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PGA Tour: The Players. Fifth Major? No! But Who Cares?: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 05 May 2015, 8:29 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).This year's Players Championship has rather crept up on the golfing world, coming as it does immediately following the WGC Match Play action.
The Tour switches back from Harding Park in San Francisco to PGA Tour HQ in the Jacksonville, Florida, area: Different grasses, different course design principles, and a very different climate, with warm weather expected and showers possible through the weekend.

2).The annual debate about "Fifth Major" status seems to dim just a shade every year, while no-one can ignore the quality of the field (48 of the Top 50) or the familiarity with Pete Dye's TPC Sawgrass course, like it or loathe it. I'll never like the sh1t or bust nature of #17, never a Championship-worthy hole in my (dog-eared) book, but that doesn't mean it's not compulsive viewing!

3).And compulsive viewing was something that was missing last week at the Match Play.
64 matches and there were certainly some good ones, probably the highest quality delivered by Alex Levy and Joost Luiten (sorry Golf Channel), Levy's 66 being trumped by Luiten's 64. But the TV broadcasts were flat, the commentators trying to figure things out as they went along and sometimes getting it wrong. Perhaps the most stupid part of the entire enterprise was the tee-time schedule on Saturday, potentially a mess for the Tours but possibly also a blessing in disguise.
For reasons unknown, the four quarter finals were delayed such that the final tie between Casey & McIlroy left the house at 4.00 p.m. in the clear knowledge that sunset was at 8.00 p.m.. Needless to say it went extra holes and had to resume Sunday morning with temps in the 40's and Casey looking like death warmed up. In the circumstances, one wonders whether his sleepless Saturday night caused by food poisoning would have allowed him to play a semi-final had he won.
Even Rory thought that scheduling was unusual:
"I'm not sure it's ever really happened before, with the guys pushing tee times back so late, this obviously could have been avoided if we went off a little earlier." Quite.

4).Regardless, the pundits and others have weighed in with ideas for changes to take to Austin, Texas, for the Dell Match Play next March.
An indignant Jordan Spieth wants 54 holes stroke play followed by the top 16 going Match Play - 'course, though he played well on Wednesday and Thursday, Westwood beat him by two up as well as two strokes. Anyway, Finchem's not having that, but he promises some "tweaks". A straight knock out for all 64 players works well in my book . . . . . .

5).Can't let the Match Play go without talking about the big "fight", not Mayweather reaping gazillions fighting a guy with a torn rotator cuff, but Bradley/Hale vs Jimenez. I've seen interpretations of forensic analysis of the tape purporting to say each golfer was in the right. Who knows?
What I haven't seen is anyone suggesting Pepsi Hale was right to intervene and confront Jimenez (especially if it's true that he mocked Miguel's accent) - who does he think he is? Steve Williams?? Not surprisingly the tenor of media opinion here is that Jimenez is just another Spanish Ryder Cupper with questionable behaviour in Match Play. GolfWorld's Jaime Diaz, among the sports media's most respected writers, put it this way:
"Ryder Cup stuff lingers. Supposedly hale fellow Jimenez has a reputation among Americans for being an annoying opponent with a haughty and even antagonistic air. When Jimenez questioned an official's ruling, permitted under the rules but a breach of the golfer's code, he pushed the highly strung Bradley's buttons. Of course, Jimenez doesn't seem to have any. He walked away from the ugliness with customary aplomb, raising suspicions that, like the world's most interesting man, he had simply decided to have an awkward moment, just to see what it was like."

