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PGA Tour: Shoot-Outs in Texas: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 20 May 2015, 5:42 am

First topic message reminder :

No, silly, not another shoot-out between the Bandidos and Cossacks, but the "Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial" in Fort Worth, followed next week by the "AT&T Byron Nelson" in the Dallas area.

In deference to arguably more important golfing events at Wentworth and Royal County Down, I'll anticipate European Tour threads for the fortnight and abbreviate these Notes.

1).Wonderful from Rory McIlroy at Quail Hollow, obviously a dominating performance with a brilliant driving exhibition and improved putting, possibly courtesy of a few minutes with Dave Stockton.
Unfortunately, Rory's schedule after this five-tournaments-in five-weeks means he misses out on "Memorial" which is a course one would think would suit him even better than Quail Hollow. Imagine his US schedule for the rest of the year will look like:
US Open
Bridgestone
PGA Championship
Barclays
Deutsche Bank
BMW
Tour Championship.

2).Interesting that Martin Kaymer, possibly among others, advocates a later date for "Wentworth" - can't see it happening before 2017 simply because of an inevitably compressed summer schedule in 2016, Olympic Year. With the PGA Tour's schedule in some flux around the first weekend of July, there might be an opportunity for the E.T's flagship event to be staged then come 2017.

3).Colonial pays homage to Ben Hogan and sees the two-thirds point in the PGA Tour season before the FedEx Play-Offs get underway.
If previous seasons are anything to go by, Graeme McDowell's schedule won't be much different from Rory's (above), and at this rate, and in this form, McDool will miss the Play-Offs. He's down to 135th in FedEx points, only played 9 tournaments in a schedule that doubtless was expected to include two or three Play-Off stops, and needs to pretty much double his FedEx points haul to qualify for The Barclays.
Luke Donald is in even worse shape although he's played two more tournaments than McDool - Lukey still has to qualify for the Bridgestone and two "Opens" and will surely have to show up at tournaments he hadn't expected to!

4).Colonial and next week's Byron Nelson are big-money events and Europeans such as Casey, Jacobsen and Poulter can help themselves mightily in the absence of most of the Tour's galacticos.
There will be some confluence of course specialists (Johnson, Weekley, Stricker, Toms), local guys (like Palmer, Reed, Spieth and Walker) and form.
If Grumpy's game was focussed here this week I'd be looking at:
Walker, Kirk and Johnson.  Palmer, Todd and Streb.  Weekley, Campbell and Stroud. (Edit: Should have found a place for John Peterson who probably ticks all three boxes. Gonna break through one day soon!)

5).Lastly, another week, another "Major" on the Champions Tour and twenty-plus Europeans are teeing it up there, contesting this week's Senior PGA Championship, led by Langer, Montgomerie, sirNick, Parnevik, Chapman, Barry Lane (still haven't figured out why he hasn't flourished on the Champions Tour) and Lyle.
The venue for their entertainment is French Lick.
I can't follow that.

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Post by robopz Sat 23 May 2015, 8:42 am

What a difference a new date [and Rory recruiting his a$$ off] makes to the Irish Open...  preliminarily going to rate about a 50 compared to 32 and 26 the last 2 years

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 23 May 2015, 8:45 am

Yeah, Mac, Stenson's Players.
Poulter and, I think, Cabrera were playing behind Na who was with someone perfectly blameless for the interminable waits. Poulter has long memory, not necessarily a good things at times such as he'll  encounter. But perhaps they'll play in threes due to incoming weather, and that might mitigate the damage! (Depends who #3 is, of course.)

Partly the golfcourse I think robo . . . . .

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Post by robopz Sat 23 May 2015, 9:13 am

A few misconceptions on tax policies and the PGA Tour.  Congress was looking at the taxable status of the PGA Tour itself, and not the  503 non-taxable status of the individual events themselves. IF that would have gone through, the federal tax impact on the PGA Tour was estimated in the $10 million range.... and possibly 1/3 that amount in other taxes on property and items that would no longer be exempt.   Not a petty sum, but compared to the $1 to 2 billion in overall PGAT revenues (depending on what you count)... it's hardly the issue, nor does would it have the impact it's made out to be.

