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PGA Tour: It's the Play-Offs!: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 25 Aug 2015, 7:02 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).All that claptrap on here last week about the Wyndham Championship being the "Final Examination" and a grandfather parks his zimmer frame and only wins the tournament! Now he's planning to be a Captain's Pick for the 2016 Ryder Cup Team. Well done Davis; you probably should have won more in your prime than you did but this was a super win at the confluence of horses for courses and local knowledge. And a win for the fourth decade running, and probably clinched you induction into the World Golf HOF.

2).And what about this in a press conference:
"That's for you guys to decide. You're the ones that have been saying I need to save the sport so you have to write about that. For me, I came here to add to my legendary status, to win, and that's the focus."?

3).No, not Tiger Woods (Usain Bolt since you ask) though you felt it might have been with the media and tournament officials alike who were waxing orgasmic about all things Eldrick until a beyond-clumsy (pull, pull, blade/shank, stub, fluff, two-putt) triple bogey on #11 finally did him in. Even then he rebounded with four birds in his final six holes. He complained afterwards about a sore hip, but no sign it unduly bothered his play.
So, what went wrong on #11? Was that self-inflicted wound an inevitable breakdown of his still fragile psyche? I would certainly think so, but there was much to admire about most of his play over 71 holes.  
It was great to see him playing one of the Tour's premier "community" events, and overall his week was a great success for all. Including CBS TV who enjoyed their best "regular tournament" golf ratings since the summer of 2012, even better than during the Woods POTY cruise thru' 2013.

4).As a result of their finishes at the Wyndham, several well-known names will only be able to earn a 2015/16 Tour card via the web.com Tour Finals in September:
Scott Langley, Baddeley, Brian Davis, Gonzo, Billy Hurley, Michael Thompson, Lucas Glover, Luke Guthrie, Jhonny Vegas, Byrd, Barnes, Van Pelt, Romero, Kyle Stanley, etc.
And Martin Kaymer has officially forfeited his card, as, presumably, has Victor Dubuisson. Hopefully Europe's gain.

5).The FedEx Play-Offs start this week, in New Jersey, at Plainfield CC with The Barclays. This is "old hat" for 22 golfers who have qualified for the Play-Offs for each of their 8 years and are at it again:
Messrs Donald, Furyk, Garcia, Haas, Hoffman, HowellIII, ZJohnson, Kelly, Kuchar, Mahan (the only man to have played every Play-Off tournament), Mickelson, Moore, Overton, Perez, Poulter, Rose, Sabbatini, Scott, Senden, Snedeker, Watney, Watson. (Some surprises there?)

6).But eight "old hats" missed out for the first time:
Baddeley, Choi, Davis, Els, Jacobson, Ogilvy, Stricker, Van Pelt.

7).The Barclays was held at Plainfield once before, in 2011, when the tournament was restricted to 54 holes due to Hurricane Irene which went on to devastate parts of New York State and Northern New England. For what it's worth, the following players in this year's field all scored top 20 finishers:
1st: Dustin Johnson
2nd: Kuchar
3rd: Vijay Singh, Snedeker
6th: Rose, Villegas
10th: Hoffman, Simpson, Watney
13th: Harrington, Day, Piercy, Woodland
18th: Donald, Poulter, Howell, Sabbatini, Walker.

8).For the second week running, Sedgefield last week, Plainfield this, the host course is a Donald Ross design. The course will play as a Par-70, 34 on the front, 36 on the back. Note 7). shows the course specialists, such as they are - the long and the short and the tall - and racking my memory for local lads, Morgan Hoffmann is the only one that comes to mind. Not much help. Sorry!

