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PGA Tour: The NorthwestMutual Nedbank Challenge Challenge: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 04 Dec 2013, 3:56 pm

1).What's not to like this week with most of the World's best golfers in action?
Numbers 1, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 are in California. (And #9 called in sick.)
Numbers 3, 5, 15, 18, 20, 25, 29, 31, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38 etc, etc are in South Africa.
So that's almost all the Top 40 accounted for.

2).There will be millions of Dollars and gazillions of Rand at stake but also a bucketload of Golf's universal currency de jour, World Ranking Points. And, due to the small size of the field at the California free-for-all, everyone will "earn" owgr points, even if they finish last by ten shots.
I would say that's fundamentally unfair.
Some will say that those playing have earned the right to be there. But have they really?

3).Only 9 of the 18 teeing it up at the Tiger Woods benefit won a PGA Tour event in the 2013 season, Watson and Westwood probably being the feeblest under-achievers.
Watson threw away his only winning chance in a year, at Hartford in what was his best finish, fourth, of the season.
Westwood's best finish was his Muirfield 3rd place and hasn't been seen inside the Top 25 since.
So: Yes, these tournaments reward the best golfers of the year. But they also reward others who are resting on the laurels of a year ago. Not sure that's right.

4).It was announced a week or so ago that the "Tiger" Challenge will be leaving Sherwood Country Club and is off to Florida and Mr and Mrs Woods's one-time home of Isleworth. Rumours now that the eventual destination is The Bahamas. Is this all for tax reasons I wonder?

5).Fred Couples used to be the King of golf's silly season but Tiger runs him close. In this event alone, he's "competed" eleven times and only avoided the top two twice, accumulating almost $9M in the process.

6).The Aussie Open was interesting wasn't it, lots of short Par-4's at Royal Sydney which made for fascinating viewing? Good that Scott and McIlroy played so well but what a shame these traditional national "opens" don't attract better fields. The South African Open turn-out was even worse and even the Canadian Open would have a poor field if not for RBC's extensive patronage.
Argentine Open this week and at least Angel Cabrera is supporting the tournament - pity that other Latin American stars couldn't see the value in joining him.

7).And then there's Steve Elkington and his tweets.
We'll never know what he knew when about the tragedy in Glasgow last weekend, and it's not certain how disingenuous he was being with his ill-advised twitterage about Pakistanis at the Senior Open.
What is certain is that he's no stranger to tweeting controversy and has mixed it up with Poulter and Bubba Watson, to name but two, in the past year, not to mention his comments on the Tiger drop at The Players.
Given that the Tour embraces tweets by its members that it must feel fits the squeaky-clean Tour image (god, college football, god, jesus, "the military", god, college football and the military, to name a few), surely it must begin to take some responsibility for racial stereotyping and other such marginal (over the marginal?) messages from its players?

8).They could start in my book by stopping the endless promotion of god, jesus, my saviour from the likes of Simpson, Watson etc, etc. Whether the Tour itself, or its Golf Channel close (incestuously so?) cousin, surely we've had enough of this garbage?
Or should someone start tweeting inflamatory anti-god messages and see where that gets them?

9).Web.com Q-School Finals next week and hardly a European to be seen. And no marquee names from other Tours either. No surprise there but I'm not sure that the open access pendulum will not swing too far the other way as "International" players currently holding Tour cards will surely start to fall by the wayside with only the tenuous Special Temporary Membership offering a route back.
Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I wonder if this is all turning out as Finchem and his troops imagined?

10).Doubt if Finchem much cares, but one cloud that won't magically drift over his horizon is the neverending can of worms the Tour opened when it suspended Vijay Singh for his deer-antler spray habit.
Vijay's lawyer is now trying to blow that can of worms up:
"The PGA Tour has made exception after exception after exception, both with regard to whom it was administering this drug policy and against whom it was disciplining."
"For some reason the Tour singled out Mr.Singh and treated him in a way that it has not historically or uniformly treated other Tour members."
"Whether it's because Mr.Singh isn't from the United States, or Mr.Singh didn't go to the right PGA Tour party, or Mr.Singh did something that Tim Finchem didn't like."
The Tour is trying to have Veej's suit dismissed, but I'd be surprised if this nonsense didn't rumble on well into the New Year.
After all, I'm not sure we've heard Steve Elkington's take on it yet.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 04 Dec 2013, 4:21 pm

It sounds as if Simon Dyson appears before the European Tour disciplinary panel on Thursday.
That afternoon he should learn whether it's the firing squad, suspended sentence, slap on the wrist or what.

