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PGA Tour: Double-Header - WGC-Bridgestone / Barracuda Championship: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 05 Aug 2015, 2:51 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).Last week's affair at the Quicken Loans Championship looked a pretty lack-lustre affair beforehand, but turned into an interesting weekend at picturesque Robert Trent Jones GC in suburban Washington D.C.

2).Yeah, yeah, yeah, We've heard it all before:
"Something just wasn't quite there. I kept telling people I was close. There's just one(?) little thing that can turn it around. I made two little fixes and here I am."
Except that this time it wasn't Tiger Woods yacking away, it was Troy Merritt who outplayed a competitive leaderboard and richly earned his first win.


3).A bit more about Troy Merritt, another Iowan, like Zach Johnson, and an understated Tour Pro whose win appeared to be especially popular among his Tour mates.
Before Sunday, his biggest cheque was the $1M he earned as the winner of the mostly forgotten Kodak Challenge, in 2010.
And this was Merritt's first Top 50 finish since his near miss at Hilton Head in April.
No fluke though. One of the Tour's least publicised stats, but one of its more significant ones is "proximity to the hole". Merritt led that stat last week and his "proximity" of 23ft 11 inches was the best by a winner this season - by almost three feet!
He also became the first Tour player to record multiple rounds of 61 or better on Tour since Ryan Moore in 2012, and only the fifth since 1983.

4).What about the other guy who's always close, just looking for "reps" and carrying his "feels" from practice to the course? Tiger Woods, of course, and Eldrick also scored his best finish since April, T18, courtesy of a much-improved tee-to-green performance and a 2013-vintage short game. With his course experience which few had and a feeling that he might be under less scrutiny than at any event so far this year, we fancied him to play better and, except for his "moving day" effort which was backwards, he looked pretty good. But he still tries to throttle the ball when it's not necessary, which usually results in the head dip and contortions that have marred his swing for two years. It's just not necessary, Tiger, and it's what's holding you back from tournament contention.

5).Woods misses this week's Bridgestone and it's beneath his dignity to play Barracuda, in Reno, so next up is the PGA at Whistling Straits where his record is not great: T24 and T28. Depending upon his result there, "perhaps" he'll play Greensboro in a last ditch effort to qualify for the FedEx Play-Offs. Not sure of the definition of "perhaps" though.

6).One imagines he'll need to win the PGA to have an earthly of making the Presidents Cup Team, but one golfer who will be on the plane to South Korea is Steve Stricker, as Vice Captain.
Jay Haas also has Couples and Love helping him out, but one Haas who didn't help himself at all on Sunday was Jay's son Billy who played himself into an early lead by brilliantly birdieing six of his first ten holes, then butchered his way home to finish six strokes adrift. No way does Dad Jay pick Son Bill as a Captain's Choice, so a few crucial events coming up for Billy Boy, one of the very best guys to follow on the course.

7).Lots of noise-level chatter about the Presidents Cup this week with Nick Price lobbying again for a Ryder Cup-style points system in an attempt to level the playing field. Very unlikely that Tim Finchem will accede to such a request, any more than he did to similar representations from Greg Norman in years past. But one piece of good news for Nicky is that Danny Lee continued his surging form to finish T4 behind Troy Merritt and make himself an almost certain Captain's Choice, (at the very least).

8).Two Tour events this week: the WGC-Bridgestone, in Akron, Ohio, where there should be four fine days of weather and scoring, and the Barracuda Championship, in the altitude of Reno, Nevada.
This week and next (PGA Championship) will be pivotal in setting the stage for the final tournament before the Play-Offs.
As things currently stand, the following are all outside the points number expected (say 475 given that MacKenzie and Stallings are unlikely to play until October):
Goosen, Clark, Westwood, Donaldson, Ishikawa: All currently just inside the Top 125 and playing this week.
Donald, Els: Not playing until the PGA.
Schwartzel, Kaymer, McDowell, Ogilvy, Villegas, Choi, Baddeley, Blixt, Davis, Gonzo, Jhonny Vegas: Outside the Top 125 and playing this week.  