9).Nick Price and Greg Norman have finally secured a little flexibility in the structure of the Presidents Cup. The changes are too arcane to summarise easily so take a butcher's at this lot if you're interested:
http://www.presidentscup.com/news/2015/08/24/format-changes.html

10).It's a small world after all:
The PGA Tour announced future venues today for The Barclays and there's a fresh face amongst the regulars of Bethpage Black (2016, 2021), Ridgewood (2018), Liberty National (2019, 2022) and Plainfield (2015, 2020).
In 2017 they're taking it to Glen Oaks Club, Old Westbury, NY. The present course is a 1971 Joe Finger design, with a highly regarded renovation in 2011 by Joel Weiman and Course Superintendent Craig Currier.
Now, stick with me here. Craig Currier was the Superintendent at Bethpage when it staged the US Open. And he comes from a crossroads in Central New York State lyrically called Currier Corners and in the rural hamlet that also includes Cedar Lake Club, the home course of Derek Bard who lost the US Amateur Final this past Sunday. Not many people know that!!
PS: Wish Currier would take his redesign skills back to Cedar Lake.

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Post by Shotrock Sun 30 Aug 2015, 4:13 pm

Kwin - What did you think of #11? I thought that (along with #18) were a bit much on the quirk side. The rough, as you point out, is lethal. Almost no way of controlling your ball from it. Look forward to play today.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 30 Aug 2015, 4:22 pm

'Morning Sr,
Didn't actually think 3 of the 4 Par-3's are anything to write home about; #14 is a good one, but thought #11 and #6 are average, #3 not much better, but like #14 when it was played from the back tees, as it was Thursday and hopefully today.
The group we followed on Friday had (Edit, Can't count) eight total putts on #11 from no more than 16ft in total - way too steep at the front of the green, designed to embarrass the players.

#18's a good hole, but only from the back tees, yesterday's set-up was borderline ridiculous.


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Sun 30 Aug 2015, 5:02 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Be_the_ball Sun 30 Aug 2015, 4:33 pm

Glad you enjoyed the tourney Kwini, nothing like seeing them in the flesh. Im always impressed with Furyk, he's a real Pro's Pro.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 30 Aug 2015, 5:27 pm

B_t_b,
Furyk never seems to give up - you can see players' heads drop, but never his. He made a couple of pars that other pros might have given up on. Surprised to see that he didn't take advantage of Saturday's set-up.

Bowditch en fuego today, and a good round completed by Webb Simpson.

And things looking grim for Harrington's survival.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 30 Aug 2015, 5:40 pm

Overton and Singh have gone down the dustpipe, Duke and Ishikawa among those needing back nine birdies to survive.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 30 Aug 2015, 5:50 pm

Two holes in one today for Brian Harman - not something you see every day.

DJ off to a good start.

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Post by Be_the_ball Sun 30 Aug 2015, 8:47 pm

Right just back from a run, who's doin what?

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Post by Be_the_ball Sun 30 Aug 2015, 9:12 pm

Wow, Jason Day not givin anyone a sniff. . Flawless golf.

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Post by Be_the_ball Sun 30 Aug 2015, 9:21 pm

Ballsy play from Lukey, looking safe there..

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 30 Aug 2015, 9:38 pm

Luuuuuke will want to play well next week as the following Play-Off event is the Beemer, played at Conway Farms in the Chicago area, where Donald is a member. Won't want to duck that.

No British golfers in the top 15, continuing a trend in the big events.

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Post by super_realist Sun 30 Aug 2015, 9:38 pm

I see Fat John Daly nearly carked it on the course today in some event. Let that be a warning to Shane, De Jonge, Lahirinbat etc. Timebomb.

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Post by Be_the_ball Sun 30 Aug 2015, 10:21 pm

Some show here from Jason Day, Tiger like stuff.. no one else had a chance.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 30 Aug 2015, 10:39 pm

Rory's going to have to show who's boss in the next four weeks. Hope it's him.

If the season were to finish now, you'd have to give Spieth a narrow edge for POTY but if Day wins another one, and Spieth doesn't, it'll be close. This is relentless stuff.

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Post by Shotrock Sun 30 Aug 2015, 10:51 pm

I look for Rory to play strong next 4 weeks. Still, for Day to get POY over Spieth would be amazing. Two majors and sniffing a 3rd is awfully hard to beat. Whatever happens, it appears to be the big 3 right now.