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Post by beninho Wed 04 Dec 2013, 7:21 pm

Didn't vijays lawyer name names? I can't remember them all but what's the DJ rumours?

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 04 Dec 2013, 8:01 pm

ben,
There were rumours about DJ almost two years ago, but hadn't heard anything since. And certainly haven't read about any other names in this context, altho' I wouldn't doubt there are several.
It seems they have a big name or two as targets, but no idea who they might be.

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Post by pedro Wed 04 Dec 2013, 8:18 pm

Dustin smokes ganja. You heard it here.

Paulina probably even calls him Puff Daddy.

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Post by super_realist Wed 04 Dec 2013, 8:49 pm

Tinpot tournament season.

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Post by McLaren Wed 04 Dec 2013, 11:25 pm

kwini wrote:What's not to like this week with most of the World's best golfers in action?
In some ways is that where the analysis should stop.  So what some already over privileged guys dish out some points in possibly an ever so slightly unfair manner.

But as a fan, we get to see what we want.  The top guys going against each other without "journeyman" interference.  I hate it when you get a collection of 2-3 greats near the top of a leaderboard and a nobody is in the mix based on nothing more than chance.

There is sometimes a slight paradox in the modern game created by the strength of the field.  Viewed as a collective the chances that the field beats a top 5 player are very good.

At the same time the field is only comprised of very good but not great players.  But if you are a top 20 player it means you are very good based on repeated measurements against everyone else.  There is no fluke to being a top player.  But in terms of the individual journeyman who wins, there is an element of fluke.

Think of positions >40 in the owgr as one player and you can understand what I mean.  But the chances of the 40> group winning is very strong only because of the large number of them.  

So, does it make sense to remove this "40th man" every once in a while?

I think it does, there are enough events of full field strength to give us confidence that when the field is reduced we are watching the best players, who have already been measured fairly, compete just against players of the same standard.
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Post by GPB Thu 05 Dec 2013, 12:13 am

Bubba Watson and Hunter Mahan may have qualified for this years WC because they finished T9 in last years WC.

These limited field serve to self perpetuating OWGR rankings.


Last edited by GPB on Thu 05 Dec 2013, 12:26 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarity)

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Post by GPB Thu 05 Dec 2013, 12:27 am

Apparently the Nedbank Purse has been discounted for RtD and Ryder Cup Standings.

http://www.europeantour.com/mm/document/tournament/tournaments/21/35/60/_english.pdf

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Post by robopz Thu 05 Dec 2013, 1:42 am

GPB wrote:Apparently the Nedbank Purse has been discounted for RtD and Ryder Cup Standings.

http://www.europeantour.com/mm/document/tournament/tournaments/21/35/60/_english.pdf
Thanks GPG... Good find... thumbsup 

IMO this mitigates a LOT of the money issues with the NedBank/R2D

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 05 Dec 2013, 2:03 am

Mac,
Not sure I understand what you're on about.
Do you?

You may think the owgr's as they are applied to the world Challenge reflect the best players but they actually disguise some of those who had fine performances a year ago but have hibernated since. Watson and Westwood leading examples in my book; both destined for a rankings plunge unless they pull the ripcord soon.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 05 Dec 2013, 2:12 pm

In a sure sign that way too many of our favourite Independent Contractors only re-enter the real world when they have traffic accidents, how about this garbage from E.T.Woods as he tries to explain the change of venue for his "Challenge":

"Most golf tournaments don't stay at one course for that long."
(Most don't move 3,000 miles either.)

"It's harder to get good players to play, quite frankly."
(Well, you've got 18 of the owgr Top 30 - what do you want? Scott? Mickelson? Snedeker?)

