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PGA Tour: US Open, Into the Unknown: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 16 Jun 2015, 4:00 pm

First topic message reminder :

OK, This is one of those weeks where we don't know what we don't know.
We don't know anything about the Chambers Bay course, except that it's visually breathtaking. But so is Bryce Canyon. We know it's been very dry and there are reports about greens being "on the edge", but whether that's by accident or design, who knows?
We know there might be Par-5's morphing into Par-4's and vice versa, but no word yet as to whether Mike Davis might create a Par-2 or a Par-6. We DO know promised transportation infrastructure ain't happening, and that "patrons" are advised to view from grandstands rather than follow specific groups - use your own sporting analogy, but that sounds bl00dy stupid to moi.
And we do know that this course is not pro-tournament proven; the only significant event staged there so far is the 2010 US Amateur.

So let's not try and pre-judge what we don't know, or forecast based on subjective snippets about the place, and offer a few notes based upon what we do know about the PGA Tour season:

1).For the second straight week an Englishman was beaten into second place by a first-time "foreign" winner, David Lingmerth beating Justin Rose at the Memorial, Fabian Gomez outplaying Greg Owen, and everyone else, in Memphis.
Greg Owen played out of his skin, his customary excellent ball-striking giving him a chance, and putting with a calm stroke seldom seen from him. Although he looked a bit jittery on his back nine, his usually questionable composure only betrayed him following a 3-wood wide-right into the water on #12 and subsequent demolition of said club. Good job he didn't really need it after that.
The man from Mansfield earned his richest golfing pay-day and gives himself an even chance of keeping his Tour card for another year, via the Top 125 in earnings if not the Top 125 in FedEx points.

2).And, after a 3-month string of tournaments being won by high echelon players, we now have three in a row won by unheralded non-Americans, with Bowditch having won in Dallas. Imagine that trend may screech to a halt this week.

3).Russell Knox continued his run of good form and extended his lead in bogey-free rounds on Tour these past two seasons. $300K in Knox's pocket in the last three weeks without threatening to contend for a title. Apart from being no better than Tour average around the greens, Knox has scarcely a weakness in his game:
Eighth in greens in regulation.
Second in "proximity to the hole".
But does he have that "extra gear" needed to win tournaments? He has a week off and hopefully the rest will helpful as he goes to Hartford next week to play a course which suits him down to the ground.

4).Luke Donald showed glimpses of a return to form in Memphis, but McDool missed the cut. Both are in real danger of failing to earn their way into the FedEx Play-Offs; at least Luke shows signs of adjusting his schedule accordingly - he'll visit Hartford for the first time and, if he fails to qualify for St.Andrews, may add another US event. Meanwhile, Brian Davis started out like a house on fire in Memphis, but the early flashes of form became extinguished as he struggled the rest of the way. Odds against him retaining his card without a visit to the WTF series.

5).And so to Chambers Bay, in the great Pacific North-West, just outside Seattle. No idea what to expect from the course and the USGA set-up. And no idea what to expect from Fox TV as they broadcast their first Pro tournament. Just hoping for the best on both counts.


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Post by Shotrock Thu 18 Jun 2015, 8:31 pm

I agree with that Davie. It may look unconventional, but it appears the putts are rolling true and the scores aren't particularly high.

Also, given the size of the property itself, looks (at least to me) like the fans have lots of room to roam around.

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Post by MustPuttBetter Thu 18 Jun 2015, 8:37 pm

Shotrock wrote:MPB - Pretty good showing for Rory at the last Open Championship (played, of course, at the seaside and linksy Hoylake).

Of course...
But that aside he's been 47th, 3rd, 25th, 60th, cut.
Struggles at the Irish Open.
Considering his record in most tournaments I'd say links golf isn't his strength. Especially if windy. Hoylake when he won was unusually not windy at all (I was there)
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Post by MustPuttBetter Thu 18 Jun 2015, 8:46 pm

Have to say, I think this course looks fantastic. It does appear a bit dry, hopefully they can change that, but this is sort of test I like to see. It's difficult without having to suffer watching them all just hacking it out of rough. Clever design.

