On the Battlefield

mulligan, 06 October 2005, Comments Off on On the Battlefield
Categories: Uncategorized

OK. On the battle field is slightly exaggerated, but since I was out at Harding, I thought I’d give an update on how the course is shaping up.
Well, I’ll keep most individual scores out of this in case you will be watching later on TV, but I have to mention a few.
Tiger is on top. Shocker. Actually, after hurting his back at the President’s Cup, I wasn’t sure he would fare well, but he is driving the ball insanely long. In the practice round Tuesday, he tried to cut off the entire dogleg on 18, firing it over the last tree to the left over the lake. It has to be around 300 yards over a 40-50 foot tree line. He clipped the final tree, but it was close to putting him less than 100 yards from the hole. Today, he is hitting almost every green, which brings up two factors that define who will win this tournament.
Now, around 70% of the field is even or better (I know, I know, it is early). But even those that are missing fairways half the time are hitting the green 75% of the time (per a statistics guy I spoke to at the course). Greens in regulation are extremely high in this tournament. so the two statistics you have to look at are if they are hitting greens and putting OK. For the players I’ve watched today, everything depends on where their ball ends up on the green. On most holes, outside of the few 450 plus par fours, the players have around 135 yards in, and if they can’t put it to the right quadrant of the green, you see very few one-putts. For example, Leonard is hitting a lot of greens (despite hitting few fairways), but not putting it remotely close, and his putting is horrible. Thus, he is at the bottom of the leaderboard. Meanwhile, Daly is missing fairways like he misses his bourbon, yet he is putting really well, and is at the top of the leaderboard. All about placement with your irons.
Bunkers don’t appear to be a factor. In fact, I have yet to see a player hit out of one. Strange.
18 hasn’t been much of a problem. Most players have about an 8 iron to the green. Colin just birdied it, which brings me to him.
Colin has been getting a lot of support from the croud, and is putting well and at the top of the leaderboard. Sitting 2nd on the Order of Merit behind Campbell, he is definitely looking to win another this year.
#9, the converted par 5 to a long par 4, seems to be the trouble hole. Players are not hitting the fairway, and have 200 yards left on their 2nd shot in most cases. Not many birdies (well, I have yet to see one), and mostly it is a hole where the players are attempting to get up and down to save par in most cases.


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