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V. Kmetz

  • Karma: +0/-0
Flowers...dat bloom in da' May... ?
« on: August 09, 2017, 08:52:13 PM »
Just the energy of the change... now the second Major, in the heart of the seasonal fray, some different regional profiles, a schedule perhaps ready to be made leaner, less disposable, more precious...all of this gets the mind cooking and left to wonder:


Is this also an opportunity to add even more and return to Match Play?


Perhaps not at first glance; perhaps there is no burning desire to do this, and no gnawing need...perhaps the excitement of a new and better schedule for this and other competitions is enough and let's see where it goes... right?


YET...


The chief argument (which I heartily acknowledge) is that match play can (and has) fizzle(d) as both an exhibition and as a proper identification of a enduring champion, if notorious top players are eliminated early...and more disappointingly if they are beaten by someone clearly (not year-in, year out) of their caliber...some lower ranked grinder who got in because he had a hot last autumn or collected a lot of 9 - 12th place checks without anyone noticing...


SO, I WAS MUSING...


What if the PGA was conducted at Match Play and there were 64 players in the playing bracket...


THUR: RD 1 - 64 to 32 = 32 matches
FRI:    RD 2 - to 16 and RD 3 - to 8 = 24 matches
SAT:    Quarterfinals to 4 and Semifinals to 2 = 6 matches
SUN:   36 hole Final.


BUT HOW DO YOU GET TO THE 64?


Glad you asked. In the main, the idea is to get as many of the names to also combine with rewarding that season's winners, sprinkle in a few champions, a few Cinderellas and favorite sons, and do so with a proper eye to international doings. So...if it had been THIS May...


A. The previous season's winners of
1. The Masters - Danny Willett
2. The US Open - DJ (also qualifies through C)
3. The Open Champ - Henrik Stenson
4. The Australian PGA Chmp. - Harold Varner III
5. The South African PGA Chmp. - Jaco van Zyl
6. The European PGA (BMW) Chmp. - Chris Wood


B. The last 3 Am. PGA Champions
7. Jimmy Walker
8. Jason Day
9. Rory McIlroy


C. Any Winner of a PGA Tour event THAT calendar season. (starting after Kapulua TOC) up to Sunday before tournament. For this year, that would have meant:


10. Craig Thomas - Sony
11. Hudson Swafford - Career Builder
12. John Rahm - Farmers
13. Hideki Matsuyama - Waste Mgt.
14. Jordan Spieth - AT &T
15. Rickie Fowler - Honda
16. Adam Hadwin - Valspar
17. Mark Leishman - Bay Hill
18. D.A. Points - Puerto Rico
19. Russell Henley - Shell Houston
20. Sergio Garcia - The Masters
21. Wesley Bryan - Heritage
22. Cameron Smith - Zurich - New Orl.
23. Bryan Harman - Wells Fargo
24. Si Woo Kim - The Players
25. Billy Horschel - Nelson
26. Kevin Kisner - Colonial
(C ends here, assuming there isn't a change in the number of events)

Of course, we want there to be a crack for Club Professionals, so:


27. The Win...
28. Place...
29  & Show from the Club Pro Championship
30. A staff professional representative from the host course
31. A touring professional representative chosen by the host course - (perhaps a regional favorite son who hasn't otherwise q'ed)
32. A single PGA of America exemption...
33. The #1, Adam Scott
34. & the #2,Justin Rose World Golf ranking players not otherwise qualified... (as of May this year, if it were considered "live" it would be Alex Noren and Brooks Koepka)


***this number of 34 can go up or down by a few, if there is no redundancy of winners or more crossovers among categories


BUT WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER 30 (or similar number)?


Glad you asked... how do you think the Colonial (Dean-DeLuca) or any tournament to precede the newly issued PGA would feel about not only having their tour event, with their standard winner and prize money BUT ALSO having the Top 30 (not otherwise qualified) finishers get the AT-LARGE entries into the PGA?...


I say because there's this added value, that the field be cut in half (78) and not a 36 cut on Friday, but a 54 hole cut on Saturday.


Wouldn't that be fun?


Not only does that/whichever tournament take on added importance and draw a greater field, but attention will be paid further down the leader board, longer into the proceedings...Patrick Reed, Phil just making the Saturday cut...what's the number going to be...are they out, are they in? And then Sunday, does Garcia already qualified, just bump a guy out of position with what is usually a meaningless birdie in the 9th-to-last group? A 6 man playoff for 2 spots in the PGA, though the winner is decided and the money is divided...won't there be some great stories from all across the spectrum there...? ...Stories that will roll right into the following PGA week?


Of course, once the the field is set at 64...then the seedings for Match Play can go according to World Golf rankings...which is also kind of fun because the three (3) Club Pros and the host club rep, the PGA pick (and perhaps the host club touring favorite son) will almost certainly be Seeds 64 - 59 by that measure and be like Cinderella-lambs to the sluaghter against DJ, Spieth, Rory et al... that would be fun Thursday entertainment and once in a while, you never know...


and THAT kind of early take-down of a top 10 player we can tolerate, nay relish...