9).The Barracuda Championship is played to the "Modified Stableford" scoring system; Geoff Ogilvy revived his Tour career by winning last year and went on to play well enough in the Play-Offs to reach the Tour Championship. Andres Romero needs that sort of kick-start to put the icing on the cake of a decent summer; he's fared well here before and sorely needs a win! The same could be said about Vaughn Taylor and both he and Romero could warrant a shilling each way investment in a field of 132 where only about 60 will be competitive.

10).And so to boring old Firestone CC and the "Bridgestone", where the past two winners will be sitting out the action.
Tiger Woods would love to be here, the site of 10% of his titles.
And Rory McIlroy would love to be defending his Championship and earning his second WGC in three months.
At least Rory is waxing somewhat optimistic: "Working hard every day to come back stronger #don'tmindthegrind". Let's hope he'll make it to Whistling Straits and give the US Media something else to speculate about apart from Jordan Spieth's pursuit of an "American Slam". !!


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Wed 05 Aug 2015, 4:37 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by sirbenson Thu 06 Aug 2015, 11:49 pm

https://twitter.com/WillGrayGC/status/629421698656264192

Interesting to see GMac saying he will choose the French Open over Bridgestone next year, I'd imagine he won't be the only one!

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Post by GPB Fri 07 Aug 2015, 12:04 am

sirbenson wrote:https://twitter.com/WillGrayGC/status/629421698656264192

Interesting to see GMac saying he will choose the French Open over Bridgestone next year, I'd imagine he won't be the only one!

At this point in time, it is unlikely GMac will be qualified for the B-Stone next year.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 07 Aug 2015, 12:24 am

Hopefully this week will be the start of something good for McDowell, or at least better.

Decent showing, so far at least, from the E.T. with McDool, Rose, Vickie, Westwood, Poults, Stenson all in the top thirteen with Kjeldsen, Frankie and Koepka all in the Top 20. Then there's Paul Casey!

Haven't seen the European Tour calendar for 2016 yet; but imagine there'll be a lot of conflicted schedules, a la McDowell. Ironically, the Olympics likely to affect the European Tour more than the PGA Tour!

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 07 Aug 2015, 2:52 am

Scoring a shot higher today than Round 1 last year. Will go higher still if they let Firestone get much firmer.
That'll hurt the bombers and favour the navigators, Furyk et al.

Although the course looks boring on TV, most of the players seem to like it.

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Post by McLaren Fri 07 Aug 2015, 8:16 am

It could be boring and the players like it.   They often seem to like quite straightforward courses and seem to value "fairness", whatever that is.
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Post by MustPuttBetter Fri 07 Aug 2015, 9:39 am

Heard a lot of them in their post round interviews with Mr Barter mention that the rough wasn't too penal and allowed them to 'create' shots. They seem to like the courses where they're not looking like idiots having to hack it out of the rough!

Maybe that's what 'fairness' means
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Post by pedro Fri 07 Aug 2015, 10:19 am

GPB wrote:
sirbenson wrote:https://twitter.com/WillGrayGC/status/629421698656264192

Interesting to see GMac saying he will choose the French Open over Bridgestone next year, I'd imagine he won't be the only one!

At this point in time, it is unlikely GMac will be qualified for the B-Stone next year.
Doh I think it's extremely arrogant of Gmac to say that. He's currently sitting at 60th in the OWGR and dropping like a stone and there's no reason to believe he'll qualify. His 2014 Ryder Cup spot wont do him any good next year.

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Post by LadyPutt Fri 07 Aug 2015, 12:18 pm

I'm never wrong wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:And one of my picks, OK Sergio, has just gone bogey, bogey, snowman. Not good.
Isn't a snowman 8? Sergio is showing 9 on the WGC scorecard.
That's a Snowman with a hat on where I play! PGA Tour: Double-Header - WGC-Bridgestone / Barracuda Championship: Notes from the Ballwasher - Page 2 3513163098
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Post by pedro Fri 07 Aug 2015, 12:19 pm

LadyPutt wrote:
I'm never wrong wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:And one of my picks, OK Sergio, has just gone bogey, bogey, snowman. Not good.
Isn't a snowman 8? Sergio is showing 9 on the WGC scorecard.
That's a Snowman with a hat on where I play! PGA Tour: Double-Header - WGC-Bridgestone / Barracuda Championship: Notes from the Ballwasher - Page 2 3513163098
Or a snowman with one leg. We could call him Rory.