NB: Have never previously heard such aspersions cast against Miguel.
Diaz may think questioning an official's ruling is a breach of golfer's code, but it certainly happens on regular Tour events as well as the Ryder Cup, and happened in a (semi-final?) match at a recent Match Play between Garcia and Poulter when Poults questioned a ruling, brought in the referee, and was proved to be correct.
The most relevant outcome? Jimenez won 2 up. RedWine RedWine  

6).Jimenez has played 38 WGC events, which is a lot but by no means the leader. That distinction falls to Lee Westwood, with 51 and a couple more presumably to follow later this year. The five with the most appearances are:
51: Westwood
48: Els
45: Furyk
44: Woods
44: Mickelson

7).Two sad events last week, the passing of pioneering black golfers Calvin Peete and Pete Brown. There aren't many left. I linked an appreciation of Calvin Peete last week. Here's what Scott Michaux had to say about Pete Brown (and, not incidentally, Jim Dent):
http://chronicle.augusta.com/sports/golf/2015-05-02/michaux-jim-dent-wont-forget-man-pete-brown

When I started following US PGA Tour golf, Lee Elder, Jim Dent, Jim Thorpe and Calvin Peete were Tour regulars; one or two others followed, and Charlie Sifford and Charlie Owens were trail-blazers on the Senior Tour. Since Tiger burst on the scene and inspired generations of new Tour pros, no new black player has emerged as a Tour regular. That says something, but I'm not completely sure exactly what.

8).Meanwhile, some Tour pros took the opportunity to introduce themselves to Chambers Bay. The press release said the reviews were "mixed", but I haven't read a good review yet. Most liked the routing but not the greens - just a few weeks now and we'll be able to see what the fuss is about.

9).There'll be plenty to read about The Players Championship so no point in going on about it. Great field, very precise ball-striking required, Henrik Stenson ticks all the boxes for attributes required to win (again), but Stenson has seemed out of sorts since the Bay Hill fiasco, sickness, and not knowing the MatchPlay rules last week. He wasn't thrilled with his first look at Chambers Bay and, let's face it, with Stenson you are never quite sure which Henrik you're going to get. Hopefully this week will be Good Henrik but I wouldn't bank on it.

10).The final word about one of golf's shortest champions, Wee Woosie, who is playing his best golf for ten years, probably his best since his 15-clubs snafu at Lytham. Woosie won this past week's Champions Tour event in Houston, in a Play-off with Kenny Perry and Lehman, and banked $300+K, the largest official payday of his career and $64K more than he won at The Masters in 1991.
Last and least - but only in height. His stature in golf is unquestioned.

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Post by sirbenson Sun 10 May 2015, 11:54 pm

This is an incredible finish!!! Wow!!! Come on Rickie Fowler

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 11 May 2015, 12:58 am

Is Rickie Fowler still the most overrated player on TOUR?

Well done to him, and well done to Sergio and Kiz.

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Post by sirbenson Mon 11 May 2015, 1:13 am

Fantastic finish from Fowler! Balls of steel!!!

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 11 May 2015, 1:19 am

Two Trickie Rickie played his final ten holes in 8 under par.
No complaints with that sort of form, brilliant golf.

Fine result too from Jamie Donaldson.

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Post by sirbenson Mon 11 May 2015, 1:33 am

The majors will have to go a long way to live up to the PLAYERS!

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Post by super_realist Mon 11 May 2015, 6:37 am

Well well, the most over-rated golfer in the world who never wins, wins a tournament. A good way to answer your critics.

Not the sporting story of the weekend though. Murray pumping Nadal on clay is on another level

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Post by pedro Mon 11 May 2015, 8:25 am

Fantastic last holes from Fowler.

I think he'll just move from being the most overrated golfer to just being the most annoying golfer.

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Post by Bob_the_Job Mon 11 May 2015, 8:42 am

Well done Rickie. I'm convinced though that he pushed his 2nd into 16 and for a time he thought it was in the water. Really impressive finish though.
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Post by hend085 Mon 11 May 2015, 8:58 am

he also pushed his shot into 17 in the sudden death playoff. cant imagine he was aiming right of that pin!

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Post by navyblueshorts Mon 11 May 2015, 9:20 am

This is turning into the season for the over-rated golfers. Speith takes the Masters and now Fowler wins the Players. Whatever next?
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Post by super_realist Mon 11 May 2015, 9:31 am

Maybe Poulter will win next? Laugh Laugh Laugh

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Post by Sand Mon 11 May 2015, 9:52 am

Amazing finish from Fowler - 8 for the last ten holes he played.

