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PGA Tour: THE PLAYERS Championship: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 11 May 2016, 4:23 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).THE PLAYERS? Well, that's what they call it, capital letters included; perhaps to convince Commish Timmy that it's really a Major? But lots of American touring pros regard it at least as a small "m" major so let's treat it as such here.

2).We're all familiar with the TPC Sawgrass course, warts 'n all. It is tweaked every year but is receiving a face lift after this year's tournament, the most obvious change being to rework the 12th hole from a short dog-leg left Par-4 to a driveable Par-4. Not sure why they would do that but driveable Par-4's are fashionable, anything to favour length over finesse, and Sawgrass doesn't have a reachable Par-4 as things currently stand.

3).An interesting take on length over finesse was brought up by Faldo during last week's broadcast from Quail Hollow - the amount of money/tournaments won by the longest guys on Tour compared to the straightest. Can't remember the exact numbers he used but here's what he was looking at in terms of 2014/15 stats:

4).Long:
318 yds: Dustin Johnson: Won $5.5M and one tournament
315 yds: Bubba Watson: Won $6.9M and two tournaments (plus one this season)
314 yds: Jason Day: Won $9.4M and five tournaments (plus two)
312 yds: Adam Scott: Won $1.3M, no wins (but two this year)
310 yds: JB Holmes: Won $4.0M, one win

5).Straight:
First five, you can find the stats, imagine the arithmetic: Molinari, Toms, Reavie, Leonard, Bohn.
One winner in the top ten was Zach Johnson (8th in %age of fairways hit), and that was at St.Andrews where any poster knows he should have gone round in 4 x 59's.
Only other winners among the straightest 48 were Ryan Moore (in Malaysia) and Furyk (Harbour Town).

6).It's a sign of the genius of Pete Dye, then, that TPC Sawgrass rewards all golfers if they're good enough with recent winners including long-ballers such as Norman, Couples, Scott, Mickelson, Love, Woods, Garcia and even Fowler. And shorties like Tim Clark and Fred Funk.
Having said which, don't invest your life savings on:
DJ: 6 appearances, no top 30 finishes, only one round in the 60's.
or:
Bubba: 8 trips, nothing better than T37 and only five rounds in the 60's.

7).But, who really knows??!! Two weeks ago Brian Stuard surprised us (and him?), whilst James Hahn came in to Quail Hollow on a roll - eight consecutive missed cuts.
With those thoughts in mind, has there ever been a more surprising winner of The Players than Craig Perks? He won't be troubling us this week, unless he's droning on in the Golf Channel commentary box, but his win was a shocker.

8).Ryder Cup wannabes, from both sides of the Atlantic, have pretty much been treading water since the Masters, but that will doubtless change as big tournaments are in prospect on both Tours.
The Players is seldom kind to European golfers who haven't embraced the PGA Tour, though one could say that Kaymer's win two years ago was an exception. (I see Kaymer has said he's finished after this week with his 2016 US commitments except for Majors, next season tba.)
But Sergio has a fantastic record here, Stenson's a winner, Luke Donald, Padraig Harrington and Martin Laird have all runnered up, and I fancy Molinari to have a good week now that he's showing some form.

9).Rory has never seemed to care for Sawgrass but perhaps he's getting the hang of it. Missed the cut on his first three visits, Top Ten finishes the next three. The impartial observer in me hopes for another Top Ten!
Whilst Justin Rose's "ball-striking" was terrific at Quail Hollow, only to see his putter desert him. This week will be warm and the greens could get baked out so a dodgy putting stroke won't help one bit.
Lowry and Willett missed the cut last year on their Players debut, but Russell Knox earned a top twenty finish and local knowledge will hopefully help him contend this year.
And it'll be interesting to see how Fitzpatrick and Sullivan play on their debut.