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Post by LadyPutt Fri 07 Aug 2015, 12:21 pm

pedro wrote:
LadyPutt wrote:
I'm never wrong wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:And one of my picks, OK Sergio, has just gone bogey, bogey, snowman. Not good.
Isn't a snowman 8? Sergio is showing 9 on the WGC scorecard.
That's a Snowman with a hat on where I play! PGA Tour: Double-Header - WGC-Bridgestone / Barracuda Championship: Notes from the Ballwasher - Page 2 3513163098
Or a snowman with one leg. We could call him Rory.
laughing clap
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Post by LadyPutt Fri 07 Aug 2015, 12:26 pm

Enjoying the Test match Kwini?
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Post by McLaren Fri 07 Aug 2015, 1:03 pm

McIlroy to defend PGA title.
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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 07 Aug 2015, 1:15 pm

LP, OK
Extraordinary stuff. Would be even better if there was a Hampshire man or two in the team - always used to think there was an anti-Hants conspiracy among the selectors.

McIlroy on his way to Wisconsin; presumably I've missed the bit where he confirms he's a definite starter on Thursday. All very cryptic so far.

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Post by super_realist Fri 07 Aug 2015, 1:29 pm

Pube Head would have to be a strong contender to miss the cut.

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Post by McLaren Fri 07 Aug 2015, 1:29 pm

You need to learn emojis kwini.
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Post by McLaren Fri 07 Aug 2015, 1:33 pm

I think I have found his flight. Lets see where he goes.

http://fr24.com/GLF4/70b7c58
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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 07 Aug 2015, 1:40 pm

Mac,
You need to stop jumping to conclusions.
My take on it is that it will be a game time decision, but that there's no point in determining you're fit, but 4,000 miles away from the action at Go Time. Sorry, but can't find an emoji for that.

Should be another gorgeous day for Bridgestone Round 2 - Danny Lee endearing himself to Nick Price with Thursday's round which could easily have been even lower. Would think the conditions are made for Furyk, but he's bottled it here before. And what does everyone make of McDowell? Made some good putts yesterday but he's got to find more fairways to stand any chance of being in Sunday's shake-up.

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Post by raycastleunited Fri 07 Aug 2015, 1:47 pm

McLaren wrote:If anyone wants a bit of conspiracy, then here you go.  I showed the above photo of Rory's ankle to a doctor with a fair amount of orthopedic experience and asked what the chances are that he would be back for the PGAT.  The response was that they had never seen such extensive bruising from a sports ligament tear and it looked more like a break.  

I had the same injury a few years back - also left ankle, and also playing football. I had the same amount of bruising all around the ankle, looked a lot worse than it actually felt.

The 12 week recovery that was stated by many people is about right... for playing football again. After about a month I could hobble around and swing a golf club, but Rory's dynamic swing puts more pressure on his ankle.

From a golf perspective the injury has permanently changed my swing as I am sub-consciously reluctant to transfer my weight on to my left foot through the swing. I play football again and run and am not aware of protecting my ankle but it seems to still be an issue for golf. I had a very expensive golf lesson at the Grove a few years ago and the pro (who was excellent) immediately asked if I had ever injured my ankle. Now I didn't have the extensive specialist physio and rehabilitation programme that Rory is getting, but I think it will be a while before he can confidently rotate his weight on to his left ankle without worrying or feeling a wrenching sensation.

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Post by McLaren Fri 07 Aug 2015, 1:57 pm

Kwini

It is just a bit of fun. You should try the fanboy thing once in a while. All you have to do is loose objectivity and get stuck into social media. Run
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Post by pedro Fri 07 Aug 2015, 2:44 pm

McLaren wrote:Kwini

It is just a bit of fun.  You should try the fanboy thing once in a while.  All you have to do is loose objectivity and get stuck into social media.  Run
Isn't that what he already does? Just with Republican politicians.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 07 Aug 2015, 2:55 pm

That would be anti-social media, pedro . . . . .