Would hate to play in the circumstances Sergio has to, when in contention in any tournament in America. Some of the abuse he was getting was ridiculous. Shut a few of them up with that putt on 17.

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Post by raycastleunited Mon 11 May 2015, 10:45 am

Poor old Sergio... shoeless, clueless, or just plain unlucky? Got himself into pole position and then didn't do much wrong.

As for Rickie, what a legend. Pretty sure he pushed his approach on 16 in regulation play, but then he who dares, Rodney. Stunning stuff from the boy. He's been slated for years for being style over substance, but I think since he started working with Harmon he's become a genuine player - contended in all 4 majors last year - would love to see him go on to win one soon.

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Post by pedro Mon 11 May 2015, 10:59 am

Maybe he's the new Craig Perks?

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Post by navyblueshorts Mon 11 May 2015, 11:41 am

super_realist wrote:Maybe Poulter will win next? Laugh Laugh Laugh
Ah. Do be serious!
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Post by AlciG Mon 11 May 2015, 12:00 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:This is turning into the season for the over-rated golfers. Speith takes the Masters and now Fowler wins the Players. Whatever next?

Westwood wins The Open
Luke Donald wins the US Open

laughing

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Post by McLaren Mon 11 May 2015, 12:01 pm

I would heckle garcia if I were a spectator. Why wouldn't you?


Fowler remains overrated but only because the media tried to make him out as a rival to McIlroy and other such ludicrous claims. And some fans bought this tosh. He is clearly a solid top 20 player, but making those claims doesn't seel golf digest. Although it seems naked women is what really sells DG.

As another player pointed out, they would take Fowlers overrated career to date.
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Post by Bob_the_Job Mon 11 May 2015, 12:39 pm

McLaren wrote:I would heckle garcia if I were a spectator.  Why wouldn't you?

Four reasons off the top of my head - take your pick:

Because I'm not an overly-opinionated, overly-loud, self-righteous and rude d1ck?
Because it's not football?
Because when I go to spectate at a professional golf tournament I remember that they're there to try to make a living and I'm there to you know, as the name suggests, spectate?
Because whatever your perceptions of a public figure, you don't know them really and there's a good chance you're doing them a disservice, despite your arrogance and moral indignation convincing you otherwise?


Last edited by Bob_the_Job on Mon 11 May 2015, 12:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by navyblueshorts Mon 11 May 2015, 12:44 pm

Bob_the_Job wrote:
McLaren wrote:I would heckle garcia if I were a spectator.  Why wouldn't you?

Four reasons off the top of my head - take your pick:

Because I'm not an overly-opinionated, overly-loud, self-righteous and rude d1ck?
Because it's not football?
Because when I go to spectate at a professional golf tournament I remember that they're there to try to make a living and I'm there to you know, as the name suggests, spectate?
Because whatever your perceptions of a public figure, you don't know them really and there's a good chance you're doing them a disservice, despite your arrogance and moral indignation convincing your otherwise?
clap
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Post by McLaren Mon 11 May 2015, 12:58 pm

The clap of a man who voted away his and everyone else's human rights. Rolling Eyes
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Post by pedro Mon 11 May 2015, 1:02 pm

What really p!ssed me off last night was the jerk shouting "mashed potatoes". It sounded particularly loud during Garcia and Kisner's drives on the first play off hole (16).

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Post by super_realist Mon 11 May 2015, 1:10 pm

They should be taken outside and shot.


Mac, must you be so wet and simpering?

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 11 May 2015, 1:22 pm

Mac,
I suppose I've come across people more negative than you (or is it just your McLaren persona?) but can't think of any right now.


