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Patron Saint of Morons?

Broadcasting live from the 43rd floor of the Phlegm Building in beautiful downtown Losertonia, welcome to this week’s edition of “Moron Minute.”

Moron Minute is brought to you by that stunningly revolutionary new golf invention, endorsed by golf legends John Mahaffey and Fuzzy Zoeller, that’s guaranteed to take dozens of strokes off your game…”The Stick!”

Okay, so last week’s prognostication ramble started off badly.  Little did I know that the craptacular start I made would be the highlight of my week!

First, working off an outdated pairings sheet (and either too tired, too busy or too lazy – take your pick – to check for updates), I cunningly took Matt Kuchar to win at Muirfield Village…forgoing a bunch of other really good picks, including 4-time champion Tiger Woods (mostly because I really don’t like him).

Only one problem, as eagle-eyed reader Ted deftly pointed out; Kuchar withdrew from the tourney a few days beforehand!

And not to be undone by Ted’s simple one-sentence dismantling of my already discombobulated ego, occasional comment contributor Svenny added some salt (and iodine and a generous dollop of Ebola) to the wound by likening my selection to a CFL team drafting a dead guy!

And that was a high point of the week! Things started circling the bowl a lot faster once play began. 

First, Mickelson came out of the gates with a vicious case of explosive bowel syndrome on Thursday…crapping his silk slacks to the tune of a smooth 79 and promptly withdrawing from the tournament.  He left the parking lot so fast I don’t think he even picked up his consolation boxes of Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat.

Damn!  Now I’m down to just 2 guys!  But that’s okay I guess, they’re very good guys; Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy.  World #1 and World #2.

Now just hang on there Sparky.  Like they say in all those painfully cheesy ads on TV, “but wait, there’s more!”

Yes, I know that Rory was coming off of 2 straight missed cuts in his last 2 events, but he couldn’t possibly miss a third could he?  Not at the house that Jack built…not where he finished 5th last year in his very first appearance.  It would never happen!

It happened.

Mickelson must have slipped Rory the tongue before sneaking off the course Thursday afternoon, ‘cause the young Irishman promptly caught whatever had infected Lefty in a bad way…and promptly fertilized the fabled fairways of Mr. Nicklaus on Friday with a stunning collection of runny Guinness sharts, en route to a 79.

 Another missed cut.  Thanks for coming.  Have a potato.

And then there was one.

Thank the Great Pumpkin that at least my one remaining guy, Donald, actually showed up to play.

Results – The Memorial

Derek’s Picks D&D (Daughter & Dartboard)
Luke Donald

12

 $            142,600 Chris DiMarco

T58

 $                 13,702
Rory McIlroy

CUT

Bo Hoag

CUT

Phil Mickelson

W/D

Ryan Moore

T38

 $                 24,800
Matt Kuchar

DNP

Gary Woodland

CUT

This Week’s Total  $            142,600 This Week’s Total  $                 38,502
Season Total  $      16,916,166 Season Total  $            3,954,070

When your “standings” column contains more letters of the alphabet than numbers, there’s something seriously wrong…and my roster this week felt like it contained the whole bloody Oxford Dictionary!

Yes folks, all in all it was a truly brilliant week and one I’m hoping not to repeat in the foreseeable…forever!

The St. Jude Classic

If I felt really comfortable with my picks last week at the Golden Bear’s tournament (and I did), I feel equally uncomfortable with trying to prognosticate what’s going to happen this week in Memphis. 

No, it’s not because my confidence after last week’s results is rattled…it’s simply a matter of trying to cull some diamonds out of this week’s field. 

The pickings are pretty slim folks.

Typical of a week preceding a Major, this week’s tournament is almost entirely devoid of the true superstars of the game.  Top 50 golfers in this field are as rare as a full set of teeth in the audience at a wrestling match. 

Yes, there are a few, but most of the guys you’d normally like to hitch your wagon to are AWOL…either off for some early recon at the Olympic Club or sipping champagne with friends for some pre-Major decompression.

