K in 2013.
3).Garcia: $3.128M plus at least $175K
4).Rose: $2.435M plus at least $175K
5).Harrington: $1.292K plus $32K in 2013.
6).Casey: $1.027M
7).Pettersson: $824K plus $70K in 2013.
8).Poulter: $692K plus $114K
9).Laird: $717K plus $80K.
10).Jacobson: $676K plus $80K.
11).Davis: $625K plus $128K
12).Westwood: $570k plus $134K.

Hopefully Stenson will join the $700K+ club this week.

8).Qualifiers for the "Tour Championship by Coca Cola" (dunno, never drink the stuff) also fizz an exemption in to the four 2014 Majors, among other things. Those who might not otherwise be exempt include: DeLaet, Watney, Spieth, Woodland, Streelman, Horschel, Castro, Weekley, de Jonge, Points, D.Johnson.

9).Hotlanta has apparently had a cooler, and wetter, than normal summer, but it's been dry for a while now and hopefully the Bendelow/Ross design, with facelift by Rees Jones, will play firm, at least for Thursday and Friday when the weather forecast is splendid. But the threat of rain moves in on Saturday with storms likely on Sunday.

Would like to see Luke Donald improve on his record of top three finishes the past three years; and, apart from the obvious Zach and Furyk choices, Hunter Mahan is also playing extremely well and was unlucky not to win in 2011.

10).Last and arguably least, Vijay Singh takes his deer antler spray on the Champions Tour this week as he makes his debut in Hawaii. He might think he's in for some pretty easy pickings, but that's what Montgomerie thought too, and the fuller-than-ever Monty has been evacuated to Europe with only two (7th & 9th) Top Twenty results in six tournaments so far.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 18 Sep 2013, 10:20 pm

Nothing to do with the Tour Championship, but just had a butcher's at the calendar for the Winter Olympics at Sochi.
Not sure when each event in the Alpine Skiing takes place, but I see that it extends pretty much thru' the Olympic fortnight.
That could clash with the WGC Accenture MatchPlay so wonder how Woods is going to balance his bird's desire for him to see her schussing the piste and competing in Arizona?

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Post by SmithersJones Wed 18 Sep 2013, 10:49 pm

Top stuff as usual Kwini, thanks. Has the PGA tour been hugely unlucky this year with the amount of weather delays, or does it rain heavily every weekend throughout the US? We've seen a bit about the floods in Colorado this week, looks nasty.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 19 Sep 2013, 2:09 am

Cheers Smithers,
Weather: I think we're getting far more extreme weather events, not that they necessarily apply to the PGA Tour, but storms tend to be mega storms, heatwaves are hotter, snowfalls are deeper, (although less in seasonal volume), droughts more severe.
And given the extraordinary reluctance/refusal by Congress to own up to the impact of fossil fuels etc, expect all this to continue.
This may be compounded by the fact that the NOAA which oversees weather forecasting, has 1970-era technology to model storms - hence forecasts are invariably poor and models with far better technology and greater accuracy, for instance from the Europeans, are studiously disregarded.

But the impact on the PGA Tour this year is surely just coincidence, unusually "unlucky this year" as you suggest!

Even little Vermont is sending engineers to Colorado to help them undertake safety inspections of bridges and assess expedient repair work opportunities. Two years ago it was us!!

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Post by shclaff Thu 19 Sep 2013, 9:34 am

Thanks Kwin, great read as per.

Do you fancy one of the top 5 to win it this week?

I think probably Scott has a shot but the others look a little off to me. Zach was obviously great last week but I'm not sure if he can back it up. Kuchar's not at his best, Tiger's short putting has looked poor and Stenson lost his rag.

I've got a sneaky suspicion Rose might step up and nick it.

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Post by Lairdy Thu 19 Sep 2013, 10:54 am

Thanks for the notes Kwini Wink

Its odd but I quite like Zach as a golfer. Doesnt have a particularly spectacular game and personality wise he's not really the most interesting person on or off the course, his twitter feed is terribly dull. However, Miller and his pals were saying how agressive his game can be and perhaps thats a factor. Reasonably happy to see him win.

Hopefully, this is a run of tournaments that turns Luke's season around. Good timing for the RTD.

I get the impression that Rose is trying too hard to show us he's still hungry, focused etc. That penalty was typical of a golfer with a fried brain. Just free wheel towards the end of the season now Justin. You'll play just as well if not better.

I like your fancies this week, also interested to see how Horschel goes after your mention (I think) in the other thread, but I've a feeling that this is the kind of event that Day will get his big break through. His kinda scene I reckon. Although.... one more victory for Phil and that should be POTY wrapped up. That would be nice!

