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2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open Discussion

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1 hour ago, bogdan101 said:

I cheered for Hideki just because it's not right that someone wearing THOSE pants and shoes should win.

I cheered for Fowler because Hidickie takes way to frickin long when he addresses a shot. I like his swing but dayum, pull the trigger already.

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Matsuyama, still only 23, is quietly building something. He's already got 2 PGA Tour wins and a bunch of high finishes in the majors. Rickie is 4 years older, but Matsuyama is starting to catch up to him in terms of development.

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Still scratching my head on the decision to pull driver on 17 with a 2 shot lead.  5iron into the fairway followed by a wedge and I'm sure he would of had a nice look for birdie and a guaranteed par.

Aside from that, quite the entertaining finish.  I was pulling for Rickie but am also happy for Matsuyama.  His ball striking was superb and he earned it.

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Ok, Rickie melted down on 17 ... more than once. Bad day? Bad biorhythms? Was it the pants? Other than poor judgment, who knows.

On the bright side, in 2015, he has 5 PGA events, 1 MC, 2 Top 10s, 4 top 25's, and one Euro win.

In 2015, 21 events, 4 MC, 2 wins, 7 top 10s, 10 top 25's.

He is showing up more frequently in early 2016 than even last year.

Edited by Mr. Desmond

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Rickie spending too much time with Phil...the driver call on 17 looked like something Lefty would have done.

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3 hours ago, Deryck Griffith said:

Still scratching my head on the decision to pull driver on 17 with a 2 shot lead.  5iron into the fairway followed by a wedge and I'm sure he would of had a nice look for birdie and a guaranteed par.

 

I'm not sure I'd agree that laying up to a full wedge would be the right play here, but I'm also mystified by the choice to play driver.  5-wood or a utility club would have set him up for a good shot at up and down.

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It seems like with a 2 stroke lead going to 17, you have to avoid the water at all costs. Rickie and his caddie were worried about the fairway bunkers, but that probably shouldn't matter for a PGA Tour player on that hole. It shouldn't be hard to make a par from the bunkers on that hole. Hit the club that takes water out of play.

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Pretty exciting finish. I watched the 4 playoff holes when I got to the course to drop off my kids. I hit balls on the range and watched the playoff holes in between shots. I didn't know about the 17th hole error, but he apparently made the same mistake during the final playoff hole. I like watching this kind of golf, where there are 4 playoff holes, but it would have been nicer if they were putting for birdies and one of them just barely lost. Instead, the OSD stated "2 putts to win" for Hideki.

We missed the kickoff for the Broncos/Panther game because we wanted to finish watching the open.

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1 hour ago, Lihu said:

Pretty exciting finish. I watched the 4 playoff holes when I got to the course to drop off my kids. I hit balls on the range and watched the playoff holes in between shots. I didn't know about the 17th hole error, but he apparently made the same mistake during the final playoff hole. I like watching this kind of golf, where there are 4 playoff holes, but it would have been nicer if they were putting for birdies and one of them just barely lost. Instead, the OSD stated "2 putts to win" for Hideki.

We missed the kickoff for the Broncos/Panther game because we wanted to finish watching the open.

It wasn't the same mistake other than the fact that they both resulted in the ball ending up in a water hazard. In the playoff, it was just a bad swing with a fairway wood - he just hooked it. Whereas the regulation mistake was a gameplan error; he hit driver right up the center of the green, but it was too much club and rolled through everything straight off the back and into the water.

Exciting finish, except I was rooting for Rickie.  Moreso, though, in that type of situation, I was just rooting for somebody to win with a birdie, not somebody to lose with a bogey.

On another note, Hideki Matsuyama sure has some weird reactions to shots.  I noticed it earlier this year and I noticed it yesterday - don't remember which hole.  He has that weird follow through where they let go of the club and he looks dejected.  The kind where you expect to find the ball miss the green or worse.  Yet his ball finishes 15 feet away for birdie.  Also his reaction to the missed birdie putt on the last playoff hole was overly dramatic as well.  "Dude, this ain't tennis.  You are allowed to win by one.  Stop slow-rolling the guy, tap it in, and be happy!"

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15 hours ago, Dave2512 said:

Rickie's poor decisions on 17 could be a thread, he blew it. 

