Golf The Front Nine

Who will end the season as world number one? Who are the clear favourites for the Zurich Classic? Should Alex Levy go to the Ryder Cup – The Front Nine Week Two

The second edition of our new feature, containing YOUR views

Welcome to the second edition of our new feature, The Front Nine. We will hear YOUR opinions on the biggest topics in golf today.

This week we hear from Elliott Whattingham, Jay Penfold, Keith Attrill, Ryan Bamborough, Patrick Milward, Darren Jacques, Scott Martin, David Walker, Mike Morley, Trem Darnell, Neil Paterson, Andy Millar, Kieron Hood, Ross Caddis, Jonathan Nash, Ady Milward, Ross Kilvington, Julian Vine.

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Alex LevyFollowing Alex Levy’s win, how important is it that the Ryder Cup team has a Frenchman in it on home soil?

Elliot – It is now! I think the European team used to need a ‘home hero’ but their team spirit is so good now that I don’t think they do. Can’t do any harm though…

Keith – Levy played well however he hasn’t hit his full potential. I’m little worried this kind of big stage will intimidate him. Not for me!

Ryan – Wouldn’t say it’s crucial. Picking best in form match play players would be best option rather than where they from.

Patrick – Not that important. Form is what is needed more than a home player. Levy has been in good form lately though so hopefully he keeps going.

Darren – Doesn’t matter where in the world you are from. Golf fans will always be attracted to big names. Having a home player who’s not a big star wouldn’t increase the presence of the Ryder cup team.

Scott – Not for the team but definitely for the atmosphere of the crowd. Having a partisan (but respectful) crowd is the main advantage of a home venue.

David Walker – Very important. Shows that there is French talent out there good enough to compete at the highest level.

Trem – He is a consistent player and I’d rather see a home player in as maybe a captains pick.

Neil – It would certainly add to what will already be a highly fevered home support… however for me it has to be the best/hottest players selected first and foremost.

Andy – Quite important to help boost turnout and viewers.

Kieron – With respect I honestly don’t think picking him or what country he’s from has any advantage. I would pick based on who’s hot at that moment I do think the point system works as long as they play both sides of the pond – we have had that issue in the past. I also don’t think picking a team without depth is a cardinal sin our last team if I’m honest wasn’t the greatest and people were not playing great but they seem to make the cut… need a good captain.

Ross C – As I said last week I think it’s massively important for the team. To have a local boy playing for them would give the fans an extra buzz and something else to cheer for.

Ady – There should always be room for a home player. If he’s on form then he should be in. We lost last time because most of our boys had lost their form on the run in to the Cup.

Ross K – It is huge, you just have to look at the reception Stephen Gallacher got in 2014 at Gleneagles to see how much of a lift it can give the player. One or two more wins for Levy and he might be extremely hard to ignore come August.

Julian – Great question! I think the golf fans will turn up regardless. A Frenchman on the team may drive up attendances which may lead to a resurgence in interest in France.

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Who will end the season as World Number One?

We found it very hard to split. Three players – Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth all sit at the top with an equal number of votes.

Patrick Reed had two picks and Jon Rahm had one.

This shows just how open it is in the world of golf right now, and the strength in depth there is out on tour.

joaquin niemannHow impressed were you with Joaquin Niemann who was making his first start as a pro after turning professional following the Masters?

Elliot – Couldn’t have asked for anything better!

Keith – Promising talent, definitely one to look out for!

Patrick – Great going but all the players are so good now even coming through that anyone could win an event any given day.

Darren – Making the step up in any sport is always a tough ask. To do it the way he has shows he has a future in the sport.

Scott – Very impressive start to his pro career but it was maybe not surprising considering his amateur career.

David – Joaquin is fearless. Showed that on the back nine. Very impressive to watch. A bright future awaits him.

Mike – Further proof in the depth of talent in the game.

Trem – Certain players who burst onto the scene always shock me. Look at Rahm so I was really shocked how well he played on such a tough course. Very impressive.

Kieron – He played great I defiantly think he will become a name to watch. His swing looked so good even under pressure I think a few chasing had a bit of a nightmare again it’s one of the hardest courses they play as it’s lost balls most of the time…. how it should be in the game we love and adds to the drama watching.

