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PGA Tour: The Desert Has Turned to Sea: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 04 Feb 2015, 4:03 am

First topic message reminder :

1).Sure enough, the Tour travels 350 miles West to San Diego, leaving all that Waste Management behind and running into a bunch of Farmers.
From breathless anticipation at Tiger's latest reincarnation to mortal dread at what he'll come up with in Southern California.
The weather should be spectacular, the only slight fly in the ointment being the seemingly ever-present risk of "marine layer", known elsewhere in the world as fog.

2).These next three weeks on the California coast offer terrific "host" courses, Torrey Pines South, Pebble Beach next week and finally Riviera; pretty much as strong a three week stretch as we see all year.
This week the field will play 18 holes apiece at Torrey Pines North and South, then 36 holes at the "South" - last year scoring was about 31/2 strokes easier at the "North", so don't despair if your favourite shoots a 74 at the "South", it's about par for the course.

3).Last week saw Tiger's comeback and Thursday will see the return of Dustin Johnson. It looks like his prediction that it would take him exactly six months to sort his life out was spot on, and expect him to be competitive straightaway. His last suspicious absence, in 2012, saw him earn a Top Twenty in his first tournament back, at Memorial, and win in Memphis the following week. Don't be surprised if it's the proverbial deja vu all over again, with a return to Pebble Beach next week where he's won twice and should've won McDowell's US Open.

4).And Brooks Koepka will be playing again, from his lofty world ranking of #19 and sure to go higher very quickly. There were stumbles and bumbles from his closest competitors in Phoenix but he kept hanging about until he drained that 50-foot snake and made solid pars the rest of the way. We'll just have to wait and see whether he'll continue to play in Europe, but I'd bet he'll first target a Presidents Cup berth.

5).Snedeker had a T10 finish in Phoenix, his third of the young season after such a disappointing year in 2014. Two or three of the more bizarre injuries have hampered him including knee damage falling off a Segway, plus various apparently congenital rib ailments. And his putter cooled down. That seems to be working better now and he goes to Torrey Pines having won here three years ago and with four top tens in his seven other visits. Then it's on to Pebble where he won in 2013. Sneds is still not in The Masters and it would devastate him to miss out. Worth a small punt each way, don't you think?

6).Another player with a truly eccentric history is Lucas Glover, a wonderful "ball striker", yet arguably the worst putter on any Tour anywhere - currently 211th in putting in a stat where there are usually only about 185 players. But he also has enjoyed some success in San Diego and could make a rare appearance on the leaderboard if he can just get to the weekend.

7).What of Tiger? He had planned to attend Sunday's Super Bowl but high-tailed it back to Florida following Friday's fiasco. He was last spotted following Lindsey at Beaver Creek. No, seriously, it's a ski resort. In Colorado. You couldn't make it up. Bad place to get the yips though. He has an early Pro-Am time Wednesday so hopefully TWA gets him there on time. It's assumed he won't play Pebble or Riviera so he needs a strong effort here and/or Honda to earn a place in the Cadillac field.

8).Phil was equally disappointing last week - he's playing San Diego but taking two weeks off, then is committed for Honda. All we've seen from Phil this year is hot air and you'd think he needs a result almost as badly as Tiger.

9).The field for the "Farmers Insurance Open" is strong, but not as deep as last week. Casey, Davis, Donald, Donaldson, Knox, Laird, Poulter, Rose, plus Harrington and Lowry are all on hand. Luke Donald has done well here in the past with two runner-up finishes, but he's off to an awful start to his season. I'm most interested in Shane who's playing Pebble Beach as well.
Aussies Jason Day and Marc Leishman have runnered up here, and both are overdue a win.

