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Corgies in Costumes…and Fortune Cookies

It’s been a busy week friends.

After I finished sorting through my latest batch of multi-million dollar inheritance offers from rich Nigerian princes and widows (it was down to a mere $68.5 million in total this week…hardly worth the effort of clicking the mouse!), I decided to do something I like to call, “checking out the news.”

I had a few reasons for getting in touch with what’s going on around the planet, of course.  First, I wanted to hear the latest batch of right-wing atrocities and fear-mongering that are passed off as Republican facts in the US presidential race….always great (and infuriating) entertainment. 

Next, I wanted to check out the latest list of possible heinous acts to be attributed to the departing Premiere of Ontario (“Run Dalton, run…”) 

For a dose of my former home, I also had a deep, twisted interest in seeing the latest updates on London Mayor Joe Fontana, and the scandal he’s mired in over allegedly carving a cheque for $20,000 of the taxpayer’s money to pay for a wedding…and the days (weeks actually) that have passed as he tries to remember (and prove) exactly how he did pay for it, if it wasn’t with a public cheque.

Apart from the pure entertainment value of watching politicians fuelled by hubris crashing and burning, maybe the biggest reason I wanted to check in on the planet was to track the path of Hurricane Sandy.

After all, if the apocalypse is indeed coming, I need to stay constantly updated to know exactly when it’s time to start gathering a bevy of comely females to help repopulate the species…then sequester everyone in the luxury of the bat cave for canapés, copious amounts of Beaujolais and zug-zug (just for the sake of the species, of course).

Alfred, you’re on your own.

And as I was scanning the news websites, I stumbled across a statistic that actually made my jaw unhinge and hit the floor.

This year, Americans will spend a total of $8.4 BILLION dollars on Hallowe’en!  And, of that amount, close to half a billion will be shelled out for…pet costumes!!!

Peel out all the children who are too young to spend their money on costumes and candy…and then remove the total number of people who don’t participate in Hallowe’en for one reason or another…and that roughly equates to…well…a crap-load of money spent per person!

And according to the latest presidential election polls, fully 47% of those same people support the idea of turning FEMA, the federal agency responsible for disaster recovery, over to privatized (i.e. profit-driven) companies.

“Sorry to hear your home was wiped out by Hurricane Sandy.  We’d be happy to buy that land for a nickel on the dollar to help you out, though.”

That same 47% will also apparently fight to the figurative death to defeat the concept of medical care for everyone.

“Hey, it’s just fine for me to spend $75 to dress Fluffy up like a pumpkin…but don’t be asking me to give that bum down the street a dime to get his kid’s tumour taken care of!”

It makes me weep for the species.  It really does.

The McGladrey Classic

It’s a wonky time of year in golf.  Play for a week or two…absent for a week or two…play again to wrap things up.

One very exciting thing happened here at home last week, of course; Manotick boy Brad Fritsch earned his Tour Card in the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship and will be teeing it up with the big boys next season.  And he just signed an endorsement deal with the Ottawa Senators hockey team too.  Well done Brad!

Meanwhile, it was essentially an off-week for the pros…even though some of them, including some pretty big names, played in the officially unofficial, unsanctioned, un-co-sponsored cash-grab anyway.  Nick Watney almost fired a 59 and pocketed the $1.5 million first prize in The CIMB “Classic”…which counts for exactly zero in official Tour winnings and just a handful of World Ranking points. 

Like I said…a cash grab just in time for Xmas.

So, the last tournament that really did matter was the McGladrey’s from two weeks ago…and here’s how we did in that one;

Results – The McGladrey Classic

Derek’s Picks D&D (Daughter & Dartboard)
Jim Furyk

3

 $      272,000 Tommy Biershenk

CUT

Bud Cauley

T20

 $        41,714 Alex Cejka

T86

 $            6,680
Heath Slocum

T61

 $          8,640 Tim Herron

T49

 $          10,240
Jeff Overton

T51

 $          9,413 Brendon Todd

CUT

This Week’s Total  $      331,767 This Week’s Total  $          16,920
Season Total  $  38,174,354 Season Total  $    11,761,626

Yeah, I know…nothing to write home about.  And very little, if truth be told, to write in here about either!