But as for the Charitable model of the PGA Tour... IMO the reason the PGAT doesn't have the musical chairs of events is in large part by the strength of those local charitable organizations and communities. If one runs into trouble by say a lost sponsor, most have the strength of those organizations to bust their butts to sustain it, and even underwrite it if necessary until new sponsors can be found.  And apparently the European Tour is getting the message as to the benefits.

The Irish Open benefiting the Rory Foundation and the new Paul Lawrie Match-play have similar charitable attributes to them as well.   I don't know the in's and out's on UK or Irish Tax law regarding charitable enterprises, but my guess is they have many similarities to those in the U.S.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 23 May 2015, 9:28 am

That's all very well and good robo, but there's a reason why so many Tour events (and players) migrate from high State Tax States to Florida, Texas, etc, etc.. You don't think Woods/Hero is going from California to Florida to Nassau for the crowds? Do you??

It's all subsidy, just some more subtle than others.

And, Yes! The communities/States do a fab job of bailing tournaments out that don't have secure sponsors, part of the Finchem genius that he never loses tournaments where he wants to keep 'em. (Which doesn't include New York or most of the Mid-West, excepting Ohio of course!)

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Post by robopz Sat 23 May 2015, 10:07 am

Kwini... I don't see it as subsidy.

Granted different states have different tax laws, but for most of us they get you one way or the other. The main income items for states are Income taxes, sales/use taxes, excise taxes, property taxes. Some states choose to go heavy on maybe Income taxes but lighter on the others... states like Florida or Texas choose to go heavy on the other taxes/fees but forgo the income tax. But for MOST of us... the tax total state tax burden is similar no matter where we live.

But ABSOLUTELY on the players part. It's no accident you have higher concentrations of wealthy players in Texas, Florida (no state income tax) and Arizona (low state tax). And then of course you have so many of the Euro's running to Florida or other US bases because of Federal Tax laws more favorable to them than their home countries. (not discounting the ability to practice year round though)

And I think you're wrong in that I believe Finchem would prefer to have more events in the Mid-West and even NY. But sponsorship issues were just to big to overcome in Milwaukee and Detroit for instance. IMO the Tour would have preferred to continue with BOTH events. The problem with Turning Stone was weak underlying organization (pretty much same with Disney). But now you have an issue if one of those areas want to come back (and it's regularly talked about that Colorado and Detroit want back in the game) there's no openings in the schedule that works in their limited golf seasons. But I believe any place Ponte Vedra thinks they can get 1) strong sponsorship, 2) robust local organization, 3) workable date in the schedule... they'd go for it pretty much wherever it is... and the bigger the market the better.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 23 May 2015, 11:02 am

We'll probably agree to disagree on most of that robo, but certainly Turning Stone (an Oneida Nation ego trip) was never going to work without Tiger every other year, although the course is terrific. They only received the tournament in the first place when Enjoie got flooded.
But a comparison between the Tour calendar of twenty years ago and now would show a (relatively) seismic shift south and south-west.

Finchem still in bed with some bad actors, especially Greenbrier's Justice system.

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Post by robopz Sat 23 May 2015, 11:40 am

Kwini... actually I did check the PGA Tour schedule from 25 years ago before I made my last post...  

Here's what I found... 2 events from the mid-west are no longer on the schedule, that's it... no more losses to the MW, or North...  even though some others have morphed into something else.  HARDLY a seismic shift.

Buick Open in Detroit area is gone
Greater Milwaukee Open is gone
CORRECTION: Add BC Open gone as well

These Mid-West or Northern events morphed into something else but still exist in their original areas.

Western Open is now the playoff BMW Championship
Buick Classic is now the Barclay's
Deutsche Bank is a replacement for the old Bank of Boston / CVS
Kemper Open was replaced by Quicken Loans

Everything else from the MW or North in 1990 still exists, but most under some other name.

So in 25 years.. that's a net loss of TWO mid-west events in the areas of the country (hardest hit by the recent recession and with untenable sponsorship issues).  Granted, others might have come and gone in there as well... but I'd hardly call a 2 event shift a "seismic shift".


