Thursday, May 12, 2016

Fantasy Golf: Players Championship Preview Remix

When I laid-out my master plan for winning my one and done league this year, the strategy included saving two big guns for the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship so that, if I was in striking distance, I could drop the hammer in the last two events and blow by anyone in front of me. It would be the stuff of legend. 

Then the hamster that powers my brain started running like he stole something (never a good sign) and a couple of things dawned on me: 

(1) The winner of the Players Championship gets $1,890,000 which I believe is the largest payday on tour by a couple hundred grand, and 

Hey, I think I see an opening.
I'm going to play it from here.
(2) I was not planning to start the guy who I thought was most likely to win the tournament (Rory McIlroy) but was instead going to use a guy (Kevin Na) whose only PGA Tour win was the 2011 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and whose two primary claims to golf fame are that (a) he once went through a stretch where he was so yippy that he couldn't pull the club back, and (b) he holds the record for worst score ever on a par 4 with a 16 on the ninth hole of the 2011 Valero Texas Open

The fact that this is only dawned on me after I spent hours writing a full Players preview indicates that the brain hamster must have been completely logy and house drunk on red wine and thick crust pizza when this original pick was hatched.

Even with all of that sound reasoning in play, I was still afraid to pull the trigger because of the whole "if I ditch Kevin Na and then he wins, I'll hate myself" power of positive thinking that guides most of my key life decisions like this one. Fortunately (I hope), I happen to be reading The Martian by Andy Weir which, if you haven't read it or seen the movie (and I highly recommend both),* is about a Mars astronaut named Mark Watney who gets stranded and NASA's efforts to bring him home. In one pivotal scene (don't worry, this is not a spoiler), the head of NASA (Teddy Sanders) decides on a more conservative approach and is told by his communications director (Annie Montrose): "You are a fucking coward. If you had balls, we might be able to save Watney." Thanks for stopping by today Teddy and please leave your man card at the front desk when you go.

Suffice it to say that Annie's line spoke to me and it was that little bit of inspiration that finally caused me to grow a pair and switch to Rory. If Kevin Na ends-up winning, please pray for my family, my dog and anyone else who wanders into the destructive path of my irrational anguish on Sunday night.    


* For most of the story, Weir uses the first person narrative and rarely misses an opportunity to insert a snarky comment from his protagonist who is a sarcastic wise ass. Still can't quite put my finger on why the book resonates with me so much. Must be the science.    

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