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PGA Tour: The "Honda": Driver's Seat or On Yer Bike?: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 25 Feb 2015, 4:35 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).Seems early in the season but the best consecutive streak of courses played on Tour ends at three as the Tour waves goodbye to California for a couple of months and goes coast-to-coast, to Florida. This week also signifies the end of the first one third (give or take a decimal point or so) of the PGA Tour season.

2).There are 47 PGA Tour events, played during 43 weeks, but there are only 39 weeks of tournament play before the FedEx Play-Offs begin for the Tour's Top 125 Points getters.
So golfers who have scarcely played this season only have approx 26 weeks left to secure a Play-Off place, and earn a "card" for next year; deduct one week off that for each of three Majors, a TPC and WGC:MatchPlay event you miss; plus limited field "Invitationals" that might not invite you!

3).Got that? Hope some of the Tour's overseas players have figured it out as some will have to play an intensive schedule, or gamble on reaching that Top 125. Points threshold will likely be a dozen either side of 500 FedEx points.
(Strongly suspect that one or two (Scott? Stenson?) won't give a damn, but for most it's crucial.)

4).Overseas golfers who are behind the pace they need to squeeze in the mandated 15 PGA Tour events include, by number played thru last week:
3).Garcia, Westwood, Poulter, Donaldson, Schwartzel, Els.
2).Rose
1).McDowell, Kaymer, Scott, Oosthuizen, Stenson, Dubuisson.

5).Let's imagine how Westwood will reach, say, 14:
Honda, WGC:Cadillac, Bay Hill or Houston, Masters, Quail Hollow and/or Memorial, WGC: MatchPlay, TPC, US Open (he should qualify for Chambers Bay), Open Championship (if he qualifies, EDIT: He IS qualified, Tks SJ), Bridgestone, PGA Championship.
That gets him to 14 or 15 and, with a running start, he should achieve the Top 125.
Hopefully Donaldson knows his way around the PGA Tour to manage his schedule appropriately. Poults and Schwartzel will play where/what they have to, and there are enough tournaments that Sergio and Ernie usually play for them not to be too concerned.

6).Rose should also be OK, but what about the onesies?
Oosthuizen has a 5-year exemptions which will expire this year, so Top 125 is imperative for him, and he and Dubuisson are going to have to play some unfamiliar courses if they are to satisfy 15 tournaments AND Top 125. Early days of course, but they need to get their thinking caps on or they'll be on their bikes.

7).So: Who's in the "driver's seat"?
Top overseas golfers so far are Sang-Moon Bae and Jason Day, and Hideki Matsuyama.
Top Europeans, with FedEx Points-to-date are:
416: Martin Laird
358: Garcia
354: Knox
317: Casey
212: Lingmerth
192: Cejka
165: Westwood
Most of the rest will be OK, but there will be a surprise failure or two, there always is.
(Sterne won't be a surprise failure; he's played 6 events, missed every cut, and doesn't even have a profile page on pgatour.com. The ultimate dis?)

8).Lots of golfers "lost" last week's Northern Trust LA Open before James Hahn won it, Goosen and Garcia of course, but also Casey and Dustin Johnson with late bogeys, while Jordan Spieth can't be too pleased with bogeying his 72nd hole to fall out of a potential play-off. Two thoughts:
~Was Paul Casey's match-play expertise his play-off undoing? He sees DJ and Hahn in highly bogeyable positions on #10 and plays it relatively safe. So they produce worldies to make birdie, and Casey is left with a lonely walk back to the club-house.
~And: The PGA Tour made something of a mockery of the great "short par-4" 10th hole with its set-up for Rounds 1, 2 and 3 when conditions were pretty hard and fast and the green was beyond fiery. Conventional wisdom seems to be that the green will have to be re-done to prevent the carnage (not all of it self-inflicted) that messed up so many rounds.

9).One American golfer doing very nicely thank you on the European Tour is Paul Peterson. He's already played 3 tournaments as an affiliate member and risen to 38th on the R2D. Love to see the recent US contribution to the European Tour, and very interested to see how Koepka fares in his home State this coming month.

10).Back to "Bermuda" greens this week so the recent form book may be turned upside down. Terrific European contingent on hand and it could have been larger still if European Tour Cadillac contestants had succeeded in Monday qualifying, Marcel Siem, Alex Levy and Mikko Ilonen all coming up short; good for them for giving it a whirl though, hope they do well next week and show that they deserved a chance in the Honda field.
It's going to be warm this week, but characteristically breezy and, perhaps stormy.
Let's hope there's another European (Freddie Jac e.w.?) or two who puts himself in the Tour's driver's seat at an event that's favoured non-Americans in recent years. No European wins this season so far. Overdue!


