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PGA Tour: Riviera and Ryder Cup: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 18 Feb 2015, 6:48 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).This week sees the third of the three excellent California "Coast" tournaments, in Los Angeles at George Thomas's gem, Riviera. This week also sees the end of a stretch where the six courses used were designed by architects who preferred to enhance what nature had provided, if a hole was hard then perhaps nature made it that way. After this we'll be on to two venues where courses were designed to be hard or penal, or both, redesigned by blokes who felt they could trump (pun unintended of course) nature. I know which I prefer.

2).And I should have noted last week how good Torrey Pines' South Course looked two weeks ago, what Americans might call a broad-shouldered course, demanding but with stunning views and green settings. Only thing they got wrong was the cut of the rough, where lies a foot off the fairway were likely to be more difficult than those ten yards (or, as some found, out 50 yards) wide of the short stuff. Always a gripe, that.
Otherwise, is it blasphemous to suggest that it makes for a better US Open test than Pebble Beach which had to be tricked up in 2010 to keep the scores up?

3).Last week's AT&T National Pro-Am enjoyed spectacular weather and expect more of the same this week in LA.
Brandt Snedeker and Nick Watney are two of the better players to follow on Tour, both had fallen on leaner times than they were used to, and very happy to see them return to contention. Sneds is back to the Top 50 and in all the WGC's and Majors, Watney is still on the outside looking in, hopefully not for much longer.

4).'Course, they'd both like to make Jay Haas's Presidents Cup Team and probably love to play the 2016 Ryder Cup.
The speculation is rife that Davis Love will be announced as the 2016 US Ryder Cup captain next week, at PGA HQ close by PGA National, site of the Honda Classic. Not quite sure why he didn't go into hibernation for a week to escape the media throng. But NO! He opted to take a very late pass into this week's Riviera field and how he gets to say "No Comment" is presumably something he'll be consulting fellow "Task Force" member Tiger Woods on.

5).One thing I don't understand is this:
Following the Miracle (or in their case Misery) at Medinah, the PGA Of America decided enough was enough, dispensed with the order of normal ascent to the Captaincy and chose Tom Watson to bring the Cup back to the "good old US of A".
After Watson's fiasco (who said Captains don't matter?) at Gleneagles, they announced a Task Force and, in their ultimate wisdom apparently chose to go back to Love whose Captaincy was felt to be lacking in the first place.
Any bets on Tom Watson for 2018? I've heard he's already taking French lessons.
Would think some heads are spinning, those of Couples and David Toms especially. (Apparently Azinger said he didn't want it.)

6).Fortunately there's a sense of natural progression in what the United States (or Donald Rumsfeld at least) call "Old Europe", and Welcome! to the hot seat to Darren Clarke. Thomas Bjorn next?

7).The strongest field of the PGA Tour's year so far has assembled at Riviera CC in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles. Plenty of "International" golfers too, and three with decent track records here are Luke Donald (who needs a good tournament at least as much as Watney and Sneeedeker), Garcia and Schwartzel, but their recent form has been spotty/rusty, and you'd almost think they will be warming up (gaining reps?) for Florida.

8).I'm more interested in Casey, Molinari and Wiesberger; Casey because he needs to show his decision to abandon the E.T. was wise, Franny because his Tour season so far has been so promising and Riviera should suit him, and Bernd as his E.T. form has been so good.
Sadly no Shane Lowry, another who might be suited to Riviera; but Harrington is here as the tragedy of his decline has slumped from comedy to farce. Exhibit A being his play of his 18th hole at Spyglass last Saturday where a par would ensure he played Sunday, a bogey would get him paid, but St.Padraig conjured up a triple. Just the sort of thing to be expected from Greg Owen but not from a Major Champion.

9).Riviera is another horses-for-courses venue. Bubba won handsomely last year from Dustin Johnson, and DJ's form seems to be improving week by week, and Walker usually contends.
This year's Tour winners have been from the top drawer of PGA Tour Golf, Reed, Walker, Haas, Koepka, Day, Snedeker. Will we see another Top Fifty player or is it time for an outsider? Shilling each way fancies include last week's 3rd place finisher Charlie Beljan and his college teammate Spencer Levin, Chappell and Brendan Steele.

