It’s nearly time for the most punishing week in the professional schedule: the United States Open.  This year, the tournament will be contested at the monstrously long (7812 yards from the tips on the scorecard) Pete Dye (vomit) design at Erin Hills.

Kevin Na provides a perfect preview of the conditions to be faced in the video below:

With that context in mind, here’s the PowerFade’s guide on how to lose your money gambling:

Actual Leaderboard
1 | Brooks Koepka | -16
T2 | Hideki Matsuyama | -12
T2 | Brian Harman | -12
4 | Tommy Fleetwood | -11
T5 | Xander Schauffele | -10
T5 | Bill Haas | -10
T5 | Rickie Fowler | -10
8 | Charley Hoffman | -9
T9 | Trey Mullinax | -8
T9 | Brandt Snedeker | -8
T9 | Justin Thomas | -8
12 | J.B. Holmes | -7
T13 | Brendan Steele | -6
T13 | Patrick Reed | -6
T13 | Si Woo Kim | -6
T16 | Matt Kuchar | -5
T16 | Steve Stricker | -5
T16 | Chez Reavie | -5
T16 | Eddie Pepperell | -5
T16 | Bernd Wiesberger | -5

LG:
Winner: Rory Mcilroy MC—correct answer was Brooks Koepka
Winning Score: -4 -16
Runner Up: Dustin Johnson (in a playoff) MC
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Stu Hagestad Xander Shauffele
Last Year’s Winner (DJ) will…: runner up MC
Masters Champion (Sergio) will …: Make cut correct
British Open Champion (Stenson) will …: Make cut MC
PGA Champion (Walker) will…: Miss cut correct, +6
Last week’s winner, Daniel Berger, will…: Make cut correct, +9
Rory will…: WIN no
Rickie Fowler will…: Top 10 correct, T5 at -10
Jordan Speith will…: Make cut correct, T35 at +1
Justin Rose will…: Make cut MC, +2
Jason Day will…: Make cut MC +10
Will Mickelson play in the event?: Yes. NO
Will anyone break par for all 4 rounds?: No Koepka and Snedeker both shot all red
What will be the highest score that misses the cut?: +35 +20, Walker Lee (a). Highest score by a pro was Wesley Bryan at +15
What will be the highest single hole score?: 11 no idea
What will be the major storyline of the tournament: Mickelson’s daughter’s graduation gets pushed forward an hour so he can make his late tee time to miss the cut with no driver in the bag. that would be awesome…
Bold Prediction?: Stu Hagestad isn’t bold enough???? apparently a bit too bold

JK:
Winner: Dustin Johnson
Winning Score: +2
Runner Up: Rory McIlroy
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Thomas Pieters MC
Last Year’s Winner (DJ) will…:  Back-to-back, assuming he doesn’t fall down the stairs again
Masters Champion (Sergio) will …: MC
British Open Champion (Stenson) will …: MC
PGA Champion (Walker) will…: MC
Last week’s winner, Daniel Berger, will…: Make the cut
Rory will…: Top 10
Rickie Fowler will…: Top 10
Jordan Speith will…: Top 10
Justin Rose will…: MC
Jason Day will…: Top 10
Will Mickelson play in the event?: No
Will anyone break par for all 4 rounds?: No chance
What will be the highest score that misses the cut?: +23
What will be the highest single hole score?: 9
What will be the major storyline of the tournament: The rough
Bold Prediction?: The big names do really well overall…not many unknowns making a play. couldn’t be more wrong–there wasn’t a single prior major winner in the top 20

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Make Golf Fun Again

July 4, 2016

Happy Am-exit day, everyone!  In the spirit of the occasion, the PowerFade team has decided to do something that the country as a whole is threatening to do: when faced with mass hysteria about the state of an alleged problem, we’re going to throw out everything anyone has ever done to try to fix a problem and replace it with an entirely new regime that has never been tried or tested.  In this case, we’re talking about the rules of golf.

In the wake of yet another rules fiasco at the U.S. Open that could have cost Dustin Johnson yet another U.S. Open title, several questions keep coming to mind: why are the rules of golf so damn hard to understand?  Shouldn’t they be easier to understand?  Why isn’t the USGA following their own rules?  And most important: are the arcane and unapproachable rules contributing to why golf is falling off in popularity in this country and around the world?

After discussions between JK, LG, and the AMTP, we have devised a set of rules for the weekend golf crew that we think will make golf fun again.  Disclaimer: in order to prevent these rules from becoming as cumbersome as “the Rules of Golf,” we have assumed a certain amount of knowledge of the “Rules” and of golf in general.  We’re not a rules making body, and the scores that result from playing with our versions should not be posted for handicap purposes.  Read: You’ll end up losing a lot of money in your regular $2 nassau if you start posting these scores, so don’t do it.

Rules of PowerFade Golf

Goals of our rules: Make golf faster, more fun, and keep it in the spirit of the game.

