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PGA Tour: Who'll be Leaving Las Vegas with a Win?: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 14 Oct 2014, 6:52 pm

1).Sang Moon Bae left Silverado with the win, heading what was an international leaderboard . . . . after Americans winning the first dozen or so tournaments last season.
Bae enjoyed his first Top Ten finish since his Byron Nelson win in 2013.
And he wasn't the only one with a bolt from the blue:

2).Bowditch was runner up, his first Top Ten since his April win in Texas.
And, apart from Mahan and Matsuyama, the entire Top Ten and ties earned their best finish of 2014.

3).That includes Martin Laird who tied for 3rd after leading after 36 holes. That's his best since Texas in 2013 and he'll go to Las Vegas in decent form and looking forward to an event he has won once, and lost to Byrd's hole-in-one play-off win four years ago.
The first half of Laird's year was all about his new son and he missed out on FedEx's Play-Offs. But he's on his way this season and Las Vegas's TPC Summerlin obviously suits him.

4).Westwood finished 12th and then announced his caddie had spotted an alignment problem after a disappointing Round 1. Now he's straightened out he can go to Malaysia and Shanghai in good nick with high hopes of kicking 2015 off with a bag-full of money and FedEx points already in his grasp.

5).This is the final week to qualify for China's WGC HSBC Champions event via the owgr Top 50 . . . . and the R2D Top 15.
The next Major milestone will be Dec 31st when the owgr Top 50 will qualify to join Sang Moon at The Masters. So, lots to play for as the European Tour reaches its season's climax and there are still half a dozen events on the PGA Tour, not to mention rewarding tournaments elsewhere. The PGA Tour player who opts to take a breather during this time could well find himself slipping behind, both in rankings and FedEx points.

6).Billy Horschel is back in action this week, technically defending his FedEx title, and is joined by defending Las Vegas champ, and habitual texter, Webb Simpson. Jimmy Walker's playing too, but not sure why. He played last weekend as if he was suffering a Gleneagles hangover.

7).Jarrod Lyle is in the Las Vegas field after completing a wonderful week at the Frys. Not just Monday qualifying, not just winning $33K, but he now has just $250K to earn from 19 tournaments to fulfil the requirements of his Medical Extension. Hopefully he'll win plenty more than that, and the big prize is finishing the season in the Top 125. His schedule takes a detour after this week as he's off back to Australia for a few tournaments and medical check ups, after which one assumes with fingers crossed that we'll see him next in Hawaii.

8).There are the usual European suspects playing this week, including Laird, Harrington and Gonzo. And Russell Knox who showed plenty of rust at Silverado but has played well in his Las Vegas past; in the top ten after 54 holes last year before fading.
Local lads with good records here and well worth looking out for include Ryan Moore and Charlie Hoffman, while I'd be happy to see Nick Watney resume his good form of late summer.

9).Not so many Tour trips to the desert this year, just Las Vegas, the Humana (the old Bob Hope) in the California desert, and Phoenix. No Tucson event and Humana is not renewing its contract.
But Silverado looked a great addition to the Tour, thought the course looked a really interesting challenge with a fun ending - Par-5 16th, shortish Par-4 17th and another Par-5 to close.

10).Can't finish without a Ryder Cup funny.
There was a great picture of a Newcastle fan's banner at Swansea a week or so ago lamenting their recent record under Pardew.
To paraphrase their W's, D's and mostly L's:
L L W L L L W L L L  . . . . . is not a town in Wales!

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Tue 14 Oct 2014, 8:07 pm

Post that last point on Golf Channel's article about some of the European team mocking the task force and you'll be called all sorts of names Kwini. Some guy on there looked like he was talking to himself!

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 14 Oct 2014, 8:18 pm

!!!
Lots of apples and oranges going on over there, Grumps!

Very funny by the Geordies though in the original, slagging off Pardew!!

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 14 Oct 2014, 9:30 pm

There's an appreciative (thru Patrick Reed's eyes) piece on the ET website of him looking forward to enjoying London and the MatchPlay.
He'll only be disappointed because he talks about relishing the challenges of American stereotypes of London weather, wind, fog, rain, you name it.
Don't think it's quite going to be like that though.

