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PGA Tour: "The Travelers Championship": Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 23 Jun 2015, 7:59 pm

1).The golfers' charter flight from SeaTac to Hartford has landed, but the reverberations from last week's US Open at Chambers Bay continue. Most of us weren't at Chambers Bay, but some of us watched plenty of the action on TV. One armchair critic's thoughts about what was apparently something of a Marmite experience:

2).Whatever we think about the greens, the course, the spectating options, the whole damn thing, we saw a fantastic finish; unfortunately won in the end by the last man standing after his closest pursuers threw away their claims to the title, but Jordan Spieth is soooo consistent that, even after he looked to have thrown the tournament away on #17, he bounced back immediately.
Unfortunately Branden Grace couldn't do that and Dustin Johnson arguably putted for the win and wound up snatching defeat from the jaws of a play-off. A thriller though, energised by Rory's mid-round run and King Louis's birdie barrage.

3).Unfortunately from a GB point of view, with the exception of Rory our guys hardly showed up; no-one better than Fleetwood, Warren, Justin Rose and Jimmy Gunn, all tied for 27th.
Especially disappointing from Rose, who seemed to have attracted hecklers for his second tournament running, but even more so for the likes of McDowell and Donaldson who missed the cut completely, and Casey, Donald, Poulter and Westwood who were collectively 14 over par on a Sunday when there were "low rounds out there".

4).Congratulations to Shane Lowry who waddled on the fringe of contention all week long. He's increasingly becoming a presence in big tournaments on a certain type of course.
And congrat's to the Aussies and South Africans who each placed four golfers higher on the leaderboard than the leading Englishman, Scot or Welshman. Cameron Smith is a star in the making and what a coming out party, in America anyway, for Branden Grace.

5).I don't think anyone was helped by the strange confluence of a new venue that pretty much no-one had seen, and a rookie TV Network in Fox (for Golf anyway) who failed on just about every objective assessment of coverage. Just dreadful.
Now to look forward, in anticipation for Oakmont next year, and in dread to Erin Hills for 2017.

6).From a PGA Tour season standpoint, welcome FedEx points for Molinari and Westwood as they struggle to secure a Play-Off place.
Not so good from Donaldson, who badly needs a good result, and Donald and McDowell who are really struggling. Just a maximum of nine "Tour" events remaining and most Europeans will only be playing three or four of them. Donald and Molinari make their "Travelers" debut this week on a course that should definitely suit Frannie and will suit Luke if he can keep his tee ball straight.

7).Hartford's TPC River Highlands will be softened by a month of above average rainfall but weather for the tournament's first few days should be fine, if progressively cooler. The greens WILL be green, smooth and receptive so scores will be low on a course that doesn't really favour any particular type of golfer, despite being short; only Pebble Beach among courses the Tour plays is shorter.
Bubba has won here and should have won twice, Mahan too. Phil's won twice and Leishman once.
But shorter hitters like Streelman, Freddie Jac (hasn't played for a month; injured?) and Streelman have won here too, while Ryan Moore, Toms and Tim Clark probably should have. Very few local-ish boys, though JJ Henry (and Faxon) won here, and Keegan Bradley and his buddy Jon Curran are New Englanders.

8).Sergio finished second last year and is back for more, joined by Chambers Bay "contenders" Grace, Oosthuizen, Smith, Snedeker.
GPB has alerted us that sometime Travelers visitors Hoffman, Dufner and Poulter are joining Senden and Schwartzel on something more lucrative than a busman's holiday in Japan.
And GPB also reminds us that the Open Championship "alternate" list is compiled from the owgr placings of those not otherwise exempt. By my reckoning, and not being sure of the cut-off date for that, Hoffman and Kisner (who are both certain to qualify via the FedEx points list as at June 28th), and Molinari are the first three in that list, followed by Matt Jones, Luke Donald and Tim Clark.

9).There is a tract of land, mainly south-east of Hartford, which bears resemblance to the heathland area of Surrey (etc) that features so many outstanding courses; some hints of that on the front nine (terrain not quality) at The Travelers, but kinda surprising that there isn't a great heathland course in the area. Don't know if friend "Hogie" reads these notes but interested if he has any thoughts on that?

