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PGA Tour: Presidents Cup: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 02 Oct 2013, 2:34 pm

1).As far as one knows at this stage, the Presidents Cup will be unaffected by the US Congress's hostage situation and resultant government shutdown - and that's good news for the 35,000 who will gather at Muirfield Village these next for days, about 20,000 a day, I'd imagine anyway, more than those who rolled up in 1987 expecting to see the Nicklaus-led(?) Americans duff up the hapless Europeans.
 
2).'Course, it didn't turn out quite as some of those spectators expected; the SS Europe got off to a terrible start but within nine holes had righted the ship and never looked back, Captain Jacklin at the helm and outmanoeuvring the Ancient Mariner Nicklaus at every stage, the Master tactician as skilled as the oracle Ben Ainslie would prove to be 26 years later.
 
3).But the Presidents Cup is a different kettle of fish, ruled over by Commissioner Finchem who makes the rules, selects the venues and team captains, and woebetide any International Team Captain who wants to tweak the rules in an effort to make the matches any more than an exhibition. Another reason why PGA Tour takeover of the European Tour would be a catastrophe.
 
4).What goes around comes around and we're back at Jack's Place for the second time this year (why does Ohio get so many Tour events?) and Muirfield Village will doubtless look an absolute picture. For spectating I can't think of a better course on the PGA Tour, distinctive and definitive holes starting early on the front nine and with as good a set of risk/reward Par-5's as you'll find anywhere. Nicklaus has added a new back tee on #18 and it will be interesting to see how this underrated finishing hole plays; about the same as when Europeans dominated the Americans there in 1987 I should think.
 
5).The TV coverage of last week's WTF Championship and "Dunhill" was marred by constant interruption advertising Team USA vs the World's Best. Er, not quite, but a reminder to one and all that this will be unarmed combat (in the case of the International Team, disarmed combat) and it's just a year now until Gleneagles.
 
6).None of this week's participants endured the indignity of playing in the aforementioned web.com Championship (tho' plenty of their predecessors on both sides did!), and they missed a fascinating, if not exactly nail-biting climax that the players seemed to understand better than the broadcasters. This was the de facto replacement for Tour Q-School and there were clear winners and losers. I'll mention one batch of losers first as they highlight a facet of these "Finals" that should be changed without delay.
Those who played a full season on the web.com Tour and, say, slogged their way south and north through 25 venues from Chile to Idaho and reached a top ten place on their money-list, found themselves relegated behind guys who just happened to play better this past month. Two poor saps were injured (mentally or physically), couldn't participate, and saw their priority ranking slump to the bottom of the lift-shaft.
That can't be right and surely has to change if these Finals are not to be known as the WTF Championships which conclude the What's The Point regular season.
 
7).Winners:
John Peterson: described in the press rather euphemistically this week as "confident" - a bit like describing Paul Gascoigne as thirsty.
The sometime antagonist of the USGA (hence his absence from the 2011 Walker Cup, etc), flunker of Q-School, hacker during the web.com regular season, hired David Toms's caddie, Scott Gneiser, for the month and turned a year full of wasted opportunities into four straight Top 5 finishes, validating an early career which included:
First Nationwide event as an amateur: 2nd.
First Major: T4 (at Olympic Club)
First Masters: Made cut.
What difference does a caddie make? Perhaps we'll find out starting next week at the Fry's.com as Gneiser has left Toms and joined Peterson; conventional wisdom would suggest, especially for Peterson, an old head to moderate youthful exuberance, but Azinger didn't call David Toms the most aggressive golfer he'd ever played with for nothing. Interesting mix and the results should be explosive.
 
8).Other winners included Tour vet's like Immelman, O'Hair, Durant, Cauley, Barnes, Matteson etc.
And the Legend of Will MacKenzie of whom commentator Craig Perks said on air: "The Tour is a better place with Willie Mac on it". Brilliant ball-striker, eccentric short game, lifetime outdoorsman (which means he spent much of his twenties sleeping in his car in the Montana wilderness), etc, etc.
 
9).While losers included the Aussie "C" Team (Pampling, O'Hern, N.Green, Goggin, Flanagan . . . . . ), Petrovic, sweet-swinging Vaughn Taylor, etc. Rob Karlsson came up two or three shots short and he's one of the biggest losers. Time for a speedy revision of his European Tour status I would think, tho' I see some of his career records have been expunged from the E.T. web-site stats. Fingers crossed for a Stenson-like return to world-class golf.
Alex Cejka and Richard Johnson have some very low priority status on Tour, Greg Owen will carry some "conditional" status (as will Karlsson) and Henrik Norlander must resign himself to a year's web.com action.
 