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 19 Sep 2013, 11:27 am

'Morning shclaff, Lairdy,
Agree about likely lads for this week - I kept Scott for my one-and-done fantasy game for this event, but this always seems like one of those events that eliminates half the field after Round 1; it seems to be difficult to motivate the back markers when they know there's so little difference between 15th and 30th (about $45K).

Conditions should be perfect for scoring with the forecast:
84F, Sunny, scarcely a zephyr, no chance of rain.
More of the same Friday then a stormy Saturday is on the cards, iffy Sunday.

Tiger's apparently been belly-aching to Finchem about the level of scrutiny the top guys are subject to regarding rules violations. Doesn't seem to affect the other best players though, does it?

And the BBC has repeated without correction Tiger's assertion that his five tournament wins this year included "Jack's tournament". Wouldn't be surprised to see him motivated this week though, regardless of his gazillions, he still seems to get switched on for the FedEx jackpot.

Hoping for Garcia to play well - would be nice to see him coming down the straight with Donald or Scott. Defo Scott or Phil for POTY if they win the whole thing.



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Post by shclaff Thu 19 Sep 2013, 12:01 pm

Lairdy wrote:Its odd but I quite like Zach as a golfer. Doesnt have a particularly spectacular game and personality wise he's not really the most interesting person on or off the course
I agree about him being unspectacular (and boring!) but he is remarkably good with his wedges. He clearly had a good week last week but whenever it cut to him with a wedge in his hand he seemed to nip it in close. One hop and then zips towards the hole. He makes it look so easy! Sad 

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 19 Sep 2013, 12:44 pm

What was Zach on the Augusta par-5's the year he won? Something like -11 on the "5's" and laid up on every single one.

Very underrated player, quite content to fly under the radar and let his clubs do the talking. Pretty good Ryder Cup record also (6-4-1) especially considering all his teams have been losers. Don't think there's anyone who's played at least two matches under the age of 60 who has a better %age record.

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Post by John Cregan Thu 19 Sep 2013, 12:53 pm

Kwini,

Tiger's attitute to his 2 shot penalty last week is truly shocking. He's basically saying that he's disputing the 2 shot penalty on the basis that he was CAUGHT having caused the ball to move.

I have watched Tiger a lot over the years and he rarely calls in rules officials when he's taking drops etc......and this attitude of - "i'll do it myself" - has got him in trouble recently.

So who's to blame - TV/Videos according to Tiger. This is a reprehensible attitude and the Tour should be very strong on this.

Anyone of us who have played the game knows that moving a twig etc in an area that Woods moved the loose impediment is a dangerous thing to do - seems like Woods doesn't care - if it moves ill declare that it oscilliatd - Im Tiger, i don't need to play by the rules.


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Post by beninho Thu 19 Sep 2013, 1:33 pm

I saw the Tiger incident, and to be fair it barely moved at all. I know the rule is any move though. But Tiger being Tiger he will always be open to these because he will be shown on TV more often. Is every shot of every player filmed?

Anyway, I have found these fedex things a bit dull, the no cut events and just playing for cash, does not do it for me.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 19 Sep 2013, 1:36 pm

I wonder what the chicken is with Tiger and what is the egg?

Perhaps his play also comes under greater scrutiny because he's been known to pull a fast one or two in the past?

ben,
I agree about the money-for-nothing aspect of the "Play-Offs", but would counter by saying that, almost invariably, they produce fine tournaments.
But would still prefer an actual play-off!

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 19 Sep 2013, 1:52 pm

The good news from the European Tour is that, once again, O'Grady has attracted a couple of PGA Tour members to the Open D'Italia.
The bad news is that Allenby and Duval are the refugees.

Not a bad showing from Robert Allenby last week and a top European Tour golfer before he ever found success in the U.S.. No doubting his talent and it would be good to see him rehabilitate his form and confidence in Europe. Duval too.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 19 Sep 2013, 3:43 pm

Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman must have the IQ of a first former:
Tweet:
"Stat: 5/12 Intn'l Pres Team members made it to Tour Champioinship.
12/12 US team members made it".
Yes, well, as one member of the International Team has been out injured and three others are not Tour Members, what the Hell do you expect?

The sort of "America came 2nd (in a two-country race), Russia finished second to last" type of propaganda that was explained to us at Danesfield Primary . . . . . .

god, she's awful. And she's made a handsome living out of spouting such drivel.

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Post by GPB Thu 19 Sep 2013, 3:44 pm

Can Duval take EuroT membership based on his 2001 Open Championship victory?

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 19 Sep 2013, 3:46 pm

I don't think so, GPB, believe that is a 10-year exemption only.

