News:

This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


John Kavanaugh

  • Karma: +0/-0

Jeff Schley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2009 Turnberry "The old fogey almost did it," he said afterwards.
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2020, 08:59:49 AM »
Re watching the round now and he started shaky for sure.  BTW for those who think he should have chipped behind 18 instead of putted, I just watched him hit a marvelous chip from very similar spot and distance over the 3rd green and he hit it to about 4 feet.  I'm 3 holes in now and he has missed two par putts (8 feet on hole 1 which isn't difficult and 4 feet on the 3rd which is). Used and iron off 1 and hybrid off 2 and finally a driver on 3. We know from Norman the previous year that when a course has roll in it and plays fast it brings in quite a few old timers.

What could have been.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qsdzt27zRhg

EDIT: Watch Ernie Els approach at 1:49:30 to hole 18. Foreshadowing Watson's own bounce. Neither he, nor the announcers, could believe how big his bounce was coming off the fairway hitting on the front of the green.

EDIT EDIT: at 4:16:00 Totally forgot that Watson run through in 2 shots on 17 and ended up against the edge of the collar. He putted it from there and ended up within 2 feet.  Thus he was probably thinking I just made a nice up and down on 17 and let's do it once more on 18.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 10:47:49 AM by Jeff Schley »
"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice your gifts."
- Steve Prefontaine

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: 2009 Turnberry "The old fogey almost did it," he said afterwards.
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2020, 10:32:44 AM »
How did the architecture give a 59 yr old a shot?



It's not the architecture so much as the conditions.  The course was dry as a bone and playing very short so the young guys' strength advantage was taken away - Watson was quick to say he couldn't have contended at Augusta that week.


Also, it was windy enough that knowing how to use or negate it was an advantage to older players who grew up controlling their trajectory.


Finally, very penal sod wall bunkers punish the young guns if they can't get over them all.


It isn't just Turnberry - Darren Clarke won at Sandwich, and it seems like every year there are short hitters in the mix at The Open.  That's why we celebrate firm and fast conditions here.

Peter Pallotta

Re: 2009 Turnberry "The old fogey almost did it," he said afterwards.
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2020, 11:11:49 AM »
Someone once asked Watson what he did to be such a good wind player, fully expecting (as I did) a long answer about flighting the ball down and/or hitting draws and fades to hold it into the wind etc. Instead, he simply said "I just try to hit it solidly. The wind won't move a well struck shot".

And that answer resonated with me, because it confirmed what I sensed intuitively, i.e. that in firm and fast and windy conditions, the best ball strikers finally have the advantage tee-to-green they deserve, and are rewarded as I think they should be rewarded but seldom are (in most cases and at most courses).  And in that context, I don't think it's an accident that *today's* older players -- like Watson and Norman -- could almost win The Open; I'm not sure that'll be the case for *tomorrow's* older players.

Why? Because Any tour player in their 50s and 60s and 70s today learned to play the game with unforgiving blade irons and itty-bitty persimmon headed drivers, and so became exceptional ball strikers who hit a lot of fairways and greens. Give a golfer like that some modern cavity back irons and Adams hybrids and a 460 cc driver and they'll be hitting it solid all day long.

The trouble is, we'll only notice it and they'll only be able to take advantage of it during those rare tournaments when the conditions are most 'golfy', i.e. hard and dry and firm and fast and windy, with penal bunkers.

« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 11:19:39 AM by Peter Pallotta »

Jeff_Brauer

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2009 Turnberry "The old fogey almost did it," he said afterwards.
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2020, 11:23:29 AM »
I heard him give a presentation about it.  He said he had played it in what was the wind direction that week several times, but in the more recent events, and even the practice rounds, the wind never blew that direction, so the "kids" hadn't ever played it.  He said he felt he had a great chance because of that.
Jeff Brauer, ASGCA Director of Outreach

Jason Thurman

  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: 2009 Turnberry "The old fogey almost did it," he said afterwards.
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2020, 09:34:48 AM »
This thread from July 2009 offers a couple thoughts.


* A combination of gathering greens and tucked pins. I could see how those factors could favor someone with a more "plodding" mindset, potentially.


* Lots of wind, which might favor a slower swing speed player who generates less spin and a lower ballflight, especially if that player is one of the great links players in the history of the game.


* Firmness. I think that one's almost a given - with the ball running out, Watson wasn't at a terrible disadvantage in terms of distance. And with greens not allowing for drop-and-stop approaches, a well-carved 8 iron could be just as accurate an approach club as a high, soft wedge. Of course, a 9 iron might work better sometimes...


Just as an aside - like Jeff, I think about what might have been. I'm not really a Watson fan, but I was that week just like everybody else. In hindsight though, what DID HAPPEN is still pretty amazing. It's one of the great tournaments I've ever watched - I remember where I was and what was happening in my life at the time, and yet, I don't remember a single shot that the winner hit. That Open belongs to Tom Watson, even if the Claret Jug didn't go home with him, and it adds a lot more to his legacy as a great player than it takes away.
"There will always be haters. Thatís just the way it is. Hating dudes marry hating women and have hating ass kids." - Evan Turner

Some of y'all have never been called out in bold green font and it really shows.