Looking forward to watching the MatchPlay.
Anxious to see exactly what Volvo does with its sponsorship money - they'd be a big loss but can't believe they're going to completely abandon the market.

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Post by GPB Tue 14 Oct 2014, 10:13 pm

What are the chances that the Consolation Match (at 12:15) and Championship match (@12:30) get started on time.

Considering the semi tee times are at 8:05 and 08:20?

Highly improbably IMO.

Edit:

http://www.europeantour.com/mm/document/tournament/tournaments/23/87/79/vwmp2014draw-amended(2)_english.pdf

Who are Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larson?  Some of the wheels Cool at Volvo?

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Post by pedro Tue 14 Oct 2014, 10:19 pm

Volvo has extended its sponsorship of the China Open until 2019 but will otherwise concentrate on amateur golf...

10,000 tickets already sold for next years Made in Denmark...

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 14 Oct 2014, 10:55 pm

China????????????
Just the support we need from a premier European multinational.

Loved the Made in Denmark event this year, Great support.

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Post by pedro Tue 14 Oct 2014, 11:10 pm

Isn't Volvo owned by the Chinese these days?

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 15 Oct 2014, 12:53 am

Oh, Bloody Hell, is it?

Next thing you know Indians will be owning Jaguar.

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Post by Roller_Coaster Wed 15 Oct 2014, 8:48 am

Oh no. We don't have to say Tata to another luxury car maker do we?

drumroll

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Post by super_realist Wed 15 Oct 2014, 9:10 am

Tata are doing a great job with JLR, much better than Ford did.


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Post by navyblueshorts Wed 15 Oct 2014, 9:33 am

Roller_Coaster wrote:Oh no. We don't have to say Tata to another luxury car maker do we?

drumroll
Oh. Very good clap.
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Post by McLaren Wed 15 Oct 2014, 9:47 am

Maybe Top 5 has more of a sense of humor than we thought;

Euro's mocking Top 5:
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 15 Oct 2014, 12:11 pm

Some sort of World Golf Hall Of Fame announcement coming up in an hour or two.
Not sure whether this is to publish those on the "ballot" or to announce who's going to be inducted in 2015.
They cancelled the 2014 "class" either because there weren't any good candidates or because there was so much hoo hah about the 2013 edition and guys like Couples and Montgomerie getting in.
This is falling, or has fallen, to the "Who cares?" level.

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Post by McLaren Wed 15 Oct 2014, 12:13 pm

Kwini

It was already there for me.
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 15 Oct 2014, 1:10 pm

Mac,
You'll be pleased with 25% of the "Class of 2015" anyway; I'm happy with 50%!
AW Tillinghast
O'BloodyMeara
Dame Laura
David Graham

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Post by incontinentia Wed 15 Oct 2014, 1:41 pm

Don't know if this has been mentioned but it seems Dubai and Abu Dhabi are no longer willing to pay Tiger Woods' appearance fee.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/golf/11162147/End-of-an-era-as-Middle-East-falls-out-of-love-with-Tiger-Woods.html
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Post by navyblueshorts Wed 15 Oct 2014, 1:56 pm

McLaren wrote:Maybe Top 5 has more of a sense of humor than we thought;

Euro's mocking Top 5:
Almost certainly. That 'top 5' remark was obviously a bit ill-thought out at the time but I quite liked him during the Ryder Cup.
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Post by navyblueshorts Wed 15 Oct 2014, 1:59 pm

incontinentia wrote:Don't know if this has been mentioned but it seems Dubai and Abu Dhabi are no longer willing to pay Tiger Woods' appearance fee.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/golf/11162147/End-of-an-era-as-Middle-East-falls-out-of-love-with-Tiger-Woods.html
Hardly a surprise really. At least they seem to have seen that the emperor doesn't really have his clothes on any more. Unlike many others. It's a disgrace in any case that someone has to stump up millions, in advance, simply for a golfer like him to turn up. The appearance fee scam should have been stamped on a long, long time ago.
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 15 Oct 2014, 2:04 pm

Good article inco, Thanks.