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Post by pedro Thu 19 Sep 2013, 4:16 pm

At least we don't get to see seat-fillers Micheel, Beem and Hamilton anymore. (although for some reason they appear as tournament invites for the Dunhill new week!!)

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 19 Sep 2013, 5:01 pm

Imagine celebs would queue up to play with Rich Beem . . . . .

Pleased to see Retief Goosen playing well in Italy, hopefully it will be a pain-free experience for him. He looked in good form early this year before his health relapse.

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Post by robopz Thu 19 Sep 2013, 5:03 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:I wonder what the chicken is with Tiger and what is the egg?

Perhaps his play also comes under greater scrutiny because he's been known to pull a fast one or two in the past?
Never heard that one... not once... not ever.  But I suspect that's all changed now.

By the way... great write-up as usual Kwini... thumbsup 

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 19 Sep 2013, 6:11 pm

Cheers robo,
No-one off to a ripping start so far - hoping for a competitive event. Would be good if all the usual suspects can stay in touch over the first few rounds, and headlines are made on the course.
After all the yakking about slow play, I see Luke Donald has predicted he and Dustin will be round in 3 1/2 hours. Not exactly earth-shattering stuff, but so far they're on pace and, surprisingly, the peloton are keeping up with that pace - no gaps so far!

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 19 Sep 2013, 7:13 pm

All thirty golfers on the course - all within four strokes of the lead!

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Post by super_realist Thu 19 Sep 2013, 7:24 pm

Hopefully Nine Chins will be propping up that pack by the end of the day.

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Post by Shotrock Thu 19 Sep 2013, 7:44 pm

A fine round from Adam Scott recently ... more of the same this weekend and he will be POTY ...

http://www.golf.com/tour-and-news/adam-scott-sets-course-record-shinnecock-casual-round?sct=hp2

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 19 Sep 2013, 7:52 pm

Stenson is striping it! Average distance from the pin after five holes is under ten feet.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 19 Sep 2013, 8:02 pm

HENRIK!
He demolished his locker last week at Conway Farms (as well as his driver). Seems to have done him the power of good - average birdie opportunity after six holes a fraction under 8 feet. Extraordinary.

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Post by Lairdy Thu 19 Sep 2013, 9:01 pm

Haha! If only we could all get away with that every now and again!

Btw. These guys are more than good. Just tuned in and saw about 4 ridiculous long iron shots in a row.

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Post by super_realist Thu 19 Sep 2013, 9:31 pm

9 Chins Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Yahoo Yahoo Yahoo Yahoo Yahoo 

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Post by pedro Thu 19 Sep 2013, 10:16 pm

super_realist wrote:9 Chins Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Yahoo Yahoo Yahoo Yahoo Yahoo 
One shot off the lead for every chin.

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Post by incontinentia Thu 19 Sep 2013, 10:48 pm

super_realist wrote:Hopefully Nine Chins will be propping up that pack by the end of the day.
good call. so i suppose Scott will pick up POY if he wins this week?
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 19 Sep 2013, 10:53 pm

Won't Woods and Dufner be in the first group tomorrow morning?
Someone alert Kelly Tilghman; might affect her bedtime.
Well done Stenson - thing of beauty today.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 19 Sep 2013, 11:26 pm

Yup, Woods and Dufner opening the batting at 11.40 a.m. Friday, with Bradley number three; not sure that was in your script Tilghman.

First ten guys out the traps are American, including SIX of Golf Channel's precious US Pres Cup Team.
Nothing against the US but aren't we sick and tired of golf TV's rhetoric on all this?

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Thu 19 Sep 2013, 11:37 pm

Only 3 of the European Ryder Cup team made it this far. Does that mean the US will blow a lead again? Unlikely given how one sided and uncompetitive the Presidents Cup is.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 20 Sep 2013, 1:18 am

Exactly Grumps,
More to the point, Europe only had 5/12 players from the 2012 Ryder Cup Team qualify for the Tour Champo last year.
And USA had all 12 qualify.
And we know how that ended up.

TV's Golf Networks and Broadcasters have such oblivious jingoistic tosspots working for them, pandering no doubt. But pretty nauseating to hear. They don't know what they don't know.

A metaphor for Congress really.

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Post by beninho Fri 20 Sep 2013, 8:40 am

Isnt it the same everywhere regarding jingoistic tosspots on sports commentary. Its American coverage, so will always build up the American players, which is fine. Its happens the same with champions league over here, thinking though that everyone will support the english teams and be pleased if they get through or win a game. Nope...I laughed when Chelsea lost, and would love it if Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd got knocked out the group stage. Dontmind Man City though...

