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PGATour Running Commentary - Aug 2020

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Post by GPB Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:53 pm

First topic message reminder :

PGATour Running Commentary- Aug 2020

1. Last week:  Justin Thomas overcame a 4 shot deficit to win the WGC-FEDEX St Jude by three shots over a four players of Tom Lewis, Daniel Berger, Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka   Richie Werenski won the Barracuda event, by one point over Troy Merritt.

2. After he won the Memorial, Jon Rahm took the #1 OWGR ranking from Rory, and now after winning the FEDEX, Justin Thomas took the #1 spot.  

3. This week is the PGA Championship, with most of the OWGR Top 100 players in the field.  The tournament venue is at Harding Park, which has hosted two WGC tournaments in the last 20 years.  Here are some finishes by players in this years field:  Woods (1), Garcia (3), Stenson (3), GMac (6), Furyk (15)Poulter (18), Mickelson (29), Scott (29), ZJohnson (43),  The Match play was played at Harding Park in 2015, won by Rory, beating Woodland in finals.  Players advancing to the Round of 16, include Willett, Furyk, Casey, Oosty, Fleetwood, Fowler, Hideki, and Leishman.

4. Only two more tournaments to qualify for the FEDEX playoffs, some notable players that are currently inside the Top 125, but probably have not clinched a spot in the Northern Trust (Tom Lewis (#117), Russell Knox (#120,  Paul Casey (#121), Charl Schwartzel (#123).  Some players just barely outside the Top 125 include Nick Watney, Zach Johnson, Matt Wallace, Shane Lowry, RCB, Sergio, and Justin Rose. Some players that need a big week to get inside the Top 125 include Willett, Dufner, Power, Walker, Stenson

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Post by McLaren Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:48 am

If Poulter dressed in a tasteful manner and didn't have a slightly scummy looking swing he would get a lot more credit based on his results over the years.
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Post by I'm never wrong Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:50 am

Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Was shocked when they were saying on Sky yesterday that he's never made the Tour Championship final 30, did he just not play as much in the US in the "prime" of his career?
FedEx started in 2007 - He's been close a couple of times (31st in 2009 and 39th in 2012) . But he seems to have played the minimum requirements for a dual tour player - so maybe that has had an effect.

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Post by McLaren Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:12 pm

Poulters ghastly behavior at the ryder cup doesn't help his cause either.
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Post by super_realist Fri Aug 21, 2020 12:22 pm

McLaren wrote:Poulters ghastly behavior at the ryder cup doesn't help his cause either.

If Woods did it you'd be tossing off Mac.

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Post by robopz Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:05 pm

I'm never wrong wrote:
Good Golly I'm Olly wrote:Was shocked when they were saying on Sky yesterday that he's never made the Tour Championship final 30, did he just not play as much in the US in the "prime" of his career?
FedEx started in 2007 - He's been close a couple of times (31st in 2009 and 39th in 2012) . But he seems to have played the minimum requirements for a dual tour player - so maybe that has had an effect.
Poulter's intended number of starts on the PGA tour looks to be about 19-22 a year based on the last 7 years. IMO a player like him not ever making the Tour Championship illustrates how difficult dual touring really is for all except the best of the best.  More often than not we see those guys under perform their potential on both tours. I have little question Ian could make the tour championship at least semi-regularly if he played over here full time. Just as I think he could compete for R2D top spots if he played the Euro tour full time.

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Post by robopz Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:25 pm

IMO injuries among top players in professional golf are going to continue to increase as the game becomes ever more athletic. I don't believe it's because they don't know how to train or take care of themselves. I believe it's more the trend of players are having their highest success now at their athletic peak. In golf that translates to speed. And they're willing to take whatever training or playing risks are necessary to get and maintain that speed.  

There will always be exceptions to the rule, but I believe overall we're going to see shorter careers (due to bodies wearing out quicker because of increasing athleticism) and less success among players past their athletic peak.

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Post by super_realist Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:55 pm

Soudns about right Robo. I don't think we're going to see the long careers of the likes of Els, Clarke, Watson, Stricker etc at the top of the game due to the modern requirement for high swing speed.

There's a lot of guys who could see their careers effectively finished before they even get there and if you don't take your physicality more seriously, then the likes of Lowry could be done well before they expect.