10).The biggest European winner is Russell Knox who described himself as feeling "Tour ready" in a post-round interview on Friday. The pasty-faced Invernesser (that sounds a bit rude, what are Inverness people called?) is one of the best ball-strikers, with his driving and iron play up among the leaders on any Tour, but needs to improve his short game to secure a regular place on Tour and make himself a force on leaderboards.
He gets his chance next week as the 2013/2014 PGA Tour season kicks off in California at the Fry's.com Open, and then off to Las Vegas where he played well last year.
 
Meanwhile, this week is reserved for the Tour's Exhibition Season.


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Thu 03 Oct 2013, 6:48 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 02 Oct 2013, 6:36 pm

Six better-ball matches tomorrow and Tiger Woods has his 19th different partner in Ryder/Presidents Cup play: Kuchar.
Line-ups:
Mahan/Sneds vs DeLaet/Day
Haas/Simpson vs Scott/Matsuyama
Mickelson/Bradley vs Charl/Louis
Stricker/Spieth vs Els/DeJonge
Woods/Kooch vs Cabrera/Leishman
Dufner/Zach vs Sterne/Grace

Next Pres Cup will be in Korea - and in a flash of utter brilliance no Korean seems to be involved in these matches, either as player of backroom crew. Don't think the matches will be going to Harare anytime soon.

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Post by Davie Wed 02 Oct 2013, 7:50 pm

Wouldn't it be great to see the odds upset and a ROW win. Can't see it happening but I can dream

Woods/Kooch together. You can bet the smiles will be dazzling if they win. If they lose the Kooch will still be smiling as I don't think he knows anything else, but the Tiger scowl will be in full force

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Post by gaelgowfer Thu 03 Oct 2013, 10:12 am

Instead, Woods chose Matt Kuchar to accompany him in the opening fourballs on Thursday in the biennial match against the Internationals at Muirfield Village, Ohio.

We know it was Woods’s call, because the US captain said so. “Tiger decides who he plays with,” Fred Couples said.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/golf/tigerwoods/10351464/Presidents-Cup-2013-Tiger-Woods-ignores-Jordan-Spieth-and-picks-Matt-Kuchar-as-19th-matchplay-partner.html

Blimey, with Tiger Woods' record perhaps any prospective partner should be asked first whether or not they want to play with him!

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Post by hend085 Thu 03 Oct 2013, 11:09 am

this is going to be an absolute rout in my opinion. Alot of the US guys are showing alot of form in recent weeks. Tiger the obvious exception.

is Louis fully fit do you know Kwini?

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 03 Oct 2013, 12:07 pm

gael,
Just read Corrigan's piece and it reeks of speculation to me. As if he'd reached his deadline and had nothing to write.
Consensus here was that Woods was most likely to partner Dufner/and or Kuchar - Couples said quite clearly that he didn't want Spieth with Woods because of the attention that it would get.

At one time it seemned that Mickelson would continue his "mentoring role" with Spieth and they practised together in Atlanta - Keegs would then have played with Woods.
But Kuchar has said he expected to partner Woods and Dufner is now back with Zach Johnson, a pairing that played together successfully at Medinah.

All could change tomorrow, of course, with foursomes.


Oosthuizen fit? Apparently he's physically fit hend0, and we're beyond the deadline for replacements. But tournament fit after three pro-am rounds in almost three months? Not likely.

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Post by super_realist Thu 03 Oct 2013, 12:12 pm

This is an event as pointless and meaningless as the community shield or euro 3rd/4th place play off.
No one is interested in it and fewer probably want to play in it.

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Post by Shotrock Thu 03 Oct 2013, 1:50 pm

Fine write up Kwin.

Seems as if every report or interview I see on this event is the same ... "We need a ROW victory or at lest a very close contest." Otherwise ...

Otherwise what? It's a gap-filling event between RC years, so while interest may wane, it's certainly not likely to go away. Still, would like to see a close contest!

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 03 Oct 2013, 2:09 pm

s_r,
Don't know about the International Team, but I would say places on the US Presidents Cup Team are at least as highly prized as for the Ryder Cup, for very simple reasons:
~Americans love to win.
~There's nowhere near the RC pressure.
~They like to play for Couples or Nicklaus who have captained most of the teams.
~Americans hate to lose.