I've a funny feeling Tiger might do well this week
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 18 Jun 2015, 8:57 pm

They're saying the course should play faster and firmer this afternoon. Dustin playing a different game but, for the rest, even par will be a good score.
Greg Norman as lead analyst much better than I expected. So far.

There'll be 5 1/2 hour to 6-hour rounds this afternoon.

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Post by Davie Thu 18 Jun 2015, 9:00 pm

The USGA can't be happy with a -6 leader on this course that was meant to be Golfzilla .. but don't worry I've worked it out.

The white sprinkles around the fringes of the greens are a sting operation; they are just waiting for Dustbin to line a putt up in the Camillo Villegas style and hey presto they've got him bang to rights! Cool

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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 18 Jun 2015, 9:20 pm

Anyone know what the forecast up that part of the U.S. is for the next 3 days? Any wind?
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 18 Jun 2015, 10:04 pm

About 10 mph, navy, but from a direction tomorrow, then similar weekend forecast to today's.
Chance of showers tonight, perhaps Friday morning, which will be welcome to the USGA as they've reportedly been putting a lot of water on the course at night.

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Post by sirbenson Fri 19 Jun 2015, 12:15 am

Surprise, surprise! Sergio is moaning on twitter lol!

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 19 Jun 2015, 12:56 am

To be fair sirb, Rory said you couldn't trust a putt inside eight feet, Sergio is hardly the only one.
Feels like more long putts are being made than shorties.

It was the big names doing well this morning; but lots of big names playing themselves out of it this evening, Rickie Fowler among those in a pickle.

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Post by sirbenson Fri 19 Jun 2015, 1:07 am

Yep, very true Kwini!

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Post by sirbenson Fri 19 Jun 2015, 1:12 am

kwinigolfer wrote:To be fair sirb, Rory said you couldn't trust a putt inside eight feet, Sergio is hardly the only one.
Feels like more long putts are being made than shorties.

It was the big names doing well this morning; but lots of big names playing themselves out of it this evening, Rickie Fowler among those in a pickle.

And Fowler has gone from bad to worse to.....atrocious

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 19 Jun 2015, 3:56 am

That was like watching a funeral. All it was missing was Richard Dimbleby.
Fowler group in at +27.

Let's hope for some electricity Friday morning. Not optimistic.

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Post by sirbenson Fri 19 Jun 2015, 4:12 am

I am speechless, I don't know what to make of it!

One wonder how long Tiger will keep with Chris Como if this keeps up?



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Post by MustPuttBetter Fri 19 Jun 2015, 6:11 am

MustPuttBetter wrote:I've a funny feeling Tiger might do well this week

 Whistle
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Post by Sand Fri 19 Jun 2015, 8:32 am

sirbenson wrote:Surprise, surprise! Sergio is moaning on twitter lol!

Say what you like about Sergio, at least he has the balls to say what the rest of the field are thinking. He wasn't the only one to have a go at the greens.

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Post by incontinentia Fri 19 Jun 2015, 8:35 am

sirbenson wrote:I am speechless, I don't know what to make of it!

One wonder how long Tiger will keep with Chris Como if this keeps up?


Even the hundred yard wide fairway wasn't wide enough for him to hit! Perhaps Tiger needs to play some web.com tourneys for a while, get some high finishes and maybe a win or two to build up some confidence.
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Post by navyblueshorts Fri 19 Jun 2015, 8:53 am

incontinentia wrote:
sirbenson wrote:I am speechless, I don't know what to make of it!

One wonder how long Tiger will keep with Chris Como if this keeps up?


