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Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes…

This will be a very atypical column this week folks.  It will be pretty short…and to the point.  Or, at least as short and to the point as I can possibly manage with my short attention sp…LOOK A ROBIN!!!

Life here at Indecision Headquarters has been quite hectic the past few weeks…and it’s kind of come to a head this week.  In between managing the pretty large golf pool I run and writing these silly columns, I’ve been up to my eyeballs in a ton of home renovation projects. 

Literally up to my eyeballs and beyond…in drywall, mud, wallpaper, toilet flanges, flooring, baseboards (I hate mitre cuts!), ceilings, plumbing, and the list goes on and on. 

Oh yes, I also have a small marketing and advertising business to run too, with tight deadlines and big, bad implications for not getting everything just right (and that’s the way it should be).

I’m in a frantic race to get our home suitably spruced up to put on the market…and had taken on waaaay more than I could reasonably chew; re-doing the basement, gutting two bathrooms, re-carpeting two rooms and re-facing the kitchen. 

And of course, being the notoriously cheap bugger that I am, I did all of these projects by myself, with the exception of laying the carpet and re-facing the cupboards.  

Along the way, I’ve been faced with a plethora of logistical and structural problems that no single person should have to face.  I’ve run into walls that were made from newspaper, covered over in drywall mud…sink traps that were secured with electrical tape, threaded pipes that were cemented together (and promptly broke inside the wall when twisted), faulty shut-off valves, a free-floating wall with no supporting studs, bad floor and a host of other difficulties that have had me yanking my hair out in clumps.  At this point, I would LOVE to have ten minutes alone in a locked room with the rocket scientists responsible for putting this place together.  I’m also on a first-name basis with half of the staff at the local Home Depot and now have a reserved parking spot right by the exit.

My body is one massive ouchie.  Not a muscle unstiff…not a limb unscratched or ungouged.  And, of course I took all this on with a gun to my head.  March Break company has landed and everything had to be just so before their arrival.

So, while the walls were crumbling, the jerry-rigged plumbing was leaking and the floors were heaving, here’s how my daughter and I did at the completely unwatched WGC Cadillac Championship last weekend:

Derek’s Picks D&D (Daughter & Dartboard)
Martin Kaymer T24  $      77,250 Ben Crane DNS  
Luke Donald T6  $    271,000 Jim Furyk T49  $          50,500
Graeme McDowell T42  $      59,000 Louis Oosthuizen T18  $          89,000
Bubba Watson DNS   Alvaro Quiros T64  $          40,250
This Week’s Total    $    407,250 This Week’s Total    $        179,750
Season Total    $ 4,984,763 Season Total    $     2,302,016

I’m not sure why one of my sure-fire selections, Bubba Watson, was a DNS at the WGC…but if he’s at all in syncopation with what’s been going on here, he probably had to see someone about his plumbing.  Hopefully that someone was not a Urologist!

So with the review reviewed, let’s press on to some picks for this week’s tourney, hastily assembled between visiting and entertaining:

Derek’s Picks – The Transitions Championship

Nick Watney – Watney is registering a 9.5 on the career hot scale right now.  He’s played five events so far in 2011 and finished in the top 10 in each of them. 

Of course, the BIG finish happened last weekend while I was hammering my thumb into the floor instead of watching golf on TV.  Watney registered his “breakthrough” win at the WGC, finally adding a “big” win to his resume, to join his two other PGA Tour victories from 2007 and 2009.  You probably had a feeling it was just a matter of time, didn’t you?

So now with a full head of steam under his belt, there’s pretty good reason to pick him to repeat this week.  He’s hot right now AND he has shown some quality play on this course in the past…finishing in solo 4th at this event last year and T12th the year before that.   

This could be a wonderful opportunity for Watney to go back-to-back, provided he can keep his mind on the mission and not get distracted by all the extra media attention and new demands on his time.

Jonathan Byrd – Oddball pick…or completely rational selection?  You decide friends, but I’m going with the Byrd Man this week in one of my cherished four spots.

In the pool I run, players are locked in until the conclusion of the WGC Cadillac Championship.  We have a built-in embargo on trading until after this point in the season to reward players for choosing well out of the gate. 

As soon as the Cadillac is over, the embargo is lifted and I’m literally flooded with trade requests from Poolsters who have had selector’s remorse since almost the moment the season began.  So far this week the names that have appeared most often in my groaning e-mail account are Sergio, Furyk, our poor Canadian boys Weir and DeLaet and Jonathan Byrd.

So, even though Byrd is being dropped, en masse, by our pool members, here are a few reasons why I like him in the week’s tournament.  First, he performed very well at the WGC last week, registering his first top 10 finish of the season…and getting his first glimpse of the top of the leader board this year.  More importantly though is how he’s played at this event in the past 3 or 4 years.  As we look in the Transitions rear-view mirror, we see that Byrd has strung together a pretty impressive record on this track.  He finished T8 last year, T12 in ’09 and T8 in 2007.  Sure, he has no previous wins or top 3 showings here, but it does show that he is comfortable playing this course and it seems to bring his game up a notch or two.

K.J. Choi – It wasn’t exactly a stellar showing last week at the Cadillac for K.J.  He posted only one sub-70 round on the way to a T39 finish and a $62k payday.  Geez, I should have such an awful week!

Nevertheless, I think there are some brighter portents for Choi this week at Innisbrook.  Last year he was the bridesmaid, finishing in second place just one stroke behind winner Jim Furyk .  Other than a T6 four years ago, there isn’t anything in the archives to point to a win for Choi, but there’s something burbling in my gut that tells me he is worth a flutter this week. 

Then again, maybe it was that extra-spicy curried chicken I had?  We’ll see in a few days.

Retief Goosen – So far, Goosen’s 2011 campaign has been up-and-down like a toilet seat.  His best finish on this side of the Atlantic, in two starts, has been a 31st-place finish at the WGC Cadillac Championship last week.  In his only other appearance over here, he was knocked out in the first  round of the World Match play championship…falling victim to K.J. Choi one-up.

It’s been a somewhat brighter story overseas on the European Tour.  In four events he finished second at the South African Open and third in Abu Dabai.  Mix in a 19th at Qatar and a very surprising missed cut (87th) at the Africa Open and that’s been his season so far.  Weird!

Despite how he might be feeling about his somewhat erratic game right now, I think Goosen with be coming into the tournament this week with more than a few happy thoughts for his prospects.  Over the last couple of years, he has put together a really solid record at Innisbrook; finishing T5 last year and winning the whole kit and caboodle in 2009. 

By the way, what the hell is a caboodle anyway?

He might not be tearing up the PGA Tour a la Matt Kuchar or Luke Donald right now, but Goosen has way too much talent not to break through soon and start making his mark for the season in North America.  I think this weekend is a good chance for him to do just that.

And now that I’ve had my MUCH-longer-than-expected ramble, let’s see what my daughter managed to put together with her lobs at the dartboard this week:

D&D’s Picks (Daughter & Dartboard)

  • Arjun Atwal
  • Charles Howell III
  • Tommy “Two-Gloves” Gainey
  • Jerry Kelly

And that’s all for now folks…got to get back to the company and maybe even get some marketing work done at some point today.

Have a great week…and enjoy the golf action this weekend.

Cheers,

Derek

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