EDIT:  And yeah... IMO Greenbrier is just another Turning Stone waiting to happen when Justice tires of it.    Maybe that's the opening for one of Detroit or Denver to get back in the game.

EDIT CORRECTION... I forgot about the BC open... it was mostly an alternate locally sponsored low purse event.. but it's gone too.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 23 May 2015, 12:30 pm

I bet Chicago would prefer to have a full-field Western Open rather than 50% of a limited field Beemer!
And I know that Westchester's a big (self-inflicted admittedly) loss.
Plus, all the new events are going to the South and West.

Anyway, ain't nothing gonna change. The whole country is tipping that way. Despite the North and Upper Mid-West subsidizing the rest of the country (including VT).

Meanwhile, 7.00 a.m. start with threesomes of both nines Saturday, with an MDF to follow.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 23 May 2015, 11:29 pm

A dry start in Fort Worth and the early starters are on their way.
Heavy rain expected later and into Saturday night, with 80% chance of more of the same on Sunday.
Players must have a 54-hole tournament mindset, I would think, but have to take care of Saturday business also.
Come on Poulter!

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 24 May 2015, 4:44 am

4-putting from 16 feet for Poulter is definitely overrated yet that seems to be just how he opened his back nine. Disappointing as he seems to be playing well.
Ho-hum from Casey and Knox and poor from Martin Laird.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 24 May 2015, 10:08 pm

Due for a 7.00 a.m. start at Colonial, but rain in the area and it could get heavy - better forecast for this afternoon.

Come on Poults!

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Post by GPB Sun 24 May 2015, 11:05 pm

Discussion from another board

Anyone know the name of the female announcer that covered the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open this past week?  She was a Brit, IIRC.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 25 May 2015, 12:57 am

Was it Di Stewart/Dougherty? Dunno, didn't see it.

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Post by GPB Mon 25 May 2015, 4:20 am

No, it was not Di Dougherty.

Poulter bogeyed the first hole, and bogeyed his wardrobe choice.  No idea why players want to wear white trousers, especially on a saturated muddy golf course.

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Post by McLaren Mon 25 May 2015, 5:30 am

Does anybody think Poulter will win this?
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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 25 May 2015, 5:47 am

I hope he does.
But then I hoped Franny would win Wentworth.

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Post by pedro Mon 25 May 2015, 6:15 am

I fear he doesn't. After all, he's the most overrated on tour.

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Post by navyblueshorts Mon 25 May 2015, 6:21 am

Not a Poulter fan but I hope he pulls it off if only to see what his response is re. that daft poll.
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Post by sirbenson Mon 25 May 2015, 6:21 am

Poulter finds the water in the final round again while contending......

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Post by sirbenson Mon 25 May 2015, 6:22 am

As does Na and both from the fairways as well!

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Post by I'm never wrong Mon 25 May 2015, 7:13 am

navyblueshorts wrote:Not a Poulter fan but I hope he pulls it off if only to see what his response is re. that daft poll.
Me too.

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Post by Snap Hook Mon 25 May 2015, 7:14 am

Na looks like he is about to self combust - shouting at the caddie is just plain poor. Poulter would indeed appear to be overrated, knocking it in the water whilst in contention is becoming a bit of a habit for him.

Think Spieth will win in a play off - too good for this lot !

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Post by Snap Hook Mon 25 May 2015, 7:17 am

Re the over rated poll - no one is going to publicly say that a fellow professional is over rated, but does give an indication as to what they think.

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Post by GPB Mon 25 May 2015, 9:11 am

Spieth finishes 2nd in each of the Texas tournaments thus far.

The Nelson is up next.  Hopefully the weather will clear out of Texas this week.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 25 May 2015, 9:47 am

Snap, Overrated:
That's fair enough, but don't you think there's a lot of media-driven rhetoric that builds a profile of Poulter (which unfortunately he can sometimes pour petrol on)? Resentment that he has such a fine Ryder Cup record and does enough to stay in all the best tournaments without winning too much. Fact is, the same could be said of plenty of US golfers with nothing like the CV that Poulter has built up.
He's having a very good year so hopefully he can win again before he's much older.

