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2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am Discussion Thread


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This win moves Phil ahead of Tom Watson and Gene Sarazen on the career victories list. He's now tied for ninth all time. I'm glad he did it with a spectacular round, and not a plodding win.
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Let's not forget he looked like this the very week before the Masters last season. Brandon

I think Phil's swing this tournament is about the best he has shown, maybe ever.  It is so close to the classic Harmon type move he has been working on.  When a golfer has that kind of confidence in his shots, the game flows so easily.  He stabbed a nine iron punch that looked almost exactly like some of Tiger's old control shots early in his career.  Then he did it again with the wedge on 18.  I wonder how good Phil would have been if he had this better leg action and depth throughout his career?  Anyone remember the old Phil with his near-John Daly wildness?  Yeah he hit some great shots back then and won, but today he won a very different way.  He had command of his game.  Who can tell if this will stick around but Augusta will require such discipline if someone from Phil's age group should win it.

Tiger looked a little better to me as well, but oh man, he must feel the pressure.  It looked as if he knew the putts would not fall, and he was just going through the round.  Pretty unTiger like. There is a huge difference between hitting the ball well but knowing you have to be better with the putter and the other feeling of thinking I am hitting the ball well and that is going to carry over into my short game, I'm going to go low today.  Phil played like he knew he was going low today, Tiger did not.

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That was an incredible round by Phil, unbelievable really.  I've never seen Tiger take a mental beating like that before, it was worst than the 2009 PGA.  I think in the end Tiger will rebound from this but today was a huge blow to his psyche.  I give him props for taking the beating like a man, and huge credit to Phil for playing like a real #1 player in the world.


Prediction: Tiger will lose first round at the Match Play or he will win the event.

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This might have been the worst putting day I've ever seen from Tiger. It's bad enough to miss five footers, but he missed two or three two footers. The good news is his driving held up today. Even getting desperate and hitting more drivers than usual, he still hit 70% of his fairways. I'll predict he'll put it together by the summer, and win the PGA. Since I've already predicted a win at the Masters, that's two majors this year. And I haven't been wrong about a Tiger prediction since my top ten prediction an hour ago :-)
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Originally Posted by RC

Anyone remember the old Phil with his near-John Daly wildness?


Are you talking about last week? Lol. That is something he battles with when his timing is off.

Phil had it going on today. He hit all the shots and made the putts. It was a great performance.

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Originally Posted by TitleistWI

Great win for Phil.  Phil is going to be tough this year if he can stay in the form he showed today.

Tiger was just plain ugly today.  I almost feel bad for Tiger because he has every shot in the bag, he just has some kind of mental block that is holding him back.



It's not a mental block, he's still coming back from an insane last 2 years. The only thing that will keep him from winning fairly regularly again is if his putting has truly gone south and based on the first three rounds I don't think that's the case. Not that his putting was great but he had his moments. His problem today was not keeping the ball below the hole and then not trusting his stroke.

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Originally Posted by MSchott

It's not a mental block, he's still coming back from an insane last 2 years. The only thing that will keep him from winning fairly regularly again is if his putting has truly gone south and based on the first three rounds I don't think that's the case. Not that his putting was great but he had his moments. His problem today was not keeping the ball below the hole and then not trusting his stroke.



He had some iffy shots and missed some putts. I would dump the Method and put the Scotty back in the bag. You know, the one that has won all those majors!

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I guess it was not just me watching a better swing, the post tourney discussion on the golf channel included comments about how his swing is now the best it has ever been.  He can play in his 40s in the latter stages of his career if he continues this approach.  I have not been a particularly avid Phil fan, but maybe today was a little of a conversion for me.  I am a huge fan of Butch and know his swing model so it was exciting to see to see Phil change so much in only a week's time.  It was like two different people.  When he first went with Butch, he used some of today's swing look, but then he wandered off into Phil Land and reverted to a lot of his old stuff.  Today he was back to the better model and it look natural for a change.

Phil actually talked about Tiger hitting the ball well, so he thought the full swing part of Tiger's game was just fine, He did not venture into the wors of his short game.  Whatever you think of Phil, he sure seems to be a gentleman.

N.B: a correction to an earlier post... I just heard him say the approach was with an 8 iron rather than a 9.  A 140 yard 8 iron, hmmm, real golf.  I'm also glad to hear the appreciation of Monterrey Peninsular.  Actually both courses there are great tracks.

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Originally Posted by TourSpoon

He had some iffy shots and missed some putts. I would dump the Method and put the Scotty back in the bag. You know, the one that has won all those majors!



Hell, I would dump this Sean Foley Swing Change 4.0 and go back to the one he was using when he won the US Open by 15.

Yes, I am joking. Kinda.

