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

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:43 am

First topic message reminder :

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 kwinigolfer Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:12 am

What the hell did Harrington do??
So bl00dy typical.

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Post by sirbenson Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:13 am

Triple bogey from Harrington on the last....Sad.

Missing the cut in style!

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Post by John Cregan Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:17 am

He's lost his bottle big time.......sad to see.

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Post by sirbenson Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:29 am

Where on earth does he go from here? European Tour fully?

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Post by McLaren Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:34 am

Monty, the golfer and not penguin, leading the champions tour event. Maybe paddy needs to wait for his senior career?
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Post by sirbenson Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:37 am

McLaren wrote:Monty, the golfer and not penguin,  leading the champions tour event. Maybe paddy needs to wait for his senior career?

It's frustrating as a Harrington fan when I see players like MAJ, Jaidee, Mickelson, Furyk, Cabrera to name a few still competing at a high level still....Stricker, Perry and Singh over the years too.

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Post by skiddy Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:43 am

Why is mcdowell not playing??? Hes won on pebble beach and this is one of the only comps of the year where hitting the 350 isnt much of an advantage.

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Post by kouchi Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:08 am

sirbenson wrote:
McLaren wrote:Monty, the golfer and not penguin,  leading the champions tour event. Maybe paddy needs to wait for his senior career?

It's frustrating as a Harrington fan when I see players like MAJ, Jaidee, Mickelson, Furyk, Cabrera to name a few still competing at a high level still....Stricker, Perry and Singh over the years too.
Others do fade more early: Ballesteros, Lyle, Duval, Daly, Woods(?)

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:09 am

McDool and Rory are trying to figure out how to get out of their tax pickle. Might take a while.

Very impressive for Furyk - not sure that he's played since the Ryder Cup . . . . and now we'll see all the stats trotted out to show his 54-hole leads since his last win.

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Post by GPB Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:50 am

kouchi wrote:

Wow, some 23 Uropee'ans on that official Honda Classic list. Must be a record for any PGA tournament outside of WGC's or the Open?

I am counting 24 Euros

Thomas Bjorn
Jonas Blixt
Paul Casey
Alex Cejka
Brian Davis
Luke Donald
Jamie Donaldson
Victor Dubuisson
Gonzalo Fdez-Castano
Stephen Gallacher
Sergio Garcia
Padraig Harrington
Freddie Jacobson
Martin Kaymer
Russell Knox
David Lingmerth
Joost Luiten
Graeme McDowell
Rory McIlroy
Francesco Molinari
Carl Pettersson
Ian Poulter
Justin Rose
Lee Westwood

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Post by pedro Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:59 am

Maybe Tiger is supporting the ET and his new sponsor by playing the Hero Indian Open then?

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:07 am

What do we think Kwini, -6's are MDFs?

EDIT: PGATour.com showing that the -6's made the cut but are MDFs.

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Post by McLaren Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:54 pm

Kwini

What are Rory and G-macs tax troubles?
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Post by kwinigolfer Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:11 pm

Mac,
Details herewith, somewhat sketchily explained:

http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golf-central-blog/mcilroy-mcdowell-cited-uk-tax-probe/

Luke Donald has been overtaken in the R2D Top Ten rankings and has now left the driver's seat for the Cadillac qualification.
Top Ten now are:
Willett, Fish, Grace, McIlroy, Wiesberger, Stal, Lahiri, Warren, Jaidee, Noren.

Pebble Beach action underway at 8.15 a.m. local.


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Post by kouchi Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:55 pm

GPB wrote:
kouchi wrote:
Wow, some 23 Uropee'ans on that official Honda Classic list. Must be a record for any PGA tournament outside of WGC's or the Open?
I am counting 24 Euros...
Quite right. Thx for correcting. Missed good old Brian Davis.
Nonetheless some sort of European colonization over there in Florida.

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Post by kouchi Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:06 am

...attributing a lot of OWGR Even Rating Value to the PGA Tour.

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Post by GPB Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:57 am

only three of those Euros are members of the Eurotour and not members of the PGATour.

Bjorn, Gallacher, and Luiten.  

And Gallacher and Luiten probably will be in the next couple of year.  (when they get STM)

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Post by kouchi Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:15 am

Yeah, they keep coming, trying ... and leaving. Just like a revolving door. Arriving on a OWGR high, slipping down the list in a hurry and consequently returning home to get their playing stats back on track.

Remember Jean van de Velde, MA Jimenez, Emanuele Canonica (remember him?), PU Johansson, Niclas Fasth, Philip Price, A.Hansen, Kenneth Ferrie, Robert Karlsson, David Lynn, Peter Hanson, Ross Fisher, Nicolas Colsaerts, Torbjorn Olesen, Gonzo, ....