10).Finally the USGA and Fox TV are at it again this week, in Sacramento for the US Senior Open. Montgomerie defends his title.
I saw an interesting quote from one of the political advocates of Chambers Bay:
"Robert Trent Jones Jr (he of one leg longer than the other according to Gary Player!) made this for golf, not for the fans. He cared more about the course than the fan. But that's cool. All the rest of this makes it fan-friendly. So I say, just deal with it."
What a moron.
Well, I'm off to Hartford for Friday's play and everything about it will be fan- and player-friendly. Mike Davis keep away.


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Wed 24 Jun 2015, 8:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by pedro Tue 23 Jun 2015, 8:19 pm

Cheers kwini, thought CB was pretty good fun. Didn't watch a lot due to the timing so missed the finish. As I wrote in an earlier post it wasn't exactly no-names that finished in the top 10 so the greens couldn't be that random. It's equal for everyone.

Enjoy your trip to Hartford. Will you do press-ups on 18, or just shout 'mashed potatoes' in a British dialect?

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 23 Jun 2015, 8:35 pm

Yup, Terrific leaderboard all week long and a wonderful finish.

And: Just the press-ups I think! (Make that press-up.)
thumbsup

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Post by Shotrock Wed 24 Jun 2015, 2:15 pm

Kwin - Great write up. Wonderful finish to the National Open, not so wonderful course (IMO). Enjoy your in-person viewing this weekend. I still marvel at the top professional's ability to control (for the most part!) their ball.

These are wonderful days for golf here in the Northeast, hope the course shows well.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 24 Jun 2015, 2:42 pm

Cheers Sr,
Very wonderful, when it's not raining.

Jordan Spieth's ascent and the reciprocal plunge by Tiger Woods have certainly changed the complexion of golf betting. Paddy Power's latest prices for St.Andrews:
4/1: Rory
6/1: Spieth
14/1: DJ
20/1: Fowler, Rose, Scott, Stenson
25/1: Garcia, Mickelson, Oosthuizen
28/1: Day
33/1: Bubba, Kaymer
40/1: Grace, Walker, Casey, Hideki
45/1: Lowry
50/1: Woods and bar those.

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Post by MustPuttBetter Wed 24 Jun 2015, 3:39 pm

Shane Lowry has got to be a good bet at 45/1?
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Post by Bob_the_Job Wed 24 Jun 2015, 3:57 pm

Cheers Kwini - excellent write up.

Have to say I was conflicted on Chambers Bay. From a TV viewing perspective the course made for exciting and interesting golf, but it was a pain not being able to clearly see where the greens started and ended. Even in HD it wasn't possible to see the infamous white dots. The greens themselves looked aesthetically awful but what's worse 16 of them didn't seem to run true either.

I wasn't really aware that the Fox coverage was poor (I presume that's what Sky in the UK were showing) - but then I didn't watch live - Sky Plussed it and fast forwarded through the dross. If anything my gut feel was that there were more shots shown between ad breaks than normal.
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 24 Jun 2015, 4:05 pm

I would have thought so MPB, don't see much value below 20's.

Schwartzel looks good e.w. value at 66/1; happy to see him playing better.


Cheers Bob,
Fewer ad breaks, but much longer than we're used to - last hour was ad-free so that certainly enhanced the excitement. Thought Fox did an especially poor job of framing each hole; we saw the ball-tracer go off into the beyond but never learned whether that was the correct route or not, and seldom saw it land. The on-course reporting was dismal and often non-existent.
Back to CBS this week, for better (on the basics) or worse.

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Post by LadyPutt Wed 24 Jun 2015, 4:23 pm

When Sky don't send their own commentary and support team, I just can't bring myself to watch the PGA Tour on TV whoever is providing the coverage, even using Sky+ to miss out the ad breaks, shots of trees, flowers, sky, water - whatever they can show other than the golf. I watched the extended highlights of Sunday's final round so didn't particularly notice any difference.
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Post by sirbenson Wed 24 Jun 2015, 9:24 pm

Great event this week! As always great stuff!

Love the 15th, a great drivable par 4!

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Post by sirbenson Wed 24 Jun 2015, 9:25 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Cheers Sr,
Very wonderful, when it's not raining.