So we give Cinderalla a couple of cracks, and we give the 6 best lions a push-over, but a fun one... Meanwhile in the other 26 matches, we'll have a great variety of worthy players, from the winner's circle of the recent past, and a chance for more interesting matches in the meat of it.


If Wesley Bryan then beats Spieth and Jhnottan Vegas beats Rory and a last-ditch qualifier like Paul Casey beats Jason Day, and DJ is nipped by Pat Perez, well...we did the best we could.


LAST NOTE:


I am remembering the premise I started near the top...Isn't this move to May delightful enough? Why do more, or add yet another wrinkle?


Well, because I think the tournament has always been looking for something special, a niche, a notorious obstacle, a bit of character that the other three have... at the Masters, it's Jones, the historic champions, the thrilling finishes, the green jacket ambiance, the glorious spring of a Mackenzie-bones course...at the US Open, it's the rough, the punishment, the greens, the grind, the punishment of loose play, the big collapses, the time-honored stodgy American courses... at the British, it's the fundamentals, the ancient history beyond knowing..the names on the jug...the capricious links, the capricious weather, the perseverance and tempering necessary.


What has the PGA had, like any of that, in memory older than most on the board?


The tournament has been played all over the calendar in like seven different months... some on a few courses that didn't even exist for 50 years... or were never more than expedient Doak 3-4s that were hungry to host... conflicted with the OpenChmp in a difficult travel time.... played at match with one set of qualification rules... then another set...then medal play in 1958.... where it got fixed in the summer, played in way too many places of broiling heat and dangerous lightening...


Since the move to medal play, what has this tournament ever had besides a full, big, quality field? Where is that precious obstacle, that notorious identity, that dogged character necessary to claim what's supposed to be a a most-treasured prize?


If I took away the designation as a professional major (a designation it earned in a time and on terms no longer operating) what would separate this week's PGA from the Wyndham or Wells-Fargo, the big-field? Big deal. The Players, a WGC event, or Bay Hill have that...


Maybe the PGA can have this...or maybe not...your opinions welcome.


cheers   vk







"The tee shot must first be hit straight and long between a vast bunker on the left which whispers 'slice' in the player's ear, and a wilderness on the right which induces a hurried hook." -

Matthew Essig

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flowers...dat bloom in da' May... ?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2017, 11:00:00 PM »
My post will be much shorter than yours, but...


If the American PGA Championship "wants a unique identity" that I hear so much about, being the major that is (and goes back to being) played as Match Play would definitely do that.


I think an easier solution would be...
a) Still have the full field that it does now so they don't have to rework that system
b) THUR/FRI: 36 holes determines the top 16 (or 54 holes if you start on Wednesday, but that wouldn't be likely to happen)
c) SAT: Round of 16 & Quarterfinals
d) SUN: Semifinals & Consolation/Finals
"Good GCA should offer an interesting golfing challenge to the golfer not a difficult golfing challenge." Jon Wiggett

mike_beene

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flowers...dat bloom in da' May... ?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2017, 12:18:09 AM »
The Players or Australian will soon be the fourth major if the PGA goes the route you suggest. I enjoy one match play tourney a year, but 72 holes is ultimately much more exciting.

Tim_Cronin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flowers...dat bloom in da' May... ?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2017, 01:20:37 AM »
Or use the Western Amateur format:
156 players play 36 holes Wednesday and Thursday; cut to the low 50 and ties.
The survivors play 36 on Friday to determine the Sweet Sixteen. Playoff drama almost assured at the end of the day.
Saturday: Round of 16 in the morning, quarterfinals in the afternoon.
Sunday: semifinals in the morning; championship match in the afternoon (adding a consolation match to give TV extra action).
Eight rounds in five days for the final four. Stars rise and fall but aren't guaranteed anything.


This year's Western Am final went four extra holes, a record.
The website: www.illinoisgolfer.net
On Twitter: @illinoisgolfer

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flowers...dat bloom in da' May... ?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2017, 03:04:14 AM »
I think it is worth reiterating V's point that the PGA earned major status as a matchplay event which was a direct response to high profile amateur events.  Ever since matchplay ended (not coincidentally with the fall of the importance of amateur events) the PGA has wallowed as the 4th major.  Its reason for being and format (basically matchplay is an amateur format) were no longer of importance and therefore the identity of the PGA has never recovered.  Holding the event in May, but sticking to medal play for the purpose of cash (all the talk about identifyng a proper winner is rubbish...follow the money) will not, imo, revive the identity of the PGA.  Its time to think outside the box.

Ciao
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 09:24:38 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

V. Kmetz

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flowers...dat bloom in da' May... ?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2017, 09:23:13 AM »
I enjoy the discussion that primary suggestions that people have added...


1. If I were indeed the organizer, I would be hesitant (but not hostile) to push any part of the tournament to Wednesday... I'm inured to the worry over weather (in any month) and requiring 5 days to do something is "pushing it" as opposed to doing it in 4.


