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

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PGA Tour: Jack Nicklaus's Memorial Tournament: Notes from the Ballwasher - Page 4 Empty PGA Tour: Jack Nicklaus's Memorial Tournament: Notes from the Ballwasher

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

First topic message reminder :

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 Jun 05, 2015 10:29 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:58 pm

Sr,
Those Bards look like good golfers.
Think Daniel Bard was ACC POTY at Virginia, and there's another brother and a sister coming along. Don't know them at all, or even where they play; do you?

Coincidence to see Janzen AND Goose playing well!

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Post by Shotrock Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:04 pm

I seem to recall they play out of Cedar Lake ... I know none of the clan personally. That Columbus lineup looks mighty deep.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:28 pm

Not sure why, but Paul Casey has skipped out on his Memphis commitment.

Looking more and more as if he'll be joined at Chambers Bay by Luke Donald, who seems sure of at least a play-off in his qualie.

EDIT: Luking good for Donald. If the live scoring is accurate he'll play the US Open. Wonder whether he'll follow Casey and duck his Memphis commitment too?

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:40 pm

Exodus from Memphis continues, with Schwartzel apparently following Casey, Streb and Todd out of town, and that's just departures among the top 100. Wouldn't be surprised to see more announced today.
owgr points to the Memphis winner currently at 34 but that's before King Charl's absence is included.
Imagine the Austria event on the E.T. is heavily subsidised at 24 pts to the winner.

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Post by sirbenson Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:34 pm

Bizarre to see some players not even attempt to qualify yesterday, I can understand W/D during it, if they feel they can no longer qualify

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:50 pm

sirb,
Several reasons mentioned, the stormy weather forecast for the Columbus area qualies (didn't really affect play as it happens), and indifference to Chambers Bay as an Open site, partly reports like "only bombers need apply", accounts of over-funky greens, and its relative remoteness in an otherwise busy summer.
As far as I know all those qualified are committed to play.

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Post by sirbenson Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:58 pm

Do you not think it shows a certain lack of ambition? It's like the pinnacle of your profession and you choose to not even attempt to qualify when given the chance?

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:27 pm

Maybe, but most of those who opted out are borderline Tour players who may think that their ambition should first be dedicated to keeping their job for next season.
I have very mixed feelings about this US Open; the course has done nothing to earn it, many of the infrastructural aspects of staging a Major are incomplete or just plain not done, initial reports are "mixed", it makes for a travel nightmare, just wouldn't be surprised if some journeymen players think their priorities should be elsewhere.
Surprised Luke Donald tried to qualify to be honest; doesn't sound like there's anything in it for him whatsoever, would be astonished if he made the cut. Doesn't make him a bad player, just not a bomber and he probably has other priorities.

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Post by Shotrock Tue Jun 09, 2015 6:35 pm

I think that's well put Kwin. The course will appear "wonderful" on TV (not unlike Merion), but I have concerns about how well the spectators might enjoy it. And it is pretty remote. If Luke's putter gets hot and he can keep it in the short stuff he might fare well there. Who knows.

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