Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fantasy Golf Preview: Humana Challenge

Allow me to begin by apologizing for last week's picks as they did not represent my best effort (clearly). Let's just say that they were like that first paper of the semester where you're testing the waters for a class that you don't really care about and a teacher you don't really know where you're thinking, "let's see if I can get away with a B- on this half-ass piece of crap so I can sleep-in on the mornings after Monday Night Football for the rest of the fall." Unfortunately, with last week's picks, I ran into the professor right out of grad school wanting to send a message in the first month that he's not going to get pushed around. (Picture Jeremy Piven from Old School).* More on that in Last Week's Report Card. Let's see if we can get things back on track.

"Ryan Moore?!? Did you not
understand the assignment?"
It's tough to get a read on the Humana Challenge. Clearly you have to make a lot of birdies as evidenced by defending champ Mark Wilson's 24 under total, David Duval's final round 59 in 1999 and nearly every other result from the last twenty years where the winner averaged between -6 and -7 per round. The multiple courses they play do not, however, appear to favor a particular type of game. Wilson is the modern Corey Pavin but right on his heels last year was Robert Garrigus who bombs it. The year before that it was dominated by long ballers like Jhonattan Vegas and Gary Woodland but Tim Clark and Justin Leonard have also recently been in the mix.

Screw it. I'm going with the hot hands coming off of last week in Tim Clark, Matt Kuchar, Harris English and Chris Kirk. And don't forget Scott Langley who made 22 birdies and an eagle at the Sony. Young players who knock on the door like that early in the year are usually heard from again pretty soon. On the other hand, you probably want to avoid Russell Henley for a while because young players who win early tend to check-out for a while. Considering that on Sunday he was a 23 year old in Hawaii who was just handed a check for over a million dollars and a ticket to the Masters, can you blame him? If that happened to me when I was 23, the excitement of having my own hotel room would have been enough on its own to keep me hanging-out on the island for a couple of weeks.

The Top Five Overall

And I totally dropped the ball on Miss Alabama.**
Good thing this is the time of year when we can blame
all of our screw-ups on having the flu. Hey, do you want
me to describe how I was feeling. Are you sure? Because
I really want to give you some graphic details about my
foul symptoms. Fine, I'll just put that on Facebook.
1. Tim Clark
2. Brandt Snedeker
3. Matt Kuchar
4. Phil Mickelson
5. Chris Kirk

The Top Five One and Done

1. Tim Clark
2. Chris Kirk
3. Harris English
4. John Senden
5. Scott Langley

Last Week's Report Card: D

1. Carl Pettersson - T59th
2. Ryan Moore - MC
3. Tim Clark - 2nd
4. Brendon DeJonge - T54th
5. Bud Cauley - MC

I'm going to spare myself the "F" because at least I had the best player in the mix who anyone outside of Russell Henley's family was going to consider picking (Tim Clark). After initially putting him in the top spot, I choked and went with two guys who I thought were safer bets. There was also a part of me that wanted to get Carl Pettersson out of the way for the season because I'm not a big fan and I was going to have to use him somewhere. I figured he had played well the week before and he finished second at the Sony last year so what could go wrong? I mean who would have thought that a big Swedish guy wouldn't play well on a tropical island? (In hindsight, it should have dawned on me that I was basically picking the Skipper from Gilligan's Island and that probably wasn't a good idea considering his track record of success under similar conditions).

I will conclude by telling you that there is a significant difference between my weekly football picks and my weekly golf picks. The former serve as an entertaining vehicle to get the FGR through golf's off-season.*** The latter, however, have a direct impact on whether the FGKs will be eating snack bar cheeseburgers all summer or soggy sandwiches from an Igloo cooler. I just wanted you to know that these picks matter to me and we're in this thing together. So if I let you down, it will not be for a lack of effort.****  

Endnotes

"Learning about Roe v.Wade
and having some food."
* I made it through college on a steady diet of teachers who (a) stopped caring years ago and (b) would give you a "B" if you visited their office a couple times to show how invested you were in the class. And then in the second semester of my first year of law school BAM . . . Jeremy Piven. He was only about four years older than I was at the time and he already had a law degree, a medical degree, three kids and a wife (who I think was an astronaut and a part time lion tamer). Meanwhile, I was coming off a three year stint in which I managed two separate sporting goods stores that would ultimately go out of business (I had to spin the shit out of those work experiences on the law school applications) while trying to keep the future FGW convinced that I was worth waiting for (and worth supporting). I don't really have a point here which, ironically, is the same way I ended most of my answers in Jeremy Piven's class.

** After Brent Musburger caused Martha Burke to do a spit-take while watching the National Championship game by reverting to some classic late 70's style broadcasting straight out of Anchorman, Miss Alabama picked-up about 200,000 Twitter followers. Meanwhile, I'm still trying to crack 60 and half of those are family members or fictitious identities I created so I can have conversations with myself on Twitter. (Just kidding Twitter . . . sort of).

*** I know golf doesn't really have an off-season but it does for the FGR because by October when the Tour Championship finally rolls around, I'm starting every update with "all golf and no golf makes the golf a golf golf" over and over and over and over and over again.

**** Not sure that came out quite right.