"But there are a lot of players that are based there in Florida. It will be a little easier for the guys to make a trek out instead of coming all the way out here, to stay right there in Florida."
(Yet almost every player wears NetJets or similar endorsements on their shirts and/or caps. It's not exactly as if they're flying Easy Jet.)

Quite why editors print such rubbish from golfers without editorial comment is beyond comprehension, or at least good journalism.

Perhaps the truth is that any cachet that Tiger's name had five years ago has withered and he's finding it hard to secure sponsorship.
(And perhaps it is about money and taxes also? Not sure how State income tax is calculated on golfers' earnings, but Florida has no State income tax and the Golf world is full of players complaining about California State taxes.)

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 05 Dec 2013, 2:52 pm

Ernie Els seems to be the latest golfer (following Mickelson, Scott, Stricker) to confirm a lighter tournament schedule for 2014, although in his case that probably won't much affect the number of PGA Tour events he plays.
Perhaps he'll cut down the flying-for-dollars that infested his golfing calendar in 2013.
And he'll reportedly be doing it with Taylor Made equipment, and not Callaway.

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Post by robopz Thu 05 Dec 2013, 2:54 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Perhaps the truth is that any cachet that Tiger's name had five years ago has withered and he's finding it hard to secure sponsorship. (And perhaps it is about money and taxes also? Not sure how State income tax is calculated on golfers' earnings, but Florida has no State income tax and the Golf world is full of players complaining about California State taxes.)
OF COURSE TW's "issues" have made him a tougher sell to certain types of sponsors... DUH!   But if you think TW is gonna come out and say that... come on man... seriously?   And the press... they've talked about it, Tigers sponsor and endorsement challenges have been editorialized to death over the last 3 years, so what is the golf media supposed to do beyond that?  Has it become their job to do some deep investigation or hit piece on a topic like this? Good Gawd...  I rue the day that's all the better they have to do.

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Post by Shotrock Thu 05 Dec 2013, 3:21 pm

I am involved on some endorsement marketing and can assure you the brand that is Tiger is still VERY appealing to lots of corporations. Anyone who commands that much air time -- almost regardless of reputation or action -- is a sought after commodity. He's simply not finding it hard to secure sponsorship (but if he goes AWOL on all interviews, that could erode over time -- a long time).

Once you reach the Greg Norman, Jack Nicklaus, Arnie status (where Tiger will certainly get) ... all doors open to penthouse apartments.

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Post by Shotrock Thu 05 Dec 2013, 3:24 pm

Kwin - Tiger's cliched responses seem totally reasonable to me! Thinking things should stay the same is EXACTLY why your friends on the Euro tour are sinking.

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Post by MontysMerkin Thu 05 Dec 2013, 3:26 pm

Shotrock wrote:

Once you reach the Greg Norman, Jack Nicklaus, Arnie status (where Tiger will certainly get) ... all doors open to penthouse apartments.
Laugh Laugh Laugh  think Tiger passed Norman's status in about 2001 (at least in the eyes of the public)?
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Post by Shotrock Thu 05 Dec 2013, 3:33 pm

Monty - Greg is up there!

http://www.celebritynetworth.com/articles/entertainment-articles/10-highest-earning-golfers-2012/

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 05 Dec 2013, 3:39 pm

robo, Sr,
If he's "still VERY appealing to lots of corporations" then why is he struggling to secure the sort of sponsorship for his event that was enjoyed ten years ago when the winner took home 20% more than this week's champion will?

robo,
We all read Geoff Ogilvy's editorial piece about Tiger being a bit more engaging with the press, discussing "issues" more frankly. But the Press accepts this sort of garbage Tiger-speak without blinking an eye.


PS: I love the way the tee-times are set up today: All four British players off first (bl00dy foreigners), then Jason Day and the Americans. When Scott Verplank spoke out about the Jakarta Four-Ball, I think this was the American version of what he was describing!

PPS: Sr, My European friends are sinking because they're trying to act like Americans. Would think the US has never had a better chance at winning the Ryder Cup.

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Post by Shotrock Thu 05 Dec 2013, 3:56 pm

Kwin - Struggling? The event itself will certainly run its course and most likely never be as appealing as it once was (which is the way these things always work). Nothing is static. But, once again, that's why you need to re-tool for the times. And did you see the link I posted? TW the brand is certainly NOT struggling!