10).There seems to be a school (OK, NBC's Johnny Miller/Mark Rolfing) of thought that Jordan Spieth will have a hard time getting over his Augusta setback. Don't see it myself, think he's that good he'll be back in the winning saddle soon, perhaps in Texas the next week or two.
But just as Spieth seems to have a perfect game for Sawgrass, so does Danny Willett. He's been enjoying some time off - though probably not enough to warrant the Beef-like inference of golfchannel.com's headline: "Lots of drinking" post-Masters.
But is this the year that the Casey/Donald/Howell/Poulter/Rose/Westwood generation of English golfers, despite the continued excellence of some of them, is finally shoved aside by the twenty-somethings?
Danny Willett is certainly leading by example, and I like this quote from Golf Digest:
"I've got my own set of expectations of what I want to do for myself, so I'm not really too fussed about what everybody else thinks. If I do my bit, and what I've done over the last 18 months, two years, then it's proved to myself that I can do some pretty special things."  
Pretty special so far.

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Post by beninho on Fri 13 May 2016, 3:58 pm

Rory will blow it on the front 9. He hates those holes!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 13 May 2016, 4:55 pm

Jason Day shot 81 in Round 2 last year - there's hope for (almost) everyone!

8 under, and a front-nine birdie. Come on Rors.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 13 May 2016, 6:22 pm

Not the defence of his title that Rickie Fowler was looking for - cut. Along with Ryder Cup team-mates Reed, Mahan (no surprise there unfortunately) and Jimmy Walker who's shooting 80-something.
Harrington and Sullivan going home, but Mac's gleeful prediction of an early bath for Adam Scott proved premature.

Horse for this course? Alex Cejka tied for clubhouse lead but he's been there before, second and third round leader in 2009 where he played in the final pairing with T.Woods - didn't do either of 'em any good as Stenson won handsomely.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 13 May 2016, 6:43 pm

Rory tears up the script for a course record 62 - bogeyed his last for a 64 instead.

The birdies/eagles of earlier seem to have faded a little, -2 looks like the cut, but if it goes to -3 McDool and Kjeldsen will be left behind.

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Post by McLaren on Fri 13 May 2016, 6:54 pm

Nothing gleeful about the prospect of Adam missing the cut, just seemed a tough way to finish when so many low scores were flying about. Well done if he has made the cut.
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Post by McLaren on Sat 14 May 2016, 3:02 pm

What was the reason for the rounds not get completed yesterday?

There wasn't any bad weather so was it just down to very slow play?
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Post by GPB on Sat 14 May 2016, 3:59 pm

Play was suspended for two hours because of lightning in the area at 4:08 PM local time.

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Post by McLaren on Sat 14 May 2016, 4:00 pm

I see, I didn't get a chance to watch any of the golf yesterday. Thanks.
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Post by beninho on Sat 14 May 2016, 4:37 pm

Is their anyway jason day doesn't win this? He is like a mixture of all good golfers. Hits it miles great iron play and short game. Just slow as hell. He really could dominate for a while.

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Post by GPB on Sat 14 May 2016, 9:41 pm

Spieth-Sergio-Johnson(x2)-Walker-Poulter-Koepka among the notables in Dallas next week

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Post by GPB on Sun 15 May 2016, 1:25 am

I believe Ken Duke's round today qualifies as Round of Year, in terms of Z-Score. Beating out Snedeker's final round at the Farmers.

Ken Duke's Z-Score was 3.25 today.

Avg Score was 75.592
Stdev was 3.254
Z-Score 3.254 :::::::::: (75.592 - 65) / 3.254


BTW: Standard Deviation and Z-score at 3.25 is a coincidence, not a mistake (double checked)

============

Snedeker's data

Sneds shot 69, 
Avg was 77.9 
StDev was 3.12 
Z-Score of 2.85
(77.9 - 69) / 3.12 => 2.85

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Post by Shotrock on Sun 15 May 2016, 3:53 am

Very impressive from Duke. Not so much from Rory.


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Post by raycastleunited on Sun 15 May 2016, 10:12 am

Russell Knox meltdown on 17. Three balls in the water to drop out of contention. And a Sergio 6 putt to delight some people on here. But plenty of birdies and eagles out there to show why duke and matsuyama were able to post those scores.

