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PGA Tour: The Masters - Never Mind The Width, Feel The Quality: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 3:50 pm

First topic message reminder :

(One of our regular golf posters frequently writes amazing articles on the major events going on in the golfing world. v2 poster McLaren has suggested that as The Masters is underway, that you might all want to share in the debate - Enjoy!
Adam D)

Kwinigolfer wrote:

1).When has there ever been a Masters when so many top golfers came to Augusta at the peak of their form, or very close to it? The field of 89 may be the smallest for 14 years, and at least 20 amateurs or ceremonial entrants are irrelevant, but cases could easily be made for dozens of others, strong cases for at least a dozen.

2).I watched an old BBC documentary last night about the music and life of the great Ronnie Lane, and Kenney Jones came up with an especially bon mot that surely also seems to apply to writers talking about The Masters. Talking about speaking by phone to a dying Ronnie in Colorado, Kenney said words to the effect of:
"Ronnie, I know you can't talk to me so I'm going to ask questions that I think you'd ask me, and then I'll answer them." Brilliant. Apparently Ronnie was lying there in hysterics!
But isn't that just like writers, and especially "tourists" from other sports, regurgitating the same old stories about the same old stars? The same old Rory this, Jordan that, Jason the other, rhetorical crap??

3).First, the field. Should it be even smaller, eliminating the seniors and amateurs? Not in my book, with some caveats. Some of the amateur qualifications might seem a tad/lot contrived, but I like the Past Champion exemption, so long as there's some performance criteria attached - even if it's five strikes (missed cuts in a row) and you're out. Celebrating Past Champions is part of the appeal to the "patrons"; this year's Rounds 1 & 2 will be a lovefest for Tom Watson. Perhaps O'Meara and Mize, Lyle and Woosie will stay at home soon but you can see the likes of Couples, Langer and Vijay playing until they get kicked out.
Next year the 2016 Olympic winner will also be exempt, as he will be for all four Majors.

4).Who would you include in the Field to make it more competitive? I would say Pieters has a strong case, but he's about the only one. Aussie Open Champ Matt Jones should be there, and he would have been if he hadn't pretty much tanked the past few months, so no sympathy there. Any others?

5).Unluckiest guy not to be competing is surely David Clark. Carried Adam Scott's bag to his most successful run for two or three years but shoved aside for Steve Williams in the Majors.

6).Who do you fancy? I'll look beyond the Top Three. Just something about Jason Day but wouldn't be shocked if he ran away like Spieth did last year.
Spieth doesn't seem quite at ease with his game and would be surprised if he wins here again, this year anyway.
And Rory (hole in one on #16 yesterday!) seems a bit Sergio-like right now; just when he looks like he's moving into top gear, he hits a mental speed bump of sorts, plus his putting has been unconvincing, to say the least. His stroke looks OK so does he just have trouble reading greens, even with that laser surgery?

7).Continental Europe hasn't seen a Masters winner for almost twenty years and I can't see that changing, much as I'd like to see Stenson win the Major he perhaps deserves. The head-cover is coming off Henrik's driver this week so that's a welcome(?) tactical switch.
And GB&I are lacking convincing form, tho' Casey and Rose seem to reserve some of their best weeks for Augusta.
The Asian contingent could surprise but question marks against their best players persist: Matsuyma's putting, Ben An's neck (he reckons he hasn't hit full shots since w/d'ing from his WGC Match vs Cabrera Bello).

8).Branden Grace had a fabulous season last year, but he's missed his past two Masters cuts and doesn't seem to be in top form just yet. But Oosthuizen and Schwartzel have been flying and both seem great each way bets.
Interesting that Phil Mickelson has overtaken Woods as leading Masters money winner; can Phil's chances ever be dismissed here? In decent form all year and certainly in my top five, along with Bubba. Rickie Fowler is a popular choice in the US media but I'll look past him and prefer Dustin Johnson and Snedeker as well as Bubba among the Americans. (No American under the age of 35 has won a PGA Tournament since Spieth three months ago in Hawaii, other than Finau in the opposite field event anyhow.)

9).Which leaves Adam Scott; one month ago no-one was playing better than Scott & Watson, and even with Excitable Boy bagman Williams keeping him company rather than the calming influence of Clark, I like Adam Scott a lot. Top Five then for moi with PP odds (e.w. paying top 7!):
Scott (11/1), Watson (11/1), Mickelson (18/1), Oosthuizen (33/1), Schwartzel (35/1). Rose top Brit, Kisner top rookie and Snedeker best outsider (55/1). Regional loyalties compel the choice of Derek Bard as leading amateur.    

10).The Masters throws up some surprising groupings and it's a shame that they haven't taken advantage of the smaller field to send them out in pairs for Rounds 1 & 2.
Who do you think they'll send out with Tom Watson? Snedeker perhaps, and a youngster would be my guess.
One of the most anticipated groupings of recent years was: Who will be playing with Woods following his Mississippi rehab in 2010? Do you remember who they chose??
For the next five days I'll accept The Masters for what it is and enjoy the action; chance of rain on Thursday and cool and breezy every day thru Saturday. Perfect forecast for Sunday and I can't wait. Enjoy!

