2020 PGA Tour...

Oakland

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1995 Open at St Andrews - 72nd hole. Rocco Constantino, with a birdie to tie, duffs his pitch shot into the valley of sin. He then sinks a ~60 foot putt to go into a playoff with Jon Daly.

Holy bleep! Two of the greatest putts I've ever seen. Both in the last 25 minutes.
 
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jncuse

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The start of the 2020/2021 season begins with an even less interesting first tournament than normal due to the US open next week. Very weak field -- Strength of Field of 26 is by far the lowest since the re-start, and is as low as gets on the PGA tour... only events that are lower are alternate field events.

Nobody is travelling from Georgia, to California, to New York for the US Open. There are some players of note that did not make the tour championship last week that are playing this week but not many.

The best player in the field is world #28 Shane Lowry, no other player in the top 40.
5 players in the top 50
14 players in the top 100.

TV viewing will be stacked for me next week with the US Open and the Toronto-Miami series.
 

jncuse

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The US open field is a little different this year than prior year's since there was no Qualifying Sectionals. They tried to adjust for in a fair fashion however, instead of simply taking all the best PGA tour players or highest players in the world ranking. Normally there are a number of amateurs and Korn Ferry tour players that get through via open qualifying, so they tried to match up to the past in terms of field composition. They took the top 10 players on the KFT and the top 7 players in the world amatuer rankings that were not already exempt.

There were about 13 players outside of the world top 50 (Between ranking 53 and 92) that got in this year, that normally would have had to open qualify which is no guarantee.

  1. Harris English (53)
  2. J. T. Poston (68)
  3. Joaquín Niemann (71)
  4. Thomas Pieters (73)
  5. Max Homa (75)
  6. Lanto Griffin (78)
  7. Mike Lorenzo-Vera (79)
  8. Matthias Schwab (84)
  9. Alex Norén (87)
  10. Matt Jones (89)
  11. Paul Waring (90) – replaced Brooks Koepka[7]
  12. Branden Grace (91) – replaced Scottie Scheffler[9]
  13. Rory Sabbatini (92) – replaced Sam Horsfield[11]

Info taken from here.

All that being said I can't truly value the champion this year, as they didn't actually have to beat me. Yes I am only an 11 handicap -- but I was a 14 handicap at the beginning of the year (after not playing that much in the previous 5 or 6 years). I am sure with the proper warning and foresight I could have worked hard and got my handicap down to below 1.4 over the course of a month. Then I think I would have got through qualifying fairly easily of course.
 

jncuse

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Francesco Molinari chose not to play this week. He has decided not to play at all since the tour stopped for Covid in March.

But his career stalled since the 2019 Masters. If anyone remembers the 2019 Masters, (and the prior year British), he seemed to have developed into such a solid player in clutch situations. He was so solid in the front nine of the last round of the Masters as the leader, but then fell apart to fifth on the back nine.

Since then he has really struggled without even one top 10 finish.



1600190276154.png
 

UpstateSM

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I locked in Cameron Champ and Matthew Wolff about a month ago, think I'll stop at turning stone and lay some cash on them on my way home today too. Hopefully I can get a nice sweat in this Sunday
 

jncuse

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Not sure if Champ has the skillset to be a champion at Winged Foot. It's a long course, but I am not sure it will be as friendly to bombers like at Harding Park.

Not sure if much can be drawn from the 2006 US Open -- course was different then, and there was less "bombers" out there. It was an era where precision worked more than today. But I noted a few things.

Only six of the top 20 were Americans. It was a course that the Euros did very well on with 8 top 20 players. The leaders seemed to be more of the precision type except for Phil Mickelson. There will always be the memorable comment by Johnny Miller on the 18th as he watched Phil Mickelson, "Ben Hogan would be rolling in his grave"

1600190868478.png
 

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Not sure if Champ has the skillset to be a champion at Winged Foot. It's a long course, but I am not sure it will be as friendly to bombers like at Harding Park.

Not sure if much can be drawn from the 2006 US Open -- course was different then, and there was less "bombers" out there. It was an era where precision worked more than today. But I noted a few things.

Only six of the top 20 were Americans. It was a course that the Euros did very well on with 8 top 20 players. The leaders seemed to be more of the precision type except for Phil Mickelson. There will always be the memorable comment by Johnny Miller on the 18th as he watched Phil Mickelson, "Ben Hogan would be rolling in his grave"

View attachment 187953
Forget about Monty - guy was a tough player. Great Ryder Cup player.
 

jncuse

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Forget about Monty - guy was a tough player. Great Ryder Cup player.
And at that point he was past his prime which looking at his WGR page ended around 2002... but he had a bit of a rebirth towards 2005 and 2006, and was back to #21 in the world before the Open.

