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PGA Tour: Time To Move On: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:30 pm

1).What a weekend!
And: What a few weeks/months of soul-searching in store for the PGA Of America!!
Not content with losing two Ryder Cups by the narrowest of margins with Captains chosen according to a traditional formula, they stepped back 21 years, appointed a legend of the game who proved a poor communicator and dismal tactician, and got royally thumped.
If the PGA reverts to pre-2012 methods, they'll appoint David Toms for 2016.
If they respond to public pressure, they'll appoint Paul Azinger.
But who would want it after the public mauling endured by Captain Watson? OK, Azinger would.

2).Much has been made of Phil Mickelson's public admonishment of Team leadership; it's still not entirely clear whether his intended target was Watson or the PGA, or both.
Among those weighing in on the affair was Nick Faldo who accused Phil of throwing Watson "under the bus".
How ironic, just a day or two after sirnick threw Sergio under his Valhalla bus.

John Huggan's excellent piece on the matter suggests that the 2008 European Team had unanimously agreed not to discuss Faldo's captaincy and, indeed, the Team jumped to their Captain's defence in post-Valhalla news conferences and at all subsequent opportunities. The suggestion now is that Faldo has broken the pledge of omerta and, with him having thrown the first verbal stink-bomb, more vitriol will follow, perhaps sooner rather than later and of a more combustible nature.

3).I'd imagine the Faldo repercussions will be felt longer than Phil's and it wouldn't surprise me if the buttoned-down CBS Sports Network might tire of their polarising "Analyst".
Regardless: Two points:
~Unlike Team Europe in 2008, I didn't see any Team Member jumping to Old Tom's defence when Phil went "rogue". Was Phil the unofficial Team "spokesman" on this?
~Sergio took the high road when asked about Faldo's comments, but two players who were praised thru'out the week for their "leadership", McDowell and Westwood, were quick to admonish Faldo.

4).Europe certainly got their leadership from Justin Rose (and Westwood who I wouldn't have selected; well done lw1), but USA were poorly served by two of their Steady Eddies, Kuchar and Johnson, although they finally re-engaged in time for their singles.

5).Two players I expect to gain confidence from their RC exploits:
Stenson, who admitted to being knackered during the FedEx tournaments. Perhaps he'll now take a breather and return to his 2013 form in 2015. Time for a Major, Henrik.
Jimmy Walker, who completed a meteoric year-long rise to fame with 2 1/2 points and a solid win over Westwood. He's at it again next week, defending his Frys title, but he's another who could use a break before attacking 2015 with the confidence of a world-class player.

6).Two who must be disappointed with their weeks are Thomas Bjorn and Zach Johnson. Both laid the foundations for their RC places with fine performances many months ago, and both have looked exhausted these past few weeks.
Expect Thomas to be VC to Captain DC (perhaps prior to being appointed Captain for Paris?) at Hazeltine, and Zach to rue being on four losing teams without a win while he assembles his "team" and tries to figure out how to re-energise his game. Could take a while.

7).Some prospects for future RC Teams:
For Europe the games of Tommy Fleetwood and Shane Lowry look just about Ryder Cup ready, while Thorbjorn Olesen should benefit by being back in Europe, ready to succeed Thomasbjorn as the Danish King. (If you want a ready-made foursomes player, look no further than Russell fairways-and-greens Knox.)
Billy Horschel and Chris Kirk have already established their US credentials and it wouldn't be surprising to see Brooks Koepka join them. For a long shot, how about John Peterson, and for a very longshot perhaps Justin Thomas?

8).Multiple sources now report that Messrs Donaldson, Dubuisson, Koepka and FMolinari have accepted PGA Tour Membership for 2014/2015. Let's hope the Europeans will avoid the scheduling pitfalls of their predecessors; teeing it up at the CIMB and HSBC Champions events would be a very good start.

9).The PGA Tour takes another week off before resuming next week in Napa Valley's Silverado Resort for the Frys.com Open. Ryder Cuppers Kuchar, Mahan, Reed, Walker and Westwood are committed to appear.

