PGA Tour: The FedEx Play-Offs: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer on Tue 06 Aug 2019, 6:56 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).Whatever anyone thinks about the 2018/2019 schedule, the fact remains that the PGA Tour's efforts to monopolise the year's golfing calendar culminate these next three weeks in the FedEx Play Offs and, at latest count, 121 of the 125 leading FedEx Points earners over the past 10 or 11 months get to play for $gazillions.

2).I'm inclined to agree with Eamon Lynch writing in GolfWeek that it would be nice if the PGA "Tour worried about what golf fans want to see, and not football fans".
But money talks and has usurped sports in every corner of the world so why should golf be any different? Perhaps FedEx will deploy their immense resources somewhere else one day, but for now we're stuck with this year's schedule.
Or at least until they decide that the NFL's "Pre Season" should also take precedence and the FedEx Play-Offs will occur before, or perhaps simultaneously with, The Open Championship?

3).FedEx Champ Justin Rose has already lamented the changes and clearly other leading pros are reviewing their seasons in light of the "compressed" series of big events.
The one comment that should resonate with the Tour is Jack Nicklaus's reflection of what made the Tour what it is, the series of "community" events staged around the country, and which are slowly being superseded by the series of mega tournaments thru'out the year - it's not clear yet whether the smaller events, and last week's stop in Greensboro could be a case in point, have regressed from "endangered species" to potentially "extinct", but the threat is there.
And, what an irony that the Tour incessantly trumpets the "charitable contributions" generated by the Tour (which helps protect the Tour's tax status), but renders expendable those events, especially in Texas, which annually makes the largest of those contributions.

4).But this is America, or at least the Big Tour, and it is what it is.

5).The Play-Offs have lost a tournament since last year, and the "Northern Trust" will now be shared by the Boston and New York markets, which in itself reminds one how ludicrous it is that NYC only gets half a Tour event per year.
125 golfers qualify for the Northern Trust, and the leading 70 in FedEx Points at close of play Sunday advance to Medinah in Chicago and the "BMW".
Then 30 move on to Hotlanta, whose event has morphed into a handicap tournament which is just about the most absurd thing in sporting history. Almost as bad as ending football games on penalties. (Rumours here that the NRA plans to take the Tour Championship over and initiate a shotgun start.)

6).I won't try to explain the handicap system as I still can't wrap by brain around it, but suffice it so say that pgatour.com describes it as offering "more drama, simplicity". You be the judge.

7).The big FedEx beneficiaries over the years have mostly been the usual suspects, but worth noting their accumulated "bonus pool" goodies nevertheless. The Top 12 have all piled up $10mil or more. $K:
28,275: Woods
15,900: McIlroy
15,247: Furyk
14,665: Spieth
14,508: Rose
13,758: Stenson
12,298: Snedeker
11,645: Horschel
11,475: Bill Haas
11,272: Singh
11,145: Thomas
10,557: Dustin Johnson
Followed by Stricker, Mickelson, Kuchar, Donald, Day.

7).Among those named above, it is quite possible that Messrs Haas and Donald will reappear, not in these Play-Offs but in the KFC series which begins on Thursday week for the leading 75 "Korn Ferry" players and #126 to #200 on the FedEx Points table. I wonder if Alex Noren will participate?

8).With 55 golfers destined to be eliminated after the Northern Trust, their next chance to tee it up on Tour will be the second week in September, in West Virginia's Greenbrier Resort. Followed by:
Sanderson Farms, Jackson, Mississippi
Safeway, Napa Valley, California
Las Vegas
Houston
Far East limited field money grabs
Bermuda (opposite field event the same week as the WGC in China)
Mayakoba, Mexico
RSM, Sea Island, Georgia

9).Sergio Garcia tees it up this week, needing a good result to move on. I'll defend Sergio to the hilt until he goes over the edge, which he seems to have done temperamentally these past few months. Will he sit himself down and take a time out, a la 2010? Or will the Tour do it for him? Both the European and PGA Tours need to be more transparent about discipline and hopefully the European Tour will publish any sanctions against Sergio and, also, of course, Thorbjorn Olesen.  