Agree that the PC won't go away any time soon, partly for the first and last reasons above. But the PGA Tour would do itself (and golf) a very big favour if it evened up the playing field a little, not to mention use a smidgeon of imagination regarding venues.
(Having said which Royal Melbourne should have been the exception to what has become the rule, but the best Aussies (Day, Scott, Ogilvy) scarcely turned up, while Ishikawa and KT Kim almost literally failed to turn up - they just didn't care, and Norman was helpless to do anything about it.)

No hope for the Internationals now until 2019 when the PC will hopefully be in South Africa again and Ernie galvanises the International Team in a way that, sadly, Norman conspicuously failed to do.



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Post by Shotrock Thu 03 Oct 2013, 2:56 pm

Good points ... but nobody likes to lose in these competitions, least of which the ROW team!

Also don't think places are nearly as highly prized as the RC, but just my observation.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 03 Oct 2013, 3:36 pm

Places "highly prized"?
I don't think Stricker or Woods would care one jot if they never played another Ryder Cup for instance, one or two others too no doubt - but they all seem to love the Pres Cup.

"least of which the ROW team" or least of which TO the ROW team??!!

Many of the ROW's didn't seem to give a monkey's in Melbourne - if they had cared in the slightest, they'd've got Ishikawa and Kim in for a few days' practice for instance, instead of allowing them to leave their appearance almost beyond the last moment. Felt sorry for Els and Schwartzel - a shame that every other Pres Cup can't be in S.Africa, just Southern Africa vs USA!

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Post by GPB Thu 03 Oct 2013, 3:37 pm

There may not be much Prez Cup interest in Europe, but there is plenty of it here in US and in the RotW.

Americans get accused of being insular, but to say the Prez Cup is "pointless and meaningless" is naive and insular.

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Post by MontysMerkin Thu 03 Oct 2013, 3:49 pm

have the rotw ever won?
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Post by Roller_Coaster Thu 03 Oct 2013, 3:55 pm

Admit to knowing little on the pres cup but I am amazed that places are that prized (other than ipso facto it means the players have earned well in the year/qualifying period). That said, I bow to the insight the chaps that side of the pond have versus me in my ivory ryder cup shaped tower.

PC does look and feel like a gap filler jolly tbh. Seemingly, internationals know they'll get stuffed, US know they'll administer a stuffing. (A bit like the old Ryder Cup with GB&I tbh!)

As it's a Finchem - does it count towards the quota of tour events required for the year?

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Post by MontysMerkin Thu 03 Oct 2013, 3:55 pm

Just checked on wikipedia - can see why the merkins love it so much!
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 03 Oct 2013, 4:33 pm

Roller,
YES, it does count towards the players' events!
Altho' that's somewhat irrelevant this year as the quota of required tournaments was reduced by two due to the truncated season.
But, just had a thought - with Woods, Scott, Mickelson, Stricker etc all choosing to play reduced schedules, perhaps they've lobbied PGA Tour HQ to include this week's shindig in the 2013/14 season, which perhaps technically it could be said to be!


GPB,
Interest surely only at the same level as an Alabama vs Vandy football game - they know they have to play every other year or so, they know 'Bama will win by a few touchdowns, they know there'll be 100,000 in Tuscaloosa, they know they'll be on TV. America loves to see their team administer a thumping, which is why I reckon the Pres Cup takes pressure off what I call the Frat Boy element of the US Team.
Only difference is college sports have more drugs and more hookers recruiting players.

Anyway, and very important: I see that Europe is up 3 1/2 to 1 1/2!

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Thu 03 Oct 2013, 4:44 pm

Stronger American team than the one that played at Medinah..........Be very surprised If we don't shellack the ROW......

Then again I've looked a prat on here before so I won't over do it..

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 03 Oct 2013, 4:46 pm

I see George Dubya (the war criminal) Bush is being hugged by the Americans (Ugh!).
 
Perhaps Nick Price missed a trick by not inviting Mugabe?

Edit: TRUSSMAN,
You're always the absolute model of a modern-day American (thanks Gilbert & Sullivan), modest, humble, gracious in defeat. (Not sure how you are in victory, mind!)