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Post by McLaren Mon 31 Aug 2015, 3:14 pm

It has taken him nearly 5 years, but day has finally learned to win. What do you folks think has changed for Day this season?
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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 31 Aug 2015, 3:40 pm

Winning in Canada.
That's the first stroke-play event he's gone out and won and you could just sense it might be the making of him.
Plenty of luck in Sunday's round but, after a few holes, it was clear he was the only person who could stop him winning. Superb putting along with everything else.

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Post by McLaren Mon 31 Aug 2015, 3:43 pm

It is pretty rare for a player to turn into a winner from someone who is renowned for throwing chances to win big events away. Just look at Sergio and Westwood who are two good players who have been struggling to stop chucking events away on a Sunday for more than 15 years.
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Post by super_realist Mon 31 Aug 2015, 3:52 pm

PLayers take their own time to start winning regularly. I'm thinking of Mickelson and Harrington.

Some players will just never be prolific winners, but might in the odd tournament whilst maintaining high finishing positions, (e.g. Lowry, Fowler)

You simply can't have 20 players on Tour who can win multiple times a year.

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Post by pedro Mon 31 Aug 2015, 3:52 pm

The thing is Westy and Sergio are reknowned chokers. I wouldn't characterise (the old ) Day as a choker, just someone who came pretty close a bunch of times. A bit like Harrington before he started winning.

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Post by Shotrock Mon 31 Aug 2015, 4:00 pm

Cliche Mac I know ... but I think HE now really believes he can and should win more frequently.

Did you notice his pre-shot routine? Closes his eye and I'm guessing envisions the shot itself. Impressive stuff.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 31 Aug 2015, 4:15 pm

His morphing from contender to champion reminds me of Duval.
Hope he keeps it going longer than David did.

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Post by McLaren Mon 31 Aug 2015, 5:00 pm

Apparently worth a read.

https://eddiepepperell.wordpress.com/
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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 31 Aug 2015, 6:20 pm

I try to read Pepperell's stuff, but find it all a bit aimless; lots of musings and interesting introspection, but a bit short of opinions and solutions.


No more defections so far from the DeutscheBank's field - it should be warm and mostly dry for the tournament, which starts on Friday. Imagine the course will play firm and fast.
European representation from:
Casey, Cejka, Donald, Knox, Laird, McIlroy, Owen, Pettersson, Poulter, Rose, Stenson.

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Post by robopz Mon 31 Aug 2015, 7:08 pm

Kwini... not been around much... and I apologize if there was already this discussion and I missed it... but what is the reaction of the European fans to this proposed merger of the ET and Asian Tours. In a "perfect world" I see the merits of what they are trying to accomplish... but in a "real world" I think Pepperell is onto a big potential "chink in the armor".

Seems to me this potential merger could have the opposite effect and drive more of the "chalk" away from the ET instead of attracting it back home... And if that does become the case, then the net result would be the Sponsors won't support huge increases in purses as hoped... and the ET becomes even more of a "feeder" to the PGA Tour than it already is.

Your thoughts? Anybody else?

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Post by robopz Mon 31 Aug 2015, 7:39 pm

super_realist wrote:PLayers take their own time to start winning regularly. I'm thinking of Mickelson and Harrington.

Some players will just never be prolific winners, but might in the odd tournament whilst maintaining high finishing positions, (e.g. Lowry, Fowler)

You simply can't have 20 players on Tour who can win multiple times a year.
Exactly... with the increase of depth of competition, and the ever increasing "bunching" of the better players into common events... IMO the days of guys running up the prolific win numbers of the past is over and done with. The thought of a guy now being able to run up 50 quality worldwide wins (much less PGAT wins)... or even double digit majors is getting harder to fathom.

But that said... there will be future great players who will distinguish themselves above their peers just as Jack and Tiger did... it's just the measures to identify just how great they are might change.... IMO "raw number comparisons to past greats" just ain't gonna work in the future... so it could be OWGR... or POY's... or any number of other things.

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Post by Be_the_ball Mon 31 Aug 2015, 8:35 pm

robopz wrote:
super_realist wrote:PLayers take their own time to start winning regularly. I'm thinking of Mickelson and Harrington.