10).Finally, before any knee-jerk action is taken further to the recent remarks of HSBC exec Morgan about the road forward for golf, he and we might want to cast an eye on how Tim Finchem manages his PGA Tour fiefdom before knee-jerking too many changes into the sport. His Tour is stronger than ever, sponsors are extending contracts longer than ever, and the rest of the golfing world would do well to learn some lessons from Timmy. PGA Tour "title sponsorship" is in place for most tournaments for years to come, probably over-subscribed.
On the Champions Tour, his flagship sponsor has just re-upped for TWENTY years.
That may not be HSBC's demographic, but surely it's not beyond the wit of international golf's leadership to apply some of Finchem's approach to other parts of the world.
It's a great game, don't screw it up.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 08 Feb 2015, 6:33 pm

59 watch:

Early days perhaps, but Jose Coceres is nine under par after 12 holes in the Champions Tour event.

Laird, Lowry, Owen and Poulter all T10 in San Diego, all just three shots back.

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Post by super_realist Sun 08 Feb 2015, 6:45 pm

Great to come back from holiday and see 9C get another W, a WD that is.

I reckon he's thrown this one in because he's stinking the place out and that he realises he needs many more "reps".

Has there ever been a more fantastic and rapid decline than 9C?

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Post by skiddy Sun 08 Feb 2015, 7:10 pm

How much does lowry need to earn in the states to get a card next year?

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Post by super_realist Sun 08 Feb 2015, 7:12 pm

He's more interested in urns, than earns.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 08 Feb 2015, 7:19 pm

skiddy,
I'm not sure; I think it's either the equivalent of 125th ($713K) or 150th ($455K) of the previous season to secure Special Temporary Membership, and then 125th on this season's list to be offered Membership for next year. There may also be a FedEx Point equivalent.

No-one's making a forward Farmers move just yet.


s_r,
It's not Tiger calling for more "reps" now, it's Joe LaCava . . . . .

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 08 Feb 2015, 8:10 pm

No 59 for Jose Coceres, but a fine final round of 63 should kick-start his Champions Tour career.

Anyone's tournament in San Diego with the leaders struggling. Torrey Pines, course and setting, looks superb, a real championship test.

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Post by incontinentia Sun 08 Feb 2015, 8:34 pm

C'mon Shane, finish strong Fingers Crossed
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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 08 Feb 2015, 8:44 pm

Greg Owen must get suicidal - gets himself into position for a really good finish, then four putts from 15feet. Probably about the fifth or sixth time he's done that in the past few years, quite apart from his kamikaze effort at Bay Hill. Incredible.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 08 Feb 2015, 9:21 pm

Hailing all you Englishmen:
Two gents who I know next to nothing about have earned good results in the web.com event in Columbia:
Greg Eason finished 6th.
Kelvin Day was 17th.
Both excellent efforts for "rookies".

And well done to Martin Laird and Shane Lowry, both in the house at -7; $six figures in the bank, and good owgr points for Shane. Cadillac here he comes.

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Post by John Cregan Sun 08 Feb 2015, 10:00 pm

Lowry the real deal and a nice cut for Horizon im sure!. Capable of landing a big title in 2015.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 08 Feb 2015, 10:53 pm

I think so too John, but it will be on a tough course like this, where par is a good score on most holes.

Certain of a Top Ten anyway. And I think he should do well next week too.

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Post by sirbenson Mon 09 Feb 2015, 12:27 am

Jason Day is surely going to win a major this year or next year, right?

Hopefully he will kick on with more wins, after the WGC last year it felt like it was going to be case, but it didn't happen!

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 09 Feb 2015, 3:26 am

Weather on the Monterey Peninsula can be very iffy. Whether in February or June. But, fog permitting, the week looks better than almost ever.
Not a deep field, perhaps, but dozens of Pros who have enjoyed good weeks at Pebble Beach and etc.

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Post by GPB Mon 09 Feb 2015, 5:13 am

Really not a bad field at Pebble Beach.  As of last weeks rankings, here are the players in the top 100

7 Furyk Jim
8 Day Jason
9 Spieth Jordan
15 Reed Patrick
17 Horschel Billy
21 Johnson Dustin
22 Kirk Chris
25 Mahan Hunter
26 Donaldson Jamie
27 Na Kevin
28 Palmer Ryan
33 Poulter Ian
46 Lowry Shane
49 Levy Alexander
53 Todd Brendon
60 DeLaet Graham
61 Streelman Kevin
62 Siem Marcel
64 Snedeker Brandt
67 Els Ernie
68 Blixt Jonas
71 Holmes J.B.
78 Bae Sang-Moon
81 Jones  Matt
91 Bowditch Steven
98 Noh Seung-Yul

OWGR strength 46, which is higher than it has been for this decade.