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Thu 26 Feb 2015, 1:50 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by sirbenson Fri 27 Feb 2015, 11:58 pm

I can't see him not playing a major due to poor form, considering he played one with a broken leg and also after his marital problems....but hey who knows!

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 28 Feb 2015, 2:45 am

Strong field for Doral next week.

And some interesting guest appearances are scheduled for European Tour players in Puerto Rico, including Messrs Cabrera-Bello, Grillo, Karlsson, Quiros, Uihlein and Zanotti.

Back to work at 7.30 a.m. on Saturday for the Honda boys. Can't imagine all 68 golfers will turn up, but it will surely be an interesting few hours of golf. Why ever aren't they kicking off at 6.45 a.m. a la Rounds 1 and 2?

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Post by GPB Sat 28 Feb 2015, 3:49 am

Back to work at 7.30 a.m. on Saturday for the Honda boys. Can't imagine all 68 golfers will turn up, but it will surely be an interesting few hours of golf. Why ever aren't they kicking off at 6.45 a.m. a la Rounds 1 and 2?


Because the entire course needs to prepped for a restart.

When they start at split tees for a 6:45 start, they only have to have holes #1-5 and #10-14 prepped.  They can finish holes 6-9 and 15-18 after 6:45 am

For the restart, the course is fully populated and all the greens have to be mowed, and all the traps need to be raked, etc.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 28 Feb 2015, 8:25 am

Makes sense.
But that means Round 3 can't commence until at least noon, finish Sunday morning, weather permitting. And the forecast for the weekend has improved. Still breezy though.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 28 Feb 2015, 12:24 pm

golfchannel.com reporting that next year's WGC:MatchPlay event will be held in Austin, Texas, possibly at Austin Country Club, and sponsored by Dell.
Mooted date is the last week of March, 2016, following Bay Hill and before Houston.

Still a huge shame that no-one has ponied up the $millions to stage it outside the US, and not clear what happens to the Texas Open which has recently been played either side of "Houston".

Given that I'm typing this on a Dell computer, have to say that I hope the customer service for the MatchPlay is better than what Dell provide for its computer customers . . . . . if not, it'll be a shambles.


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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 28 Feb 2015, 12:46 pm

Off and running at the Honda. First 3-putt of the day from lw1, for par on the par-5 third hole. You'd think he needs to play the final six holes at one-under par to be sure of getting paid.

No sign yet of any overnight w/d's, which is very unusual. Was hoping Nicholas Thompson, for instance, might step aside and leave Lucas Glover in pole position for worst Round 2.

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Post by sirbenson Sat 28 Feb 2015, 12:51 pm

Any idea what the early weather forecast is like?

I suppose we can see it on the Live@ stream!

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 28 Feb 2015, 1:08 pm

Early bird for Harrington.
With Donald, Padraig and Poulter in the Top Six, it's as if a 2004 Ryder Cup Team has broken out. Hope Westwood gets in on the act, looks like Sergio might. David Howell in Casey also in the Top Ten.

Forecast is for mostly sunny, 75F degree temps with 15 mph wind and a chance of afters thundershowers. Showers in the area now, but looks like they're to the north and Round 2 should conclude on time - sort of.

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Post by sirbenson Sat 28 Feb 2015, 1:20 pm

Another birdie for Padraig and into a T-2 and one shot off the lead!!!

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 28 Feb 2015, 1:29 pm

This is incredible, isn't it?
Keep on expecting 2015 to turn up in his bag instead of 2008, but long may this last.

And a welcome birdie for Westwood. Par in, Lee, and you'll be playing Round 3. McDool and Bjorn too.

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Post by sirbenson Sat 28 Feb 2015, 1:38 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:This is incredible, isn't it?
Keep on expecting 2015 to turn up in his bag instead of 2008, but long may this last.

And a welcome birdie for Westwood. Par in, Lee, and you'll be playing Round 3. McDool and Bjorn too.

It's fantastic and a great surprise....Barely any signs of it this year

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Post by Shotrock Sat 28 Feb 2015, 2:02 pm

OK, I did expect an Irishman to be leading this tournament, but just not this one. You go Paddy.

Barring catastrophe, O'Hair to make another cut.

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Post by sirbenson Sat 28 Feb 2015, 2:16 pm

Amazing how much better you can do by hitting a few more fairways!

