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

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 12 Feb - 3:43

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 I'm never wrong Fri 13 Feb - 6:41

Someone correct me if I am wrong (Never!) but I thought the majority of courses in the US have a Slope rating which you are able to tell the difficulty. the higher the number of the slope, the more difficult the course is. In which case MP is easiest, then CP and PB is the hardest.
Edit. Why did I think they were playing Cypress Point? As mentioned below, Spyglass Hill has the highest rating of the three.


Last edited by I'm never wrong on Fri 13 Feb - 7:06; edited 1 time in total

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 13 Feb - 6:46

Course difficulty:

pgatour.com seems to indicate that Moneterey Peninsula is easiest, then Pebble and finally Spyglass is most difficult.

sirb,
I think specific conditions at each course can vary considerably, last year Pebble played most difficult on average, but results skewed by a very blustery day when the Pros played it averaging 3 strokes over par.
Pebble certainly looks easiest today.

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Post by JAS Fri 13 Feb - 7:00

In a stiff onshore breeze more of Pebbles holes are exposed to the wind, after the first 5 on Spyglass the course nips into the mature Pine trees so has more protection.

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Post by Shotrock Fri 13 Feb - 8:30

Slope can be a poor indicator of course difficulty; meant more for helping the bogey golfers get a reasonable representation of skill as they play various courses.

Course rating is a better measure of difficulty for the touring professional.

I belong to a course with a relatively benign slope, but harder course rating. And it did play hard for the touring pro.

If you have the interest or time ... a better explantion here ...

http://www.golfersguide.com/home/instruction/golf-course-rating-vs-slope-rating

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Post by GPB Fri 13 Feb - 9:54

Chamber of Commerce Day at Pebble Beach.  And the scores represent the near perfect conditions.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 13 Feb - 12:10

Speculation that ETW could get married shortly. Saturday?

Who knows, but the Daily News thinks it does!

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Post by GPB Fri 13 Feb - 12:15

kwinigolfer wrote:Speculation that ETW could get married shortly. Saturday?

Who knows, but the Daily News thinks it does!

So which is longer?

War and Peace or the Prenup?

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Post by McLaren Fri 13 Feb - 20:16

Lets hope he doesn't do a McIlroy.
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Post by McLaren Fri 13 Feb - 20:22

The thoughts of Hank Haney on tigers recent struggles;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02jx3xp
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Post by McLaren Fri 13 Feb - 20:44

from http://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-tiger-major-quest/

Why Tiger Woods May Be Finished

All his life, Tiger Woods has been chasing the number 19. That’s how many major championship wins he needs to top Jack Nicklaus and unequivocally become the greatest golfer of all time. He has just five to go, but as his game falters — he dropped out of the Farmers Insurance Open on Thursday, the 6th tournament he’s failed to complete in eight PGA starts — there’s a bigger, scarier obstacle in his way: His next birthday.

1. He’s Slowing Down

As recently as 2013, Woods was PGA Player of the Year. But an injury-plagued and winless 2014 raised concerns about his future. He parted ways with his coach last fall and things have only gotten worse.

Spoiler:
2. He’s Falling Behind

Woods once outpaced Nicklaus’s win rate at the same age. No longer.

Spoiler:


3. He’s Approaching the Dreaded Dropoff

If the 39-year-old Woods fails to win a major this year, he’ll need five major championships in his 40s to top Nicklaus. That’s not likely. Almost all golfers’ performance drops precipitously after age 39.


Spoiler:

4. He’s in Uncharted Territory

No pro golfer has won more than three majors after turning 40.

Spoiler:
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Post by pedro Fri 13 Feb - 23:57

So mac, would you say it's likely or probable? Whistle

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Post by McLaren Sat 14 Feb - 0:30

Did any of the Irish fans on here predict Harrington would beat Shane on day 1? Who will be leading the group by the end of today?
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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 14 Feb - 0:40

Pebble Beach almost a home course for Harrington, he's played it at least 22 times in competition; perhaps more relevant is that he has no Top Twenty finishes to his name in the past 20 months. I'm backing Lowry!


I see the Hawaii Police have pretty much corroborated Allenby's story and declared he was never in the strip club he was accused of patronising.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 14 Feb - 1:50

Scoring averages on Thursday by course:

MP (par 71): 68.94
PB (par 72): 70.06
SH (par 72): 71.77

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Post by Shotrock Sat 14 Feb - 2:42

My 2¢ ...

No way Woods gets to Jack's number.
Jack did not face the level of competition Tiger does.

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Post by McLaren Sat 14 Feb - 2:54

Shotrock

I agree with that. But at the end of 2013 I would still have maintained that tiger had a decent shot at beating jacks 18 majors. Tiger has already surpassed jack in terms of total career achievement, if we consider wins weighted by the quality of the fields. But for some, the simple 18 majors is all that matters.


