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PGA Tour: 2014/2015 Season, The Final Examination: Notes from the Ballwasher

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PGA Tour: 2014/2015 Season, The Final Examination: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty PGA Tour: 2014/2015 Season, The Final Examination: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by kwinigolfer Wed 19 Aug 2015, 3:56 pm

1).Well done Jason Day; transformed in just one month from Nearly Man to Major Champion. Perhaps the path to Day's convincing win was first laid at St.Andrews, paved at Glen Abbey and the walk was well and truly walked at Whistling Straits.

2).Two American Slams were extinguished on Sunday:
Jordan Spieth's effort to win all three US Majors.
The possibility for Americans to win all four Majors in a year for the first time since 1982 (Stadler, Watson, Watson, Floyd).
(The only year Americans failed to win any Major was 1994 - Olazabal, Els, Price, Price.)

3).Not so sure I agree with the opinion that Whistling Straits is a great golf course; it may be a bombers' paradise (only Kuchar, Snedeker and the unranked Iwata of the PGA's Top 24 are outside the top 80 in driving distance on the PGA Tour), but is length to be the only criteria for success? The 1,000+ bunkers are about 900 too many, and the 100 remaining could certainly be redefined to restore the balance between length and accuracy.
And, for Major Championships at least, there is a distinctly Chambers Bay atmosphere on some holes which are apparently inaccessible for most spectators.
Dustin Johnson's right to a Play-Off place in 2010 was denied him because he thought a sandy area that was full of spectators and litter, and certainly not marshalled, couldn't possibly be a bunker.
How are they going to manage this at the 2020 Ryder Cup? Five years to get it sorted.

4).Jordan Spieth has rightly been acclaimed as the world's best golfer of 2015; but aren't we getting a bit carried away with all the "Number One" hoopla? Rory said it best when he referred to the "Rory Era" of a few months ago having been replaced by the "Jordan Era". But are we entering the "Jason Era"? Enough already.

5).What's the buzz in the European Press about Keith Pelley's decision for the European Tour not to sanction the 2016 edition of the "WGC-Bridgestone Invitational", given that its new date clashes with the new and improved "Alstom Open de France"?
Pelley's decision hints that all is not unanimous within the Federation of Golf Tours (or whatever it's called), but it makes perfect sense that a date change designed to suit the PGA Tour might not be fully embraced elsewhere. I wonder if Pelley suggested negotiating with "France" to host the WGC?
Regardless, GolfWorld anticipates Finchem "retaliation", possibly in the form of reduced releases to European Tour events but hopefully that won't happen.
Ramifications will certainly include even more micro-managing of the playing schedule of European Tour double-dippers.

6).The "regular season" of the PGA Tour concludes Thursday at the Donald Ross-designed Sedgefield CC in Greensboro, North Carolina, at the "Wyndham Championship". Much is on the line, not least guarantee of 2015/16 Tour cards for the 125 golfers qualifying via accumulated FedEx points for next week's "The Barclays".
Let's go through the various examination criteria one by one, and start with the sure knowledge that several "notables" won't qualify for The Barclays:
~Donaldson, Stallings (suspended), S-Y Noh, Ogilvy, McDowell, Stricker and Cabrera. But all these have some exemption for Tour play next season.
~Dubuisson & Romero will also be absent and lose their "cards" unless they retrieve them via good play in the web.com Tour Finals in September. In addition, Freddie Jac has been out for three months and will presumably be granted some sort of "Medical Exemption".

7).These notables are among those on the Barclays bubble:
~Exempt for 15/16: Tim Clark, Vijay, Luuuke, King Charl, Camilo, Toms, Choi, Els, Kaymer, Woods, Ben Crane.
~Not exempt: Overton, Ishikawa, Blixt, Brian Davis, Badds, Gonzo, Glover, Van Pelt, Garrigus, Allenby, Justin Leonard and Immelman
Full details of worst-case scenarios: http://www.pgatour.com/fedexcup/2015/08/18/playoffs-scenarios-wyndham-championship.html
Finally, there are some walking wounded. Rory has already declared himself out for The Barclays. Others nursing recent injuries include DeLaet, MacKenzie & Woodland. EDIT: Chris Kirk targetting The Barclays as he recovers from a broken bone in his hand.

