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PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer Wed 11 Feb 2015, 4:43 pm

1).And not just this week. Billy Casper died last weekend. Not the Billy Casper who Barry Hines described as "a boy with nowhere to go and nothing to say". This Billy Casper may not have had too much to say (not about himself anyway), but he certainly had somewhere to go - the PGA Tour which he graced with such distinction from the mid-50's (he beat Jimmy Demaret for his first win) to the late 70's (beat a young Peter Oostherhuis for his last hurrah, in 1975).

2).Casper won 51 times on Tour, and that during the Nicklaus and Palmer era. Only Snead, Woods, Nicklaus, Hogan, Palmer and Nelson have won more PGA Tournaments.
And he still leads all American golfers in Ryder Cup points won, only Faldo and Langer have won more.
Leading money winner twice, POTY twice, Vardon Trophy (for lowest stroke average) winner five times.
Ranked 15th in Golf Digest's rating of all-time best Golfers and clearly his Major record holds him back in considering the All-Time Greats - just 2 x US Opens and the 1970 Masters. Three times runner-up at the PGA but only played five Opens, best finish was 4th in 1968.
And his Golf Course Design and Management Company owns 140 courses in 28 States.
Plenty of lovely, and loving, tributes especially from Jack Nicklaus.

3).So it's no surprise that competitors at this week's "AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am" will learn that Billy Casper won the old "Crosby" twice, just as he had won the "Hope", San Diego and LA Open, not to mention most others places they still go that were around in his playing days.

4).We should have a fabulous week of weather on the Monterey Peninsula, where the pros play a round each at Monterey Peninsula CC, Spyglass Hill and Pebble Beach, with the Final Round played at Pebble Beach for the Top 60 plus ties (the Top 70 plus ties earn prize money). Sunny skies forecast all the way (which might mean it's a bit parky for early tee-times), through Saturday at least, so we'll have plenty of repetition of Robert Louis Stevenson's assessment of the area:
"The most felicitous meeting of land and sea."
I'm a big fan of course specialists at certain courses especially Torrey Pines, Pebble Beach and Riviera, and we saw some of that last week, with Jason Day's play-off win, just a year after finishing runner-up behind Scott Stallings - oh yes, Stallings was also in the play-off.

5).Previous winners in this week's field include Dustin Johnson (twice) and the past two winners Snedeker and Jimmy Walker. No reason not to like all three to play well again, but sadly neither Mickelson or Woods will be on hand.
Jim Furyk and Ernie Els are among those making their PGA Tour season debut, and Europeans taking a busman's holiday include McGinley (if someone will lend him some clubs), Alex Levy, Lowry (what a great effort from him last week, surely a Major in his future?!), and Marcel Siem.
A couple of Europeans seem to play better here than almost anywhere else, Alex Cejka and Greg Owen, as does Bryce Molder, whilst local-ish boys Levin and Watney are worth a second look.

6).March's edition of Golf Digest includes its annual list of golf personalities who earn more than most of us.
Leading the way is Woods with on-course earnings of $611K and off-course earnings of $54.5M. That brings his estimated total moolah since "Hello World" to:
On course: $156M
Off course: $1,2216M.
(Not to mention his extraordinarily lucrative Tour pension which will keep him in ski-masks well into his twilight years.)
Top 5 with earnings in $M: Woods (55.1), Mickelson (50.7), McIlroy (49.2), Palmer (40.0), Nicklaus (22.0), Horschel (18.3).

7).Leaders in on-course earnings were Horschel ($15.5M) and McIlroy ($14.2M), followed by Bubba, Chris Kirk, Furyk, Garcia, Rose, Walker, Kuchar, Stenson.

8).Leaders on off-course swag were: Woods ($54.5M), Mickelson (48.5), Palmer (40), McIlroy (35.0), Nicklaus (22.0), Player (15.0), Norman (12.0), Rose (11.0), Els (10.0), Scott (9.5).