10).Off for a couple of days of tennis, a little easier for me to figure out than these Play-Offs.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed 14 Aug 2019, 7:26 pm

GPB wrote:US Amateur goes into Match Play portion today, but not before there was a 27 player playoff for the last three spots.

Already Eliminated from the playoff is Jovan Revula, Ernie Els nephew  (winner of the 2018 British Amateur).  

A few Euros did make the Match play including Mattie Fitz's younger brother, Alex and Irishman James Sugrue, the 2019 British Amateur winner,


Thanks for the update, GPB.


Lots going on this week including the Beemer, at Medinah, but also the Amateur PLUS the first ever KFC event, (with Sergio surprisingly absent).

The WTF series formally sponsored by web.com is now the Korn Ferry Championship series, with 25 Tour cards on offer.

Too many old Tour lags present to mention them all but European competitors include Messrs:
Jaeger, Power, Ben Taylor, Hovland and Jacobson.
Plus Cappelen & Norlander who have already earned their membership.

This week's event is being played at The Ohio State University's "Scarlet" Course.

If anyone should wonder why there are so many millionaire lawyers in the USA, wonder no longer, as Ohio State Uni is looking to trademark the word "The" to satisfy their operation's name, The Ohio State University.
Hope that effort falls to earth even quicker than today's stock market. Whatever next??!!

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Post by GPB on Wed 14 Aug 2019, 9:22 pm

Datagolf is giving Hovland an 87% chance of getting his PGATour Card and a 9/1 favorite this week.

The next favorite (Kevin Chappell) is about 33/1 and Justin Harding at 40/1.

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Post by GPB on Wed 14 Aug 2019, 10:17 pm

1971 Masters Champion Charles Coody has two grandsons into the Round of 32 at the US Amateur.

Parker and Pierson Coody

They are on opposites sides of the bracket, so they would not meet until the finals should they keep on winning.

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Post by pedro on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 11:38 am

GPB wrote:Datagolf is giving Hovland an 87% chance of getting his PGATour Card
Martin Kaymer's chances are now 100% as he just got his Tour Card renewed.

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Post by robopz on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 12:24 pm

BMW was supposed to end their sponsorship of this week's PGA Tour event this year... But in an apparent about face, they're reportedly going to renew for at least three more years.  This is probably good news for the Euro Tour as well... Their sponsorship of the BMW PGA (but not BMW International in Germany) is also supposedly at risk.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 2:41 pm

UTTERLY USELESS TRIVIA:
Or: Bernhard Langer needs to make even more hay sharpish.
(Which means GPB will be on it in a flash.)


Senior Golf, whether the various Senior Tours around the world or the Champions Tour, are pro golfers' mulligan or annuity, depending upon how successful they are, of course.

Pro lose their game or competitive edge, they get old like the rest of us, and younger golfers "age up" to add to the competition.
Regardless, you'd better make your money while you can.

And at no time, possibly in the 40 years that pro Senior golf has been a thing, has a more distinguished group of pros been on the 49-years-old threshold of the Seniors.

Quite apart from solid pros who have enjoyed decent careers but not much more, ELEVEN pros who have played Presidents Cup or Ryder Cup golf are 49.

Who are they?

Clue 1).They have 67 Presidents or Ryder Cup appearances between them.


(As an additional curiosity, three were born on the exact same day (time zones permitting) and another two are also "twins".)

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Post by wiretapper on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 2:42 pm

pedro wrote:
GPB wrote:Datagolf is giving Hovland an 87% chance of getting his PGATour Card
Martin Kaymer's chances are now 100% as he just got his Tour Card renewed.

Poor Martin, he's tried everything to loose his card so he can semi-retire to the European heartlands; not playing enough events, being rubbish...

But now he'll be back for another half-hearted attempt next year.

