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PGA Tour: WGC:Cadillac Championship / Puerto Rico Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: WGC:Cadillac Championship / Puerto Rico Open: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty PGA Tour: WGC:Cadillac Championship / Puerto Rico Open: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:47 am

1).Congratulations to Padraig Harrington.
What a way to liven up an otherwise boring Monday. And what a bizarre final round - can't think of anything more extraordinary since Paul Lawrie's Open Championship.
We'll hear about Poulter failing to close out a tournament and Casey's driver and putter going cold, but Patrick Reed put a dent in his cocky/brash young-gun image by foozling his chances just as surely, but less spectacularly, as Poults. Interesting to see how Top Five does next time he's in contention. Maybe as soon as this week.
Padraig has this week off before he honours a string of sponsors' exemptions that he now doesn't need, but will show his gratitude by playing the tournaments anyway. What a guy!

2).We see Harrington most years at The Travelers, in Hartford, and whether he's playing well or playing poorly he's always among the most popular golfers in the field, guaranteed a following whether he's grouped with "A" rated players or the proverbial Joe Blow from Windy City. The affection for him is genuine, and it appears his appreciation is heartfelt also. And now, at last, he has a performance to match his popularity.

3).No Harrington in this week's field at Doral, but Ireland will be represented by Shane Lowry. It's Lowry's first look at Doral so an Irish double might be asking for too much, but the Shane of San Diego and Pebble Beach can certainly win on Tour.

4).A couple of Ryder Cup thoughts before going back down the Interstate to Miami.
Lots made about Couples not getting a captaincy chance, but Jaime Diaz's article in GolfWorld contains some interesting observations from Fred's Vice Captain act at Medinah:
~Attendance and input all week at "Captain's Meetings" was "erratic".
~For too long he was "inaccessible" when needed on the course, "not reachable by walkie-talkie or cell-phone", and was therefore not available to "soothe nerves" on the course when Love was handling Sunday singles first tee duties.
~And his texting Furyk to tell him he wasn't a Captain's Choice for his 2013 President's Cup Team instead of calling him or speaking to him directly was thought to count against him.
Fred being Fred.

5).Another snippet from the Ryder Cup Task Force small print was the news that Love, Mickelson and Woods are to be the players on a 6-man "PGA of America Ryder Cup Committee" charged with selecting Vice Captains, future Captains "and other duties". Lunatics hired to run the asylum. Only surprise is that Rickie Fowler is not on the Committee.

6).No surprise here, but Davis Love has also been named a Vice Captain (alongside Couples of course) of Jay Haas's Presidents Cup Team in Korea; Tony Johnstone & McNulty assisting Nick Price for the Internationals.Surely there'll be some sort of Korean presence?
EDIT: Apparently KJ Choi is also a VC; didn't see that in the original report.

7).Terrific news about the revival of the "British Masters" tournament  at Woburn this October. Thanks Poults, and looking forward to seeing where Donald, Rose and Westwood take the tournament through 2019.

8).Hopefully this will be part of new initiatives by the European Tour, perhaps learning something at last from the genius that is Tim Finchem's management of the PGA Tour. His latest coup is getting Dell Computers (they of the utterly useless technical and customer service agents) to sponsor the WGC:MatchPlay, in Austin, Texas, starting March 2016.
Finchem manages tournament scheduling as if he's finding pieces for a giant jigsaw that embraces a decade or two, witness his recent long-term sponsorship agreements with Waste Management and Charles Schwab (for the Seniors).

9).Last year's Cadillac tournament was marred by high winds on a course that wasn't built for them. Or was it?
Anyway, hundreds of waterballs ensued, no windmills necessary when water hazards are everywhere.
As Rob Bolton describes his fantasy team strategy for the new, unfortunately not improved, Doral: Choose "brutes (he chose Rory, Bubba, Dustin and Reed) in a big-boy field on a big-boy course".
I'd be very surprised if Bubba and DJ were not in Sunday's shake up. At least the winds will be fresh and not gale-force, and the weather looks fine for Rounds 1 and 2, possible rain on Saturday and Sunday.

10).Finally, a truly horrendous field takes their clubs to Puerto Rico for their Open. The top sixty-odd players are competitive enough, buttressed as the field is by some European Tour players. But holding an "opposite field" event on the same week as a web.com tournament is just plain daft, especially as the Champions Tour has the week off.
I wonder whether they'd be better off choosing the field from all three U.S. Tours and taking the top 44 from each?
Still, this week represents a great opportunity for a win and just the same 2-year exemption as Padraig Harrington earned for last week's miracle.


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:10 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Post by McLaren Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:54 am

Does someone like Paddy with 3 majors get a double whammy when taking a sponsors exemption. In that he gets to play and receives a back hander for "enhancing" the status of the event.

In any case, what a guy.
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:56 am

Not officially.

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Post by McLaren Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:03 am

I guessed it wasn't official but it seems like sponsors exemptions and appearance fees could become one and the same for some of the old time big guns still wanting to play on tour.
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Post by GPB Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:57 am

After Tiger's glutes didn't activate I think the Woods Odds at Masters went to 50/1 at Paddypower.

Now they are 28/1.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:20 pm

Robert Gamez has just been retrieved from the recovery room for his first start (in Puerto Rico) since undergoing quadruple by-pass surgery last June.
Nothing against Gamez but the Tour has got to re-think these "opposite field" events, this one in particular.

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Post by GPB Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:32 pm

kwinigolfer wrote: but the Tour has got to re-think these "opposite field" events, this one in particular.

Why?  the HAVES are getting show up FEX points and show up $50,000 paychecks and near guaranteed OWGR points.

I have no problem with the journeyman and rankfile players playing some crumbs down in Puerto Rico.

And they are not guaranteed to get any.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:50 pm

Disagree. They should be promoting the young players and making sure that Seniors play on the Champo Tour. Who would you rather follow: Lowery or Lovemark? For instance.
All they had to do is hold a Champions Tour event this week, but no web.commer.
Or, as I suggested in Note 10).

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Post by GPB Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:03 pm

I can't agree with "Truly Horrendous" field in Puerto Rico.

Any tournament that is primarily composed of PGATour Members is not truly horrendous.  Many of them have OWGR ranking that is not fully populated with 40 events and what is in their resume are Web-com events.

For well over a year, I have been complaining about the plight of the Web-commers and not getting a fair chance to play enough PGATournaments.  A competitive disadvantage.  

This is an opportunity for them to strut their stuff.  Yes, probably not a good idea to be playing a Web-com event this week, but it might be a question of availability. 

Remember this week would have been the traditional week for the Honda and not Doral/Puerto Rico.  The Match Play would have been normally played last week in Tucson, and Honda this week and Doral next week.

Maybe the Web-event got locked into this date and couldn't be changed

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:34 pm

I DID qualify "horrendous" by saying the Top 60 were competitive - and it's great to see the web.commers get their chance.
But you and I could weed out 30 or 40 golfers that are purely there for ceremonial purposes, and possibly to squeak a cut and boost their pensionability.

Fair point about the date. Anyway, happy to disagree! We'll probably still get a good winner.

Adam Scott likely to be using a short putter this week.


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Post by puligny Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:24 pm

Great news about British Masters. Marquess my favourite inland course in UK. Real picture and superb test.

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Post by super_realist Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:35 pm

It would be nice if they could keep the British Masters a heathland type competition.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:39 pm

It would be nice if they could keep the British Masters

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Post by I'm never wrong Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:06 pm

OK, so Poulter hosting at Woburn. Where would the others host? Rose I can see somewhere down Hampshire way (Meon Valley?)Westwood, East Midlands (Woodhall Spa?) but where would Donald go? Back to Woburn?

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Post by GPB Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:15 pm

If Adam goes to a long putter, I don't think it will mean too much to his score.

If it is the "British" Masters, it makes sense for to go other places besides England, correct?

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Post by Davie Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:19 pm

Although Westwood is a midlands boy I'd expect him to host at somewhere like Wentworth (would they have two event there?) .. Rosie's home course is North Hants but not suitable .. somewhere else in the area I'd expect .. would Sunningdale be up to it these days?

Donald at Wycombe Heights laughing

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Post by I'm never wrong Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:23 pm

GPB wrote:If it is the "British" Masters, it makes sense for to go other places besides England, correct?
Donald has Scottish roots.

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Post by super_realist Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:27 pm

No shortage of great courses around. Scotland has enough events so anywhere in England/Wales could be good.

