Thursday, August 22, 2013

The 2013 FedEx Cup Playoffs Preview

At some point in the history of this pointless enterprise* known as the Fantasy Golf Report I determined that every year roughly five players who start the FedEx Cup playoffs in the top 30 do not make it to the Tour Championship. (I don't know how I arrived at this conclusion but I can assure you that it took a lot of research time that could have been spent on something more productive like designing a cassette rack for a DeLorean). That determination formed the foundation for the annual FGR FedEx Cup Playoffs Preview, the goal of which is to predict the finishing order of the top 30 and then immediately start writing about football before anyone realizes what a stupid concept that is.

"Hold it Chuck I got it.
Take live tuna fish and
feed 'em the mayonnaise."
The hard part about this is coming up with something slightly more entertaining than the 125 bland facts that PGATour.com gives us for the 125 guys who made the playoffs (emphasis on the words "bland" and "slightly"). I mean what in the hell are you supposed to say about great guys/players like Brandt Snedeker and Matt Kuchar unless you make something up? (Wait a minute).

Before we get to that, however, let's take care of our five out and five in to figure-out which thirty players will be teeing it up for the Tour Championship. (Can you tell this was hastily written to get to the good stuff below? Hey, how about some more parentheses).

Five Out

27. Charles Howell, III: The above-average player who peaked early.

24. Russell Henley: The young stud who peaked early.

21. Hunter Mahan: The world class player who's wife just had a baby. See you in 2014 Hunter.

19. Harris English: The steady young player who got his first win and then lost his mojo.

13. Kevin Streelman: See Harris English.

Five In
Ashley "Putting" Greene?
Too big a reach? Sorry.

35. Lee Westwood: The world class player who'd be higher if he played more in the states.

37. Matt Jones: The young stud who is peaking at the right time.

49. Rory McIlroy: The super world class player who has been in a funk and is about to say "screw-it, I'm going to turn it up a notch because I can bitches."

50. Scott Piercy: The above-average player who won late last year, sleep-walked through the first seven months of this year and is peaking at the right time.

68. Ryan Moore: The guy with the annoying game who will play just well enough to make the Tour Championship and make a lot of FedEx executives very nervous when he is leading at some point in the third round.

The Final 30

1. Adam Scott: He only played in twelve FedEx Cup point events this year and still finished 11th. It should be noted, however, that Tiger played in the same number of events and finished 1st so that is a truly meaningless statistic and I just set the tone for the rest of this preview.

2. Matt Kuchar: Kuch was solid as a rock with seven top 10's and he never came close to missing a cut. He also has borderline world class ping-pong skills and he and his wife are one of the top amateur mixed-doubles tennis teams in the country. Kuch once built an F-14 Tomcat out of stuff he found in a dumpster behind a Home Depot. The Pentagon told him that if he ever did that again, they'd make him disappear. He just gave them a fist bump, laughed and walked away. Kuch is secretly nuts.

3. Tiger Woods: Clearly the man to beat at non-majors this year (ouch) so the Cup is really his to lose.

Dude. I was joking.
4. Henrik Stenson: Stenson is the best big game player in the world over the past month and he could probably win this thing playing in his underwear.

5. Zach Johnson: Kind of an off year for ZJ but he's too solid a player to stay down for long. Especially now that he's paid-off whatever bet he lost that had him wearing those shirts with the plaid collars.

6. Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker's nickname in high school was "Howdy Doody." Not because of the red hair and the freckles but because that's what he'd yell every time he saw someone's feet under a bathroom stall. He's come a long way.

7. Lee Westwood: Recently got into a Twitter battle with some antagonizing followers after the PGA Championship. My personal favorite was his response to "Lee, you don't take criticism very well do you!!" to which he replied, "not from unachieving low life's." We're not going to penalize Lee for his casual use of apostrophes but I'm not sure "unachieving" is even a word. Just another reason they need to put a breathalyzer on iPhones. I'd buy one.

8. Phil Mickelson: They can joke about it now but soon after the debacle at Merion, Phil and Amy were playing a game of Sorry with the kids when Phil got stymied on the doorstep of home with his last piece and Amy made a miracle comeback to beat him. Apparently there was Chardonnay involved so she jumped-up and said, "just like the U.S. Open huh!!!" The whole room froze and the couple did not speak for the next five minutes until they found themselves in yet another "I love you more" battle because love does indeed conquer all.

9. Bill Haas: I spent last weekend grilling a few guys from Greenville, SC for some good natured dirt I could throw at Bill Haas. Nothing. He apparently makes Tim Tebow look like every movie prison warden.**

10. Rory McIlroy: McIlroy is 24 years old. He's won two majors, dates a hot tennis star and just signed a $250 million contract with Nike. Now if he would just start fulfilling his potential.

11. Jordan Spieth: Everyone is talking about how amazing his story is because he's only 20 years old but the crazy part is that he lied about his age to get on tour and he's really only 15. Unfortunately, we all know how this ends . . . with Kate Hudson overdosing in a New York hotel room but only after a heartwarming moment on the Presidents' Cup team bus after the team picks-up Dustin Johnson from another all nighter with Paulina Gretzky's entourage and Jason Dufner leads them in a Tiny Dancer sing along.