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Post by wiretapper on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 2:43 pm

Jim Furyk?

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Post by wiretapper on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 2:44 pm

Justin Leonard?

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Post by wiretapper on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 2:45 pm

Rich Beem?

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Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 2:51 pm

Ernie Els; Phil Mickelson, Angel Carbrera, Mike Weir; KJ Choi are my suggestions....along with Andrew Coltart.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 3:10 pm

Jim Furyk is one.

Leonard too young, Beemer too, plus he never played "Cup" golf.

And Mickelson, Cabrera, Els, Choi, Weirsy & Coltart are also correct.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 3:13 pm

Furyk (16 appearances)
Ernie (8)
Phil (24)
Weir (5)
Cabrera (4)
Choi (3)
Coltart (1, barely)

61 so far, 6 appearances to go, 4 golfers still missing.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 3:39 pm

Tomas Levet?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 3:40 pm

I'm never wrong wrote:Tomas Levet?

Already turned 50, as did Stephen Leaney.

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Post by wiretapper on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 4:20 pm

Harsh but fair on Coltart

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Post by McLaren on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 5:04 pm

Paul Lawrie?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 5:12 pm

McLaren wrote:Paul Lawrie?

He's already been playing Senior golf for 6+ months, but he did mention that you apparently hadn't noticed.

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Post by navyblueshorts on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 5:30 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:
McLaren wrote:Paul Lawrie?

He's already been playing Senior golf for 6+ months, but he did mention that you apparently hadn't noticed.
Laugh
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Post by I'm never wrong on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 5:55 pm

Joakim Haeggman, Robert Karlsson, Shigekie Maruyama, Thongchair Jaidee. (I cheated, sorry Kwini)

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Post by McLaren on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 6:13 pm

I'm never wrong wrote:Joakim Haeggman, Robert Karlsson, Shigekie Maruyama, Thongchair Jaidee.  (I cheated, sorry Kwini)

Well done, could you not have kept it to yourself?
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Post by McLaren on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 6:18 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:
McLaren wrote:Paul Lawrie?

He's already been playing Senior golf for 6+ months, but he did mention that you apparently hadn't noticed.

To be fair I had listened to an interview with him on a podcast, I thought only a few months ago, where he talked about entering the seniors tour in the future so I wasn't sure if he was there yet. Clearly must have been last season I listened to it.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 6:30 pm

I'm never wrong wrote:Joakim Haeggman, Robert Karlsson, Shigekie Maruyama, Thongchair Jaidee.  (I cheated, sorry Kwini)

That's it!
Somewhat ironically, most of the eleven will probably not play the Champions Tour, though sure Cabrera and Weir will, probably KJ too. I wonder about Karlsson . . . . . tho' he'd have to visit Q-School. Always thought he was one of the World's best before he began his epidemic of health/fitness issues.

And the aforementioned Furyk leads at Medinah. Tied with Slovakia.

The Mad Scientist two strokes adrift of the field; perhaps he's been put on the clock already?

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Post by pedro on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 6:50 pm

“Slow” start by DeChambeau.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 7:28 pm

This list speaks to longevity if nothing else. Among golfers playing this week - Most years contesting FedEx Play-Offs without ever having reached the Tour Championship:

12: Poulter
9: Vaughn Taylor
7: Kokrak
6: McDowell
5: Troy Merritt

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Post by kwinigolfer on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 10:53 pm

GPB wrote:Datagolf is giving Hovland an 87% chance of getting his PGATour Card and a 9/1 favorite this week.

The next favorite (Kevin Chappell) is about 33/1 and Justin Harding at 40/1.


Vik is off to a good start, tied for the lead with Round 1 winding down.
6 strokes ahead of Ace Ventura for King Of Norway.

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Post by Roller_Coaster on Fri 16 Aug 2019, 10:00 am

wiretapper wrote:
pedro wrote:
GPB wrote:Datagolf is giving Hovland an 87% chance of getting his PGATour Card
Martin Kaymer's chances are now 100% as he just got his Tour Card renewed.