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Originally Posted by zipazoid

Hell, I would dump this Sean Foley Swing Change 4.0 and go back to the one he was using when he won the US Open by 15.

Yes, I am joking. Kinda.


The trouble is that Tiger (not joking) has stated that this isn't an option.  The knee surgeries he's had make it impossible to resurrect that swing.

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Originally Posted by zipazoid

He just passed Tom Watson for all-time wins. That's strong. If it weren't for Tiger we'd be talking about him being one of the greats in the game.


He's T9 in all-time wins, but I'm still not sure I'd put him in the top 10 of all time. He may not be in the top 10 of American men of all time.

Think I'm nuts? In no order (but numbered to keep count):

  1. Palmer
  2. Snead
  3. Hogan
  4. Jones
  5. Nicklaus
  6. Woods
  7. Casper
  8. Hagen
  9. Watson
  10. Sarazen

Personally, I'd probably put him in that group (top 10 American men), but I think the addition of Gary Player and maybe even Peter Thompson would pretty easily bump him out of the top 10 of all time. He waited too long to win majors, and unless he adds another one or two, that's where I think he belongs in history: top 15, probably, but not top 10.

P.S. Phil's swing looks almost the same as it always has. Put it in some slow-mo video and look for yourself. Some weeks his timing is better and there's a tiny change somewhere in his footwork or whatever, but it's still virtually the same as it was a decade ago.

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Phil has what - 4 Majors? That puts him roughly on a par with Casper - 3 Majors, 50-something wins.

Phil's biggest downfall - so far - has been 5 runnerups in the US Open. Very Snead-esque. If he can break through there I would move him up considerably on the list.

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Phil has what - 4 Majors? That puts him roughly on a par with Casper - 3 Majors, 50-something wins. Phil's biggest downfall - so far - has been 5 runnerups in the US Open. Very Snead-esque. If he can break through there I would move him up considerably on the list.

I'd put Casper ahead of Phil all time, without hesitation. Casper was the best golfer in the world in the late 60's, for at least a couple years, during the heyday of Nicklaus, Palmer, Player, and Trevino. Phil has never been the best in the world. Phil has also played very poorly (for a Hall of Famer) in the British Open. Just two top tens in his career. And contrary to popular belief, playing in the Tiger era hasn't had much to do with Phil not winning more majors. He's only lost one major to Tiger, namely the 2002 US Open at Bethpage Black.

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Prediction: Tiger will lose first round at the Match Play or he will win the event.

Tiger hasn't put four good rounds together yet, and you need six good rounds in a row to win the Match Play. I'd be surprised if he won it this year. Watch out for him at Doral, though.

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Originally Posted by brocks

Tiger hasn't put four good rounds together yet, and you need six good rounds in a row to win the Match Play.


No you don't. You only need six rounds better than one other person.

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Agree with saying he is not in the top ten, at least at this point.  As to his swing, those two hold off shots were pretty good differences but the real changes I see are not as much motion going perpendicularly to his target line and his depth.  The legs are not flailing around as much and he backswing has more depth down the line.  He still has a big, timing oriented backswing and it looks like he crosses the line more than the standard model.  However, he still gets right on his downswing plane when the timing is good as it was today.  I really like the legs and the more linear look to getting depth.  These are classic Harmon points.  Almost every player continues to look very close to the same with swing changes, at least to some point.  I still see elements in Tiger's swing that have not changed since he was a teenager.  But he surely is different and has made at least 4 or more swing changes that show up in slightly different plane angles or timings.  Phil today looked like his timing was better because he used depth to buy time to get out of the way, so he did not appear to spin around as much.  I do not doubt his video is pretty much unchanged but sometimes it is a matter of centimeters at slightly different points in time that make a swing work one day and not on another.  One reason I have not been a big Phil fan is in the past he goes through these periods when he pushes and pulls almost every tee shot and it sure looks like he gets trapped and is having to compensate a lot to get on his downswing.

Today, Wie made some swings that looked a little different to me as well.  One in particular looked like he shifted off the ball, but he still hit a decent shot.   Maybe I suffer from visual impairment but the timing of swings in real time does look different to me even if the video might be very close to the same.  Tiger's seven iron did not look like he pulled it but he must have had his blade a few degrees closed compared to normal.  What we cannot know is how much turning energy was being applied at the moment and if he was coasting through impact the odds of going left are much higher.  It was the only left shot I saw him hit (did not see all his shots) and that bodes well for his overall progress.

So, no arguement about swings changing only a little, but sometimes a little is a lot in this crazy game.  I claim no expertise nor talent, but I enjoy talking about the way a golf club is swung.  I learn a lot from talking to others about the swing, so I do not mind being corrected because I am not saying I am right about anything.  It is only what I think at the time.

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