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Post by Shotrock Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:56 pm

In the "all these guys are really good" category, I remember following IJP at the US Open in Oakmont (2007 I believe). Anyway, he drove his ball into the rough close to where I was standing. The rough was crazy long, 5+ inches, the grass was really thick, and the ball was buried. On my best day, I could maybe advance that ball 15 yards with a sand wedge. He takes a 9 iron, makes perfect contact and lands the ball just in front of the green. Makes par. An amazing shot.

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Post by robopz Fri Aug 21, 2020 3:04 pm

super_realist wrote:Soudns about right Robo.  I don't think we're going to see the long careers of the likes of Els, Clarke, Watson, Stricker etc at the top of the game due to the modern requirement for high swing speed.

There's a lot of guys who could see their careers effectively finished before they even get there and if you don't take your physicality more seriously, then the likes of Lowry could be done  well before they expect.
At these speeds, I literally cringe thinking about what could happen to somebody's wrist or elbow by catching an unseen root or rock out of the rough or something these days. Yikes.

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Post by robopz Fri Aug 21, 2020 3:08 pm

Shotrock wrote:In the "all these guys are really good" category, I remember following IJP at the US Open in Oakmont (2007 I believe). Anyway, he drove his ball into the rough close to where I was standing. The rough was crazy long, 5+ inches, the grass was really thick, and the ball was buried. On my best day, I could maybe advance that ball 15 yards with a sand wedge. He takes a 9 iron, makes perfect contact and lands the ball just in front of the green. Makes par. An amazing shot.
So many people just can't fathom the quality of a player who can hang on the PGAT or Euro tour for a decade or more... UNLESS you go out there and watch them play, or if you're lucky enough, get a chance to actually play with them sometime. It's simply ridiculous how good they are and what amazing course managers they are.

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Post by super_realist Fri Aug 21, 2020 3:13 pm

robopz wrote:
Shotrock wrote:In the "all these guys are really good" category, I remember following IJP at the US Open in Oakmont (2007 I believe). Anyway, he drove his ball into the rough close to where I was standing. The rough was crazy long, 5+ inches, the grass was really thick, and the ball was buried. On my best day, I could maybe advance that ball 15 yards with a sand wedge. He takes a 9 iron, makes perfect contact and lands the ball just in front of the green. Makes par. An amazing shot.
So many people just can't fathom the quality of a player who can hang on the PGAT or Euro tour for a decade or more... UNLESS you go out there and watch them play, or if you're lucky enough, get a chance to actually play with them sometime. It's simply ridiculous how good they are.

There's a lot of guys in my club who are +3, and +4 which is about +5/6 on the US scale and whilst they are good they are still a million miles off even a minor tour standard. They routinely embarrass themselves at Open qualifying every year. Part of that is that they just aren't good enough and part of that is that St Andrews flatters their actual ability.

My golf teacher/coach's son is a tour pro on the ET and having a fantastic year so far and he turned pro off  of +6 which is incredible, but if you think of how much better the likes of Rory, DJ, Rahm, Koepka etc are ahead of that it's just insane how good these guys in the top 50 actually are.
For Poulter to hang onto the level he has for so long demonstrates just how good he actually is.

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Post by robopz Fri Aug 21, 2020 3:49 pm

Super... By my count Poulter has been able to hang on the PGA tour for 16 years. SIXTEEN!! And that's never once playing more than 20 events.  Makes me chuckle when people diss that guy. OK, I get he's not looking Hall of Fame worthy, but so freeking what when only 7-10 per decade are... He's done what I think quality players have to do, proved himself worldwide... Team & individual, in all formats.  Too bad for him there aren't 6-8 match plays a year...:-)

PS... And he's had 646 weeks in the OWGR Top-50...  285 of those weeks in the top-25... That don't suck.

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Post by super_realist Fri Aug 21, 2020 4:04 pm

Poulter won't be fussed about Hall of Fame, those are very much an American thing, doubt he fits GPB's parochial criteria anyway.
Hadn't appreciated he has been around on the PGA for that long at that level and when you look how many quality players haven't hung on to a card that long them it's even more impressive.