9).News from the web.com Tour.
If Patrick Rodgers hadn't failed to qualify for the PGA Tour he'd've been on every US Pundits lips as the next young thing, you know, along with Justin Thomas. Too early to say either of those are the next Jordan Spieth or the next Jamie Lovemark, but Rodgers won last week's event in Colombia, in a play-off from Tour veteran Steve Marino.
Two Englishmen in the Top Twenty: Greg Eason (T6) and Kelvin Day (T17). Wish I knew more than the most superficial Goggle yield about both of 'em.  

10).With the apparent decline of Mickelson and Woods, TV and print media over here are trumpeting the claims of virtually every young American Tom, Dick or Jordan who comes on Tour. Perhaps they're really just looking for an American Rory McIlroy. Thirty somethings have suddenly become the proverbial "chopped liver", despite recent wins from Bubba, Hoffman, Moore, Walker and Haas.
Rickie and Spieth, Koepka and Justin Thomas (maybe) have certainly advanced the idea that this is indeed a golden generation just blossoming but really only Patrick Reed has advanced to the category of regular winners.
Perhaps Jason Day can now break out of his top-tenitis and join Matsuyama as an International counterpoint to the Young Americans? Not to mention a certain Northern Irishman.

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Post by GPB Wed 11 Feb 2015, 5:46 pm

Good write-up as per usual.

Ernie did play the HSBC which counts as the current PGATour season.

Irish Connection kicking off the festivities at Pebble Beach tomorrow.

Lowry playing Dermot Desmond and Padraig playing with his annual partner JP McManus.

I suspect McManus pulled some strings to get Lowry a Sponsors invitation.

Marcel Siem is partnering with World Class Surfer, Kelly Slater.  Bald Guy and guy with a Hair Bun.

I am sure we will see blogs complaining about the Pro-Am, but remember, the Pro-Am is the foundation of the PGATour.  Yes, the coverage is somewhat indulgent on the celebrities on Saturday.

There is well over 100 tournaments to watch each year.  If you don't like the Pro-Am, Don't watch it!!  Everyone know what it is.

I wouldn't want to see it every week, but I can handle it once or twice per year.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 11 Feb 2015, 6:14 pm

Cheers GPB,
It'll be a bit brass monkeys on the first tee Thursday for Padraig and Shane - why would McManus have to connive an invite for Lowry?
Given the depths of the alternate list that the Tour has had to dredge I would have thought the Tour would welcome the presence of such a larger-than-life character, a Top 40 golfer to boot. Only surprised that Desmond & McManus haven't forked over a few grand for a later start time.

(Can't stand televised Pro-Ams meself, but I resisted the temptation to trot out my annual mantra: If I wanted to watch people I don't care about doing something they're no good at, I'd watch the weather forecast.)

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Post by GPB Wed 11 Feb 2015, 6:45 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Cheers GPB,
It'll be a bit brass monkeys on the first tee Thursday for Padraig and Shane - why would McManus have to connive an invite for Lowry?

Because the tournament has a limited food budget for the players?  censored

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Post by Shotrock Wed 11 Feb 2015, 8:52 pm

What? You mean there's an off switch on the TV? I thought the job was to watch no matter what and then complain incessantly about the coverage? Kind of like voluntarily banging your head against the wall so it feels good when you stop.

Great write up Kwin. Must admit, I do enjoy the annual hacker-fest on TV. (Let's not forget it happens just about every Wednesday.) Once a year is plenty for me, however.

I'm also eager to see the the non-stop shots of #18 and hopefully Sir Nick will tell us at least daily how he did this week at nearby Cypress Point (I think a tougher ticket to punch than Augusta in these United States). I further hope he goes into detail on #16.

The US, or any other media, can pretend and prop up all the aspirants they want  ... but every one is playing in Rory's sandbox now.

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Post by pedro Thu 12 Feb 2015, 8:38 am

The big news today is that "Tiger will not return until he's ready". Doh?
Did he fail a drugs test and doin' a Dustin?