Even the hundred yard wide fairway wasn't wide enough for him to hit! Perhaps Tiger needs to play some web.com tourneys for a while, get some high finishes and maybe a win or two to build up some confidence.
With a 3-wood, allegedly. Impressive. What he needs to do is swing a little more like he does on the practice range...or maybe give up. What the media need to do is treat him like the ~190 OWGR he currently is and stop focusing on his each and every fart.
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Post by navyblueshorts Fri 19 Jun 2015, 8:56 am

Re. the greens and Sergio. The greens are clearly OK, but "OK" isn't what you should expect for a U.S. Open - particularly with some of the slopes they have. Saw one putt (maybe 8') of McIlroy's last night in slo-mo, from ground level, and it was bumping all over the place on the way to missing. Not good.
Good for Sergio for saying what many others are thinking. The only good thing is everyone's in it together.
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Post by super_realist Fri 19 Jun 2015, 9:22 am

MustPuttBetter wrote:
MustPuttBetter wrote:I've a funny feeling Tiger might do well this week

 Whistle

It's getting to the point where 9C is taking up a more deserving players place.

He's more familiar with a "MC" now than a "W"

Perhaps he's just frightened of falling?

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Post by McLaren Fri 19 Jun 2015, 10:38 am

Kwini


"To be fair sirb"


To be really fair, Rory apologetically accepted when prompted that the greens were a little less than ideal and then humbly proposed that he would ensure that he would practice enough to ensure he was prepared for them by his next round.  Contrast that to sergio who started bleating about being a poor little white man made to putt on the nasty greens.  Will sergio be out to get the better of the greens or will we see him sink without a trace as the toys fly from the pram?
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Post by McLaren Fri 19 Jun 2015, 10:47 am

Harvey Milk, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Sergio Garcia, MLK jr, Bevan, Pankhurst.

Oh wait. Just can't quite work out what is up with one of the names on that list. It certainly isn't the guy fighting the corner of the multimillionaires made to putt on some dodgy greens. Hell no, his place in the history of the fight for civil liberties is well cemented.

All hail Sergio. angel
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Post by super_realist Fri 19 Jun 2015, 10:48 am

Mac, you are such a cliche.

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Post by MontysMerkin Fri 19 Jun 2015, 11:14 am

That's not how you spell it soups...
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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 19 Jun 2015, 12:18 pm

Whoever is your chosen reporter Mac, the greens were just not good enough. Just surprised that you didn't spot that until Sergio told you. (Although, if you'd only listen, plenty of others were making the same observations as Garcia.)

Your worship of all things Tiger has morphed seamlessly into hatred for all things Sergio.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 19 Jun 2015, 12:25 pm

It looks as if there might have been a few showers early this morning at CB, chance of a sprinkle later this morning.
Big difference today will be more of an easterly wind this morning, switching to SW later. Cool, 60's.

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Post by McLaren Fri 19 Jun 2015, 12:26 pm

Kwini

As we have heard over the last few days from many people he associated with Dylann Roof "made racist jokes but....... seemed like a nice guy" . I am clearly not suggesting Sergio will shoot up a black church but maybe now you will be more willing to accept that those making racist jokes are in fact racist. So yes, I dislike garcia, but for pretty obvious reasons.


Who didn't spot the greens were a little less than perfect? I still support Rory's reaction to that of sergio's privileged moaning. Do you not think Rory admitting he had some work to do to figure out the greens was a more reasonable response that sergio mouthing off about a complete non event?
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Post by super_realist Fri 19 Jun 2015, 12:39 pm

Mac, why are you considering Garcia's implied racism in regards to his opinion of a golf courses greens?

Do you think that because you see him as racist, that you need to hold a contrary opinion to everything else that he comes out with?

Sergio, Monty and Rory haven't said anything out of order here at all. In fact, I'm glad they didn't pander and sugar coat their responses.

The greens are not major standard in their opinion. Stop acting as if they should be nice about something if they don't think they are good enough. They are under no obligation to be diplomatic or censor their opinions to avoid controversy. Why would they?

I hear people all over complain about greens, I'm critical about the greens on my own courses, why shouldn't I?

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Post by hend085 Fri 19 Jun 2015, 12:48 pm

is it a bit bizarre that monty is in the commentary box as well as playing?
you would think he would want to stay focused on what is his last chance of ever nabbing a big one.

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Post by super_realist Fri 19 Jun 2015, 12:50 pm

He's actually quite well poised. I think if he makes the cut and is still in the mix he'll stay out of the box.