2. I'm pleased that Sean A picked up on that aspect (vis a vis WHEN/HOW the PGA got its status)...he's dead-on identifying my critique of the tournament which got started, even prospered for a time, as one thing...a kind of "pro's pro" gathering for match competition, and is kind of in a no man's land after Jones retirement and establishment of the Masters. When the whole world, golf and life, emerges from the Depression and WW II, there's a much more established tour, there's gatherings like the Masters, there's much less amateur golf in the consciousness and the PGA is a weak sister, tossed around the schedule like a rag doll, with differing qualifying formats and soon, a medal competition.


The move to May is a clearly positive step, but I think it needs to have a more precious value-added identity...the way in which you qualify? how many qualify? the manner of play?...something... of course my idea of qualifying tries to split the baby between what the Masters does and adding something to the tournament(s) leading up to the PGA in any given season.


Many years ago, before this board existed or I was on it, I used to think that the PGA would merge with the Players and have a permanent home at Sawgrass, and be the first major in March. While I now have my eyes opened to what is the Tour and what is the PGA of America, I still harbor such a notion....Maybe the Players in March (because its a great field) will dually serve as PGA match-play qualification. :(


cheers
vk




"The tee shot must first be hit straight and long between a vast bunker on the left which whispers 'slice' in the player's ear, and a wilderness on the right which induces a hurried hook." -

PCCraig

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flowers...dat bloom in da' May... ?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2017, 10:00:25 AM »
Or use the Western Amateur format:
156 players play 36 holes Wednesday and Thursday; cut to the low 50 and ties.
The survivors play 36 on Friday to determine the Sweet Sixteen. Playoff drama almost assured at the end of the day.
Saturday: Round of 16 in the morning, quarterfinals in the afternoon.
Sunday: semifinals in the morning; championship match in the afternoon (adding a consolation match to give TV extra action).
Eight rounds in five days for the final four. Stars rise and fall but aren't guaranteed anything.


This year's Western Am final went four extra holes, a record.


Yes...this would be terrific on the professional level.
H.P.S.

Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flowers...dat bloom in da' May... ?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2017, 03:14:22 PM »
Although it will never happen, Match Play is a great idea for the PGA.  Its premiere event--the Ryder Cup--already is a form of Match Play so it would build upon that brand.  Plus it might bring into play some courses not suitable for "long form" Stroke Play that could be great viewing and playing in Match Play.  For example, Colonial.  And even on a big course such as the Ocean Course, the risk/reward decisions would be terrific for the players and the fans.


Ira

Peter Pallotta

Re: Flowers...dat bloom in da' May... ?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 04:28:22 PM »
It must've been a delicious irony for pro golfers of the time that the championship & its match play format was dominated not by wealthy amateurs but by that most proudly flamboyant of all working men, Walter Hagen. Oh, what a joy it would be today: amongst the vast sea of wealthy stars to watch a humble club pro scrabble his way to the match play finals -- and then arrive at the course on Sunday in a chauffeur-driven Bentley and have the butler mix him a double martini before teeing off!
Now THAT would give Jim Nantz something to sink his teeth into!
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 04:30:18 PM by Peter Pallotta »

Ira Fishman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flowers...dat bloom in da' May... ?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2017, 05:01:20 PM »
Don't hurry, don't worry, you are only here for a short visit so make sure you smell the flowers as you go by.




Peter Pallotta

Re: Flowers...dat bloom in da' May... ?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2017, 05:06:19 PM »
Don't hurry, don't worry, you are only here for a short visit so make sure you smell the flowers as you go by.
And:
I don't want to *be* a millionaire, I just want to live like one!

V. Kmetz

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Flowers...dat bloom in da' May... ?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2017, 10:17:26 PM »
It must've been a delicious irony for pro golfers of the time that the championship & its match play format was dominated not by wealthy amateurs but by that most proudly flamboyant of all working men, Walter Hagen. Oh, what a joy it would be today: amongst the vast sea of wealthy stars to watch a humble club pro scrabble his way to the match play finals -- and then arrive at the course on Sunday in a chauffeur-driven Bentley and have the butler mix him a double martini before teeing off!
Now THAT would give Jim Nantz something to sink his teeth into!


An irony within an irony is that there was at least one accomplished amateur who evidently loved those hungry pros and sharps like Hagen...Robert Tyre Jones Jr... his formative experiences under Stewart Maiden and Willie Ogg and his early competitions exhibitions with that first era of professionals were both homaged extensively by Jones in his issued writings, his initial concept of the Masters (having the best "sticks" in the game come together), his fostering of the first two Senior PGAs hosted at ANGC (a great trivia question by the way...the only other competition held there) and the Masters practice of old vets driving in the tournament... which the first two winners of that Senior PGA, Jock Hutchinson and Fred McLeod, (also champions of Jones youth) inaugurated from 1963-76.


While there isn't an empirical line, one can just "feel" how Jones must have felt about those wonderful players, many of them the imported Scots, who were his aspiring world as a boy and a teen. And we know how - despite friction with the amateur gentleman's set that first wanted to keep them in their place - they felt about Jones, he was no effete amateur in their eyes; he was a peer.


cheers   vk

"The tee shot must first be hit straight and long between a vast bunker on the left which whispers 'slice' in the player's ear, and a wilderness on the right which induces a hurried hook." -

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