Poor Martin, he's tried everything to loose his card so he can semi-retire to the European heartlands; not playing enough events, being rubbish...

But now he'll be back for another half-hearted attempt next year.

laughing

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Post by kwinigolfer on Fri 16 Aug 2019, 4:31 pm

wiretapper wrote:
pedro wrote:
GPB wrote:Datagolf is giving Hovland an 87% chance of getting his PGATour Card
Martin Kaymer's chances are now 100% as he just got his Tour Card renewed.

Poor Martin, he's tried everything to loose his card so he can semi-retire to the European heartlands; not playing enough events, being rubbish...


Kinda surprised GPB hasn't conducted an apoplectic fit on here at this news; probably busy working on Drumpf's acquisition of Greenland #artofthedeal


Round 2 play underway at the Medinah pitch-and-putt - only two players over par on Thursday. Not sure why such an apparently easy peasy set-up was a good idea. Still, a leaderboard that features Kokrak, Furyk and Glover, the long and the short and the tall, can't be all bad.

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Post by Shotrock on Fri 16 Aug 2019, 4:54 pm

I agree with that Kwin. Good to see a course/set up that rewards such different types of scorers. Par is just a number as we've stated here ad nauseam.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 17 Aug 2019, 1:37 pm

Shane Lowry gets Round 3 underway in the Windy City, which is not living up to its name so far - which might help explain why Shane is in last place?

Not much to play for for Lowry now - he knows he has to go low both days just to have a sniff of East Lake. Some others in a similar position include Molinari, McDowell and Rafa. Whilst Poults needs two low rounds to make the Tour Championship for the first time.

Elsewhere, Shane's compadre Seamus Power has had a lousy two days in Ohio, so it's Goodbye Columbus (just put that in to remind myself of the delightful 40 years old image of Ali McGraw) for him and on, fittingly?, to the potato fields of Idaho for the second KFC event.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 17 Aug 2019, 2:52 pm

Hold that "not much to play for" comment about Lowry!
He's lighting Medinah up after a bogey start and is right back in contention for East Lake.
Molinari also coming to play. Good!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat 17 Aug 2019, 4:23 pm

Nice round of 68 from Lowry, except that it promised something even better.
Which is what he'll probably need on Sunday to advance. Good start though.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Sat 17 Aug 2019, 10:29 pm

Politer drops four shots in the last three holes. If he had parred in, he would be where he wants to be for East Lake.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 18 Aug 2019, 2:21 pm

Wonderful golf from Justin Thomas yesterday - he's baaaaack!

Loads to play for later today, but there the radar shows a rainbow coalition of storms on Chicago's western horizon so not sure that they'll be starting on time.

EDIT! Amazing, off on time, which I'd've bet good money against. The course will be softer than ever.

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Post by I'm never wrong on Sun 18 Aug 2019, 9:20 pm

Poulter not going to make East Lake. Dropped 12 shots over the four rounds. If he'd only dropped half that amount, he'd be there or thereabouts. Ifs, buts, and maybes I know. He'll next play at Wentworth.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 12:52 am

Very impressive from Justin Thomas, but a very ho-hum week from Justin Rose & Rory.
Ans goodbye to FedEx from Poults, Franny, Rafa, McDool, Shane etc.
But, if only Shane Lowry could've woken up a little earlier he'd be at the Tour Championship (with it's minimum $395K+ booty) with bells on.


In other news:
The PGA Tour's first drug policy casualty (arguably), Doug Barron, won the Champions Tour event in Upstate New York.

And a gaggle of Tour wannabes, including England's fatty Ben Taylor, earned Tour cards via the KFC. Others who look arithmetically secure include old lags like Robert Streb and Brendan Todd, plus Hossler and, hopefully, Curtis Luck, Lahiri and Justin Harding.
Viktor Hovland should be OK but possibly has a bit more work to do.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 10:05 am

Great to see JT play his best golf again, always liked him. A Shame there isn't a major which has won before at this time of the season.