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Post by George1507 Thu 12 Feb 2015, 9:37 am

This might be the beginning of the end for Tiger. He isn't right physically, his game is in pieces, he's got swing theory oozing out of his ears, and he's out of love with the game. Add in the inevitable media pressure he's under, and it might be just too much.

I wouldn't be surprised if he has another couple of come back attempts, then calls it a day.

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Post by I'm never wrong Thu 12 Feb 2015, 9:41 am

I know it's difficult for people to let go, but if he took 6 months to a year off, let his body recover and then tried again, it might work. But I agree with George - try it a couple of times after that, and if it doesn't work, call playing tournament golf a day and use his "celebrity" to do something good.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 12 Feb 2015, 10:10 am

All the chat used to be about how Tiger intimidated others.
Perhaps now he's intimidated by what he used to be. Striping it on the range apparently, but can't repeat it on the course, at least, not in competition.

Silly headlines though, he wasn't due to compete until Honda and may still compete at Honda. What's any different other than he's now owning up to the fact that fings ain't what they used to be? And the spectre that he won't qualify for Doral.

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Post by pedro Thu 12 Feb 2015, 10:23 am

Sounds like he's trying to save face or something like that. It's better to miss Doral due to injury rather than due to not being qualified, right?

But with his always limited schedule playing less that 20 tourneys a year, it sounds a bit silly to make such a statement if it doesn't mean mean he'll skip at least Honda (Honda is only a few weeks down the road anyway). He may hint at a longer break.

I definitely think he's skipping Honda and may return at Bay Hill at the earliest - and then Masters. And if not Bay Hill, I even think he'll skip the Masters as he wouldn't risk making an @rse out of himself at a comeback at the Masters.

But time will tell I guess.

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Post by Roller_Coaster Thu 12 Feb 2015, 10:49 am

kwinigolfer wrote:If I wanted to watch people I don't care about doing something they're no good at, I'd watch the weather forecast a 606 argument "develop".)

There you go Kwin. Fixed it for you.

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Post by George1507 Thu 12 Feb 2015, 10:50 am

He needs a long break to be able to clear his head of all the things that have gone wrong, and to build some desire to compete again. But on the other hand, the longer he is away, the less likely he's going to be able to hit it well and chip and scramble and hole those clutch putts. Everybody's game suffers if they aren't playing regularly, competing frequently. Tiger's spent his entire life playing golf, so I'd guess that he'd find it correspondingly harder to just pick a club up and hit it sweetly straight away.

It's a tough equation to balance. I must admit, I do feel sorry for him. I would never have imagined that the US Open win at Torrey Pines was to be his last major. Now he has a break in major wins longer than Jack Nicklaus when he won the 1986 Masters, which I recall was a huge surprise.


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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 12 Feb 2015, 12:01 pm

I see an arrest has been made in the Robert Allenby case, in Hawaii.
No confirmation of rumours that the suspect is Geoff Ogilvy.

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Post by McLaren Thu 12 Feb 2015, 12:17 pm

Are we sure it isn't Allenby himself who has been arrested. He was using hookers and fabricated a story when questioned by police?


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Post by McLaren Thu 12 Feb 2015, 12:33 pm

A few commentators have said this could be the beginning of the end for tiger woods. Is it not just the end?


The beginning of the end was getting humped by YE Yang on the back nine of a major then your whole life crumbling around you as your deceit is revealed?
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Post by incontinentia Thu 12 Feb 2015, 12:37 pm

True McLaren, it's pretty far along "the end".
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 12 Feb 2015, 12:42 pm

Mac,
We'll soon know if the culprit is really Allenby in disguise as, given his rap sheet and previous, he could get 5 to 10 years. Even Finchem would have a hard time glossing over that sort of absence.
(Though Patrick Harbison would be an unlikely pen(itentiary) name and even Allenby's closest friends wouldn't say he could pass as 32.)


Also: How come it is that all the Tiger-is-King sycophants are at the head of the emporer-has-no-clothes brigade? You don't mean to say you've taken down that poster from your bedroom ceiling??

