Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Fantasy Golf: The Byron Nelson Preview

Last Saturday I played my first relevant golf match of the season which means that winning it could have somewhere down the line resulted in me getting my name on another wooden sign in the prop shop or on the steps up to the locker room or wherever they keep the plaque to honor the five members they most regret letting into the club. That wasn't going to happen in this case, however, as what I didn't realize was that I had inadvertently spent the previous months developing a 100% foolproof guaranteed can't miss way to lose a golf match that you are actually trying to win. It takes some preparation but, if you are unknowingly committed to your objective of losing, here is your roadmap to success:


Step One

Decide over the winter that you want to abandon the shot shape (draw) that has made you a respectable player for the last 25 years and revert to the opposite shot shape (fade) that you used to unintentionally hit when you were learning how to play. As part of this process, ignore the fact that every other relatable sport you've played for your entire life (lacrosse, tennis, ping pong, slapjack, etc.) lends itself to hitting a draw. Start by visualizing thousands of shots gently drifting from left to right to convince yourself that this is a good idea.

Step Two

Never underestimate the
value of a trip to your
local learning center.
Wait until the day before your match to seek-out instruction on how to implement your new shot shape and then ignore the obvious discomfort and reluctance displayed by the pro when you tell him your goal. He is going to try to subtly dissuade you by demonstrating all of the different elements that must be changed to make the ball fly in the opposite direction from where you've been hitting it your whole life. These minor adjustments will range from takeaway to swing path to wrist position at impact but do not be deterred. Remember you have committed to this process for no logical reason and committing to the shot is critical in golf.

Step Three

On the morning of the match, pick a fight with your wife and (this is the important part) make sure you do it late enough so that it cannot be resolved before you leave for the course. Nothing grooves the golf swing more effectively than marital angst and the cool part is that there are no better conditions for the germination of marital angst than the hours before you leave to play competitive golf. It's the perfect greenhouse for cultivating a hybrid mixture of guilt, anxiety, acrimony and fear. That's why 72% of all cases involving one spouse pouring Drano into the coffee of the other occur within three hours of a tee time. The statistics don't lie.

Step Four

Arrive to the course late. This shouldn't be a problem thanks to the fight and having to make a new cup of coffee that won't disintegrate your esophagus. If you've timed this right, you will have just enough time to hit not enough balls and maybe a few sloppy putts (preferably with range balls as you should have accidentally left the Pro V's in your bag by the range). DO NOT make the mistake of arriving so late that you have to sprint right to the first tee because then you might just have a "fuck it" great round. No you need to leave like 14-17 minutes so you can fumble with your shoelaces, rush through eight full swings on the range and then miss a half dozen three foot putts with each one engraving the image of the ball not going into the hole deeper into your psyche.   

Step Five

Hey, that reminds me that this
week's FGR is brought to you
by Fade Golf Workshop and
their cool Transfusion Tee.
Don't drink enough alcohol to negate the effects of steps 1-4. You could do everything correctly up to this step and then blow it with a triple Ketel One transfusion on the way to the locker room and another one on the way to the first tee thereby liberating your swing. You should know your own game so I'm not going to tell you exactly how to approach this but, if you've spent years building-up a Boris Yeltsin caliber tolerance, one Bud Light before you tee off is going to be an insult to your central nervous system so that should be perfect. Then have a single Bud Light at the turn so when your subconscious comes looking for more on the 11th tee, you will have triggered a full mental meltdown.    

By now I'm sure you're wondering how it went down for me when I actually put this system to the test. In a word, perfectly. My first tee shot was a weak fade that started down the right side of the fairway before drifting over to the cart path off of which it took a huge bounce into the driving range and out of bounds. I was immediately one down but it felt like five down as my mind began to wander to the back nine trying to determine which hole would provide the shortest walk to the clubhouse.

I lost the second hole but actually won the third and then stood on the 4th tee getting my one stroke of the match. I hit the fairway on what would normally be a reachable par five if not for my delicate fade which did a great impression of a necked 5-wood. I then tried to lay-up with a cut 7-iron that landed behind a tree, made bogey and lost to a birdie. From there the match just kind of bounced back and forth between two down and three down as my opponent also appeared to have adopted part of the FGR Losing System but his lack of full commitment was evidenced by the two birdies and the multiple clutch six foot putts for halves. The match finally ended on the 16th hole after I faltered with winning pars on 12 and 14 to extend it. 

So the system was almost an unmitigated success. I think I could improve it by putting two putters or two drivers in the bag and wearing a mock turtleneck but there are plenty of nights to stare at the ceiling pondering those options while developing others. If you come-up with any recommended enhancements, the suggestion box is now open . . . fgr@fantasygolfreport.com.   

And now this.


I'm not going to say that this week's picks were the product of throwing darts blindfolded because that would imply there was a method. This is only the second year they've played at Trinity Forest Golf Club and last year Aaron Wise won which tells us less than nothing and Marc Leishman was the runner-up meaning the course fits one of the two types on which he excels - British Open style or a crappy TPC layout. Either one would make Sergio Garcia or Rickie Fowler a solid pick but they're not playing so I guess Leishman is your best bet.  

Unfortunately, I've already used Leishman so I'm picking Rafa Cabrera Bello because 2019 has been the year of the damn ferener with winners from Northern Ireland, Italy, Taiwan and wherever the hell Max Homa is from. We've even had a winner from Canada for Chrissakes (BUILD THE WALL!!!). 

Oh yeah it's in Texas so you definitely want a wind player because the wind always blows in Texas and only guys from Texas and maybe Australia know how to play in the wind. (I should mention that I was making an inappropriate hand gesture near my crotch when I wrote that in case you missed the tone I was going for). That's why I would also recommend Keith Mitchell who finished third last year and is from (checking) Chattanooga, Tennessee which is basically a still pond posing as a city. Whatever.

From there down I wish you luck. I'm gonna keep riding Bud Cauley, Denny McCarthy and Nick Taylor until one of them hits or I go broke five dollars at a time. Yeah they're all kind of just hunches but then again so was Joel Dahmen last week. What you thought I wasn't going to bring that up? First time here? 

Designing a golf hole so you could
call it "The Zit" seemed odd but the
architects were apparently insistent.
One & Done Pick: Rafa Cab Bello

Other Guy I'd Pick: Marc Leishman 

Sleeper Pick: Nick Taylor

DraftKings Top Ten Values

Marc Leishman
Keith Mitchell
Rafa Cabrera Bello
Charles Howell, III
Scottie Scheffler
Seamus Power
Bud Cauley
Brian Gay
Denny McCarthy
Nick Taylor

Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com

No comments: