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PGA Tour: Last Stop Before Augusta: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 1 Apr - 15:24

1).Only one spot left to be earned for The Masters now and that will go to the winner of this week's "Shell Houston Open", if not already exempt.
Paul Casey won "Houston" a few years ago, in a play-off with JB Holmes who promptly helped Casey's cause by driving into a lake. Last week he was sitting at home sh1tting bricks as one possible challenger after another fell by the wayside and Casey actually gained a ranking spot as he clung to his owgr Top Fifty avenue to Magnolia Lane. Lucky boy.

2).Although it makes for a great storyline, the last-minute entree into The Masters hasn't been especially rewarding in terms of results, but Davis Love won "New Orleans" in 1995, so gaining entry to Augusta and promptly finished runner-up to Crenshaw. Perhaps this week's winner may also find that Major glory is just a week away.

3).What do y'all make of Jimmy Walker's stroll in the San Antonio park last week, fifth win in 18 months, his most recent pair by a total of 13 strokes?
That's a career's worth for luminaries like Tom Lehman, and a career-so-far's-worth for Luke Donald. Walker was a Masters debutant last year and finished strongly to finish 8th (which he followed with Top Tens at Pinehurst and Valhalla).
He and Stenson have both sent sick notes in to Houston, but you'd think both have the right stuff for next week.

4).Another impressive performance from Jordan Spieth, once again emphasizing that few are his equal in willing the ball into the hole, Tigerlike, when in contention.

5).And what about Aaron Baddeley's Round 2 birdie on #17? His 336-yard hole-in-one with his second tee-ball (after his first was deemed unplayable) is the longest hole-out on the PGA Tour in the Shot Link era which goes back to 2003. Probably longest ever.

6).Talking about amazing feats, Freddie Jac has a current "three putt avoidance" streak of 416 holes. That amounts to 23+ x 18-hole rounds for The Swedish Seve; which saves his Tour bacon as he ranks in the bottom 10% of most "ball-striking" stats.

7).Major League Baseball begins its 6-month season this weekend; the AVERAGE salary for Major Leaguers is $4.25M. And remember, unlike golfers who have to pay caddies, travel, hospitality etc, this is a net income figure.

8).Last week's Thursday morning / Friday afternoon "wave" had to contend with a 4-stroke handicap, less than a 30% chance of making the cut due to Thursday morning high winds. This week's weather will be similarly iffy, but more democratic perhaps, as 15 mph winds and the chance of showers seems to be the order of every day, not so much of what Bonnie Raitt might sing the "Luck of the Draw", more the "Natural Law".

9).Texans came first and second in San Antonio, but I'd be surprised if that repeated itself, though could quite easily see Patrick Reed have another strong week. And wouldn't be shocked to see Houston's adopted son, Angel Cabrera come to play.

10).As I write this, the Golf world breathlessly awaits news from Camp Woods as to whether his Tigership will grace The Masters with his presence. Confirmation is also still awaited from less exalted personalities, Messrs Bjorn, Clark, Stadler, Weir, perhaps Koepka. McDowell says he's fit, Stricker will definitely be there, as will Adam Scott's broomstick putter, but the appearance of none of these will cause as much of a pleasant flutter as a surprise appearance by Amanda Dufner.

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Post by hend085 Wed 1 Apr - 15:43

great write up as always Kwini.
is there an alternate list for Augusta or are the powers that be above some administration?!


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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 1 Apr - 15:45

No alternate list.
If a player doesn't turn up no-one replaces him. thumbsup

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Post by McLaren Wed 1 Apr - 15:49

Kwini

Walker winning last week does nothing to change how I rate him, he was a fine PGAT player without a major before the victory and this remains the case.  He finished in the top 10 in 3 of last years majors which hints that he could well perform quite well in future majors, but in order to think of him as a really top player he needs to start contending regularly.  Just hopefully not in a Lee Westwood manner.   He would be my bet for next American to win a major.
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Post by incontinentia Wed 1 Apr - 16:02

I'd fancy Spieth to win a major before Walker, seems to be in contention more.

PS- great write-up kwini thumbsup
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Post by lorus59 Wed 1 Apr - 16:06

So Jason Dufner's wife is divorcing him and is getting $2.5m. I guess she is cashing in her chips as he is on a downward spiral.

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Post by McLaren Wed 1 Apr - 16:06

inco

Jordan Spieth only has one top 10 in a major to Walkers 3, although jimmy's best is a T7, and Jordan has played in one more major.
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Post by navyblueshorts Wed 1 Apr - 16:14

Good write-up as usual Kwini - thanks. Love the Aaron Baddeley birdie from last week - a story to dine out on for a lifetime I would think.

Not sure what to make of Walker. Seems to be very, very hot when his game's on and it's been on or thereabouts for a while now. Not many of recent vintage have spreadeagled the fields as he's done on a couple of recent occasions. Does he really believe he could win a Major? If he's got it between the ears and his game's approaching that of last week etc, he could easily walk off with a Green Jacket.
Quite fancy Spieth at AGNC - seems to do everything extremely well albeit nothing spectacularly. Definitely hard enough mentally if he's in contention I would think.
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 1 Apr - 16:41

Thanks chaps,

A word of caution about my Cabrera exuberance in Note 9).
His son was the driver in a fatal car accident in Argentina, so even if he plays this week (which seems questionable) golf might not have his full attention.

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Post by McLaren Wed 1 Apr - 17:31

Adam scott going back to anchored putter for the masters. It is still legal but just imagine the stick he will get if he wins with it.
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 1 Apr - 17:49

Interesting from Chamblee:
It took Masters winners an average of 7.7 years' experience of Augusta National before they slipped on the Green Jacket.
About right for Snedeker!

Ten day forecast for Augusta, i.e. thru' Masters Friday, suggests mostly dry for the next week after a drier than normal March, cloudy and warm Thursday, good chance of thunderstorms on Friday. Still awaiting next weekend's guesses!

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 1 Apr - 18:10

And then there were 98. Tim Clark has announced he won't make next Thursday's starting line.
Phew, Billy Payne can relax.

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Post by McLaren Wed 1 Apr - 18:11

Kwini

Your mate Tim Rosaforte has gone even more tiger crazy than normal. He now claims to know that tiger shot a worst ball 66 around his home course.
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 1 Apr - 18:15

OK then, so what's keeping him from announcing he'll play?

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Post by super_realist Wed 1 Apr - 20:02

kwinigolfer wrote:Interesting from Chamblee:
It took Masters winners an average of 7.7 years' experience of Augusta National before they slipped on the Green Jacket.
About right for Snedeker!

Ten day forecast for Augusta, i.e. thru' Masters Friday, suggests mostly dry for the next week after a drier than normal March, cloudy and warm Thursday, good chance of thunderstorms on Friday. Still awaiting next weekend's guesses!

Didn't Snedeker also win a college competition that allowed him to play Augusta as often as he liked? I think he said he played it solid for a month or something

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Post by super_realist Wed 1 Apr - 20:10

McLaren wrote:Adam scott going back to anchored putter for the masters.  It is still legal but just imagine the stick he will get if he wins with it.  

How much stick did he get when he won the Masters with it last time?

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Post by McLaren Wed 1 Apr - 20:13

Super

There is more focus on the anchoring issue now that the ban has come in. Do you really doubt the media wouldn't jump on the fact a player had won a major with a soon to be banned technique? It would be any easy story for even the lazy ass golf journo's to cover.
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Post by super_realist Wed 1 Apr - 20:16

The ban hasn't come in. It's like having a go at someone for doing 70 today if it drops to 65 tomorrow.

There's far too much made of the putting issue as far as I'm concerned. I've yet to see any evidence that it holes more putts. There really is a lot more pressing issues in golf to be addressed in my opinion.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Wed 1 Apr - 20:18

Oh, so you're saying we should expect Iain Carter to be all over it if Scott wins....

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Post by McLaren Wed 1 Apr - 20:21

grumps

Yes. Wink


super

Remove your own thoughts - or mine - from the equation, all I am saying is that if Scott or anyone else wins a major the media will make a big deal about it.
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Post by super_realist Wed 1 Apr - 20:24

If they did Mac, I think they'd be peevish morons and dreadful journalists, besides, who listens to Golf journalists about anything anyway?

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 1 Apr - 20:28

super_,
Hadn't heard that about Snedeker - that's the deal of a lifetime, literally. Sure he still feels heavily incented to win the thing though.

And completely agree with you about Mac's obsession, of which he seems to have quite a number, on anchoring putterage and its significance relative to so many other issues in golf.

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Post by Davie Wed 1 Apr - 20:52

I feel quite ill - for once I'm going to agree with Mac.

The impending ban on anchoring has been known about for a couple of years. Most players have already moved on and at least started to adapt to new rules (whether you like them or not). I thought, though prepared to be corrected, that even Scott had started to adapt to new regs.

If he WERE to win next week with a technique that everyone knows is being outlawed then I'm sure there WILL be a fuss about it - by responsible journalists as well as reckless ones.

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Post by GPB Thu 2 Apr - 1:34

Re Sneds and Augusta National.

About 10 yrs ago won the US Publinx Amateur tournament and that got him an invite to the Masters.  Anyone with an invite can play ANGC as many times as they wish leading up to the Masters.  

Apparently Sneds drove down to ANGC every weekend for a few months to play ANGC.  It is about 5-6 hour drive from Vanderbilt (his college) to Augusta.

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Post by GPB Thu 2 Apr - 3:23

Former PGATour pro and Web-com player Roger Tambellini is in a coma after suffering a Heart Attack.

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Post by incontinentia Thu 2 Apr - 8:50

Seems like the secondary question around the Masters (other than "will Woods play?") is whether McIlroy can complete the career grand slam. Funny story in the news about a letter a 9 year old McIlroy sent Tiger in 1998 warning that he was 'coming for him'. If Rory can win next week he will be 36% there.
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Post by Bob_the_Job Thu 2 Apr - 9:09

super_realist wrote:
McLaren wrote:Adam scott going back to anchored putter for the masters.  It is still legal but just imagine the stick he will get if he wins with it.  

How much stick did he get when he won the Masters with it last time?

I'm more surprised that he's toggling back and forth. That can't be easy. I'd have thought once you change - stick to it, would be a better route to go.

Good write up Kwini
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Post by incontinentia Thu 2 Apr - 12:03

Lowry watch

http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/golf/shane-lowry-missing-cut-was-blessing-in-disguise-1.2153321
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 2 Apr - 12:19

GPB,
That's shocking about Tambellini - wonder if anything else was going on there? 40 years old.

A few minor figures from the last few decades have exitted recently, plus of course the more aged HOF'ers.


Davis Love undergoing foot surgery to extract the bullet lodged when he accepted a second go at the RC Captaincy. Out for two months.

Lots of guys on the disabled list right now; we still have to hear about participation of Woods (obviously), Stadler, Weir, Koepka for next week. Tim Clark definitely on the sidelines.

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Post by McLaren Thu 2 Apr - 12:21

Why doesn't Tim Clarke just retire gracefully?
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 2 Apr - 12:22

Why should he?
Just because McLaren doesn't much care for him?

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Post by LadyPutt Thu 2 Apr - 12:23

The same could be said about Woods.
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Post by McLaren Thu 2 Apr - 12:30

Ladyputt

If he fails at his latest comeback attempt then I agree with that.


Kwini

super doesn't really care for him either, that must settle it. Wink

If he hadn't fluked the canadian open where would he be now?
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Post by super_realist Thu 2 Apr - 12:35

Clark finished second at Augusta once.

I've nothing against Clark other than his preposterous justification for his putting style.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 2 Apr - 13:06

"fluked the canadian open". Please explain.
PS: No fluke about it he played superbly.

"where would he be now?" Presumably exactly the same place he currently is.

Seems one of the really good guys on Tour.


Is there anything/anyone you actually DO like Mac, apart from Woods, Carrick and everything F1 your cupboard seems to be pretty bare.

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Post by McLaren Thu 2 Apr - 13:14

Golfers I like are

McIlroy (the new fanboys fanboy)

Actually I am pretty stuck after that.   :shock:


As super has rightly pointed out in the past there is little to admire in most sportspeople outside how they perform in their particular sport.


Edit corrected your post for you.

"Is there anything/anyone you actually DO like Mac, apart from Woods, Carrick, EMMA WATSON (how could you forget  :doh:  ) and everything F1 your cupboard seems to be pretty bare.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 2 Apr - 13:25

Just a reminder that young Englishman Kelvin Day makes his Tour debut this afternoon.

Looks like the early starters are on their way, including Danny Willett.
Casey up shortly while DC and the golfer formerly known as Justin Rose are also off within the hour. Rose needs some decent results, not in the Top 200 in FedEx points.

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Post by Bob_the_Job Thu 2 Apr - 13:59

kwinigolfer wrote: the golfer formerly known as Justin Rose

drumroll Very Happy

Mind you in the past that could have applied to Stenson, Stricker, Westwood etc. etc.  It's actually harder to think of a top player that hasn't had a noticeable dip in form although the three I mentioned were more noticeable than most.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 2 Apr - 14:24

Agree Bob,
And some of them lasted for years.
But this is strange in that there's been no comment or explanation about any specific part of his game, health (he had injury niggles early last year). This has been under the radar from someone who's usually pretty upfront about any issue..

Anyway, good luck to him, hope he's blooming now spring is (allegedly) here.

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Post by MontysMerkin Thu 2 Apr - 14:45

Did I see Tim Clark pitching split handed not too long back? A bit like VJays chipping - not a good sign for any pro shurely?
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Post by GPB Thu 2 Apr - 15:28

Kwini: Tambellini is out of his coma and appears to be recovering nicely according to a Kay C*ckerill tweet.

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Post by sirbenson Thu 2 Apr - 16:00

Phil is off to a fantastic start, last week should have been a warning sign that this kind of form was around the corner.

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Post by incontinentia Thu 2 Apr - 16:08

sirbenson wrote:Phil is off to a fantastic start, last week should have been a warning sign that this kind of form was around the corner.
*Masters alert* *Masters alert*
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Post by McLaren Thu 2 Apr - 16:28

The golfer formally known as "the golfer formally known as just Rose" is also making a decent start.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 2 Apr - 16:35

You're right Mac,
Both Phil and tgfkaJR making fine starts, great to see. They both need to keep going, hope they do, Casey too!

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Post by sirbenson Thu 2 Apr - 16:48

Casey knew what he was doing all along haha! He knew if he'd have missed out on the top 50, he was going to win this week!

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 2 Apr - 17:12

If Woods is following all these birds and eagles he might consider he'd be better off sitting home.
But when/where would he choose to come out of hiding?

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 2 Apr - 17:50

No cut-line at +6 this week, more like -2 or -3 at the rate they're going.
Even the hitherto awol Victor Dubuisson is getting in on the act. Sacre bleu.

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PGA Tour: Last Stop Before Augusta: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: Last Stop Before Augusta: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren Thu 2 Apr - 19:19

kwinigolfer wrote:If Woods is following all these birds and eagles he might consider he'd be better off sitting home.
But when/where would he choose to come out of hiding?

The second coming of the Madeira Island open might be about the the right level for the nth coming of Tiger Woods if he misses the Masters.
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PGA Tour: Last Stop Before Augusta: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: Last Stop Before Augusta: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by GPB Thu 2 Apr - 19:20

Marc Leishman's wife is very ill with pneumonia and he is now doubtful for the Masters.

Doctors have put Audrey Leishman in a medically induced coma.

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PGA Tour: Last Stop Before Augusta: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: Last Stop Before Augusta: Notes from the Ballwasher

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