I know today's pros like to be aggressive but there is a time to be a bit more conservative sometimes in order to stay in a game (a playoff in this case).

Ricky knew that 17 was killing him during the tournament so why not play just a wee bit conservative in the playoff so as not to lose the title to a par 4 on a 300-yard hole? 

Then again, if it was a major or the Ryder Cup he might have exercised more will power - at the end of the year who remembers (or even watched) a tournament that finished 5 minutes before the Super Bowl?

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My main question is whether a ball in the grandstands on the right side of 17 entitles the player to free relief.  The fairway already wraps around to the right, so the safe play should be to poke a fairway wood over that-a-way, no?  Then you take your chances with the fairway bunker if you pull it short, or a bad bounce of the stands of you push it long, but the water hazard is definitely out of play.  Unless a miss to the right into the stands is considered OB?

At any rate, with the benefit of hindsight it seems obvious that Fowler, with a 2 shot lead, could have hit an iron short of the bunker and then put an 8 or 9 iron onto the green for a sure par, although it is kind of a small target.

Edited by Tee2Trees

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Here's a different (and I'd argue pretty sensible) take on Rickie's 17th hole (regulation) club choice: http://www.sbnation.com/golf/2016/2/8/10937322/rickie-fowler-waste-management-phoenix-open-2016 

Quote

After Rickie Fowler cranked a drive 358 yards (easily the longest drive he hit all week) through the green on the 71st hole of the Phoenix Open and into the water, the three-time PGA Tour winner came under fire for his decision to reach for the driver with a two-shot lead with just two holes to play.

...

 

From the front of the green to the water behind the green measures 53 yards, so I’m comfortable saying that his ball rolled about 80 yards after hitting the ground.

It's easy to criticize the decision from your couch, or even the TV booth on site. But the player is making the club choice in the arena, at ground level, and obviously without the information that we have when we’re able to use hindsight while watching on TV.

If you thought Fowler should not have hit a driver because you knew the risk of him hitting a downslope, and the ball rolling out an additional 80 or so yards (on a week where the ball wasn’t even rolling out in the fairway), then you are capable of envisioning the outcome of one of the most unpredictable games in a way that I am not familiar.

A player needs to make about 40 full swing judgment decisions in a single round based on wind direction, best places to miss, what you’re most comfortable with hitting, the score scenario, and several other factors. The 17th hole at TPC Scottsdale was no exception to this. NBC did a nice job catching the key part of the dialogue between caddie Joe Skovron and Fowler. Skovron mentioned that it was 265 to clear the trap on the right, and if he didn’t hit his 3-wood perfectly, that was going to be an issue. It’s 287 to reach the water on the left, so if you do have the length to clear that bunker on the right, that means it will have the length to reach the water on the left. From this, I’m guessing that Fowler and Skovron calculated that a driver was actually the safer club choice of the two, and that it was more likely for him to go in the bunker with the 3-wood than his ball roll 80-plus yards into the water.

Fowler was absolutely striping it (his 4.743 strokes gained tee-to-green on Sunday led the entire field) and he proceeded to hit probably his best shot of the day -- on what looked like about a 90% swing. The ball lands on a downslope, behind where Hideki Matsuyama’s 3-wood actually landed, and somehow rolls all the way off the back of the green to a watery grave. If it lands five yards shorter or five yards longer, it’s perfect, and he’s cruising to a win. But he got a bad break, so people are bound to point to the result and go from there. And if you really want to use hindsight, he needed to play the last two holes in 1-under to win. If he had known that, imagine how much heat he'd be taking for laying up on one of the easiest holes out there.

Professional golfers are incredibly proficient at knowing their games, their yardages, their strengths, their weaknesses, and the scenario. Yet every single round, we see players miss greens long and short with irons in their hands, and look more confused than they would if they were trying to solve an algebraic equation. Add in the bad break set out above, and the fact that the ball went 358 yards, and I have a hard time even calling this a miscalculation. He picked out a shot, and executed it perfectly.

Here’s what Fowler had to say afterward: "I mean, it's gonna hurt because I felt like I had it, especially with the way I was swinging. 17, it was 304 front and then we had an extra, it's like 26 or, I don't know, there's 30-some yards until the back bunker. It's 330-plus.

Figured -- I'm hitting a chip-cut driver. Usually don't expect it to hit on the downslope and then go 360.

