Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fantasy Golf: The Deutsche Bank Preview

Let's start with a bit of housekeeping as we've been remiss on the FGR Rankings updates. It should come as no surprise that Tiger has continued to climb (more on that below) while others like Keegan Bradley and Rory McIlroy have slipped based on their lack of productivity in this year's majors. Brandt Snedeker, Luke Donald and Steve Stricker continue to get no love from the FGR formula as their combined 2013 major efforts yielded a tie for 6th at the Masters (Snedeker) and two ties for 8th at the U.S. Open (Stricker and Donald).* The fact that they were all in great position to win a major on Sunday and then failed to close the deal is not even a factor, however, we may need to make it one. I was going to say we could name it after a certain brash Australian player from the 90's but, in light of my numerous gag jobs, I should just name it after myself . . . we could call it "3 up with 4 to play" (and no, I'm still not over it).

Here are the current FGR Rankings presented alongside the World Golf Rankings:   

       FGR Rankings           World Golf Rankings

1. Scott 121 Woods 14.38
2. Woods 117 Scott 9.44
3. Rose 112 Mickelson 8.62
4. Mickelson 110 McIlroy 8.18
5. McIlroy 108 Rose 7.88
6. Dufner 105 Kuchar 6.58
7. Kuchar 79 Snedeker 6.32
8. Poulter 75 Dufner 5.99
9. Els 74 McDowell 5.82
10. McDowell 65 Stenson 5.77
11. Westwood 63 Donald 5.09
12. Bradley 58 Bradley 5.06
13. Mahan 57 Westwood 4.93
14. Day 55 Stricker 4.92
15. Watson 53 Furyk 4.70

In a completely unrelated story,
Win McMurray is apparently dating
Towson's own Michael Phelps. Holy
FGR Wedding Crashers situation.
After his win at the Barclays last week, golf writers have started speculating that Adam Scott may be the best player in the world and I feel like Bruce Willis in the original Die Hard after he had to throw a body from a high rise onto the hood of a police car before anyone realized that there might be a problem down at Nakatomi Plaza ("Welcome to the party pal!").** As far as I'm concerned, this debate starts and ends with the following facts. Over the past eight majors, Adam Scott has made every cut with an average finish of 11th. He has four top five finishes over that span (2013 - 1st, 2012 British Open - 2nd, 2013 British Open - T3rd and 2013 PGA Championship - T5th). Tiger's average finish over the last eight majors is 20th with two top fives (2012 British Open - T3rd and 2013 Masters - T4th).

Some would argue that I'm overemphasizing the results in majors. To those people I would say that I wasn't the one who made my whole career about winning more majors than Jack Nicklaus. I made my whole career about being able to afford Chick-fil-A for lunch everyday . . . MISSION ACCOMPLISHED BABY!!!

Obviously, what keeps Tiger in the mix and what is currently keeping the FGR Rankings so tight are Tiger's wins at two WGC events this year. It turns-out that while we were away, Tiger even briefly took over the top spot after his win at the Bridgestone but Scott tied him with his fifth place finish at the PGA Championship and then took the lead again with the points he earned for winning last week.*** So at this point, it's your basic "quantity v. quality" debate with Tiger piling-up a bunch of less meaningful wins compared to Scott's green jacket and overall majors performance. It's kind of like comparing the meltdowns of Lindsay Lohan and Miley Cyrus. (Emphasis on the phrase "kind of like" but I had to get a Miley Cyrus reference in there somewhere). Would you rather have it stretched-out over several years and court appearances or watch it all unfold in one unforgettable performance at the Video Music Awards? Your move Lindsay . . . I mean Tiger.

The Deutsche Bank Top Ten
I see your cast of Different Strokes
and raise you an Amanda Bynes.

1. Tiger Woods
2. Phil Mickelson
3. Keegan Bradley
4. Rory McIlroy
5. Webb Simpson
6. Henrik Stenson
7. Steve Stricker
8. Gary Woodland
9. Zach Johnson
10. Jonas Blixt

The TPC at Boston has a great track record for producing quality winners including Tiger, Rory, Phil, Vijay, Stricker, Simpson and Scott. All jokes aside, Tiger probably wins last week or at least forces a playoff if the back spasms don't cause him to bogey the par five 13th hole and if he didn't have to devote so much energy to reminding himself to grimace after every shot, not just the ones where he was actually in pain. I'm going to assume that he's somewhere in Eastern Europe as we speak having the spastic muscle replaced with a baby python so he'll be good to go for Boston. If he doesn't tee it up, take him out of the top spot and bump everyone up a notch.
"This better get me an ESPY."

Last Week's Report Card: C

1. Henrik Stenson - T43rd
2. Webb Simpson - T15th
3. Adam Scott - 1st
4. Tiger Woods - T2nd
5. Brandt Snedeker - M/C
6. Jason Day - T25th
7. Bill Haas - T25th
8. Jim Furyk - T6th
9. Rickie Fowler - T9th
10. Keegan Bradley - T33rd

Maybe someone can explain to me how I could pick Adam Scott to win the FedEx Cup and then not pick him to win the first event. Well . . . I'm waiting.

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* I acknowledge that Matt Kuchar and Ian Poulter's major records were not that much better but at least they've both taken down significant second tier titles this year at the Accenture Matchplay and HSBC respectively. (I don't know why, but that bullsh-t rationalization reminded me of Martin Sheen's classic Wall Street line, "I don't go to bed with no whore and I don't wake-up with no whore. That's how I live with myself. I don't know how you do it." Note that if you ever find yourself saying that to your own son, something has probably gone terribly wrong).

** The people who made Die Hard must have watched Beverly Hills Cop and thought, "we can make the LAPD look much more inept than that" and then they went all out and cast the guy who played Principal Vernon in the Breakfast Club and Clarence Beeks in Trading Places as Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson just to seal the deal.

"Hey, you snot nosed punk. You failed
to mention the great work I did in
Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence."
*** You get 4 points for the Barclays and then the points go up by one throughout the playoffs with 7 points for the winner of the Tour Championship. You also get 5 points if you win the FedEx Cup, 4 points if you finish second, etc. There are no style points awarded for collapsing in a heap after you smoke a 5-wood into a pond and then grimacing after every bad shot thereafter. By the way, if Tiger played any other sport, we'd call him "injury prone."