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Post by McLaren Wed 15 Oct 2014, 2:41 pm

It seems odd, but the European tour season has yet to reach its climax. It seems current scheduling has reduced it to an irrelevance, especially in a ryder cup year.
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 15 Oct 2014, 2:50 pm

It's the O'Grady Plan.
Climax to the European Tour anywhere but in Europe.

Time for a European Tour, methinks.

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Post by McLaren Wed 15 Oct 2014, 2:55 pm

It has nothing to do with what country it is based in. But the fact the golf press is full of other stories, such as; fedexcup, tiger, rory, ryder cup, start of pga tour 2015 season etc. Not many people will be aware - or will not be thinking about - of the fact ha the current European tour season is still in progress.
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 15 Oct 2014, 2:59 pm

Bloke called Martin Slumbers succeeding Dawson at the R&A. Couldn't make it up could you?

Thought Slumbers was running the European Tour?


Mac,
That's a load of cobblers. Not surprising the Media won't cover events held while Europe sleeps. Where's the market for that?

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Post by McLaren Wed 15 Oct 2014, 3:16 pm

Kwini

So you think the sporting and golf press would be full of Race to Dubai coverage if the final was held in Europe?
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 15 Oct 2014, 3:35 pm

Not just the Final, but all the foreplay tournaments as well - at least in a European time-zone.

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Post by raycastleunited Wed 15 Oct 2014, 4:19 pm

super_realist wrote:Tata are doing a great job with JLR, much better than Ford did.


Yes absolutely. Volvo cars also look better since they left the Ford stable

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Post by super_realist Wed 15 Oct 2014, 4:22 pm

Maybe Mac can attest to Volvo buses and whether they've improved.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 15 Oct 2014, 6:29 pm

Play-Off in Bermuda between Kaymer and Watson.
Funny, Haven't they met somewhere before?

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Post by GPB Wed 15 Oct 2014, 7:49 pm

I just figured out the new PGATour Strokes Gain Total and Strokes Gained Tee to Green stats and I am really disappointed.

The Strokes Gain Total stat is just the differential between a players score and the stroke average of the field for that day.  

If Rory shoots 70 and the field average is 71.5, the Strokes Gain Total for Rory that is 1.5.

And the Strokes Gained Tee to Green is just the differential between Strokes Gain Total and the Strokes Gain Putting.


So if Rory's Strokes Gain Putting is -0.8 for the day, Rory's Strokes Gained Tee to Green is 2.3.


With the special release of the Strokes Gained Total and Tee to Green this summer, I thought it was some high level stat that factors in Driving accuracy, Driving Distance, proximity.

Turns out it is just a pencil whipped stat that anyone with a fundamental knowledge of 8th grade math can understand.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 15 Oct 2014, 7:50 pm

Agreed GPB.

DeLaet a no-show this week.

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Post by GPB Wed 15 Oct 2014, 10:35 pm

More troubles in Brazil with the Olympic Course

http://www.kansascity.com/sports/article2820240.html

The decision to put down grass on the contested 2016 Olympic golf course amid continued legal wrangling could prove to be a costly mistake, a Rio de Janeiro public prosecutor warned on Wednesday.

The public prosecutor's office is taking on the city government and the golf course developer in a lawsuit that contends environmental rules were breached in building the course, which had been billed as one of the highlights of the Rio Games.

Marcus Leal told The Associated Press that the two sides are in a 30-day negotiation period aimed at resolving their differences. But if they fail to reach an agreement, a judge would then rule on the matter. Should the judge end up siding with the public prosecutor's office, it could mean that the grass that's currently being laid might have to be ripped out, Leal said.

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Post by robopz Thu 16 Oct 2014, 12:51 am

GPB wrote:I just figured out the new PGATour Strokes Gain Total and Strokes Gained Tee to Green stats and I am really disappointed.

The Strokes Gain Total stat is just the differential between a players score and the stroke average of the field for that day.  

Turns out it is just a pencil whipped stat that anyone with a fundamental knowledge of 8th grade math can understand.
It might be a simple stat... but Brody makes the case it's more important than strokes gained putting. I wouldn't know how to prove that... but just looking at one week (way too small a data sample I know) it does seem that the SG Tee to Green may be a bit more of a predictor of quality of result than SG Putting... Here's the 11 players that had top-10's in the Fry's with their Strokes Gained PUTTING ranking for the week first.. and SG TEE to GREEN ranking 2nd...