10).One final thought about Davis Love, and I'm a DLIII fan.
But: They say in rumoured testimony for Love that he's close to the players, he'll be a players' Captain, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah.
But he'll be 52; he's no longer competitive on the PGA Tour - he certainly won't be playing many weekends, more likely playing Champions Tour, where one trusts that he'll be going to Montgomerie or Sutton for tips and not to Langer.
The players he leant on at Medinah, Woods, Stricker, Furyk, Mickelson, Zach, Dufner, Kuchar, Watson, will all be in their 38th year at least, out of contention or already past it. Not all perhaps, but most.
That leaves Bradley, Dustin, Snedeker and Simpson.
More likely the bulk of his Team will be the newish generation of Young Americans, the Georgia Frat Boys like English and Henley who Love probably knows well from the cozy confines of the Golden Isles, or the free spirits such as Fowler and Spieth, Reed and Koepka.  
Not quite sure the 2014 Task Force has got this quite right. What price a Task Force for October 2016? That's all I'm saying.


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Thu 19 Feb 2015, 11:54 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Sun 22 Feb 2015, 11:10 pm

Does anyone want to win this? They all seem to be falling over themselves to get out of the lead once they get it.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 22 Feb 2015, 11:17 pm

Shocking from Sergio - is that right that he's just hit three fairways today? Not enough.

Could be a wonderful win for Casey Fingers Crossed

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Post by Shotrock Sun 22 Feb 2015, 11:25 pm

Sergio! Man, you could set a clock by these meltdowns. Jim Nantz, meanwhile, continues the US media love affair with this guy saying "the best is yet to come". Ya think Jim? I'm guessing the "worst" has to run out at some point.

Why not Casey??

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Post by Shotrock Sun 22 Feb 2015, 11:40 pm

It gets better ...  direct quote from Sergio  ... "I didn't play well at all this week."

You were leading the golf tournament with 2 holes to go.

Not playing well??  

A screw is loose. (But I do hand it to him for taking the interview. No way Tiger would have done that.)

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 22 Feb 2015, 11:51 pm

Advantage DJ.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Mon 23 Feb 2015, 12:00 am

Only got him 4 or 5 feet on a putt. Wow, so close from Hahn. Looks like all three are heading to the 10th

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Mon 23 Feb 2015, 12:03 am

Have they removed some trees from the right hand side on 10?

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Mon 23 Feb 2015, 12:05 am

Advantage Casey this time

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Post by pedro Mon 23 Feb 2015, 12:08 am

Hope for a Casey win but have money on DJ.... Headscratch

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Mon 23 Feb 2015, 12:14 am

Sounds like win-win unless Hahn does it

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Mon 23 Feb 2015, 12:15 am

Part of me wanted Casey to do it but he wasn't my pick in the Fantasy League....

And then there were two

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Post by Shotrock Mon 23 Feb 2015, 12:20 am

And then there were two. Surprised CBS hasn't yanked this yet.

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Post by pedro Mon 23 Feb 2015, 12:26 am

Hahns down! Well played by James.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 23 Feb 2015, 12:51 am

Quelle surprise. Didn't see that coming any time over the past . . . . . . . . . well, anytime.
But Hahn made a mile of putts over his last 22 holes. And that's what, ultimately, it takes if all around are losing theirs.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 23 Feb 2015, 1:13 am

Looks like these E.T. golfers will be driving a Cadillac courtesy vehicle in Miami in ten days' time, having qualified via the R2D money list:
Willett, Fish, Stal, Warren, Noren.

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Post by super_realist Mon 23 Feb 2015, 7:23 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Looks like these E.T. golfers will be driving a Cadillac courtesy vehicle in Miami in ten days' time, having qualified via the R2D money list:
Willett, Fish, Stal, Warren, Noren.

Not all glamour being a golfer then.

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Post by Sand Mon 23 Feb 2015, 9:03 am

Shotrock wrote:It gets better ...  direct quote from Sergio  ... "I didn't play well at all this week."

You  were  leading  the  golf  tournament  with  2  holes  to  go.

Not playing well??  

A screw is loose. (But I do hand it to him for taking the interview. No way Tiger would have done that.)

I don't agree with that, he played terrible all day. No doubting that he should have won after leading with 2 holes to go though. Absolutely shocking finish from him. Pretty shocking from Dustin Johnson on 17 too. How he managed to get bogey from where he was, dreadful. Quite surprised, he ain't getting any abuse for it either.