Jordan Spieth's ascent and the reciprocal plunge by Tiger Woods have certainly changed the complexion of golf betting. Paddy Power's latest prices for St.Andrews:
4/1: Rory
6/1: Spieth
14/1: DJ
20/1: Fowler, Rose, Scott, Stenson
25/1: Garcia, Mickelson, Oosthuizen
28/1: Day
33/1: Bubba, Kaymer
40/1: Grace, Walker, Casey, Hideki
45/1: Lowry
50/1: Woods and bar those.  

You can get Lowry at a much higher price in other places too Kwini!!! 70/1 with Coral!

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 24 Jun 2015, 10:08 pm

We'll sit at the 15th for a while - not my favourite short par-4 but can be most entertaining!

sirb,
70's for Lowry is a fantastic price. And that likely pays down to 5th or 6th place, right?

Some bookies' sites exclude overseas navigators unless we have accounts, Wlliam Hill for instance. Though I do try and catch their podcast every week, mildly entertaining and insightful for the European Tour events, bl00dy useless for the PGA Tour, often just a regurgitation of Rob Bolton columns.

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Post by sirbenson Wed 24 Jun 2015, 10:10 pm

Yep, there can be some great podcasts, especially for the majors.

What did you think of the drivable par 4 12th last week? I didn't like but I think that was largely down to the crazy nature of the slopes on that green!

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 24 Jun 2015, 10:15 pm

I thought it was alright. (Same for the 16th on the weekend.)
The green would be stupid for a regular shot in, but the nature of a short par-4 is that you put your money in with a good drive and take your chances. Impossible lay-up.
We all rave about the short par-4 10th at Riviera, but that green is almost impossible these days, too hard, sloped and fast for anything other than an exquisitely judged shot. The 14th at Quail Hollow is my fave.


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Post by pedro Wed 24 Jun 2015, 11:16 pm

LadyPutt wrote:When Sky don't send their own commentary and support team, I just can't bring myself to watch the PGA Tour on TV whoever is providing the coverage, even using Sky+ to miss out the ad breaks, shots of trees, flowers, sky, water - whatever they can show other than the golf. I watched the extended highlights of Sunday's final round so didn't particularly notice any difference.
Yeah, Sky showed the Fox feed. Think it was quite boring. Sunday I streamed the "360 channel" from the US Open website. Thought that was quite ok.

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Post by sirbenson Thu 25 Jun 2015, 12:28 am

I see Cabrera hasn't qualified for the Open (and nor has Donald)

Molinari will get in some way right?

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 25 Jun 2015, 12:47 am

I think Molinari will get in via the "alternate" route, Donald may too.
But don't see that as a way in for Cabrera who probably needs a high finish the next two weeks - remember, he won Greenbrier last year!

Note 8). above is still current except that I'm not sure what the cut-off date is! Doh

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Post by sirbenson Thu 25 Jun 2015, 12:49 am

Oops, It shows I should have paid more attention to your article!!

And yes regarding Cabrera, I actually think he will go very well this week. I have him in Grumpy's league and on the PGA Tour games!

Is it 3 spots for the Open for the highest placed non qualifiers this week?

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 25 Jun 2015, 1:22 am

Top 4 at The Travelers not otherwise exempt provided they finish in the Top 12.

More details on GPB's owgr thread.

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Post by hend085 Thu 25 Jun 2015, 1:16 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:We'll sit at the 15th for a while - not my favourite short par-4 but can be most entertaining!

sirb,
70's for Lowry is a fantastic price. And that likely pays down to 5th or 6th place, right?

Some bookies' sites exclude overseas navigators unless we have accounts, Wlliam Hill for instance. Though I do try and catch their podcast every week, mildly entertaining and insightful for the European Tour events, bl00dy useless for the PGA Tour, often just a regurgitation of Rob Bolton columns.

try www.oddschecker.com

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 25 Jun 2015, 1:43 pm

Cheers hend0, that works thumbsup

Plenty of early birds and eagles at The Travelers, but Luke Donald over par early, doing nothing to improve his "total putting" rank of 154th.

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Post by McLaren Thu 25 Jun 2015, 2:29 pm

kwini

What sort of bets do you place on golf?



