Would you rather have 18 pars or nine birdies and nine bogeys?

The Scoop

The Fourball team discuss consistency vs. excitement, Tiger's putting, G-Mac's Open rant, and the latest PGA cheat storm

Each week, four of the NCG team get together to ask each other the pressing questions. The only rule is the question must be golf related. In this edition, Alex Perry, Dan Murphy, Mark Townsend and Harvey Jamison take to the tee to discuss Tiger Woods, the Graeme McDowell farce and much more…

Alex: Shooting level par is something most of us can only dream of. But if you were to do it, would you rather 18 pars, or a flurry of birdies and bogeys with maybe an eagle and a double thrown in?

Dan: Par after plodding par is the way I would envisage it. In reality, it might be more like a sumptuous early eagle followed by a handful of unlikely birdies. All of these shots gained would be but a distant memory as they were bled relentlessly away towards the end, culminating in an anguished closing double at the last to dash my dreams of a sub-par round.

Mark: I couldn’t imagine being mentally cool enough to have five straight pars on the trot, let alone 18. Things build in my head and I tend to need to let the cap off my emotions by generally doing something really bad. It would likely be a double (see above), two bogeys and four birdies. And I would have to finish like a train but also not know what my score is – neither of which is likely to happen.

Harvey: I was once close, having parred every hole on the front-nine at Tynemouth Golf Club, but it wasn’t to be as six lost balls, a snapped driver and £40 later had me sign for five-over, my best round to date. I’m definitely a leaker and flurry of early birdies would soon turn into a lackadaisical strain to make seven on the last.

Dan: Tiger Woods’ putting. I am confused. Is it a strength or a weakness?

Augusta 15th

Mark: Last week Tiger was 89th for Strokes Gained on the greens, he is now up to 52nd so something obviously clicked with the new mallet putter and he had more birdies (21) than anyone else in the field. Then again Spieth is 177th this year and he might be the best putter ever.
We see so much of Tiger that there’s always a question mark over some part of his game. It’s probably easier to say his game is in great shape, he keeps threatening and, if he had a 10-footer to win a tournament you’d quite fancy him.

Harvey: Not to harp on with stats but Tiger’s switch to the mallet could be a good long-term option. First round of the Quicken loans he made 48 feet and seven inches of putts, underwhelming I know, but in the second round he went and made 104’4” of putts through 12 holes a whole +2 strokes gained. Even though he had a splendid Sunday on the greens at TPC Potomac a poor third round proved his putting (and a few bad tee shots) held him back. If he can have a solid week on the short stuff, I think the rest will take care of itself. Let’s not forget he had 21 birdies all week, on shy of eventual champ Molinari, so it’s closer than you think.

Alex: He obviously knows something isn’t quite right otherwise he wouldn’t have changed to a mallet. His stats are clearly improving and once he finds form with the flatstick that’s when he will get back in the winner’s circle.

So what did we think of the Quicken Loans National cheat storm? And Graeme McDowell’s decision to miss out on Open Qualifying. Fourball continues on the next page…

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