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PGA Tour: Jack Nicklaus's Memorial Tournament: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 03 Jun 2015, 11:15 am

1).The Tour finally makes its overdue trek north from the South and the West to Columbus, Ohio, and Muirfield Village, Jack Nicklaus's gift to his hometown and site of the Memorial Tournament, quite possibly the best "regular season" (sort of) event on Tour.
We leave behind a sodden Texas which has suffered the monsoons that India has reportedly been missing. Kudos to the Tour for getting out of Fort Worth and Dallas on time. Extraordinary really.

2).Sunday's emphatic win at the Byron Nelson by Steven Bowditch, the Aussie golfing savant, was as out of the blue as any win so far this year - or at least since Harrington's Honda breakthrough. If Bowditch looks like an extra from One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, well perhaps there's good reason given what he's been through. I've linked this 2009 article before, but it's well worth reading again:
http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-tours-news/2009-04/gw20090427_moriarty

3).Sunday's win brings Bowditch to the fringes of the automatic qualifying places for Nick Price's Presidents Cup Team. Given the form, or lack of it, of some of his rivals, you'd think Bowditch might well be on the plane to South Korea.

4).Good results in Texas also elevated Chris Kirk and Charley Hoffman into US qualifying places; Spieth and Walker are certainties for the US Team, but the rest of the spots on Jay Haas's squad are up for grabs, Bubba and Kirk leading the pack.

5).Very happy to see a glimpse of a return to form by Jason Dufner who finished T8 in Dallas. Duf's PGA Championship win at Oak Hill, less than two years ago, was a brilliant performance but have you seen his putting stroke on short putts, even then? 180th in putting on Tour and a small improvement on the greens could see him back in contention before much longer.

6).This week sees the Collegiate Men's Golf Championships. This competition is for top individual in stroke-play, followed by Team match-play. The individual winner was Bryson DeChambeau who reportedly has all his irons built to the same length, from 3-iron down thru his wedges. Never heard of that before. Have you?
Ireland's Paul Dunne, Belgium's Thomas Detry and Austria's Matthias Schwab all finished in the top dozen.

7).Fantastic to see Royal County Down, the Irish Open and four days of sell-outs. Very popular win from Soren Kjeldsen if the twittersphere is any guide.
Ernie Els came away rating RCD in his personal top three links courses and, lucky him, he gets to travel next to one of his favourite Tour stops, at Muirfield Village.

8).Muirfield Village is consistently ranked in the top 20 of US Courses and is familiar to us viewers, not just because of the Memorial Tournament but also its unique status having staged all three major professional "Cups": Ryder, Solheim and Presidents. Nicklaus is always tinkering with his design, and this year we'll see a facelift to the 18th, not just the new back tee, but also a tweaking of the complex of fairway bunkering which frames the right side of the fairway. Looking forward to seeing it.
I would suggest that Muirfield Village is about as well balanced a course as you can find: Longish with wide fairways and very Nicklaus-like as each hole gets more difficult the closer to the green you get. Strong par-5's, though only the Augusta-like 12th really stands out among the Par-3's. Woods has won here plenty of times but Furyk, Choi and Pettersson have been champions too.

9).Jack might have expected more leading Europeans to show up this week; Henrik Stenson is understandably playing in Sweden and Rory takes a breather, but no Garcia, Westwood, Poulter, Casey, Donald, Kaymer, McDowell, etc, etc.
Justin Rose won his first PGA Tournament here in 2010 so he's playing, and most leading Americans have turned up also. Andy Sullivan and Tommy Fleetwood  are both on board - a big week for Sullivan as he's right on the precipice of US Open qualification.

10).And Nick Faldo will be here, not just in the CBS TV booth, but also as an honoree in the Ring of Honour - sounds corny but a nicely done celebration of great figures in the history of Golf. Among modern-era honorees are Henry Cotton, Tony Jacklin, Seve, Joe Carr, Annika and Michael Bonallack. A richly deserved tribute for Sir Nick; no doubt we'll be hearing a lot about it come the weekend . . . . . . . !


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Fri 05 Jun 2015, 10:29 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by JAS Wed 03 Jun 2015, 11:33 am

Good write up as usual Kwini, that does seem like a very high European no show. Can understand McIlroy taking a break after 5 straight weeks, not sure about some of the others, if they are taking a break I wonder where...Seattle area perhaps??

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Post by super_realist Wed 03 Jun 2015, 11:37 am

Have to say, that Chambers Bay looks wonderful. WikiMac probably thinks it's a monstrosity.