Can you imagine what a story it would be if Fat Monty were to win.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 19 Jun 2015, 1:27 pm

I love this quote from Henrik Stenson when asked what he thought of the course:

"It's different. Of its kind, it's one of the finest."!!!!!!!!!!

Biggest complaint that I've heard about the CB greens, about from the obvious bumpiness, is that greens closer to the Sound were significantly quicker than those further inland. That must be disconcerting, to say the least, but at least the golfers know that now, as well as know more than ever to keep their approach below the hole.

Only McLaren could bring Dylann Roof's atrocity and apply it as analagous to something in a golf tournament.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 19 Jun 2015, 1:28 pm

I love this quote from Henrik Stenson when asked what he thought of the course:

"It's different. Of its kind, it's one of the finest."!!!!!!!!!!

Biggest complaint that I've heard about the CB greens, about from the obvious bumpiness, is that greens closer to the Sound were significantly quicker than those further inland. That must be disconcerting, to say the least, but at least the golfers know that now, as well as know more than ever to keep their approach below the hole.

Only McLaren could bring Dylann Roof's atrocity and apply it as analagous to something in a golf tournament.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 19 Jun 2015, 1:28 pm

I love this quote from Henrik Stenson when asked what he thought of the course:

"It's different. Of its kind, it's one of the finest."!!!!!!!!!!

Biggest complaint that I've heard about the CB greens, about from the obvious bumpiness, is that greens closer to the Sound were significantly quicker than those further inland. That must be disconcerting, to say the least, but at least the golfers know that now, as well as know more than ever to keep their approach below the hole.

Only McLaren could invoke Dylann Roof's atrocity and apply it as analagous to something in a golf tournament.

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Post by sirbenson Fri 19 Jun 2015, 1:43 pm

According to the stats Coetzee had 6 three putts!! Yikes, played quite good golf though as a 72 suggests with that kind of putting!

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Post by Shotrock Fri 19 Jun 2015, 1:53 pm

Observations ...

Fun course to look at ... but the bumpy greens will bring luck more into the equation than I think should for a tournament of this stature.

Fox coverage ... like the graphics, Norman a bit dull, but do enjoy Weiskopf.

Sergio ... any wonder why this guy has as many majors as I do?

Tiger ... He could probably double his schedule from here on in and play as much golf as he planned (given that he's only in two day events at the moment). (My close friend is the walking scorer for Tiger this morning. I look forward to his "in the ropes" observations on the former great one.)

Rory ... It's time!

Stenson ... looks more solid than DJ, less prone to eruption IMO.


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Post by McLaren Fri 19 Jun 2015, 2:12 pm

Kwini

"Only McLaren could invoke Dylann Roof's atrocity and apply it as analagous to something in a golf tournament."

I applied making racist jokes to being a racist. (ie sergio made a racist comment and I see no reason to be an apologist about it)

"Your worship of all things Tiger has morphed seamlessly into hatred for all things Sergio".

I agree with you, I don't like sergio and have just told you why I don't like him.

I also accepted the greens may have an issue, but objected to the way sergio went about dealing with that, which was in clear contrast to Rory's approach. Rory is out practicing and hoping to get to grips with the green issues and sergio is mouthing off under the delusion he is some sort of defender of truth.
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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 19 Jun 2015, 2:31 pm

Yes, well, Sergio beat Rory by two strokes - he overcame adversity before p1ssing and moaning about it.

Sergio may not care for Tiger, but you'll never convince me that's racism.

Why is "greens" having "an issue" acceptable for a US Open Championship?

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 19 Jun 2015, 2:34 pm

Not clear if there'll still be 156 golfers going for another dose of inconsistent greens; Gary Woodland checked himself in for medical attention following his Round 1 suffering from dehydration. Don't know of any other possible defections.


Lots about Tiger's futility, but at least he beat Rickie Fowler, who had a tap-in eagle in his 81.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 19 Jun 2015, 3:33 pm

Tiger's euphemism for the crappy greens:
You have to leave your ball below the hole and I didn't today. The downhill putts, well, er, "they're tough to make, just put it that way."
Sounds as if Garcia and Woods agree; and Sergio's comment was spot on - other guys are not prepared to see they're not up to snuff.