8).There are a couple of Tour "status" categories worth competing for, especially those who finish the 2014/2015 season ranked 126 to 150 in FedEx points. And those ranked 126 - 200 in FedEx points will be eligible for the web.com Tour Finals.

9).All of which means that there is plenty to play for at Greensboro this week and the field is jam-packed with golfers ranked 115 on the FedEx points list and worse! Including of course Tiger Woods whose appearance has reportedly caused the Wyndham Tournament Director to order the printing of 49,000 more tickets!!

10).Back to the final PGA Tour Championship and some special bennies that were handed out to the Top 15 finishers:
2016 Masters invitations to: Day, Spieth, Grace and Rose.
2016 PGA Championship invitations to these players not already assured of exemption: Grace, Koepka, Lahiri, Coetzee, Kuchar, Finau, Lingmerth, Snedeker, Steele, Henley.

And so to Greensboro, perhaps the first tournament of the "Jordan Era". Or is it already the "Jason Era"?
Hopefully the Rory Era will be back, normal service resumed.


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Post by Bob_the_Job Wed 19 Aug 2015, 4:23 pm

Nice one Kwini..

I like Whistling Straights as a TV viewer, and although your stats rightly point to it being a bombers course, I wasn't really aware of that at the time (Jason took a lot of 3 woods for position, but there again, he hits it as far as a lot of the other players hit their drivers). Whilst we're on the subject, a course requiring long accurate tee shots is not necessarily a bad course - the issue for me is that I wouldn't want to see all or even too many on tour to be like that.

As for the era theory...as I've said before, I expect Rory to play really well in spells (like 2012 and 2014) when he will be all but unbeatable, but he is a bit.. mecurial and I do also expect him to have some mini-slumps. JS has already show more consistency so it's going to be somewhat of the tortoise and the hare with them, and it's possible they get caught up on that and Day blasts both of them. Exciting times ahead.

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Post by navyblueshorts Wed 19 Aug 2015, 5:44 pm

Nice writeup, as usual, Kwini. Be interesting to see what, if any, fallout there is re. the French Open etc.
Agree totally re. the 'Era' thing. Would have though something like that would have to last a little more than 6-12 months to qualify!
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 19 Aug 2015, 5:55 pm

Cheers Bob,
Completely agree about Rory especially vis-a-vis Spieth, thought Rors did very well considering he obviously had misgivings about his full fitness.


Meant to add that it's great, or at least about time, that Woods is playing Greensboro. He's always seen himself as being above playing the meat-and-potatoes events of the Tour, hopefully he'll have a touch of humility going forward that persuades him to play more such tournaments.
Ironically, this Sedgefield course might not exactly be made to measure for his requirements, but perhaps hitting less-than-driver on many holes will straighten him up a bit - his main concern seems to be the greens: "I hadn't putted on Bermuda greens that are this fast in a very long time."

And also had intended to lament the poor performance of most of the Europeans at Whistling Straits, Justin Rose being a glittering exception.

Lastly, Europeans qualified for Match Play at the US Amateur in Chicago include:
Paul Dunne
Sam Horsfield
Langasque
Jon Rahm
Adrian Meronk (never 'eard of 'im) from Poland
Thomas Detry of Belgium


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Post by McLaren Wed 19 Aug 2015, 6:55 pm

1) I was a Day doubter and nothing short of a win would convince me otherwise given has list of major chokes. Many on here seemed convinced it was only a matter of time until Day won a major but I present to you Garcia, Westwood, Donald, DJ etc as examples of players "guaranteed" to win a major. I loved the way Day played the first nine on Sunday and might rank it as one of the best nines I have witnessed in a major.

3) I agree Wistling Straits is not a great course. Despite all the bunkers, tinkering with hole lengths, having drivable par 4's and many ocean holes the course did not require strategy to gain the rewards on offer.

I have seen a few references to the greens being almost perfect in terms of conditioning so that might by why the pro's love the place and the winning score was so low. It may also explain why Spieth was so lethal inside 10 feet.


4) This is partly speculation of course, but this is the Jordan era. (As a Rory fan I hope he can make it the Rory/Jordan era but at the moment that looks unlikely)
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 19 Aug 2015, 7:05 pm

Tks navy,
Interesting that Spieth played poorly last summer after his near misses but probably laid the groundwork for 2015 in the autumn with a decent Ryder Cup and phenomenal wins in Australia and the Woods member/member.


