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Tim Finchem Saves the Planet!

Greetings Crime Fighters…and welcome to another season of hanging-on-the-edge -of-your-coma action here in “Poolside.”

I hope you had a fantastic Christmas…and that 2012 is shaping up to be your best year yet!

Speaking of 2012, did you know that the PGA Tour is breaking out all the stops to save the planet this year?

Yes, yes…we all know about the amazing work the PGA Tour does in raising money for local charities around the continent.  Hundreds of millions of dollars for a plethora of worthy recipients. 

But, what I’m talking about here is a new effort you’re probably not even aware of; a venture designed to actually save the planet itself…and all of us unworthy inhabitants, crawling around on it and presumably consuming ourselves with all things Kardassian and Lohan and Brangelina and Jennifer (if the endless tabloid headlines are any indication on what really moves the earth).

As you must have heard by now, the world is scheduled to end this year on December 21st.  If you haven’t heard this, then don’t worry…you’ve obviously been living so far underground that you’ll be completely immune from Armageddon.  You should grab 3 or 4 people of the opposite sex and start reproducing immediately.

Yes, according to the Mayans, we’re done, kaput, finished, hasta la vista baby, Gandhi, Mahat Macoat…in a mere 320 days or so.  And retailers all over the Western Hemisphere are gnashing their teeth in frustration, because those damned inconsiderate Mayans have scheduled this cataclysm just days before the peak Xmas buying season is over!!!

But fear not, timid consumers…the PGA Tour is coming to the rescue!

In a stroke of pure brilliance, Tim Finchem and his brain trust in Ponte Vedra have devised a way of defeating Armageddon…and saving the planet for the next onslaught of annoying, must-have, Tickle Me Elmo-esque toys.

How, you ask?  I’m glad you asked.  Thank you for asking.

Since the trigger for Armageddon is the date December 21st, 2012…and since all of the Mayan’s so-called predictions are predicated on the celestial math to get us to that date, the PGA Tour honchos have decided to change the math…and pull the figurative rug out from under those non-Xmas-present-buying Mayans.

To do this, they’ve shifted us one step to the right…starting the Tournament of Champions on a Friday, instead of the traditional Thursday launch to the season.  This mind-blowing shift in reality (known by quantum physicists as “the Hokey Pokey”), is a sure-fire way to realign the planets and prevent our destruction.  Pure brilliance!!!

And this move doesn’t come without great sacrifice on the part of the PGA Tour golf fans.  To ensure our survival as a species, the PGA has forgone their normally lucrative weekend prime- time advertising rates accrued from a Sunday finish…and has settled for Monday rates instead; valued at $21.99 and a used shag bag, per 30-second commercial. 

Let’s see the Super Bowl weasels with their $3.5 million per commercial rates do that!

And the fact that this tournament takes place in Hawaii, where this Friday is actually a week ago last Tuesday, or maybe it’s next Wednesday (I could never keep that straight), only serves to strengthen the cosmic mojo behind this incredible manoeuvre.  Let the Mayans figure THAT math out!

Now, as we all know, the Mayans were mathematical geniuses…who were light years ahead of their time.  You probably also know that they didn’t play golf…preferring the quaint, game-de-jour of human sacrifice instead (an innovation that would REALLY make being a loser on contests like Miss Universe, America Idol and The Apprentice a LOT more interesting to watch in my opinion).

And even though they didn’t play golf, they were so advanced that they actually invented the scoring system for golf millennia before the game was even invented.  Yes, as stunning as it is to believe, you can thank the ancient Mayans for inventing birdies, bogies, eagles and albatrosses.  (”What do you mean what flavour is it?  It’s albatross flavour, you stupid git!”)

Clearly, this is a culture to be reckoned with.  Oh sure, they’re extinct and everything…but they disappeared off the face of the planet, counting up numbers and equations like Stephen Hawking to the very end.

So have no fear folks, Armageddon will NOT happen this year.  Tim Finchem has seen to that and has virtually guaranteed that you’ll see your cell phone contract reach its next anniversary date without incident (barring another global Blackberry blackout).

Hmmm…here’s a thought; Maybe, like the long-protected, fabled Merovingian line, Finchem is actually the last Mayan…flash frozen in a South American glacier for thousands of years, until he was discovered by a pair of shepherd boys playing hookey for the day by playing a quick round of golf with stiffened anaconda clubs and goat dung balls…and then thawed out and transported to America to save the world???