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Post by super_realist Fri 20 Sep 2013, 8:43 am

Of all sports and all coverage though the PGA coverage is almost intolerable.

I cannot stand that commentators cannot even pronounce even the most simple of European names, that unless you are born in America, or are in the top three then you simply won't get coverage at all. Add to that and there is ad nauseum slo-mo repeats of 9 Chins scratching his backside from more angles than Pele's OHK from the halfway line in Escape To Victory make it dreadful dreadful viewing.

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Post by hend085 Fri 20 Sep 2013, 9:01 am

why would you ever hit a driver when you can hit a 3w like stenson can. having said that, its probably only about 12 degrees

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Post by goldwolf Fri 20 Sep 2013, 9:22 am

Great golf from Stenson, has to be the best golfer in the world right now. Tell you what, the TV doesn't do him justice, the guy is huge and so powerful.


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Post by Lairdy Fri 20 Sep 2013, 9:29 am

If you look at Stenson's follow through his shoulders always end up square to the target. Compare that to the likes of Scott who's shoulders are pointing down the line.... I think Stenson's leaving some in the tank. It's just the equipment that can't cope with his power.

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Post by shclaff Fri 20 Sep 2013, 9:54 am

Didn't Stenson hit a 5-iron from 223 yesterday? Yikes. It was downhill I think but he flew it all the way!

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Post by hend085 Fri 20 Sep 2013, 9:59 am

agree completely Lairdy. he has alot more power in the tank. hes holding back alot. only time he opened up the shoulders was on the par 5 where he hit driver( missed FW Smile )

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Post by Lairdy Fri 20 Sep 2013, 10:22 am

I was marvelling at how far they were hitting irons on the 18th - the 223 yards according to the coverage... until there was a quick snippet of Rose hitting his tee shot and it showed 189 yards. I think they do this a lot in the coverage - they show the full yardage for the hole instead of what it is playing that day, which is almost always shorter. Then we all marvel at how far they can hit their irons...

...but it is still impressive.

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Post by beninho Fri 20 Sep 2013, 11:44 am

The 18th cant of been 189, i saw someone come up short with a 4 iron, surely a pro would not hit 4 iron for 189 yards, and be short?

Me though, i would lay up.

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Post by hend085 Fri 20 Sep 2013, 11:58 am

on the shottracker it has stenson (who was stuck to the pin) as hitting it 220. i do agree with your general point though

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Post by pedro Fri 20 Sep 2013, 12:16 pm

Suprised Stenson leading. But equally glad though. Thought he kinda lost momnetum in the last few weeks.

BTW, thanks for the write up kwini. Didn't know you were a Pepsi-man.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 20 Sep 2013, 1:36 pm

pedro, And certainly not a Pepsi-man! Beer for me, or water. Nothing in between. Although I'll be nursing a cheeky little Oregon pinot gris during the afternoon's golf!
Cheers,

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 20 Sep 2013, 1:42 pm

Another stonking forecast for Atlanta today - Sunny, high 80's, not much of a breeze.

But much cooler Saturday (low 70's) and an 80% chance of thunderbolts and lightning. Very very frightening?

Lots being made in this morning's golfing press about Tiger Woods not playing any practice round at East Lake - more hints at what Hank Haney described as his poor preparation for some tournaments? Regardless, from the TV coverage you'd have to say he turned a 69 (or something close) in to a 73.

But then, neither Stenson nor Woods made anything longer than 10ft, so still a big difference in their respective play.

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Post by Lairdy Fri 20 Sep 2013, 2:07 pm

Woods maybe intimated by Stenson's play? He's certainly one a few that can match Tiger on his day.

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Post by beninho Fri 20 Sep 2013, 2:24 pm

I know this is the PGA thread but in Europe, it looks like Duval is going to miss another cut, but according to his twitter he has had a good time in Italy! And after Pawel the other week, who is Chad Stumpo ??the American Amateur, who shot a 94 first round on the main tour..

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 20 Sep 2013, 2:48 pm

I thought Chad Stumpo was in the Paralympic division? Certainly separating himself from the field, and in the worst possible way. I believe his mother is some sort of TV "personality"; perhaps she pulled a few strings - or maybe something else.

Sad to see Duval's descent - but two amateurs WILL make the cut, so low 67 and ties presumably. Which means, gw, that Gary Boyd gets paid this weekend.


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Post by goldwolf Fri 20 Sep 2013, 3:02 pm

Yup, he always seems to haves final 9 fightback to make the cut, done well to sneak in this week. A couple of 65' s needed though. Regardless, it's q school on the horizon I think.

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