McDowell and Koepka are the first starters today among the leaders. Thursday's afternoon "wave" generally scored lower than the early birds but the pundits reckoned that Friday's morning guys might be favoured before the course really dried up under the afternoon sun. Would be astonished though if McDowell kept up yesterday's pace.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 07 Aug 2015, 3:47 pm

Round 2 of the Barracuda Championship is up and running - Europeans who need a good/great week are all inside the present cut-line, Davis, Blixt and Gonzo.
But early days yet given that the "Modified Stableford" scoring system means the leaderboard is extremely volatile.

Brooks Koepka the first to make a significant upward move at Bridgestone, while Smelly Oda is rapidly going in the opposite direction - +5 in his first five holes after playing under par in Round 1.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 07 Aug 2015, 6:10 pm

Everyone standing still at Bridgestone, except Spieth of course. Furyk now with a 3-shot lead as McDool stalls.

Good round from Stephen Gallacher - but why couldn't one of the GB&I leaders come up with something like that?

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 07 Aug 2015, 8:34 pm

Not that the TV cameras have shown either of them but Shane Lowry and JB Holmes have the best round in progress this afternoon.

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Post by Davie Fri 07 Aug 2015, 8:43 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Scoring a shot higher today than Round 1 last year. Will go higher still if they let Firestone get much firmer.
That'll hurt the bombers and favour the navigators, Furyk et al.

That looks like a good call

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 07 Aug 2015, 9:07 pm

Tee Time for Rory next Thursday: Spieth, Zach, Rors, 1.20 p.m. CDT.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 07 Aug 2015, 9:12 pm

http://i.cdn.turner.com/dr/golf/golfm/release/pgachampionship/sites/pgachampionship/files/docs/Rounds%201%20&%202%20PREVIEW.pdf

Read it and plan your Thursday and Friday.

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Post by GPB Fri 07 Aug 2015, 9:33 pm

Kwini:  Any outrage about the Hideki-Steele-Kok pairing?

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 07 Aug 2015, 9:45 pm

Certainly should be!

Very surprised at that one; and there are some American golfers who never seem to get "featured" groupings, Moore, Holmes, Na among them; haven't checked this week, but did see that Sabbatini's batting lead-off, another who seems to be permanently on the sh1t list.

Having said all that:
Come on Shane!

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Post by sirbenson Fri 07 Aug 2015, 10:09 pm

Some fantastic pairings, I think the PGA do it the best in that regards!

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 07 Aug 2015, 10:26 pm

Don't you think the PGA does the best in almost every regard? Certainly the most consistent course set-ups, pity Mike Davis doesn't get some tips on fair course set-up from Kerry Haigh.

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Post by Shotrock Fri 07 Aug 2015, 10:57 pm

Take pea-brain Sergio's 9 out of the mix and he's near the front.

Good to see the Irishman making a charge.

Still, if Furyk can keep it straight he will be tough to beat.

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Post by GPB Fri 07 Aug 2015, 10:58 pm

LPGA founder and Hall of Famer, Louise Suggs has passed away at age 91.  She won 11 majors and 61 LPGA tournaments.

I think she was one of the first women to be admitted to the R&A.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 07 Aug 2015, 11:09 pm

Another Hall Of Famer, Arthur Daley, also moved on, probably in a stolen hearse.

What's up with Hunter Mahan? Played poorly all season and now destined for the worst round of the day - on a course where he won not so long ago.

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Post by pedro Sat 08 Aug 2015, 9:18 am

Should've been a Steele-Bohn-Kok pairing. Or a Young-Kok-Johnson, Kok-An-Bohn or Iwata-Zach-Kok. Or even John Holmes-Steele-Kok or Kokrak-Kok-Zach. Plenty of options.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 08 Aug 2015, 11:05 am

Moore Kok Rose?

In other news!
Donaldson and Dubuisson are declared as runners in the Czech Masters, at the end of August.
Not expecting to earn enough FedEx points to play The Barclays, eh chaps?