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Post by McLaren Thu 12 Feb 2015, 12:51 pm

Kwini

I still maintain tiger is the best ever, but I have never defended his poor form over the last year. After 2013 there was hope, but the injury (or whatever is up with him) suffered last year is not likely to be overcome.
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Post by sirbenson Thu 12 Feb 2015, 1:11 pm

http://www.irishgolfdesk.com/news-files/2015/2/10/notebook-tiger-and-dj-for-rcd-alliss-for-bbc-bow-at-st-andrews

Regarding Tiger, this would be great news if it were to happen haha!

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Post by incontinentia Thu 12 Feb 2015, 1:14 pm

Here's Shane Lowry's piece in the Irish Times for those who are interested.

http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/golf/shane-lowry-collision-in-la-couldn-t-take-gloss-of-torrey-pines-away-1.2100115
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Post by super_realist Thu 12 Feb 2015, 1:19 pm

Bet he didn't need an airbag eh Inco.

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Post by incontinentia Thu 12 Feb 2015, 1:22 pm

They were hit from behind, so no.
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Post by super_realist Thu 12 Feb 2015, 1:36 pm

I've got airbags in the rear that would go off in such an event, think i've got about 8 in the car, they don't just come out in head ons.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 12 Feb 2015, 1:38 pm

Thanks for the links gents. Lowry should have felt right at home with Svoboda - one of the fatter slugs of the PGA Tour.
Wonder how he gets on with Harrington?

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Post by McLaren Thu 12 Feb 2015, 1:42 pm

It is hard to imagine how anyone could enjoy spending time with Harrington given how odd he seems to be. Has there not also been rumors that paddy isn't exactly popular within the tour members?
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Post by super_realist Thu 12 Feb 2015, 1:46 pm

Harrington seems alright, yes he's got a simpleton's accent, his eyes are too close together, he walks like a penguin with a broom handle up his arse and seems a bit of a loner, but he doesn't seem any less likeable than any other pro.

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Post by incontinentia Thu 12 Feb 2015, 1:50 pm

Super- I had no idea rear airbags existed, I'm too poor to afford the safest cars.

I'd imagine Lowry and Harrington get on well. Of course Harro peeves many with his laggard pace of play, but they both seem like genial characters.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 12 Feb 2015, 1:52 pm

Dunno about liking Harrington personally, but many Pros must hate playing with him, he often seems deliberately oblivious to his fellow competitor.
When we've seen him play over here, he's been great with the crowds. Imagine sponsors love him.

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Post by super_realist Thu 12 Feb 2015, 1:53 pm

They don't come out of the rear of the drivers seat Inco, they come out of the rear pillar above the rear passengers head. You might not even notice cars have them.

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Post by incontinentia Thu 12 Feb 2015, 2:03 pm

I liked McGinley's description when interviewed by Paul Kimmage last year...

PK: You always liked Darren?

PMcG: Yeah.

PK: Did you have the same relationship with Pádraig?

PMcG: No, probably because he was younger, and he was . . .

(He is trying to find the word)

PK: Odd?

PMcG: He had a chip on his shoulder and wasn't easy to speak to. And he was frustrating to play against. He played slowly and arsed around and was up and was down and was scratchin' and the ball would be going all over the place. But Jaysus when he got that lob wedge and the putter in his hand!
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Post by McLaren Thu 12 Feb 2015, 2:04 pm

Super, I think you meant to say,

super_realist wrote:........seems a bit of a loner, but he doesn't seem any less likeable than super_realist
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Post by super_realist Thu 12 Feb 2015, 2:06 pm

I think you'd probably find yourself less popular Mac.

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Post by Shotrock Thu 12 Feb 2015, 2:06 pm

I think she's right ...

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/12/sports/tiger-woods-needs-to-rediscover-joy-of-golf.html?ref=international&_r=0

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Post by McLaren Thu 12 Feb 2015, 2:10 pm

super_realist wrote:I think you'd probably find yourself less popular Mac.

We can take the vote again if you like?
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Post by super_realist Thu 12 Feb 2015, 2:13 pm

You've already lost once.