Tragic news from Texas may affect those fancying Ryan Palmer for a run at the FedEx Play-Offs - his Dad was killed in a car crash outside Amarillo last night. Texans may think it's against their civil rights, but stupid of him not to be wearing his seat-belt.

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Post by Davie Wed 19 Aug 2015, 8:29 pm

McLaren wrote:3) I agree Wistling Straits is not a great course.  Despite all the bunkers, tinkering with hole lengths, having drivable par 4's and many ocean holes the course did not require strategy to gain the rewards on offer.  

Ocean holes?

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Post by McLaren Wed 19 Aug 2015, 8:34 pm

I have been fooled.  I thought it was a true links. Sad
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 19 Aug 2015, 8:53 pm

Another win for Jordan Spieth, this time over Zach Johnson:

http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golf-central-blog/spieth-johnson-both-throw-out-first-pitches/

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 19 Aug 2015, 10:16 pm

US Amateur update:
Paul Dunne, Sam Horsfield, Detry and Derek Bard already through to Round 2.

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Post by MustPuttBetter Thu 20 Aug 2015, 12:15 am

Davie wrote:
McLaren wrote:3) I agree Wistling Straits is not a great course.  Despite all the bunkers, tinkering with hole lengths, having drivable par 4's and many ocean holes the course did not require strategy to gain the rewards on offer.  

Ocean holes?

McLaren - can turn golf into quadratic equations but doesn't know Lake Michigan isn't an ocean....
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Post by super_realist Thu 20 Aug 2015, 6:46 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Tks navy,
Interesting that Spieth played poorly last summer after his near misses but probably laid the groundwork for 2015 in the autumn with a decent Ryder Cup and phenomenal wins in Australia and the Woods member/member.


Tragic news from Texas may affect those fancying Ryan Palmer for a run at the FedEx Play-Offs - his Dad was killed in a car crash outside Amarillo last night. Texans may think it's against their civil rights, but stupid of him not to be wearing his seat-belt.

music Is this the way to Amirillo, seat belt off, flying through the window music

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Post by incontinentia Thu 20 Aug 2015, 9:45 am

Too soon?
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Post by SmithersJones Thu 20 Aug 2015, 10:00 am

He died like a true Texan, belligerently ignoring his own safety just to stick it to the man. picard
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 20 Aug 2015, 10:06 am

Always had you guys figured for Neil Sedaka fans.

Not often you see a golfer with a 5-stroke lead after 11 holes of a tournament - David's on his Horsey. (In his case, about time.)

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Post by Bob_the_Job Thu 20 Aug 2015, 10:08 am

I'd say the Sky commentators are officially on 59 watch and getting all over excited.
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Post by SmithersJones Thu 20 Aug 2015, 10:09 am

8 under, par 71 and two par 5s still to come including one of only 471 yards. They could have a point!
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 20 Aug 2015, 11:26 am

59 mockers by the looks of things . . . . .

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Post by Bob_the_Job Thu 20 Aug 2015, 12:18 pm

And he finishes.. disappointed perhaps.. with a 63
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Post by raycastleunited Thu 20 Aug 2015, 12:36 pm

Good stuff Kwini, as usual.

I know you're not a fan of Whistling Straights. I do think that players who can bomb it long and straight should be rewarded, as well as those who can chip, putt, etc. I didn't see any repeat of "bunkergate 2010" this year - looked to me that it was pretty clear. Although hundreds of the bunkers seemed superfluous (I even noticed some bunkers right in front of the tees), I don't think they detracted from the playability or enjoyment of the course. Should be a good course for the Ryder Cup!

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Post by McLaren Thu 20 Aug 2015, 1:31 pm

MustPuttBetter wrote:
Davie wrote:
McLaren wrote:3) I agree Wistling Straits is not a great course.  Despite all the bunkers, tinkering with hole lengths, having drivable par 4's and many ocean holes the course did not require strategy to gain the rewards on offer.  

Ocean holes?

McLaren - can turn golf into quadratic equations but doesn't know Lake Michigan isn't an ocean....

