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PGA Tour: Walking in Memphis: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed Jun 10, 2015 4:18 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).No reports as to whether the boys are putting on their blue suede shoes, or even whether they "touched down in the pouring rain, in the Land of the Delta Blues again", but the Tour returns to the South after a memorable week in Columbus.
This is the week of the "FedEx St.Jude Classic", at TPC Southwind outside Memphis - it'll doubtless be hot and steamy, but it's a US Open warm up for some, another step on the tortuous road to retain or retrieve Tour Membership for most.

2).Disappointment last week for Justin Rose, but he played well most of the way and doubtless will consider the positives of fine-tuning for Chambers Bay rather than the negatives of a couple of unforced errors on Sunday that cost him his second Memorial win. Rose was hitting his tee-ball miles - he's up to 29th in Tour driving distance, 30th in the "Total Driving" stat and reports suggest he'll need every yard of his distance to give him a chance next week in the US Open.
And congrats to Andy Sullivan for a great week too. Guessing his owgr position, 56th, will hold in the Top 60 for US Open qualification, but by no means certain.

3).And what a win for David Lingmerth! He'd been having a quietly successful season, at least until the last few weeks, after losing his card last year and retrieving it via the WTF series.
But who'd've thunk he'd stick in there and eventually beat Rose? Probably the most surprising Tour win since Harrington's.
Good week for Scandinavia what with Alex Noren's most welcome return to fitness and form, and Suzann Pettersen's win in Canada (always liked her, both for obvious reasons and her carelessly(?!) throwing in a few "f"'s in a post-Solheim Cup round interview on NBC).

4).Obviously a miserable week for Tiger Woods - "reps" of the most unwelcome kind. Interesting interview with Sean Foley pupil, Hunter Mahan, on pgatour.com.
Among other things, he said:
"I don't know what was wrong with that (Sean Foley-taught) swing. He played pretty well with it, he knew what he was doing, hitting those little cuts and a nice little pull cut that he likes."
Perhaps a little self-serving, but it's not often that a pro offers an un-sycophantic (there's a word there somewhere, just not sure what it is) opinion on Woods. Hunner has silly facial hair and a sometimes gormless smile, but I like him!

5).And Steve Williams's "retirement" interview in July's Golf Digest was interesting for a number of reasons. Was there something left unsaid when he offered:
Did Tiger do PED's?: "There's no chance. Love him or hate him, Tiger respected the game." Nothing about blood-doping though.

6).Anyway, good interview which I can't link yet. He also talks about the Tiger intimidation factor:
"Some players can't be intimidated. Zach Johnson is at the top of that list." Zach's excellent Ryder Cup record would attest to that. Interesting that pros' respect for other pros often highlights qualities in places one wouldn't normally expect - unexpected, for instance, that Azinger always said that David Toms was the "most aggressive" player he ever golfed with.

7).Extraordinary story of "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" last week concerning Erik Compton's third heart - apparently, by the time "a bottle of white, a bottle of red" had been enjoyed, Compton's waitress and Erik realised that his third heart came from her nephew. Great story from CBS, and what a coincidence; Billy Joel would love it.

8).Goodbye Columbus, and Goodbye PGA Tour from Kenny Perry last week as the missed putt on his 36th hole sent him home and off into retirement from the PGA Tour.
And Hello to Special Temporary Membership to Patrick Rodgers. Commentators are giddy about Rodgers joining Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth on Tour; by and large the same commentators who predicted similarly great things from Patrick Cantlay and Jamie Lovemark.

9).Luke Donald qualified for next week's US Open and so did other Europeans, including Sebastian Cappelen and Stephan Jaeger from the web.com Tour. And 18-y-o Sam Horsfield who Ian Poulter described as "without doubt the best young golfer I have ever seen" when Poults played with a 14-y-o Sam four years ago. More giddiness no doubt, but it'll be good to follow his progress.

10).Majors on the Champions Tour and LPGA this week, but back to Memphis. TPC Southwind is a Par-70 "fairways and greens" course that has only two Par-5's and rewards par.
It's always difficult to know who's going to be motivated by more than the quest for form in the week prior to any US Open, but remember that it's also effectively the final "qualifier" for Chambers Bay. Harrington is not yet exempt and even if he wins would need a little bit of luck to make the field, but stranger things have happened.
I also like Billy Horschel who is such a streaky golfer that winning "Memphis" would just turbo-charge him for next week. Each-way longshot: Shawn Stefani.

By this time next week, we'll know the quirky tee-times drummed up by the USGA for their "Open". Their "fun" (their description, not mine) last year included grouping Stadler, Lowry and de Jonge together, which p1ssed Lowry off. (Apparently de Jonge was ambivalent and Stadler "resigned" as he'd previously been lumped with Herron and Pettersson.)
How do you think it would go down this year if Lowry played Rounds 1 and 2 with Montgomerie and, say, Patrick Reed?

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:56 pm

The good news is that the US Open weather should be mild and dry, without significant wind; the bad news is the the rainfall deficit that Shotrock reported earlier, will continue and only get worse.


Not as many birdies in the afternoon action from Memphis; the always enigmatic Cejka (-4) with the best round on the course. Logjam at the top.

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Post by pedro Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:26 pm

Those tee times are insane. 3 pm PT? And poor me who was looking forward to CB...

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:49 am

It looks as if the following are still in the running for a US Open spot via the owgr's:

Kisner: Arithmetically safe.
Andy Sullivan: Not playing but looking increasingly secure, would need a miracle to eliminate him
Bowditch: Needs a solo 4th in Memphis, 53rd after Round 2
English: Needs a piece of 2nd in Memphis, T15 after Round 2 and won here two yrs ago
Matt Jones: Needs a runner-up in Memphis: Also T15 after Round 2
Russell Knox: Needs a win, currently T4
Ramsay: Needs a win in Austria; ten shots off the lead with only 22 holes to play.

