Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Canadian Open Preview

Trying to pick the winner of a golf tournament like the Canadian Open is a frivolous endeavor.  Consider that two “experts” on PGATOUR.com listed Ryan Moore as a favorite this week and both cited the fact that he grew up in Seattle, Washington as a basis for their pick.  The Canadian Open will be played at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club in Vancouver this year.  Their rationale is that Seattle is so close to Vancouver that this is essentially a “home game” for Moore.  We’re basically talking Francis Ouimet walking across the street and winning the 1913 U.S. Open. 

The only problem is that Vancouver is about 140 miles from Seattle and in a different country.  I’m guessing that Moore and his high school buddies probably passed on the two and half hour drive, the border crossing and the fact that most country clubs have a fairly strict walk-on policy (especially for non-members) and instead played more rounds at Jefferson Park where Fred Couples honed his game.  If the tour was playing at Jefferson Park this week, I’d give you the home field advantage argument but not so much at Shaughnessy G&C. 

"Holy Hockey Night! 
Where's that shot going?"
So how do you pick the winner of a tournament that has recently been won by the likes of Nathan Green and Chez Reavie and is being played on a course that has not hosted it since 2005?  Well, let’s start by figuring out who would be really motivated to win the Canadian Open.  Canadians!  The only problem is that Mike Weir is (was) the only big time Canadian golfer and he’s made the cut in 2 out of 14 tournaments finishing T70 and T77.  If anyone can explain what’s happened to Weirsy, let me know.  He was 29th in the FedEx Cup standings in 2009 and through 31 tournaments this year he has 2 points which puts him 1 point ahead of Skip Kendall and 1,796 behind Nick Watney.  Did he switch to right-handed and not tell anybody?

Stephen Ames doesn’t count because he was born in Trinidad & Tobago.  Sadly I know this because I carried him on my fantasy roster for weeks one season wondering why he never played only to find out that he was having visa problems and couldn’t get into the country.  Just another reason fantasy golf is great (and they are innumerable).  You’d never see Reggie Wayne listed as “Out – Visa Issues.” 

Matt McQuillan is a true Canadian and he finished T3 at the John Deere and T34 at the Viking Classic so he’s playing well.  The only problem is that he missed the cut in his 10 events before that and in two Nationwide events so I’m not sure he’s ready but let’s pencil him in for a feel good top 10.  David Hearn is another possibility but he hasn’t finished higher than 38th since the Houston Open in April.  So there are no upper echelon Canadian golfers right now which I found unbelievable until I looked it up and saw that Canada only has about 35,000,000 people which is less than California.  No wonder they’re so happy.  Look at all of the elbow room they have up there. 

But I digress and need to pick winner.  I’m not going with any of the favorites because they just flew 4,700 miles from a tournament that they really wanted to win but didn’t.  The only guy making that trip with a positive vibe was Rickie Fowler because he played pretty well and I have to believe that life as Rickie Fowler on a private jet coming back from the British Open would be pretty good but he’s too obvious.  So without anymore futile analysis, I’m going to go with Andres Romero.  Why Romero?  In the words of John Blutarsky, “(belch) why not?”