12. Webb Simpson: His parents named him after the TV character "Webster" because well . . . he was kind of a small baby.

13. Keegan Bradley: The name "Keegan" is from the Irish for "The All Mighty Fidgeter."

14. Jason Day: The nephew of Jeff Wiggle (the necrophiliac***). He was one of the back-up dancers until he threw-down with Captain Feathersword in a bar after a show in Des Moines, Iowa. Apparently broken bottles were brandished and Jason was on the next plane back to Sydney where he resumed his junior golf career.

"You see it's quite simple
Murray, he goes or I go."
15. Jonas Blixt: Jonas' great grandfather invented the Volkswagon Beetle so he's playing with house money. He also knows how to handle himself in the back of a very small car . . . if you know what I mean . . . and I think you do.

16. Jim Furyk: Furyk's current putting routine was inspired by a documentary he saw on the Nature Channel about the way chickens eat.

17. Justin Rose: Rose claims that his brilliant final round at the U.S. Open was inspired by the Spinal Tap hit Big Bottom and says that his lifelong dream has always been to be the front man of a band Trouser Mallet.

18. Steve Stricker: In 2003, Stricker missed 13 of 21 cuts and was all but off the tour. Fortunately, his parents had saved all of the money he had sent from his Opti-Grab royalties so they were able to get him back on his feet.

19. Jason Dufner: According to Dufner, the Wanamaker Trophy can hold 43 beers or roughly the same number I drank last weekend on my annual visit to Maryland's Eastern Shore. Ah the Golf Trip to the Sun.

20. D.A. Points: The initials "D.A." stand for "Dancing Acrobat" as he comes from a long-line of vaudevillian performers and his parents had hoped that he would continue the family tradition. Suffice it to say, they could not be more disappointed about the way things turned-out.

Hey D.J., meet Anna Benson.
a/k/a your cautionary tale.
21. Dustin Johnson: The one guy for whom I didn't have to make something up because you can't top "just got engaged to Wayne Gretzky's crazy daughter who likes to take hot selfies." I originally had DJ tumbling out of the top 30 but I'm going to assume that the hardcore psycho wedding planning won't start until later so beware of picking him for anything in 2014.

22. Billy Horschel: Billy seems to have flamed-out a bit since his tie for fourth at the U.S. Open. Some say the octopus pants may have been a bit premature. A smaller contingent disagrees and that smaller contingent is made-up entirely of the guy who designed the pants and Billy's mom.

23. Scott Piercy: Scott was so good at soccer that he was invited to tryout for the U.S. National junior team. That is actually true and also explains why he occasionally rolls around the green writhing in pain after missed putts.

24. Graeme McDowell: Graeme started wearing his trademark cardigan sweaters in high school when a very very mean girl told him that they would make him look taller.

25. Boo Weekley: Boo wrestled an alligator in high school. He won on points but lost to Loudon Swain in the next round.

26. Ryan Moore: Moore used to play while wearing a tie and a cardigan sweater because he has always considered himself kind of an outsider and nothing says, "I'm an outsider" like a carefully crafted outfit that makes you look like an outsider.****

27. Matt Jones: I don't know who he is.

28. John Merrick: A direct descendant of Joseph Merrick a/k/a "The Elephant Man" who was immortalized in a movie of the same name in 1980. I saw this movie the following year when it came-out on HBO at a time when parents still thought, "well if it's on TV, it must be ok for my twelve year old son to watch." It wasn't.

I said, "read your own putt."
Did I f-cking stutter or are
your ears stuffed with sh-t?
29. Patrick Reed: Reed's wife is also his caddie which at least makes it easy to figure-out the week he's not going to play each month.

30. Jimmy Walker: I needed to save the last spot for a guy who goes by the name Jimmy. I only wish I knew for a fact that he talked about himself in the third person. "Jimmy played great today." "Jimmy's going to the Tour Championship this year." "Jimmy's putter is on fire." "Jimmy's hungry."

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Endnotes

* It will officially cease to be a pointless exercise when I can successfully answer either one of the following two questions: (a) Why do you do it? or (b) What do you hope to get out of it? (The current answers are (a) I don't know (with a shrug) and (b) for now, free beers at bars).

** Is there a more maligned profession in Hollywood? From Warden Norton in The Shawshank Redemption to Warden Hazen in The Longest Yard with honorable mentions for Colonel Winter in The Last Castle, Warden Drumgoole in Lock Up and Warden Beatty in Stir Crazy. No one needs a best selling children's book written about them more than our hardworking prison wardens. Then again, some Hollywood producer would just take The Warden Who Loves Puppies and turn it into The Warden Who Loves to Put Puppies in Solitary Confinement starring Bryan Cranston so what's the point?
"You know, you weren't even
this big a dick on Green Acres."

*** That's "narcoleptic" you idiot.

**** I think it's time I retired the cheap shots at Moore's wardrobe considering (a) he dressed like that in his 20's, (b) he doesn't dress like that anymore, and (c) wearing a tie while playing golf would have ranked pretty low on my attention seeking scale twenty years ago (what about your attention seeking scale now Mr. Unpaid Blogger?).