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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 McLaren on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 3:25 pm

INW

Thanks, I watched the video, might read the text later.


I will freely admit that I am really a Tiger fan and not a golf fan.  At least that is how golf started for me.  My Dad played golf and he and my mum watched golf long before the 1997 masters, but I just wasn't interested.  Staying up late at a friends house watching Tiger win the 1997 masters is what got me hooked on the game and it was solely because I instantly fell in love with Tiger.  :censored:


Within days we were out in the local park using the crappy old clubs from my garage that my dad had tried to get me to use for quite some time, and I requested a junior set for my next (11th) birthday that summer.   I tuned into golf to watch Tiger and nothing else.  I played the Tiger woods golf games on the playstation.   I only stayed up to watch the US open or PGA if tiger was in contention.  Although by 15 or so I did tend to watch most of the bigger events regardless of Tigers prospects.

As sad as you may think this story is, it is not unique for my age group. You only have to look at all the nike caps in the photos of my junior golf days to see this.  It was tigers shots we were trying to emulate as the sun set not the likes of Els, VJ, Toms, Duval etc.

As McIlroy said at the end of the video "he brought a whole new demographic into golf".  I would love to see some data on junior golf participation before, during and after Tiger's reign.

Without Tiger, I doubt I would be as hooked on the game as I became (or indeed into it all).

So Tiger gave the game Mac if nothing else.


Last edited by McLaren on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 3:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by McLaren on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 3:36 pm

PS, I apologize of this caused super to dry boak.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 4:01 pm

Par-3 tee-times:

https://twitter.com/RexHoggardGC/status/717727127341297664

I like the 1.03 p.m. Saffer group or the 3.44 p.m. Chubsters.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 4:06 pm

Rich Beem at 3.51?

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Post by McLaren on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 4:08 pm

Was it not possible to make it so Ryan Moore didn't have to play alone?
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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 4:26 pm

INW, I saw a comment from Davis Love III about how he could have played in the par 3 contest as a major winners but didn't want to go unless he could play in the Masters. Whatever event it was that he won meant he could do both.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 4:29 pm

Aaah. Thanks. That explains Vinny Giles who won the US & British Amateur Championships.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 6:23 pm

https://twitter.com/TheMasters/status/717502809143451648/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Do we think we know who this lot are?

I know I'm not sure of one or two, and can't see a couple, Langer for one, and can't identify the gent behind Billy Payne. Is it Sandy Lyle in disguise? And is that Finchem next to him? Who invited him??

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Post by Hibbz on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 6:36 pm

Surely that's the wonderful Bernhard middle row five from the right? Lyle is stood behind Woosnam isn't he?

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 6:51 pm

The one looks more like Martin Short than Langer.

Out of the 30 I can spot/recognise/guess at this lot:
Vijay, Trevor, Tiger, Phil, Fuzzy, Walrus, a half hidden Cabrera, Woosnam, Player, Spieth (sitting), Faldo, Watson (B), Langer/Short, Schwartzel, Scott, O'Meara, Johnson, Watson (T), Weir, Palmer (sitting)

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 7:00 pm

Lyle,
I guessed that was Tommy Aaron.


See, I'm all messed up, thought that was Larry Mize between Watson & Schwartzel.

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Post by 1GrumpyGolfer on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 7:16 pm

Probably right that it's Mize hiding part of Schwartzel. Trouble is I can't remember/be ar$ed to look at which old timers won it a while back. Would have thought Crenshaw would be there but couldn't/didn't spot him.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 7:25 pm

My guess is that those seated are:
Doug Ford, Crenshaw, Spieth, Billy Payne, Nicklaus, Palmer, Floyd

Standing:
Vijay - by himself as always - Immelman, Woods, Phil, Phuzzy, Cabrera, Stads, Woosie (he's shrunk), guessing Aaron, Player, Goalby, Coody, Faldo, ?, Bubba, Finchem, Mize, Charl, Scott, Fatty O'Meara, Zach, Tom Watson, Weir.

No Couples, Jackie Burke, JMO, and one of Aaron/Langer/Lyle.

Still not convinced about Bernhard . . . . . . . .

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Post by I'm never wrong on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 7:41 pm

Isn't it Crenshaw to the left of Scott, blocking out Schwartzel?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 8:37 pm

Just saw another pic which I can't link.
Hibbz is definitely correct About Bernhard - no Finchem to be seen. Amazing how deceptive some photos are!
But that's defo Crenshaw sat between Doug Ford and Spieth.

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Post by pedro on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 8:54 pm

Isn't it Lyle behind Woosie? (Not Aaron)?

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Post by Hibbz on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 8:57 pm

Kwini mate, despite the question marks I wasn't really asking. It's definitely Langer, likewise Lyle is definitely stood behind Woosnam.

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Post by Davie on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 9:10 pm

6 holes in one now in the par 3 contest? I know they put the pins in easy positions, but really they must have funnels leading down to the holes.

Even Gary (even-more-FIGJAM-than-phat-phil) Player got one!

EDIT: Is that now 7? or just endless replays of the 6? At this rate even old Jack could get one - if he could actually get the ball on the green to start with ... how sad is that to watch?

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Post by I'm never wrong on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 9:12 pm

They are ripping up the par 3 course. As of now 8 hole in ones.

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Post by Shotrock on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 9:15 pm

Quit making up those Finchem stories Kwin! Wink

But, if anyone needs to throw up here's the link to watch today ...

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=jack%20nicklaus%20masters%20security


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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 9:19 pm

Hibbz,
I agree!! From the pic I posted I couldn't tell but in the second one it's obvious!
And: Am definitely prepared to believe that is Lyle behind Woosnam.
Presumably Aaron between Coody & Langer.