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Post by McLaren Thu 25 Jun 2015, 3:23 pm

lawrence donegan ‏clearly not a Gary Player fan (and why would you be)

@garyplayer
You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime during your life. - Winston Churchill

and the Donegan responded with;

@lawrencedonegan
You mean, like when you stood up for the racist SA apartheid regime in your book "Grand Slam"?


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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 25 Jun 2015, 4:01 pm

Mac,
I sometimes place a bet via my brother in England but relatively seldom; don't have an account anywhere any more.

Donald going better now, at three under par, along with Casey and Mac's favourite Spaniard. Knox having a shocker on a course he's played well on.

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Post by McLaren Thu 25 Jun 2015, 4:26 pm

Do you bet on the tournament winner, lowest round of the day, winner in a group etc?
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Post by super_realist Thu 25 Jun 2015, 4:27 pm

Mac, I don't think you can't bet in America on Sport outside Vegas, at least online.

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Post by I'm never wrong Thu 25 Jun 2015, 4:34 pm

super_realist wrote:Mac, I don't think you can't bet in America on Sport outside Vegas, at least online.
Years ago I was watching the PGA Championship at Riviera and got talking to an American about betting. He wanted to know about betting shops and what you did. He was fascinated - even with my limited knowledge.

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Post by incontinentia Thu 25 Jun 2015, 4:34 pm

Yes, in America gambling and alcohol are considered the devil
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Post by Shotrock Thu 25 Jun 2015, 4:42 pm

Inco - By who?

Not by me ... and 99.9% of the people I know in America! Bars are pretty full each night.

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Post by EmmDee57 Thu 25 Jun 2015, 4:50 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Mac,
I sometimes place a bet via my brother in England but relatively seldom; don't have an account anywhere any more.

Donald going better now, at three under par, along with Casey and Mac's favourite Spaniard. Knox having a shocker on a course he's played well on.

Knox has W/D

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Post by incontinentia Thu 25 Jun 2015, 5:02 pm

Well SR, you have to be 21 to get a beer, which is quite old. I wonder why this is?

Also if you don't have an I.D. with you, you can forget about getting served in most places, even if you are clearly over 21. I couldn't get a beer after a round of golf in Boston not so long ago, despite being 30.

I feel there is a cultural disdain towards booze in America, or certainly the parts I have visited. Of course, I am from Ireland where we drink from birth, so maybe a culture clash of sorts.
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Post by Shotrock Thu 25 Jun 2015, 5:09 pm

Cultural disdain towards alcohol? Perhaps some bible thumpers (or Koran thumpers) ... but the reality hardly shows much of a difference v many other countries. Do you feel a cultural disdain towards booze in Canada where they actually drink less?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_alcohol_consumption_per_capita


If I lived in Ireland I sure would drink more Guinness than I do here.


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Post by incontinentia Thu 25 Jun 2015, 5:29 pm

America also made quite an effort to ban alcohol in the early 20th century. Its just the impression I get SR, I'm probably reading too much into it.
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Post by McLaren Thu 25 Jun 2015, 5:58 pm

inco

You might not be able to gamble but you can smoke pot in some states.
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Post by incontinentia Thu 25 Jun 2015, 6:09 pm

Thats just medicinal isn't it?
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Post by McLaren Thu 25 Jun 2015, 6:14 pm

Inco

"Thats just medicinal isn't it?"

Just do a Jason Day and fake some vertigo. Whistle
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Post by pedro Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:02 pm

McLaren wrote:Inco

"Thats just medicinal isn't it?"

Just do a Jason Day and fake some vertigo.  Whistle
Just smoke the poa annua fescue the greens were made of and you're all fine.

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Post by Davie Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:34 pm

Easier to drive a car or get a gun that drink a beer. Says it all

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Post by Shotrock Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:38 pm

Davie - Actually, really easy to drink before age 21 as any college student can/will confirm.

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Post by GPB Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:58 pm

incontinentia wrote:Yes, in America gambling and alcohol are considered the devil

That is just non-sense.

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Post by Davie Thu 25 Jun 2015, 9:03 pm

Shotrock wrote:Davie - Actually, really easy to drink before age 21 as any college student can/will confirm.