But he was clearly nowhere near the top favourites entering the tournament. As great as a grinder as he was in the Ryder Cup, he really did struggle in the majors. Very similar career to Lee Westwood another great Ryder Cup player.
 

jncuse

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I hope Winged Foot chews and spits out Tiger
It did in 2006, as he missed the cut, even though he played extremely well that year. Although it seems highly possible he was coming back from an injury as he had not played in 10 weeks after the Masters according to his results. Don't remember.

He must have been pissed after missing that cut, because he had epic run in his next 10 tournaments - 6 wins, 9 top 2 finishes, and all top 10's. And two of those wins were majors, and two others were WGC's. He was probably in his second best period of his career at that point (his best being the year between 1999 PGA and 2000 PGA)


1600218555621.png
 

Fat tire 13

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It did in 2006, as he missed the cut, even though he played extremely well that year. Although it seems highly possible he was coming back from an injury as he had not played in 10 weeks after the Masters according to his results. Don't remember.

He must have been pissed after missing that cut, because he had epic run in his next 10 tournaments - 6 wins, 9 top 2 finishes, and all top 10's. And two of those wins were majors, and two others were WGC's. He was probably in his second best period of his career at that point (his best being the year between 1999 PGA and 2000 PGA)


View attachment 188007
The 5 straight victories are unreal. To put it in perspective, there are only ~200 golfers in history with 5 wins in their entire career
 

cliftonparksufan

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The US open field is a little different this year than prior year's since there was no Qualifying Sectionals. They tried to adjust for in a fair fashion however, instead of simply taking all the best PGA tour players or highest players in the world ranking. Normally there are a number of amateurs and Korn Ferry tour players that get through via open qualifying, so they tried to match up to the past in terms of field composition. They took the top 10 players on the KFT and the top 7 players in the world amatuer rankings that were not already exempt.

There were about 13 players outside of the world top 50 (Between ranking 53 and 92) that got in this year, that normally would have had to open qualify which is no guarantee.

  1. Harris English (53)
  2. J. T. Poston (68)
  3. Joaquín Niemann (71)
  4. Thomas Pieters (73)
  5. Max Homa (75)
  6. Lanto Griffin (78)
  7. Mike Lorenzo-Vera (79)
  8. Matthias Schwab (84)
  9. Alex Norén (87)
  10. Matt Jones (89)
  11. Paul Waring (90) – replaced Brooks Koepka[7]
  12. Branden Grace (91) – replaced Scottie Scheffler[9]
  13. Rory Sabbatini (92) – replaced Sam Horsfield[11]

Info taken from here.

All that being said I can't truly value the champion this year, as they didn't actually have to beat me. Yes I am only an 11 handicap -- but I was a 14 handicap at the beginning of the year (after not playing that much in the previous 5 or 6 years). I am sure with the proper warning and foresight I could have worked hard and got my handicap down to below 1.4 over the course of a month. Then I think I would have got through qualifying fairly easily of course.
Thomas Pieters is my longshot pick. My mid long shot pick is Matsuyama and my top tier pick is Rahm. I see more "experts" picking him over DJ.

This tournament makes me sad. Winged Foot is the closest major to my house at just over 2 hours and it brings back great memories. In 1997 I was able to follow Tiger around for a while and he had a huge crowd then. I also followed Jack around for a while. That was something that was special. I also had a special moment standing on the backside of the practice green standing less than ten feet from Ernie Els for about 20 minutes as the only one watching him in his practice putting routine. I felt I was getting a personal lesson. It was wild being so close being able to watch him for so long.

In 2006 I went to the Saturday round. Of course Tiger had missed the cut so it had a different feel to it. I spent like an hour or so in the stands at 18 watching player after player shoot par or bogie or even double bogie like Phil and Colin Montgomerie did on Sunday. No one was shooting birdies, just like this week should bring. When I first got onto the grounds and walked the course, I felt the rough wasn't so bad. However watching them all day, especially on 18, you realize the difference between a US Open course and even how the set up was for the PGA in 97. The prevailing thought is that the winning score this week will be over par. That's insane when you think how good these guys are.

This is one of those events that gets you pissed at the pandemic and the politics surrounding it. Hopefully by basketball season we will see some light shining through.
 
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jncuse

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Thomas Pieters is my longshot pick. My mid long shot pick is Matsuyama and my top tier pick is Rahm. I see more "experts" picking him over DJ.

This tournament makes me sad. Winged Foot is the closest major to my house at just over 2 hours and it brings back great memories. In 1997 I was able to follow Tiger around for a while and he had a huge crowd then. I also followed Jack around for a while. That was something that was special. I also had a special moment standing on the backside of the practice green standing less than ten feet from Ernie Els for about 20 minutes as the only one watching him in his practice putting routine. I felt I was getting a personal lesson. It was wild being so close being able to watch him for so long.

In 2006 I went to the Saturday round. Of course Tiger had missed the cut so it had a different feel to it. I spent like an hour or so in the stands at 18 watching player after player shoot par or bogie or even double bogie like Phil and Colin Montgomerie did on Sunday. No one was shooting birdies, just like this week should bring. When I first got onto the grounds and walked the course, I felt the rough wasn't so bad. However watching them all day, especially on 18, you realize the difference between a US Open course and even how the set up was for the PGA in 97. The prevailing thought is that the winning score this week will be over par. That's insane when you think how good these guys are.

