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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.


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Thu 18 Jun 2015, 4:56 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 22 Jun 2015, 3:05 am

How's about an eagle eagle finish.
Come on DJ!

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Post by JamesLincs Mon 22 Jun 2015, 3:19 am

too obvious for me. johnsons had a torrid day on the greens

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 22 Jun 2015, 3:20 am

What a plonker . . . . .

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Mon 22 Jun 2015, 3:20 am

Oh DJ!

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 22 Jun 2015, 3:20 am

The Great One would have made that. Oh dj.

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Post by JamesLincs Mon 22 Jun 2015, 3:21 am

or browns, or whatever they call them now in the us

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Mon 22 Jun 2015, 3:23 am

Looks like Paulina was trying to take his mind off of missing the chance to win. I'm sure the camera man was trying to get a shot of her boobs.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 22 Jun 2015, 3:23 am

Golf Channel reckon Cameron Smith's finish earns him a PGA Tour card (an STM at least), if he wants it. He and Grace definitely get invites to Augusta.

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Post by sirbenson Mon 22 Jun 2015, 3:41 am

Absolutely gutted for Dustin Johnson

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Mon 22 Jun 2015, 3:53 am

Do we think DJ was in two minds over his putt on 18?  Spieth cosied his eagle putt up to the edge to guarantee the birdie; should DJ have done the same? Seems rather obvious now but I wonder whether he wasn't sure what to do.

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Post by sirbenson Mon 22 Jun 2015, 4:00 am

He barely hit the first putt though, it was just crazy quick.....

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Post by super_realist Mon 22 Jun 2015, 6:56 am

DJ must hate the US Open. That's twice now. Would think he's got a great chance at TOC though, with his length and the lack of hazards on the course, he could be Mr 254.



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Post by I'm never wrong Mon 22 Jun 2015, 7:21 am

Super, if the weather doesn't happen, is there any other protection for TOC? Can the R & A trick it up?

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Post by super_realist Mon 22 Jun 2015, 8:23 am

If the wind doesn't blow, there is literally no protection. Contrary to Mac's claim of a "complex" green system, there aren't really that many holes where you can place a tricky pin (and certainly not for 4 days) not for these guys.

There's a lot of holes these guys can drive, Par 5's are easy, as are the 3's and there are bailouts for slices and hooks everywhere, in addition, the course is virtually bereft of gorse and the rough, due to the lack of rain is sparse and wispy.

The only thing that could make it interesting is a 3 or 4 way tussle for it, hopefully with Tide Going Out and Pubehead going head to head (or crap haircut to crap haircut if you prefer), but I suspect another bore championship, that's a poor spectator both from the viewing and the golf, just like every other at TOC.

If there is any course where 9C may be able to put in his first good tournament in an age, it could be this.

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Post by I'm never wrong Mon 22 Jun 2015, 8:48 am

Thanks Super. Trying to work out who Tide Going Out is. Don't tell me.

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Post by McLaren Mon 22 Jun 2015, 9:23 am

I think he means Simba.
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Post by super_realist Mon 22 Jun 2015, 9:48 am

Spieth actually. 9C is a tournament irrelevance these days.

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Post by McLaren Mon 22 Jun 2015, 9:52 am

super

Simba is Speith. Why do you call him "Tide going out"?
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Post by super_realist Mon 22 Jun 2015, 10:05 am

Why call him Simba?

Tide going out refers to his prematurely balding pate.

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Post by McLaren Mon 22 Jun 2015, 10:11 am

Physically he has the poise, mannerisms and handsomeness of the young Simba which is coupled with the naivety, innocence and boundless enthusiasm also seen in the young Simba.
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Post by super_realist Mon 22 Jun 2015, 10:15 am

Who is Simba though?

The only Simba I remember was a bell end contributor on this forum.