There is no evidence that suggests tiger will win another major.
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Post by Shotrock Sat 14 Feb - 2:58

Mac - The only comment I would add is that if Tiger gets back any semblance of mental or physical health he could "compete" in majors given his experience level in that arena. (I'm thinkin of ol' Jack in 1986 ... where his experience, IMO, helped him manage the pressure of the day.)

I realize Tiger's mental and physical health is the BIG if.

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Post by sirbenson Sat 14 Feb - 4:39

Shotrock wrote:Mac - The only comment I would add is that if Tiger gets back any semblance of mental or physical health he could "compete" in majors given his experience level in that arena. (I'm thinkin of ol' Jack in 1986 ... where his experience, IMO, helped him manage the pressure of the day.)

I realize Tiger's mental and physical health is the BIG if.

Totally agree, and I am not a firm believer that the competition is that much stronger than when Tiger was at his peak, people just have more belief against him. Tiger at his peak is still the best player in the world, without a doubt in my mind.

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Post by sirbenson Sat 14 Feb - 6:09

Typical weekly crap from Harrington where he implodes for one round shot high 70's or even in the 80's

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 14 Feb - 6:35

Good job he's playing the easiest course . . . . . .

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Post by sirbenson Sat 14 Feb - 6:45

Sadly at this stage it doesn't make a difference what course it is for Padraig at the moment.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 14 Feb - 9:31

Making a decent comeback - still probably needs to shoot three under for his final 21 holes, mostly at Spyglass, to play on Sunday.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Sat 14 Feb - 11:43

Hey Kwini, any ideas on what would happen in this instance? Currently 59 players at -5 or lower and there are 17 players at -4. Would all 76 play the final round? Just curious as it's unlikely to stay that way.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 14 Feb - 11:49

I'm pretty sure all 76 play the final round - plus the Top 15 amateurs and possibly their Pro partners who weren't in the Top 76!!!!!!

Worst case it could be 91 dawdling around 18 holes. Can you say 5 1/2 hour rounds? Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Sat 14 Feb - 11:53

I suppose CBS would join the leaders well into the back nine in that case....

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Post by John Cregan Sat 14 Feb - 20:28

1GrumpyGolfer wrote:Hey Kwini, any ideas on what would happen in this instance?  Currently 59 players at -5 or lower and there are 17 players at -4. Would all 76 play the final round?  Just curious as it's unlikely to stay that way.

What is the Cut?? Top 60 or 70 ?

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 14 Feb - 23:13

John:
Top 70 and ties get paid.
Top 60 and ties get to play Sunday.

So 61-70 (or whatever the numbers turn out to be) are treated the same as MDF's. They'll pick up $14K-ish and move on down the coast.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 15 Feb - 2:02

Pretty good line-up for Riviera next week.
Europeans making the trip include:
Casey, Donald, Dubuisson, Gonzo, Molinari and Harrington (but no Lowry).
Harrington can't have too many starts left up his sleeve unless he gets his form into high gear - instead of neutral/reverse where it has been for so long.

Not quite sure why Jarrod Lyle is only an alternate - one of his best finishes ever on Tour was here three years ago. Unimaginable that he wouldn't get a sponsors invite. As Harrington, presumably, must have connived.

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Post by GPB Sun 15 Feb - 2:03

For the record, there are 104 players each day on each course

52 pros and 52 amateurs on each course.

and unless they changed it recently, 25 Amateur teams make the cut.

So if 76 pros are in the Top 60 and ties, that will be 101 players on Sunday (possibly a couple more pros as sometimes the Amateur team makes the cut, but the pro does not)

It is unlikely that there will be more players at Pebble Beach on Sunday than there were on Thu-Sat.

However, the PGATour does not balance the groupings.  If only one of the two leaders amateur teams make the cut, they will be playing a three-some behind many foursomes on the course.

I don't why the Tour will not try to make as many foursomes as possible.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 15 Feb - 3:38

thumbsup
Good call on the 25 amateurs GPB, I had thought it was 15 - as it should be! Max!!

Current cut-line for Sunday play is -5, could easily see it going to -6. So a 70 today should be good enough for Harrington, but in reality he needs something like a 60 to kick-start his year.

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Post by sirbenson Sun 15 Feb - 3:48

Kwini
Harrington seems to be on the entry list for the Honda Classic on the official Honda Classic site!

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Post by GPB Sun 15 Feb - 4:02

When a player is one of the elite players, he can do himself a lot of goodwill with Tournament directors by going to "Meet and Greets" and doing Junior Clinics etc.

I know Brad Faxon was a pro's pro.  He went to c*cktail parties, the pro-am draws, did clinics.  And it paid dividends with lots of sponsors invites as he approached age 50.

Harrington could be reaping some dividends in the form of Sponsors invites from good will gestures from 6 or 7 years ago.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 15 Feb - 4:33

A bit more understandable that Honda would sympathize with him as a Past Champion . . . . . .

Early bird for Shane Lowry - a Top Ten would get him into Riviera. Very impressed with his first appearances here.

GPB: There IS a limit though . . . . unless he gets into fields by virtue of Top Tens he's going to be running out of options.