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Post by Shotrock Mon 23 Feb 2015, 12:45 pm

Sand - He didn't play terrible all day ... he shot a 71. Lots of others shot higher. What he did, of course, was fold down the stretch (speaks to his mental game more than his physical). He had the tournament in his control, but bogeyed 3 of his last 6 holes. The only thing I find surprising is that anyone is really surprised by this!

Again his "I didn't play well at all this week" comment is nutso. The guy's a fruitcake.

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Post by super_realist Mon 23 Feb 2015, 12:48 pm

I'm not so sure it's that bad or mental a thing to say. You can still score quite well but not be happy with how you've played.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 23 Feb 2015, 1:39 pm

Sergio's assessment of his week certainly borne out by the stats - he only hit four fairways (25 of 56 for the week which is poor for such a superb driver of the ball) on Sunday, and 9 gir's, including the just-a-gir on #17 which he 3-putted.
He must be disappointed though at bogeying his final two holes.
Still, a BIG improvement on his last two "efforts", hopefully a great year in prospect, after so many good years.
Kinda surprised he's in the Honda field if he was as wiped out as he said he was.

11/12's of the European Ryder Cup Team due to play Honda.

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Post by Sand Mon 23 Feb 2015, 2:32 pm

Yes he shot 71, but the back 9 especially he played very poorly. Look at Kwini's stats on his game all week. To say that he had the tournament in his control yet shot 3 over for the last 6, is using this to back up your argument.

Riviera was clearly playing tough and for a while everyone went backwards, not just Sergio. Certainly, it was difficult to pick anyone who wanted to win last night.

Dustin Johnson especially could have won, but didn't after making a very poor bogey on 17. There is no doubting that Sergio should have won standing on the 17th tee, and it is down right ridiculous that he wasn't in a play off at worst, but there was loads of players who will have left that tournament with a lot of 'what could have been'.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 23 Feb 2015, 5:41 pm

Golf Channel reporting that Davis Love will be introduced as the new US Ryder Cup Team Captain tomorrow, Tuesday, at 4.30 p.m.
The more things change, the more things stay the same.
It'll be interesting to see who he gets grouped with in Rounds 1 and 2 in tournaments he plays this season.

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Post by GPB Mon 23 Feb 2015, 5:53 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:
It'll be interesting to see who he gets grouped with in Rounds 1 and 2 in tournaments he plays this season.

This season?  Even if the PGATour would grant to DL III and the PGAofA's Ryder Cup pairing wishes, I don't think this season would be the year to do it.

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Post by pedro Mon 23 Feb 2015, 6:45 pm

GPB wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:
It'll be interesting to see who he gets grouped with in Rounds 1 and 2 in tournaments he plays this season.

This season?  Even if the PGATour would grant to DL III and the PGAofA's Ryder Cup pairing wishes, I don't think this season would be the year to do it.
Phil Mickelson? Very Happy

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 23 Feb 2015, 7:16 pm

Can't imagine that Love wouldn't want to play a couple of rounds with younger guys like Reed and Spieth, Kirk and Billy Ho, maybe the 2015 version of Rickie Fowler. The guys he knows from his last gig plus his VC outing mostly just have experience of losing - he needs to get to know his youngbloods asap.
But, frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!

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Post by GPB Mon 23 Feb 2015, 7:43 pm

Maybe Love would, but why would the PGATour want to do DLIII, the PGAofA, and the Ryder Cup any favors.

and I can't imagine DLIII and the PGAofA asking the PGATour for some favors.

And I am pretty sure that TV does not want to put DLIII in many featured threesomes.  He is no longer competitive.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 23 Feb 2015, 9:07 pm

Would have thought all successful US Teams benefit the profile of the PGA Tour.

First significant withdrawal from "Honda" announced: Matsuyama out.

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Post by GPB Mon 23 Feb 2015, 9:20 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Would have thought all successful US Teams benefit the profile of the PGA Tour.


Drop in the ocean.

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 24 Feb 2015, 10:05 pm

Lee Westwood has certainly p1ssed off someone at PGA Tour HQ. Opening the Honda batting on Thursday at 6.45 a.m. with a couple of WTF Chads.
Might not be all bad as the end of the week could have some interesting weather, plenty of afternoon wind at the very least.

Rory playing with Koepka and Dustin Johnson. Think I'd follow Kaymer, Garcia and Mickelson.

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Post by GPB Tue 24 Feb 2015, 10:13 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Lee Westwood has certainly p1ssed off someone at PGA Tour HQ. Opening the Honda batting on Thursday at 6.45 a.m. with a couple of WTF Chads.
Might not be all bad as the end of the week could have some interesting weather, plenty of afternoon wind at the very least.