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Post by McLaren Mon 09 Feb 2015, 10:15 am

sirbenson wrote:Jason Day is surely going to win a major this year or next year, right?

Hopefully he will kick on with more wins, after the WGC last year it felt like it was going to be case, but it didn't happen!

Not sure I agree, he seems to struggle really badly when in contention at the majors.


When not in contention he shot a final round 66 to shoot up the leaderboard at the 2010 PGA.

At the 2011 masters he started on -8 with Charl and came up 2 shots short.

At the 2011 US open he was 2nd but just as irrelevant as the rest of the field and 8 shots behind Rory.

He had a lead at the half way stage at the 2013 masters and lost it, then took the lead again with 3 to play before quickly crumbling with bogies at 16 and 17.

Leading again on the back nine of a major day bogied 11, 14 and very crucially 18 to hand the win to Justin Rose.



Even tiger has managed quite a few tour wins post 2009, but stepping up to majors and handling that pressure is completely different.




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Post by raycastleunited Mon 09 Feb 2015, 10:24 am

Went to bed at the end of regulation play last last, started to get fed up with all the waiting around for the play off.

Good on Jay Day, one of my favourite golfers, like watching his ball striking. Another baffling PGA stat mentioned yesterday he has the highest ball flight on tour, 135 foot at the apex. Whatever would like to see him bring home a major, he seems to have the big game temperament

Only downside is that he named his very cute looking son Dash. Dash Day? sounds like a cartoon character, unless it was part of a campaign to reduce slow play.

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Post by McLaren Mon 09 Feb 2015, 10:27 am

Ray

Why would you say "he seems to have the big game temperament" when the only evidence we have is his failure in situations where he hasn't had a "big game temperament".
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Post by super_realist Mon 09 Feb 2015, 10:53 am

Steady Mac, Day is only 27. Not many people win majors at that age.

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Post by McLaren Mon 09 Feb 2015, 11:17 am

Super

27 is veteran status remember, he is plenty experienced enough to have pulled off a major by now. Day is comparable to Dustin Johnson and I see day having a similar major record to DJ by the time Day is in his mid 30's.
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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 09 Feb 2015, 12:10 pm

I would've thought this was a very good win for Day, beat a trio of proven winners on a very strong golf course.
The only thing lacking is the ability to take a potentially winning situation and make it an emphatic victory - but just because Rory and Phil and Tiger have made that look easy these past few years doesn't mean it is.

Don't see any reason at all why Day shouldn't now be contending at the highest level.

What sort of Major record do you expect DJ to have when he reaches his mid-30's, Mac?

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Post by super_realist Mon 09 Feb 2015, 12:40 pm

McLaren wrote:Super

27 is veteran status remember, he is plenty experienced enough to have pulled off a major by now.  Day is comparable to Dustin Johnson and I see day having a similar major record to DJ by  the time Day is in his mid 30's.  

Dustin Johnson is 30 Mac,

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Post by Shotrock Mon 09 Feb 2015, 12:54 pm

A fine win for Day, and that bomb on 16 surely made the difference. However, I wonder what JB Holmes was thinking with that layup on #18 in regulation? The pundits were suggesting a downhill lie and perhaps that was it. I'm sure Rory (or Tiger of old) would have found a way to birdie that hole ... so Mac, IMO, is right on target. Major pressure will be an entirely different level. Mr. Day certainly has the game; now he'll need the head to hoist one of the big trophies. He sure could do it.

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Post by incontinentia Mon 09 Feb 2015, 1:11 pm

How is 27 veteran status? What if you got your card at 26?!

