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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 kwinigolfer Fri 19 Jun 2015, 8:56 pm

Bl00dy hell!
Who's this Westwood fellow at -4 for the day? Didn't see that coming; long may it continue.

It may compensate for his mate DC making a strong bid for last place.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 19 Jun 2015, 9:22 pm

What's all this heckling of Justin Rose? Triple could be a tournament-buster for him.

USGA now projecting cut at +4, but morning wave scores a full shot lower than yesterday's. If +4, there's a very good chance that King Louis will make it after yesterday's debacle w/Woods & Fowler.

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Post by navyblueshorts Fri 19 Jun 2015, 10:03 pm

super_realist wrote:Mac, you are such a cliche.
Not the term I'd choose... boxing
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Post by navyblueshorts Fri 19 Jun 2015, 10:13 pm

Btw, who is the plastic porn star lookalike doing some of the player interviews for Fox????
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Post by EmmDee57 Fri 19 Jun 2015, 10:20 pm

6 birdies today from Jimmy Gunn!!!

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 19 Jun 2015, 10:44 pm

Agree navy, Doesn't she look awful?

Missed cuts for Jimmy Walker, Poulter, Bill Haas, Fowler, Woods, Gallacher, Hoffman, Mahan, Noren, Willett, Moore.

Shambles for Lee Westwood on #18 - triple bogey. But still in for the weekend.

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Post by MustPuttBetter Fri 19 Jun 2015, 11:48 pm

Hibbz, are you a member at / live near Farnham?
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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 20 Jun 2015, 2:36 am

The way things are going, there's a chance the cut will slide to +5, which may? please Messrs Poulter and Walker and would certainly be good news for John Parry and Jimmy Gunn.

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Post by sirbenson Sat 20 Jun 2015, 3:00 am

Chambers Bay is a fantastic course and a brilliant test....the only hole I don't like is the reachable Par 4 12th!


My picks are doing atrociously

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Post by sirbenson Sat 20 Jun 2015, 3:03 am

kwinigolfer wrote:The way things are going, there's a chance the cut will slide to +5, which may? please Messrs Poulter and Walker and would certainly be good news for John Parry and Jimmy Gunn.

It looks that way doesn't it! Anyone who makes the weekend could win this, as this only going to get more difficult, you'd have to imagine!

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 20 Jun 2015, 3:13 am

You in the middle of breakfast, sirb??!!

Still not a fan of the course, though can see its appeal; very good to see Rory coming to life, plus his buddy Lowry right up there.

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Post by sirbenson Sat 20 Jun 2015, 3:30 am

Not long now until breakfast, wondering whether I should wait up for it haha!


Still think par or maybe even over par wins this

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Post by sirbenson Sat 20 Jun 2015, 3:38 am

Are you guys a fan of alternating the par on holes?

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 20 Jun 2015, 3:55 am

I don't necessarily mind that, but it seems reasonable to expect that the guys know what it will be in advance; Phil clearly has no idea if #1, for instance, will be a 4 or a 5 tomorrow. Doesn't seem right.

The place looks tricked up to me, contrived, but can't tell whether or not it would seem better if the TV coverage was the normal standard. Fox so far has been dire.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Sat 20 Jun 2015, 4:55 am

I think there's a bunch of guys hoping amateur Nick Hardy makes a balls up of his last hole.  He's +4 and the only one that can move the line as exactly 60 players are at +4 or better.

EDIT: He did move the cut line and a bunch of guys and Fantasy Leaguers are happy that +5 remains alive. Round 2 update coming in a few hours time.

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Post by beninho Sat 20 Jun 2015, 7:09 am

I don't see much to like about the course. It's not pretty, the bunkers look dirty. The players don't seem to enjoy it. A lot of luck is needed on bounces and whether you hit the slopes in or round the green. Just saw Stenson press conference he called it borderline laughable and like putting on broccoli. And an almost 6 hour round. And the time difference us annoying. Other then that all good. Spieth is something special.