That would be a real stunner, wouldn’t it?  After seeing Finchem on TV one or two hundred times, I was totally convinced he was actually a Leprechaun…not a Mayan.

The Hyundai Tournament of Champions

Were you expecting some golf talk somewhere in this column?  Oh, all right…if I must.  God, you’re demanding!

The PGA season officially, unofficially begins Friday in Hawaii at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.  If you want to watch this event live on TV, set your alarm to 3am last Thursday or next Wednesday (see above).

The field consists of only 28 guys this year…and as the name suggests, they all won an event on the PGA Tour last season.

To be perfectly honest with you, I’ve gone over the list again and again…and am having a bit of a difficult time getting pumped up for this event.  These are all accomplished, talented golfers, for sure…but the field just looks, um, kind of lacking from what I would normally expect.

I’d even go so far as to say that this year’s pairings sheet is probably more notable for who is NOT playing, than for who is going to show up. 

No Luke…no Rory…no Lee…no Woods…no Phil…no Adam…no Graeme…no Ernie…no Furyk…no Kuchar…no Charl…no Ogilvy…no Rickie…no Ryan…no Dustin…no Day…no point in beating this dead horse any further.

Without being disrespectful to the guys who earned their way into this very exclusive event, the field just seems to be a little anaemic to me.  I know I’m wrong to say that…but I would less than honest with you if I were to tell you that I’m champing at the bit and counting the seconds to see this event unfold.

The Hyundai Tournament of Champions – Derek’s Picks

Steve Stricker – He’s back…he’s healthy…and he’s looking forward to a brilliant 2012 campaign. 

After shrugging off some injuries toward the latter part of 2011, Stricker says he is back in championship form and ready to build on his 20120 brilliance and take on the world again in 2012.

And, based on recent history, Stricker is a good pick this week in Hawaii.  He finished here T4 last year, T10 the year before that and second in 2008.  Three top tens in the past 4 years, including two top fives.

Webb Simpson – One of the new breakout superstars that emerged in 2011.  The big question on most golf wags minds is; can he repeat and build on last year’s successes …or is he another flash-in-the-pan, a la Ty Tryon?

I’m putting my money and my mouth in the former camp…and am tagging Simpson to have another excellent year, starting with the season-opener at Kapalua.  The only things that might get in his way are his unfamiliarity with the course…and with playing in screaming, 5,000mph winds coming in off the Pacific Ocean.

Nick Watney – Got off to a great start and took the world by storm during the first half of the 2011 PGA season.  FIVE top 10 finishes in his first five starts…including a WGC win!

His second half was pretty good too…and he finished the year with a few more top 10’s and another win at the AT&T and a second at the Boy Band Open for the Shriners Hospital…on his way to a third place finish on the Money List.

 Since Watney seems to start his season so strongly, I’m putting a few shekels on him this week to do well in Hawaii.

Bubba Watson – I was torn between Bubba and KJ Choi for this final spot on my roster…and in the end decided to go with the Southerner, rather than the Easterner.

KJ has more experience on this course, but he hasn’t really lit the place up like you might expect in years past.   The best he’s managed to do is a 10th place finish back in 2007.

That’s not to say that Bubba has had more success at Kapalua…because he hasn’t.  But this guy has such awesome power and amazing creativity with his shots that I think he could absolutely tear up this course if he shows up with his “A game.” 

Picture Bubba cranking out a drive with a big Pacific wind behind him…and driving the green on a 500-yard par 5.  You can, can’t you?  And so can I!!! 

If he’s playing well, he could be a huge threat this week.  The one thing that might bollocks him up is if someone tells him that Hawaii isn’t a foreign country. Shhhhhhhhh!

And now that I’ve purged my system of the first golf ramble of the season, let’s see what the progeny managed to come up with on the tiny 28-square grid tacked to the dartboard this week:

D&D’s Picks (Daughter & Dartboard)

  •          Bradley Keegan
  •          Ben Crane
  •          Harrison Frazar
  •          Bill Haas

And that’s all for now folks.  Have a great week, enjoy the tournament…and don’t forget to set your alarm clocks for last Thursday!

Cheers,

Derek

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