Ross C – Very impressed. To do that in your first start as a pro is amazing. We will have to wait and see how he does in future tournaments to see if it was luck or he is a name to watch out for.

Ross K – Very impressed. I followed some of his round during the Masters and managed to catch a few of his holes last week and he is a great ball striker with plenty of potential. Even more impressive is giving up his place at the Open and US Open in order to turn professional to play in Texas. Certainly backed it up by finishing 6th so watch this space.

Henrik Stenson Justin RoseDo you have a pick for the Zurich Classic?

There was a definite favourite here – Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson. A couple picked Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar but nowhere near those who went for the Ryder Cup stalwarts.

Golf SixesHow important is it that the PGA and European tours keep coming up with events like this week’s Zurich that have a different format?

Elliot – The past few years have thrown up a few curve balls. It has all stemmed from Twenty20 cricket. It important for the fans as much as it is the players. I’m sure they enjoy the different format.

Ryan – Very, it offers a change up to the usual formats and keeps it interesting for part time followers like me.

Darren – Variety is the key to growing all sports, look at cricket it was dying before 20/20 so it’s very important to keep coming up with new ideas.

Scott – Personally I like the different format as it’s interesting to see how the players cope with not just playing for themselves. Some players are brilliant individually but have too big an ego for team events.

Mike – The game needs creative ideas toget the golfing publicback out to watch

Trem – New formats are important. I’d like to see a mixed pairs event.

Neil – I think it is a great idea and most ideas should be trialled to gauge played and fans reaction.

Jonathan – It good to keeps the game fresh, I know people that prefer match play over normal any day of the week.

Ady – It keeps the fans interested. Would like to see events that challenge different skills, targets on greens worth points for accuracy. The long 4 dayers are almost as bad as watching cricket!!

Ross K – I dont think it is vitally important to be honest. Yes it is refreshing to have a pairs event such as the Zurich event but I think maybe one or two a season is more than enough. I would however like to see a Golf sixes event on the PGA tour.

Julian – Personally I’m not a fan, I’d rather watch a more traditional format, medal or match play. I’m gonna sit on the fence for this one, if the pro’s like it and keep coming back, that will be the decider!

Zurich ClassicYou get an invite to the Zurich Classic, who are you picking as your partner?

Scott – Jordan Spieth for his short game and scrambling abilities. I can get the ball from tee to green no problem but struggle on the greens. Hopefully he would rub off on me

Trem – I’d have to take Rickie Fowler. Hes playing really well at the moment.

Ross C – Got to be Jon Rahm. The guy is so passionate and looks like he would be a great teammate.

Jonathan – Lee Westwood, would love to hear about his career and play with such a legend of the game also ask him if he thinks he will ever win a major!

Ady – Tyrone “el bandito” Melgar if he gets his shots. If it has to be a pro I’d go for Rickie because we both look great in orange.

Jon RahmYou’re running the PGA Tour – what is the first event you would introduce. Could be team, could be match play, could be whatever really.

There were lots of calls for a match play event. A few other suggestions were:

Ryan – Just a general fun competitive par three comp over three days with three different tee locations and three different pin locations.

David – I like the format of a stableford points system. Think the players would take on a lot more difficult shots. Playing for pins they wouldn’t usually.

Mike – Senior Ryder Cup.

Ady – Maximum four clubs in the bag. See who’s got in ingenuity to shine. My money would be on Rahm.

Ross K – As i mentioned earlier i would really like to see a golf sixes event in the States. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the European tour event last season and it was a nice change with a quirky format. I think it can appeal to a lot of people so why not give it a try.

Julian – I don’t know if this would work out, but a collegiate event, three student amateurs plus a pro that graduated from that University, played Ryder Cup style.

PGA: Valero Texas Open - Final RoundAndrew Landry picked up his first win on the PGA Tour – who will be the next person to pick up their maiden victory?

Ryan – Bud Cauley

Patrick – Peter Uilhein

Darren – Keith Mitchell

Scott Martin – Bud Cauley

David – Joaquin Niemann

Ross C – Bud Cauley

Ady – Jamie Lovemark

Ross K – Beau Hossler

Short GameFinally, you can have one or the other, a great long game or a great short game – which are you taking?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, we had 100% of our pundits picking the great short game. Drive for show putt for dough.

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