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Post by navyblueshorts Mon 22 Jun 2015, 10:17 am

Lion King, S_R. Can't see it myself but that's Mac for you. Wonder if he still posits that Spieth isn't up to much?
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Post by McLaren Mon 22 Jun 2015, 10:18 am

wtf? Are you really going to claim you don't know one of the characters from one of the most popular movies of all time?
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Post by McLaren Mon 22 Jun 2015, 10:21 am

Navy

No I probably won't for the time being. All I ever said was that Spieth needed to finish of a big event and he has done that twice now. As always just follow the evidence.


On Jason Day

Is anyone buying that vertigo crap? He bottled it again and it is as simple as that.




I managed to stay awake until the leaders got to about 12/12, did anyone actually see DJ commit the biggest choke since his own 2010 pga choke?
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Post by super_realist Mon 22 Jun 2015, 10:27 am

navyblueshorts wrote:Lion King, S_R. Can't see it myself but that's Mac for you. Wonder if he still posits that Spieth isn't up to much?

Still don't get the connection between Lion King and Golf though. Perhaps Mac is having another of his moments.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 22 Jun 2015, 11:04 am

Not really a choke, Mac. More a complete brain fart, as Grumpy pretty much said above.
But Johnson's missed 3-footer followed Spieth's missed 4-footer on #17 and don't think anyone would call that a choke.
Or Grace's OB on #16 for that matter.
Plenty of what ifs.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 22 Jun 2015, 11:08 am

super will be thriled to know that TW is now ranked 205th. One place above Mac's mate Fitzpatrick.

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Post by super_realist Mon 22 Jun 2015, 11:17 am

Yeah, what a chopper. He never had a brain, but that singular brain cell is obviously malfunctioning.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Mon 22 Jun 2015, 11:27 am

Jordan number 1 now I expect............On for the Grand slam. Pity it's at crappy St Andrews. Winner will probably card -28 ...

21 to Rory's 26....Think this guy will be the next star of Golf !!.

Hope so anyway.

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Post by super_realist Mon 22 Jun 2015, 11:30 am

Still quite a way behind Trussman.

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Post by beninho Mon 22 Jun 2015, 11:33 am

The time difference killed me, so I missed all of the excitement. Good win for Speith. Great player, and good luck to him winning the grand slam. Seems like a nice guy aswell, but he is missing something (not just his hair) to be the next star of golf. He just seems to be a bit steady, and therefore a bit dull. Sports all need a big global star who can carry it forward, Rory can do that and he makes the game exciting but Jordan, I cannot see it.

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Post by super_realist Mon 22 Jun 2015, 11:37 am

Agree. Spieth is unbelievably good, just drab to watch, and although pleasant, is pretty wooden.

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Post by Davie Mon 22 Jun 2015, 11:55 am

Yeah it's really dull watching him roll in those 15 footers hole after hole Rolling Eyes

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Mon 22 Jun 2015, 12:00 pm

In fairness it would be nice to have another Seve/ payne stewart type around doing well.........

But it's PC times...........where opinions are like the holy grail....Hard to find !!

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Post by Tinmar Mon 22 Jun 2015, 12:10 pm

super_realist wrote:DJ must hate the US Open. That's twice now. Would think he's got a great chance at TOC though, with his length and the lack of hazards on the course, he could be Mr 254.

I agree that recent Opens at TOC have been some of the least interesting in recent memory. However, it's only fair to point out that the scoring has been nowhere near as low as you appear to believe.

The last time the conditions were difficult for the 4 days was in 1995 when 282 was the winning score. There was hardly any wind at all in either 2000 or 2005 and 3.5 days were very calm in 2010. The best score in any of those years was 269 and that was a runaway victory. 277 is the best score the runner up was in pretty much ideal conditions in the three years. So it would seem as though TOC has actually stood up pretty well to all the top players without any help from the weather. Maybe it's more difficult than you think!