  1. The Game:
    1. …it’s golf.  Hit the ball into the hole in as few strokes as possible.
  2. Playing the game:
    1. Winter rules apply everywhere – No bad lies.  If you roll into a divot off the tee – move it.  If you get a fried egg in a bunker, roll it out, but stay in the bunker.  If you get a gnarly lie in the rough, improve it.  Mud ball? clean it.
  3. Scoring
    1. No penalty shots will be assessed for hitting into or out of hazards.  Not even if you ground your club in a bunker.
    2. All marked or staked hazards/Out of bounds will be played as lateral hazards if possible.  This means drop it within approximately two flag sticks of the nearest point you think it went into the hazard.
    3. If it is not possible to play a hazard/OB, yell over at your opponent and come to a fast and reasonable agreement about where you should play from.  Remember, karma is a bitch.
    4. On the green: only intentional putts count toward your stroke total.  If the ball moves closer to the hole at address without an intentional stroke, move it back to where it was.  If it moves away from the hole, play it as it lies.
    5. On the green: no more than 3 putts are allowed.  If you reach the green in 1 shot, the worst you can do is 4.  Once you reach 3 putts, pick up.  If the greens have been punched in the last 3 weeks, automatic two putts are mandatory.
    6. Once you reach 8 strokes, pick up.  If you both reach 8 strokes, the hole is pushed.
  4. Tees: Any set of tees that are 6,400 yards or shorter.  It may help to modify the scorecard by tearing off the top two sets of tees that are no longer relevant, or even part of the course, as far as you are concerned.
  5.  Equipment
    1. No limit on the number of clubs in your bag.  (You’re welcome, Phil)
    2. You may only use one putter per hole (no switching putters between putts).  (Sorry, Phil)
    3. You may NOT adjust an adjustable club during the round.
  6. Time of play: 15 minutes per hole or fewer.  There’s no scoring penalty for violating this rule, but don’t be a pill.  If your group violates this rule more than once in a given match, each member of the group must donate $5 to the local First Tee organization per violation.  If, at any point during the match, the total amount of the bets placed on the first tee has been exceeded by repeated violations of the $5 rule, any member of the group that has not already deposited his or her clubs in the nearest lake should do so, and everyone should trudge into the bar so as not to have wasted the entire Saturday.
  7. In general, discrepancies that are not addressed by the rules should be handled with common sense.  To the extent common sense is not available, trial by combat is appropriate, assuming no violation of Rule 6.

Next up: The PowerFade team reviews how well the rules accomplished their objectives by playing a round or two using them.  Please feel free to post your own reviews in the comments below if you use these rules during your next round!  If you’re going to troll this, please do so in a way that makes us laugh 🙂

Play of the Week 33

June 19, 2012

This week, I’m afraid I have to give the POTW to the USGA. Typically, I am not a fan of the US Open. When I’ve watched the tournament in years past, I’ve typically found it to be rather boring for a number of reasons. In most cases, it is pointlessly difficult, to where even the best in the world can make nothing of the courses (Oakmont, 2007; Shinnecock, 2004). In many cases, the winner is boring or surprising–as if we were playing the John Deere classic instead of a Major (e.g., Lucas Glover 2009, Angel Cabrera 2007, Michael Campbell 2005, Reteif Goosen 2001/2004). Often, it’s just a war of attrition, where the one player who’s lucky enough to find his ball on every hole manages to sift through the gauntlet and survive the fray (GMac, 2010). Or, the tournament is just boring (McIlroy, 2011).

But every few years, the USGA gets it right. One of the most memorable tournaments I’ve ever watched was the US Open at Torrey Pines in 2008, where Tiger edged Rocco Mediate with a gutsy performance that just outlasted one of the most tenacious players in the game. Or 1999, where the image of Payne Stewart sinking a 20-foot putt to save par on the 72nd hole has become an icon of the game of golf. But in 1999, although the winning score was -1, the course played fairly. It showcased how the greatest in the world (a very young Tiger, a younger than now Phil) could play when the pressure cooker was on, and Payne’s lasting legacy of 1-putting the last 3 holes to hold on was truly a riveting watch.

Like ’08 and ’99, this year, the USGA got it right. The US Open this year wasn’t flashy. It was a simple test–a par 70, even. No water hazards to fly over, no forced carries, not even more than a few fairway bunkers. But Olympic Club was just right. The winning score a nice +1, with Webb Simpson coming out on top over Jim Furyk–trying to hold on–and Graeme McDowell, who charged in at the end but couldn’t seal the deal. Webb posted his second 68 of the weekend hours before GMac and Furyk walked off the course, leaving the scene for great tension and excitement. Olympic was a true test–not just a slaughterhouse. It TESTED the best in the world, but the test could be passed. Players didn’t complain that it was unfair or say that it was too penal. Instead, they went about their business, and the winner played under par both rounds on the weekend. When was the last time you said that about a US Open winner? (well, other than 2011, when Rors was on an absolute tear, but who else?) And, for the second time this year, the winner of a major has come from a pairing other than the final group, which is some welcome excitement that we don’t often see.

I’m not saying this was as exciting as the Masters is every year, or that the US Open is no longer my least favorite of the majors. What the USGA typically does to the players isn’t right, on any level. But this year, the course was what a true test should be. When a player masters that test, he should get the trophy, and Webb did. So, to the USGA, we solute you. And, to Webb Simpson, congrats on passing the test.

us open olympic