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 28 Feb 2015, 2:18 pm

No, Lowry's not in the field Shotrock.

Also pleased here to see O'Hair playing better; bit of a stumble at #16 but he's safely aboard at 17 and looks like he'll be OK.


Westwood in at +4, and that should be OK.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 28 Feb 2015, 2:52 pm

Don't want to count any chickens, but there looms the very real possibility of Harrington being in the same Round 3 threesome (presumably) as Patrick Reed.
If there's one thing (apart from University of Georgia police apparently) guaranteed to slow Top Five down it's (once was) Top Three.

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Post by Shotrock Sat 28 Feb 2015, 3:05 pm

Kwin, the Irish Olympic committee may have more options than I once thought! Hope Paddy can stay away from those big number holes that seem to nab him of late.




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Post by sirbenson Sat 28 Feb 2015, 3:08 pm

Shotrock wrote:Kwin, the Irish Olympic committee may have more options than I once thought! Hope Paddy can stay away from those big number holes that seem to nab him of late.




Yep, he has made so many doubles or worse over the past few years. If he can minimise his mistakes, you just never know

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Post by sirbenson Sat 28 Feb 2015, 3:09 pm

What a bounce back from the bogey on his 12th

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 28 Feb 2015, 3:26 pm

Wow, Take half an hour off to help Big Sam with his CV and a hat-trick (flock?) of birdies for Padraig.

Cut could slip to +5. Wonder if Justin Rose is still in the house. My one-and-done this week is Keegan Bradley but he's playing like it's Ryder Cup singles so perhaps he'll need +5 as well. Sure the Tour officials are hoping not though, currently 88 at +5 or better.


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Post by sirbenson Sat 28 Feb 2015, 3:35 pm

A possible final three ball of Harrington, Reed, Poulter!!

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 28 Feb 2015, 4:28 pm

If they go threesomes, that's the way it'll be.
Stumbling, bumbling finish for Harrington, hope he's got that out of his system.

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Post by sirbenson Sat 28 Feb 2015, 5:14 pm

Great 2nd Round from Ishikawa, great to see Smile

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Post by John Cregan Sat 28 Feb 2015, 5:20 pm

Far too much danger and water on this course for Harri, but who knows, there may be 36 more holes in him and a trip to Augusta??

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 28 Feb 2015, 6:50 pm

Not sure what to make of the suspension of play, but if the storms 75 miles come anywhere close, they could be lucky to play any more today. Fortunately the Sunday forecast is drier than earlier suggested and Monday's is for a fine day.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 28 Feb 2015, 10:00 pm

10.00 a.m. kick-off at Honda on Sunday, leaders off probably about 11.00 a.m. or shortly thereafter.
Given the state of the course, and the Sunday/Monday forecast, you'd think they'd just play Round 3 tomorrow, probably give the course another hour or so to dry out, regroup and play Round 4 on Monday.
Lift, clean and place will probably mean five-hour rounds whatever happens.

Regardless, great chances for Harrington, Poults, Donald, Casey and Donaldson to make some big bucks and get their seasons ahead of schedule.

Dubuisson must have over-indulged on the RedWine RedWine RedWine on Friday evening. Big opportunity for him at Doral, and he needs to take it.

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Post by John Cregan Sat 28 Feb 2015, 11:28 pm

Surely they will reduce this event to 54 holes??

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 28 Feb 2015, 11:46 pm

Don't you really think they should call it at 36 holes?

They'll go to 72 holes; forecast good, no reason not to.

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Post by John Cregan Sun 01 Mar 2015, 9:45 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Don't you really think they should call it at 36 holes?

They'll go to 72 holes; forecast good, no reason not to.

36 sounds good to me!! Realistically, Reed is the favourite for me. If Harrington makes Top 5, that will be amazing progress and he needs to be thinking Augusta 2016, not 2015.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 01 Mar 2015, 11:51 am

Kevin Phelan going nicely at the top of the Joburg leaderboard. Can he inspire Padraig? Or is the other way round??

Still the chance of thundershowers around noon-time at the Honda. Keep that lightning away.

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Post by sirbenson Sun 01 Mar 2015, 12:35 pm

Hopefully the wind is a factor over the next 36 holes!

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Post by John Cregan Sun 01 Mar 2015, 1:02 pm

You would think that the PGA Tour should have rules on Sunday/Monday finishes?