Some players will just never be prolific winners, but might in the odd tournament whilst maintaining high finishing positions, (e.g. Lowry, Fowler)

You simply can't have 20 players on Tour who can win multiple times a year.
Exactly... with the increase of depth of competition, and the ever increasing "bunching" of the better players into common events... IMO the days of guys running up the prolific win numbers of the past is over and done with.   The thought of a guy now being able to run up 50 quality worldwide wins (much less PGAT wins)... or even double digit majors is getting harder to fathom.

But that said... there will be future great players who will distinguish themselves above their peers just as Jack and Tiger did...  it's just the measures to identify just how great they are might change....  IMO "raw number comparisons to past greats" just ain't gonna work in the future... so it could be OWGR... or POY's... or any number of other things.  

One thing thats been sealed this season is that we are well and truly into a new generation of top golfers, Spieth and Day finally giving Rory something to think about. Really great for golf.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 31 Aug 2015, 8:35 pm

Hi robo,

Don't know what to make of the ET/Asian venture, no real details reported yet. But it does seem as if Pelkey is determined to be his own man, whereas O'Grady just seemed like the local subsidiary/country manager for Finchem's corporation.

So I'll wait awhile! Just to say Europe's best tend to run the spectrum of players who embrace the PGA Tour completely, those who almost just seem to take advantage of it, and those who prefer "Europe". Hopefully the apparent ambivalence displayed by some golfers to the FedEx gravy train is a sign that some Europeans at least are their own men and Pepperell's portent of mass migration will not come to pass any more than it has done.

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Post by I'm never wrong Mon 31 Aug 2015, 9:21 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Don't know what to make of the ET/Asian venture, no real details reported yet.

Found this CLICK HERE

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 31 Aug 2015, 9:40 pm

Thanks Inw,
Badly worded by moi.
I did read this but I hadn't seen any nitty gritty details reported and that's because there aren't any, just a mutual letter of intent, if you like.

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Post by pedro Tue 01 Sep 2015, 12:16 am

The players are in Europe and the money seem to be in Asia. So on paper a good match.

But half the ET is already played abroad and all the richest ASian tourneys are already co-sanctioned. I can't see European players playing more abroad, eg Asia - at least unless the Saffer swing is ditched. And top drawer European players for sure wouldn't as they already have at least 6 US majors and US WGC's to attend to and therefore probably wouldn't stop trying to double dip anyway.

IMO the ET only has one sustainable way forward: more money and tourneys to Europe. If a merger with the Asian Tour could bring that, then I'd be positive. But unfortunately I think it'd be the other way around.

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Post by MustPuttBetter Tue 01 Sep 2015, 2:03 am

Surely Pedro has touched on the point, in that all the time 6 of the 8 WGC and Majors (plus the Players which often is on a par/exceeds the WGCs for ranking points) are played in the US it makes sense for Europe's best to double dip. Of course you're going to want to play in the US at least the week before each of those tournaments so if you play in each that's probably 14 weeks playing in the States already....

No real reason for the top US players to do the same the other way round aside from maybe the week prior to the Open.

So all the time the WGCs and Majors are basically all held in America the American tour will always be in a position of power, no matter who the European/Asian tours merge with or how much they pay
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Post by GPB Tue 01 Sep 2015, 4:47 am

Kwini:

Mardy Fish must have given up his golf career.  He is in the US Open Tennis draw and he won his first round match.

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Post by pedro Tue 01 Sep 2015, 10:33 am

Mardy has announced that US Open will be his last pro tennis tourney. Reportedly he suffered from depression and anxiety until recently. Don't know if that had to do with his golf career though.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer Tue 01 Sep 2015, 6:18 pm

As is par for the course it's (about) time for my Plainfield report.  Like Kwini experienced, the weather was beautiful; hot, sunny, and with the occasional breeze and cloud cover when it started to get too hot.  