To be honest I thought Whistling straits was on the west coast of Scotland given how masterfully Pete dye had turned a Wisconsin landscape into real Scottish links.  I was a little puzzled about the fist international PGA champ not getting more coverage.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 20 Aug 2015, 1:43 pm

Very true ray, long and straight should always be rewarded.
I know the softness of the course contributed to this, but long and crooked was also rewarded at the Straits (or the Wilds); and that's OK for a normal Tour event, just feel as if Majors should be a better test of all the clubs in the bag. Imagine the PGA Of America will strive for similar conditions in 2020 - perhaps Colsaerts and Quiros can return to form sufficiently to deliver the message that two can play at that game!


It'll probably be an iffy sort of day weather-wise in Greensboro with the course already soft following a wet spell. After today the risk of rain reduces and it should be a fine wekend. Looks like Tiger has already chipped in for birdie from a cabbage patch and holed a 5-foot bogey putt!



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Post by super_realist Thu 20 Aug 2015, 1:44 pm

McLaren wrote:
MustPuttBetter wrote:
Davie wrote:
McLaren wrote:3) I agree Wistling Straits is not a great course.  Despite all the bunkers, tinkering with hole lengths, having drivable par 4's and many ocean holes the course did not require strategy to gain the rewards on offer.  

Ocean holes?

McLaren - can turn golf into quadratic equations but doesn't know Lake Michigan isn't an ocean....

To be honest I thought Whistling straits was on the west coast of Scotland given how masterfully Pete dye had turned a Wisconsin landscape into real Scottish links. I was a little puzzled about the fist international PGA champ not getting more coverage.


Eh?

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 20 Aug 2015, 1:49 pm

super_,
What would you say to the CBS (can't remember who) commentator's suggestion that there are echoes of Kingsbarns about Whistling Crookeds?

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Post by super_realist Thu 20 Aug 2015, 1:52 pm

I don't see too many similarities myself, maybe some holes ever so slightly, but it's not a comparison I would leap to. Looks more like The Dukes to me.

Sounds more like he was namedropping.

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Post by Shotrock Thu 20 Aug 2015, 2:11 pm

Wonderful write up Kwin. Fully agree with you about Whistling Straights as a fine but not necessarily great course. Fun to look at though.

Tiger doing what he should be -- teeing it up more regularly. He only makes the cut 50% of the time these days, so he should be plenty rested!

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 20 Aug 2015, 2:14 pm

super, Nah, 99% of his audience wouldn't've known what he was talking about. Perhaps he confused any resemblance with The Dukes, about which I know nothing. Is it owned by the same bloke?

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Post by super_realist Thu 20 Aug 2015, 2:25 pm

Dukes is owned by Kohler, who also owns Old Course Hotel, so I presume he's mixing up Whistling Straits with "stable mate" The Dukes.

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Post by McLaren Thu 20 Aug 2015, 2:48 pm

Super

Did you mean that the Kittocks (devlin) or Torrance (the Fairmont courses) were similar to the Straits course instead of the Dukes?  The Dukes is an inland course and the other two are by water.

PS or event the castle? (another course which you claimed you would take me for a round on :D )
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Post by super_realist Thu 20 Aug 2015, 3:05 pm

Mac, Take the water out of it and The Dukes is similar in terms of some bunkering.

Either way, it's nothing like Kingsbarns.

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Post by I'm never wrong Thu 20 Aug 2015, 4:19 pm

Can someone else confirm this for me please?
I go to the PGA tour home page, click on the Leaderboard tab (at the top of the page) and it takes me to the Bridgestone Invitational score page. Does it do that with anyone else...or is it just me?

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Post by Bob_the_Job Thu 20 Aug 2015, 4:31 pm

Takes me to the Wyndham
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 20 Aug 2015, 4:38 pm

Something wrong with my leaderboard too, it shows someone called T.Woods at 6 under par.
According to Tiger Tracker he's playing really well after a very dodgy start.
"Strokes gained putting": +2.9 strokes, plus a long chip in. Bet he still complains he never made a thing. Good to see him in form though, Kaymer matching him stroke for stroke.