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Post by sirbenson on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 2:09 pm

Looking like the 4th hole is playing well under it's yardage today....probably due to the the increasing days during the day!

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Post by raycastleunited on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 2:43 pm

Agree Kwini, although even 440 yards is just a drive and a wedge these days.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 3:00 pm

Trickie opening for Rickie. 6 on the first. I think I have him in the fantasy league.

although I am almost certain tiger has d.bogeyed the first and won.
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Post by McLaren on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 3:37 pm

Fowler birdied 2 and 3 to get back to even. Got to be a better start than 3 pars.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 3:45 pm

Scoring overall is quite high. Anyone seen any comment as to why this may be so?

Tom Watson will be the leading US Ryder Cup Points acquisitor if they all carry on at this rate . . . . . . .

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Post by Scottrf on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 3:47 pm

McLaren wrote:Fowler birdied 2 and 3 to get back to even.   Got to be a better start than 3 pars.
My £5 bet is sitting at £5.87. Ka-ching. £6.61 with his birdie. Might retire.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 4:44 pm

Two tied at the top. The winners of last year's first three Majors. Stop it!

Refreshing signs of life from Westwood and Casey - I see lw1 had his latest honey working the Par-3 for him yesterday. No press ups yet though.

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Post by Snap Hook on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 5:16 pm

Masters.com shot tracker, looks very nice - other majors take note.

Are we looking at another Spieth coronation?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 6:27 pm

super,
Looks like that having to replace his driver was just what Spieth needed to get his Masters going.

Can't see many eagles yet - Hoffman on #13 perhaps. And #11 seems to be giving 'em fits, plenty of bad numbers but can't see any birdies.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 6:34 pm

Did Ernie Els really score a TEN on his first hole? Echoes of Hoylake. How do you do that??

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Post by GPB on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 6:41 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Did Ernie Els really score a TEN on his first hole? Echoes of Hoylake. How do you do that??


In honor of Seve:

Putt and miss

Putt and miss

Putt and miss

Putt and miss

Putt and miss

Putt and miss

Putt and make

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 6:44 pm

Sounds like Erns was only just off the green with his approach . . . . . .
Day with an eagle on 2.

My idea of betting against the Top Three is floundering. Spieth off to the races.

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Post by beninho on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 6:48 pm

Frak off Gordon spieth.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 7:08 pm

Meltdown from Rickie Fowler.
Looks like three bogeys, two doubles and one triple. So far. That sounds like the old Trickie Rickie.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 7:12 pm

THIS IS HORRENDOUS:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:15154595

6 PUTTS FROM, WHAT, 4 FEET?

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Post by Shotrock on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 7:24 pm

Wow -- just awful from Ernie.

I would have had two beers before the next tee.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 7:39 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:THIS IS HORRENDOUS:

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:15154595

6 PUTTS FROM, WHAT, 4 FEET?
Not available in the UK
Someone put it on YouTube

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 7:41 pm

Inw,
Sure you'll see it when coverage begins - absolute horror show.

Fowler in with a cool 80.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 7:43 pm

Just found it Kwini elsewhere. He could have had a 9 if he had taken care over one of those putts. Reaching over and tapping it back!!!

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Post by Shotrock on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 8:07 pm

Atta boy Jordan! -6 is a heck of a first day.

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Post by beninho on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 8:12 pm

3 shots and an ad break already!

Jordan is pretty good isn't he. Bloody annoying. Is it difficult or not out there?

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Post by Hibbz on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 8:16 pm

Bloody Hell, come on McIlroy there's a worrying collection of my least favourite players gathering towards the top of the leaderboard.

Already find myself getting irritated by the sycophantic coverage. They make out everything is the most amazing thing they've ever seen yet as far as my memory allows most of it's been the same for the last forty years.

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Post by SmithersJones on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 8:16 pm

GPB wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Did Ernie Els really score a TEN on his first hole? Echoes of Hoylake. How do you do that??


In honor of Seve:

Putt and miss

Putt and miss

Putt and miss

Putt and miss

Putt and miss

Putt and miss

Putt and make

I thought that was a joke, but no. 7 putts from 3 feet!
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Post by pedro on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 8:18 pm

Fat Shane on 59 watch. (Shots, not stone.)

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 8:51 pm

Six of England's best under par, and Chris Wood at even par. Unfortunately Andy Sullivan left way behind with his 80.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 9:49 pm

Nice quote from Monty. "Happiness is a long walk with a putter". He said it after Jason Day hit a good shot out of the straw to a par five green.

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Post by pedro on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 10:10 pm

I'm never wrong wrote:Nice quote from Monty. "Happiness is a long walk with a putter glutter".
Here, fixed it for you Monty..

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 10:11 pm

Keep seeing clips of Arnold Palmer and he looks worse in every one. Almost as if something more debilitating than father time has come his way. Looked as if he was nodding off at the Champions photo-shoot.

Not at all bad for some of our Ryder Cup wannabes, so far anyway. Big week for Shane in that regard, quite apart from the obvious.