First impressions upon arrival: where's all the swag and can I putt my way to a new putter, again, and this time I would have to give it up for the missus.  All vendor, sponsor, marketing, giveaways etc. seemed at lot smaller than usual and no chance of a putter this year.  After navigating all of the steps and walkways we made it to the course as the first groups were hitting into the ninth.  Second impressions, wow, this is undulating.  See that white dot bobbing about down there honey, that's the head of one of the players hitting his second shot into this green  Third impression, with these slopes these greens weren't made to run 12 on the stimp.  The front pin location on nine brought that big slope into play and it looked like many players would, and did, spin their approach off of the green.

Followed Justin Rose down to the 11th where I watched, from the grandstand, the several of the early groups including lots of the English boys come through.  Really lucked out picking that spot to deposit the missus as it had great views of the 2nd and 12th tees, 8th green, and second shots being hit from the 17th fairway.  Followed Westwood and Ortiz down 12 and then picked up Rose coming back down 16 and followed him through the rest of the round.  Ortiz looked like he should still be in school, certainly not old enough to shave, but definitely has some promise, he outplayed his older, wiser, playing partner.  Rose was using his aimpoint green reading technique to great effect.  He used it on his third shot into 16 and from my vantage point looked like he nearly holed out for eagle.

Headed back to 11 and watched the rest of the players come through before heading to 18 and watched the final groups finish up.  Many tried to drive the green, only Villegas was successful, the only danger being to ball spotter marshals who couldn't see the flight of the ball.  One lady almost got taken out by Hudson Swafford or Jason Day, it missed her by a couple of feet and she was completely oblivious.

Final day arrived as the first groups were heading off.  I caught up with Westwood and John Senden as they came off the first green and followed them for most of the front nine.  Caught sight of some folks who were supporting their man and overheard Westwood's manager, Louis, talking to Senden's swing coach, Ian, that Lee wasn't following the game plan.  Lee hit driver off the second tee bringing the bunkers in the left into play and plugged in the face with no shot, made double.  Got talking to Senden's swing coach on the fourth hole as we had absolutely no idea of where the ball ended up on the green or if he made the putt.  Chatted away for most of the front nine, talked about the course being tricked up, how it was designed to be played, lines they should be taking, how penal the slopes around the green would be if you were just off etc.  I separated after watching them hit into nine; had to fill the drinks order from the missus who was perched in the 11th grandstand again.  Joined up again as Senden and Lee made birdies on 11 earning a pat on the back from Ian.  Continued chatting with him as we followed around the rest of the round.  Senden was tearing it up on the back and it was funny watching Ian get more and more nervous as the round went on.  This time the caddy was the topic of conversation as he would do the job but not talk Senden and that was something that was bugging Ian.  On 16 tee Ian told us about what they had been working on in terms of getting the mental picture and not going to the ball until it was locked in.  Senden backed off at one point to the approval of Ian and then striped it down the middle, 336 yards up the hill!  The caddy started talking on 16 when they talked through how to play the third shot from the greenside bunker.  Fantastic up and down from what looked like a poor position in the trap.  An average shot into 17 meant he had to make a good two putt for par.  An average bunker shot on 18 gave him two putts for a 67 and a high enough finish to be in the Deutsche Bank.  Got a handshake and thanks for the support from Senden at the end, which was nice.

I wished Ian safe travels back to Australia and then headed back to 11 to meet the missus and watch groups come through.  As the final groups were heading out Donald Trump put in an appearance, marching purposefully down to and along the second hole creating a commotion as idiots folks wanted to shake his hand, get a picture, etc.  Waited for Luke Donald and Tony Finau to come through and then followed them for 12 through 15. Finau made an absolute mess of 12 and then it was Donald's turn to screw up on 13.  Dropped back to 13 to join up with Rose and Knox and watched them play through and down to 17 fairway. The final group was on the 12th by this time so I caught up with the missus and we decided to head home.  All in all a good time.

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 01 Sep 2015, 9:42 pm

It sounds as if the Tour is working with Doral to tighten up the course before the next WGC-Cadillac, in an effort to create more balance between bombers and average-length hitters.
Imagine they'll think hard about doing the same for Plainfield for the return of The Barclays in 2020.