US win the RC? Better chance when we played just GBI!

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Post by robopz Thu 05 Dec 2013, 4:42 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:
If he's "still VERY appealing to lots of corporations" then why is he struggling to secure the sort of sponsorship for his event that was enjoyed ten years ago when the winner took home 20% more than this week's champion will?
Who's saying he's still VERY appealing to lots of corporations.... certainly not me. Yes there ARE corporations where he's still a fit... like I believe Nike is still and excellent fit... and a heat rub would be, and a sports drink maybe... but for a lot of general brand awareness plays like AMEX, AT&T or the like... NOT so much.

kwinigolfer wrote:
We all read Geoff Ogilvy's editorial piece about Tiger being a bit more engaging with the press, discussing "issues" more frankly. But the Press accepts this sort of garbage Tiger-speak without blinking an eye.
Oh come on kwini... are we really so dumb that we don't get what's happening with a move like this? He said: "It's just one of those things where with the golf calendar has changed quite dramatically with our FedExCup ending and then obviously with the Race to Dubai, it's harder to get good players to play, quite frankly. And sponsorship dollars are certainly not exactly easy to come by in these economic times. " IMO BOTH are 100% true, but we know there's more. But to expect that the media is gonna call out Tiger, or ANY player for not saying... "Hey, the sponsors I've been trying to get think I've mucked up (with a capital F) my personal life and image and won't sponsor my event so I'm moving to Florida cuz I've found someone who will"... Is just plain crazy. That's not the way it works. But if it'll make you happy... then wait 10 minutes... if that's the kind of stuff that you enjoy... Feinstein, Miceli or Yelling are likely to say exactly that.

And as for TW being out front and more "engaging" with the press... Sure... I think it would help him. But let's face it, the guy's no Phil Mickelson who's comfortable with the press... nor is he as skilled at not answering questions or deflecting but making the press love it (which is another admirable Mickelson trait). IMO TW got off to a "guarded" situation with the press going all the way back to 1996-97 when he and his dad let Feinstein in a little bit, and all they got for their trouble was a major hit piece on Earl.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 05 Dec 2013, 4:55 pm

Sr,
Brand value? Yes, Golf Digest publishes a similar list every year, think I usually "note' it.
Wonder who's net worth is greater of Nicklaus, Norman, Palmer and Woods?

Would imagine it goes:
1).Norman
2).Palmer
3).Woods
4).Nicklaus
. . . . . but that's a big fat guess!

Sherwood is a great TV course, always has been from the early days of the Shark Shoot-Out; can't imagine anything in Florida can match its appeal.
Favourite memory will always be Harrington's brilliance when he won in 2002, probably his coming out party for America.


robo,
Sorry mate, I was quoting Shotrock, not you.
I agree it's all rhetorical but Tiger wants his cake and eat it too and perhaps someone should call him on it a bit more often.
(PS: Surely the GQ article from the 90's didn't help either.)

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Post by Shotrock Thu 05 Dec 2013, 5:16 pm

Kwin - Given Norman's impressive breadth of offerings (apparel, golf course design, wine, speech giving) I suspect you are right placing him #1 (and by a good margin). But I don't know how to measure "Brand Value" and what that means financially.


Robo - I still think Tiger is PLENTY appealing to lots of corporations. For every company that drops him, it seems one is ready to pick him up (Tag/Rolex), Nike stays with him ... I think he's weathered the storm. Unless, of course, another "issue" comes up. To my point, here's some more recent info on the brand that is Tiger ...

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2013/06/05/the-worlds-highest-paid-athletes-2013-behind-the-numbers/


Last edited by Shotrock on Thu 05 Dec 2013, 5:17 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Only boring people spell the same way all the time!)

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 05 Dec 2013, 5:21 pm

. . . . . and land-holdings, etc.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 05 Dec 2013, 5:24 pm

Frost delay in Sunny California; sounds as if there might be more of that this weekend.
Isn't that ironic Alanis??!! Weather suspension in Sun City, weather delay at Sherwood.

