Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Zurich Classic Preview

Editors Note: We would like to welcome all of our Amber Watney fans to the Fantasy Golf Report. The post you have stumbled onto in search of the picture below is one of the many previews we do on a regular basis of weekly PGA Tour events, however, to be completely honest, it is not one of our best. So once your work here is done, we would encourage you to take a tour of some of our other work represented in the "Popular Posts" section to your right. We are quite confident that you will be entertained and, if artwork like that which appears below is your thing, you will not be disappointed. Thank you.

The Zurich Classic Preview 

We're going with another brief preview this week because (a) I'm still suffering a mild case of the post-Masters blues, (b) there were at least four sporting events on Sunday afternoon that were more watchable than Ben Curtis bumping it around a tricked-up TPC course, and (c) my schedule is a little jammed-up with four rounds on the agenda including three at #46 on Golf Digests' current Top 100 list.* I'm also brewing-up something a little different for Thursday.

This may be Amber Watney
but I'm not sure. Anyone?
The Zurich Classic sports a pretty strong field but is one of those tournaments where "C" list players win more often than the "A" listers (a fairly common phenomena on TPC courses). In the last seven years Bubba Watson and Nick Watney have won this thing but so have Jason Bohn, Jerry Kelly, Andres Romero, Tim Petrovic and Chris Couch. All swell fellows but probably not the names CBS wants to see at the top of the leaderboard come Sunday, especially after last week's thriller.

I'm going to continue to leave Luke Donald, Keegan Bradley and Nick Watney on the sideline. I would also avoid Bubba because I've got to believe the only reason he's playing this week is that he's the defending champ (and maybe because there is one local morning talk show left in New Orleans that he hasn't appeared on since winning the Masters). I wouldn't be surprised if he misses the cut. The FGR picks this week are comprised of three guys who are playing really well and are all due for a win, one guy who fits the mold of random Zurich Classic winners of the past and a young gun who everyone keeps saying is ready to break through, including me.

To the extent you were wondering whether
P90X works on Irish guys, here's your answer.
The Zurich Classic Top Five

1. Jason Dufner
2. Graeme McDowell
3. Charles Howell, III
4. Kevin Streelman
5. Cameron Tringale

Last Week's Report Card: C-

1. Harris English
2. K.J. Choi
3. Bud Cauley
4. Johnson Wagner
5. Cameron Tringale

Despite the fact that Ben Curtis won,** I should have gone with my gut and stuck with the freshmen and sophomores because if I had, I may have come up with John Huh (T2nd) and Brendan Steele (T4th) instead of K.J. Choi who looks like he's headed for one of those out of nowhere slump seasons that good players start having when they get past 40 (he hasn't finished higher than 24th in a full field event). I figured Johnson Wagner was a pretty safe pick considering he was the second best player in the field (behind Matt Kuchar) and he's from freakin' Texas but that idea went up in flames when he bogeyed half the holes on Friday only to be outdone by my top pick, Harris English, who pulled a Jose Canseco with a 40/40 on Saturday.*** This is a tough handicapping stretch with four out of five tournaments being played on TPC courses. Trying to pick golfers on these tracks is like trying to pick horses racing across a mine field ("and it looks like it's going to be Curlin by a . . . BOOM! . . . well that's a bad break.")

Endnotes

* Unfortunately, my 4th round of the week was a Monday morning fundraiser played in British Open conditions which would have been ok except that when I finished the round I walked into a cheesy clubhouse bar called The Three Putt instead of a Scottish pub. On the bright side, I won $65 worth of pro shop credit which I swapped for a Pink Floyd box set that some guy won as a door prize. (Anyone want to buy a Pink Floyd box set?)

** Ben Curtis' mom didn't even have him in her Top 10.

*** Jose Canseco was the first major league baseball player with 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases in a season. The next two players to do it were Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez. Barry Bonds would later become the first 73/13/10 player (home runs/stolen bases/hat size).

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