Tuesday, June 28, 2011

2011 Preseason Rankings Revisited

Time to revisit the preseason rankings in their original order with my commentary which only lasted through the bottom five picks until I got to the point where I couldn't differentiate between the teams and I felt like I needed to start praising draft picks (not my strength).         

Let’s start with the preseason general observations: (1) don’t ever pick-up a player recently dropped by the Jerkstore as I may not be able to pick a winner but I can drop a loser.  So far I’ve dropped Arjun Atwal, Matt Jones, Trevor Immelman and Y.E. Yang.  Other than Yang’s 3rd place at the US Open, this theory is holding-up.  The real story here is that it’s almost July and I’ve only dropped four players.  Ricky Fowler's the logical choice to go but I know if I do he's going to win and then he'll be on every freakin' channel from ESPN to E for a month smiling at me so I can't risk it; (2) do keep an eye on players dropped by GSB.  The only move they’ve made so far this year is to drop Scott Verplank for Jerry Kelly which is like trading in a 1994 Chevy Lumina for a 1995 Dodge Stratus so we don't really have any data on this but if they finally drop Rickey Barnes, he may be worth a flyer; and (3) when considering whether or not to pick-up one of the Molinari brothers, think of them as calamari made from squid that was rejected by every seafood stand in Lexington Market.  I’ll stand by that.  Italian golfers are more suited to the Ryder Cup where the international crowds can understand and appreciate their constant swearing.  On to the rankings:

15.  Washy Wash (Currently 1st – We’re off to a bad start):  Ryan Palmer looks like a below average player who got hot for half a season and is a year away from starring on “The Bachelor”.  How do you not take Jason Day there?  At least I was right about Jason Day.  Martin Laird, Fred Jacobsen and Webb Simpson have combined for $6,000,000+?!?!  Everyone in the league who has previously carried one of those guys for half a season just gagged.      

14.  Captain B-slap (Currently 10th):  I’m just not buying Graeme McDowell as a top ten guy in this league and I think Padraig is the modern day Mark O’Meara.  He got his majors and will now settle into mediocrity only in Padraig’s case it’s because he decided to ruin a perfectly good swing.  Add in the taint of Sergio, and a low ranking was guaranteed.  Nailed that one.  If it wasn’t for Steve Marino’s annual brief run of success before being consumed by his internal rage, this squad would be in the teens.

13:  Shanghai Three (Currently 6th):  Overton was a big reach in the second round with McIlroy, Kim and Goosen available.  I think management committed to this pick immediately after the “Boom Baby!” shot at the Ryder Cup.  Luke Donald is keeping them in the mix but taking Overton over McIlroy has got to feel like banging your putter on your ankle bone. 

12.  Big Country (Currently 12th):  Bubba Watson seems like a reach at no. 12 with Westwood still on the board.  Just not seeing a lot of firepower on this roster and I’ve never heard of the 6th pick.  I put the over/under on Big Country caring this year at the Zurich Classic.  Should have taken the under.  Turns out the Watson pick was one of the best in the draft.  Some early season roster maintenance may have yielded a contender but Big Country seems content to go to battle with Jason Bohn and Brad Lunde every week.  Maybe they’re his cousins or something.   

11.  GSB (Currently 13th):  Furyk will have his solid year but Brendan DeJonge . . . ah screw this.  All these teams look the same to me.  Here’s the rest of the order.  Whatever shot I was about to take at De Jonge would have been warranted.  GSB’s 2011 season will be remembered for creating and proving the following pre-draft axiom:  Never pick a player on the downside of his career coming off a $10,000,000 payday in the FedEx Cup.  For a while I thought that Furyk looked tired.  Now I recognize that look as fat and happy. 

10.  Jameson (Currently 3rd):  You knew Stricker was going to deliver but Choi and Sabbatini were wildcards.  It's good to see a team of such nice guys succeed.  Especially Sabbatini who apparently took his hat off and thanked the crowd every time they chanted "Let's Go Rory" on Sunday at the U.S. Open.  So gracious. 

