PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – we spent Wednesday afternoon walking PGA National during a pro-am and here are a few observations, and some reactions from a pros:
Surprise, surprise: It was windy.
As common for this tournament, there’s a club-to-club-and-a-half zephyr floating by a course, that is approaching to continue for all 4 foe rounds.
The good news for players is that it’s a solid breeze and sincerely easy to predict, rather than a gusting breeze that can change any moment.
The bad news for players is that Wednesday’s breeze was out of a southeast, that is forecasted to be a conflicting of a westerly winds starting Thursday.
As one actor told me, that should make holes 1, 2, 3, 10, 11 and 14 easier than they played in a pro-am, nonetheless of those, 2, 3, 10, 11 and 14 aren’t unequivocally birdie holes anyway, so a tough holes will still be tough. More importantly, a breeze will be floating right-to-left opposite many of a famed Bear Trap (holes 15-17), creation that heartless widen all a some-more brutal.
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The thick things ain’t what it used to be.
The severe here isn’t utterly as gnarly as it’s been in prior years, generally down a right side of a formidable 11th, that during times could’ve meant a expostulate that faded too most didn’t leave players in position to take an proceed over a H2O jeopardy framing a green.
What does all of that meant as distant as scoring and that players could possess an advantage?
We should design another tough exam that leaves a leader still in single-digits under-par, that mirrors any of a winning totals in 6 of a past 7 years. (Only Rickie Fowler in 2017 finished double-digits under-par, winning during 12-under, while second place that year was still 8-under.)
And nonetheless I’m not tighten to suggesting that players can simply crash motorist all over this march and not worry about a rough, a common advantage to accurate drivers competence be negated only a bit by a reduce tallness outward a fairways, that should assistance a large hitters who aren’t utterly as accurate.
Seen on a range.
Greg Norman, who lives nearby, was apparently charity an unpretentious doctrine to Nick Watney, who owns an intriguing record during this event. In 7 career starts here, he’s never missed a cut, nonetheless also never severely contended for a title, with finishes of 51st-33rd-14th-41st-24th-65th-17th.
I always tend to consider of Watney, who grew adult in California, as some-more of a West Coast-type of player, nonetheless with 3 true MCs to tighten that swing, maybe he’s prepared to feverishness adult on a East Coast instead.
By a way, there’s an apparent tie between Norman and Watney: The Shark’s longtime caddie, Tony Navarro, is now on Watney’s bag.
Speaking of Watney, if you’re a form who likes to review something into pro-am scores for a contest rounds, he might’ve supposing a small ammo.
Watney and Fowler finished atop a player-only leaderboard for a day, with Stewart Cink and Ryo Ishikawa also adult there. But let’s not review too most into this: Instead of a unchanging 18-hole pro-am format, any organisation of amateurs played 9 holes with dual opposite pros, so those are total totals for Watney/Fowler and Cink/Ishikawa.
That competence assistance we reduction that it does in other weeks, nonetheless trust me: Players adore this format.
Still acid for a darkhorse this week?
Maybe this could help…
I was station on a use immature when Robert Streb asked who we was picking this week. As he was about to putt a 12-foot downhill slider, we answered, “If we make this, I’m holding you.” He done it – and a subsequent one, too.
For a record, he started his Honda career with finishes of 18th-59th-26th, nonetheless missed a cut in any of a prior 3 years. Streb is now 260-1 during FanDuel.