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Post by McLaren Fri Aug 21, 2020 4:21 pm

Watched Poulter and JT play together at the Scottish Open last year. On a par 5 they both had about the same shot and distance in and Poulters 3 wood was a lot more spectacular than JT's 3 wood. Poulters was high, fading and came down in the middle of the green. JT's was a dribbled little thing, barely making it to the front edge.

I appreciate this is only one shot but it is easy to get sucked into the hype around certain players being so much more spectacular in terms of ball striking than other top 50 players, when in reality they can all hit gorgeous shots when playing well.
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Post by robopz Fri Aug 21, 2020 4:25 pm

Yeah... When Ian hops into one of those Ferraris, I doubt he's too worried about HOF...  :-)

 And I actually didn't realize his OWGR rankings till I just looked it up a bit ago.  12+ years worth as a top 50 player in the world is a helluva career.

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Post by robopz Fri Aug 21, 2020 4:47 pm

Mac... With all due respect to Poulter (and I absolutely understand how they all hit some incredible shots), what you saw vs JT was likely an anomaly.   JT is a ridiculously good ball striker when he's on and has shots in his arsenal Poulter could only dream of, and he does it often.  There's probably half a dozen guys out there right now that are in a league above what Poulter ever reached during his best purple patch.  But all those half dozen would probably love to have some of the putting runs Poulter has displayed at times... Sheesh...  I followed Ian here one round last year, and I mean every single putt he hit looked like it was going in. I'm not exaggerating. He didn't make them all, but every single one scared the hole.

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Post by super_realist Fri Aug 21, 2020 4:59 pm

Whether you like Poulter or not it's pretty clear he's under-rated as a player.
I watched him in a few tournaments and his short game was absolutely sublime at times.
A lot of players have elements to their game which is world class, whilst missing the other aspects and I think Poulter is potentially in that bracket for his short game. Very few would be better.

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Post by incontinentia Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:35 pm

Yes Poulter is amazing. Like Furyk, he seems one of those players that just doesnt get the credit they deserve. Personally I'd put Furyk in the same bracket as Woods and Mickelson as the very best players of that generation. I'd also put him ahead of the likes of Singh and Goosen, while better than Furyk for a few years could not match his longevity.


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Post by McLaren Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:44 pm

robo

As I said, it was a one off, I was just making the point that all PGAT players hit the ball incredibly well and the margins between the best and worst are quite small. A Poulter can outhit a JT once in a while. I just sometimes think the analysts on TV would have you believe there are guys on the PGAT with poor ball striking and that Rory is on another planet, when the truth is a little more nuanced than that.
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Post by robopz Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:52 pm

Inco... I agree with you about Furyk being underrated. I too could make a case of Furyk's career versus Goosen.  But best I could place him in the "Woods" era would be behind Tiger, Phil, Vijay & Ernie. IMO Vijay is another that hasn't quite got the credit he's deserved either.

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Post by robopz Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:02 pm

Mac... I get it. When you step back and look at it, the difference between the guys who are fighting it out for number one in the world are only about two strokes better than the guys who are fighting to keep their playing status. When you talk about talent at that level, it's a finer line between the wildly successful and the also-rans than we think sometimes.  

I guess that's why when a name like Poulter comes up... I realize he's not the best of the best, but I still have mad respect. I think Super nails it about his short game prowess as well. There's not many guys out there that wouldn't exchange their short game with his in a heartbeat.

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Post by super_realist Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:11 pm

Most people may have seen these videos, although some of the Americans here may have done their best to avoid it, but this is an interesting presentation of Ian Poulter which looks past his unwarranted reputation as not being that great, a bit of a bell end or whatever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR1Y1APBTbY&t=21s

Other really good ones by Luke Donald, Kaymer, Rose, Colsaerts and Ole. A great set of documentaries about probably the greatest and most unlikely comebacks in sports history.

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Post by McLaren Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:27 pm

robo

Did you listen to this weeks NLU podcast with the guys from data golf? I though it was pretty interesting.
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Post by McLaren Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:28 pm

super_realist wrote:Most people may have seen these videos, although some of the Americans here may have done their best to avoid it, but this is an interesting presentation of Ian Poulter which looks past his unwarranted reputation as not being that great, a bit of a bell end or whatever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR1Y1APBTbY&t=21s

Other really good ones by Luke Donald, Kaymer, Rose, Colsaerts and Ole. A great set of documentaries about probably the greatest and most unlikely comebacks in sports history.