SGP - SGTtG
60 - 1 - Sang-Moon Bae
10 - 18 - Steven Bowdtich
14 - 22 - Bryce Molder
61 - 3 - Hideki Matsuyama
1 - 59 - Retief Goosen
19 - 13 - Hunter Mahan
9 - 30 - Martin Laird
5 - 46 - Hudson Swafford
50 - 8 - Robert Allenby
64 - 5 - Jon Curran
47 - 9 - Brooks Koepka

Thats approx a 31 ranking for the SG Putting... and 19 for SG Tee to Green. Again... just one week and 11 players.. hard to tell anything yet, but maybe worth watching. Also note... the above is FULL FIELD rankings for both SG stats... most the time "leader stats" we get on Monday's are ranked only by those making the cut.

But if anything the above reminds me... there's more than one way to skin a cat. Bae was down the list in putting (60) but led the Tee to Green (1) and won. Meanwhile Goosen was T3... with almost the inverse stats.. Putting (1), and Tee to green (59)

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Post by GPB Thu 16 Oct 2014, 2:33 am

Robo:

I have done a correlation between (adjusted) scoring average and SGP and (adjusted) Scoring Avg to SGTtG.

R-Squared

0.78 between Scoring Avg and SGTtG
0.43 between Scoring Avg and SGP

For some perspective,

a 1.00 R-square is a perfect postive correlation
a 0.00 R-square is absolutely no correlation
a -1.00 R-Square is a perfect negative correlation.

I have done correlations with many of the PGATour stats. The highest correlation to Scoring average is All-Around (as you would expect) 0.88

An example of a negative correlation would be Driving distance and driving distance. There is a -0.51 correlation.

But of course there is a high correlation between SGTtG since the SGTtG is calculated based on Stroke Differential Field Average stat.

Strokes Gained Total and Stroke Differential Average Mirror exactly after the Frys. The 2013-14 do not mirror exactly because (I think) they only do it for Shotlink tournaments.




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Post by incontinentia Thu 16 Oct 2014, 8:41 am

Was anyone watching the Volvo matchplay?

Hate to bang on about Lowry but his game seems to be in fantastic shape (cue obligatory fat joke)- 7 under for 16 holes to defeat Gallacher 3&2. One wonders how the Irishman would have done at the Ryder cup. Dubuisson today will be a much sterner test.

McDowell had a similar victory over Levy and will face Luiten today as he continues defence of his title.

Top 5 gets an early bath thanks to Jonas Blixt.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 16 Oct 2014, 1:04 pm

Lowry vs Tricky Vicky today - it looks as if just about everyone who lost Wednesday is winning Thursday, during the first few holes at any rate.
Should be a good match between Casey & Reed.

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Post by raycastleunited Thu 16 Oct 2014, 1:12 pm

Thanks incontinentia, surprised how under the radar the matchplay seems to be. It used to be one of the highlights of the autumn for me, maybe because it was on BBC and Wentworth was a great setting.

Feels like they have devalued the tournament in recent years by messing with the scheduling and taking it to unknown markets. No prestige playing in Bulgaria with a couple of goats watching you.

I missed it on tv last night (busy watching the new dumbed down Apprentice) - what did the course look like and were there decent crowds?

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Post by robopz Thu 16 Oct 2014, 1:15 pm

GPB wrote:Robo: I have done a correlation between (adjusted) scoring average and SGP and (adjusted) Scoring Avg to SGTtG.

R-Squared

0.78 between Scoring Avg and SGTtG
0.43 between Scoring Avg and SGP

Nice work, and I think it illustrates the point. I think many of us (at least me) have been under the impression that winning on tour is all about having that hot putting week. Well OK... maybe not all about, but perhaps that hot putting week was the most frequent reason for a players success in a given week. What the SGTtG is showing us that while it's true that mega hot putting weeks can lead to great successes on tour, it's actually the guys who up their game tee to green significantly in a given week over the guys who just get hot with the putter that's more likely to have success.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 16 Oct 2014, 1:21 pm

ray,
Course looked good from 3,000 miles away but crowds about what you'd expect for a 606v2 outing. Three Par-3's, Three Par-4's and Three Par-5's on the back nine are great for MatchPlay.
Hopefully they'll turn out in their tens of thousands for the final four days.