It looks as if all other Chambers Bay wannabes will miss out.

Good forecast for Round 3 in Memphis, but H O T.


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Post by kwinigolfer Sat Jun 13, 2015 6:00 pm

Lots of early birdies in Memphis, but Team GB are collectively +3 with Donald playing like a drain but with Knox and Owen still to leave the stalls.

Bowditch treading water and it looks as if he can safely be eliminated from any and all US Open calculations. Better and better for Andy Sullivan.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:49 pm

It's looking more and more like a Challenge Tour stop in Memphis, with Brroks Koepka fittingly on top.

Luke Donald having trouble with his radar, on and off the greens and at least two balls in the water already. Scotland going backwards and Brian Davis putting on a horror show.
But England still well represented with Greg Owen in the top three. That's alright then.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:32 pm

It's the "No Name Classic", but Matthew Jones won't care. Wasn't it Jones who didn't play a US Open qualie because he reckoned if he won Memphis that would take care of everything, otherwise he fancied a week off? Two strokes behind now and playing as well as anyone, better than most.

English and Scot have pretty much eliminated themselves.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:31 am

Scary stuff with Greg Owen on top of the Memphis leaderboard.
He's putting really nicely, but can he keep his finger off the self-destruct button? We'll know soon enough; meanwhile, good luck to Mansfield Man!

Bernhard Langer has a squeaky 8-shot lead in the Senior Players, disappointing form so far this year from Langer, but hopefully he'll see this one all the way into the winners' enclosure.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:52 pm

princedrac confirming that Andy Sullivan is now almost a dead cert for Chambers Bay; and that Matt Jones could join him with a 2nd place finish.

Greg Owen is almost last on the PGA Tour's putting stat's, but he's been putting nicely this week - long (or at least for another 18+ holes) may it continue.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun Jun 14, 2015 3:56 pm

Fine win for Chris Wood; it won't get him into The Open, not yet anyway, but it could secure him a place in the PGA Championship.
Time for him to really get the results befitting his talent. Job 1: Keep healthy . . . . .

Anything exciting happening yet in Memphis? Er, no.

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Post by GPB Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:08 pm

Chris Wood tentatively into the top 80.
RCB into the Top 100.

It looks like Woods is going to hang on to a top 200 ranking going into the US Open.

He should be about 191-194th after this week depending on Memphis results.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:11 pm

GPB,
Did you get to Southwind?

Haven't really paid much attention to the course the past few years, but it's maturing nicely by the looks of things. Had all the appearance of a rundown dog-track when John Cook and Justin Leonard were having their way with it, but almost Colonial-esque now, albeit with a few drops of water too many.

Here comes Russell Knox! A day late and a few strokes short.

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Post by GPB Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:20 pm

Yes, I was there on Thursday, only was there for about 3 hours as it was too fricking hot.  And I got mad that DJ W/D as he was on all my Draftkings teams. I saw Lefty finish up his first round.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:26 pm

Oops,
Finger poised above self-destruct button for Owen, almost resting on it now.
Big picture here is that, even if he doesn't win, a podium finish can get hime back on track for saving his card. You never know when he'll get another chance like this.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:47 pm

How many picked the double of Lingmerth last week and Gomez this? Very impressive performances by both.

Very impressed by Owen today also. Even money chance of keeping his card now - up to 95th in FedEx pts.

Am thinking Matt Jones fell a shot short of qualifying for Chambers Bay. Sullivan certainly in.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:22 pm

Confirmation, if any was needed, that Kevin Kisner and Andy Sullivan have earned a place in the US Open field via the Top 60 in the owgr's.

Disappointing that Chris Wood's win in Austria isn't worthy of a place in the Bridgestone field - he played very well there a couple of years ago.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:15 pm

Lucky day for British Chambers Bay wannabes:
As well as Andy Sullivan, "alternates" Oliver Farr and Jimmy Gunn have filled places reserved for owgr qualifiers.

American Steve Marino is also in, amongst others; good to see him back, still one of the top career money winners among non-winners. He's been nursing injuries and made his comeback via the web.com Tour. Very likely to earn his way back to the big Tour for 2015/16. Hopefully he's lost a few (dozen?) lbs during his absence.

EDIT: Tour player Kevin Chappell, T3 behind Rory at Congressional and T10 a year later, has also been added to the field.

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Post by SmithersJones Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:37 pm

Just been looking at the US Open tee times - can't immediately see the infamous 'pr1ck' 3 ball - Mickelson & Watson are with Cabrera - is he unpopular, I didn't think so? Could it be Reed, Chris Kirk & Luke's boy? Or Simpson, Bradley & Na?

DJ, Adam & Sergio is one of the most high profile groups, then there's the Southern Hemisphere former champions group of Ogilvy, Els & Goosen. Westwood, Horschel & Casey is an interesting group too (another candidate for the pr1cks?)
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Post by Davie Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:40 pm

Simpson Bradley and Na get my vote

Though is Stevie back on Scott's bag? Would have been interesting to see Bradley and Scott together just for battle of the a-hole caddies

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:21 pm

I didn't see any deliberate "fun" groups Smithers. Perhaps they've taken Lowry's umbrage to heart and decided their "fun" is someone else's idea of an insult.

Reports starting to suggest the Chambers Bay greens are on the edge. Why would they let them get like that? Ridiculous, if true.

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Post by JAS Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:08 pm

Watched an article last night which suggested the greens have no edge in some places. There will be a white dot delineating end of fairway, beginning of green!!!! Whaaaaaat??? Que 6 hour plus rounds as players debate with rules officials and ask for measurements. They surely won't get into that situation...surely!!

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