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Post by navyblueshorts Sat 20 Jun 2015, 12:41 pm

If Spieth gets his nose in front today, the rest of field may start to panic given the way he destroyed them from the front at ANGC.
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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 20 Jun 2015, 1:01 pm

Would think the USGA will be royally p1ssed off with Amateur Hardy, came plummetting thru the field at the death to rescue sixteen golfers who had doubtless packed their bags.
All down to the greens which deteriorate rapidly in the afternoon. Several in the field with putt totals averaging more than two per green, Stenson with 38, local hero Puttnam with 40, and he knows his way around. Even he was critical.

Can't stand the way Mike Davis is so supercilious about the mess he's created - a US Open is not meant to be easy. That's right Mike, but it's meant to be golf. Fox meanwhile pat him on the back while the truth is there for all to see. FescYou Fox.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 20 Jun 2015, 2:46 pm

Not a bad field for Hartford next week, looking forward to that, but a treat for all of you going to Gullane in a few weeks:
McIlroy
Rose
Fowler
Walker
Kuchar
Mickelson
Poulter
Donaldson
McDool
Ben Martin
Fleetwood
Sullivan
Luiten
Lowry
Chris Wood
Koepka
etc, etc.

First class field.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 20 Jun 2015, 3:40 pm

They'll be off and running just after 8.00 a.m. local time, 4.00 p.m. in Durham.

Forecast is good, no extreme wind. Expect some decent scores among the early starters, big disparity the first two days between "morning wave" and "afternoon wave", so could be a very bunched leaderboard come Saturday evening.

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Post by Hibbz Sat 20 Jun 2015, 4:40 pm

MustPuttBetter wrote:Hibbz, are you a member at / live near Farnham?

No, I'm a member at Leatherhead. It was a free practice round for their Mens Open a week tomorrow.

It's a lovely setting and a pretty course.

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Post by sirbenson Sat 20 Jun 2015, 5:03 pm

Was there talk of making the 16th drivable?

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 20 Jun 2015, 5:27 pm

16? Haven't seen that - it would mean a run of par-3, par-3 1/2, par-3. If they did that, I imagine they'd play #12 as a two-shotter.

Nothing especially exciting happening early in Round 3.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 20 Jun 2015, 5:55 pm

Lots of opinions on Chambers Bay and here's another one, from Gary Player:
" . . . the man who designed this golfcourse had to have one leg shorter than the other." !!
and:
"You don't bring (the US Open) to courses like this."

Only two years now until Erin Hills, another tournament on a course selected by Mike Davis that is completely unproven.


Two hours into Round 3 and only two men under par, bot Poults and Jimmy Walker one under.

#1 playing as a par 4 today; #18, described by Jordan Spieth as the "dumbest hole I've ever played", as a Par-5.


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Post by sirbenson Sat 20 Jun 2015, 6:02 pm

I think Spieth called the 18th dumb when it was a par 4 instead of a par 5....Westy tweeted the same as well

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 20 Jun 2015, 6:13 pm

Yes, I didn't word/punctuate that very well.
And Mike Davis would no doubt respond, as he did, "Just think of #1 and #18 as a collective Par-9."

Peter Kostis reckoned that's fine for the weekend, but not on Thursday and Friday. Good point there.


Webb Simpson now -1 after nine holes; no-one else under par.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 20 Jun 2015, 7:40 pm

Come on Rory. Dizzying heights of -2 after 7 holes and playing the par-5. Post a number and let the leaders deal with the afternoon broccoli.

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Post by John Cregan Sat 20 Jun 2015, 7:42 pm

While the "Par" of a hole has nothing to do with scoring or the overall result, given the fact that they go to the trouble of giving each hole a "par", have the good manners to leave it is for the week. By all means, add 100 or deduct 100 yards, but leave the par as it is and don't be trying to be clever!!

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Post by I'm never wrong Sat 20 Jun 2015, 7:48 pm

John Cregan wrote:By all means, add 100 or deduct 100 yards, but leave the par as it is and don't be trying to be clever!!
They have added 100 yards to the 15th. Its is now 250+ yards. Monty nearly aced it.