10).Finally, two more snippets of news from California:
~Humana have announced the January, 2015, playing of the old "Bob Hope" will be the last under their sponsorship. So Tim Finchem is now without an event in Tucson and a sponsor for Palm Springs - the desert swing looking a bit arid.
~Cadillac have announced a one-off sponsorship of the WGC:MatchPlay Championship, at the one-off venue of San Francisco's Harding Park next Spring. Finchem (and the leaders of other Tours or does Timmy do all this single-handed?) is searching for a long-term sponsor at a long-term venue, with a long-term format on a long-term date.
Finchem has an admirable habit of coming up smelling like a rose every time there's the hint of manure and here's hoping he hasn't lost his midas touch.


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Post by Bob_the_Job Wed Oct 01, 2014 3:10 pm

Cheers Kwini...

Two years is a long time in golf, and there are a few others I wouldn't be surprised to see end up in a RC position (I also wouldn't be surprised to see them sink without a trace, such is the fickle nature of golf form):

Ryan Palmer, Jonas Blixt, Joost Luiten, Matt Every, Kevin Na...
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed Oct 01, 2014 3:15 pm

thumbsup
All good names Bob.
I see Ryan Palmer is playing the Dunhill this week - he seems to be that rare US golfer who savours the opportunity to travel.

Every time I watch Matt Every I'm reminded of Marc Warren, some physical resemblance and more temperamental similarities!

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Post by GPB Wed Oct 01, 2014 3:39 pm

The PGATour Player exemption list does indeed have Donaldson, Doobie, Frankie, and Koepka on their priority list.

#21 on this page

http://www.pgatour.com/news/2014/pga-tour-priority-ranking.html

I count 150 (including Scott Verplank) active players who have higher priority than Bud Cauley who currently has the highest priority of any of webbies who are subject to reshuffle.   A total of 197 active players with PGATour Cards for 2014-15 season.

Kuchar has joined Mahan and Westwood in the Frys opener next week, fulfilling his obligation from playing in Turkey a couple years ago.

Assuming no 11th hour entries, Rory, Tiger, Webb, Charl, and Justin R will have to play in the Frys next year.  I do not know what will happen to them if they do not play.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed Oct 01, 2014 3:50 pm

And Bud Cauley is on the DL following shoulder surgery - won't see him until next year most likely, and that won't do his reshuffle status any good. Perhaps he'll stay out long enough to be eligible for a "Minor Medical"?

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Post by pedro Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:15 pm

Cheers kwini.

McIlroy officially named PGATour POTY. Surprised Fowler didn't get it... Whistle

Chesson Hadley ROTY. I'm sure we won't forget about him anytime soon. Mainly due to his name tho.

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Post by McLaren Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:37 pm

Mcilroy was nearly $4 million ahead of Fowler on the money list.
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:45 pm

Old joke Mac.

GPB,
Category 7 (three yrs for Bay Hill & Memorial) is a new one on me; has that always been there or is at a sycophantic sop to Arnie & Jack?


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Post by Bob_the_Job Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:01 pm

kwinigolfer wrote: thumbsup
All good names Bob.
I see Ryan Palmer is playing the Dunhill this week - he seems to be that rare US golfer who savours the opportunity to travel.

Every time I watch Matt Every I'm reminded of Marc Warren, some physical resemblance and more temperamental similarities!

I liked Palmer's interviews at the "Sky-cart" during one of the Fedex playoffs - he came across as warm, friendly, articulate and quite funny. He can heave it a fair old distance too.
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Post by GPB Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:41 pm

I see the snark continues over Rickie Fans stuffing the ballot box for August PoM.  

Is that award really that important to you people that you have to obsess over it?

Did you vote?  I didn't.  If you didn't vote, IMO, you have no right to complain or snark.

Kwini, Category looks like it is a new exemption category. 


PGA Tour wrote:7. Winners of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Memorial Tournament in the last three seasons and the current season, beginning with the 2015 winners.

(emphasis mine)

Most of the time it will be a redundant exemption.

