Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fantasy Golf: The Memorial Preview

I have to confess that my weekend was structured in such a way that I forgot there was even a professional golf tournament going on until I was checking NBA scores on my phone Monday morning (because I forgot those games were going on too) and discovered that Adam Scott had won in a playoff. My primary distraction* was the two day, two round, two man, two headed, two timing, no good, son of a . . . sorry . . . stroke play tournament I played on Saturday and Sunday. After keeping the extracurriculars under control for the Friday practice round and ensuing festivities, things got a little weird when the competition kicked-in. I'm sure it had something to do with the weather which was off the charts and the fact that this tournament always seems to have a more festive feel (at least it does for me). That group love feeling is derived at least in part from the fact that you're playing against the entire field which makes for a lot of people to root against.

Despite the fact that (a) I haven't been playing much this spring (by my standards), (b) I haven't been practicing at all (by even Allen Iverson's standards) and (c) I had a horrible warm-up round on Friday where I finished with three consecutive doubles, I came in feeling unjustifiably optimistic. That optimism began to grow when we parred the always nerve-racking first two holes. Then we made a sloppy bogey on the third and, from that point forward, I proceeded to beat the living shit out of my optimism with my putter like it was a rabid raccoon in my kitchen. I didn't make a putt over three feet until my ten footer for par on 18 caught the edge and mercifully fell in the side of the hole to give us a better ball score of even par . . . net. My round could best be described as "forgettable."

Things weren't looking much more promising on Sunday when I had three very different styled putters in my hand (including the night stick from the day before) ten minutes before we were set to tee off. When the starter called us over, I had only narrowed it to two so I hit one more fifteen footer, it went in and that was the winner. Twenty minutes later and we were taking on water again as we started with a bogey and then my tee shot on #2 wound-up nestled against a tree like it was getting ready to take a nap (and who could blame it?). But then we began to right the ship thanks to some steady play from my partner and, by the time we got to #6, we had managed to battle our way to -2 for the day.** Then things started to get interesting as I went birdie-bogey-birdie (real birdies . . . and a real bogey, as in a REALLY sloppy bogey with a gap wedge in my hand for the approach which I hit hat and then tried to bite in half). Suddenly the clubs were feeling less like cattle prods.

By the time we were done, I had made two more natural birdies and we had brought home a 63. Of course this is the 2014 FGR so that was just good enough to lose the ice buckets by a stroke but at least my game registered a pulse just as the nurse was putting her hand on the shoulder of the doctor who was madly administering CPR and said, "there's nothing more you can do." And that's a good thing because I might not touch a club again until the second week of July and, to paraphrase House of Pain, I really didn't want to go out like some punk bitch.

Get me out of Texas and up to Ohio.
The Memorial Favorites

1. Rory McIlroy - 8 to 1
2. Adam Scott - 11 to 1
3. Matt Kuchar - 16 to 1
4. Justin Rose - 16 to 1
5. Dustin Johnson - 22 to 1
6. Luke Donald - 22 to 1

The FGR One and Done Picks

1. Charl Schwartzel
2. Dustin Johnson
3. Bill Haas
4. Luke Donald
5. Jordan Spieth
6. Matt Kuchar

Suffice it to say I was a week too early on Jason Dufner and two weeks off on Adam Scott. That would seem to indicate a strong week coming from last week's pick, Zach Johnson, but he's not in the field so look for another top player that's already let me down this year to come through. If you're currently shorting the FGR (which you should be), Justin Rose, Bill Haas and Keegan Bradley would seem to be logical choices.

I don't know if Eva Mendes is affiliated
with Ohio St. or if this is even her . . .
Last Week's Report Card: D+

1. Zach Johnson - T73rd
2. Jordan Spieth - T14th
3. Ryan Palmer - T5th
4. Jim Furyk - T51st
5. Matt Kuchar - M/C
6. John Senden** - T5th

The Hit Me with a Ball-Peen Hammer Report

Hyundai: Gary Woodland - $130,000
Sony: Chris Kirk - $604,800
Humana: Charles Howell, III - $12,198
Farmers: Bill Haas - $20,740
WM Phoenix: Billy Horschel - M/C
Pebble Beach: Russell Knox - $46,860
Northern Trust: Dustin Johnson - $723,600
Match Play: Hunter Mahan - $148,000
Honda Classic: Graeme McDowell - $15,600
. . . and I don't care.
WGC-Cadillac: Rory McIlroy - $76,000
Valspar: Harris English - $23,940
Palmer: Justin Rose - M/C
Texas Open: Kevin Chappell - M/C
Houston Open: Keegan Bradley - $18,374
Masters: Matt Kuchar - $342,000
Heritage: Jim Furyk - $187,050
Zurich: Graham DeLaet - $44,200
Wells Fargo: Webb Simpson - $28,980
The Players: Adam Scott - $38,000
Byron Nelson: Jason Dufner - $17,327
Colonial: Zach Johnson - $12,416

Season Total: $2,490,085


* My secondary distraction was the fact that, in the Baltimore area, Memorial Day weekend sports chatter is dominated by the NCAA Lacrosse Final Four, especially when it's loaded like it was this year with Duke, Notre Dame and Maryland. In what has to be the greatest scandal bounce back since Jordan Belfort, Duke won it's second title in a row (a fairly apt analogy considering the general disdain they share).

** Again, these scores are all net unless otherwise noted as we were playing for logo ice buckets and shop credit at this point. (Hmmmm . . . "Ice Buckets and Shop Credit" . . . I smell book title).

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