That is a poor attempt at wumming. Who is going waste 45 minutes on that sentimental rubbish.
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Post by super_realist Fri Aug 21, 2020 6:35 pm

Mac, I'm sure you frigg yourself off over a show reel of Hypocrite Hamilton's coin toss of an F1 career, best Man United goals in the last 20 years, replays of your bus travels or computer game victories.

You're also the man who says you visit a library to fawn over a book you are too niggardly to buy. So if anyone is a master at wasting time, seems like it is you.

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Post by incontinentia Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:07 pm

McLaren wrote:robo

Did you listen to this weeks NLU podcast with the guys from data golf? I though it was pretty interesting.
yes i played it a few days ago, it was very interesting.
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Post by robopz Fri Aug 21, 2020 7:24 pm

McLaren wrote:robo

Did you listen to this weeks NLU podcast with the guys from data golf? I though it was pretty interesting.
I haven't.  sounds interesting, but I usually don't have the time to listen to many podcasts.

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Post by McLaren Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:36 pm

robo

I listen to them when I work or when I am doing chores like cooking or housework. Makes the time pass a little more easily.
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Post by GPB Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:44 pm

super_realist wrote:Yeah, you can't get out of my head GPB, and you call me arrogant? Rolling Eyes

You brought me in this thread at a time when I was not participating. Obviously you are thinking about me.

By the way, this round by DJ is trending to be TRULY EXCEPTIONAL. But then again, I got "parochial" standards and if it were Fitzpatrick or Justin Rose, it would only be "very good".


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Post by incontinentia Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:54 pm

McLaren wrote:robo

I listen to them when I work or when I am doing chores like cooking or housework. Makes the time pass a little more easily.
Hopefully your wife helps out and doesnt expect you to do it all. Do you listen to the sky sports golf podcast at all? They had a very interesting segment on Spieth a couple weeks ago, basically saying that when players have a hot year or 2 they often dont understand why they are swinging so well, and in the attempt to learn often lose the innate ability to hit the ball at the same level.
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Post by McLaren Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:45 pm

DJ had seven chances to get a 59. In some ways is that closest we will ever get to a ridiculously low round because of how quickly he got to -11?
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Post by GPB Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:35 pm

"disappointing" finish for DJ, to shoot 60.

Scheffler's round is going to be around 10.5 shots better than the average score. That is the upper echelon of eilte and exceptional. 123 of the Top PGATour players, with no Monday Qualifiers, or Sponsor's Exemptions to dilute the field and skew the average higher

I haven't run the numbers, but I think Scheffler's round will be the best round since Furyk's 59 in the BMW Championship in 2013.

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Post by GPB Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:55 am

deleted double post


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Post by GPB Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:56 am

Rd2 Scoring of Northern Trust

69.53 Average
3.310 St Dev
59.00 Low Score (Scottie Scheffler)
10.53 Score Differential
3.180 Z Score

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Post by super_realist Sat Aug 22, 2020 6:56 am

Not as rare as it seems.

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Post by super_realist Sat Aug 22, 2020 6:57 am

McLaren wrote:DJ had seven chances to get a 59. In some ways is that closest we will ever get to a ridiculously low round because of how quickly he got to -11?

It shows how poorly set up US courses are given how often someone shoots sub 60.

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Post by McLaren Sat Aug 22, 2020 10:33 am

incontinentia wrote:
McLaren wrote:robo

I listen to them when I work or when I am doing chores like cooking or housework. Makes the time pass a little more easily.
Hopefully your wife helps out and doesnt expect you to do it all. Do you listen to the sky sports golf podcast at all? They had a very interesting segment on Spieth a couple weeks ago, basically saying that when players have a hot year or 2 they often dont understand why they are swinging so well, and in the attempt to learn often lose the innate ability to hit the ball at the same level.

No haven't listened to the Sky podcast. The people on the sky golf coverage over the years have seemed pretty tedious to me. Although Nick is currently doing a good job. Bruce Critchley was/is one of the worst sports commentators on a mainstream sport.


