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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 sirbenson Thu 18 Jun 2015, 2:17 pm

Shotrock wrote:If this is truly a US Open/Links test, it should favor many a European. Really looking forward to the action.

Yep, it is sure to be enthralling....so apparently 1 is a par 4 today and 18 will be a par 5 today

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 18 Jun 2015, 2:20 pm

Shotrock,

The notion that all Europeans grow up playing links golf, or even pros play a lot of links golf, is a complete myth. I'd be surprised if most play any links golf from one year to the next except for Dunhill Links, The Open and occasional Irish Open - which most top players usually miss anyway.

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Post by Shotrock Thu 18 Jun 2015, 2:26 pm

Kwin - Not buying the complete myth! I'm sure Rory, Monty, Justin Rose, Luke Donald, Sergio Garcia played more links golf before they turned pro than the average American/Canadian/South American, etc. professional. Plus, as you point out, more links events are played on the Euro Tour than the US tour (where most European golfers got their start).

If Rory can remain patient over the next three days, he should be playing very late Sunday.

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Post by MustPuttBetter Thu 18 Jun 2015, 2:48 pm

Doesn't Rory have a pretty poor record on linksy courses?
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Post by Shotrock Thu 18 Jun 2015, 2:53 pm

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

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Post by golfermartin Thu 18 Jun 2015, 2:59 pm

OK I admit, I have fallen over "just walking". Wet (indeed muddy) ground, downhill foot slipped over I went. I've also nearly fallen over "just walking" on ice. I've witnessed people falling over at Royal St George's "just walking" watching golf. The sap in the grass makes the bottom of shoes quite shiny. So, yes it is quite possible to fall over "just walking"..

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Post by super_realist Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:08 pm

Why do caddies wear inappropriate footwear? If a course has ups and downs, treacherous inclines and declines etc, why do they just wear running/tennis shoes? I've never understood why they don't also wear golf shoes.

Of course you can slip "just walking" but these people walk and carry a bag for a living, surely they should be making sure they have the correct tools for the job?
You wouldn't wear Dunlop Green Flash to play golf in, why would you walk the same fairways in them and expect to be as sure-footed as your boss?
If they slip, it's their fault and they deserve it.


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Post by sirbenson Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:08 pm

https://twitter.com/JasonSobelESPN/status/611535164452175872

The Pins for RD 1

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Post by sirbenson Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:09 pm

Brandt Snedeker ‏@BrandtSnedeker 25m25 minutes ago
Everybody has a game plan until they get hit in the mouth.. Time to adapt and get punched in the face!! #USOpen #ChambersBay

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Post by McLaren Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:16 pm

If open championship success is an indicator of links ability then the USA produce far more good links players compared to Europe.
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Post by Shotrock Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:22 pm

Gmac providing pin locations for round 1 ...

https://instagram.com/p/4EnAVgAwiF/

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:23 pm

super_,
According to ESPN, caddies at Chambers Bay are not allowed to wear spikes, hard or soft, on the course. Imagine they're not exactly hoofing it around with a Tour Bag wearing flip-flops.

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Post by super_realist Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:29 pm

Seems an utterly ridiculous rule Kwini. I presume that a walking boot, not being a spike hard or soft is acceptable?
What possible point could there be in not permitting a caddie to wear a shoe with the best traction available? Not the first the golf idiots come up with preposterous rules.

For example, how could they possibly police it? Do they have a touchline referee checking "studs" on the 1st tee threshold?

If a caddie wore a pair of Ecco "freddy couple" type shoes, how could they possibly object?


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Post by McLaren Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:30 pm

Caddies are disposable products. I am with super on this one.
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Post by Davie Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:33 pm

Red button coverage already underway. No golf yet but some views of the course. Bubba/Hefty grouping about to tee off

Online leaderboard asleep though - half an hour in and no updates yet - unless it's taking the lead group half an hour to play the first!

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:39 pm

super_,
It seems the fact that the terrain is so slippery is a factor in the USGA encouraging the paying public to limit their spectating to grandstands.
A few were apparently injured during the US Amateur in 2010.

Meanwhile, players and caddies not wearing crampons will have to rappel from some greens to the following tee-box.

Davie, The USGA leaderboard is working, albeit seemingly in slow motion.
The first triple on hole #10 already recorded.

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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:48 pm

super_realist wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
super_realist wrote:
sirbenson wrote:Michael Collins ‏@ESPNCaddie  31m31 minutes ago
Two caddies down... Gareth Lord (wrist) and Damian Moore (leg) were both hurt in falls @usopengolf Wednesday. Moore left on a stretcher


Stenson's and Gallacher's caddies

this is truly pathetic. How an a grown man injure himself walking?
For the hard of reading ( boxing ), it says "both hurt in falls". I imagine anyone can hurt themselves doing that.