So that was a bit unfortunate. I hit it right on line, hit it exactly where I was looking. That's kind of the unfortunate part to hit the shots that I did and to pull them off and then it kind of backfired there. Hit a perfect shot."

Those that were clamoring for him to hit a 3-wood in regulation were strangely silent when he did pull that club in the playoff, only to again find the water, this time left of the green.

If you want to argue that he should have hit iron off the tee, you would be asking him to play the hole in a way he’s probably never played it before. Not to mention, taking iron off the tee brings a bunker into play at 211 yards to the left, and another one at 222 yards to the right. Even from the middle of the fairway there, you leave yourself 100 yards to a pin that’s surrounded by water to the left, and long. The hole has just been a nightmare for Fowler and has never fit his eye. That second water ball in the playoff was the ninth time he put one in that hazard in his career.

Critics took the angle of Rickie being overaggressive, even invoking the name of Van de Velde for blowing his two-shot lead while trying to put an exclamation point on the tournament. But if this was the 16th hole, and Fowler misclubbed with an 8-iron and went long and made bogey, would we be all over him for misclubbing? The fact that the error was made with a driver made it look more audacious than it really was. But this is a lot closer to Tiger hitting the pin on No. 15 at the 2013 Masters than it is Phil hitting a wayward driver on the 18th at Winged Foot in 2006.

Fowler was confident he could pull the shot off, and he did. A combination of a (perhaps) bad calculation, a bad break, and a smoked "chip-cut" drive was Rickie’s downfall.

 

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OK the above article says Fowler carried his driver SHORTER than Matsuyama carried his 3-wood on 17, and it still rolled off the back of the green?  That pretty much settles it then and there isn't really any fault to place on him there.  The TV broadcast never showed how there is a downslope short of Matsuyama's ball that caused all of this.

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4 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

It wasn't the same mistake other than the fact that they both resulted in the ball ending up in a water hazard. In the playoff, it was just a bad swing with a fairway wood - he just hooked it. Whereas the regulation mistake was a gameplan error; he hit driver right up the center of the green, but it was too much club and rolled through everything straight off the back and into the water.

Exciting finish, except I was rooting for Rickie.  Moreso, though, in that type of situation, I was just rooting for somebody to win with a birdie, not somebody to lose with a bogey.

On another note, Hideki Matsuyama sure has some weird reactions to shots.  I noticed it earlier this year and I noticed it yesterday - don't remember which hole.  He has that weird follow through where they let go of the club and he looks dejected.  The kind where you expect to find the ball miss the green or worse.  Yet his ball finishes 15 feet away for birdie.  Also his reaction to the missed birdie putt on the last playoff hole was overly dramatic as well.  "Dude, this ain't tennis.  You are allowed to win by one.  Stop slow-rolling the guy, tap it in, and be happy!"

Yeah, I just read the article you posted. Good perspective. I also noticed Hideki's over reaction. He's still pretty young so I suppose it's easy to expect that?

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26 minutes ago, Lihu said:

I also noticed Hideki's over reaction. He's still pretty young so I suppose it's easy to expect that?

Yeah, I don't know.  It doesn't bother me - I just found it amusing.  I'm a fan of his**, especially the pause at the top of his swing.  Seems so controlled.

**I'm just more of a fan of Rickie's so I was rooting against Hideki yesterday. :)

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3 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

Here's a different (and I'd argue pretty sensible) take on Rickie's 17th hole (regulation) club choice: http://www.sbnation.com/golf/2016/2/8/10937322/rickie-fowler-waste-management-phoenix-open-2016 

 

Nice pretzelling. He was +2 on a drivable par 4 played 5 times. Maybe he should re-evaluate how he plays the hole next year. 

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4 hours ago, Coronagolfman said:

I know today's pros like to be aggressive but there is a time to be a bit more conservative sometimes in order to stay in a game (a playoff in this case).

Ricky knew that 17 was killing him during the tournament so why not play just a wee bit conservative in the playoff so as not to lose the title to a par 4 on a 300-yard hole? 

Then again, if it was a major or the Ryder Cup he might have exercised more will power - at the end of the year who remembers (or even watched) a tournament that finished 5 minutes before the Super Bowl?

Actually I missed the first 12 minutes of the Super bowl just to watch the playoff. Do I have my priorities straight?

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