Jay day is currently driving it as long as anyone, hitting those big high Rory iron shots, chipping and putting like Spieth last year. 16th becomes a mockery of a par 5 when you can reach it with 3 wood and 8 iron. 18th is a less intimidating tee shot when you can hit an iron off the tee 288 yards. He had a wobble yesterday , but day looks like he could produce some tiger-like dominant performances this summer.

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Post by McLaren on Sun 15 May 2016, 11:10 am

GPB

Thanks for the numbers, I bet all the players ask for their Z score (Standard score) when they get back into the clubhouse.


But never mind Z score what unit of time is suitable for recording Day's pace of play?
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Post by Shotrock on Sun 15 May 2016, 5:35 pm

Unless Day goes Sergio-like on the greens today (not likely), this should be all his. Look forward to the final round.

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Post by McLaren on Sun 15 May 2016, 5:51 pm

Rory apparently hit 16/18 greens in Rd 3.
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Post by AlciG on Sun 15 May 2016, 8:26 pm

Rory will probably back his way into a top 5 again in the final round Smile

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 15 May 2016, 10:29 pm

Not unless something(s) go very wrong for a bunch of contenders.

Seems like everyone hits the buffers at 10 under except Day who slides down from the -teens and then birdies back.

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Post by puligny on Sun 15 May 2016, 11:55 pm

Day right now just very good in all areas - including mentally! Well done Aussie!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 16 May 2016, 1:11 am

Yup, True dat puligny, He won it on Thursday and Friday and no-one could get close enough to challenge him.

Some disappointing results from some Europeans, for sure, but Day made all the crucial putts he had to and kept his ball in play sufficiently well to get away with what turned out to be a (superficially) easy win. Just too good.

Plenty of back-door Top Tens but, not for Rory. His putting was disappointing thru'out, but the remarkable stat to me was that Kevin Chappell lost 1.1 strokes per round to the field on the greens; Jason Day gained 1.45 strokes per round on the greens.
Amazing really! If Chappell can ever get his head on straight he'll be a contender every week. Big IF.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 16 May 2016, 2:05 pm

What did everyone make of The Players?
Thought Day was almost Tiger-like, going out with a course record-ish round, establishing a 36-hole margin then challenge the field to come and get him. Which they never looked like doing, all self-destructing in their own way.

Terrible Shinnecock-like greens/browns/greys on Saturday, making that day's play a bit of a farce, especially when the wind was up. Finchem's little joke perhaps?

I see Rory is "looking forward to going to a nice, traditional golf-course. Not like we're playing on the moon." Said apparently in reference to Oakmont vs Chambers Bay, but could just as easily have referred to the putting surfaces at Sawgrass.

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Post by raycastleunited on Mon 16 May 2016, 2:44 pm

I have a theory about Saturday at the Players. After Day had blitzed the course on the first 2 days, everyone was looking at the leaderboard thinking they need to take on the pins and be be agressive in search of birdies. Also, there was less need to be conservative because everyone had made the cut. And so they got suckered in. Some of the shots I saw were just foolish given the pin positions. The guys who were patient and respected the conditions managed to score. Duke said he thought the set up at the Open and US Open was often tougher.

It was a bit like a limited overs cricket match. When the team batting first posts a big score, the chasing team often crumbles and is all out for a low total, despite batting on a perfect surface, all because of scoreboard pressure.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Mon 16 May 2016, 3:05 pm

Pretty good assessment, that, I reckon.
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Post by Shotrock on Mon 16 May 2016, 3:09 pm

If low score wins a tournament (and last I checked it still does), and the governing bodies are concerned (or embarrassed?) that players are going "low in relation to par", I would rather see them make every par 4 under 350 yards a par 3 or make every par 5 under 600 yards a par 4.

That way they protect their cherished scoring and don't have to tune up the greens to billiard table speed.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 16 May 2016, 3:43 pm

I reckon this article tells the story:

http://www.golfchannel.com/news/will-gray/tour-battles-two-way-miss-course-setup-all-week/?cid=Email_MondayNL_20160516

Interesting that these quotes only include those from British golfers; what do other countries' pros have to say?
Not the first time TPC Sawgrass has got it all wrong and, unless they learn their lessons - "Hello, May I speak to Kerry Haigh?" - they'll mess it up again.