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Post by puligny Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:52 pm

It will probably go to hotel complexes eg Westwood attached to Close House, so maybe there? I would like to see some more traditional heathland courses in the mix, but hotels, London Club, The Grove are more likely to be the type which will see benefits from the event.

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Post by super_realist Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:13 pm

Would Stoke Park be any good for something like this?

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Post by puligny Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:35 pm

Super - I don't think so. Suspect pros would eat it up. From memory under 7000, but could probably be lengthened. While yardage isn't the only consideration it isn't the test that I think tour pros would need.

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Post by super_realist Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:42 pm

Fair enough, I've probably got sentimental attachment to it from Goldfinger.
I see Stoke Park to a 72 hole Open in August though. I might look into this.

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Post by puligny Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:07 pm

Super - go for it, its very enjoyable, just not European tournament strength. We've played a mixed event there past couple of years for a bit of fun, and they feed you very well! Also means you get to play all 27 holes.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:39 pm

If George was on here, he might suggest Moor Park for Luke, must be pretty close to Beaconsfield - isn't that where he played as a lad? Is it still Tour quality?

Is Hollinwell still Tour standard? Otherwise Westwood could go to the Belfry or, as was said, Close House.

And Justin Rose could go somewhere like The Wanderers!

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Post by puligny Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:59 am

Kwini courses you mention are very good, but would need a bit of work to host tour events. High Course at Moor Park probably not far off but known more for big am events. Hollinwell I know only by reputation as a very good course, but others better placed to comment. I think it will need to be something corporate to see the benefits of taking a course out of action for members. Wouldn't want it at Remedy, although course is tailor made for it!

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Post by Bob_the_Job Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:18 am

Is the Oxfordshire up to it - I seem to remember it hosting a European Open in the past (Westwood might have won?)?


(Nice write up Kwini - keep up the good work)
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Post by navyblueshorts Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:33 am

puligny wrote:Kwini courses you mention are very good, but would need a bit of work to host tour events. High Course at Moor Park probably not far off but known more for big am events. Hollinwell I know only by reputation as a very good course, but others better placed to comment. I think it will need to be something corporate to see the benefits of taking a course out of action for members. Wouldn't want it at Remedy, although course is tailor made for it!
Re. Hollinwell. I was going to suggest it as a midlands venue that's possibly capable. Fabulous track on a LOT of land. If need be (and I'm sure they'd do it), holes could really be stretched. Even off the current tombstones (7250 yards, par 72 sss 76) it's a beast at times for amateurs - think they held the England Boys there a year or two back and the EGU insisted that parts of the course had their hazards reduced prior to it taking place. Think they're hosting the Brabazon this year. In addition to length, if they let the rough grow as well, it should test most of the pros.
Only downsides are the greens, which are perpetually not up to the rest of the course's standard although, finally, they're being worked on properly and, perhaps, the infrastructure to support fans etc - not sure how many they'd need to cater for but there's a lot of space there. If they do get the greens to a high standard, some of them will be devils to negotiate if they're quick.
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Post by I'm never wrong Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:34 am

The Benson and Hedges International Golf Tournament was played at the Oxfordshire for a few seasons. I don't know if it was whilst it was there, or at another course that Padraig Harrington was disqualified because of the incorrect signatures on his scorecard. (Something like marker signed in the player bit or similar)

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Post by puligny Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:04 am

Oxfordshire exactly the type I am thinking might get it. Brute of a course when the wind blows, and the wind always blows!
Navy has recommended Hollinwell to me before, after I played Sherwodd Forest, and I think it is more the type of course I would prefer to be used. Certainly if it's tougher than Sherwood Forest would definitely be up to the task.
Kwini, your thread is being hijacked, although you raised it!! Personally speaks to 2 things - need for more UK and specifically English tournaments, and a lack of interest in yet another water theme park in Flroida! Great write up though, and some of the best insights I get to read.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:05 am

It's a good discussion though isn't it? Got to get our championship courses holding championships!
thumbsup

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:11 am

And they're off in Puerto Rico; Robbie Karlsson on the first tee as I write, Greg Owen on the 10th!


