TGT’s 2018 US Open Musings & Picks

It seems like the majors are getting harder to predict with every passing event.  The fields are ultra deep and many guys are clicking.

This week is no different with DJ coming off a win in the last event.  JT and many others are in the groove as well.  You could say Spieth and Rory are not quite at 100%, but would you be surprised if either of them busted out this week and played well? Continue reading “TGT’s 2018 US Open Musings & Picks”

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What Came From the 2018 Masters?

First off, congrats to Patrick Reed.  He’s not my favorite golfer by any means, but putting that aside, he played a hell of a tournament.  He was dialed in for four days and earned his spot in the history of The Masters.

The final round had some ups and downs and some definite excitement.  Some of my takeaways…

Spieth – Goodness!?!!  What a final round.  The bogey on 18 was a downer, but he put a charge into what started off as a relatively uneventful final day.  Good thing everyone thought his putting was bad?

Rickie – What a class act!  He played beautifully all day to finish within one.  And then to wait for Reed coming off the 18th was especially classy.  No one in the game does that as much as Rickie.  Some may say it is a lack of killer instinct.  I don’t believe that for a second.  The guy desperately wants to win but refuses to be anything but gracious when he doesn’t.  Believe me, I don’t think this is a requirement at all.  Tiger is my favorite and he never did, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate Rickie’s class.

Tiger – He just didn’t have it this week.  The game is coming around though.  I liked the way he drove the ball today.  The irons were off all week and the putting failed him overall.  I think Shinnecock sets up well for him if he can keep the momentum with the driver and use the stinger as much as possible.  I love having him back!

I wouldn’t say the Master is my favorite tournament (even though I may have already said it).  It is unique and has crazy thrills, but I love all the majors.  The 2018 Masters was made interesting by some stellar Sunday play.

Congrats to Reed and see everyone at Shinny!

 

TGT’s 2018 Master’s Picks

Hello friends…

The 2018 Masters “toonamint” is one of the most highly anticipated that I can remember.  So many of the top players are playing well going into the event, not to mention ole TW coming off back to back Top 5’s.

I have no idea who is going to win the tournament, but that is nothing new.  Picking winner’s in golf is basically a fool’s errand, but it’s fun despite that.  I’d love to do a big, long post and get all kinds of traffic (can you tell I’ve been reading about SEO/Google rankings) but unfortunately tax season has been wearing on me.  I just want to watch some golf and Netflix.

Alright, that being said…

Thoroughbreds

  1. Rory McIlroy – fresh off his awesome finish at the API, Rory is in good form.  This could well be the year he gets it done to complete the career Grand Slam.
  2. Jordan Spieth – he was flushing the ball at Houston this past week and despite terrible putting stats was close to the lead.  I don’t understand all the math that goes into strokes gained, but color me convinced that Jordan will be in the mix come Sunday.
  3. Dustin Johnson – He’s #1 in the world.  Come at the king you best not miss.

Sentimental Pick

  1. Tiger Woods – no result would please me more.  The fact that he is the betting favorite is ridiculous to me.  That gives more insight into Vegas than it does who will win a tournament.  If he gets into the thick of it on Sunday the roars will flow through the National.  Let it happen!

Others Receiving Votes

  1. Justin Rose – always seems to be around the lead.  If he putts well he’ll be in it.
  2. Justin Thomas – if he’s on he will be there.  It just depends on him.  I love his game, but can he tame the course?  I wouldn’t doubt it.
  3. Phil Mickelson – he’s in here, but I’m not really feeling it.  Sorry.

Debate my picks, sound off in the comments, but once the event starts on Thursday we will all be into it.  I’ll have the phone tuned to The Masters app to keep me into it.  I’ve also got a wedding on Saturday, but Sunday will be all golf after a morning of work.  Enjoy the 2018 Masters!!!!

When Will I Play Augusta?

The Masters is approaching quickly and the excitement for the tournament is at a fever pitch.  Many top players are rounding into form making the winner anyone’s guess.

The tournament is great and I love it, but that is secondary to me.  You see, my quest will require that I play the vaunted Augusta National.

When will that happen?  Your guess is as good as mine!  I hope it is sooner rather than later, but with these things, you never know.

You may know that asking to play it is basically forbidden.  So that strategy is out.  My hope is networking and continuing to play more courses and meet more golfers.

The world of golf is extremely generous, as I have said many times.  I look forward to the day I can tee it up at the National.  I will probably have a tear of joy in my eye!

Enjoy the Masters!

Roll Back The Ball?

The clamoring for some kind of roll back of the golf ball is becoming louder by the day.  So many big names have added their opinion from Jack Nicklaus to Tiger Woods.  After reading Jim’s post at The Grateful Golfer, I decided to add my take.

I think the first question is what is the problem with players hitting the ball so far?  In my view, the sustainability of golf is at stake.  Right now many classic courses cannot host pro events anymore without increasing length.  This usually changes the character of course.  Not to mention longer courses require more water, money, and work to maintain.  In the current environmental state of the globe I don’t think we should be using more of our resources.

As a golf fan I enjoy some long drives, but I don’t enjoy courses being pitch and putt.  That is just my opinion, but I think golf fans would enjoy it if we could hold big events at some of the world’s classic courses without relying on weather or absurd rough to mount a challenge to the players.