Have a feeling though that Day would have come out on top even if they'd played up and down I95.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 16 May 2016, 4:50 pm

I do sometimes wish the pro's would just play the course whatever the conditions and worry about getting as low a score as possible instead of whinging about the set up. I am no fan of rapid green speeds and agree with shotrocks proposal but if the greens are fast does have the field really need to throw a hissy fit about it?
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Post by beninho on Mon 16 May 2016, 4:50 pm

who doesn't moan about their job?

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Post by raycastleunited on Mon 16 May 2016, 5:40 pm

beninho wrote:who doesn't moan about their job?

haha. indeed!

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Post by GPB on Mon 16 May 2016, 7:10 pm

Shows that a course with below average length rough can be tough

TPC started the week with 2" high rough which I think should be the top end of the standard length for rough.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 17 May 2016, 3:54 pm

Two inches is certainly all they need with Bermuda grass in the rough. But don't you place any premium on driving straight GPB?

BBC reporting that Troon are canvassing their members about admitting women members . . . . . . about time, though one wonders what sort of response they'll earn if the members vote NO!

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Post by super_realist on Tue 17 May 2016, 4:01 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Two inches is certainly all they need with Bermuda grass in the rough. But don't you place any premium on driving straight GPB?

BBC reporting that Troon are canvassing their members about admitting women members . . . . . . about time, though one wonders what sort of response they'll earn if the members vote NO!

I was in the R&A Clubhouse the other day, and there were a lot of women in there as guests.

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Post by raycastleunited on Tue 17 May 2016, 6:39 pm

super_realist wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Two inches is certainly all they need with Bermuda grass in the rough. But don't you place any premium on driving straight GPB?

BBC reporting that Troon are canvassing their members about admitting women members . . . . . . about time, though one wonders what sort of response they'll earn if the members vote NO!

I was in the R&A Clubhouse the other day, and there were a lot of women in the kitchen .

Fixed it for you.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 17 May 2016, 8:21 pm

So long as super is chasing in the pantry and not the country . . . . . .

Retief Goosen with a Special Exemption into the US Open.

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Post by McLaren on Wed 18 May 2016, 11:57 am

Golf digest have a story online at the moment with the headline "The Body Part You Never Thought Of That Could Be Ruining Your Swing"

and photo

Photo of TIger:
PGA Tour: THE PLAYERS Championship: Notes from the Ballwasher - Page 2 Blogs-the-loop-Tiger%20Thurs
Anyone else thinking dick?


https://www.golfdigest.com/story/the-body-part-you-never-thought-of-that-could-be-ruining-your-swing?mbid=social_twitter
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Post by pedro on Wed 18 May 2016, 8:06 pm

Well, as Tiger has nine chins to control I wish him good luck!

(Mac, Tiger is half Asian so I dunno how much it'll bother his swing...)

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Post by pedro on Wed 18 May 2016, 8:09 pm

super_realist wrote:
kwinigolfer wrote:Two inches is certainly all they need with Bermuda grass in the rough. But don't you place any premium on driving straight GPB?

BBC reporting that Troon are canvassing their members about admitting women members . . . . . . about time, though one wonders what sort of response they'll earn if the members vote NO!

I was in the R&A Clubhouse the other day, and there were a lot of women in the managers office.
Fixed it for you.

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Post by McLaren on Wed 18 May 2016, 8:44 pm

Muirfield also acting like tools over letting women into the club. They are holding a ballot but have leaked a letter which says they are only having the ballot as the media have held them to ransom over the issue since the 2013 open.

What bunch of tossers.
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Post by super_realist on Wed 18 May 2016, 9:15 pm

Mac, have you heard if there is a similar clamour to let men join the St Regulus club in St.Andrews?