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 08 Aug 2015, 11:54 am

Not much notice taken of the Barracuda action in Reno, but some good players failed to make the cut and will most probably be destined for the web.com Tour Finals. Among them:
Ishikawa
Scott Langley
Luke Guthrie
Van Pelt
Michael Thompson
Baddeley
and quite possibly Spencer Levin and Boom Baby Overton

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 08 Aug 2015, 1:36 pm

Any sort of Top Ten finish this week from Shane Lowry would probably put him over the non-member earnings necessary to secure a PGA Tour card for 2015/16.
If he achieves that, and hopefully it will be via a win, it's not too early for him to start planning his schedule for next season. The double-dippers who have Ryder Cup and Olympics aspirations will have their work cut out for them.

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Post by sirbenson Sat 08 Aug 2015, 2:08 pm

Paddy is an injury doubt for the next two days, a possible withdrawal is on the cards. Knee injury

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 08 Aug 2015, 3:04 pm

looks like Harrington is giving it a go anyway. Playing with Billy Horschel - an odd couple, to say the very least.

Scoring better today, perhaps they flooded the greens last night? Mikko on fire!

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Post by GPB Sat 08 Aug 2015, 7:30 pm

Kwini:  Does it seem strange that Nobilo is not broadcasting for CBS this week?

If I recall correctly, he has been in the booth for exactly one tournament this year for CBS, the Masters.  I guess he will be in the booth next week at Whistling Straits.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 08 Aug 2015, 7:40 pm

He's doing the Barracuda with Rich Lerner - I think he's done a couple of others, sure he was in Canada, and at least one or two others. I like him, when he's not trying to talk too much.

Westwood with a characteristic double bogey on the Par-5 2nd hole. The shots he throws away . . . . . .

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 08 Aug 2015, 11:27 pm

Well played Shane Lowry - love watching him play. He'll be with Bowditch the savant on Sunday while Justin Rose has Furyk for company as he tries to follow up today's brilliant 63.

Super round also from Poulter, and McDool continued his recent revival. A dismal bogey, double bogey finish from Lee Westwood, incredible really. And more good stuff from Marc Warren - kinda fancy a shilling each way on him next week.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 09 Aug 2015, 2:13 am

Bizarre situation in Reno, at the Barracuda Championship:
Andres Romero, who seems to have talent to spare but a premium on, let's say, the mental game, bogeyed his 13th and 14th holes, reached the 15th tee and proceeded to punch the tee sign. His knuckle looks like Rory's ankle, but he teed off the last four holes with a putter, claimed double bogey or worse and pocketed -3 points on each of his final four holes, just because he could, theoretically, because it's Stableford.
"Best efforts" by a Pro as they are required to do? I wouldn't think so, but he's off to hospital for x-rays and may live to fight another day. If not tee sign.

Blixt, JJ Henry, and Major Toms lead the way.

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Post by GPB Sun 09 Aug 2015, 3:02 am

Romero has WDed according to twitter-verse.

Looking forward to a BLIXT-tourage sighting in Reno.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 09 Aug 2015, 12:34 pm

Tks, GPB. Now confirmed. Not sure where Romero goes from here. If he's unable to play Greensboro and the we.com Finals, he'll only have Past Champion status on the PGA Tour, and perhaps something like that in Europe?
He'll have web.com status for a year, presumably, but he's too good a player to just fade away.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 09 Aug 2015, 1:57 pm

Early birds are on their way at Bridgestone, including Harrington who was apparently a doubt going in to Round 3.
Americans hogging the last three placings, and that's not something you see every WGC.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 09 Aug 2015, 9:04 pm

They keep on revising the script here. A perfect front nine for Shane Lowry, but can he keep it up?

Decent final rounds from Casey and Westwood, but Poulter in reverse after his early eagle.

Five horse race?
Day, Furyk, Lowry, Rose & Watson?????

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 09 Aug 2015, 9:28 pm

Four horse race, g'bye Jason, three unless Justin Rose can figure out his putting - throwing it away on the greens.


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Post by pedro Sun 09 Aug 2015, 10:52 pm

Phat Shane!!

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