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

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

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 Shotrock Tue 17 Feb 2015, 12:50 pm

Waaaay too much (by some) is made of the captain of the RC. Makes for fun discussion, but at the end of the day the US team needs to field players that can compete with the likes of Rory, Kaymer, Rose, etc.

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Post by super_realist Tue 17 Feb 2015, 12:55 pm

Not so sure SR, there was a chasm between McGinley and Watson last time out.
Of course the players do the business in the end, it seems Europe are marginally better at getting their preparation and detail up to scratch though.

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Post by raycastleunited Tue 17 Feb 2015, 12:56 pm

Mark James is an easy target for his captaincy - and rightly so.

DL junior obviously made mistakes but bit harsh to criticise his singles line up, obviously limited love for Davis. He did the obvious tried and tested thing, maybe worth questioning his motivational powers when his team crumbled around him.

I can imagine him in a press conference next year after DC has started the gentle banter / mind games: "I'd love it if we beat them, love it." (apologies to the americans who might not get the reference).

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Post by McLaren Tue 17 Feb 2015, 12:57 pm

Shotrock wrote:Waaaay too much (by some) is made of the captain of the RC. Makes for fun discussion, but at the end of the day the US team needs to field players that can compete with the likes of Rory, Kaymer, Rose, etc.


I pretty much agree with this. The captain can't add anything only harm the teams chances. If all captains start as 0's, they can end the week as 0's or -1's and nothing else. Where -1's have harmed the team, and 0's maintained the starting point.
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Post by super_realist Tue 17 Feb 2015, 1:01 pm

McLaren wrote:
Shotrock wrote:Waaaay too much (by some) is made of the captain of the RC. Makes for fun discussion, but at the end of the day the US team needs to field players that can compete with the likes of Rory, Kaymer, Rose, etc.


I pretty much agree with this.  The captain can't add anything only harm the teams chances.  If all captains start as 0's, they can end the week as 0's or -1's and nothing else.  Where -1's have harmed the team, and 0's maintained the starting point.

Mac, would you agree that the captain of a Ryder Cup team is more important than the captain of a football team? Football captains seem to be the most pointless and worthless role anyone could have.

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Post by McLaren Tue 17 Feb 2015, 1:06 pm

Super

No, the football captain can have an active role as the game progresses if they are good at organising and setting the style of play needed. Meaning a good football captain can help the team adapt as the match progresses. This could of course be done by any player but the captain has the advantage of authority.

Once on the course the captian in a golf match cannot alter how the players play golf.
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Post by super_realist Tue 17 Feb 2015, 1:09 pm

Well, that's the idea Mac, but generally they don't appear to do much apart from swap penants at the start, they don't seem to control team orders, break up confrontation, nor do they take control of ref communication as it's a free for all.

Seems an outdated role kept alive by tradition, and the manager and his team can get the point across in the many stops in play and from the technical area.

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Post by raycastleunited Tue 17 Feb 2015, 1:13 pm

That's total tosh.

I'm sure the Captain / VC does influence his players once they're out on the course. They walk around chatting to them, giving them little pep talks, they're constantly in communication with other matches to know what's going on. They will clearly influence shot choice based on what's required in each match.

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Post by incontinentia Tue 17 Feb 2015, 1:18 pm

Disagree that RC captains aren't important, they hold a very important leadership role in influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be one and how to do it, and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives. Many RC captains fail in this role but it is possible for a great leader to add to a team imo.
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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 17 Feb 2015, 1:19 pm

I think that, before diminishing the role of Captain of an RC Team, you have to consider: Which three of the above would you prefer to have?
Jacklin, Langer, McGinley
or:
Nicklaus (1987 version), Sutton or Watson (2014)?

Almost as rhetorical as: "Who would you prefer to have been President 2001 - 2004: Clinton or Bush?

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Post by pedro Tue 17 Feb 2015, 1:24 pm

I tend to agree with Mac here. Anybody can see who'd make good pairings, who's playing well and who's not. But if the captain for some reason p1sses the players off, doesn't listen etc., he can be dear.

A good RC captain should be a smooth operator and make rational decisions. Faldo wasn't, Watson wasn't.

Benching Mickelson was however defendable if it was for the reasons cited. But if Watson wanted to show who's the boss it's of course a different story.