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Post by JAS Wed 03 Jun 2015, 11:45 am

It does look terrific, fair play to the USGA for daring to try something different.

Mac has no reason flail his hickory shaft in disgust, the course has apparently been fashioned from an old industrial gravel pit & not from unique moving dunes of a SSSI, no rare newts, butterflies, birds or tadpoles were harmed in its making :-p

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Post by McLaren Wed 03 Jun 2015, 12:03 pm

super_realist wrote:Have to say, that Chambers Bay looks wonderful. WikiMac probably thinks it's a monstrosity.

Actually I quite like the look of it and it is a rare thing in the US, a half decent course you or I could probably get a tee time for.


It has width from the tee and some interesting looking greens which are both attributes I like. It is clearly not as reflective of natural land forms as I would like but given it was ex industrial land shaped into a course what do you expect?

I like the concept of turning land used be heaving industry into golf courses in urban areas instead of ruining countryside int he middle of nowhere.


CB breaks some Doak commandments but for the time being I am willing to offer forgiveness. What I want to see is CB model where a lot less dirt is moved in making the course and the project is done a lot more cheaply.


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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 03 Jun 2015, 12:07 pm

Looks good but difficult to get a sense of the greens and changes in elevation. Still think it's moronic to hold a national championship on a course where spectators are strongly encouraged by the USGA to use grandstands only, as viewing perspectives will be difficult/impossible.

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Post by super_realist Wed 03 Jun 2015, 12:36 pm

I'd quite like to see a golf course set amongst a 100% Urban environment. Old disused land, industrial, contaminated, outdated residential etc. Would be a unique environment.

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Post by McLaren Wed 03 Jun 2015, 12:59 pm

Super

Another example is streamsong in florida, which used to be a phosphate mine.
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Post by raycastleunited Wed 03 Jun 2015, 1:01 pm

super_realist wrote:I'd quite like to see a golf course set amongst a 100% Urban environment. Old disused land, industrial, contaminated, outdated residential etc. Would be a unique environment.

Historically, golf courses have been built in nice areas where rich people live. The posher the area, the posher the course.

Can anyone think of a golf course situated in a dodgy area? Only one I can think of is West Middlesex golf club, which has a council estate overlooking the north west corner so the secluded course is a peaceful location for a spot of petty crime.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/West+Middlesex+Golf+Club/@51.512919,-0.354397,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x4dea687a440ffead

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Post by McLaren Wed 03 Jun 2015, 1:08 pm

Craigentinny in Edinburgh is surrounded by a bit of a dodgy estate, not sure what the estate is called, maybe part of Restalrig. It is full of chavs just dossing about and shouting abuse at the golfers. There are a fair few empty tinnies in the rough.


Silverknowes is also in a less than salubrious location.
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 03 Jun 2015, 1:19 pm

Crestwood in Central New York State has its 18th fairway bordered by the barbed wire perimeter fence of a State Prison.

Mac,
Also worth noting is Old Works golf club in Anaconda, Montana, on the site of an iron ore mine and smelter. On my bucket list.

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Post by super_realist Wed 03 Jun 2015, 1:27 pm

McLaren wrote:Super

Another example is streamsong in florida, which used to be a phosphate mine.

I was thinking more along the lines of the golfing equivalent of the Monaco Street circuit, i.e a fairway down Oxford Street.

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Post by Shotrock Wed 03 Jun 2015, 1:39 pm

Hey, speaking of dodgy areas, there was a time when playing Cobb's Creek GC in the city of Philadelphia, where you might hit a blind tee shot, not find your ball ... but be able to buy it back from an enterprising youth at the next tee box!

I look forward to the golf this weekend ... wonderful course and great write up Kwin.

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Post by super_realist Wed 03 Jun 2015, 1:42 pm

THere must be tons of examples of burnt out cars on greens, huge motorcycle wheelspins, turds in holes, bleach on greens, burnt plastics, needles etc on some courses in the UK.


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Post by I'm never wrong Wed 03 Jun 2015, 1:43 pm

raycastleunited wrote:Only one I can think of is West Middlesex golf club, which has a council estate overlooking the north west corner so the secluded course is a peaceful location for a spot of petty crime.

Played there a few times Ray, along with the Airlinks Golf Course which runs alongside the M4 and Heston Services.