Falling on a golf course? How is that possible? Not like he's mounting climbing, hurdling, pole vaulting, horse racing, cycling or anything dangerous. They are WALKING. Who has EVER fallen over whilst walking?
Oh I don't know, let me think. Put your foot in a rabbit hole, slip while in a lateral hazard, try to climb a slope that's looser than you thought. The possibilities are endless.
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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:49 pm

Shotrock wrote:If this is truly a US Open/Links test, it should favor many a European. Really looking forward to the action.
Really? How many British Opens have been won by a European in the modern era?
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Post by sirbenson Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:50 pm

Bubba starts off with a double!

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Post by I'm never wrong Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:50 pm

I thought caddies weren't allowed to wear spikes at any golf tournament to reduce the possibility of producing a spike mark on the green. Don't know if it's true or where I heard it.

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Post by McLaren Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:50 pm

If Tiger can get around a course with a broken leg then it should be possible for able bodied caddies to get around in whatever footwear they are given.
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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:52 pm

super_realist wrote:
LadyPutt wrote:
super_realist wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
super_realist wrote:
sirbenson wrote:Michael Collins ‏@ESPNCaddie  31m31 minutes ago
Two caddies down... Gareth Lord (wrist) and Damian Moore (leg) were both hurt in falls @usopengolf Wednesday. Moore left on a stretcher


Stenson's and Gallacher's caddies

this is truly pathetic. How an a grown man injure himself walking?
For the hard of reading ( boxing ), it says "both hurt in falls". I imagine anyone can hurt themselves doing that.

Falling on a golf course? How is that possible? Not like he's mounting climbing, hurdling, pole vaulting, horse racing, cycling or anything dangerous. They are WALKING. Who has EVER fallen over whilst walking?

Try reading this: http://espn.go.com/golf/story/_/id/13103889/2015-us-open-caddies-injured-falls-hilly-chambers-bay or this http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/jun/18/henrik-stenson-us-open-course-dangerous-caddies or maybe this http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/golf/usopen/11682924/US-Open-2015-Two-caddies-hospitalised-by-falls-on-dangerous-course.html if your political leanings are the other way. As people have been saying for weeks now, Chambers Bay is not an "ordinary" golf course.

I still don't see it as an excuse. It's mal-coordination and not paying attention. No one should ever fall over walking.
Except that it happens all over the place, for all sorts of reasons. I'm afraid you'll just have to accept it. IIRC, Richard Boxall's career was pretty much ended by a nasty broken leg suffered while walking off a tee on a golf course.
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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:54 pm

McLaren wrote:If Tiger can get around a course with a broken leg then it should be possible for able bodied caddies to get around in whatever footwear they are given.
:yawn: Yep, 9C had a multiple compound fracture of all the bones in both of his legs and he still managed to get round. What a man. Probably a bit like his bone re-setting a few weeks back. In other words, exaggerated somewhat.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:56 pm

Cody Gribble takes an early lead . . . . . .


Not just Richard Boxall, but Fanny Suneson as well!

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Post by Davie Thu 18 Jun 2015, 3:57 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:
Davie, The USGA leaderboard is working, albeit seemingly in slow motion.
The first triple on hole #10 already recorded.

Thanks kwini I was looking at pgatour.com leaderboard and that is just about waking up now

sirb - red button coverage showing Bubba start with a bogey, not a double. Miraculous recovery from Phat Phil on 1 though
EDIT: they've now corrected themselves. Took almost a 10ft putt for the double too!

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Post by I'm never wrong Thu 18 Jun 2015, 4:09 pm

I've just clicked on the Live Coverage on the USGA website and I can get the feed. So for those who don't have Sky, fill your boots!!

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Post by sirbenson Thu 18 Jun 2015, 4:11 pm

I'm never wrong wrote:I've just clicked on the Live Coverage on the USGA website and I can get the feed. So for those who don't have Sky, fill your boots!!

Do you have a link? It isn't working on Sky for me

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Post by Davie Thu 18 Jun 2015, 4:14 pm

http://www.usopen.com/en_US/video/liveVideo.html - only the feature group at the moment

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Post by I'm never wrong Thu 18 Jun 2015, 4:15 pm

CLICK HERE
Then in the leaderboard where it says "Watch Live" click on it. A new pop up window should open and you can make your choice to follow Phil or watch set holes. Haven't gone through all the options.

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Post by sirbenson Thu 18 Jun 2015, 4:16 pm

Not available here....I can watch it on my phone though which is weird!

Cheers for the link btw!