This is one of those events that gets you pissed at the pandemic and the politics surrounding it. Hopefully by basketball season we will see some light shining through.
I liked your post, but I am not sure what you are implying in that last comment. Are you saying that politics is what is keeping you from being able to attend sporting events, and that you should be allowed to gather en masse right now? That I cannot agree with, but I am not sure if that is what you are implying.
 

jncuse

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I think there is great value to be had in the top players in the Korn Ferry tour in top 10 or top 20 betting.

There is a group of 5 that is getting in on exemptions because they are playing really well since the re-start.
Paul Barjon, Lee Hodges, Taylor Pendrith, Davis Riley, Will Zalatoris

Typically you will get a random group of KFT players in the US open, because of 36 hole open qualifying. But now you are getting the best, when they are actually playing well.

I know that KFT players don't always dominate when they get on tour because they are not at their peak, but these 5 are getting in because they are playing at their peak right now. I expect one of the 5 to be in the top 20 come Sunday, with a slight chance of one seriously contending.

The US Open has some history of this happening -- Jason Gore, Andrew Landry as recent examples.
 

sutomcat

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I think there is great value to be had in the top players in the Korn Ferry tour in top 10 or top 20 betting.

There is a group of 5 that is getting in on exemptions because they are playing really well since the re-start.
Paul Barjon, Lee Hodges, Taylor Pendrith, Davis Riley, Will Zalatoris

Typically you will get a random group of KFT players in the US open, because of 36 hole open qualifying. But now you are getting the best, when they are actually playing well.

I know that KFT players don't always dominate when they get on tour because they are not at their peak, but these 5 are getting in because they are playing at their peak right now. I expect one of the 5 to be in the top 20 come Sunday, with a slight chance of one seriously contending.

The US Open has some history of this happening -- Jason Gore, Andrew Landry as recent examples.
I think Xander is going to win. He has been really consistent in majors for a while now. This is shaping up as the toughest venue for a major in a long time. I think his steadiness will get him the win.
 

cliftonparksufan

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I liked your post, but I am not sure what you are implying in that last comment. Are you saying that politics is what is keeping you from being able to attend sporting events, and that you should be allowed to gather en masse right now? That I cannot agree with, but I am not sure if that is what you are implying.
No. I am all for social distancing. That's why I like to golf. I wasn't implying anything else.
 

jncuse

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I'm not going to overthink this one, and go with the obvious Dustin Johnson pick. (I like the Xander pick as well if you ask me not to take one of the clear favourites in Rahm and DJ)

- DJ is playing the best in the world right now with 4 consecutive top 3 finishes -- on easy courses, hard courses, a major.

- Despite perhaps not fitting the mold, he has great US Open Pedigree on tough courses. He won on an extremely hard Oakmont course in 2016. He was third in 2018 at Shinnecock. He lost on the last hole in 2015 at Chambers Bay -- not sure exactly how to label that abomination but it was still a US Open.
 

jncuse

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Thomas Pieters is my longshot pick. My mid long shot pick is Matsuyama and my top tier pick is Rahm. I see more "experts" picking him over DJ.

This tournament makes me sad. Winged Foot is the closest major to my house at just over 2 hours and it brings back great memories. In 1997 I was able to follow Tiger around for a while and he had a huge crowd then. I also followed Jack around for a while. That was something that was special. I also had a special moment standing on the backside of the practice green standing less than ten feet from Ernie Els for about 20 minutes as the only one watching him in his practice putting routine. I felt I was getting a personal lesson. It was wild being so close being able to watch him for so long.

In 2006 I went to the Saturday round. Of course Tiger had missed the cut so it had a different feel to it. I spent like an hour or so in the stands at 18 watching player after player shoot par or bogie or even double bogie like Phil and Colin Montgomerie did on Sunday. No one was shooting birdies, just like this week should bring. When I first got onto the grounds and walked the course, I felt the rough wasn't so bad. However watching them all day, especially on 18, you realize the difference between a US Open course and even how the set up was for the PGA in 97. The prevailing thought is that the winning score this week will be over par. That's insane when you think how good these guys are.

This is one of those events that gets you pissed at the pandemic and the politics surrounding it. Hopefully by basketball season we will see some light shining through.
Regarding Rahm over DJ. Surprised to hear that more people are picking Rahm right now, not that Rahm is not a great pick. DJ has a history of good showings on tough courses.
 

Oakland

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I was fortunate enough to play both the east and west courses at Winged Foot several times in the 90's. I am unfortunate enough to not remembering much of those rounds.

I'll take the the top player that is not getting much love - Justin Thomas.

I predict that Phil will bogey the last hole to miss the cut.
 

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