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PGA Tour: "AT&T Byron Nelson Championship": Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 27 May 2015, 5:35 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).The Dallas/Fort Worth area has endured an untimely monsoon season these past few weeks; the Tour did a great job in getting Colonial playable and completing the tournament on time, despite using "lift, clean and place through the green" for the first time since Turning Stone in 2009 - I was at Turning Stone for that dismal experience, and can only imagine how dire conditions must have been off the fairways and greens at Colonial. TPC Las Colinas, outside Dallas, is apparently saturated and a couple of dryish days won't help much before a recurrence of scattered storms later this week.

2).Well done to Chris Kirk, my one-and-done for the week, at Colonial; it's not the idea I know, but seeing Colonial green and lush reminds one what a beautiful course it can be, a contrast to the brownish hue that normal May conditions can leave it in. Green and lush this week will reportedly be code for sodden conditions meaning that short-hitters like Brendon Todd and Mike Weir, first and second last year, will be at a serious disadvantage if there is no roll. Exceptional fairway woods players of previous generations, guys like Larry Nelson and David Toms, would relish the prospect of par-fours that are only reachable with long irons or hybrids boasting that they can hit 3- and 5-woods straighter than most can hit their long irons. We'll see but the suggestion this week is that the bombers will have an advantage.

3).Good to see Rickie Fowler taking a busman's holiday at RCD this week, but strange that he avoided Quail Hollow, home of his only win before The Players, and Colonial, sponsored by his long-time Crowne Plaza sponsor.
As tagged on to last week's thread, Poulter is resting this week nursing a twinge suffered in the gym, and has added that he'll only play Majors, WGC's and FedEx Play-offs for the rest of the Tour season. For those, including sometimes Poulter himself, that say he's more interested in dosh and bling, this is a curious decision given that he's playing so well; it also hampers his chances of finishing high up in the season-end FedEx cash bonus pool and is a reminder that he's never reached the Tour Championship.
(Freddie Jac, who's having a terrible year, has also withdrawn - he needs to get his act together or it's off to the WTF Finals for him.)

4).Well done also to Colin Montgomerie as he wins the Senior PGA Championship for the second consecutive year; as anticipated two years ago, he does much better at the four-round Champions Tour events than he does in the three-round sprints. Newly popular, presumably because he's such an articulate, egocentric motormouth with the press, he's busy remaking his image and raking in the cash. And he seldom gets heckled by the US crowds either. All looking good for Monty.

5).Lastly, with all the "stuff" that's going down at FIFA, the USGA is having its own series of Sepp Blatter moments.
There is every indication that promises made to the USGA when Chambers Bay was awarded the US Open are not being adhered to, transportation commitments in getting spectators to the course have never materialized.
Now the USGA is advising ticket-holders for next month's tournament, in GolfWorld's words, "to strongly suggest spectators remain in grandstands rather than walk the rugged terrain that will offer some poor viewing from ground level". Don't know about you but, although it's fun to watch groups come through a particular hole, enjoyment of golf tournaments to many of us is following specific groups and enjoying the ups and downs of their rounds. I certainly don't want to park at a par-3 watching an hour's worth of no-names come through on the off-chance I'll get a glimpse of Rory, and nothing more. Bl00dy ridiculous.
And then there's USGA Executive Director Mike Davis's admonition that no-one will walk in, play a couple of practice rounds, "that person's done. Will not win the US Open."
To which Webb Simpson, hardly the cockney rebel of the PGA Tour, sarc'd: "We'll play for second."
And Rory offered: "With the way the Tour is, no-one's going to go out there and play ten practice rounds."    
I love going to Majors, but this is a trip I'm glad never to have fancied taking.
Of all the great venues the Tour could have taken its great Championship to, it's looking more and more as if this is Mke Davis's one-man crusade. The egg on his face that started when Tour pros got their first look at the allegedly eccentric greens and waxed apoplectically about them, is becoming a full-blown Western Omelette with virtually every tournament ingredient being questioned.

PS: Grumpy's game is at RCD this week, but the Byron Nelson looks to be a bit of a lottery. I'd go with bombers who have a history of course success, guys like Bradley, Jason Day (EDIT: Another withdrawal), Dustin Johnson, Leishman and Palmer. But luck of the draw will be such a factor that, just as some of football's best transfers are the ones you don't make, so it may be that all bets should be off until the Tour gets to Muirfield Village next week.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 01 Jun 2015, 5:18 pm

Mac,
Wouldn't doubt that for one moment. Would also be very surprised if Tiger ever played four full-field events in consecutive weeks after immediately preceding that run with a limited field event. Plus he wasn't trying to fulfil obligations on two Tours.
They're two different golfers, comparisons can surely only be relevant at the highest level of their achievements?