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Post by McLaren on Wed 18 May 2016, 9:49 pm

No idea super, but hardly the same is it. The main oppressor (white, wealthy men) in our societies history continuing to discriminate against the other sex is not the same as an all female club. Why do MRA's have such a hard time accepting a massive imbalance of power still exists?
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Post by pedro on Wed 18 May 2016, 9:55 pm

Think you're b!tching now mac. boxing

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Post by McLaren on Wed 18 May 2016, 10:03 pm

super realist writing his reply..

https://i.imgur.com/rBMWElX.gifv
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Post by super_realist on Wed 18 May 2016, 10:08 pm

McLaren wrote:No idea super, but hardly the same is it.  The main oppressor (white, wealthy men) in our societies history continuing to discriminate against the other sex is not the same as an all female club.  Why do MRA's have such a hard time accepting a massive imbalance of power still exists?

I'd rather there was simply no such thing as male or female clubs Mac.

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Post by McLaren on Wed 18 May 2016, 10:18 pm

I agree, but that doesn't mean you can make the comparison you tried to make earlier.
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Post by super_realist on Wed 18 May 2016, 10:22 pm

McLaren wrote:I agree, but that doesn't mean you can make the comparison you tried to make earlier.

Of course I can. You can't be in favour of women being admitted to male only clubs but not have it the other way round of you want to be consistent. If you are in favour of equality, it has to be equal for everyone, at all times, regardless of whether you perceive there to have been discrimination more in favour of men over the years.

Out of interest, has anyone ever been anywhere where they've ever thought "I'm glad women aren't allowed in here"?

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Post by pedro on Wed 18 May 2016, 10:32 pm

A male public toilet in India?

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Post by Plunky on Thu 19 May 2016, 3:50 am

I play all my golf on public courses over here--equal acess for all !  Most golfers I encounter are men and most courses seem designed with them in mind.  Forward tees are often an afterthought and are not well positioned and/or not well maintained. I've seen men roll their eyes when they have to play with a woman, ask to switch their tee time because they don't want to follow a group of women, and don't even get me started on the unsolicited swing advice I've received over the years (typically from men who have problems finding the fairway off the tee and who routinely "give" themselves putts of 2-3 ft) steam . You can call for all golf clubs to be mixed, but how do you shift the notion that golf is essentially a man's game, particularly when that notion is regularly reinforced by various golf magazines, the golf channel, etc ?

There is of course always the chance that this is a NY area issue which doesn't exist on the other side of the pond ?!

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Post by navyblueshorts on Thu 19 May 2016, 9:59 am

McLaren wrote:No idea super, but hardly the same is it.  The main oppressor (white, wealthy men) in our societies history continuing to discriminate against the other sex is not the same as an all female club.  Why do MRA's have such a hard time accepting a massive imbalance of power still exists?
picard You can't have it both ways I'm afraid old son.
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Post by McLaren on Thu 19 May 2016, 11:25 am

Plunky

I am not female so can't really understand what it is like to play as a female at UK clubs but I have witnessed all the behavior mentioned in your post. The idea that women are slower players is pervasive in UK golf but as far as I can tell the distribution of slow players is equal across the sexes. To borrow a word from another thread, the number of times you see a male "hacker" mouthing off about poor play or slow play from a female playing is embarrassing.

Great point about the magazines, in the last five years golf digest has pretty much turned into a lads mag. I think the only front cover with an LPGA player for years was Lexi Thompson with only a towel covering her breasts.

As for forward tees, it would be great for the game if they were well placed and used by all players. I would like to see a study to check if getting players playing forward could speed up the game.


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What do you mean by "both ways"?
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Post by LadyPutt on Thu 19 May 2016, 12:26 pm

Plunky wrote:There is of course always the chance that this is a NY area issue which doesn't exist on the other side of the pond ?!
Nope! Whistle

I agree 100% with the rest of your post but fortunately there are some clubs (hard to find but they are there with a few enlightened male members) where that is not the case and I seek them out.
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Post by navyblueshorts on Thu 19 May 2016, 1:04 pm

McLaren wrote:Navy

What do you mean by "both ways"?
You can't bang on about misogynism and all-male memberships being anathema and simply ignore the reverse scenario. If male-only clubs are not to be tolerated, then neither should female-only.
Just to be clear, I'm not advocating ignoring the male-only nonsense at all, but if that should go, so should the equivalent and opposite. Same for all eh?
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