Wouldn't mind seeing JT knock Koepka off his perch next season.
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Post by GPB on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 5:21 pm

Jason Day is the third highest ranked non-American, non European in the OWGR. Yet he did not make the Int'l Prez Cup team on merit (9th).

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 5:38 pm

GPB,
I see another of your fellow alum won the US Am . . . . . .
Is he going to be the real thing?

PS: Another of your YJ's is playing the KFC in Boise this week - Stewart Cink!

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Post by GPB on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 6:02 pm

Funny thing, I didn't even know he was an alumni until this morning. I vaguely remember his name but it didn't really register with me. I was thinking the player was
Andy Olgethorpe. Oglethorpe is a college about 10 miles from GT.

BTW...That makes 6 US Amateur Championships from GT Alumni, can you name them?

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 7:53 pm

GPB wrote:Funny thing, I didn't even know he was an alumni until this morning.  I vaguely remember his name but it didn't really register with me.  I was thinking the player was
Andy Olgethorpe.  Oglethorpe is a college about 10 miles from GT.

BTW...That makes 6 US Amateur Championships from GT Alumni, can you name them?

No!
But am thinking one of them might be teeing it up with Cink in Boise.

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Post by GPB on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 8:32 pm

???

Cink is not playing in KFF.

GT alumni who won the Havermeyer Trophy are Ogletree, Kuchar, and some guy that won 4 US Amateurs and 4 US Opens from 1923-1930. (plus 5 seconds in those tournaments if you count 1922).

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Post by GPB on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 8:34 pm

Kwini:

Who would get your vote for Rookie of the Year?

Sungjae Im who is the highest ranked rookie in the FEDEX, and played pretty good golf since the start of the year.

Or one of the five rookies who won on Tour. (Champ, Long, Trainer, Wolff, Morikawa).

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Post by McLaren on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 8:40 pm

European Tour to introduce tougher slow play policy from 2020, with some of the measures being trialed at the BMWPGA.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/golf/49398360

Morally the correct policy to take but will the prospect of humiliating penalties have PGA regulars queuing to play the bigger ET events, even for lucrative appearance fees?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 8:50 pm

GPB wrote:Kwini:

Who would get your vote for Rookie of the Year?

Sungjae Im who is the highest ranked rookie in the FEDEX, and played pretty good golf since the start of the year.

Or one of the five rookies who won on Tour.  (Champ, Long, Trainer, Wolff, Morikawa).


Sung Jae Im for me, otherwise Morikawa, though Adam Long was quite impressive when we followed him.

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Post by GPB on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 9:12 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:
GPB wrote:Kwini:

Who would get your vote for Rookie of the Year?

Sungjae Im who is the highest ranked rookie in the FEDEX, and played pretty good golf since the start of the year.

Or one of the five rookies who won on Tour.  (Champ, Long, Trainer, Wolff, Morikawa).


Sung Jae Im for me, otherwise Morikawa, though Adam Long was quite impressive when we followed him.

Fair enough. FWIW I agree with Sungjae. But haven't you been critical of the 2010 RotY selection, when Rickie won over Rory?

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Post by McLaren on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 9:33 pm

When Kaymer finally competes on the PGAT will he be eligible for rookie of the year?
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 10:18 pm

2010 roty?
Can't imagine I would have got worked up about it, though Rickie (who, somewhat typically, didn't win in 2010) would probably be an annual recipient of the TV-and-advertisers-love-me-and-don't-care-if-I-hardly-ever-bring-home-the-W award.

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Post by McLaren on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 10:32 pm

It was a joke kwini, as in he hasn't properly competed on the PGAT yet.
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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon 19 Aug 2019, 10:55 pm

McLaren wrote:It was a joke kwini, as in he hasn't properly competed on the PGAT yet.

Mac,
I was responding to GPB - hence the "2010" comment.

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