If you want some inside on Spieths game listen to the end of NLU's chat with the data golf guys.
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Post by McLaren Sat Aug 22, 2020 10:37 am

super_realist wrote:
McLaren wrote:DJ had seven chances to get a 59. In some ways is that closest we will ever get to a ridiculously low round because of how quickly he got to -11?

It shows how poorly set up US courses are given how often someone shoots sub 60.

I am not sure what criteria you use to establish what is a good or poor set up but it is well known now that the PGAT is played over the harder courses and set ups. Hence the development of adjusted strokes gained.
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Post by navyblueshorts Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:23 pm

McLaren wrote:
super_realist wrote:
McLaren wrote:DJ had seven chances to get a 59. In some ways is that closest we will ever get to a ridiculously low round because of how quickly he got to -11?

It shows how poorly set up US courses are given how often someone shoots sub 60.

I am not sure what criteria you use to establish what is a good or poor set up but it is well known now that the PGAT is played over the harder courses and set ups. Hence the development of adjusted strokes gained.
Could you prove this, please? I'm sure there's a mix of hard and 'easy' on both main Tours.
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Post by GPB Sat Aug 22, 2020 2:13 pm

Let me remind everyone that when the PGATour rolls into town, they are only in town for a week (Columbus Ohio last month was a rarity)

The Tour "leases" a course for a week, there is not much that they can do. Growing rough is not a process that takes a few days, it takes weeks. And in the meantime, membership has to play the course under premium conditions. Golf is supposed to be fun for them

The Tour cannot make bunkers deeper. Mowing the greens so they are faster puts stress on the greens

They can only go back so far on the tees.

The weather this week in Boston has been perfect for scoring. Temps around 80 deg F, and virtually no wind.

Its nothing but ignorance that someone can have the "hot take" that PGATour sets up courses "poorly".

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Post by incontinentia Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:43 pm

Doesnt Scheffler look a lot like Andy Kaufman?
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Post by McLaren Sat Aug 22, 2020 8:36 pm

Navy

Check out the work done by data golf around trying to compare performances across different tours.
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Post by Shotrock Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:01 am

GPB- Good comments and spot on. (I belong to a course that the PGA leases on occasion.)


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Post by GPB Sun Aug 23, 2020 2:29 am

Shotrock-

I can't believe there are alleged "knowledgeable" posters who think clubs like your club and others need to jump through hoops to get the PGATour to play at their course. The course belongs to the membership for 51 weeks a year, and they may not want to cut down trees to make the course longer and grow rough to 3.5".

Oakmont wants to have the toughest course in the nation, and that's fine. Its their club. Buit if you want to rent my house for a week, don't expect me to paint the exterior because you don't like a white house and want a purple house with orange shutters.

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Post by navyblueshorts Sun Aug 23, 2020 1:53 pm

McLaren wrote:Navy

Check out the work done by data golf around trying to compare performances across different tours.
I asked you. Could you furnish me w/ some relevant links and data to summarise the point? I'm not going to wade through a load of dull numbers....
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Post by McLaren Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:21 pm

Navy

Honestly no. I am about to head out for dinner.
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Post by Shotrock Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:47 am

DJ -- Amazing tournament as he laps the field. Player of the Year seems pretty wide open.

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Post by Jeff Navarro Mon Aug 24, 2020 1:47 am

Johnson has to be one of the biggest pain in the rear ever. Incredible talent and wins for fun on the regular tour and cleans up at WGC level. Seems bizarre he’s only got one major.

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Post by GPB Mon Aug 24, 2020 2:49 am

Anthony Kim Sighting

https://twitter.com/AN_Golf/status/1297683440989622273

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:47 am

Jeff Navarro wrote:Johnson has to be one of the biggest pain in the rear ever. Incredible talent and wins for fun on the regular tour and cleans up at WGC level. Seems bizarre he’s only got one major.

He's surely got to be clear favourite for Augusta in November - been close the past few years, particularly last year...and bar that one odd week at Memorial, has been playing lovely since lockdown. A truly remarkable performance this week from him, just obliterated the field...Harris English probably had the week of his career so far and was 11 shots in the rear view mirror!

Would be surprised if Dustin doesn't pick up one or two more of the majors before he's done.
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