Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2010 Chevron World Challenge - Odds and Expert Picks

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - DECEMBER 06:  Jim Furyk poses with the trophy on the 18th hole after finishing 13 under par for the tournament during the fourth round of the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club on December 6, 2009 in Thousand Oaks, California.  Furyk won the tournament by one shot.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Get ready for the last semi-legit tourney of 2010. An 18 man field, featuring Tiger Woods, in his own event for a change of pace, will compete for a 1.2 million dollar first prize, (and the kinda weird tiger trophy), before heading off to an island somewhere for the holidays. Nice walking around money I'd say. No Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson, or Martin Kaymer, but a rather good limited field will duke it out in the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, CA. A bit of a home game for Mr. Woods. He could use the edge to save some reputation from an otherwise rather pedestrian 2010.

Without further ado, or wasted web space, let's rate their chances versus current odds presented by Ladbrokes. Here we go........

Tiger Woods, 3/1 - Expected. Home course. Most talent. Does he pop out of his slump now? Well, he could of course. Might win. Putter tells all.

Jim Furyk, 8/1 - Defends. Hard to say how much golf he's played in the last few weeks. Could win, probably won't.

Luke Donald, 10/1 - Luke always impresses me in not winning. Won't break that streak here. 

Rory McIlroy, 12/1 - Would love a win on Woods' turf. Definitely will contend.

Paul Casey, 12/1 - Ryder snub is big motivator. I like him here a ton. Should win.

Ian Poulter, 12/1 - Practicing ball marking no doubt. Long trip, still disappointed, won't win.

Steve Stricker, 14/1 - Woods' buddy. Probably a little rusty. Indifferent year thus far. Won't win.

Nick Watney, 14/1 - Replaced Kaymer. I put him in the Donald category. Impressive game, won't win.

Graeme McDowell, 16/1 - Love his temperament, or lack thereof. Solid all year. Could win.

Matt Kuchar, 16/1 - Making a lucrative career out of top ten finishes. May be rusty compared to Euros. Possible I guess.

Dustin Johnson, 16/1 - Like the odds. Most certainly could win depending on what he's been doing since the Ryder Cup.  

Zach Johnson, 20/1 - Not the Zach we're used to. Short hitter that has to knock down pins and make everything.  Hasn't happened this year. Won't win.

Camilo Villegas, 25/1 - Surprised at the odds. I think he's got a chance. Must avoid typical 1 bad round.

Hunter Mahan, 25/1 - I like him here. Again, depends on practice level since Ryder.

Stewart Cink, 25/1 - Just when I count him out...... Shouldn't win, but.......

Anthony Kim, 33/1 - Written off year due to injury. Some self-inflicted, some not. Take a flyer at 33/1 that he's healed.

Sean O'Hair, 33/1 - Another Woods' pal. Gone backwards this year after much promise. Kind of a Charles Howell III clone in that regard. Don't see it.

Bubba Watson, 40/1 - At these odds you gotta love Bubba. If he can keep it in the county, who knows?

Average Golfer Chevron World Challenge Picks

1. Casey
2. Woods
3. McIlroy

Dark Horse, Bubba Watson

There you have 'em. Expert picks gratis, nada, nothing. Thank me with 10% of your winnings.

Bet early and often.

Til' next,

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tiger Woods is Irrelevant

NORTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 06: A spectator dresses in a tiger costume to watch Tiger Woods during the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on September 6, 2010 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods' PR machine is coming at us with both barrels. One week shy of the anniversary of his "incident" Woods has surfaced, written and spoken, neither of which he's been all that willing to do, period, ever. A monologue in Newsweek, a phone interview on ESPN's Mike & Mike in the Morning, and perhaps a few other contrived statements are in the works, ghost written by IMG. He's realized his errors, yawn, discovered the joys of fatherhood, like 100 million of us, and is trying to resculpt what was at one time the most valuable image in the world. Better than the Pope's, Ali-esque.

The difficulty in selling all this to us lemmings is that what he got nailed for was beyond regular folk's comprehension. Even my most self-centered, hound-doggish male acquaintances, upon hearing of Woods' transgressions, collectively said "WTF, OMG!" Steroids may have met with more acceptance. It's tough to rally your image from an affair. It's even more tough if it's an All-Universe one. People have standards and morals that certainly vary by the individual, but all have a limit, I hope.

I've never been accused of being a Tiger Woods fan, but I haven't been a basher either. I definitely appreciated his talent on the golf course and enjoyed many hours watching him perform on a level I'd never believed possible. I'd have bet the house he'd break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors and would have been happy to witness the history. Now I don't really give two *#its if he does or doesn't. I'm glad, on a purely human level, that he's claimed to have found the error of his ways. I'm glad he's reconnecting with his children. I truly hope his kids end up as healthy, well adjusted adults. I just don't want to hear about it. Deal with that stuff on your own time like the rest of us do. Don't invade my air and print space with feats that all the rest of us pull off each and every day without fanfare.

Play golf Tiger, or don't play. Now it doesn't matter to me either way.

Til' next,

Monday, November 1, 2010

Westwood Swipes World #1 From Tiger Woods

CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 09: Lee Westwood of England reacts after putting on the nineth green during the third round of The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at the Carnoustie Golf Links on October 9, 2010 in Carnoustie, Scotland. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Ah, the OWGR. Much debate regarding the significance of an Official World Golf Ranking. Does it earn you more money? Attract women? Come with a jacket you can wear during your reign? What does the moniker really mean? Depends who you ask. I'd say most reasonable folks agree that the two year window from which the ratings are calculated is much too long. How about a one week window? Then Ben Crane's #1. Or perhaps it's Graeme McDowell. On the other end of absurd, what if the window was 50 years? Anyone doubt Jack being #1? A perfect example of the ratings meaning very little about nothing is that the most current rankings have Steve Stricker 5th and Graeme McDowell 10th. So, let me get this one straight. The reigning US Open champ is rated below a player who's riding the results of two years ago. Thought so.

Count Tiger Woods, who has held the #1 ranking since 2005, among the least surprised at Westwood's ascension. "As far as the world ranking is concerned, yes, I'm not ranked No. 1 in the world," Woods said Monday. "In order to do that you have to win and I didn't win this year." The aforementioned McDowell as well as Jim Furyk, Ernie Els and Martin Kaymer may also have reasonable arguments for the #1 spot. 

If ratings are your thing then pay close attention to the upcoming HSBC Champions event. Westwood, Woods, Kaymer, and Phil Mickelson all have a shot at being #1 at the end of that tournament. So what does being #1 really mean? Not much in this average golfer's opinion. How about yours? 

Til' next,