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Post by pedro Sat 20 Jun 2015, 7:51 pm

Rather on the broccoli than in the cabbage. Let's see if Spieth will leek it and arti-choke.

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Post by I'm never wrong Sat 20 Jun 2015, 7:57 pm

pedro wrote:Rather on the broccoli than in the cabbage. Lettuce see if Spieth will leek it and arti-choke.

Fixed it for you

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Post by Davie Sat 20 Jun 2015, 10:02 pm

Why the fixation over par? It's a golf hole. Make it a par two and see the scores go over "par". Make it a par ten and see people coming in with double albatrosses. Does it really matter?

I can't see anyone worrying about it - so it may be a long par4 one day and short par5 the next. They probably hope to shoot 4s both days

Of all the complaints I've read, most seem to be cry baby complaints. The only one with perhaps a little validity is that the greens are a bit bumpy.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 20 Jun 2015, 10:15 pm

Jimmy Gunn low Scotsman.

Davie,
I think that, if the greens were a little smoother and running at an even pace, you wouldn't hear any other complaints. Not often you hear Justin Rose complaining, or Spieth.

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Post by sirbenson Sat 20 Jun 2015, 10:47 pm

Fantastic comeback from Louis Oosthuizen!

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Sat 20 Jun 2015, 10:55 pm

That was a bit of an oops from Ben Martin on the second. Races a flatish birdie putt way past, off and down into a bunker. Made double.

Some nice play from Louis Oo today. Must be benefiting from playing alongside a good player Whistle

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Post by Shotrock Sat 20 Jun 2015, 10:56 pm

Rory's ball striking looked spot on. It's his putter that wasn't hot enough today. Thing is, he's still in it. Even could win this and Rory can certainly go -4 tomorrow.

Having your national championship played on greens like this is silly IMO.

Congrats to Dornoch's Jimmy Gunn!

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Post by sirbenson Sat 20 Jun 2015, 11:21 pm

Go Shane Lowry!!!

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Post by Shotrock Sat 20 Jun 2015, 11:27 pm

Speith = WTF. Time to come back down to earth.

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Post by sirbenson Sat 20 Jun 2015, 11:31 pm

Incredible putts on 2&3 for Spieth

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Post by sportform Sat 20 Jun 2015, 11:48 pm

With a Jordan Spieth victory looking ominous in the US Open, is it time to start thinking of the 'grand slam' for him this season?
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Post by sirbenson Sun 21 Jun 2015, 12:06 am

Great par from Grace on 6

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 21 Jun 2015, 12:23 am

Three Saffers and three Aussies ahead of any British golfers on the leaderboard as things stand. Pathetic really.
Go Shane, Go Joost!

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Post by sirbenson Sun 21 Jun 2015, 1:01 am

Martin may struggle to break 90 at the rate he is going!

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Sun 21 Jun 2015, 1:38 am

And he started with a birdie!

Checked his scorecard to see he took a 9 on the par 5 8th and he finished that by holing a 40 footer; bet some thought a ten would be good result for him.

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Post by sirbenson Sun 21 Jun 2015, 2:05 am

He also de-greened it on his second from 30 feet and ended up making a double!

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Post by sirbenson Sun 21 Jun 2015, 2:27 am

What a gutsy round from Jason, incredible stuff!

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Post by sirbenson Sun 21 Jun 2015, 3:34 am

That was a fun, fun round! Chambers Bay has well and truly delivered!

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Post by sirbenson Sun 21 Jun 2015, 3:36 am

Say what you want about the greens but it really is a fantastic test! An entertaining course as well!

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Post by incontinentia Sun 21 Jun 2015, 8:58 am

Remember that if Lowry wins, super has to worship him for a month Very Happy
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Post by Shotrock Sun 21 Jun 2015, 12:08 pm

Kwin - Just not the week for British golfers it seems. I'm guessing you'll then be rooting for the Europeans ... but I suggest everyone channel their positive energy to Jason Day. What a great story if he pulls this off.

I"ll be surprise if the winner doesn't come out of the -4 group.

Not a big fan of this "test". Pretty sure we won't see Chamber's Bay in the rotation anytime soon.


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