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Post by robopz Thu 05 Dec 2013, 5:37 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:robo,
Sorry mate, I was quoting Shotrock, not you.
I agree it's all rhetorical but Tiger wants his cake and eat it too and perhaps someone should call him on it a bit more often.
(PS: Surely the GQ article from the 90's didn't help either.)
No problem... I guess the way I see it, depending on which side of the fence one is on regarding Tiger Woods... it's easy to think he's either called out by the media too much... or not enough. I don't remember anyone giving him a pass on Fire Hydrant... and I don't remember a media that remained "mute" as the rules issues were mounting. In fact I remember it just the opposite. I remember a LOT of journalists calling for TW to do this or do that at the Masters... and the Players drop... and I remember a lot of them opining negatively towards the BMW drop.

Bottom line: Sure Tiger has part of the media that fawns all over him... but IMO that's adequately countered by those who take a dig at him every chance they get. But IMO most the media get it about right, with praise when it's warranted and criticism when that's warranted as well. In fact, I can't remember ANY player in any sport who's been the subject of more "back and forth" within the media than Tiger Woods has with the golf media.

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Post by robopz Thu 05 Dec 2013, 5:46 pm

Shotrock wrote:Robo - I still think Tiger is PLENTY appealing to lots of corporations. For every company that drops him, it seems one is ready to pick him up (Tag/Rolex), Nike stays with him ... I think he's weathered the storm. Unless, of course, another "issue" comes up. To my point, here's some more recent info on the brand that is Tiger ...
Oh I agree... there are still a bunch where he's a good fit.... like the ones that sponsor him now.  Believe me, those guys don't make those sponsorship's lightly.  Take Rolex for example, you can bet they tested TW as a fit for their brand before they ever signed him up.  And of course in products that are trying to make an "excellence in sports performance" statement... he's still great.    But where he's lost it... and may or may not ever get it back, are with the companies that are looking for a face to their brand that tests positively across all demographics including those not sports related. Tiger just AIN'T that guy anymore.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 05 Dec 2013, 6:47 pm

They're off, in frosty California. McDowell in the lead!

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Post by super_realist Thu 05 Dec 2013, 7:00 pm

It would be funny if Poulter were to win this. Would really stick in 9C's craw.

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Post by sirbenson Thu 05 Dec 2013, 7:42 pm

Is this now an official tour event? Or is it still unofficial?

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 05 Dec 2013, 7:58 pm

Unofficial . . . . for now.
Let's hope it stays that way, or is reinvented as a proper tournament.

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Post by SmithersJones Thu 05 Dec 2013, 9:30 pm

Surprised to see Poulter propping up the field. Westwood not so much. Billy obviously not the panacea everyone hoped he'd be!
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Post by MontysMerkin Fri 06 Dec 2013, 9:38 am

If it's just cash you're talking about I have no doubt Norman is waaaay ahead. But it's a bit like those folks retiring in the uk now, bought a house for 2.5k and now selling for 500k or more. Choose correctly and you can't go wrong, but doesn't really show any astute business sense (not that I would say Normans a bad business man, far from it) However I think he's a better business man than golfer? Having your arse delivered to you on a plate by Faldo a couple of times can set off the demons I reckon....
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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 06 Dec 2013, 1:37 pm

Stenson on the march again.
Is he REALLY that good??
Difficult to believe after all the vagaries of his career to date.

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Post by lorus59 Fri 06 Dec 2013, 3:49 pm

Would it be more appropriate for the world's top golfers such as Woods and Mickelson to play in next weeks Nelson Mandela Championship than giving tributes by Twitter about the death of the man?

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Post by super_realist Fri 06 Dec 2013, 4:12 pm

I don't think they need to. Neither Nine Chins or Phil Mickelson have anything to do with Mandela, and Mandela had nothing to do with them or golf.

All that has happened is that a 95 year old has died. It's not something which golf really has a need to honour, and Mickelson apart, Nine Chins presence would hardly be a tribute.
It would be jumping on a bandwagon for no reason.

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Post by Shotrock Fri 06 Dec 2013, 9:54 pm

Tiger pistol hot at the moment - hopefully a sign of things to come.