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Post by GPB Sun 15 Feb - 4:40

kwinigolfer wrote:Pretty good line-up for Riviera next week.
Europeans making the trip include:
Casey, Donald, Dubuisson, Gonzo, Molinari and Harrington (but no Lowry).
Harrington can't have too many starts left up his sleeve unless he gets his form into high gear - instead of neutral/reverse where it has been for so long.

Not quite sure why Jarrod Lyle is only an alternate - one of his best finishes ever on Tour was here three years ago. Unimaginable that he wouldn't get a sponsors invite. As Harrington, presumably, must have connived.


Burnt Cheeseburger is also playing the Northern Trust.

Looking like a solid OWGR 54 as of this weeks rankings.  Down from previous years.  It's been anywhere from OWGR 56-62 in the last 5 years.

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Post by sirbenson Sun 15 Feb - 4:43

kwinigolfer wrote:A bit more understandable that Honda would sympathize with him as a Past Champion . . . . . .

Early bird for Shane Lowry - a Top Ten would get him into Riviera. Very impressed with his first appearances here.

GPB: There IS a limit though . . . . unless he gets into fields by virtue of Top Tens he's going to be running out of options.

True, I cannot remember the last time Padraig has played 5 weeks in a row, that's how many it will be after the Honda Classic.

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Post by John Cregan Sun 15 Feb - 4:49

kwinigolfer wrote:John:
Top 70 and ties get paid.
Top 60 and ties get to play Sunday.

So 61-70 (or whatever the numbers turn out to be) are treated the same as MDF's. They'll pick up $14K-ish and move on down the coast.

thumbsup Cheers..............

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Post by sirbenson Sun 15 Feb - 5:33

Am I missing something or is Bill Murray supposed to be funny? I don't mind this event until he appears and starts clowning around

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Post by GPB Sun 15 Feb - 6:03

sirbenson wrote:Am I missing something or is Bill Murray supposed to be funny? I don't mind this event until he appears and starts clowning around


I am positive NO ONE finds him entertaining.  

The Network are intentionally sabotaging their telecast because they want to tick off its entire audience by showing Bill Murray.

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Post by sirbenson Sun 15 Feb - 6:37

GPB wrote:
sirbenson wrote:Am I missing something or is Bill Murray supposed to be funny? I don't mind this event until he appears and starts clowning around


I am positive NO ONE finds him entertaining.  

The Network are intentionally sabotaging their telecast because they want to tick off its entire audience by showing Bill Murray.

I don't think I was speaking on behalf of everyone in my post or am I missing something again?

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 15 Feb - 6:59

More red hot scoring today and the cut could possibly go to -7.
Scott Brown -8 after 12.
Marcel Siem -7 after 11 - didn't see that coming.


In Florida, Montgomerie is waddling to a decent lead halfway through the Champions Tour event.
He likes the slower greens, compared to the slicker surfaces of the PGA Tour of 20-odd years ago. Could make himself a fortune.

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Post by GPB Sun 15 Feb - 6:59

Apologize SirBenson.

Reading other blogs (for some golf content) and the constant complaints about the coverage just bugs the heck out of me.

Its like people are being forced to watch this and blog their complaints.

Its like the old comedy bit:


Why do jam ice picks in your ear?

Because it feels so good when I stop


Everyone knows what they are going to get when they tune into this broadcast.  (Near) Celebrities and many of them doing their schtick. 

I would not want to see it every weekend, but once a year is something different.  Between the PGAT and EuroT and Champions Tour and the LPGA and the Asian Tour, there are literally 150 tournaments to watch.  and 98% are the same format, with no celebrities.

There are many constructive things to do than not watch golf.  Exercise, do some Honey-Dos, walk the dog, spend time with kids/grandkids, do some yardwork, read a good book.

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Post by GPB Sun 15 Feb - 7:07

Kind of odd to see most of the leaders playing Pebble Beach today.

Only two of the top 12 playing Monterrey and 2 playing Spyglass.

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Post by sirbenson Sun 15 Feb - 7:21

It's fine GPB, everyone is entitled to their opinion!

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 15 Feb - 7:21

"Constructive things to do" rather than watch CBS? I'm watching the Seniors!

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Post by skiddy Sun 15 Feb - 8:04

Siem could(extremely unlikely) shoot -4 for his last 3 and have a 59, not that cbs would notice

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Post by sirbenson Sun 15 Feb - 8:31

Superb round from Siem!

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 15 Feb - 8:37

Lowry still climbing the leaderboard too, and credit to Harrington for fighting back. Still on the brink though as the cut likely to squeeze to -7.

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Post by kouchi Sun 15 Feb - 8:42

sirbenson wrote:Kwini
Harrington seems to be on the entry list for the Honda Classic on the official Honda Classic site!
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?


Last edited by kouchi on Sun 15 Feb - 8:45; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Shotrock Sun 15 Feb - 8:43

O'Hair making the cut again ... a nice surprise.


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Post by Shotrock Sun 15 Feb - 8:45

OK, so I may be a bit premature on the O'Hair call ...

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