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Post by GPB Thu 16 Oct 2014, 2:25 pm

Nice of the European Tour to give (official?) wins to Rory, Stenson and Kaymer for the Ryder Cup.

But Sergio, Doobie and Gallacher don't get a win.

(Haven't checked the rest of the players)

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Post by robopz Thu 16 Oct 2014, 2:39 pm

GPB wrote:Nice of the European Tour to give (official?) wins to Rory, Stenson and Kaymer for the Ryder Cup.

But Sergio, Doobie and Gallacher don't get a win.

(Haven't checked the rest of the players)
Huh? What are you talking about ?

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Post by GPB Thu 16 Oct 2014, 2:43 pm

robopz wrote:
GPB wrote:Robo: I have done a correlation between (adjusted) scoring average and SGP and (adjusted) Scoring Avg to SGTtG.

R-Squared

0.78 between Scoring Avg and SGTtG
0.43 between Scoring Avg and SGP

Nice work, and I think it illustrates the point.  I think many of us (at least me) have been under the impression that winning on tour is all about having that hot putting week.  Well OK... maybe not all about, but perhaps that hot putting week was the most frequent reason for a players success in a given week.   What the SGTtG is showing us that while it's true that mega hot putting weeks can lead to great successes on tour,  it's actually the guys who up their game tee to green significantly in a given week over the guys who just get hot with the putter that's more likely to have success.

You are looking at a too simplistic view of this stat. There is a correlation between SG:TtG and scoring average because the stat is designed to be a correlation.

SG:TtG should be calculated based on Driving distance, driving accuracy, approach proximity, scrambling etc. And SG:Total should be SG:TtG + SG:Putting

Its not. On the PGATour website:

Strokes Gained Total is exactly Score Differential Field Average

and SG:TtG is based on the Score Differential and Strokes Gain Putting.

Yes, I have not read Brodie's book (yet), and I suspect that this is not what a renown statistician has designed, but the fact is the PGATour is publishing SG:TtG and SG:Total based on score differential and SG:Putting.

I know there Broadie has talked about SG:Driving and SG:Approach and SG:Short Game but those numbers are not published at PGATour (at least not that I can find)

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Post by Roller_Coaster Thu 16 Oct 2014, 2:55 pm

Afraid the only "stat" I really pay attention to in the pro ranks are the WHITFT at each of the 4 majors. This tends to give me a clear indicator of success/fail ratios. Fortunately, the mass media does provide this adequately (including the BBC) and even extends to the lesser tournaments sometimes (but I don't really focus on those much).

And what is WHITFT?

Who
Hit
It
The
Fewest
Times

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Post by super_realist Thu 16 Oct 2014, 2:58 pm

I think the problem with the stats, is not the information itself or the validity of the stats but the way in which they are presented. Lists tell you very little in a cognitive sense, if you really want them to make an impact with them and actually have them show something then you need a graph/chart or something.

They should have Dave Gorman as head of Stats for the PGA.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 16 Oct 2014, 3:11 pm

Stats?
Just a piece of the jigsaw.

Loving the MatchPlay, where WHITFT is the only stat that matters.

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Post by robopz Thu 16 Oct 2014, 3:25 pm

raycastleunited wrote:Thanks incontinentia, surprised how under the radar the matchplay seems to be. It used to be one of the highlights of the autumn for me, maybe because it was on BBC and Wentworth was a great setting.

Feels like they have devalued the tournament in recent years by messing with the scheduling and taking it to unknown markets. No prestige playing in Bulgaria with a couple of goats watching you.

I missed it on tv last night (busy watching the new dumbed down Apprentice) - what did the course look like and were there decent crowds?
For ever action there's an equal and opposite reaction...