Rory playing with Koepka and Dustin Johnson. Think I'd follow Kaymer, Garcia and Mickelson.

Chad Campbell has twice as many PGATour wins than LW.

LW has done nothing to keep his spot in Premier groupings.

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 24 Feb 2015, 10:31 pm

Here's a link to the outcome from the Rickie Fowler Task Force, reporting some changes to US qualifying and timing of Captain's Choices: (Tom Lehman already a Vice Captain!!):

http://www.pgatour.com/news/2015/02/24/ryder-cup-2016.html

The Chads will surely be there.

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Post by super_realist Wed 25 Feb 2015, 7:57 am

9C and Mickelson, two of America's worst ever Ryder Cup players named on American "Task Force" Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Laugh Will America never learn?

You couldn't make it up.

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Post by McLaren Wed 25 Feb 2015, 10:19 am

"Team USA will feature four Vice-Captains, composed of two former U.S. Ryder Cup Captains and two additional individuals with extensive Ryder Cup experience."

I wonder if Tom Watson will be asked to fill one of the past captain roles?
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Post by super_realist Wed 25 Feb 2015, 10:22 am

McLaren wrote:"Team USA will feature four Vice-Captains, composed of two former U.S. Ryder Cup Captains and two additional individuals with extensive Ryder Cup experience."

I wonder if Tom Watson will be asked to fill one of the past captain roles?

A.K.A a bunch of losers.

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Post by incontinentia Wed 25 Feb 2015, 10:26 am

When you lose 8 of the last 10, it's not because of who the Captain is or the selection process or a mistake in a captain's pick. You may lose one Ryder Cup on a factor like that but 8 of 10? Europe has embraced it more, wanted it more and played better
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Post by navyblueshorts Wed 25 Feb 2015, 10:35 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Lee Westwood has certainly p1ssed off someone at PGA Tour HQ. Opening the Honda batting on Thursday at 6.45 a.m. with a couple of WTF Chads.
Might not be all bad as the end of the week could have some interesting weather, plenty of afternoon wind at the very least.

Rory playing with Koepka and Dustin Johnson. Think I'd follow Kaymer, Garcia and Mickelson.
Would have thought there's more to gain from a 06.45 start than to lose. Who wants to be in a dumb 'Premier' grouping? Lots of noise, having little to do with golf.
Greens should be nice and smooth at 06.45 as well. Not sure there's a lot to dislike really and I'm sure LW1 can plan well enough for an early start.
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Post by super_realist Wed 25 Feb 2015, 10:37 am

Inco, If you only ever have a bunch of deadbeats in charge that have experience of nothing other than failure, I can't see America changing the loss ratio, could well be 9/11 in 2016.
No doubt they'll see that as prophetic, and get some 9/11 survivor (or 11/9 as it should be called) to "influence" their "troops". Worked so well with their "veterans" at Gleneagles.

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Post by McLaren Wed 25 Feb 2015, 10:40 am

Westwood has not achieved anything in his PGA tour career that would elevate him to premier grouping status.

Much like the other European Ryder cuppers of recent years his individual game has same gaping holes in terms of big wins.


People are mocking the US ryder cup team above but Sergio, Westwood, donald, Stenson, casey, Poulter, McGinley, Bjorn and maybe even montie, can only dream of the individual career already achieved by the likes of Dufner, Bradley and Simpson.
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Post by super_realist Wed 25 Feb 2015, 10:45 am

Get lost Mac, those guys have had much much much better careers than those you mention.

There's lots of players who have won solitary Majors and done pretty much bugger all else, just means they played better in ONE tournament. Doesn't mean their individual careers are better, because they certainly are not.

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Post by beninho Wed 25 Feb 2015, 10:48 am

I doubt Sergio, Donald, Westwood and Stenson would swap with any of the three americans mentioned. Purely based on the amount of cash they have hoovered over the years. Would they swap the money for a major, maybe. But That would be a crazy thing to do. I am guessing Casey, Poulter, and Monty may be a bit closer to the three americans. McGinley and Bjorn, have not had tons of sucess, but i would guess they are pretty happy with their careers.