9.   Knothead (Currently 7th):  A roster constructed to win majors and they’re two for two.  McIlroy is going to be the favorite at the British and the PGA.  I don’t see him taking either of those but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win at Firestone.  Knothead has become the Miami Heat of this league.  We hate his team with the fire of a thousand suns. 

8.    Six Putts (Currently 2nd):  They’ve had players take turns getting hot but have struggled lately low-lighted by the shutout at the U.S. Open.  Hunter Mahan is looking more and more like a guy who is going to steal one major in his career by playing a great Sunday round from the back of the pack a la David Duval’s British Open win. 

7.    Rusty Trombone (Currently 4th):  This team has some stretch run potential.  Both Dustin Johnson and Jason Day are on the verge of breaking through with multi-week runs of big paydays.  Snedeker, Duffner and Jobe are all solid contributors.  I’m just glad they gave up on Lucas Glover before he won at Quail Hollow.  Everyone keeps giving up on Lucas.  Maybe that's why he always looks so sad. 

6.   18 Holes Airtight (Currently 9th):  Give them credit for the major roster shake-up and dropping Ernie who seems to be looking around wondering when everyone else got so good at golf (reminiscent of the look he had for the first five years of Tiger’s career).  Looking at the current roster, that’s about the nicest thing I have to say. 

5.   InDaHole (Currently 15th):  Another roster constructed to win majors.  Unfortunately, this one was built on a swamp.  Let’s move on. 

4.  V-holes (Currently 8th):  Here is what I wrote about them on March 22ndI don’t see another team that’s even close at this point.  They will have a player in contention at every major with Westwood, Watney, Kaymer and Molinari, especially if they shed Larry the Cable Guy (Boo Weekley) for a player who is more than a novelty act.  Since then they’ve dropped from 3rd to 8th in the standings.  How was I supposed to know Kaymer was going to stop wearing his lucky scarf and change his swing AFTER finishing second in the Matchplay? 

3.   Jerkstore (Currently 5th):  I would love to have the Zach Johnson (1st) and/or Ricky Fowler (2nd) picks back.  Zach looks like he’s playing 8,000 yard courses and Ricky is still at least a year away but at least he’s always on TV so I can see all of his double bogeys. 

2.   Long Ball (Currently 14th):  This preseason ranking was based on two foolish assumptions: (1) Paul Casey had the stones to come back from some close calls in big tournaments last year, and (2) Anthony Kim would stop practicing by hitting chip shots off of strippers asses.  I should have seen both of those coming. 

1.   Foobar (Currently 11th):  I subscribed to the theory that Phil was going to make a concerted effort to pocket a few majors with Tiger out of the picture and that hasn’t happened.  Not for a lack of effort on Phil’s part though.  I’m sure plenty of guys played their Wednesday U.S. Open practice round up the road at Columbia Country Club.  I mean who wants to practice in all of that heavy rough on fast greens with all of those people yelling “Go Phil!” and “We love you Phil!”?  No thanks.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Travelers Update

