Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Transitions Preview

Well it's clear that they tried to
address any vision problems.
For the second week in a row, my pick had the lead after the first round and then spent the next three days frittering it away.  (I'm starting to sense a conspiracy).  This week's offender was Adam Scott who, so far this season, is proving that the Tiger/Stevie Williams success story may actually have been more attributable to Tiger's skills than it was to Stevie's ability to count his steps from the closest sprinkler head and then pull a club from a bag.  Remember what an epiphany the long putter was going to be for Scott?  Well his current average from inside of five feet would rank him 150th on tour.  That puts him right behind Vijay Singh who is to putting what Mario Mendoza was to getting on base.*  I'm sure Scott will now go on to win the Masters where I originally had him picked just to piss me off.

If I could get a do over on one player I've used already, it would be Charl Schwartzel who currently looks like the second best player in the world.  He would have fit nicely into the spot I had reserved for Tiger who I just tossed from the V.I.P. Lounge for players I had reserved for the majors.  He may earn his way back in but not until Nike designs some black shoes that don't make his whole body recoil in pain like he was just shot in the back with an arrow.  I'm starting to suspect that Tiger was the kid in 6th grade who went down in a heap every time someone touched him until people finally started ignoring him.  ("Come on Tiger, get up!")  After rewarding all of the people who played him last week with a doughnut in a tournament that had no cut, I'm going to need to see the MRI films myself before I pick him for anything more than The Skins Game.

Here are the eight players I would currently reserve for majors (in no particular order and assuming two picks for each):

And you want to be one
of my Masters picks?
Oh no. Not in those shoes.
Rory McIlroy
Charl Schwartzel
Phil Mickelson
Matt Kuchar
Keegan Bradley     
Jason Day
Lee Westwood
Sergio Garcia

Tiger and Webb Simpson are out having been bumped by Schwartzel and Keegan Bradley who just keeps showing-up in the top 10 against quality competition.  Speaking of which, we have a loaded field this week for a somewhat generic tour stop so I only have one player in both my overall top five and my one and done top five.  Maybe Transitions has promised everyone who shows-up a spot in their next cool commercial. ("That's right Charl, we picture you transitioning straight from a late night crocodile hunt to an afternoon beach volleyball game." - Transitions Ad).

This week's overall top five:

1.  Charl Schwartzel (kicking myself for wasting him on the Match Play)
2.  Matt Kuchar (getting better every week and due for a win)
3.  Luke Donald (this is the kind of insignificant tournament where he thrives)
4.  Webb Simpson (was rolling last week until he came unglued with a final round 77)
5.  Justin Rose (got to go with the hot hand)

I'd save Donald and Simpson for tournaments like The Players and Wells Fargo but I'd ride Rose's momentum this week if I still had him available.

Top five for one and done leagues:

Hello to you Mrs. Donald.
Welcome to the FGR.
1.  Justin Rose (if only I still had him)
2.  John Senden (seems to have learned how to putt)
3.  Bo Van Pelt (solid bet for at least a top 10)
4.  Peter Hanson (might as well use him while he't hot)
5.  Martin Laird (due for a stroke play top five)

Last Week's Report Card:  C+

1.  Dustin Johnson - T35
2.  Charl Schwartzel - T4
3.  Rickie Fowler - T45
4.  Nick Watney - T17
5.  Adam Scott - T13
6.  Hunter Mahan - T24
7.  Luke Donald - T6
8.  Brandt Snedeker - T45
9.  Keegan Bradley - T8
10. Graeme McDowell - T13

I should've had Justin Rose in the top 10 considering he was playing well coming into Doral.  I don't regret not having Bubba in there because he is such a wildcard but he's the one top player I don't have penciled in anywhere this year and I need to figure that out.  I could see him being one of my two PGA Championship picks because he'll be completely unfazed by the conditions at Kiawah.  I felt really good about the Dustin Johnson pick but he never really seemed to engage in the competition.  Then again, he could have had shooting pain in his surgically repaired knee and we'd never know because he didn't change shoes at the turn and carry on like Fred Sanford after every shot.    
"Lamont, get the golf cart.
This is the big one!"

* Mario Mendoza was a professional baseball player who struggled throughout his career to keep his batting average above .200 (which is awful).  His teammates took to calling the .200 batting average the "Mendoza Line" and it stuck.  Kind of like when Italian's started calling those times when a soccer player would miss the ball and fall down a "Frasier" and, if the player was knocked unconscious in the process, they would call it a "Frasier Crane" (Vintage Frasier).