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2012 British Open Discussion Thread

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I'm not sure about the power hitters having an advantage on courses which require accuracy off the tee. I don't have the statistics to back it up, but from what I remember, the tendency is for shorter, more accurate players to play better on courses like this. Tom Watson comes to mind from a couple of years ago. Also based on what we saw at the US Open this year. Bubba may not be the best example, as his strategy seemed to be "Driver". In as long grass as you can find at Lytham, it may not make that much of a difference whether you have 170 or 140 yards to the green. If they find a bad lie, they may have to just focus on getting it back on the fairway. There will always be longer hitters playing well, but based on the top of leaderboards, I wouldn't be surprised if the ratio of longer vs shorter hitters were a bit different compared to the average PGA Tournament.

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Originally Posted by Zeph

I'm not sure about the power hitters having an advantage on courses which require accuracy off the tee. I don't have the statistics to back it up, but from what I remember, the tendency is for shorter, more accurate players to play better on courses like this. Tom Watson comes to mind from a couple of years ago.

Also based on what we saw at the US Open this year. Bubba may not be the best example, as his strategy seemed to be "Driver". In as long grass as you can find at Lytham, it may not make that much of a difference whether you have 170 or 140 yards to the green. If they find a bad lie, they may have to just focus on getting it back on the fairway.

There will always be longer hitters playing well, but based on the top of leaderboards, I wouldn't be surprised if the ratio of longer vs shorter hitters were a bit different compared to the average PGA Tournament.

Longer hitters can take less club off the tee, which makes them more accurate. Tiger won at Hoylake because he could hit irons everywhere, avoid every bunker, and so on. That helped Tiger in the first two rounds of the U.S. Open until he started to miss fairways with long irons (which left him long shots in, while others, like Graeme, hit driver more often but even less accurately).

Tom almost won not because he was more accurate but because he putted quite well and knew how to play links golf and to deal with the wind.

It's not like the long hitters are THAT MUCH worse accuracy wise than the short guys. It's a 20% difference - two or three fairways a round separate them. The most accurate guy hits fewer than ten on average and the least accurate guy hits just over seven a round. Again if missing the fairway costs the accurate guy 0.5 shots but the wilder guy 0.3, that's 0.5 * 4 = 2 shots and 0.3 * 7 = 2.1.

So basically equal, and if the scales tip one way (the bomber that hits 56% instead of 50%, the short hitter that only hits 65%, the short hitter who scrambles and loses only 0.4 shots to par, whatever) and you get a big enough delta to make a difference.

That's why sometimes we see short hitters win and sometimes we see long hitters win. The longest aren't necessarily the wildest and the shortest aren't necessarily the most accurate, AND it's just one phase of the game.

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Question for our Euro-Tour Followers (responses greatly appreciated).  I am in a pool that places a great deal of weight on world rankings, so long as the selected golfers make the cut.

QUESTION :  What players outside the top 150 in world golf rankings are in good form and have a very solid chance of making the cut?

Responses very much appreciated.......

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I just finished watching all the press conferences. I guess the reporters over there are no better than they are in the US --- each of them seemed to ask the same question to every player. One guy from South Africa asked them all what they wanted to say about Nelson Mandela (???). One apparently local guy asked them whether they had been able to get out to see all the wonderful things that Lytham had to offer. One Seve fan asked them all what they thought about Seve's win 20+ years ago. One generic guy asked them all how they would cope with having a par 3 as the first hole. The only really interesting questions that seemed tailored to the actual golfer was when somebody asked Phil about his relationship with Barclays, which has become embroiled in a huge financial scandal. And Phil went into Tiger mode, glaring at the guy and giving one-word answers. Reporter: "Have you had any contact with Bob Diamond?" (he's the Barclays CEO who resigned in disgrace) Phil: "Yes." Can't wait for the play to begin. The 200+ bunkers would have been interesting enough just with the riveting, but all the flyovers of the course I've seen on TGC shows them full of water, so the ground must be completely saturated. Which means that even a gentle rain might make the course conditions completely different between morning and afternoon.

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QUESTION :  What players outside the top 150 in world golf rankings are in good form and have a very solid chance of making the cut?

He's not a Euro, but Troy Kelly nearly won the Greenbrier a couple weeks ago. You might also consider Chris Wood and Tim Clark, who have recent top fives.

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QUESTION :  What players outside the top 150 in world golf rankings are in good form and have a very solid chance of making the cut? Responses very much appreciated.......

Richard Sterne. South African, ranked 199th in the world, ran off three consecutive top-ten finishes starting at the BMW PGA Championship. Five European Tour victories, but missed most of the last two years with injuries.

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Originally Posted by brocks

The only really interesting questions that seemed tailored to the actual golfer was when somebody asked Phil about his relationship with Barclays, which has become embroiled in a huge financial scandal. And Phil went into Tiger mode, glaring at the guy and giving one-word answers.

Reporter: "Have you had any contact with Bob Diamond?" (he's the Barclays CEO who resigned in disgrace)

Phil: "Yes."