Ryan Moore just made the list of players who I will never draft again under any circumstances along with guys like Sergio Garcia (I used to be the best player never to win a major), Paul Casey (I almost got close to being the best player never to win a major but no one actually thought I was going to win a major) and Geoff Ogilvy (Phil Mickelson gave me a major and then I kind of stopped trying).  Moore missed a four foot putt on 18 that would have gotten him into a playoff and then calmly knocked in the bogey putt, took his hat off and smiled as he shook hands.  Where was the devastation? Anguish? Despair?  Could I at least get a look of mild disbelief?  Nope.  I think he was overheard an hour later in the locker room saying “bummer – I guess I should have worn my lucky tie.”       
Next year I want a whole team of Spencer Levins.  Levin looks like he learned to swing a club by hitting a piƱata but at least I know he cares as much about him winning as I do.  I want a guy who five years from now is going to remember missing that putt when he’s brushing his teeth, shake his head and mutter “son of a bitch.”  Tiger laid awake for months replaying every putt he missed when he lost to Y.E. Yang at the PGA before he finally said “screw it, I’m going down to Perkins to have some pancakes and ruin my life.”  A sex addiction wasn’t Tiger’s downfall, it was the 33 putts he had on Sunday.  We know this to be true because sex addiction is just something that some unfaithful recidivist psychiatrist made-up when he knew the wife wasn’t going to buy “I was drunk . . . I didn’t know what I was doing.” 
But I digress.  Congratulations to the Washy Wash for the big win and taking over the top spot in the standings.  I hope Freddy Jacobsen keeps rolling so we can hear more about his hand eye coordination exploits.  Did you know he was on the Swedish National Ping Pong team and was a junior national Gnip Gnop champion?  (One of these is actually true).  At the other end of the standings, can someone swing by the homes of InDaHole and Long Ball and make sure they’re not trapped under some furniture? 
Check your scores.                  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The U.S. Open Update

If I’d known I was experiencing what would be the most interesting part of the US Open for me at the practice round on Tuesday, I would have taken more time to enjoy it.  GSB, myself and our gracious host were enjoying complimentary beverages on the clubhouse patio when I looked out into the crowd and saw the owner of preseason favorite and current sinking ship the V-holes headed in our direction accompanied by an attractive blonde who I assumed was his wife (the V-holes married up).  I checked the 10th tee to make sure it was clear and yelled “Hey V-holes!” across the crowd.  He came over and asked us if we wanted to come down and meet Win McMurray.  Prior to last Tuesday, I had no idea who Win McMurray was because the only show I watch on the Golf Channel is the one about the homeless guy trying to make it on tour because there is nothing more over the top on TV than a guy carrying a Titleist staff bag in and out of soup kitchens.  It always reminds me of the Sam Kinison line about the film crews in Ethiopia, “couldn’t the camera guy give the kid a sandwich? . . . . NO! NO! NO! WE NEED HIM TO LOOK HUNGRY!!!” 

"Hey Win, are you
looking at me?  Him?  Me? 
Him?  Neither?  OK."
Anyway, the V-holes apparently drew the short straw at the production meeting and ended-up with the job of chaperoning Ms. McMurray around the course so I had the opportunity to comment on her drinking beer out of paper cup to keep up appearances and then I think I said something about preferring vodka mixed with Gatorade at which point she said, “I think we need to get over to the driving range.”  As we parted ways, five fat guys in soft spikes and straw hats surrounded her like it was a night at the Roxbury.  You have to love the majors.

Let’s face it.  The actual tournament stunk.  This was not Tiger trouncing the field at Pebble Beach in 2000.  That was a real US Open course as evidenced by the fact that the guys who finished 2-8 were between +3 and +7 while Tiger shot 12 under.  Jason Day finished second this year and shot the third lowest U.S. Open score ever.  Twenty players finished under par.  The course at the Honda Classic played tougher.  And let’s slow down on the McIlroy being the new Tiger talk.  Rory has won 3 of his first 100 tournaments – Tiger won 28 of his.  Just look at them.  Tiger was (and will hopefully be again) a badass.  Rory has pot tits and a perm.  I’m pretty sure Pulp Fiction is not quite the same movie if Tom Hanks plays Jules instead of Samuel L. Jackson.  Let's check back on the rhythm of that sweet swing when he's nursing a one shot lead on the 72nd hole of a major. 

Congratulations again to Team Knothead who is having quite the season for a team in 7th place thanks to his major championship ready roster lead by Schwartzel and McIlroy.  I’m just glad he botched his first pick by going back to the Geoff Ogilvy well again instead of taking a guy on the rise like Luke Donald or Nick Watney (why did I pick Zach “Warning Track Power” Johnson again?).  Fortunately I’ve avoided his straight-up bets because I don’t have a guy on my roster who I can see finishing top 10 in a major but hey, I’ve got two of the favorites playing at TPC River Highlands this week which is nice.