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Post by GPB Mon 25 May 2015, 10:59 am

Poulter only in it for the money?

https://twitter.com/IanJamesPoulter/status/602624271622352896

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 25 May 2015, 11:13 am

That's just his reflex reaction; deep down I bet he's the most disappointed man in Texas that he didn't win today.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 25 May 2015, 11:10 pm

No sign of Luke Donald at Walton Heath, so his only chance at US Open qualifying is to play well enough to retrieve his owgr Top 60 ranking by June 15th. That's a tall order.
Harrington having a go, though, and that's good news for RCD, hope he is back to full fitness.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 25 May 2015, 11:20 pm

More from Luke Donald:

http://www.golfworlddigital.com/gw/05_25_2015?sub_id=m6YFz2X7vbcH#pg9

Message to Luke:
It's not the Wentworth greens that have been hampering your progress, it's your entire game, wherever you're playing. Not an interview becoming of Mr.Nice Guy.

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Post by super_realist Mon 25 May 2015, 11:27 pm

I always enjoyed Donald when in full flow, that lovely swing, that short game, but as photogenic as the swing is, it doesn't work right now.

Blaming greens is a poor effort for an all round poor game.

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 26 May 2015, 12:07 am

True that super_.
A sampling of Donald's PGA Tour stats show that the greens at Wentworth are the least of his problems:

Out of about 200 qualifying players, Donald ranks:
190th in driving distance.
156th in driving accuracy.
151st in greens hit in regulation.
135th in strokes gained putting.
He continues to excel in sand saves (5th) but that's the only significant stat he can be proud of.


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Post by Snap Hook Tue 26 May 2015, 12:09 am

Kwini,

Yes - agree regards other golfers who do well but don't have the top end silverware - Poulter just the most high profile one at the moment. Could argue Westwood, Casey and Donald are in / have been in similar positions.

Poulter doesn't help himself with some of his tweets, particularly when he mentions money - it ain't classy and will only drive the media agenda more. He could learn a thing or two from his mate Justin!

Simon Holmes, Langer's coach tore into Poulters swing last night on Sky and indicated not good under big pressure. A pet theory I have when it is all in front him - I.e. His opponent in Matchplay format, he can adapt accordingly, but yesterday they were coming at him from all angles and his control goes, as he can't see it and his mind wanders.

Doing alright this season, but he has take his chance - yesterday was about as good as it gets, remaining events this season will have stronger fields. Time will tell.










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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 26 May 2015, 12:40 am

Not sure what Poults's calendar looks like. He's down for the Byron Nelson this week, and he's finished well there before and imagine he'll play Memphis where he top-tenned last year, and hopefully Hartford which looks tailor-made for him but where he hasn't fared well.

The money is probably important to him at this stage in his career; he hasn't really cashed in with playing the PGA Tour and is well adrift (about $3M) of top 50 career earnings status, which not only gives him a one-year safety net, but also will help in Champions Tour exemptions in ten years' time. Winning solves everything though, and capitalizing on this good run of form would do him a power of good.
Agree about his ADD tendancy too!


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Post by super_realist Tue 26 May 2015, 12:43 am

Poulter is one of many golfers who just can't seem to put four great rounds together. 3 and a half is about his limit. I can imagine he was already thinking of how he was going to address the over-rated tag in the event of a victory and lost focus.

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 26 May 2015, 12:53 am

Also, he seemed to be playing Match-Play against Kevin Na and when they both made a mistake the field (OK, a handful of golfers) swept by them.

Anyone know how many qualifiers they take from Walton Heath?
John Parry seems to have made it, back to decent form. Played OK at Merion a couple of years ago, but looks very inconsistent.

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Post by robopz Tue 26 May 2015, 1:20 am

kwinigolfer wrote:More from Luke Donald:

http://www.golfworlddigital.com/gw/05_25_2015?sub_id=m6YFz2X7vbcH#pg9

Message to Luke:
It's not the Wentworth greens that have been hampering your progress, it's your entire game, wherever you're playing. Not an interview becoming of Mr.Nice Guy.
I didn't read anything Donald said as suggesting he was blaming the greens for his poor week... My guess is he was probably asked about them, and just joined in the chorus of many who had not so positive things to say about the condition of the course this week.