I'd agree this event is under the radar, and have to admit if I weren't such a match play fan, I doubt I'd be watching. I'd agree this seemed a lot more fun at Wentworth, especially when they were drawing better fields. I don't know why they left Wentworth (maybe somebody here can give us the 411 on that), but I thought Finca Cortisan was still a decent substitute... and I thought they were really onto something expanding the field to 24, but now they've gone down to 16.

And with the advent of the new Race to Dubai 4 finale events (or whatever they're called)... the Euro Tour has probably effectively driven a stake through the heart of this one. This year the 6th criteria was the top-3 available from the OWGR (as of the end of the OPEN)... but if I have it right, they had to go all the way down to 21, 31 & 32 to get those players.

I can understand a lot of the American's not wanting to play... but ranked players who COULD have participated like Rory, Rose & Sergio skipping this is a problem. But who can blame them really. After a tough schedule from the Open through the RC... I can understand them taking some time off before gearing back up for the R2D finish...

And then there's the issue of Taxation... and sadly, IMO moving it back to England hurts more than it helps. The onerous UK "athletes tax" on endorsement income doesn't affect the UK based guys, but it sure does affect those living outside the UK... I KNOW there are players who avoid playing in the UK any more than they feel thy have to for just that reason... including some of the big name Euro stars (Sergio has talked about it directly and Rory has "alluded" to it in comments as well). And even take a guy like Spieth who might be a draw to American TV viewers and might want to go over to play... He's reportedly in the $8-10 mil endorsement range now.. so with the UK tax situation.. he in effect has to write a tax check for $50-60k when he shows up... and while on THIS side of the pond, that's deductible as an expense, its not a tax credit, so net/net it costs him about $30-40K for the privilege of showing up... and thats before expenses, or the taxation on any earnings he might have. For a guy like Rory... triple or quadruple that.

Now don't get the feeling I'm crying for some poor rich athletes... I'm NOT. But that doesn't change the reality that when given the choice of playing some place where they can keep more of their money vs a place where they have to PAY just to participate... what are they gonna choose?

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Post by GPB Thu 16 Oct 2014, 3:30 pm

Going under the radar this week is the Flagship tournament of Japanese Tour, The Japan Open. Ryo Ishikawa and Hideki Matsuyama have decided to play Vegas rather than their homelands National Open. (a mistake IMO).

Most of the players in the Japan Open are either Japanese or Korean and regulars on the Japan Tour. Noteworthy exception is Adam Scott who is probably getting a handsome appearance fee.

Another notable exception is Thailand's Prayad Marksaeng, who is leading round 1 with a 63 over Japan's Yuta Ikeda who shot 64. Adam Scott is one of 17 players at T9 with a 68.

BTW, since the Japan Open is the Flagship event of the Japan tour it is worth 32 OWGR points to the winner.

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Post by robopz Thu 16 Oct 2014, 3:31 pm

GPB wrote:Yes, I have not read Brodie's book (yet), and I suspect that this is not what a renown statistician has designed, but the fact is the PGATour is publishing SG:TtG and SG:Total based on score differential and SG:Putting.

I know there Broadie has talked about SG:Driving and SG:Approach and SG:Short Game but those numbers are not published at PGATour (at least not that I can find)
Yes I look at it in a simplistic way... because the stat IS simplistic... but IMO revealing never the less.

And on Brodie... IMO you're one of the FEW around here that could read Brodie's book and decipher it for the benefit of the the rest of us in a meaningful way. i wish you would, so a least you'd have that background before you just summarily dismiss this statistic.

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Post by robopz Thu 16 Oct 2014, 3:34 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Stats?
Just a piece of the jigsaw.

Loving the MatchPlay, where WHITFT is the only stat that matters.
Yeah... while I'm somewhat of a stat wonk... I stick with my basic premise that the only stat that really matters is "my score compared to the other guys". Doesn't matter HOW you get the ball into the hole (which all those other stats measure).. just if you hole-out quickly enough.... :-)

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 16 Oct 2014, 3:39 pm

Going back to the MatchPlay:
I'm enjoying the guys who are playing, screw the ones who aren't - they can gear themselves up for the Woods Invitational, where they can reflect what Floridians get for their taxes as opposed to Londoners.
F'em all.

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