And while that might make picking some winners seem easier, my experience has been just the opposite.  In fields like this, the winner is often a guy you didn’t see coming…flying so far below the radar he has grass stains on his knees.

If you need a visual aid, think John Huh at the Mayakoba.

Derek’s Picks – The St. Jude Classic

Zach Johnson – Among the stars who are in the field this week, I would think that Zach Johnson has to be considered as one of the alpha dogs.

Coming off his first win in two years, just 2 short weeks ago at Colonial, Johnson is the guy who must be riding with the fullest tank of mojo right now…brimming with happy thoughts over his return to winning form.

To bolster that confidence, he’s also shown some good results here in the past; finishing T12 in 2010 and T5 in ’06.

I admit it’s not a slam-dunk case, but given the other choices this week I like his chances.

Dustin Johnson – I guess I’m determined that someone named Johnson should win this week…and if it’s not going to be Zach, then it should be Dustin, damn it!

After a bit of a slow start to the year, Johnson ran together a string of three consecutive top 10 finishes, beginning with a T5 at Pebble Beach, T4 at Riviera and T9 at the WGC Match Play.  Then, after struggling to a T35 at the WGC Cadillac, he withdrew from competition with a badly sprained back.

After weeks of rest and rehab, he was supposed to return to play at Augusta, but then reinjured himself lifting a Jet Ski out of the water at his home in Florida.  Nice guy that Dustin…just not too bright!

It was almost a full three months before he made his reappearance on Tour, last week at The Memorial…and he came back with some pretty good style; finishing T19 in a talent-packed field. 

Since the field this week isn’t packed with talent, and since he seems to be back in form, I like Dustin’s chances this week.  Just keep him away from the water sports!

Graeme McDowell – Two years ago he was the hottest Irish player on the planet, the US Open trophy firmly in hand.  Exactly one year after that, he was supplanted by Rory McIlroy with his US Open win.

Unfairly, McDowell has almost been relegated to the “whatever happened to…” files, since Rory started his ping pong match for World #1 with Luke Donald.  True, he hasn’t shown blazingly hot form since his big win…but still it just seems to me he was forgotten far too quickly.

The golf media is a fickle animal folks…and in their desperation to fill the two year void left by an irrelevant Tiger Woods and create the next “HUGE THING” in golf, they pinned all their hopes and dreams (and airtime) on young Rory. 

It got so crazy, so fast, that before he’d even won his first Major, they were projecting 10 or 15 more on his trophy case.  Meanwhile, other really talented guys like World #1 Donald (and McDowell), were largely overlooked, because focusing on them didn’t support the Rorymania frenzy the media was trying to create.  (And in case you’re wondering, I do really like Rory…I just haven’t blindly swallowed the Kool Aid).

McDowell is far too talented a guy not to get back into winning form…and soon.  And, he’s a hell of a nice guy who is really easy to cheer for too.  I like his chances this week in Memphis.

Robert Karlsson – Among my 4 picks this week, I guess this would be the selection that best fits into the “flying below the radar with grass stains on his knees” category.

And yet, Karlsson really should be fairly high up on the radar…at least in terms of his recent play at this event. 

In the past two years at the St. Jude, Karlsson’s worst finish was T2!  And both of his second-place results in the tournament were the by-product of losing in a playoff!  That’s an even more remarkable statistic when you consider the fact that Karlsson has only played in this event twice.

While it’s pretty hard to look at his 2012 form so far and be truly filled with inspiration for his chances this week, his form on this particular course screams out “TAKE ME!”

Hey, I’ve made worse picks.  At least he’s in the field this week (cough, cough, Kuchar)

And now that I’ve had my crack at redemption, let’s see what my daughter came up with down in the basement.

D&D’s Picks (Daughter & Dartboard):

  •       Stuart Appleby
  •       Tim Clark
  •       Sung Kang
  •       Fran Quinn

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

Cheers,

Derek

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