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Post by I'm never wrong Thu 20 Aug 2015, 4:46 pm

Bob_the_Job wrote:Takes me to the Wyndham

Bob - is that when you click on the leaderboard in white lettering at the top, or the red "Scoring" button just below it?

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Post by McLaren Thu 20 Aug 2015, 4:49 pm

bob wrote:Takes me to the Wyndham

kwinigolfer wrote:it shows someone called T.Woods at 6 under par


It takes me to climax. Wink
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Post by Bob_the_Job Thu 20 Aug 2015, 5:11 pm

I'm never wrong wrote:
Bob_the_Job wrote:Takes me to the Wyndham

Bob - is that when you click on the leaderboard in white lettering at the top, or the red "Scoring" button just below it?

The word Leaderboard
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Post by I'm never wrong Thu 20 Aug 2015, 5:11 pm

Ok Thanks. My computer or something.

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Post by MustPuttBetter Thu 20 Aug 2015, 5:21 pm

I don't recall seeing Sedgefield before but it obviously isn't the hardest golf course in the world!
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Post by SmithersJones Thu 20 Aug 2015, 5:29 pm

Himmerland can't be much tougher - even Darren Clarke's under par.
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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 20 Aug 2015, 6:23 pm

MPB,
Usually fairly low scoring at Sedgefield with two shortish par-5's, but unusually soft this week and lift, clean and place also in play. Hope it dries up over the weekend.

Open Championship star amateur Paul Dunne cruises into the last 16 of the US Amateur, but Sam Horsfield lost a tight one to a Wetterich, probably a relative of 2006 Ryder Cup has-been Brett. And Jon Rahm won 7&6!

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 20 Aug 2015, 11:29 pm

Paul Dunne and Jon Rahm (and Derek Bard) into the quarter-finals of the US Amateur.

Donald, Kaymer, Woods and a bunch of other "notables" are still outside the qualifying places for the FedEx Play-Offs - cut tomorrow at Greensboro will be at least -3.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 21 Aug 2015, 1:03 am

Reports are surfacing out of Rochester, NY, that Oak Hill will be the venue for the 2023 PGA Championship.
Good news, great course and mostly terrific for spectators.

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PGA Tour: 2014/2015 Season, The Final Examination: Notes from the Ballwasher Empty Re: PGA Tour: 2014/2015 Season, The Final Examination: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by McLaren Fri 21 Aug 2015, 2:01 am

Whats the deal with the pres cup points list having to be recalculated?
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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 21 Aug 2015, 2:05 am

Mac,
Sounds like the Tour c0cked up the simple act of calculating points according to their own rules. Can't believe it's taken so long for the Tour or the players to spot it. Suggests there's not much engagement until the final events.

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Post by pedro Fri 21 Aug 2015, 10:00 am

SmithersJones wrote:Himmerland can't be much tougher - even Darren Clarke's under par.
I understand the joke, but just for the record Himmerland played 0.2 over par yesterday despite ideal conditions.

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Post by SmithersJones Fri 21 Aug 2015, 10:26 am

pedro wrote:
SmithersJones wrote:Himmerland can't be much tougher - even Darren Clarke's under par.
I understand the joke, but just for the record Himmerland played 0.2 over par yesterday despite ideal conditions.

Interesting. I really like DC but he'd be the first to say he's not been on form lately, so that's good news.
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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 21 Aug 2015, 12:19 pm

Nicholas Thompson, Jamie Donaldson and Luke Donald are the only golfers who slipped off the pace Thursday to remain in the Top 125 for Barclays participation.
Don't much care about "Nitro". Donaldson doesn't seem to much care about his status, but Luuuke would like good finishes this week, and for the next fortnight, to reach the BMW at Conway Farms in Chicago where he's a member.

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Post by McLaren Fri 21 Aug 2015, 12:43 pm

Is Conway Farms in any way associated with Conway Twitty?


Just wondering, did the pres cup recalculation get Tiger into the team?  ;)
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Post by incontinentia Fri 21 Aug 2015, 1:03 pm

Shane Lowry's Irish Times article after his Bridgestone win.

http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/golf/shane-lowry-i-ve-never-been-as-nervous-on-a-golf-course-1.2315071
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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 21 Aug 2015, 1:27 pm

It's Only Make Believe, Mac.

Davis Love now tied for the Greensboro lead; course he is!

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