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May 11 2013

9:15 PM

Saturday observations

By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- David Lingmerth had an important decision to make. In the fading daylight and with rain drizzling on the 17th green, the PGA TOUR rookie decided to finish the hole. He had the option to mark a 10-foot putt and finish the hole on Sunday but using the light from a nearby scoreboard, Lingmerth stroked the birdie into the cup to reach 12 under, giving him a two-shot lead. 

Lingmerth now faces the toughest shot on the golf course Sunday morning. Lingmerth must hit is drive on the 18th hole.  He made par on it Thursday and bogeyed it on Friday. Lingmerth is from Sweden, went to Arkansas and lives in Fayetteville, Ark.  He is 19 holes away from his first PGA TOUR victory and promised a “Woo Pig Sooie” on the 72nd hole if he wins.

Observations

Frosty:  Not every PGA TOUR player is best of friends with each other.  The same as you are not close with all of your office co-workers.

There was no conversation between Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia as they played in the final group. Sometimes competition does not allow for close friendships.  I think Woods is more concerned with his putting stroke than his personal relationship with Garcia. Woods has an untidy 24 putts in just 14 holes.  He came into this week leading the TOUR in strokes gained-putting but ranks 33rd this week at THE PLAYERS. 

Experience:  Jeff Maggert hit just 11 greens but still managed to shoot 6-under 66.  He worked his way around the golf course using only 22 putts. That’s a bit deceiving. Maggert putted from the fringe on several holes, which do not count as putts.  He also holed out from one fringe that counts as a zero-putt green.  Maggert is 49 years old and headed to the Champions Tour but has a chance Sunday to catch the PGA TOUR spotlight one more time. His experience could become a compelling story on Sunday.

Agronomy:  TPC Sawgrass is meticulously maintained and the grounds crew came up with an impressive innovation regarding the setting of holes. It’s common practice to cut a new hole and use that plug of grass to fill the old setting.  That does not happen at TPC Sawgrass.  Once a hole is cut, that plug is taken to a special, climate controlled holding area.  It is marked, denoting what green it was removed from and what direction the grain of the green was running.  The exact plug is replaced the following day  in the exact same position for a seamless transition.  In the past, a plug could be replaced with grain in the wrong direction and that could affect the line of a putt.

The new method is time consuming but it is a huge improvement cosmetically and players appreciate the true roll of the green in regard to grain.

Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.  For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here

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