I say we should make a thread about the "death stare" and level a heavy amount of criticism his way and say he looked like he was about to cry!

By the way, I didn't see any of the press conferences.  However, ESPN was on while I was getting my hair cut at the barber shop and I thought I saw Tiger give another death stare of his own.  What was that about?

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I say we should make a thread about the "death stare" and level a heavy amount of criticism his way and say he looked like he was about to cry!

I'm not sure who asked the question, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't Miceli. ;-) [quote] By the way, I didn't see any of the press conferences.  However, ESPN was on while I was getting my hair cut at the barber shop and I thought I saw Tiger give another death stare of his own.  What was that about? [/quote] Not sure what you're referring to. Tiger seemed very relaxed to me, and gave some thoughtful answers. He seemed to be more familiar with Seve's exploits than the other players, and definitely knew more about Mandela (but he had the advantage of having been invited to his home for a personal visit). Maybe if they edited his answer about being #1 again, it could have seemed cold. Somebody asked him if he was surprised at how fast he had come back (he was out of the top 50 less than a year ago, and could become #1 this Sunday), and he just said "No," and maybe if they cut it off there, it gave the impression that he was PO'd. But he smiled a second later, and said, "Does that help you out?" and got a laugh.

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I often compare golf to language learning. At mother's knee, we all learn easily and well.  Wait 10 yrs, a bit slower. After 20 yrs learning a new language perfectly, not is 'as a native' next to impossible as the body has stiffened and vocal cords cannot respond properly. Wait till you are 50 and learning your first foreign language and see how difficult to master sounds, vocab memory, constructions, idioms, etc.. So it seems that among pro golfers very few have the mother tongue of golf so deeply imbedded as Tiger Woods. Do you think about how to speak? No, you simply say what pops into your mind. Golf? I need to think of so many variables before each shot-it's a complex foreign language to me. English and Golf seems TW's mother tongues.

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Originally Posted by brocks

He's not a Euro, but Troy Kelly nearly won the Greenbrier a couple weeks ago. You might also consider Chris Wood and Tim Clark, who have recent top fives.

Chris Wood is not playing this week, he sprang to mind also, generally a good wind player. Angel Cabrera is always a chance in these tournaments, he always seems to prop up in the big ones.

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Longer hitters can take less club off the tee, which makes them more accurate. Tiger won at Hoylake because he could hit irons everywhere, avoid every bunker, and so on. That helped Tiger in the first two rounds of the U.S. Open until he started to miss fairways with long irons (which left him long shots in, while others, like Graeme, hit driver more often but even less accurately).

That is a good point. Tiger's been opting for the 3-wood and irons whenever he can, as his driver has been a bit wild. What probably won't work is Bubba golf, which was demonstrated at The Olympic. Distance and accuracy is always a seamless transition in the statistics, and you can't pin down a trend to a single stat. Bubba is the longest driver, 130th in accuracy, yet 1st in GIR. Having wedges into the greens certainly makes it easier. Where he struggles is courses which penalize you too much on stray tee shots. If anything, it's more strategy than driving distance.

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The other Lawrie - Peter, been in good form. Has played poor conditions well in the past. He may be in the top100 now though

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I heard on The Golf Channel that David Duval made a pack with himself when he won it in 2001, don't take on any bunkers and if you end up in one, don't take on the green.  They said he found the fewest bunkers of anyone and only once tried to take on a green from a bunker and make double bogey.  So that all said, I think the player that wins it is the one that avoids the bunkers.

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You'll like this... [URL=http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01ks621/5_live_Sport_5_live_Golf_An_Audience_with_Jack_Nicklaus/]http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01ks621/5_live_Sport_5_live_Golf_An_Audience_with_Jack_Nicklaus/[/URL]

Great interview, thank you. Most interesting to me was Jack saying he never even thought about breaking the majors record before 1970. If I had a nickel for every guy who has confidently told me that Jack had "most majors" as his goal from the day he turned pro, I could skip a day picking up aluminum cans.

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Great visuals of each hole including a comment on each hole from top pro.  Cannot believe all the sand bunkers i see.  And only 2 par 5 holes on entire course.  From UK newspaper The Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/golf/theopen/9406557/The-Open-2012-hole-by-hole-guide.html

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Originally Posted by brocks

He's not a Euro, but Troy Kelly nearly won the Greenbrier a couple weeks ago. You might also consider Chris Wood and Tim Clark, who have recent top fives.

Not sure Chris Wood qualified this time around...unfortunately.

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Great visuals of each hole including a comment on each hole from top pro.  Cannot believe all the sand bunkers i see.  And only 2 par 5 holes on entire course.  From UK newspaper The Telegraph      [URL=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/golf/theopen/9406557/The-Open-2012-hole-by-hole-guide.html]http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/golf/theopen/9406557/The-Open-2012-hole-by-hole-guide.html[/URL]

That course guide looks great, but I've tried with both IE and Firefox, and I can only see the top half of the pro's comments. Any advice?

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Note: This thread is 2615 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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