Luke did make comments about the greens on Tuesday before the tournament though. Kaymer had already made his comments about how bad condition the course was in and how it might be better to move the tournament later in the year. Luke actually took the high road and about all he would say is, "... the greens condition have gone back a little bit to how they were five years ago with the poa annua coming back in".

Anyway... Seems to me we want players to be honest and forthcoming... but seems to me it's gotten to the poing anytime any player makes a comment about course conditions or reasons why the didn't perform... those comments are taken as whining or making excuses.... when I don't really believe that's the case... at least most of the time.

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Post by Shotrock Tue 26 May 2015, 1:52 am

Kwin - I was at Walton Heath last Wednesday and asked the same question of someone arranging chairs in the James Braid room. He thought 5, but was clearly guessing.

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Post by sirbenson Tue 26 May 2015, 2:01 am

Last few years I think it's been double digits in amount of people that qualifies from Walton Heath!

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 26 May 2015, 2:15 am

Sr,
Hope you're having a great time. But you know what they say about those who rearrange the deck chairs . . . . . .

I was thinking about ten qualifiers, maybe a dozen?

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Post by GPB Tue 26 May 2015, 2:29 am

kwinigolfer wrote:No sign of Luke Donald at Walton Heath, so his only chance at US Open qualifying is to play well enough to retrieve his owgr Top 60 ranking by June 15th. That's a tall order.
Harrington having a go, though, and that's good news for RCD, hope he is back to full fitness.


Luke didn't have to sectional qualify at Walton Heath.  He could still qualify at a domestic site, his home course in Florida (The Bears Club) is one of the sites but I would guess he will go attempt qualifying at the Columbus OH site, on the day after the Memorial.

The USGA website used to give the sectional location for each non exempt player, but it no longer gives that info.

==========


Edit:  In 2014, there were 10 spots available for the Walton Heath Qualifier.  I would think that it is something similar this year.

http://www.pgatour.com/news/2014/05/27/us-open-sectional-qualifying.html


Last edited by GPB on Tue 26 May 2015, 2:36 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 26 May 2015, 2:35 am

Good point about Luke, wonder whether he'll even bother though. He'd be better off trying to find the answer in the dirt with Pat Goss.
Sounds like Chambers Bay will be a lottery for the bombers, a waste of airfare for the short-hitters.

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Post by sirbenson Tue 26 May 2015, 2:44 am

Come on Paddy! One more birdie now!
https://twitter.com/EuropeanTour/status/602860932683923456

11 according to the European Tour twitter account!

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 26 May 2015, 2:52 am

Head in hands for Harrington; Top Eleven means he needs help now that he's slipped to 12th.

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Post by sirbenson Tue 26 May 2015, 2:53 am

FFS Paddy!

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Post by robopz Tue 26 May 2015, 2:56 am

This link seems to indicate there were 14 spots from the International Qualifier at Walton Heath last year... All the 14 shown on this list did in fact play the U.S. Open... as did the 1st alternate listed Danny Willett.

http://www.waltonheath.com/Content/US%20Open%20Sectional%20Qualifier%202014%20Results.pdf

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 26 May 2015, 2:59 am

Possibly a bad day then for St.Padraig. Definitely a bad day for Hugh Boyle as another one-time Ryder Cupper goes to the fairway in the sky.

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Post by I'm never wrong Tue 26 May 2015, 3:02 am

From the USGA website the number of qualifying spots is determined by the quality and quantity of the field at each location.

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Post by pedro Tue 26 May 2015, 6:19 am

GPB wrote:Poulter only in it for the money?

https://twitter.com/IanJamesPoulter/status/602624271622352896
Stupid comment from Poulter. Reminds of the 'million good reason' comment from Tiger years back.

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Post by super_realist Tue 26 May 2015, 6:42 am

He'd been taking a lot of nonsense about being a choker from brave keyboard warriors so the money he made is good enough reason to have one back at them

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 26 May 2015, 6:43 am

It turns out that 11 Walton Heath qualifiers will join Poults in the US Open, with Oliver Farr missing out on a 5-players-for-four-spots play-off - he becomes "first alternate".

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