Where do you think the guillotine will fall? +3 most likely, +4 unlikely. Remember, no "within ten shots of the lead" rule any more.

Let's say +3 will play the weekend. That leaves "notables" with work to do. Those at +4 or worse when they leave the traps include:

+4: Fleetwood, McDowell, Donaldson, Ryan Palmer, Woodland, Dubuisson
+5: Ryan Moore
+6: Charley Hoffman
+7: Oosthuizen
+8: Todd, Gallacher
+10: Woods
+11: Fowler



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Post by Sand Fri 19 Jun 2015, 3:39 pm

I see the first is playing as a par 5 today and last as a par 4.... Not sure I agree with the changing of that mid tournament.

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Post by Snap Hook Fri 19 Jun 2015, 3:54 pm

So the greens looked bad and played pretty bad by the sounds of it at professional level, but probably slightly better than the local pitch & putt. Good on Sergio for saying they were not great - playing for mega bucks here, not a monthly medal.

Can't watch Tiger it is just depressing - his drive (wild swipe) and inevitable big slice into the rough on No.8 was beyond comprehension.

Think the cut will be +4, suspect today won't be much easier today, despite a drop of rain.



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Post by hend085 Fri 19 Jun 2015, 4:05 pm

monty was 50-1 to finish top ten before the start.
long way to go obviously!!

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Post by puligny Fri 19 Jun 2015, 5:58 pm

Stunning location.
Shocking greens. They had similar greens at Basingstoke pitch and putt but people complained so they improved them.
Why so many bunkers?
Spectators seem to get a raw deal. Those at the scene (of the crime) and on TV.

Emperors suit of clothes for me. Looks like a vanity project that is not up to hosting a U.S. Open.

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Post by Shotrock Fri 19 Jun 2015, 6:26 pm

Jordan Spieth looking mighty composed at the moment.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 19 Jun 2015, 6:26 pm

Agreed with most of that puligny, overdone and contrived. Wonderful canvas, too much paint, difficult to view.

Plenty of self-destruction going on, and not just from Lucas Glover. Leishman, Noren, Willett, Horschel all digging themselves a deep hole early on. But JB Holmes making up for some messes yesterday.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 19 Jun 2015, 6:35 pm

Ryan Moore doing superb at Royal Ascot, very disappointing at Chambers Bay.

Spieth with a miracle save on #16 and another bird on #17 - he could really put the cat among the afternoon pigeons with a low sixties morning round.

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Post by Hibbz Fri 19 Jun 2015, 7:10 pm

When I came home from playing the wonderfully tranquil and pretty Farnham GC yesterday evening and put on the golf coverage I thought Chambers Bay, and in particular the sight of the "greens", was a complete abomination but the more I'm watching it today the more it's growing on me and I'm really starting to like it and the unusual looking greens.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 19 Jun 2015, 7:16 pm

Hibbz,
For some reason, most of the greens are rolling more smoothly today than in Round 1.

Looks to me that the players are overdoing the "circle route" with some of their putts and scrambling, focussing more on clever use of sideboards or backstops than rolling it at the hole.

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Post by Hibbz Fri 19 Jun 2015, 7:23 pm

I thought the same earlier actually Kwini. There was one of Justin Rose's on the 12th that I'm sure he'd have got closer just putting properly. Might be wrong.

I was wondering whether the tele in our lounge was more flattering to the greens than the tele in the bedroom I was watching last night or maybe the greens will start looking ropier later though the ales will probably blur the edges!

Incredible birdie from Day on the first (his 10th).

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 19 Jun 2015, 7:36 pm

Encore! Another bomb from Day.

Helluva leaderboard, Grace having tons of chances - he could have been, should have been?, ahead by now.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 19 Jun 2015, 8:50 pm

Luke bogeys the last for a 71 and +4. Not sure that that will be good enough for the weekend.

Fox TV seems fixated on showing every Jason Day shot. And relatively little of Justin Rose. Who is the Major Champion Fox?
Justin leaving a few shots out there, will be interested to see his putting stat's; otherwise playing beautifully.

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