Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Needs to Jump Start Boring PGA Tour

This past week's Colonial Golf Tournament did little to awaken the masses and click their remotes. Zach Johnson seems to be a super guy, but lacks the cachet of a Phil or Tiger, especially when left to his own devices. Johnson beating Mickelson or Woods or winning the Masters, as he did, are all big stories. Woods and other top ranked players, including nearly all Europeans, skipping Hogan's event, combined with Phil missing the cut, meant this tourney was losing to burgers and beer on Memorial Day weekend. Still, Johnson won the honor of the plaid jacket to go with his green one. Which reminds me of one of my favorite golf tales. I'll paraphrase. When Peter Jacobsen won the 1984 Colonial in a playoff over Payne Stewart it was said that he was dutifully donning the plaid coat while gathered in a small group and said, "How long do I have to wear this %&*#@$& jacket?" No other than Ben Hogan, standing close behind him, but not noticed, replied to Jacobsen, "Until I say you can take it off son."

 This weeks Memorial Tournament will be a Nicklaus lovefest with the likes of Woods, Mickelson, Els, Scott, and McIlroy teeing it up. Woods defends. Is Woods game still a mess? Does Phil miss consecutive cuts? Can McIlroy validate his "arrival"? Good questions all. A pretty good US Open tune-up as well. This launches the meat of the pro golf season running through the Open Championship and culminating with the PGA Championship.Time to separate the pretenders from the contenders in the 2010 season. If at that point you still haven't made a decision you can have the FedUp Cup for dessert. Memorial field.

For this Average Golfer this week represents the first meaningful pro golf since THE PLAYERS Championship. Be there or risk falling behind.

Til' next,

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

2010 PLAYERS Championship - Odds and Expert Picks

Dubbing itself the "fifth major", the 2010 PLAYERS Championship gets underway on Thursday from the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. I'm not sure that you can even have a 5th major, much less one always played on a Pete Dye design that the word quirky only begins to describe. Regardless, it's always one of, if not the strongest field of the year, a field that makes the Masters look like a junior event.

As per usual here at Average Golfer, we'll handicap the upper portion of the field with a nod to Ladbrokes, our legal betting resource. Keep in mind that as of press time Steve Stricker and Anthony Kim were WDs. Unfortunate with them both being in the upper echelon. Still, the game goes on........

Tiger Woods, 6:1 - Ah, the power of the betting public to move the odds. Won't win. Top 10 would be considered good for the recovery effort.

Phil Mickelson, 8:1 - Should win on the heels of Masters win and last week's 2nd. He wins and Woods finishes worse than 5th and Phil's the new world #1.

Jim Furyk, 20:1 - Should have won here by now. It's his backyard for cryin' out loud! Could win.

Ernie Els, 20:1 - Having a great year. Lots of top tens and two wins. Could win.

Rory McIlroy, 20:1 - Fashionable pick. Had his 21st birthday today. Kids get over hangovers quickly. Could win, won't.

Lee Westwood, 25:1 - Needs to sneak one in eventually, right? Possible if he's figured out how to close an important tournament.

Padraig Harrington, 25:1 - If he's finally done fiddling with his game we may see the old Paddy. Could win.

Ian Poulter, 25:1 - One of my Masters picks. Just can't seem to avoid the odd bad round when it counts. Probably won't win.

Paul Casey, 33:1 - Of the Brits I prefer Donald on this course. Won't win.

Camilo Villegas, 40:1 - If they awarded style points..... Since they don't, won't win. Watch though, probably will be 2nd round leader.

Stenson, Mahan, Fowler, Watney, Cabrera, Choi, Donald, Ames, all at 50:1. Of the group I like Watney, Fowler, and Donald. Henrik Stenson defends. Those sure are long odds on a defending champion. May be worth a throw. Full field and tee times.

Don't blame me if you don't win. It's not like I held you down and forced money out of your hand. If you aren't a bettor, don't blame me either when these picks of pure genius come through.

Average Golfer's Picks

1. Mickelson
2. Donald
3. Harrington

Dark Horse - Charl Schwartzel

Sentimental Pick - Couples

There you have 'em. Bet early and often!

* 5/5/10 - Sadly Fred Couples withdrew today. Must be the back.

Til' next,