Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Fantasy Golf Preview: The Cadillac Championship

I feel like I've been on a hiatus because it's been nearly a month since I've covered anything except golf* despite the fact that we've had a variety of worthy topics to write about ranging from the Oscars to meteorites pelting the Earth to the erasure of any remaining chance that you'll ever catch me on a cruise ship (not that there was really any remaining chance but at least now I have the Carnival cruise disaster to point to if anyone ever invites me).

Please join us for an impromptu
production of Lord of the Flies
now playing on the Aloha deck.
For the record, I thought Seth McFarlane nailed the Oscar hosting gig. Anyone who downgraded him because he missed on a few jokes clearly wasn't judging him in comparison to the lackluster performances of the more recent hosts. A good rule of thumb is that when you're criticizing comedy and you start sounding a lot like Bruno Kirby and J.T. Walsh from Good Morning Vietnam, you might want to just shut-up and go back to watching Mind of Mencia** reruns.

But enough with the warm-ups, we've got a big time golf tournament looming that has never failed to deliver since moving to Doral. The six winners at the current venue have been Justin Rose, Nick Watney, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Geoff Ogilvy and Tiger Woods. Last year's top ten featured Rose, Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, Peter Hanson, Charl Schwartzel, Luke Donald, Keegan Bradley, Matt  Kuchar, Steve Stricker and Bo Van Pelt. That's more studs than Magic Mike (see what I did there with the movie thing? . . . Sometimes it's just like weaving a basket).

So we've got a loaded field and six different winners in the last six years. How do you make a pick out of that? (Seriously, I'm asking - Email the FGR). I love Schwartzel here. It looks like he started to get his U.S. legs under him last week at the Honda with a tie for 9th and he's got a tie for 4th at Doral in 2012 to go along with his 2nd place finish in 2010. After that, you could go with any of about a dozen players. I originally had Kuch penciled into that #2 spot but it is extremely rare for a player to take down to high profile events in the space of three weeks unless that player is 1999-2000 Tiger (who was just silly business).

As I look at the list again, I'm wondering how I could have left off Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley and even a guy like Charles Howell, III who is playing great right now but who do you bump out of there? McDowell has looked very sharp the last few weeks despite the worst cardigan since The Cosby Show. Stricker looks like he's going to make every event on his limited schedule count. Rose is the defending champ and playing great and I could go on. The one glaring omission is obviously Rory McIlroy and I would not be surprised if he shocked us by showing-up and playing well like Tiger did after he withdrew from this event last year and then won at Bay Hill two weeks later. But Rory is clearly not Tiger as evidenced by the fact that he hasn't even learned to fabricate an injury BEFORE he walks-off the course. And a toothache? Don't they have dentists in Northen Ireland? (Actually, I'm going to ask for some help with that one too - Email the FGR). I better stop there before someone accuses me of offending both Irish dentists.  

Good thing Jennifer Lawrence won because
 Emmanuelle Riva is not really FGR material.
The Cadillac Top Ten

1. Charl Schwartzel
2. Graeme McDowell
3. Steve Stricker
4. Justin Rose
5. Matt Kuchar
6. Luke Donald
7. Adam Scott
8. Hunter Mahan
9. Nick Watney
10. Tiger Woods

Last Week's Report Card: B

1. Fredrik Jacobson - T25th
2. Graeme McDowell - T9th
3. Lee Westwood - T9th
4. Keegan Bradley - T4th
5. Rickie Fowler - T13th

I thought I had finally struck gold with my personal pick of Lee Westwood who entered the final round two shots out of the lead trailing only a rookie and a guy who had never won before but that was before I discovered that he's actually worse at putting than I am at making small talk with the other parents at my kids' school.*** You watch Westwood stripe it down the middle for nine straight holes and hit every green and you wonder how he's never won a major. Then you watch him miss the hole by two inches on a three foot putt and you wonder no more.

Endnotes

* The last non-golf piece I wrote was The Super Bowl Timeline: Part I. You'd be justified if you took a title like that as an indication that The Super Bowl Timeline: Part II would be soon to follow. (This was always the part of the conversation where I would just shrug my shoulders, look at the floor and wait for the teacher to realize that I was too lazy to even make-up an excuse for flat out blowing-off an assignment).

** Mind of Mencia was a show built around comedian Carlos Mencia. If you don't know who Carlos Mencia is, Google "unfunniest comedians" and scroll past Yakov Smirnoff.

"That is humor . . .
I recognize that."
*** If you were to rank my personal skills from 1 to infinity, hitting fairway woods and writing business letters designed to piss-off the recipient without sacrificing professionalism would be near the top and making small talk would rank near the bottom between ice skating and singing. (Much to the chagrin of the person who lives in my house to whom I am related by marriage, I really like to sing and, in my head, I think I sound a lot like Roger Daltrey).