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Post by super_realist Fri 06 Dec 2013, 10:05 pm

Shotrock wrote:Tiger pistol hot at the moment - hopefully a sign of things to come.
vomit vomit vomit vomit vomit vomit vomit 

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Post by Shotrock Fri 06 Dec 2013, 10:09 pm

Super - Your boy Poulter making some hay, so don't feel bad!

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Post by incontinentia Fri 06 Dec 2013, 11:20 pm

serious round from Tiger alright, something obviously clicked from yesterday.
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Post by pedro Sat 07 Dec 2013, 12:09 am

Nobody shoots 62 without being a bit cavalier with the rules. And then in his own tournament. It stinks. Super_ where are you?

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 07 Dec 2013, 1:39 am

Five shots better than anyone else in the field for Woods.

Still can't take this too seriously and it seems others share the same view, Dustin Johnson's quite content with his $100K and so perhaps are Mahan, Westwood and Rory. Poor show by all of them.

Westwood +1 on the 10 x Par-5's, Kuchar is -7, Woods, Bubba and Zach all -6. Just like old times for Billy and Lee.

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Post by twoeightnine Sat 07 Dec 2013, 10:22 am

I'm with you Kwini that's its no major but Tiger looked very impressive yesterday. I think that they said that he hit every green in regulation and there were no chips in, etc. The most impressive thing for me was the balance he had at the end of his swing with the long irons. It was almost like delicate wedge shots. Sometimes he seems to really lash at the ball and yesterday was just control.

Looks like a stunning course too.

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Post by super_realist Sat 07 Dec 2013, 12:34 pm

This and Nedbank are the tour equivalent of a Wednesday Sweep.

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Post by Shotrock Sat 07 Dec 2013, 12:47 pm

Why Tiger can't use that balanced swing more often is a mystery. But that's professional golf -- perhaps same reason Lukey can't find fairways and Phil misses those 3 footers.

But at least for yesterday the #1 player in the world playing like #1 should.

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Post by super_realist Sat 07 Dec 2013, 12:50 pm

I can't deny that SR. Anyone shooting a 62 whilst the nearest is a 67 is playing very well.

I've always thought Baldy Nine Chins would have won many more majors playing within himself, using better course management and not trying to knock the skin off the ball.

Tkankfully, he's not too bright, so tends to take the typical Gung Ho G.I route a lot of the time.

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Post by monty junior Sat 07 Dec 2013, 2:00 pm

I think the reason he doesn't win major's nowadays is because he plays too conservatively. He plays irons, 3 woods off the tee for the first 3 and a half rounds and if he's more than a couple of shots back going in to the back 9 on Sunday, he has to get aggressive and thus makes mistakes because he's been so cagey all week.

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Post by robopz Sat 07 Dec 2013, 4:49 pm

monty junior wrote:I think the reason he doesn't win major's nowadays is because he plays too conservatively. He plays irons, 3 woods off the tee for the first 3 and a half rounds and if he's more than a couple of shots back going in to the back 9 on Sunday, he has to get aggressive and thus makes mistakes because he's been so cagey all week.
I agree and IMO he's been doing so because he's so inconsistent with the driver he has no choice when it gets to the usual tougher major setups.  If he ever finds a driver (or driver swing) he's comfortable with again... watch out cuz he's just so freeking good with the rest of his game.  And if he doesn't... then he's probably at too much of a disadvantage at probably 1/2 the major venues he'll face over the balance of his career...  And with his competitive age window getting to the point it'll be closing soon, having legitimate chances in only half his remaining majors just ain't gonna be enough if he thinks he's gonna challenge 18...

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Post by MontysMerkin Sat 07 Dec 2013, 6:11 pm

super_realist wrote:
I've always thought Baldy  Nine Chins would have won many more majors playing within himself, using better course management and not trying to knock the skin off the ball.
Agreed. After watching yesterday almost makes me weep when you see him lashing at it.
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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 08 Dec 2013, 12:15 am

Only just heard about this news, making it an especially sad week for Ernie, Retief, etc:

http://www.golfchannel.com/news/associated-press/vanstiphout-former-golf-psychologist-els-dies-62/

Sure Lawrence Donnegan can make a few bob writing remembrances . . . . . . . .

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