Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Fantasy Golf: The Rocket Mortgage Classic Preview

Way, way back in July of 2011, we had two-day stretch of heat here in the Old Line State where afternoon temperatures touched 107 degrees. Fifteen of us recognized that as an opportunity to play bad golf, drink bad booze and probably dance a little closer to death than we realized at the time. I wrote about it here.

Having learned nothing from that experience (or any other really), I launched myself full-bore into a three day golf event last week where the heat, vodka and double bogeys emerged as the stars of the show. The following paragraphs are my first attempt at catharsis and recovery. 

Thursday was a practice round which did nothing more than get the dehydration started a day early and waste my only credible nine-hole stretch. The first warning sign showed-up in the form of red wine that night. "It's just a few glasses" he said. "You won't even feel it tomorrow . . ."  

The first match on Friday started relatively fine. My shot dispersion could generously be described as erratic but my partner was solid and I actually parred a stroke hole which was necessary because my opponent bounced his drive off a rock in a creek which catapulted it sixty yards forward into the fairway after which he duffed his second shot to twelve feet for a halve. Not even a good omen in Haiti.

From there things started to deteriorate at an intermittent pace. I went birdie-par on our 12th-13th holes and then on the 15th I hit my best drive of the weekend into a dirt patch in the fairway. From there I just needed to (a) have a positive attitude and (b) make contact with the ball first. I accomplished neither. My twenty foot par putt hung on the lip before saying "yeah right." We're not even going to talk about the rest of Friday.  

The first match on Saturday started and ended with almost identical uninspired bogeys. I knew that my recent 33% GIR wasn't going to get it done but I didn't anticipate taking that down to about 25% and then coupling it with a tone deaf short game. It was a well-organized coup by my entire golf bag with the exception of my 4-wood which was drowned-out by mob.  

As we hit the deepest part of the disaster and the hottest part of the weekend, all I kept repeating in my head was Grady the scout's line about Scott Hatteberg from Moneyball . . . "he can't throw" only it was "he can't swing." Balls were flying everywhere. Intended fades that didn't become pulls went nowhere which left second shots into greens from remote places never before seen. There were more than a few maniacal laughs. 

And then finally, when it felt like rock bottom had been achieved, the shanks came. First it was a 5-iron into the hazard from the middle of the fairway. After taking a drop, my lob wedge said "hold my beer" and followed suit (never good when your clubs and red wine are doing the play-by-play and color commentary in your head). Three holes later, I shanked the tee shot on a par 3, hit a tree and bounced back into play which again gave me the opportunity to shank a lob wedge. Oh the humanity. 

That was mercifully the second to last hole of the tournament which, for me, ended by picking-up a six foot par putt that didn't matter and frankly, no one wanted to watch me hit. Especially me.      


Ben An for the win and contender for golf tweet of the year. 


At this point, I still don't feel qualified to do, say or write anything golf related so there will be no analysis. Maybe when the lambs stop screaming . . .  

One and Done Pick: Alex Noren
I refuse to believe anyone
could feel this way about
golf at the moment. 

Other Guy I'd Pick: Cameron Young

Sleeper Pick: Daniel Berger

DraftKings Top Ten Values

Alex Noren


Akshay Bhatia


Stephan Jaeger


Keith Mitchell


Davis Tompson


Chris Kirk


Mark Hubbard


Taylor Moore


Daniel Berger


Neil Shipley


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