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Post by McLaren Thu 12 Feb 2015, 2:19 pm

Shotrock

She is right, but I fear tiger may be too stupid to see what needs to be done. He needs to reignite the passion, go back to the techniques that worked (possibly Butch) and drop whatever nonsense he has been recently fed about the short game.

The plan set out in that article would seem like a pretty good route to achieving that.
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Post by super_realist Thu 12 Feb 2015, 2:20 pm

I genuinely think I could teach 9C to chip better.

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Post by incontinentia Thu 12 Feb 2015, 2:38 pm

Mac- what good is passion if he can't swing a club? A healthy back is priority number 1 for him. He has had 18 months in which to achieve this and has failed conclusively. No back = no career, it's that simple.
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Post by Shotrock Thu 12 Feb 2015, 2:39 pm

I agree with that Mac. I don't think enjoyment of the sport is in his DNA. He's more of a "seek and destroy" kind of player. But, father time marches on and if he wants to be competitive he better do something different.

Or he can go off into the sunset and take joy in knowing it's better to be a "has been" than a "never was"!

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Post by McLaren Thu 12 Feb 2015, 2:46 pm

super_realist wrote:I genuinely think I could teach 9C to chip better.

yeh but, You genuinely think the winning score for the open could be 254.
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PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by super_realist Thu 12 Feb 2015, 3:07 pm

You didn't study English at school did you Mac?

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PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren Thu 12 Feb 2015, 3:40 pm

I did, but not very well. Whats up with my post?
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PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren Thu 12 Feb 2015, 3:41 pm

incontinentia wrote:Mac- what good is passion if he can't swing a club? A healthy back is priority number 1 for him. He has had 18 months in which to achieve this and has failed conclusively. No back = no career, it's that simple.


I agree that he cannot win again without regaining his health, but why not reignite his love for the game at the same time.
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PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer Thu 12 Feb 2015, 3:55 pm

Mac,
Surely the trouble is that he quite possibly never had any "love for the game", just an obsession for winning? Golf, pulling birds, you name it.
Perhaps he's actually putting a relationship first, never done that before and it takes time, especially in the public eye.

As I was always a "Woods" sceptic, I also see that there's a very good chance to rediscover whatever it is he's lost. Reckon he should start by making a call to Butch.

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PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro Thu 12 Feb 2015, 4:53 pm

incontinentia wrote:Here's Shane Lowry's piece in the Irish Times for those who are interested.

http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/golf/shane-lowry-collision-in-la-couldn-t-take-gloss-of-torrey-pines-away-1.2100115
What's wrong with Europeans and cars in the US?
Olesen got a whiplash, Olazabal speeding, McGinley's car broken into, and I think there were a few other incidents as well.

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PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by pedro Thu 12 Feb 2015, 5:12 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Dunno about liking Harrington personally, but many Pros must hate playing with him, he often seems deliberately oblivious to his fellow competitor.
When we've seen him play over here, he's been great with the crowds. Imagine sponsors love him.
I've heard that Harrington isn't that popular among his peers. But no doubt he's a fan and media favorite.

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PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by sirbenson Thu 12 Feb 2015, 6:41 pm

https://twitter.com/shanelowrygolf/status/390132646933962752

Lowry with a complimentary tweet about Paddy!

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 12 Feb 2015, 6:57 pm

Birdies and eagles wild on the Monterey Peninsula.
I was expecting low scores but this is almost as if a TOC Open has broken out.

Harrington going nicely so far. Played well here last year until he disintegrated.

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Post by super_realist Thu 12 Feb 2015, 7:00 pm

Laugh Superb Kwini, perhaps John Daly, a TOC winner has been reading. He's going along nicely at the moment.

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Post by sirbenson Thu 12 Feb 2015, 7:06 pm

I probably have asked this a few times but what way do the courses rank in terms of easiness?

I suppose Pebble is the easiest year in year out?

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PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: In the Footsteps of Billy Casper: Notes from the Ballwasher

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