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Post by GPB Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:13 pm

Kwini, You referenced the new  PGATour players playing the CIMB Malaysia Classic.

The only way for Doobie, Donaldson, Koepka, and Frankie to play the CIMB is via Sponsor's invite.  The exemption list is the top 60 available, 10 players from Asian tour, and 8 Sponsors invites.

I suspect most of the Sponsors Invites will be Asian players. Tianlang Guan got one of the Invites.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:28 pm

Thanks GPB,
Had thought there had been a further expansion to the CIMB field. Pity! The Europeans' agents need to earn their corn.

I see Harrington has taken himself out of any competition for Captaincy at Hazeltine.

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Post by GPB Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:46 pm

PGATour's Special Temporary Status hurdle has increased from 278 FE Points to 323 FE points which makes perfect sense after adding 6 events to the schedule from 2013 to the 2013-14 season.

Two Opposite Field events are added this year which should bump the STM to approx 330 points for next year

A solo 2nd used to be enough for STM, now it will take a a solo 2nd plus a little bit more.

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Post by Plunky Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:06 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Thanks GPB,
Had thought there had been a further expansion to the CIMB field. Pity! The Europeans' agents need to earn their corn.

I see Harrington has taken himself out of any competition for Captaincy at Hazeltine.

He also apparently talked about how the Europeans fear another Azinger captaincy -- not sure that was too smart !

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:50 pm

Imagine Europeans would be right to fear Azinger if Faldo was Captain and Harrington playing as poorly as he did at Valhalla!

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Post by McLaren Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:18 pm

I don't wont to start a Tiger trashing sessions, but it is little videos like this that suggest Rory both understands what fans want and that he will make an effort to deliver it.  Not particularly inciteful but yo can imagine it making some kids night to find this;

#ASKRORY - Q&A with Rory McIlroy:
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Post by pedro Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:02 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Imagine Europeans would be right to fear Azinger if Faldo was Captain and Harrington playing as poorly as he did at Valhalla!
Don't think we should fear Azinger. We should fear that some of the old players (Phil, Furyk, Zach, Mahan, Bubba etc.) don't make the team.

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Post by GPB Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:31 am

Boy, the same jokes keep getting funnier and funnier!  Real knee-slappers!!

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Post by MustPuttBetter Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:29 am

GPB wrote:I see the snark continues over Rickie Fans stuffing the ballot box for August PoM.  

Is that award really that important to you people that you have to obsess over it?

Did you vote?  I didn't.  If you didn't vote, IMO, you have no right to complain or snark.

I thought the sarky reference was actually re the 2010 Rookie of the Year award rather the the August one
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Post by pedro Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:44 am

I commented on the Fowler August Player of the Month thing since the POTY now had been decided - simply beacuse I think the August ballot was too ridicolous to not mention again.

But in fact I couldn't care less. I just think it's entertaining. And if you guys have other topics to discuss, please feel free to share them.

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Post by McLaren Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:22 am

What was the August player of the month thing?

Did Fowler get it over Rory?
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Post by super_realist Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:24 am

Yeah, A guy that won nothing over a guy who won 1 tournament and 1 major.

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Post by incontinentia Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:42 am

Is the award decided by fan votes? If so I don't get what all the fuss is about

http://www.pgatour.com/pom.html
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Post by super_realist Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:45 am

What's the point in the fans deciding if the winner isn't merited. Its not a Player of the MOnth it's the Favourite Player of the Month

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Post by McLaren Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:52 am

Did anyone even know there was a player of the month until this happened?




In other news, Stevie W claims he would do some part time work for Tiger; http://golfdigest.stats.com/golf/story.asp?i=20141001161015754741108&ref=rec&tm=&src=GOLF
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:01 pm

Good to see Zanotti back in action after getting beaned a few weeks ago.
Would also be good to see Ricky Gonzalez have some good results and retain his card - wonder if there's a chance he might receive special dispensation?
I can never recall (but reckon it must have happened) a PGA Tour player withdrawing from a tournament to be with a mate who had been hurt - obviously two did in Fabrizio's case, Felipe Aguilar as well . . . . .