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Post by sportform Mon 22 Jun 2015, 12:11 pm

Can't fault Dustin Johnson in playing to win with the eagle shot though. Would be good to see Jordan Spieth win the grand slam. It is also good news for the R&A and The Open after the bad publicity from the Sky deal there should be huge interest in the The Open.
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Post by super_realist Mon 22 Jun 2015, 12:26 pm

Tinmar wrote:
super_realist wrote:DJ must hate the US Open. That's twice now. Would think he's got a great chance at TOC though, with his length and the lack of hazards on the course, he could be Mr 254.

I agree that recent Opens at TOC have been some of the least interesting in recent memory. However, it's only fair to point out that the scoring has been nowhere near as low as you appear to believe.

The last time the conditions were difficult for the 4 days was in 1995 when 282 was the winning score. There was hardly any wind at all in either 2000 or 2005 and 3.5 days were very calm in 2010. The best score in any of those years was 269 and that was a runaway victory. 277 is the best score the runner up was in pretty much ideal conditions in the three years. So it would seem as though TOC has actually stood up pretty well to all the top players without any help from the weather. Maybe it's more difficult than you think!

I've never claimed they were the lowest, I've said it was the place where, weather permitting the players would tear the course a new one.
The weather has never been flat calm there, even in 2010 where in fact they cancelled half a day because it was so windy, not like the remaining half was calm, and whilst it is unlikely to be calm this year, given how blowy it's been this year, you never know. I am a local, a member there and I have seen it play preposterously easy. Ordinary club members shooting 64 for instance.

They've also ripped out a great deal of what gorse there was and the rough is nowhere near the level it's been in previous years, whilst course changes have actually made the course even easier.

Of course I'm not suggesting that someone will shoot 254, I'm simply saying in the right conditions it could be done given how easy the course is, looking back to previous events is irrelevant, because they don't, and never had the conditions I'm referring to.

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Post by Tinmar Mon 22 Jun 2015, 12:47 pm

Super, as a member you're obviously far more familiar with TOC than someone like me who's never been there!

Purely from tv, TOC appears to be a course where it can be frustratingly difficult to score low. The enormous greens seem to lead to a lot of birdie putts in the 10-15 ft range. Therefore players will tend to feel as though they should be scoring better than they are and this will lead to frustration and the odd loose shot. Many players end up shooting 70-72 but will feel as though they should be several shots better.

The last three Opens there have, in my opinion, been disappointing as there was no real contest on the final day. It appears to be a course that, once someone gets a few shots ahead, it is somewhat easier to play conservatively, make pars and take the odd holed putt as a bonus. It seems more difficult to play catch-up as errors tend to come when players go for the flags. Unfortunately it's led to quite dull viewing!

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Post by super_realist Mon 22 Jun 2015, 12:55 pm

That's the whole issue really Tinmar, it's far too boring to hold a major every five years. It's rubbish for viewing and produces no drama at all.

It's actually quite easy to score well and even easier to avoid trouble. Like I say the two par 3's are easy, as are the par 5's. You can drive 9,10, 12 and 18 (The likes of McIlroy, Dustin etc with a 3 wood) and almost drive 3, 6, 7, 15 and 16. That doesn't leave much of a challenge.

The R&A are extremely lucky they've never had the perfect weather storm of soft greens followed by no wind/favourable wind and an accurate player. Their precious "gem" would really be exposed as the outdated relic it is.

Holding the Open at TOC is likelike holding the FA Cup Final at Turf Moor, lots of history, but a crap venue.

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Post by McLaren Mon 22 Jun 2015, 1:06 pm

Tinmar wrote:Super, as a member you're obviously far more familiar with TOC than someone like me who's never been there!

Going by that logic if David Beckham buys a Monet he is better placed to analyse it just because he owns one. Super might play TOC more often but he has shown many times he doesn't understand even the very basics of golf architecture.
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Post by super_realist Mon 22 Jun 2015, 1:16 pm

Mac, you're simply jealous that you have to play a tawdry muni, have to get a bus there, get your golf balls from a jumble sale, and who only thinks he knows about course architecture because he reads a book once in a blue moon in a library.