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2009 Turnberry "The old fogey almost did it," he said afterwards.
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2020, 09:55:37 AM »
Someone once asked Watson what he did to be such a good wind player, fully expecting (as I did) a long answer about flighting the ball down and/or hitting draws and fades to hold it into the wind etc. Instead, he simply said "I just try to hit it solidly. The wind won't move a well struck shot".

And that answer resonated with me, because it confirmed what I sensed intuitively, i.e. that in firm and fast and windy conditions, the best ball strikers finally have the advantage tee-to-green they deserve, and are rewarded as I think they should be rewarded but seldom are (in most cases and at most courses).  And in that context, I don't think it's an accident that *today's* older players -- like Watson and Norman -- could almost win The Open; I'm not sure that'll be the case for *tomorrow's* older players.

Why? Because Any tour player in their 50s and 60s and 70s today learned to play the game with unforgiving blade irons and itty-bitty persimmon headed drivers, and so became exceptional ball strikers who hit a lot of fairways and greens. Give a golfer like that some modern cavity back irons and Adams hybrids and a 460 cc driver and they'll be hitting it solid all day long.

The trouble is, we'll only notice it and they'll only be able to take advantage of it during those rare tournaments when the conditions are most 'golfy', i.e. hard and dry and firm and fast and windy, with penal bunkers.


The excellent Lynne Truss was reporting for The Times that week and several times commented on how solidly Cink was hitting it...


She also said that when he walked into the Press Tent after the round, the atmosphere could not have been more subdued than if they has been waiting to interview the man who murdered Father Christmas.
Let's make GCA grate again!

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2009 Turnberry "The old fogey almost did it," he said afterwards.
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2020, 09:57:27 AM »


EDIT EDIT: at 4:16:00 Totally forgot that Watson run through in 2 shots on 17 and ended up against the edge of the collar. He putted it from there and ended up within 2 feet.  Thus he was probably thinking I just made a nice up and down on 17 and let's do it once more on 18.


I have this round on my black box and have watched it many times. Would love to know why he didn't go with putter on 18....
Let's make GCA grate again!

Jeff Schley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2009 Turnberry "The old fogey almost did it," he said afterwards.
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2020, 10:17:50 AM »


Just as an aside - like Jeff, I think about what might have been. I'm not really a Watson fan, but I was that week just like everybody else. In hindsight though, what DID HAPPEN is still pretty amazing. It's one of the great tournaments I've ever watched - I remember where I was and what was happening in my life at the time, and yet, I don't remember a single shot that the winner hit. That Open belongs to Tom Watson, even if the Claret Jug didn't go home with him, and it adds a lot more to his legacy as a great player than it takes away.
In rewatching that open, Stewart Cink sunk a CLUTCH putt on hole 18 from 10-12 feet to even get into what would be the playoff. Watson obviously didn't have a great putting day, but he drove the ball very well, much of the time without driver. He also was able to hit a couple hybrids into the wind on some tough holes when he needed to. I think one of the great equalizers is the pot bunkers or deep sod facing bunkers which puts a premium on accuracy. But I agree I can't recall a single Stewart Cink shot.


I'm not a fan of Azinger, but I remember his line afterwards saying, "It feels like someone shot Santa Claus."
"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice your gifts."
- Steve Prefontaine

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2009 Turnberry "The old fogey almost did it," he said afterwards.
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2020, 12:54:30 PM »


Just as an aside - like Jeff, I think about what might have been. I'm not really a Watson fan, but I was that week just like everybody else. In hindsight though, what DID HAPPEN is still pretty amazing. It's one of the great tournaments I've ever watched - I remember where I was and what was happening in my life at the time, and yet, I don't remember a single shot that the winner hit. That Open belongs to Tom Watson, even if the Claret Jug didn't go home with him, and it adds a lot more to his legacy as a great player than it takes away.



I'm not a fan of Azinger, but I remember his line afterwards saying, "It feels like someone shot Santa Claus."


One of the greatest lines ever...
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2009 Turnberry "The old fogey almost did it," he said afterwards.
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2020, 12:57:21 PM »
Maybe thereís both a set-up and a design/maintenance lesson here - firmness - a great equaliser?
Atb

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2009 Turnberry "The old fogey almost did it," he said afterwards.
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2020, 08:43:39 AM »
How did the architecture give a 59 yr old a shot?



It's not the architecture so much as the conditions.  The course was dry as a bone and playing very short so the young guys' strength advantage was taken away - Watson was quick to say he couldn't have contended at Augusta that week.


Also, it was windy enough that knowing how to use or negate it was an advantage to older players who grew up controlling their trajectory.


Tom


I agree with you up to a point. It should also be said the traditional design of links courses tends to be more flexible because of those conditions, or more exactly the variation in conditions. The hazards tend to be flanking hazards which allows the ball to be bounced/run on the green and indeed that is sometimes the favoured option. Length isn't the be all and end all.


Niall

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2009 Turnberry "The old fogey almost did it," he said afterwards.
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2020, 08:47:35 AM »
Someone once asked Watson what he did to be such a good wind player, fully expecting (as I did) a long answer about flighting the ball down and/or hitting draws and fades to hold it into the wind etc. Instead, he simply said "I just try to hit it solidly. The wind won't move a well struck shot".


I remember Watson also saying a number of years ago that after a few weeks of links golf he lost his swing in the wind.


Niall

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back