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Honouring One of the Game's Best!

Wow…you insult and threaten a guy with baldness and look how well he does! 

(Hmmm…I wonder if I could pull the same therapy on Kevin Na to help him with that massive case of golfing Tourette Syndrome he’s developed???  It sure as hell is worth a try, don’t you think?)

 As my dear old Aunt Ruthie would have said, “I’ll be jiggered if that Rickie Fowler didn’t almost pull off another win!”

Unfortunately, I didn’t double-down on the bugger and take him again this week. 

Oh, noooooo…instead of going with the heavy hitters that I usually like, I had to get cute with my picks and mix things up with a dose of wonkiness.  No Donald, no Fowler, no Kuchar. 

No brains!

The only saving grace for me at The Player’s was the fact that my poor, not-so-old daughter’s picks were even more dismal than mine! 

Results – The Player’s Championship

Derek’s Picks D&D (Daughter & Dartboard)
Bud Cauley

Cut

Arjun Atwal

Cut

Sergio Garcia

T56

 $            21,280 David Hearn

T68

 $               19,285
Lee Westwood

T61

 $            20,520 J.J. Killeen

Cut

Adam Scott

T15

 $         138,988 Marc Leishman

45

 $               31,350
This Week’s Total  $         180,788 This Week’s Total  $               50,635
Season Total  $    14,956,981 Season Total  $         3,671,338

 

Still though, even if there was a huge crapping of the prognosticatory pants at Aubrey HQ this week, it really was great to see Kuchar pull off such a big win…and with such style.  And it was pretty cool to see Fowler come so close to sealing up back-to-back wins as well.

The Byron Nelson Championship

This week the PGA Tour swings over to Los Colinas, Texas and the TPC Four Seasons to pay homage to one of the greatest men ever to grace a golf course with his presence…Byron Nelson.

For those of you reading this who aren’t up on your Nelson lore, here are a few things every golf fan should know about “Lord Byron:”

          During his brief career (14 years), he won 64 golf tournaments.

          Five of his career wins were Majors

          He held the record for most consecutive cuts (113) for around 60 years!

          To this day, he still holds the record for most consecutive top-20 finishes…with 113!!!

          He won 18 PGA Tournaments in 1945.  18 victories in ONE season!

          Eleven of those 18 wins were back-to-back.  Yes…he won ELEVEN professional golf tournaments in a row!!

Looking at Nelson’s career makes one want to reach for a thesaurus and pour out a bucketful of synonyms for “remarkable” on the page.  Except they would all come up woefully short of really describing the scope of his accomplishments.

And if you’re tempted to assume that Nelson accomplished all that because the fields were so weak, then shame on you!  Nelson competed against the best players of his era…including two fellows from his neighbourhood that were born within 7 months of him; two fellows named Hogan and Snead!

And who knows how far he could have gone?  Soft-spoken, gentlemanly Nelson retired from golf at the incredibly young age of 34. 

His fondest wish was to earn enough money playing golf to be able to buy a ranch for himself and his wife, settle down and raise a family.  And as soon as he’d accomplished that, he traded in his mashie niblick and putter for a pitchfork and tractor, never to play pro golf again.

His is a truly incredible story…one that every sports fan should know about.

Derek’s Picks

Matt Kuchar – The hottest form at the moment, plus one of the hottest players in last year’s Nelson field.  It all adds up to a “should pick” in my mind.

The only reservation I have about taking Kuchar to win this week is, of course, the fact that he won last week. How much does he have left in the tank?  How have the media and sponsor commitments taken a toll since his big win in Florida?

If ever there were a resilient, unflappable character on Tour, it’s Kuchar.  That plus the fact that he’s such a well-grounded, down-to-earth guy, means he deserves the benefit of the doubt, plus a bucket full of cheering and support from us this week.

I know I’ll be rooting for him.

Adam Scott – In the pile of underachievers I selected for the Player’s, Scott was my one shining star. 

He came off a one-month break, following his T8 finish at Augusta, and posted a respectable T15 at Sawgrass.  He’s only entered five events so far this season…and finished four of those in the top 20.  And three of those were top 15s. No matter which way you slice it, those are some pretty impressive stats.

And, don’t forget his record at this event.  He won this tournament in a playoff in 2008…and finished T3 two years earlier. 

Clearly there’s some Texas love in Scott’s game…and if all goes according to plan, he just might be hoisting Lord Byron’s trophy once again this weekend..

Phil Mickelson – As I was reviewing Byron Nelson championship results from the post 5 or 6 years, I found myself straining to find Mickelson’s name.  Where the hell was it?

And after digging a little more, to cure this info itch, I finally found out.  For whatever reason, Mickelson hasn’t played in this tournament since 2007; the year after Byron Nelson died (at age 94).

In case you’re wondering, he finished T3 that year.  And, he’s a past champion at this tourney too, receiving the winner’s trophy from Lord Byron himself, back in 1996.

Mickelson didn’t exactly drape himself with glory last week at Sawgrass…but he did put together a pretty respectable -3 performance to tie for 25th place.  And that’s a hell of a lot better than a lot of his superstar peers did last week.

All in all, I like his chances at his first appearance at the Nelson in 5 years.

Keegan Bradley – I was torn between Dufner, Wagner, Pettersson and Harrington for this final spot, but in the end, decided to go with the defending champ instead.

The reason this wasn’t an easier call, is the way Bradley has played in his last three events.  After starting the season with a slew of top 20 finishes, including a P2 at Riviera, young Keegan has inexplicably fallen off the planet in his last three starts; cut in New Orleans, cut at the Wells Fargo, T35 at The Player’s.

Rather than looking at this as a trend though, I tend to see this recent form as a brief speed wobble…and fully expect him to return to his winning form soon.

And, returning to the fairways where he scored his first PGA victory one glorious year ago, might be just the thing to do the trick!

And now that I’ve had my say, it’s time to turn the spotlight on my daughter and see who she picked this week…

D&D’s Picks (Daughter & Dartboard):

  •        Jason Bohn
  •        Stephen Gangluff
  •        Louis Oosthuizen
  •        Tom Pernice Jr.

And that’s all for this week folks.  As always, thanks very much for reading and playing along with the silliness…and enjoy the tournament!

Cheers,

Derek

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derekaubrey

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Great comments on Nelson – we often forget how great he was. I feel extremely lucky to be playing Thornhill Golf Club this summer where Nelson won the Canadian Open – I believe that was his 11th straight victory in 1945?

    • Oh, and one more thing I forgot to mention aboout him Dave…he was a hell of a nice guy too. A real gentleman who was respected and admired by virtually everyone he met.

  • Yes Derek, agreed! In the many years that he hosted the PGA tour even in Texas, you could clearly see how much of a nice guy he was as the players greeted him. They had a lot of respect for him, and rightfully so.

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