Besides, nothing of what you claim you know about course architecture, changes the fact that TOC produces RUBBISH opens or that once every 5 years is far too frequent.
It simply isn't capable of drama in the modern age.

Perhaps if they made adjacent fairways OB then it might improve, but you can spray it anywhere, the greens are too big and the bunkers in the wrong place for modern golf.

It's the lack of ability to create drama that makes it bad and you STILL haven't explained why YOU think it's so great.

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Post by navyblueshorts Mon 22 Jun 2015, 1:53 pm

McLaren wrote:...On Jason Day

Is anyone buying that vertigo crap?  He bottled it again and it is as simple as that...
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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 22 Jun 2015, 1:59 pm

Pretty stupid comment from Mac, but par for the course.
Day would have to be pretty calculating to fall down on his 36th hole and feign vertigo for 36 more holes. Hardly in the Charlie Beljan class of effort under duress though.

But: It does give life to the notion that golf is not an athletic sport - Day could simply not have survived at any other athletic pursuit.

I think it was Brad Faxon who suggested Jason Day will never realise his undoubted potential until he learns to hit anything other than full-bore shots. Even Dustin Johnson is feathering shots down from time to time.

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Post by navyblueshorts Mon 22 Jun 2015, 2:01 pm

beninho wrote:The time difference killed me, so I missed all of the excitement. Good win for Speith. Great player, and good luck to him winning the grand slam. Seems like a nice guy aswell, but he is missing something (not just his hair) to be the next star of golf. He just seems to be a bit steady, and therefore a bit dull. Sports all need a big global star who can carry it forward, Rory can do that and he makes the game exciting but Jordan, I cannot see it.

super_realist wrote:Agree. Spieth is unbelievably good, just drab to watch, and although pleasant, is pretty wooden.

Sorry, but this is the problem with 21st Century golf "fans". They don't actually appreciate excellence when they see it. All they're interested in is some fireworks and/or someone spitting/swearing/shagging. I'm more than happy if Spieth is the future for pro golf, albeit it would nice if there were some genuine final day contests between him and McIlroy to come.
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Post by super_realist Mon 22 Jun 2015, 2:05 pm

Navy, I'm not saying I'd prefer to see him spitting/swearing/shagging. I just see his golf as being almost too routine. Being too good can be boring.

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Post by hend085 Mon 22 Jun 2015, 2:12 pm

its a bit of a Stephen Hendry when we want an o Sullivan!

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Post by navyblueshorts Mon 22 Jun 2015, 2:17 pm

Yeah, maybe. I'm just interested in the shots he makes - if they're too good for the rest, so be it but it doesn't detract for me.
Anyway, it's not worth worrying about - even 9C didn't reach a 50% win ratio and I doubt Spieth will either. Other players'll have plenty to say about what Spieth wins in the future.
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Post by sirbenson Mon 22 Jun 2015, 2:18 pm

Super is correct barring any wind St.Andrews will be torn apart! The major scoring record is in the danger you'd imagine....Are birdie fests for a major a bad thing though? Once in a while it probably isn't!

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Post by super_realist Mon 22 Jun 2015, 2:20 pm

A good competitive top tier of 5-6 players would be good, irrespective of whether they are boring or not. Nothing worse than one player dominating a sport, and be good to see lots of people challenging.

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Post by super_realist Mon 22 Jun 2015, 2:24 pm

sirbenson wrote:Super is correct barring any wind St.Andrews will be torn apart! The major scoring record is in the danger you'd imagine....Are birdie fests for a major a bad thing though? Once in a while it probably isn't!

Nothing wrong with birdies, if there is scope for double bogeys too. The lack of drama is what makes a low scoring course boring.

What's so great about the likes of Carnoustie is you could be 3 ahead with three to play and blow it. You can't really do that at St.Andrews, you might as well go home when the leader gets to the turn.

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