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Post by SmithersJones Thu 03 Oct 2013, 4:59 pm

'Scuse the cynicism but isn't moolah the main reason they like it?
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 03 Oct 2013, 5:07 pm

Sriously doubt they get paid, tho' they may have sponsors' bonuses in the contracts.
Each American player gets something like $200K to donate to charities of their choice.

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Post by SmithersJones Thu 03 Oct 2013, 5:16 pm

Oh, I thought Woods' call a few years back for RC pay was based on PC situation. Clearly not.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 03 Oct 2013, 5:21 pm

Not!

Oh sh1t, here's Dubya again with a "wounded warrior" he sent to an illegal war.
One cliche after another - should be sponsored by Haliburton.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 03 Oct 2013, 6:20 pm

pgatour.com's live scoring not working.
If it was, it would show USA up in all six matches, no-one played more than six holes.

USA, USA!!!!!!!

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 03 Oct 2013, 7:49 pm

A shame that rain has stopped play. PGA Tour season this year has been like an English cricket season. Stop, start, stop, sh1t.

Regardless, Americans dominate so far.

Just one question for all the Europe-based posters: Why is George O'Grady at the Pres Cup and not at the Seve Trophy?
All very well for Paul Lawrie etc to bemoan the Europeans who wouldn't go to Paris this week - it seems he should be directing even more vitriol to the ever-sycophantic O'Grady.
(Or maybe O'Grady has just found out Finchem is his boss?)

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Post by pedro Thu 03 Oct 2013, 8:13 pm

Prez Cup --> Commiz Cup.

Woods in for a long break. Vonn up.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 03 Oct 2013, 10:43 pm

Jordan Spieth is certainly a fantastic story, but Graham DeLaet is improving almost as fast, and getting better every hole. Looking terrific today.

Fascinating day of golf from what I've seen so far.

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Post by Bob_the_Job Fri 04 Oct 2013, 8:57 am

First day was more interesting than I thought it would be (Sky+.. watched the whole thing in about 3 hours). Some good matches and a reasonable fight back or two. I thought DeLeat was going to break Jason Day's ribs on the 18th green.
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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 04 Oct 2013, 11:29 am

Almost all the partnerships from Thursday will play unchanged in Friday foursomes, except a reshuffle of the Mahan/Simpson/Haas/Snedeker pack.

Ernie Els's twitch over a 3-foot birdie putt on #16 yesterday should be a reminder that anchoring is not the panacea to cure all putting ills. The difference between a tie and a 1-point American lead.

Good to see Charl and Louis play well and deJonge apparently made eight birdies on his own ball.

A couple of nice hole-outs from deJonge and Scott, but the US seemed to putt much better over all. And Maruyama seemed to find a very willing minder in Adam Scott - some great shots between the two of them.

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Post by Shotrock Fri 04 Oct 2013, 2:31 pm

Just watched the highlights but good to see Tiger playing well. Hopefully, will play just as well again today.


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Post by raycastleunited Fri 04 Oct 2013, 2:43 pm

Good stuff as always Kwini:
"Captain Jacklin at the helm and outmanoeuvring the Ancient Mariner Nicklaus at every stage"

Very good, although Jacklin's manoeuvres on the dance floor have been excruciating to watch.

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Post by navyblueshorts Fri 04 Oct 2013, 4:03 pm

What is it about Jacklin's expression? For as long as I can remember, he's looked like he's having an enema or something...
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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 04 Oct 2013, 4:14 pm

Cheers ray,
Fortunately we don't get that here - just have the pre-chip-on-shoulder memories to content ourselves with for Jacklin.
 
The 2013/2014 PGA Tour season gets underway next Thursday, and the early commitments for the Fry's.com Open in the California Bay Area suggest a pretty good field full of mid-level Tour pros. The first six events of the year will be important to a lot of these guys, so glad to see Davis and Knox are planning to play.
 
Els and deJonge from the Presidents Cup are signed up and Nicolas Colsaerts seems to be answering the bell in California AND Portugal. Typical of his tournament scheduling in 2013 when he was somewhat fortunate to retain his card.
 
Stage 1 of Q-School coming up also.
Edit: The British are coming!
Entries for the first (of three) week of Stage 1 include ex-Walker Cuppers Rhys Davies and Matthew Richardson, (plus Sweden's Peter Gustafson).

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Post by beninho Fri 04 Oct 2013, 6:49 pm

De Jonge is fat isn't he. Never really noticed him before. And big Angel seems to hit the ball a pretty long way doesn't he??