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Post by McLaren Tue 17 Feb 2015, 1:37 pm

Kwini

I think those who do not consider the role of RC captain to be all that important have acknowledged the one caveat being they can destroy the team unity by poor decisions. But avoidance of poor decisions is all they can achieve.
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Post by Roller_Coaster Tue 17 Feb 2015, 1:58 pm

Only problem with the 0 to -1 scale is that there will be Captains that do add. There will undoubtedly be certain individuals that play a positive role in galvanising a squad to be greater than the sum of its parts whether it be on or off course.

I'd agree that generally most Captains will/should score 0 but (using the bloody bell curve that worked it's way into the TOC record scoring possibility discussion) there will be outlying captains from the norm, on both sides of the graph (and both sides of the atlantic!).

Given the different personalities on each team, do you think that 12 individuals will all agree on the "best" (or even the same) way forward each time? That's where a good Captain will step in and the positive role he can play is by making a decision and making people believe it's a good route. The motivation of players to have belief or trust in that route particularly from those that wouldn't naturally have chosen it is a positive.

It might be a position of overblown importance/significance but to suggest that the captain can only score a maximum "0" or no difference is not one that I personally agree with.

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Post by super_realist Tue 17 Feb 2015, 2:07 pm

McLaren wrote:Kwini

I think those who do not consider the role of RC captain to be all that important have acknowledged the one caveat being they can destroy the team unity by poor decisions.  But avoidance of poor decisions is all they can achieve.

Surely then Alex Ferguson simply avoided more poor decisions than Wenger over the years?

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Post by GPB Tue 17 Feb 2015, 2:09 pm

It looks like a horse-race to OWGR 100's between Els and Tiger as this point.

Els has a lead, but Tiger is closing fast and will catch up on the home stretch.

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Post by McLaren Tue 17 Feb 2015, 2:17 pm

Super

Neither Sir Alex or Weneger have been Ryder cup captains. What are you talking about?
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Post by super_realist Tue 17 Feb 2015, 2:22 pm

McLaren wrote:Super

Neither Sir Alex or Weneger have been Ryder cup captains. What are you talking about?

Well, you are saying a captain (a.k.a manager) can't affect how they play golf once they are on the course, same as a football manager

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

Super, is Tuesday your WUM day?

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Post by super_realist Tue 17 Feb 2015, 2:50 pm

Me wumming? I think you'll find that's Mac.

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Post by sirbenson Tue 17 Feb 2015, 5:13 pm

Fantastic news to see Els and Garcia have signed up to the Irish Open! Quite the field is assembling with Fowler, Westwood as well plus the Irish players!

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Post by McLaren Tue 17 Feb 2015, 5:31 pm

sirbenson

Will you be heading to the Irish open?
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Post by John Cregan Tue 17 Feb 2015, 6:36 pm

Given that the Fourballs/foursomes is where a RC captain exerts the majority of their influence on RC Cup week, I think it's a fair point to say that DL3 "out-captained" JMO in 2012 - although in general it's hard to know what real influence they have. The US spirit was great all week so I think it's a good idea to give him another go.

How come Fred Couples has never got it?

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Post by GPB Tue 17 Feb 2015, 7:42 pm

John Cregan wrote:How come Fred Couples has never got it?


Short answer.  Because he never played politics with the PGA of America.

Similar to a reason why Carl Pettersson has never been seriously considered to be on the Euro RC team.

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 17 Feb 2015, 8:36 pm

Not really.
Couples is qualified.
Pettersson has never been good enough to qualify.

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Post by sirbenson Tue 17 Feb 2015, 10:23 pm

McLaren wrote:sirbenson

Will you be heading to the Irish open?

Yep, I intend to, hoping to do the Thursday and Friday. Nothing booked yet.

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Post by sirbenson Tue 17 Feb 2015, 10:24 pm

Kwini
For your info PH seems to have got an invite into the Puerto Rico Open and The Valspar.....which will make it 7 weeks in a row!!

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 18 Feb 2015, 1:00 am

Wow!
Puerto Rico might be a good place for him to go. Would have thought he might find a course more suited to his "talents" than Valspar at Innisbrook. But you never can tell - might as well take advantage of the chances that come his way.