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Post by Davie on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 9:19 pm

Is that 10 aces now? I'm losing count! No doubt Gary Player will tell us his was the best though

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Post by pedro on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 9:45 pm

Shotrock wrote:Quit making up those Finchem stories Kwin! Wink

But, if anyone needs to throw up here's the link to watch today ...

https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=jack%20nicklaus%20masters%20security

Should Jack really be driving? He can hardly see over the steering wheel.

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Post by GPB on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 9:55 pm

Ollie is missing along with Freddie and Jackie Burke.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 1:43 am

Interesting reports that Spieth damaged his driver earlier today and will be using a Titleist replacement Thursday morning.

8.20 a.m. can't come soon enough!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 3:04 am

Latest hourly forecast for you early European risers:

https://weather.com/weather/hourbyhour/l/USGA0032:1:US

If those electric looking storms descend on schedule, there could possibly be a short delay, but otherwise the week looks sunny and breezy/windy, at least thru Saturday. Make of that what you will.

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Post by super_realist on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 6:46 am

Shouldn't think that will be a problem for the Balding Fat Faced Science Denier Kwini given that it was a Titleist Driver he broke.

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Post by Roller_Coaster on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 8:57 am

It's only a bit of fun, blah blah, it's for the kids and families etc etc.

But Walker hits a Par 3 course record of 19 and the coverage of the shots finished after his seventh hole. Maybe it's not important but I would have thought they'd have at least showed replays of the last 2 on Sky. We did see (and I was mildly interested in seeing) quite a lot of Jack, Tom and Player (hitting his 31st hole in 1). Player looks bloody sprightly for 80! Jack very much less so...

9 holes in 1, 2 by 1 group on one hole (Fowler and JT (whose full name I forget) watched on by Spieth) and Andy Sullivan bubbling, bouncing and being generally effervescent bagged one too. First time I'd seen anything of him on telly was his "first drive to/up Magnolia lane" thing. Tells you nothing of his golf but he seemed like a pleasant chap.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 11:02 am

Kwini

I think the course was soaked in a thunder storm during the night. So probably softer conditions for round 1.
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Post by Roller_Coaster on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 11:13 am

All the players Sky spoke to were expecting that weather, but interesting that (it seemed) all of them that had been going for a while said the course was as firm and fast as they'd ever seen it. Combine this with the expected winds for the early rounds and they mostly thought the pack would be tight.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 11:52 am

For those that cannot wait until 7pm for the start of live coverage on Sky (although that usually means 8pm after all the chit chat) I saw that there was "Red button" coverage much earlier. I think it was Amen Corner and the 16th, a featured group and something else (can't remember). Each comes on at different times.

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Post by pedro on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 12:36 pm

Do you ever think they'll rename Amen Corner to Science Corner?

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Post by sirbenson on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 12:46 pm

http://www.masters.com/en_US/news/articles/2016-04-05/featured_groups_for_thursday_and_friday.html

These are the featured groups on Sky's red button!!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 12:46 pm

Not if Andy Fairweather Low has anything to do about it.
Or James Baldwin for that matter.

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Post by sirbenson on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 12:47 pm

https://twitter.com/JasonSobelESPN/status/718034247701950464

Winds look to be quite strong in the afternoon!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 1:07 pm

Here we go! Player wins the Seniors' long drive contest.

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Post by Roller_Coaster on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 1:13 pm

Damn - I had my money on Peter Senior

drumroll

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Post by pedro on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 1:15 pm

I have to admit I like Gary Player. I know a lot on here think he's full of himself, but I think he's honest and usually has something interesting to say.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 1:21 pm

Pedro

You can't have read his books from 70's discussing his views on apartheid.
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Post by super_realist on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 1:22 pm

I'd be amazed if you have Mac.

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Post by McLaren on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 1:29 pm

I have seen reports of what he wrote. I assume you will not accept this as i did not read the entire book myself.
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Post by pedro on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 1:30 pm

McLaren wrote:Pedro

You can't have read his books from 70's discussing his views on apartheid.
I'm sure they're pretty in line with those of Augusta National..

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Post by pedro on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 1:34 pm

pedro wrote:
McLaren wrote:Pedro

You can't have read his books from 70's discussing his views on apartheid.
I'm sure they're pretty in line with those of Augusta National..
PS. He plays in black. Does that help?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 1:36 pm

The perennial question as The Masters begins:
How long will it take for them to feed the meter of their web-site's leaderboard?

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Post by pedro on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 1:39 pm

McLaren wrote:I have seen reports of what he wrote.  I assume you will not accept this as i did not read the entire book myself.
OK did some googling. It appears that your poster boy and ex-terrorist (at least according to the US and UK) Nelson Mandela is full of praise for Player and what he did to end apartheid. Good enough for me.

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Post by sirbenson on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 1:51 pm

Jim Herman is on 54 watch!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 1:55 pm

And Steven Bowditch is on 99 watch - five shots behind after 2 holes. The Aston Villa of Masters week.

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Post by sirbenson on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 1:56 pm

http://www.sportsfan.com.au/ailments-behind-golfer-bowditchs-slump/tabid/91/newsid/194269/default.aspx to be fair Kwini this was just tweeted, so he has been playing through injury.

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Post by pedro on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 2:04 pm

And Lowry is on weight watch..

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 07 Apr 2016, 2:05 pm

sirb,
Thanks for that. Sounds like he's made pretty much every mistake in the book - he has a long-term exemption so use it to just get healthy!!!! I see he has his first par so perhaps things are looking up.

Incidentally, the Par-4 3rd (350-ish yds) is the only Par-4 shorter than 440 yards. Wish they'd mix it up a little, offer more variety on the Par-4's. Great Par-3's, iconic Par-5's, but the Par-4's are nowhere near so memorable.

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