The young startup's being Donaldson, Lowry (could he?) and Molinari (could he?). Good luck to Gallacher and Luiten (and Wiesberger, and Levy, and ....)

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Post by GPB Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:29 am

FWIW, Lowry is not (has not been) a member of the PGATour.  But definitely wants to be.

Yep, I remember the Italian Cannon!

A lot of 2nd tier Euro players have a caught a sweet spot in their career and tried to parlay it to success on the PGATour and have gone home with their tails between their legs.

A lot of 2nd and 3rd tier American players too!!

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:44 am

To be fair, some of the Europeans (Thomas Levet had a go too!) kouchi references went home because they didn't fancy the lifestyle, while others were marginalised by injury.

Speaking of which: Anyone know why Langer has withdrawn from the Champions Tour event?

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Post by Shotrock Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:58 am

My guess is that virtually all who tried to make it on the PGATour would have stuck around if they achieved anywhere near the success they aspired to.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:39 am

Quite so, Sr, but there have certainly been exceptions, DC & M-A J for two, while the problem of dealing with injuries is also underrated, Hansen, Karlsson and Casey falling foul there.
Most of kouchi's list haven't exactly shone since returning to Europe, Casey and Olesen being exceptions.

No-one said it was easy!

Still don't know about Langer . . . . .

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:16 am

Pars will get you passed in a hurry at Pebble Beach.
Strong leaderboard and not sure Shane Lowry can keep up.

Interesting Golf Channel stat that, in his final rounds following his 8 x 54-hole leads that weren't converted into wins, Furyk shot 70.25. Would say he must have been a bit unlucky then, run into some hot golfers (although some of those were in Par-71's).

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Post by incontinentia Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:19 am

Holy Nick Watney! What a start for that man!

edit: not just him, several players killin' it on the front 9!

edit edit: don't worry about Lowry kwini, this kid's got the chops. And I'm not talking about his jowls!!
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Post by kwinigolfer Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:50 am

Hiccup for Watney, Jason Day and Perez on fire.

Not worried abouty Lowry, inco, but it would be nice for him to have the option of a start next week.

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Post by GPB Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:59 am

kwinigolfer wrote:

Still don't know about Langer . . . . .  


Daughter had back surgery recently.  Apparently had a set back yesterday.  Hope she will be OK.

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Post by Shotrock Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:11 am

Pat Perez might not win this tournament, but he gets my vote for the goofiest look. And that's saying something!

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Post by incontinentia Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:32 am

His mullet is remarkable!
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Post by kwinigolfer Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:34 am

Thanks GPB,
She's a good player, hope all is well there.

Bogey for Pat Perez. Hope that doesn't derail him. But, if it does, we should be in for a show! No-one tomahawks a club quite like Perez!!

Lowry could use some birds.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon Feb 16, 2015 7:52 am

Despite his eccentricities, many pundits reckon Perez is the best "ball striker" on Tour. Incredible he scarcely ever wins, or even contends.

Snedeker looking like this week's winner? Back to Augusta??

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Post by Shotrock Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:16 am

Perez has a wicked temper Kwin. That's a major weakness.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:47 am

I think that's what I've been alluding to!
How come you don't fork out $100K and play this with SO'H?

Fingers Crossed for a birdie, birdie finish for what I want is Watney Ale

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Post by McLaren Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:48 am

Any of you Americans who are a little more connected with the PGA tour know the inside track on the harassment Stephanie Wei has been getting?
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Post by kwinigolfer Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:06 am

Mac,
Don't know much about Stephanie Wie; haven't heard much about her since the Elkington nonsense a year or so ago.

Who's harrassing her.

Come on Nick!

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Post by McLaren Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:15 am

She has opened up about sexist and racial abuse towards her from some in the golf media. Seems to be linked to a spoof twitter account. A real she as she is one of the informative golf bloggers.
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Post by GPB Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:38 am

Great win for Sneds, should move to #31 in the rankings.  A invite to Doral and the Masters.  First player to officially clinch a Masters invite since the beginning of the year (all other PGAT winners already had an invite).  

Weisberger and Lahiri are close to clinching an invite.

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Post by Shotrock Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:49 am

Kwin - I don't have the makeup for any Pro-Am. I could only imagine skulling a wedge into the crowd, with my luck hitting a child. I'll stay clear!

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Post by McLaren Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:46 am

Kwini

Is DL3 the next ryder cup captian?
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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:06 am

He's a former captain Mac, he did the job at Medinah.

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Post by GPB Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:23 am

And DLIII is reportedly the 2016 Captain at Hazeltine.

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:50 am

Wow! WOW!!!
Hadn't seen that. Good lord (sorry super_). Not sure that I can quite believe that.

And, however much he screwed up the singles line-up at Medinah, I don't think it's that good for Europe - he and DC are pretty close friends. Can DC be the Captain we need him to be against a good mate?