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Post by pedro on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 10:22 pm

Blubba twice in the drink. Is it the Poultergeist?

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Post by Nay on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 10:30 pm

Poults going round nicely at the moment.


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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 10:33 pm

Spieth, Casey & DeChamby were on the clock for their final two holes - Casey reckons he was surprised it took that long.


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Post by McLaren on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 10:46 pm

The Ernie putting is pretty much one of the funniest things I have seen in a pro event.


If Rory gets to -3 or so by the close of play could UK golf fans have imagined a better start for our fav players?
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Post by GPB on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 10:50 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Spieth, Casey & DeChamby were on the clock for their final two holes - Casey reckons he was surprised it took that long.


In another blog, I pointed out that Spieth's group was on the 15th green while Fowler's group was on the 18th tee (two groups)

Robo pointed out that Oosthuizen-Reed-Dufner were on the 16th green while Spieth's group was on the 15th green.

If that was true, then that tells me that Oosty's group were out of position, not Spieth's group.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 11:26 pm

Four birds in a row from Sergio, that'll urine a lot of people off.

Gobble-di-gook from Casey about reassessing his European Tour membership status if (Big IF, Paul) he wins a Major. How the hell does he think that would work, horse already bolted (kicked out of the stable really), surely?

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 11:29 pm

Day making a right hash of the last few holes. Approaches the par 5 15th just one off the lead on -5, bogeys that one. Then puts his tee shot into the drink on 16 before three-putting from a very poor next shot, triple bogey. Drops another on the next hole, and ends the day on level par. Still in it, but mentally that must be tough to take.

Garcia on a good run at the moment, four birdies 13-16 put him to 3 under.

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Post by Snap Hook on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 11:29 pm

Can we play the Ryder Cup tomorrow please, fancy our chances, really good looking leaderboard for the Euros.

Bubba implosion, like the bad old days. J All Day, human after all.

Really hope Rory can put the screws on Spieth, tournament needs it.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 11:33 pm

McIlroy doing just that with another birdie at 15, good effort after his first putt got away from him a bit (found the green in two). Now onto -4

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Post by McLaren on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 11:54 pm

Rory now back to -3.

Missed exactly the sort of putt he has been missing all season for par on the 16th. Is it a sign of whats to come for him this week (again).


Ps - I managed to get this a global sticky but the shell houston open thread has been put up instead. Doh
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Post by GPB on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 11:55 pm

They are now saying Ernie 6-putted, instead of 7 putting.

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Post by McLaren on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 12:02 am

GPB wrote:They are now saying Ernie 6-putted, instead of 7 putting.

Makes all the difference if he manages to shoot the cut line tomorrow.
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Post by McLaren on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 12:09 am

mods thumbsup
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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 12:13 am

Mac,
His tee shot was the real problem, but agree he's still got top improve that putting. Bit of a dodgy read again?

Big move from Kjeldsen . . . . . . .

Who is quoted as saying this:
"There's a short up there somewhere. A lot of people have given up playing the game because of that."?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 12:16 am


So: Ernie wasn't the only US Open winner to register a NINE then!
PS: The other one still had a decent round.

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Post by Hero on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 12:18 am

Great thread btw Kwini and more than happy to global it!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 12:21 am

Oh Rory Rolling Eyes Crying or Very sad Rolling Eyes Crying or Very sad Rolling Eyes

Thanks Hero,
We try hard every week.

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Post by McLaren on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 12:22 am

Kwini

Never mind the putting, what was he trying to do on 18 with only a 9 iron in hand? McIlroy seriously frustrating to watch at the moment.

He must have a 3/4 swing he can use from 155 to try and knock it close. Why hit it full pelt wide right into the bunker?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 12:31 am

Mac,
Haven't been watching the last few holes, ESPN/CBS's commentators (average age in the 60's), got the better of me. Had to put some decent blues on instead, follow it on-line.

Snap Hook is right though, hope the US plays like this at Hazeltine.

Perhaps Rory can now go out and go low on Friday morning, just like Tiger used to do. Post something in the mid-60's and give Spieth something to think about.

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Post by McLaren on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 12:39 am

Be careful knocking guy in theit 60's you will have Gary Player on your case.  Did you read/hear his rant about Nobilo and another GC commentators comments during the ceremonial tee shots?

Apparently we don't know what humans can do these days!

http://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepage/2016/4/7/gary-player-i-listened-to-the-golf-channel-yesterday-and-ive.html
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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 12:44 am

Mac,
I'm catching Gary Player up fast.
But, really, let's have a smattering of guys who are current, leavened with a bit of perspective - OK, Kostis and perhaps IBF. Jim Nantz and Verne and the always unctuous Tirico have been drinking the proverbial cool aid for too long.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 08 Apr 2016, 9:48 am

Today's cut will be Top 50, plus those within ten strokes of the lead.

Plenty of golfers within ten of Spieth's overnight lead have plenty of work to do to stick around.
But Kisner, Simpson, Fowler, Ryan Moore and Sullivan are among the bigger names currently more than ten shots adrift.


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