Well done to Day. Whatever about his performances whilst in contention in Majors, at least he is getting plenty of practice and that should stand to him for future endeavours.

Great job by Lowry too, wasn't expecting a T-7 finish after his 1st round! Hope the big man can keep this going. Leprechaun

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 09 Feb 2015, 1:24 pm

So:
For major-less golfers 30 and under, who do we think will win a Major soon?
I'd definitely put DJ top of my list, followed perhaps by Koepka, Lowry, Matsuyama and Day, not necessarily in that order.

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Post by Shotrock Mon 09 Feb 2015, 1:26 pm

Good list Kwin ... and I think simply given last year's near misses, I would add Fowler to that list. He knows all about final groups on Sunday in the majors. But, can he close the deal??

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Post by incontinentia Mon 09 Feb 2015, 1:37 pm

Reed is the most likely in my opinion.

Spieth, Dubuisson and Fowler honourable mentions.
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Post by raycastleunited Mon 09 Feb 2015, 2:11 pm

McLaren wrote:Ray

Why would you say "he seems to have the big game temperament" when the only evidence we have is his failure in situations where he hasn't had a "big game temperament".

Well you can take the glass half empty view, that he has so far failed to win a major every time he's got in contention.

I prefer to take the glass half full view. In his relatively short career to date, he has played well enough to contend in majors on a number of ocasions.

He's been around at the top level for about 4 years. In 4 Masters he's got a 2nd and 3rd place. In 4 US Opens he's got 2nd, 2nd and 4th place. That's pretty good going, it's knocking on the door. I don't think he bottled the 2011 Masters - he birdied 17 and 18, but was out-birdied by Schwartzel finishing with 4 birdies in a row.

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Post by super_realist Mon 09 Feb 2015, 2:47 pm

I know I'm not a fan of Fats Lowry, but I really can't see him winning a major, firstly, he's hardly won a thing, secondly, he's never challenged in a major, thirdly he's hopeless when it's hot, which means he is out of a major before it begins if the major is in a hot place.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 09 Feb 2015, 3:17 pm

Just watched a re-run of Feherty's 2011 interview with Billy Casper.
Very enjoyable, highly recommended.
Glowing tributes from some of his fellow greats, Nicklaus especially. What a golfing CV, quite apart from everything else.

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Post by incontinentia Mon 09 Feb 2015, 3:34 pm

I agree super, a major is probably a fridge bridge too far for SL (in the short term)


Last edited by incontinentia on Mon 09 Feb 2015, 4:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 09 Feb 2015, 3:41 pm

Nah,
Lowry'll win The Open one day - and would think he might surprise at Chambers Bay and/or Whistling Straits.

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Post by super_realist Mon 09 Feb 2015, 3:44 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Nah,
Lowry'll win The Open one day - and would think he might surprise at Chambers Bay and/or Whistling Straits.

Nah, Golf isn't a fat mans game any more, at least at major level. Lowry is most certainly a fat man.

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Post by skiddy Mon 09 Feb 2015, 4:03 pm

Lowry Fleetwood knox and Sullivan are the only players from GB&I in their 20s (Obvioiusly excluding Mcilroy) as far as I can see. Not particularly impressive is it? Id say Lowry and fleetwood are the most like major winners of this list.

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Post by Bob_the_Job Mon 09 Feb 2015, 4:31 pm

Other GB&I golfers under 30:

Danny Willett (you know the guy leading the R2B so far this season)
Tyrrell Hatton
Paul Waring (just under)
Eddie Pepperell

as for saying who will a major.. well it;s much easier to say a particular player won't - the odds are in your favour then.
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Post by super_realist Mon 09 Feb 2015, 4:36 pm

Matthew Fitzpatrick is doing pretty well so far.

There's tons of players from here under 30. Most unlikely to do much, but there is certainly no shortage.

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Post by pedro Mon 09 Feb 2015, 9:57 pm

Is Rhys Davies still under 30? Run

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Post by JAS Mon 09 Feb 2015, 11:35 pm

McLaren wrote:
sirbenson wrote:Jason Day is surely going to win a major this year or next year, right?