Wouldn't have guessed this turn of events in a month of Sundays - there's bound to be an end to speculation this week with DL3's last-minute entry into the Riviera field. Can't imagine the press will ask him questions about anything else.

If it's true, I'm absolutely stunned!

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Post by GPB Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:06 pm

IMO, Davis Love did not screw the lineup on Sunday. (its a crapshoot) The perfect storm happened for the Euros.   They won most of their matches on the 17th and 18th holes.  And they made a bunch of long putts.

When the US team won at Brookline....US won many of the matches early. on the 13th, 14th and 15th hole.

Mark James was criticized for not putting in his A-Team when he was leading.  and it let the US Team gain momemtum.

DL III put in his A-team.  He started Bubba, Webb, (both won 2 matches lost 1) and then Keegan and PMick (both undefeated).

If Mark James screwed up his lineup, by sending Jarmo, Jean VdV and Coltart early then DLIII was brilliant.

IMO, too much is made of the lineups, way too much.  You ask a player where he feels comfortable and you work around that. A point is a point is a point.  Does not matter if you got out 2nd, 7th, or 11th, a point counts the same.

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:48 pm

GPB,
Just been back over some of the Ryder Cup thread from 2 1/2 years ago.

So not saying anything now I didn't say before Sunday's play started.
Will always feel Bubba, Webb, Bradley and Sneds are not exactly filled with fortitude in such a cauldron, and so it proved.
Edit: I did coin the Miracle at Medinah phrase on the Saturday night, just can't find it now!


Enjoy these two quotes from a friend of ours:

1)."Look for TEAM USA to finish off what they started on Friday. Crowds and home field should be all the fuel they need."

then:

2)."Davis Love: 'I wouldn't do anything different.'
WTF . . . . . a bit too proud you were massively out captained the last day of the RC??
Fool."

I'll be interested to hear how this esteemed poster reacts to Mr.Love's appointment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


PS: Also think James was a berk to sit three players for two days, especially as one was a captain's pick . . . . . .


Having said all of which, think Love could turn out to be a good choice, just not convinced the players who describe him as a "players captain" are the guys who will make up the bulk of his team. Don't even know why they felt they had to make their decision now.

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Post by GPB Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:10 pm

"Davis Love: 'I wouldn't do anything different.'
WTF . . . . . a bit too proud you were massively out captained the last day of the RC??
Fool."

Geez, I would have invested in Apple 25 years ago if I had the advantage 20/20 hindsight.

Given what was known on Saturday night, I see absolutely nothing wrong with DL III's Sunday lineup.

(and I say this as no fan of DL III, he is about as interesting as my snow shovel, and I got to know my snow shovel very well today.  12" of fresh powder in my driveway, my long driveway)

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Post by GPB Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:14 pm

PS: Also think James was a berk to sit three players for two days, especially as one was a captain's pick . . . . . . 

Were you saying this on Saturday Night with a 10-6 lead?

If he had played these three, he may have not had a lead.

IMO, given a choice of being up 10-6, and benching 3 players for four sessions and playing the three players and unknown score....I think the smart answer is being up 10-6.

It is real easy to Monday Morning Quarterback at the coffee pot.

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:30 pm

Sorry about your snow, must be terrible, just imagine. Forecast to get down to -18 tonight Fahrenheit of course. Close to -30C.

And I was only quoting!!!!!! From an esteemed 606v2 source, certainly not moi.
Always said that James was an idiot to pick Coltart over Langer, then leave Coltart out of the action. Ridiculous.


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Post by GPB Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:54 pm

Both my parents grew up in near you, Dad in Franklin County, and Mom just across the border in Brome County.  They used to tell a story about when they were relocating to Atlanta and Mom really liked this one house.  Dad rejected it because it had a long driveway and he didn't want to shovel that much snow.

Of course, the joke was Atlanta does not get nearly as much snow as Franklin County.

We don't get a lot of snow here, and this is the largest single snowfall since I moved here 25 yrs ago.  I usually let the temperatures and sun melt (southern exposure) but it is supposed to get really cold here later this week and this snow is not going to melt away.  

So unless I was wanting to be snowbound until the sun melted, I needed to get rid of the snow.  It is supposed to get below Zero F later this week, which is really cold when they grow cotton just a few miles away.

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Post by pedro Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:42 pm

There'll still be those who wanted/hoped for Couples. And that's enough to stir up the pot in the US locker room, helping to secure yet another European victory.

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Post by McLaren Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:06 pm

Sergio and Els will play this years Irish open. That must be looking like one of the stronger european tour fields?
McLaren
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Post by kwinigolfer Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:14 pm

Not sure that the 2015 model of Ernie Els "strengthens" the field too much, except in providing star power.
Good news both are playing though.

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