So that is the issue I see, but what is the solution?  I’ll give you a few options and my thoughts.  I’ll be the first to say that I am not going to cite hard data, but it is out there.  Do the research and come to your own conclusions.

Roll back the ball

I think this will open opportunities to return to classic courses, increase sustainability, and reduce the need to have super long courses.  The problem is that amateurs may feel like they don’t relate to pros, but do they really anyway?  I don’t relate to 350 yard drives.  If they feel this way it may hurt participation in the game.

Smaller wood sizes and increased iron lofts

In theory the ball would spin more and have shorter flight.  Also we would have irons that are closer to what they say they should be instead of a 9 iron with 7 iron loft.  Now I think it would be naive to say that the OEM’s wouldn’t fight this hard.  Everyone loves lawsuits!

Conditioning

It always baffles me how pros get so much roll at courses they play.  I never get that at my home course and I don’t feel like we over water.  Somethings can surely be down to slow down the fairways.  If this results in more water usage though it may not be worth it.

I think the best fit is some type limited flight ball.  The other options are fine, but less clear cut.  We can standardize the limits on the ball so all the manufacturers can still compete.

This ball still gives the advantage to longer hitters, but they won’t hit it 350.  The problem I see is where to stop using it.  Do we go to just pro events or down to college?  I certainly don’t want to be limited since I may hit it 260.  So the answers are not easy, but I think we have to start having the discussion.  Let me know what you think.

Justin Thomas, The $10 Million Man

The Tour Championship this past week capped off a truly breakout season for Justin Thomas.  My goodness what a season!  He had five wins, captured his first major, and won the big season-ending prize.  I don’t think he could have done any more to solidify player of the year.  If I had a vote it would be JT no doubt.

Additionally, not that he cares, Justin stepped out of the media-created shadow of Jordan Spieth.  We’ve been told about their friendship about a million times, but the SBK crew was always a step behind Jordan in achievements.  Thomas solidified himself as an equal this year with all of the success.  He is a legit Top 5 player in the world and could be a force for years to come.

One thing I am super excited about is JT’s inclusion in the President’s Cup and more than likely future Ryder Cups.  His personality and playing style will be a great addition to the events.  He should be a force for years to come.

Many congrats to Justin Thomas!  Now that we’ve given him his praise here are some other things on my golf mind.

  • I know this is posting after the President’s Cup, but even though I am excited about JT I am not overly thrilled about this particular event.  I’ve gotten to a place of golf viewing fatigue.  I am in my chill out mode until a few months when I will be anxious for The Masters.  So hopefully the US team won 🙂
  • I would really like to watch The Skins Game or a mixed-team event in November.  I like watching different formats after a full season of 72-hole stroke play.  Hopefully these come back in the future.
  • Will we see Tiger back in 2017-2018?  My guess is no for 2017, but maybe 2018.  I’m hopeful he can make some kind of healthy attempt at a comeback.  He’s my all-time favorite and I just want him to be able to go out on his own terms.
  • Thanks for reading!  I see the numbers and I am thankful for all of you.  It gives me the support to keep creating posts and content.

 

 

Thoughts on the FedEx Cup So Far

We are three fourths of the way through the FedEx Cup Playoffs and I wanted to share my thoughts on the tournaments so far.  I’ll go event by event to keep it simple.

The Northern Trust

The ending to this tournament was the best part.  You had a battle in the final round between two stars in Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth.  DJ came roaring back in the final round to force a playoff.  The extra holes began on the somewhat controversial 18th hole.  Due to the architecture of the hole longer hitters have a substantial advantage by taking the aggressive line over the water.  Dustin put this on full display when his drive resulted in an approach that was about 70-80 yards closer than Jordan’s.  A stuffed wedge and one putt later and DJ was the champ. This was a great start to the playoffs.

Dell Technologies Championship

I always like watching this tournament because it takes place outside of Boston, my favorite city.  Gil Hanse has done some extensive work to the course and he is one of my favorite architects working right now.  This event featured plenty of star power as well.  Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth were the primary players with Marc Leishman hanging around as well.  It was comical to listen to the announcers mention how good of friends Justin and Jordan are.  I mean, we all know they are buddies, but it was ridiculous how much often they brought it up.  I almost thought they may concede the tournament to Leishman because it would affect their relationship if they beat each other.  Anyway, JT turned it on over the last few holes and ended up cruising to the win.  Even though Spieth didn’t get the win he moved into first place in the standings.

BMW Championship

I’ll be honest, I didn’t watch a ton of this one.  I had a deadline at work the Friday of the tournament and I came down with something as well.  Even if that wasn’t the case, Marc Leishman’s extraordinary play made this one a bit of a snoozer.  He seized control on Saturday staking himself to a five stroke lead.  Well he finished it off with the same margin.  Great playing, not great theater.

So now we move on to the Tour Championship.  I’ve seen plenty of articles that discuss golf finishing the main season before football starts.  I couldn’t agree more.  I love golf, but my interest wanes with work obligations, Clemson football, Patriots football, and wanting to get in as many rounds as I can.  East Lake is an interesting place as it doesn’t seem to favor one type of player.  Hopefully it will go down to the wire!