Hopefully he will kick on with more wins, after the WGC last year it felt like it was going to be case, but it didn't happen!

Not sure I agree, he seems to struggle really badly when in contention at the majors.


When not in contention he shot a final round 66 to shoot up the leaderboard at the 2010 PGA.

At the 2011 masters he started on -8 with Charl and came up 2 shots short.

At the 2011 US open he was 2nd but just as irrelevant as the rest of the field and 8 shots behind Rory.

He had a lead at the half way stage at the 2013 masters and lost it, then took the lead again with 3 to play before quickly crumbling with bogies at 16 and 17.

Leading again on the back nine of a major day bogied 11, 14 and very crucially 18 to hand the win to Justin Rose.

Even tiger has managed quite a few tour wins post 2009, but stepping up to majors and handling that pressure is completely different.





You clearly don't play competitive golf do you Mac?

If somebody puts themself into contention regularly enough (like Day) then the odds of converting at some point are considerably shorter. No doubt you'll counter with Monty, Westwood, Garcia etc and demonstrate admirably your inability to distinguish between the phrases "considerably shorter odds" and "guaranteed"

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Post by JAS Mon 09 Feb 2015, 11:56 pm

super_realist wrote:I know I'm not a fan of Fats Lowry, but I really can't see him winning a major, firstly, he's hardly won a thing, secondly, he's never challenged in a major, thirdly he's hopeless when it's hot, which means he is out of a major before it begins if the major is in a hot place.

I wouldn't be so sure Super, I'm no fan either but didn't he come from nowhere to win the Irish Open as an Amateur? Not many amateur's win regular tour events so that was a huge step up, as would a Major be from where he is now but what I'm saying is I wouldn't be surprised if he did step up. He's got a very decent short game.
Some people build up to winning Majors by winning regular events and maybe a WGC or two, some people just take a shortcut, Cabrera won 2 Majors before he won a regular Tour event, Todd Hamilton & Ben Curtis weren't exactly prolific winners on the main tours before (or after) their Majors.
As for not winning in a hot place...the British seaside...in July...hmmm. I take it that assertion comes from the extra baggage and supposed (lack of) conditioning...Um...Calcaveccia??

Not saying he's a shoe in for a Major obviously but if the bookies think along the same lines as you then he'd be a decent outside bet on good odds at some point.


Last edited by JAS on Mon 09 Feb 2015, 11:58 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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Post by super_realist Tue 10 Feb 2015, 7:01 am

Jas, that was YEARS ago, and he's only won ONE tournament as a professional. His best major result is T9.

Calcavecchia won at a time when at least 75% of all golfers were out of condition and when he actually won it, he wasn't that fat compared to how he is now.

Golf seems to have taken a big step forward in being more professional. There hasn't really been many hefty Lowry sized major winner in the last 5-9 years. Cabrera, Clarke, Els, Mickelson, Dufner and that's about it, and out of them, only Cabrera is Lowry sized in terms of his repulsive gargantuousness,

I'd be more inclined to think that he would be a better each way bet in a Top 7 betting scenario.

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Post by incontinentia Tue 10 Feb 2015, 9:05 am

Lowry may only have won one tournament as a professional (good job adding the professional criterion so you could leave out his amateur Irish Open win clap ) but he has been trending upwards all the while. 2014 was a very good year for Shane results-wise even though he didn't win- 13 top 25s, 7 of which were top 10s. T9 in British Open, solo 2nd Wentworth, solo 5th Dubai season ending event. You would be surprised if he followed this up with a major super??!
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Post by super_realist Tue 10 Feb 2015, 10:42 am

If Lowry wins a major in 2014 I'll praise him for a week AND I'll eat as many fudge doughnuts as the number of strokes under par his winning score is in tribute to his rotundness

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 10 Feb 2015, 10:58 am

Very fair bet s_r, and clearly your banker of the day.