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Post by turnip Wed 03 Jun 2015, 2:10 pm

Is it worth playing Ray/INW ?
I used to live in Southall as a kid and 3 of us used to cycle across the course to get to Hanwell Park (we always called it the Bunny Park as it had a small "zoo" - rabbits and parrots mainly I think) We were only 10 at the time and can't imagine letting kids do it nowadays.
Almost entered their open last year but date didn't work but have always fancied seeing what it is like. (and not sh1tting myself when getting across the fairways!)

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Post by Roller_Coaster Wed 03 Jun 2015, 2:10 pm

Douglas Golf Club in the Isle of Man is bordered by a council estate on one corner, designed by MacKenzie (of Augusta fame) I believe.

Whilst not perhaps an urban sprawl as envisioned, it's a 10 minute walk from the office in the centre of "town" although perhaps the "egg" of the course did come before the "chicken" of housing estate.

As per Shotrock - Repo agreements are occasionally available for recently struck Titleists courtesy of the aforementioned estate's residents, who no doubt might also offer to sell you the rakes formerly positioned adjacent to the bunkers...

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Post by Roller_Coaster Wed 03 Jun 2015, 2:11 pm

The course was designed by MacKenzie, not the council estate I hasten to add! Wink

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Post by I'm never wrong Wed 03 Jun 2015, 2:34 pm

turnip wrote:Is it worth playing Ray/INW ?

I think it is. It's been a while though. It's not overly long, (6119 off the whites) but if I remember, some tricky holes. Don't get it mixed up with the adjacent Brent course.
The other one I've played round there is Thorney Park It used to be owned, and may still be, by a waste disposal company and might have been built on a landfill site. That one's not too bad either, but don't hit it onto the railway.... Shocked

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Post by GPB Wed 03 Jun 2015, 7:22 pm

I wonder if Bryson DeChambeau clubs starts to catch on with other players and they start winning majors, will the USGA/R&A think about banning the clubs?

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Post by GPB Wed 03 Jun 2015, 7:36 pm

raycastleunited wrote:

Can anyone think of a golf course situated in a dodgy area? Only one I can think of is West Middlesex golf club, which has a council estate overlooking the north west corner so the secluded course is a peaceful location for a spot of petty crime.


East Lake CC in Atlanta is a dodgy area for sure.  At least in the 1960's and 1970's and 1980's.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 03 Jun 2015, 7:57 pm

!! But he's not anchoring them so he'll probably be OK.


Out of interest, let's update something I put up after The Players, and that's the chances of 9 European golfers retaining their cards.
Apart from Blixt and Gonzo, they have done nothing to help themselves and most are not playing this week or next:

Given that these guys will have to earn, arguably, 500 FedEx points to have a job in the U.S. next year, this is how I reckon they now stand with only about ten more tournament chances:

Westwood (415 pts so far): I'll lengthen him slightly from 1/5 to 1/4 - needs a top finish in the worst way.
Donaldson (409): Lengthen from 1/5 to 1/3:
Neither are playing this week and surprisingly not next week in Memphis either.

Molinari (267): Playing Memorial and needs to make the cut! Out from 6/4 to 3/1 though getting a ticket to Chambers Bay is a bonus start.

Davis (251): Missed his last three cuts and didn't make the Memorial. Out from 7/4 to 7/2.

Blixt (283): Not bad at the Byron Nelson but in Sweden this week and not playing Memphis: Keep him at 2/1, but needs a top finish or three.

Gonzo (130): Top 20 in Dallas, his first for 9 months and perhaps he can go on a run as he did last summer. Shorten him from 20/1 to 15/1.

Owen (126): He won't get in to that many fields. Stay at 25/1.

Dubuisson (72): Seems to have given up or opted out with very little chance that he'll fulfil his 15-tournament commitment. From 5/1 to 50/1!  

In addition to this lot, Pettersson is still not sure of a place in the Barclays and McDowell, Donald and Kaymer are in even worse shape. Hope the European Tour is paying attention as some of these will be available to play Ryder Cup points-earning events in September!

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Post by pedro Wed 03 Jun 2015, 8:11 pm

The golf course in the Spanish enclave of Ceuta is overlooked by migrants trying to climb the fences... Crazy really.

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Post by McLaren Thu 04 Jun 2015, 2:07 pm

Looks like Tiger was a poor pick this week. News from memorial is that he was dire on the range and has now opened with a pulled tee shot and bogey. What is it with him and that shot?

No chance that he makes the cut.
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Post by super_realist Thu 04 Jun 2015, 2:09 pm

He has no brain and a mad axe-man swing Mac, simple as that.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 04 Jun 2015, 2:15 pm

Bogeyed the second as well.