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Post by sirbenson Thu 18 Jun 2015, 4:19 pm

It seems like play by play is working on the US Open Leaderboard!! The majors finally catching up

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Post by super_realist Thu 18 Jun 2015, 4:23 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Cody Gribble takes an early lead . . . . . .


Not just Richard Boxall, but Fanny Suneson as well!

Both fat bastards. I'd be willing to bet the injured caddies were carrying a bit of extra meat too.
The bigger they are the harder they fall.

I remember a fat girl I used to work in a pub with broke her ankle when she fell off a kerb. Laughed for a week.

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Post by McLaren Thu 18 Jun 2015, 4:27 pm

Super

One of the caddies carrying a bit extra weight died on course last season at the Madeira Open. A shame but I guess it was his own fault.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 18 Jun 2015, 4:30 pm

Double on his first hole (10th) for McDool.


Mac,
How do you know that it was his own fault?

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Post by incontinentia Thu 18 Jun 2015, 4:33 pm

McLaren wrote:If Tiger can get around a course with a broken leg then it should be possible for able bodied caddies to get around in whatever footwear they are given.
Mac I thought you would be more supportive of caddies rights. Have you read Steve Williams interview, or the reasons for the caddy strike last year? They are still treated as beasts of burden by the powers that be. I'm sure you'd agree that this needs to change?
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Post by super_realist Thu 18 Jun 2015, 4:35 pm

McLaren wrote:Super

One of the caddies carrying a bit extra weight died on course last season at the Madeira Open.  A shame but I guess it was his own fault.

Cardiac issues are not always lifestyle related Mac, but I doubt an unhealthy lifestyle, often documented by caddies is good for longevity.

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Post by sirbenson Thu 18 Jun 2015, 4:54 pm

Monty leads, I am sure he will refer to it later on when he is in the commentary box

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Post by McLaren Thu 18 Jun 2015, 4:54 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Double on his first hole (10th) for McDool.


Mac,
How do you know that it was his own fault?

Are you kidding me. I was taking the P*** out of supers claim that people fall and its their own fault. Get on the ball man, all the CB build up and hype has fried your brain.
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Post by super_realist Thu 18 Jun 2015, 4:58 pm

Of course it is Mac, if you look where you are going, seek out the flattest route, weaer appropriate foot wear. How on earth can you fall?

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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 18 Jun 2015, 5:00 pm

super_realist wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Cody Gribble takes an early lead . . . . . .


Not just Richard Boxall, but Fanny Suneson as well!

Both fat bastards. I'd be willing to bet the injured caddies were carrying a bit of extra meat too.
The bigger they are the harder they fall.

I remember a fat girl I used to work in a pub with broke her ankle when she fell off a kerb. Laughed for a week.
Oh give it a rest with your crusade. People can fall, especially on terrain like Chambers Bay. You'll have to get over it I'm afraid OK .
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Post by navyblueshorts Thu 18 Jun 2015, 5:02 pm

super_realist wrote:Of course it is Mac, if you look where you are going, seek out the flattest route, weaer appropriate foot wear. How on earth can you fall?
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Post by super_realist Thu 18 Jun 2015, 5:13 pm

Great shot from Kaymer there, hope he doesn't get a compound fracture on the way to his eagle putt.

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Post by incontinentia Thu 18 Jun 2015, 5:36 pm

Thimgs are hotting up nicely- 4 big names on top of the leaderboard at the mo.
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Post by super_realist Thu 18 Jun 2015, 6:07 pm

Should be hilarious to see how 9C deals with this course.

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Post by sirbenson Thu 18 Jun 2015, 6:08 pm

Early days but great leaderboard so far!

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 18 Jun 2015, 6:28 pm

Hope you've all got better commentary and coverage than we have; very wooden so far, and I'm not just talking about Tom Weiskopf.
Too little action & info, not enough golf.

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Post by incontinentia Thu 18 Jun 2015, 7:20 pm

Hoo wee! Reed is off to a flyer!
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Post by beninho Thu 18 Jun 2015, 7:24 pm

Not sure if I'm loving the look of the course. The greens look weird.

Sky playing nirvana, that's a cliché! !

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Post by Snap Hook Thu 18 Jun 2015, 7:42 pm

The greens look worse than the local pitch and putt. Some mental run off areas - Pat Reed's ball nearly rolled all the way to San Francisco!

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Post by Davie Thu 18 Jun 2015, 8:16 pm

The greens aren't good aesthetically but they seem to be running true and incredibly fast. Wasn't it the US Open at Pebble Beach a few years ago that looked awful on TV but were perfectly OK for play

Must admit I like to see the greens green - but it doesn't mean they are bad to play on just because they don't look visually perfect

And all the pre-tournament hype about it being "on the edge" and ridiculously difficult - the scores seem fine for a US open so far OK

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