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Post by incontinentia Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:02 pm

Mac- I'd say Stevie is missing the riches he was getting as Tiger's bagboy.
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Post by super_realist Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:09 pm

Yeah, because 9C has really raked it in this year hasn't he?

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Post by incontinentia Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:15 pm

True, laCava must be on the breadline. But it would be interesting to compare Steve Williams' income during the Tiger years to what he was earning since they split. He must've taken a huge hit.

Wasn't he once New Zealand's highest paid "sportsman"?
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Post by super_realist Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:18 pm

Sure he must have, but that's the nature of being a caddy I suppose. Good years and lean years.

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Post by beninho Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:20 pm

I read someone say that Thomas Bjorn, should be lined up for the RC captaincy when its being held in or near Minnesota. Get the Scandinavian descent yanks onside. Minnesota has loads of them i hear, as well as Somalians who historically aren't interested in golf.

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Post by super_realist Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:26 pm

beninho wrote:I read someone say that Thomas Bjorn, should be lined up for the RC captaincy when its being held in or near Minnesota. Get the Scandinavian descent yanks onside. Minnesota has loads of them i hear, as well as Somalians who historically aren't interested in golf.

Although keen on piracy I hear, strange for two sea faring nations to be populous in a landlocked state

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:29 pm

inco,
Williams's income might have taken a "huge hit" since the Tiger years, but Adam Scott has been coining it in the past 3 1/2 yrs; probably about 3 times Tiger's on-course earnings. Icing on the cake of his career you'd imagine.
Can't see any chance of him returning to Woods, but sure LaCava's thrilled at the speculation.

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Post by pedro Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:35 pm

beninho wrote:I read someone say that Thomas Bjorn, should be lined up for the RC captaincy when its being held in or near Minnesota. Get the Scandinavian descent yanks onside. Minnesota has loads of them i hear, as well as Somalians who historically aren't interested in golf.
That’s the same nonsense that surrounded Tom Watson’s captaincy. That Scotland somehow was his second home and that the US team therefore wouldn’t get booed so much.

The nationality of the European captain has nothing to do with anything, (as long as he speaks a better English than Miguel). That’s also why I don’t buy into a vd Velde captaincy for Paris 2018, despite him being Seve Cup captain. Tho I think TB, MAJ or Paddy (I fear) must be next in line after DC, regardless of where it’s held.

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Post by navyblueshorts Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:43 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:...3).I'd imagine the Faldo repercussions will be felt longer than Phil's and it wouldn't surprise me if the buttoned-down CBS Sports Network might tire of their polarising "Analyst".
Regardless: Two points:
~Unlike Team Europe in 2008, I didn't see any Team Member jumping to Old Tom's defence when Phil went "rogue". Was Phil the unofficial Team "spokesman" on this?
~Sergio took the high road when asked about Faldo's comments, but two players who were praised thru'out the week for their "leadership", McDowell and Westwood, were quick to admonish Faldo....
Good read as per usual Kwini. Thanks.

Re. the lack of defence for Watson in the face of that gurning fool's character assassination, could it simply be that the rest of them weren't primed for what was to come? I'm sure Phil was thinking of how to trash his skip (maybe he even planted some of the media Qs? Wouldn't put it past him at all) but maybe the actual act was spur of the moment? In which case, it would have been hard for anyone, I think, to put their hand up with some rational blow back in Tom's favour w/o the whole conference degenerating into farce. I cannot believe that all 12 of them thought the right thing to do was to publicly humiliate Watson, even if they did agree that his Captaincy was poor.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:48 pm

Thanks navy,
Phil didn't say anything at the presser that he hadn't already said to NBC TV - the players, most of them at least, must have known there was a good chance that Phil would speak out, as must Watson who seemed somewhat prepared for it.

Usually it's the press who light the touchpaper and then withdraw. Love the fact that in this case Phil did it for them! Haven't seen anyone actually disagree with anything Phil said, just some show faux outrage at the timing.