On the more positive side, can anyone recall a finish like Rickie Fowler's?
One of the first televised Tour events I saw showed Nicklaus seemingly birdie/eagle most of the back nine to win the old Inverary tournament coming from way back, but don't think he had to overhaul half the number of golfers that Fowler passed. Quite possible that Rickie will go the rest of his career without matching that performance.

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Post by incontinentia Mon 11 May 2015, 1:35 pm

Woods' 2000 AT&T was better
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Post by raycastleunited Mon 11 May 2015, 1:45 pm

incontinentia wrote:Woods' 2000 AT&T was better

what happened?

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Post by McLaren Mon 11 May 2015, 1:47 pm

He came from about 6/7 back with only 9 holes to go. He also holed a second shot on a par 4 somewhere on the back nine.
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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 11 May 2015, 1:51 pm

That was pretty sporty inco, four under for his final four holes but he really only had one golfer to beat.
Most impressive thing for me about yesterday is that Fowler kept up the same pace in the play-off, par, birdie, par, birdie.

Most unimpressive thing was his girlfriend.

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Post by McLaren Mon 11 May 2015, 1:56 pm

I missed the action, what was up with his girlfriend?
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Post by hend085 Mon 11 May 2015, 2:06 pm

ive had a google today was was very impressed! just about pips olin brownes daughter!

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 11 May 2015, 2:20 pm

I think this was the foreplay prior to Californication, if she had her way, on the 17th green.

http://www.golfworlddigital.com/gw/05_11_2015?sub_id=m6YFz2X7vbcH#pg4

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Post by McLaren Mon 11 May 2015, 2:22 pm

I don't get it.
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Post by raycastleunited Mon 11 May 2015, 2:57 pm

McLaren wrote:I don't get it.

Her off the shoulder top wouldn't comply with the dress code at most clubs.

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Post by raycastleunited Mon 11 May 2015, 3:01 pm

McLaren wrote:He came from about 6/7 back with only 9 holes to go.  He also holed a second shot on a par 4 somewhere on the back nine.

What about Schwartzel finishing with 4 birdies on the trot to win the Masters?

Although from a shot-making / balls of steel perspective, birdieing the closing holes at TPC Stadium is a much tougher ask than Augusta

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Post by navyblueshorts Mon 11 May 2015, 3:25 pm

McLaren wrote:The clap of a man who voted away his and everyone else's human rights.  Rolling Eyes
I beg your pardon???
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Post by McLaren Mon 11 May 2015, 3:56 pm

navy

Don't play dumb.
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Post by Roller_Coaster Mon 11 May 2015, 4:00 pm

I've looked. Even with the "rolling eyes" I can't see any obvious signs of internet "humour" in there or markers of sarcasm despite trying to read it in a number of different ways.

I can only conclude you have indeed voted away my human rights Navy.

Thanks for that. I'll have to make do with my human wrongs from now on. <internet humour marker>

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Post by super_realist Mon 11 May 2015, 4:01 pm

Mac's on his moral crusade again.

We know to what you are referring Mac, just not how anyone has voted away their rights or anyone elses.

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Post by raycastleunited Mon 11 May 2015, 4:26 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:
McLaren wrote:The clap of a man who voted away his and everyone else's human rights.  Rolling Eyes
I beg your pardon???

What did you do Navy? Have you been playing golf with Goldfinger again? Or up to your old tricks with Mugabe and Kim Jong Un?

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Post by navyblueshorts Mon 11 May 2015, 4:32 pm

McLaren wrote:navy

Don't play dumb.
I asked you to explain what you meant by your previous, and on the face of it frankly irrelevant and provocative, comment. Assume I don't know what you mean - tell me.
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Post by Bob_the_Job Mon 11 May 2015, 4:56 pm

" Your call is important to us, but all our brain cells are busy at the moment.  Please stay on hold while we backtrack and attempt to conjure up a tangential meaning which is relevant, interesting, meaningful and not as confrontational.  This may take some time and will involve some smearing of the facts. Thanks for your patience."
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Post by puligny Mon 11 May 2015, 5:09 pm

I think Rickie has just posted on "what is your best ever round" thread! Superb golf - well done.