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 04 Oct 2013, 7:16 pm

de Jonge certainly IS fat! Sometimes wonder whether that serves him well in closing out tournaments - which he's not succeeded in doing during an otherwise promising career on Tour.

Lots of high quality play early doors today.

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Post by MustPuttBetter Fri 04 Oct 2013, 7:44 pm

Is it just me or does Jordan Spieth look like Stacy Lewis's long lost twin?
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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 04 Oct 2013, 8:16 pm

Rain stopped play . . . . . . again.

Some great golf interrupted with Bradley and Mickelson on fire.

Wonder if Schwartzel's been carrying an injury these past couple of months because this week he's looked terrific, hitting the ball sweetly and putting really well - which he hasn't been for most of the year. Good to see.

And Woods and La Cava look like they're communicating again. About time, Woods playing very well also.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 05 Oct 2013, 12:44 am

Play in the four matches still to be completed will resume at 7.35 a.m. Saturday.
No word yet on when the five better-ball matches will commence, or indeed what the teams will be.
Still less, of course, on when the afternoon action will get underway. A bit Celtic Manor, except warmer.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 05 Oct 2013, 12:50 pm

They're on the move at Muirfield Village.

And: The field for the Fry's.com confirmed, with Cabrera and Matsuyama being the only Presidents Cuppers in action.
Brian Davis and Russell Knox the only GB&I playing, but there are a handful of Swedes led by defending champion Jonas Blixt.


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Post by Shotrock Sat 05 Oct 2013, 4:34 pm

Very receptive greens and some really good golf. Look for this to be close going into the singles.

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Post by SmithersJones Sat 05 Oct 2013, 11:15 pm

Not understanding the match score - did a match go awol?
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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 06 Oct 2013, 3:24 am

Smithers,
~There have been rain delays so the matches are incomplete.
~On Thursday there are six matches each of fourballs and on Friday six matches of foursomes.
~On Saturday there are FIVE fourball matches and FIVE foursomes which are not yet complete.

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Post by SmithersJones Sun 06 Oct 2013, 9:28 am

Ah, I see. Thanks Kwini.
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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 06 Oct 2013, 11:49 am

So: The remaining four foursomes matches resume, weather permitting, at 7.35 a.m., (12.35 p.m. at The Dell - oops, St.Mary's) then singles scheduled to kick off at 9.00 a.m.
Crucial that The Internationals win at least three of these suspended matches.

If the heavy rain currently monsooning Western Ohio gives Columbus a direct hit, there will be further extensive delays.

Fred Couples is reporting that Tiger Woods is physically "beat up"; Perhaps he should try The Mechanic's secret elixir, of tobacco, alcohol and fumes? Works well for The Most Interesting Man In The World.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 06 Oct 2013, 12:32 pm

Looks like they'll start on time, at least.
Headlights on the golf carts in the early morning murk!

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Post by Shotrock Sun 06 Oct 2013, 2:11 pm

Dominating performance thus far from the US team. Some great comebacks this morning.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 06 Oct 2013, 2:15 pm

Sr,
I think you're the only one who thought it was "going to be close"!

Europe giving GB&I a bit of a singles thrashing.

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Post by Shotrock Sun 06 Oct 2013, 2:28 pm

Kwin - Didn't see the ROW team falling apart like they did this morning.

It's all over now boys.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 06 Oct 2013, 2:39 pm

Agreed, Pathetic, No motivation, and a disgraceful letdown for Captain Nick. They don't seem to care.
Very surprised at Schwartzel especially who'd played so well the times I watched him earlier in the week, but a poor showing all week.
Still don't know why Price didn't bring Mugabe along for an inspirational assassination or two -would have matched up well against Dubya.

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Post by Davie Sun 06 Oct 2013, 8:13 pm

Tiger just gets harder and harder to watch. I see the back injury is back again and after messing my back up during a round last week I guess I should have some sympathy ... but I just can't bring myself to have sympathy when he looks like he's been shot by a sniper when he hits a bad shot but when he hits a good one? ... Then you'd think he was 120% fit

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 06 Oct 2013, 10:07 pm

Davie,
The ridiculous thing he that he swings at 300 mph on shots where that's just not necessary. If he was crocked, he should have been sat down yesterday, like Cabrera.
And don't see why his bird was trucking round in a golf cart she seems to have trouble handling. Idiot.

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