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Post by GPB Wed 18 Feb 2015, 2:48 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Not really.
Couples is qualified.
Pettersson has never been good enough to qualify.

He's been good enough in both 2010 and especially 2012.  Just not the required membership  (as it should be).

Membership has its privileges...and its obligations.

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Post by Bob_the_Job Wed 18 Feb 2015, 10:05 am

sirbenson wrote:
McLaren wrote:sirbenson

Will you be heading to the Irish open?

Yep, I intend to, hoping to do the Thursday and Friday. Nothing booked yet.

I've my tickets booked - word is the numbers are limited and it's filling up fast.
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Post by McLaren Wed 18 Feb 2015, 11:20 am

The Irish open is shaping up to be one of the best European Tour events of the year, and sadly it seems the Tour itself won't be taking any credit for this. Neither can a sponsor, as I think I am correct in saying the Irish open does not currently have a title sponsor, and is referred to as the Irish Open hosted by Rory McIlroy.

What has made the Irish open one of the better eurotour stops over the last few years?
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Post by super_realist Wed 18 Feb 2015, 11:24 am

Hope McIlroy is doing an XL buffet for Lowry.

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Post by incontinentia Wed 18 Feb 2015, 11:42 am

McIlroy deserves a lot of credit for saving the Irish Open. I wonder if there are any stipulations to him hosting it, such as it having to be held in the North?
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Post by pedro Wed 18 Feb 2015, 12:19 pm

A "good eurotour stop" is a combination of a strong(ish) field, interesting course and large crowds. Only a few stops qualify for that.

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Post by McLaren Wed 18 Feb 2015, 12:24 pm

Pedro, exactly.

So what ingredients have made the irish open what it is and how could that model by applied to a few more stops. Especially the dire run from mid feb to the BMW pga.
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Post by sirbenson Wed 18 Feb 2015, 12:41 pm

Bob_the_Job wrote:
sirbenson wrote:
McLaren wrote:sirbenson

Will you be heading to the Irish open?

Yep, I intend to, hoping to do the Thursday and Friday. Nothing booked yet.

I've my tickets booked - word is the numbers are limited and it's filling up fast.

Oh, thanks for heads up, I intend to book it in the next day or two.

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Post by sirbenson Wed 18 Feb 2015, 12:42 pm

As much as I dislike Mcilroy good on him for getting a stronger field for the Irish Open!

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Post by super_realist Wed 18 Feb 2015, 12:46 pm

Wonder if he'll convince the cripple to play?

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Post by sirbenson Wed 18 Feb 2015, 12:52 pm

I presume you are referring to Tiger SR, knowing your hatred towards him!

Irish golf desk posted a rumour a week or two back saying it's a possibility....DJ was included in that article too.

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Post by beninho Wed 18 Feb 2015, 1:01 pm

Darren Clarke as RC captain, as was pretty much a given. Will they be in Sports Direct Dunlop special outfits?A discount on the proce iof you tell them Darren sent ya..

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Post by sirbenson Wed 18 Feb 2015, 1:09 pm

Congrats to DC, who get's the captaincy in 2018?

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Post by GPB Wed 18 Feb 2015, 2:17 pm

I don't Woods would play in the Irish Open, even if playing well.

Rory didn't play in his World Challenge two months ago.

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Post by McLaren Wed 18 Feb 2015, 2:50 pm

GPB

Please don't tell me the rory-tiger bromance is over? Did Rory just not realise all that it would entail?
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Post by raycastleunited Wed 18 Feb 2015, 5:16 pm

sirbenson wrote:As much as I dislike Mcilroy good on him for getting a stronger field for the Irish Open!

Why do you dislike McIlroy?

Does Caroline have a special place in your heart

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Post by sirbenson Wed 18 Feb 2015, 7:20 pm

raycastleunited wrote:
sirbenson wrote:As much as I dislike Mcilroy good on him for getting a stronger field for the Irish Open!

Why do you dislike McIlroy?

Does Caroline have a special place in your heart

Well I am gay so no way lol......and being an avid fan of tennis, she is perhaps the player I dislike the most, so you can imagine when they got together....ewww.


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Post by raycastleunited Thu 19 Feb 2015, 12:35 pm

But why do you dislike rory?

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