I'm on inco's side on this, though.
He may not have won in 2014, may not even win in 2015, but is improving all the time, is one of the better shot-makers out there and I'd bet even money that he'll win at least one Major in the next ten years.
I'd be surprised if he wasn't competitive at this year's US Open and PGA for a start, plus any Open not at St.Andrews.

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Post by super_realist Tue 10 Feb 2015, 11:00 am

Kwini, Out of interest do you think he can't be competitive at St.Andrews?
Or is it that the course is so easy that a better player will come out on top?
Can easily see a 58 or 59 there if it doesn't blow. We could see a record 4 round total. -34 wouldn't be outside the realms of possibility

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Post by Roller_Coaster Tue 10 Feb 2015, 11:14 am

He's certainly got the potential to, problem is so have so many others.

Here's hoping to a win at TOC (incidentally, why not TOC Kwi?) whilst hammering the lowest total and throwing in a 59 eh? Probably enough fudge doughnuts to tip Tesco's market share back in to positive territory year on year! cake cake cake

EDIT: Although Super I'd bet he doesn't win one in 2014 as well, you cunning devil!

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 10 Feb 2015, 11:17 am

I think Lowry does better on a course where par is a good score - especially one where one has to "work" the ball, not just bomb it and hope to hole some putts. Though if the wind blows for a few days, who knows?
Fine performance this weekend at Torrey Pines and that's the sort of course I'd fancy him to play really well. Pebble Beach too, though not sure about the other two this week.

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Post by incontinentia Tue 10 Feb 2015, 11:36 am

Hope your right about Lowry and Pebble kwini, not least as he's on my fantasy league!

Lowry's main strength is his chipping, one of the best in the game in that regard. He also has power off the tee, and he led in fairways hit at Torrey so at least for one week he had accuracy. His bottle hasn't really been tested yet though, which would be my main concern. Hopefully that too will strengthen with time.
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Post by raycastleunited Tue 10 Feb 2015, 12:54 pm

If it's windy, does Lowry's added weight give him an advantage as he is more stable in the wind? Especially putting.

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Post by McLaren Tue 10 Feb 2015, 1:28 pm

super_realist wrote:Kwini, Out of interest do you think he can't be competitive at St.Andrews?
Or is it that the course is so easy that a better player will come out on top?
Can easily see a 58 or 59 there if it doesn't blow. We could see a record 4 round total. -34 wouldn't be outside the realms of possibility

If that is a serious comment then you are a total moron. Even with TOC being "easier" than some other courses on the open rota it is ridiculous to claim that someone could win the open averaging less than 64.
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Post by super_realist Tue 10 Feb 2015, 1:37 pm

Of course they could Mac, I gave the criteria that "if the wind doesn't blow". McIlroy shot 62 with relative ease, and even guys in my club in medals have shot 64, so shooting 2x64 and 2x63 for a pro could be perfectly possible. I would love if they did because it would make the course and the R&A a laughing stock, even -30 would.


If someone is on fire with the putter, and is accurate with approaches, it's certainly possible. 64 isn't that impressive on TOC.

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Post by McLaren Tue 10 Feb 2015, 1:45 pm

Super, there are probably only a handful of occasions when a player has shot back to 64's on even the easiest of target golf PGA tour stops, never mind putting 4 rounds better than that together in a major.

As far as I can tell here are some of the best 72 hole scores in pga tour history (remember your prediction needs a 254 total)

254 - Tommy Armour III (64-62-63-65), 2003 Valero Texas Open

255 - Steve Stricker (65-67-61-62), 2009 Bob Hope Classic (First 4 rounds in 5 round event)

256 - Mark Calcavecchia (65-60-64-67), 2001 Phoenix Open; 4
Russell Henley (63-63-67-63), 2013 Sony Open;
Phil Mickelson (60-65-64-67), 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open

257 - Mike Souchak (60-68-64-65), 1955 Texas Open; Tiger Woods (64-63-64-66), 2007 Tour Championship; Jimmy Walker (66-66-62-63), 2015 Sony Open



It is clear you don't believe even half of what you post which makes me wonder why you bother to spend so much time on here?
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