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Post by McLaren Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:21 am

So for 2015 the following events will be played on UK and Ire soil

BMW PGA
Irish Open
Scottish Open
The Open
Paul Lawrie thing
Dunhill Links
British Masters

Breaking it down

England 2
Ireland 1
Scotland 4
Wales 0
Total 7

Although there are 7 events in the UK this season it seems a lot of them are quite far from the main population centres of London and the other large English cities. So should there be more events in the UK, or are there enough but just not distributed as evenly as they could be?


(As for Masters venues would celitc manor be suitable given the connection of a ryder cup win?)
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Post by super_realist Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:23 am

Celtic Manor has problems getting spectators Mac, I was there last year Mac and an employee told me they made a loss there with the Wales Open, great venue though.

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Post by MustPuttBetter Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:32 am

Meon Valley is a terrible course, surely it couldn't hold a proper tour event!?!
Sunningdale has held the Ladies Open a few times of late. I don't know what the attendances for that versus a men's tour event are, but must be similar ish?
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Post by LadyPutt Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:45 am

Interesting card from Morten Orum Madsen in the African Open today - 6 Birdies, 2 Eagles, 4 Bogies, 1 double, 1 triple and 4 Pars! All adds up to 1 under par Laugh
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Post by McLaren Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:00 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/golf/31738459

McIlroy shoots a 63 around seminole, Christ, that's even easier than TOC. I know it was just a member guest type thing, but why did he not bother playing like that in the honda?
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Post by BlueCoverman Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:26 am

Probably because he knew we had all picked him in the fantasy league Mac Laugh

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Post by Lairdy Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:03 am

How many players in the field this week? and they are starting off two tees??

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Post by I'm never wrong Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:06 am

puligny wrote:Kwini, your thread is being hijacked, although you raised it!!
Sorry Kwini, but you did start it. Erm Here, have a Ale on me.

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Post by Roller_Coaster Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:06 am

McLaren wrote:http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/golf/31738459

McIlroy shoots a 63 around seminole, Christ, that's even easier than TOC.  I know it was just a member guest type thing, but why did he not bother playing like that in the honda?

If he stayed for 3 more laps he could have shot 254... Whistle

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Post by McLaren Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:22 am

If we want some more WGC chat how about considering this. An often overlooked part of Tiger's greatness is his 18 WGC wins, and if Rory ever wants to be compared to Tiger he will have to start winning WGC's on a regular basis. Like them or not, Tiger has made numerous WGC wins a part of becoming an all time great player.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:42 am

Lairdy, 74 players in threes off a two tee start. Midway through you have Bernd Wiesberger and Tommy Fleetwood as a two ball.

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Post by beninho Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:05 am

What makes anyone think Rory wants to be compared to Tiger?

Tiger was a one off, who came good at the perfect time, no real global stars in the game. Money starting to creep in, and golf becoming popular round the world. Very similar to Manchester United bringing through a special crop of kids at the perfect time to take advantage of the Premier League money boom. And build a brand that is one of the biggest in the world. similar to Brand Woods at its peak.

CAn Rory compare? Highly unlikely, in fact it is unlikely anyone can or will in the future.

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Post by beninho Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:08 am

What is the need for a two tee start when only 74 players start?


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Post by Davie Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:26 am

Lee Westwood tweets that it is Military appreciation day at Doral. Guess we can look forward to a load of military fellating on the TV coverage then

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Post by LadyPutt Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:36 am

Davie wrote:Lee Westwood tweets that it is Military appreciation day at Doral. Guess we can look forward to a load of military fellating on the TV coverage then
Makes me vomit
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Post by sirbenson Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:59 am

Did they make any further changes on the Blue Monster course?

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Post by sirbenson Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:01 am

Great to see Noren in the field!!

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:39 am

Isn't EVERY WEEK Military Appreciation Week on the PGA Tour?
Quite absurd, but PGA Tour "code" for Republican endorsement.

In a week during which the most deified General of the past twenty years has been found guilty of sharing secrets with his mistress, I suppose they need to drum up all the support they can get.

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Post by Lairdy Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:51 am

1GrumpyGolfer wrote:Lairdy, 74 players in threes off a two tee start.  Midway through you have Bernd Wiesberger and Tommy Fleetwood as a two ball.

It's bonkers isn't it? I'm assuming daylight might be an issue as you'd need about 6 hours if you sent them out in 2s and 10minutes apart. But then why not groups of 2 on a two tee start? or 3s on a one tee start?

Are they trying to avoid bad weather?

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