Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Playoff Preview Part 2

Here’s the problem with trying to apply logic to picking the outcome of golf tournaments or, in this case, a series of golf tournaments.  Last year, Luke Donald ended the regular season by finishing T46 at the Bridgestone and then missing the cut at the PGA so he wasn’t exactly on a roll.  He then finished T15, T2, T37 and 2nd in the playoff tournaments and 3rd in the final standings.  Was his success due to the “horses for courses” theory?  Not really.  In 2009, he finished T31, T54, T10, T25 which is aight (I need an Urban Dictionary spell checker).  In 2008, he didn’t play in the playoffs due to injury and in 2007 he finished Cut, T60, T30 and didn’t make the Tour Championship. 

Last year’s FedEx Cup Champ, Jim Furyk, came into the playoffs in 3rd place, missed the Barclays because he was disqualified for showing-up late to his pro am tee time (he said he overslept, I think he was paired with Donald Trump) and then went on to win the Cup thanks to his high regular season finish and his win at the Tour Championship.  Under the most recent point system, winning the Tour Championship is basically the golden ticket so if you’re going to pick the winner of the FedEx Cup, you better focus on East Lake.  Other than that, in the words of Reggie Hammond, “bulls—t and experience is all it takes” so “come on in and experience some of my bulls—t.”

My final 30 in reverse order:

30. D.A. Points: My “that guy is playing in the Tour Championship?!?” pick will cling to the last spot.

"Come on over John and let me
introduce you to some of the boys."
29. John Merrick: Since they went to the playoff format, the final Top 30 has been littered with guys like Kevin Streelman, Briny Baird and Jeff Quinney, the Tour Championship’s answer to Jugdish, Mohammet and Lonny.  I can see Mickelson re-introducing Merrick to those guys in the locker room.... “Super….then you’ll have lots to talk about.”   

28. Martin Laird: He’s missed the cut in four of his last five tournaments that had a cut which we know does not mean much, but it can’t be good. 

27. Jason Duffner: He’ll bounce back from his PGA collapse and cut at the Wyndham to make it to the finish line while looking like he ate bad clams for five street weeks.

26. Brandt Snedeker:  He four putted the 72nd hole at the BMW in 2009 and dropped from 28th to 33rd to miss the Tour Championship.  These are the critical pieces of information that fill your brain when you play fantasy sports and not because I had Snedeker, but because I had John Senden who was the last man in thanks to the 4-jack.  The sad part is that I remember that as a really good day for me.

25. Andres Romero: He’ll do just enough to get in and then disappoint.  Kind of like a congressman.  (I promise that’s the most political this blog will ever get).

24. Mark Wilson: There is always one freefall guy who holds his spot in the Top 30 just by making a few cuts in the first three tournaments.  I’ll go with the guy who’s only finished higher than 17th once since the Super Bowl.

23. Spencer Levin: My man has been a Top 25 machine all year which will be enough to move him up a few spots but nothing more.  If anyone knows of a charity auction where you can win a round with Spencer, please let me know.

22. Bo Van Pelt: Mr. Giggles wraps-up a nice season and will be picked too early as a player with great upside next year.   

21: Bill Haas: He has as ton of game but sometimes looks happy just to be in the mix which is another way of saying he needs to get a little more “jerk” in him if he’s going to be a consistent winner. 

20. Robert Karlsson: I’m out of Swedish jokes.

19. Fredrik Jacobson: I’m out of Swedish jokes and ping-pong jokes. 

18. Rickie Fowler: He’s been a little overrated all season (a little?!?) so this is probably a good spot for him as he’ll likely have a Top 5 at the Deutsche or the BMW and underperform at the other three.

"See if that tastes
magically delicious."
17. Keegan Bradley: With a name like Keegan Bradley, there has to be a hangover effect from the PGA win in both a golf and traditional sense.  (In researching Irish words for “hangover,” I came across this gem, “John Barleycorn: defined as a little leprechaun that sneaks into your room after you have a night of heavy drinking. He puts one foot on your chin and one foot on your nose and takes a wee crap in your mouth. Then cracks you in the head with his cane. This explains the bad taste in your mouth and headache when you wake up.”  Only the Irish could make having a small creature take a crap in your mouth while you sleep sound charming).

16. Zach Johnson: I’d like to rank him higher for selfish reasons but, as steady as he’s been this year, he has not shown he can put up the Top 3 finish against tough competition that he would need to make a big move.  I’m also having a hard time with those plaid collared shirts.  Can we please stop trying to improve the golf shirt?  (Hey I know, let's make one with a cup holder).   

15. Gary Woodland: I'm trying to balance what appears to be his great “I don’t give a rat’s ass” demeanor with the fact that, at this time last year he was prepping for the Knoxville News Sentinel Open on the Nationwide Tour which leads to the question, “how much does it cost to sponsor a Nationwide Tour Event?”  Let’s start clicking on those ads and see if we can make the “Fantasy Golf Report Open” at Clifton Park Country Club/Heroin Outlet a reality in 2014. 

14. K.J. Choi: Tough choices from this point forward because the Top 14 is loaded.  K.J. hasn’t done much since the AT&T National and…..that’s all I got because the rest of his season has been great and his track record on the playoff courses is solid.  It’s no fun talking about the really good players.

13. Bubba Watson: The curse of the “Golf Boys” drops him from 8th to 13th.

12. Dustin Johnson: He won the BMW last year and finished the season 5th overall but he was a better player then.  I think at some point in the off season, he simultaneously thought about the U.S. Open, the PGA and eating a chimichanga and muttered “what the f—k?  I don’t even like chimichangas.” 

11. Phil Mickelson: Phil just doesn’t seem that focused these days.  I think he kind of checked-out after giving away the British Open on the back nine on Sunday.  Then again the last time he frittered away a major like that was the 2009 U.S. Open and then he won the Tour Championship so who knows?  Who ever knows with Phil?

Scroll-up for picks 1-10.

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