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 01 Jun 2015, 5:35 pm

Great that the Irish Open was hosted this past week by the Rory Foundation.
Love it when pro golfers take an active part in giving back to their communities.
So great news that Tim Finchem has found a way to bring Tour Golf back to Wisconsin with the 2016 Champions Tour event: "The American Family Insurance Championship hosted by Steve Stricker".
Says Stricker: "Returning professional golf to my home state is a dream come true. When the PGA Tour event ended in Milwaukee it was a sad day - and I was absolutely committed to find a way to fill that void. I am proud and humbled to be a part of the team to do that in 2016."
Well said.
Let's hope those Tour pros from Michigan and Chicago follow Stricker's example.

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Post by GPB Mon 01 Jun 2015, 5:46 pm

The Tour will be playing a tournament in Chicago in September.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 01 Jun 2015, 6:27 pm

But no assurances for the future and surely the Chicago market warrants events from all major Tours?

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Post by GPB Mon 01 Jun 2015, 6:30 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:But no assurances for the future and surely the Chicago market warrants events from all major Tours?

Show me the money!

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 01 Jun 2015, 6:39 pm

I see the 2016 and 2018 BMW Championships will be in the well known Chicago suburbs of Indianapolis and Philadelphia respectively; not sure if the 2017 has been designated yet.

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Post by McLaren Mon 01 Jun 2015, 9:26 pm

Here's the Tiger prowling CB.

Tiger on CB:


Spoiler:


You can see some more photos and a video of him walking up to the 9th tee. http://www.geoffshackelford.com/storage/Screen%20Shot%202015-06-01%20at%2012.54.39%20PM.png?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1433188570272

It is a little crazy how many people are out watching him when its not even the official US open week.
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Post by GPB Mon 01 Jun 2015, 9:30 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:I see the 2016 and 2018 BMW Championships will be in the well known Chicago suburbs of Indianapolis and Philadelphia respectively; not sure if the 2017 has been designated yet.

Last time I checked, the PGATour schedule is full!  If you give a full time tournament to Chicago, you will be taking one away from someone else.  Whose tournament do you want to shut down?

My state has had 2 tournaments in the 25 years I lived here.  Its not a small state.  Its Missouri for Christ sakes.  Two large cities, one each on the East side and West side of the State.  Colorado has not had a yearly tournament in 10 years.

there just is not enough weeks in the year!

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 01 Jun 2015, 10:53 pm

GPB,
I had this discussion with robo earlier, but the Tour should never have left Chicago in the first place.
Tournament landscape now looking like:
California: 5
Florida: 5
Texas: 5
Carolinas: 3
Georgia: 3
Gulf Coast: 3
Hawaii: 2
Ohio: 2
Nevada: 2
Virginias: 2
Then there's Tennessee, Iowa/Illinois, Arizona and 50% of a tournament in Chicago every other year, (probably missed one out.) Pretty lop-sided compared to the demographics of the USA and where the wealth is generated.

(Agree about MO, what's the deal with that??!!)

Spread the wealth!

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Post by GPB Mon 01 Jun 2015, 11:54 pm

You got to go where the money is.  (and weather)

Michigan does not get a tournament because it would be nice to have one there.  They get a tournament as soon as they get a sponsor, (or on the waiting list).  I am sure the PGATour would have stayed at Warwick Hills if Ford had stepped in when Buick bailed.

Jim Justice saw the opportunity to get the Buick spot on the calendar and he TOOK it.

As long as the calendar is full, I see no reason to have major changes.

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 02 Jun 2015, 12:59 am

Be nice if Jim Justice paid his Federal fines for safety abuses . . . . . . . .
It may not have seemed true six years ago, but "Detroit" is a far more honourable enterprise than Justice Inc.

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Post by raycastleunited Tue 02 Jun 2015, 2:46 pm

Not sure which I find more creepy... the self indulgent stalkers posting Tiger sightings on twitter, or Mac for stalking Tiger via twitter and rushing to share on forums.

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Post by raycastleunited Tue 02 Jun 2015, 2:53 pm

Shotrock wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:ray,
Adam Scott has been so invisible recently no-one would really notice. Bad golf = no TV (unless your name is Woods).

Or, of course, Rory -- who was featured every possible minute on Thursday and Friday. Just pressing too hard? Time will tell.

I watched Friday's highlights of the Irish Open on Sky on Saturday morning. Pretty much an hour of Rory hitting balls into the rough and trying to recover. Apparently there were some other golfers out there? Some might even have made the cut?

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 02 Jun 2015, 3:43 pm

Sounds like Woods's trip to Chambers Bay was plagued with pouring rain - wonder if his 3 1/2 hour trip was worth the fuel for TWA given they're hoping for a firm and fast set-up for the US Open?

I wonder if Chambers Bay will be a good course for FOX TV to get their US Open feet wet on? Or the proverbial poisoned chalice given the inexperience of the commentating crew. For once I'm thinking we'd be better served by Johnny Miller.


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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 02 Jun 2015, 7:33 pm

It was nice having the European Tour being competitive with the PGA Tour for a fortnight, but back to normal this week as Memorial offers 60 owgr points to the winner, Nordea just 28 (thank goodness for Stenson).

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