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Post by Shotrock Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:52 pm

Ol' FIGJAM comprehensive ... I just enjoy this read ....

http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-tours-news/2014-09/phil-issues-photos?slide=2#slide=2

I was in an outing Monday (Jay Sigel charity event) and Bob Murphy spoke at dinner and was VERY critical of Phil. Bob's "back in the day" routine does get a bit stale, but he was dismayed at Phil's timing more than anything else.

Closer event in two year's time? I wouldn't take a bet on that.

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Post by sirbenson Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:00 pm

Go on Padraig Harrington!!

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Post by sirbenson Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:00 pm

Fantastic article kwini, I think Phil is actually correct in what he says re Watson


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Post by pedro Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:04 pm

Think one of the GC reporters even received texts from Phil on Saturday during the RC backstabbing Watson.

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Post by GPB Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:08 pm

IMO: World Class Players should not be eligible for Rookie of the Year awards

The Player Vote in for the 2010 Rookie of the Year was a statement vote. 

Rory was in the top 10 at the start of the 2010, completely exempt into all the big events.  Rickie was TRUE Rookie, subject to the Q-School Reshuffle.

Although not as extreme, it would be comparable if Dustin Johnson joined the 2015 Euro Tour and he would eligible for its Rookie of the Year award. 

A couple of years ago, the PGATour amended its Rookie eligibility.  For instance, Hideki Matsuyama was not eligible for RoY this year.  Because Hideki was given Special Temp Membership in 2013.  IIRC, Rory was given STM in 2009.

Koepka, Franky, Doobie, and Donaldson would have been eligible for the 2014-15 RoY under the old rules.  They are not eligible under the new rules.

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Post by navyblueshorts Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:10 pm

Who cares whether Mickleson was 'correct' or not in what he said? There's a right way to do it, there's a wrong way and right at the bottom of the scale there's Mickleson's way of doing it.
It's not what he was saying, it's when/where he said it, to whom and in front of whom. It's done now and some long-term U.S. Ryder Cup good may actually come from it, but his whole attitude throughout the event is despicable, capped off with the wonderful press conference.
It'll be interesting, if they dare speak up that is, to hear what the other 11 players make of both the whole Captaincy issue and Mickleson's hideous handling of his feelings over it.
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Post by pedro Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:11 pm

Doobie was eligable this year?

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Post by GPB Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:15 pm

pedro wrote:Doobie was eligable this year?

Yes, I believe he was eligible.  

Hadley won a tournament, and Doobie did not.

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Post by Bob_the_Job Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:20 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:...Re. the lack of defence for Watson in the face of that gurning fool's character assassination, could it simply be that the rest of them weren't primed for what was to come?....

Complain about lack of communication and inclusion in decisions by flying solo at a press conference, and by not discussing it and agreeing an approach with the rest of the team? Now that would be moironic.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:24 pm

Shotrock,
You are of course aware that Bob Murphy (and Andy North) have been best buds with Watson for at least 35 years . . . . . . . Hardly surprising that Ol' Murph would stick up for his mate.
Don't think anyone in the history of Golf ever had more time elapse from the split second that he started taking the club back to impact than Bob Murphy, a very fine golfer beset with health issues, but probably a really good bloke.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:25 pm

All our yesterdays in Scotland:
Oliver Wilson leading, Harrington 2nd, Casey 4th (all members of Faldo's Valhalla flops) and Paul Lawrie 8th.

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Post by navyblueshorts Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:29 pm

Bob_the_Job wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:...Re. the lack of defence for Watson in the face of that gurning fool's character assassination, could it simply be that the rest of them weren't primed for what was to come?....

Complain about lack of communication and inclusion in decisions by flying solo at a press conference, and by not discussing it and agreeing an approach with the rest of the team? Now that would be moironic.
Laugh Wouldn't it though? Great point. I'm not sure Mickleson has the word 'ironic' (or derivations, thereof) in his lexicon however.
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Post by super_realist Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:34 pm

American's struggle with irony, being the irony.

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Post by McLaren Thu Oct 02, 2014 2:38 pm

Super

I see the out of shape Lowry is conquering the true test and championship course that is Carnoustie?
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