In this scenario, surely it should be called NOW as 54 hole event which would be fair on the players and the fans who want to see a winner today...............only Majors should HAVE to have a 72 hole completion.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 01 Mar 2015, 1:04 pm

Don't think the wind'll be gale force, but still 15+ mph which is a lot when there's water everywhere.

Luiten leading in gir; time to get your putter working Joost.

John,
They're pretty much committed to 72 holes unless severely extenuating circumstances.
Fine for moi, I'll be watching tomorrow!

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Post by sirbenson Sun 01 Mar 2015, 2:22 pm

72 Holes are a must for an event imo! I don't like when tournaments get reduced and if it has to spill into a Monday so be it!

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Post by sirbenson Sun 01 Mar 2015, 2:24 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Don't think the wind'll be gale force, but still 15+ mph which is a lot when there's water everywhere.

Luiten leading in gir; time to get your putter working Joost.

John,
They're pretty much committed to 72 holes unless severely extenuating circumstances.
Fine for moi, I'll be watching tomorrow!

That's enough on this course!

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Post by sirbenson Sun 01 Mar 2015, 2:24 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Don't think the wind'll be gale force, but still 15+ mph which is a lot when there's water everywhere.

Luiten leading in gir; time to get your putter working Joost.

John,
They're pretty much committed to 72 holes unless severely extenuating circumstances.
Fine for moi, I'll be watching tomorrow!

That's enough on this course!

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Post by pedro Sun 01 Mar 2015, 2:26 pm

They should always aim for 72 holes IMO.

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Post by sirbenson Sun 01 Mar 2015, 2:56 pm

pedro wrote:They should always aim for 72 holes IMO.

Totally agree!!

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Post by sirbenson Sun 01 Mar 2015, 2:56 pm

Didn't Ben Curtis once win an event on a Tuesday?

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 01 Mar 2015, 3:13 pm

sirb,
True dat!

Andy Sullivan inside the Top 60 I think after his win. In poll position for a spot in the MatchPlay. Good chance at the US Open with one more top result.

PS: Sullivan, Howell and Wall into The Open field, bit unfortunate for Phelan, Coetsee and Van Zyl who were pipped by the higher owgr rule.
Howler won't complain about his return to St.Andrews, site of his Dunhill win.

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Post by GPB Sun 01 Mar 2015, 3:26 pm

Checking out featured group coverage (Palmer, Fowler, Henley) and none of three caddies are wearing Caddie Bibs.

Caddies were really mad about their accommodations this week, especially yesterday during the Heavy thunderstorm.  A metal building.

Caddies were eventually let into the clubhouse for shelter.

Something is afoot.


EDIT...what I saw was on the 11th hole...

On the 12th hole, the caddies have their Bibs on.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 01 Mar 2015, 5:07 pm

Just read that GPB, Also saw write-up on golfchannel.com; can't understand why the players don't do something about it.

They'd still be wearing trousers if it wasn't for Duval and Woods.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 01 Mar 2015, 5:44 pm

Poults gets his nose in front, probably thrilled with the Arsenal score.

Luke on the slide.

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Post by John Cregan Sun 01 Mar 2015, 6:57 pm

Harrington on the way to a score closer to 80 than 70.......expect him to throw a double or 2 in at the Bear Trap.............

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 01 Mar 2015, 6:58 pm

Round of the day (67) so far from Joost. Still hitting loads of greens and his putter DID warm up.

Gallacher also going well.


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Post by kouchi Sun 01 Mar 2015, 7:59 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Round of the day (67) so far from Joost. Still hitting loads of greens and his putter DID warm up.
....

Especially the irons into the greens were much more close to the flags. Which certainly is a forte of Joost.
He plans to play more in the US this year. His proposed schedule (if possible/invited/qualified) will be something like: WGC-Cadillac, Innisbrook, Houston, Masters, Harbour town, WGC-Match play, Players. Then turning back to Europe to play Wentworth. Quite ambitious I would say.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 01 Mar 2015, 8:11 pm

kouchi,
Innisbrook and Harbour Town should be right up his street.

Sergio and the other early starters are already playing Round 4.

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Post by John Cregan Sun 01 Mar 2015, 8:39 pm

Impressive from Harrington.................good to see him sticking around and getting the most out of his round.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 01 Mar 2015, 8:49 pm

But then he reaches the Par-5 . . . . . . . .

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Post by kouchi Sun 01 Mar 2015, 8:59 pm

Yahoo

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Post by John Cregan Sun 01 Mar 2015, 9:01 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:But then he reaches the Par-5 . . . . . . . .

Regulation 5........... Smile

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