It's all relative. It may be easy to get a drink underage (probably easy most places in the world). Not many places find it so easy to get a gun though. But hey, let's blame it on a flag. The NRA publicity machine must be really pleased with themselves at the moment. Let's talk about flags instead of guns!

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Post by Shotrock Thu 25 Jun 2015, 9:24 pm

Davie - True that.

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Post by pedro Thu 25 Jun 2015, 10:36 pm

Guns don't kill. Flags do.



P.S. Now we're at it, why not also ban bigots?

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Post by super_realist Fri 26 Jun 2015, 7:00 am

incontinentia wrote:Well SR, you have to be 21 to get a beer, which is quite old. I wonder why this is?

Also if you don't have an I.D. with you, you can forget about getting served in most places, even if you are clearly over 21. I couldn't get a beer after a round of golf in Boston not so long ago, despite being 30.

I feel there is a cultural disdain towards booze in America, or certainly the parts I have visited. Of course, I am from Ireland where we drink from birth, so maybe a culture clash of sorts.

Funny how we're constantly told how America is the most free country in the world, yet, you can't bet, can't drink until you are 21 and will find it incredibly difficult to get elected unless you believe in fairy tales.

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Post by Shotrock Fri 26 Jun 2015, 2:33 pm

Super - "Can't bet" ... What, on earth, you talking about?

You can bet plenty at about 500 Indian Casinos (2 within 25 miles of my house, and I don't live in Vegas) and there are lots of OTB (Off Track Betting) parlors you can lose your money at as well. Also, Las Vegas and Atlantic City are in America (but you knew that!).

If you want a sports specific bet, come to my office and in about 12 minutes I'll get you a bookie who will take just about any action you desire. Wait, that's illegal ... well, so is jaywalking and it's pretty difficult to get arrested for that.

Rolling Eyes

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Post by super_realist Fri 26 Jun 2015, 2:45 pm

Shotrock wrote:Super - "Can't bet" ... What, on earth, you talking about?

You can bet plenty at about 500 Indian Casinos (2 within 25 miles of my house, and I don't live in Vegas) and there are lots of OTB (Off Track Betting) parlors you can lose your money at as well. Also, Las Vegas and Atlantic City are in America (but you knew that!).

If you want a sports specific bet, come to my office and in about 12 minutes I'll get you a bookie who will take just about any action you desire. Wait, that's illegal ... well, so is jaywalking and it's pretty difficult to get arrested for that.

Rolling Eyes

SR, I was specifically talking about Online Betting and betting legally. In an earlier post i'd referred to Vegas and Online betting. Also, Gambling and Betting are not the same thing.

"12 Minutes"? What a random number.

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Post by Shotrock Fri 26 Jun 2015, 3:00 pm

With all due respect Super, I'm of the opinion you are splitting hairs with gambling and betting. I've placed plenty of bets on "red". And, of course, OTB is just that ... betting on the ponies.

My bookie takes online email bets!

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Post by super_realist Fri 26 Jun 2015, 3:06 pm

Shotrock wrote:With all due respect Super,  I'm of the opinion you are splitting hairs with gambling and betting. I've placed plenty of bets on "red". And, of course, OTB is just that ... betting on the ponies.

My bookie takes online email bets!

SR, I'm talking about what is legal and what is not. Despite the insistence that America is so free, it isn't as free as you might think, online betting being an example of that. Bookmaking is also generally illegal in America.

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Post by Shotrock Fri 26 Jun 2015, 3:11 pm

Super - "Not as free as I might think ..." ... I have no preconceptions of how "free" America is or is not. It's just what it is to me ... I'll leave others to opine on the various degrees.

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Post by super_realist Fri 26 Jun 2015, 3:17 pm

Shotrock wrote:Super - "Not as free as I might think ..." ... I have no preconceptions of how "free" America is or is not. It's just what it is to me ... I'll leave others to opine on the various degrees.

SR, I think you've missed the point. We were talking about freedoms in America, and how they are rather skewed. For instance the example being it was easier to drive a car or own a gun than buy a beer if you are under 21, so despite the oft heard claim that America is "land of the free", online betting and bookmaking are simply more examples of how it doesn't actually live up to that claim.

That's it, it wasn't an attack on your personal experience as an American.

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