Mac,
Do you follow this hole-by-hole account of your idol's progress from your alter ego?

http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golf-central-blog/tiger-tracker/


On the bright side, it should be a mostly dry week in Columbus, warm with just a small risk of showers every day.

Go Gonzo!

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 04 Jun 2015, 3:58 pm

Promising starts from Gonzo, Franny and Justin Rose.

But Woods is surely regressing - not much point in taking TWA to Chambers Bay for two days if he can't find his way around Muirfield Village.

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Post by super_realist Thu 04 Jun 2015, 4:21 pm

All you fools picking 9C Laugh Laugh Laugh

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Post by Davie Thu 04 Jun 2015, 4:25 pm

Hey that's nothing I picked Tommy Fleetwood too!

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Post by super_realist Thu 04 Jun 2015, 4:30 pm

So did I Laugh Laugh Laugh

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Post by McLaren Thu 04 Jun 2015, 4:42 pm

kwini

This isn't news but something I meant to bring up a while back. Jack Nicklaus has donated heavily to the GOP over the years and I think gave the maximum donation possible to Mitt Romney last time around. How does this sit with you and should his political persuasion be discussed more before the golf masses are so quick to fawn over him?
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Post by BlueCoverman Thu 04 Jun 2015, 4:49 pm

super_realist wrote:All you fools picking 9C Laugh Laugh Laugh

You just don't get it do you Super. We only chose him to pick up some easy worse round points Whistle

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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 04 Jun 2015, 4:57 pm

McLaren wrote:kwini

This isn't news but something I meant to bring up a while back.  Jack Nicklaus has donated heavily to the GOP over the years and I think gave the maximum donation possible to Mitt Romney last time around.   How does this sit with you and should his political persuasion be discussed more before the golf masses are so quick to fawn over him?
Nah. Non-starter. As far as I know he doesn't spout off about guns, gay marriage, drugs, whatever. There are, I'm sure, some quite considerate Republicans round and abouts and Nicklaus can make donations to whomever, as per what's allowable under U.S. rules.

Nice write-up, as usual, Kwini. Re. DeChambeau:

http://www.1irongolf.com/

Known about them for a while but didn't give the idea a lot of credence. Maybe there's something there? Let's see if DeChambeau goes on a 9C-like spree or someone major signs up with those sort of irons and wins big.
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Post by I'm never wrong Thu 04 Jun 2015, 5:12 pm

I know it's probably not allowed under the rules, but is there any difference in theory between these clubs and a club you could adjust the angle of the blade?
That way, you wouldn't need to carry so many clubs.

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Post by McLaren Thu 04 Jun 2015, 5:20 pm

Jack wasn't the top Romney sponsor, but right up there.

https://www.opensecrets.org/pres12/celebs_recip.php?$cycle=2012&cid=N00000286


But this is really weird. Unless there is a Ross Fisher in golf that I am unaware of, England's Ross fisher has donated $4000 to the GOP, that makes him one of their biggest donors on the PGAT. WTF?

http://www.breitbart.com/sports/2013/01/23/pro-golfers-three-times-as-likely-to-give-to-gop/

As have most of the PGA tour if the above list is accurate.
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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 04 Jun 2015, 5:20 pm

I'm never wrong wrote:I know it's probably not allowed under the rules, but is there any difference in theory between these clubs and a club you could adjust the angle of the blade?
That way, you wouldn't need to carry so many clubs.
You can't make changes* to a club, such that it is then different to what it was at the start of the round, during a round. Did that make any sense at all? Smile

Edit: *deliberately.
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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 04 Jun 2015, 5:23 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:...9).Jack might have expected more leading Europeans to show up this week; Henrik Stenson is understandably playing in Sweden and Rory takes a breather, but no Garcia, Westwood, Poulter, Casey, Donald, Kaymer, McDowell, etc, etc...
What is with Westwood at the moment re. competition entries? Has he more or less resigned himself to never winning a Major?
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 04 Jun 2015, 5:26 pm

Mac,
Re: Nicklaus.
I take it for granted that all American pros (and TV commentators) are pretty right-wing, some more extreme and pig-ignorant than others.
If he dumped a load of cash into Romney's campaign, that says very little for his judgement. As navy says, there's no record of Jack crusading against minorities, unlike many of his golfing colleagues.
And I certainly wouldn't plan to "fawn over" pros who supported a more enlightened political persuasion, just because of their politics.