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Post by I'm never wrong Tue 01 Sep 2015, 11:21 pm

Thanks Grumps. Always like to hear reports.

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Post by pedro Tue 01 Sep 2015, 11:40 pm

Thanks grumps, nice report.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 02 Sep 2015, 1:45 am

Feherty out at CBS?
Can't find any confirmation of that, but would be surprised, not shocked.

Who would they replace him with?

Ken Brown? Matt Gogel??

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 02 Sep 2015, 10:38 am

CBS Sports has reportedly decided not to renew Feherty's contract as the two sides could not agree on Fehertwit's role on CBS golf coverage.
There is no suggestion that his Golf Channel contract is endangered amid speculation that Feherty might be picked up by NBC (Golf Channel's parent).

This is the first sign of any shake-up in the US Networks' Tour coverage since Faldo replaced Lanny Wadkins as CBS's lead analyst nine years ago. CBS has been downsizing its commentating team but perhaps this brings them to a crossroads, with Gary McCord and the great Peter Kostis both 67 and the rest of their on-air crew in their mid/late fifties.
(And the NBC commentating team ain't no spring chickens either.)

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Post by McLaren Wed 02 Sep 2015, 10:53 am

I can't stand Feherty's anti intellectual style and armed forces fawning, hopefully we will be seeing a lot less of him in the coming years.
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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 02 Sep 2015, 11:16 am

Mac,
It seemed he had toned down his pro-American, pro-US military fawning this year.
Fact remains that he's very good at what he does, he takes the time to engage with the players and can be perceptive.

It'll be interesting to see where he ends up, most likely on a TV set near you.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 02 Sep 2015, 2:23 pm

The answer to the summer-long question, "Whatever happened to Freddie Jac?":

http://www.pgatour.com/news/2015/09/02/freddie-jacobson-son-heart-surgery.html

Sounds like he'll be back at the Fry's. Good health to his son, good luck to Freddie.

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Post by Shotrock Wed 02 Sep 2015, 3:59 pm

Never met Feherety, but I have a friend who knows him pretty well and says he's a very generous and not the least bit arrogant. I also enjoy his on-course commentary (for the most part).

He seems to be a perfect fit for Fox. Would not be surprised to see him land there.


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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 02 Sep 2015, 4:15 pm

Sr,
Why do you think he'd go to Fox?
NBC have the Ryder Cup and Open Championship plus all their WGC & PGA Tour events. Would think that trumps Fox's USGA gig. Plus NBC owns GolfChannel.
Silence about this on golfchannel.com is deafening.

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Post by Shotrock Wed 02 Sep 2015, 4:21 pm

Just speculation ... but he might want to slow down the grind of all that tour travel. Focus on "specials" ... yet still be at the showcase events Fox covers.

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Post by robopz Wed 02 Sep 2015, 4:36 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:The answer to the summer-long question, "Whatever happened to Freddie Jac?":

http://www.pgatour.com/news/2015/09/02/freddie-jacobson-son-heart-surgery.html

Sounds like he'll be back at the Fry's. Good health to his son, good luck to Freddie.
Yes... best wishes on all accounts... and as we discussed last week he'll have the 12 starts catch up with his status...

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Post by robopz Wed 02 Sep 2015, 4:52 pm

I had seen some comments suggesting Feherety wanted to substitute a tower job for his walking gig and there not being space available in that regard was the primary "surface" issue.

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Post by pedro Wed 02 Sep 2015, 6:50 pm

This stinks however. It's not like he hasn't had time (or will have) to fulfil his minimum tourney obligation.

http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/news/newsid=269375.html#egTypA5wcPSkqVP8.97

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Post by I'm never wrong Wed 02 Sep 2015, 7:32 pm

pedro wrote:This stinks however. It's not like he hasn't had time  (or will have) to fulfil his minimum tourney obligation.

http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/news/newsid=269375.html#egTypA5wcPSkqVP8.97

THREAD HERE Pedro

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Post by pedro Wed 02 Sep 2015, 10:56 pm

Cheers inw.

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