Seems Sergio had to go through a bit more than heckling! Caddy called for security? Kaymers caddy saying he couldn't believe what Sergio was subjected to! Oh well, suppose we all remember our first drink!

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Post by McLaren Mon 11 May 2015, 5:12 pm

I quite rightly pointed out that I would heckle Garcia, and as bob rightly assumed because I am known to think Garcia's fried chicken comment was no mistake and revealed his true narrow minded nature.

Navy agreeing that racial bigotry was no reason to heckle a player confirmed my view that he votes tory, and has therefore voted for a party who are about get rid of the UK's human rights.
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Post by Bob_the_Job Mon 11 May 2015, 5:19 pm

Actually I gave you 4 reasons not to heckle, only one of which related to what you think of Garcia.  That'll be the smearing of facts I mentioned.

As for the Tories getting rid of the UK's Human Rights, with overly simplified, sensationalist commentary like that, there is a job for you at The Sun anytime you want it.
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Post by puligny Mon 11 May 2015, 5:19 pm

Mc, I take it his unreserved apology cuts no ice with you? Does that now follow him around for ever based on your assessment of his character? What penance must he serve to be rid of the stigma, or is he damned for all time?
Seems a pretty hard and harsh justice system to me. He has rights to expect better treatment!

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Post by GPB Mon 11 May 2015, 5:24 pm

raycastleunited wrote:
McLaren wrote:I don't get it.

Her off the shoulder top wouldn't comply with the dress code at most clubs.

Nor would the Daisy Dukes Denim shorts.

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Post by McLaren Mon 11 May 2015, 5:25 pm

puligny

It's not just that comment, but a career full of petulance and tantrums that make me suspect Garcia isn't a very nice guy.

As for his apology or accepting that he did the wrong thing it is irrelevant as the golf world did not properly critisize him for making that remark. The media applied little scrutiny to him the fans almost immediately let him off the hook because "of course he didn't mean it".


I am pretty sure Garcia remains as ignorant now as he was before thinking it was ok to suggest in a condescending tone that he invite an African american round for fried chicken.

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Post by McLaren Mon 11 May 2015, 5:28 pm

super_realist wrote:They should be taken outside and shot.


Mac, must you be so wet and simpering?

So you think the likes of Navy should be taken out and shot. I am clearly no tory fan but that is going too far super.
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Post by pedro Mon 11 May 2015, 6:44 pm

raycastleunited wrote:

Her off the shoulder top wouldn't comply with the dress code at most clubs.
Nor would Rickie Fowler.

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Post by puligny Mon 11 May 2015, 6:49 pm

Mc, little scrutiny - though it is still being talked about. I've seen several references in the media today, let alone previously.
I don't know any more than you what he is like, or what he meant during that episode. For what it's worth though, I think his comments were personal about a character he doesn't like, and not out and out racist. He does also seem a very popular character among his peers, unless pro golfers are regarded as a less well rounded group than one might normally associate with. Many seem a bit right wing for my taste, particularly in the U.S. - but there I go generalising........

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Post by NedB-H Mon 11 May 2015, 7:09 pm

McLaren wrote:

It's not just that comment, but a career full of petulance and tantrums that make me suspect Garcia isn't a very nice guy.

As for his apology or accepting that he did the wrong thing it is irrelevant as the golf world did not properly critisize him for making that remark.  The media applied little scrutiny to him the fans almost immediately let him off the hook because "of course he didn't mean it".

amazing that in the same moment as getting on your high horse about human rights, you are prepared to act as judge and jury on a bloke based purely on your assessment of his character from watching his behaviour on tv in high pressure situations. And you write off the full apology he made for his one genuine indiscretion because you feel he wasn't criticised enough for it originally - hardly his fault. One might almost get the impression that your human rights thing is more posturing than genuine respect for the rights of the individual.

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