So: All I've got to say is: Vote for Bernie!



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Post by I'm never wrong Thu 04 Jun 2015, 5:27 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:You can't make changes* to a club, such that it is then different to what it was at the start of the round, during a round. Did that make any sense at all? Smile

Edit: *deliberately.
Thanks. That's why I thought it was against the rules.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 04 Jun 2015, 5:44 pm

navy,
I would have thought that having green complexes at Chambers Bay as unorthodox as are being reported would be anathema to Westwood whose golf has never been accused of being imaginative. If he misses the cut there, he might possibly be banking on high finishes in just three tournaments:
The Open, where he has good results.
Bridgestone, ditto
Whistling Straits PGA.

He played Hartford a couple of years ago, made the cut but putted like a 20-handicapper at the weekend, seemed to throw in the towel.
Moving to Florida may have been good for him in lots of facets of his life, but golf has gone downhill.

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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 04 Jun 2015, 8:13 pm

Yeah. Could be Kwini. By the sound of it, CB might drive a few to distraction.

On another thought.....OMG! Just saw 9C hitting drivers (face-on) on the practice ground at MV. Good Lord; it's no wonder he can't hit it straight consistently. Even with an easy rhythm, he's moving his head towards his back foot maybe 4-6" on the backswing (swaying, in other words) - even someone as good as he was, isn't going to get it back square and consistently from there. Angle of eyeline is changing all the time as well.
Maybe he's trying something specific, but I can't see that ingraining that as a habit is anything other than bad. Maybe it was just a couple of bad swings....but then again, he has no idea where it's going off the tee.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 04 Jun 2015, 8:33 pm

navy,
Don't you think that the way he swings at the ball, almost as if he's an isis apprentice with his first machette, that he needs exquisite timing and balance to keep his head remotely still?
Who knows what he's working on, but it's taking too long.
John Isner said last week that his time is running out (as he turned 30 en Paris), that tennis players don't win grand slams at forty.
Well, Tiger, golfers don't win grand slams at 50 - your time is running out.

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Post by Shotrock Thu 04 Jun 2015, 10:06 pm

Rare is the golfer that wins a major at 40. Sorry, Tiger ... you'll have to defy the odds (which of course he's done before). Not counting on it.

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Post by sirbenson Thu 04 Jun 2015, 10:35 pm

Great to see Dufner in the lead!! Too good not to get his level back pre injury and his personal problems!

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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 04 Jun 2015, 10:43 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:navy,
Don't you think that the way he swings at the ball, almost as if he's an isis apprentice with his first machette, that he needs exquisite timing and balance to keep his head remotely still?
Who knows what he's working on, but it's taking too long.
John Isner said last week that his time is running out (as he turned 30 en Paris), that tennis players don't win grand slams at forty.
Well, Tiger, golfers don't win grand slams at 50 - your time is running out.
Laugh laughing

But this is even on, say, 70% full out. Rhythm looks much better than on the course (as usual!) but that movement back/forward with his head is going to kill him with the driver (and 3-wood as well I wouldn't wonder).
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 04 Jun 2015, 10:56 pm

sirb,
See Note 5 above! But Duf has a terrible record here otherwise I'd've recommended him!

Cut will likely be at least -1, Tiger needs to improve from 73 to at least 70, possibly a 69. Nicklaus was saying that he's cut an inch off the length of his driver, reckons he needs to cut it down to 3-wood length. Good point.


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Post by McLaren Thu 04 Jun 2015, 11:02 pm

Whats the deal with the Scottish amateur in the field Bradley Neil? Who is he and how come he is in a PGAT event?
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 04 Jun 2015, 11:10 pm

Mac,
The Memorial is an "Invitational"; presumably Jack is offering an invite to the Amateur Champion who also has a ticket for Chambers Bay.

Talking about golfing Scots (does that include you, Mac?) Russell Knox producing yet another promising start.

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Post by McLaren Thu 04 Jun 2015, 11:23 pm

I see, didn't realise he was the amateur champ.  Makes sense.


If only I was a golfing scott, not been on the course for about a month.


Great driving stat for Woods today, 14/14 fairways hit.






















Cheyenne Woods that is, in the Manulife Classic, where she shot an opening 63.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 04 Jun 2015, 11:52 pm

Unfortunate double bogey on #18 for Andy Sullivan, but a two-under par 70 is a fine round for a debutant.
Four more of them and his US Open qualification should be assured.

76 for Tommy Fleetwood and he'll need something very special to play the weekend.


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