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Post by McLaren Wed 25 Feb 2015, 10:51 am

Super

I don't disagree with " just means they played better in ONE tournament", but for whatever reason that is not how fans and the media judge players. Major winners enjoy longevity in recognition and are elevated to greater standing withing the game, that non major winners just cannot achieve.

For these reasons a player ultimate goal is to win a major, and many of the "great" europeans of the last 20 years have failed to achieve this goal. It is not hard to imagine Monty for example would trade all his Ryder cup points to have shot 73 in the 1994 US open play off.
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Post by super_realist Wed 25 Feb 2015, 10:55 am

Well then, if all they judge an entire career on the basis of one tournament win, then they know nothing about a sport.

It might make them more "famous" in the public/media consciousness, but it doesn't mean they've had a better career.

Has Lawrie had a better career than Monty? Has Curtis or Hamilton had better careers than Garcia or Westwood? Of course they haven't, and only a luddite would claim they had.

Stephan Guivarch, a truly terrible player won the World Cup, has he had a better career than Ryan Giggs, who never even played at the tournament?

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Post by navyblueshorts Wed 25 Feb 2015, 11:19 am

McLaren wrote:Westwood has not achieved anything in his PGA tour career that would elevate him to premier grouping status....
As if being in some daft, contrived "Premier group" is something meritorious. From a golfing perspective, if it were me, I'd want to steer well clear of the circuses that surround such "Premier" groups.
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Post by McLaren Wed 25 Feb 2015, 11:23 am

Navy

Me too, I was just pointing out that if a "premier grouping" even exists Lee is unlikely to be in it.
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Post by MustPuttBetter Wed 25 Feb 2015, 11:54 am

McLaren wrote:Navy

Me too, I was just pointing out that if a "premier grouping" even exists Lee is unlikely to be in it.

Is he Mac? Like these ones? -

2014 US Open     Henrik Stenson, Matt Kuchar, Lee Westwood

2014 PGA              Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth, Lee Westwood

2013 Open Championship Lee Westwood, Charl Schwartzel, Sergio Garcia

2013 US Open     Luke Donald Lee Westwood Martin Kaymer

2012 US Open             Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood
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Post by Shotrock Wed 25 Feb 2015, 12:00 pm

Westwood getting the shaft? Conspiracy theory at its finest!

The US "task force" is one entertaining group to watch. I'm guessing it will have no impact on the current state of affairs.

How important is a major to a top professional golfer? Well, former world #1 Lukey Donald purposely changed his swing (at that time) because winning one of those tournament was (I assume still is) his primary goal in professional golf. If you win one it doesn't mean you immediately have a better career than those that didn't, but it doesn't diminish the obvious importance top professionals place on them.

I'm guessing Monty would trade plenty to have a major under his belt. (He'll have to settle for fossil majors at this point.)

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Post by McLaren Wed 25 Feb 2015, 12:02 pm

mustputt

They are all majors, which in theory represent the world game to a greater degree than the PGAT.

As I said, "IF" such groupings exist what about Lee's record in regular PGAT events would make him worthy of the honour? For example his fedex cup finishes are abysmal. I am sure this is where kwini will say "ahh but lee doesn't prioritize that" but it doesn't diminish that argument that he has a very average PGAT record. Only 2 wins in over 200 appearances.
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Post by McLaren Wed 25 Feb 2015, 12:10 pm

shotrock

I am starting to wonder if Kwini thinks Timmy finchem controls Hollywood and the global banking system.  Wink  Sorry
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 25 Feb 2015, 12:23 pm

Not sure what provoked that last comment, Mac, but I'll not speculate and leave it to you to figure out. MPB, All those groupings were non-PGA Tour sets. Agree about the early tee-time being beneficial, but it IS an opportunity for tee-time setters to deliver a message. Fancy Lee to enjoy a good week whenever he tees off.

Strong fields for Honda qualifying; Marcel Siem, Ilonen and Alex Levy all missed out.

Would think all golfers would strive to win a Major; in Luke's case, he's won virtually everything else, hardly surprising that he'd try something new - it's worked pretty poorly so far, and hopefully he's getting back to Pat Goss's basics. Fingers crossed he'll have a decent week in West Palm, but can't see conditions favouring someone who's swing is just a w.i.p.

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Post by McLaren Wed 25 Feb 2015, 12:26 pm

kwini

I was just making a joke of the back of Shotrocks conspiracy theory joke. :hug:  I hope no harm was done.


(PS, I put in smileys, I think that usually signifies an attempt at a more lighthearted post)
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