Go East Young Man

The one good thing about having the throw-away CIMB in Malaysia last week is that it drew a lot of pro golf people to the Orient…and increased the chances that the second-last event of the season would have a pretty good field.

This week, it’s our final WGC event of the 2012 campaign; the HSBC Champions in Guangdong, China…and most of the cream of golf’s crop will be there.  In fact, there are so many great golfers in this week’s field, my first, very rough draft, had no fewer than 16 names on it.

Good grief!

Derek’s Picks

Although it’s pretty tempting to go with some of the US Superstars in the field this week, I’m taking a different route to victory and going with all Euro players. 

After all, they are still contending for dominance in their year-end Order of Merit…and the “Race to Dubai” is just as important for them as the Money title is to their American counterparts.

I think there’s something to be said for the theory that Europeans also travel better than Americans…because they’re so much more used to real international exposure and cultural diversity than the more insulated PGA stars of the US.

Imagine how Bubba Watson would fare on “authentic” Chinese food!  Unless he shows up to Guangdong with a suitcase full of freeze-dried Big Macs, I think he’s cooked before he even starts.

Luke Donald – As the Race to Dubai winds into its final leg, Donald is probably itching to get his name farther up the leaderboard this week.

This is the guy who won both the American and European money titles last year (the first in history) and it probably doesn’t sit well with him that he’s only in 8th place right now.

Donald is also coming off a pretty hot week at the BMW Masters in Shanghai, where he finished in 3rd place, just 4 strokes behind Peter Hanson and 3 off Race to Dubai leader Rory McIlroy.  And don’t dismiss the emotional high he still might be riding from the Ryder Cup a few weeks ago.

His desire to win one more time this season, combined with the fact that McIlroy isn’t in the field this week, might just spur Luke on to more late-season greatness.

Ian Poulter– If ever there was a guy who can feed off of Ryder Cup energy and make a career out of it, Poulter is the man. 

I wish he could bottle that stuff and sell me a jug…or 50!

Based on past performances at this event, he’s got a better than average shot of doing well this week, having registered two straight top-15 finishes in the past 2 years.

He’s also continuing to ride some pretty hot post-Ryder sticks, as demonstrated by his 4th place finish last week in Shanghai.

Call him quirky.  Call him a fashion disaster.  Call him a bit of a flake.  Just don’t be surprised to also be calling him “Winner” when the tournament is over this weekend.

Martin Kaymer – If any of the guys on the course should be having happy thoughts about their prospects in this tournament, it’s definitely Martin Kaymer.

In the last three years, Kaymer won it last year and finished T6 in its debut season.   In between, he placed a respectable 30th in 2010.

Kaymer is also coming off a pretty good week in Shanghai (see the trend here?), where he finished T11.

And, yes, you can be pretty sure that securing the final, victorious point in the Ryder Cup has to factor into his noodle somewhere when the going gets tough.

Overall, I like his chances quite a bit this week.

Louis Oosthuizen – I’ll be honest with you…the final slot was going to a South African, BUT I was in a deadlock for quite some time whether it would be Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel or Ernie Els.

Before you think I’m just making that up for some kind of poetic license…consider the facts;

Els has a 2nd and a 6th here in the past 3 years.  Schwartzel has a 4th and a 16th and played pretty well last week at the BMW.  Oosthuizen had a 7th in this tourney last season and played even better last week in Shanghai.

And in the end, that’s what tipped the scales in Louis’ favour; how well he did last week.

I might be wrong on the actual guy I ended up going with, but I’d be stunned if someone from South Africa weren’t in the top 4 or 5 this week.

And now that I’ve had my say, let’s turn it over to daughter to see where here missiles landed this week.

D&D’s Picks (Daughter & Dartboard):

Thomas Aiken

Yuta Ikeda

Prom Meesawat

Garth Mulroy

(Ruh Roh!)

And that’s all for this week folks.  As always, thanks VERY much for reading and writing in with your comments…and for putting up with all my silliness.  Enjoy the tourney!

Cheers,

Derek

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derekaubrey

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Poulter, Kaymer and Donald – pretty risky picks! But don’t overlook the power of South African golf – oh, sorry, just saw your 4th pick, Louis. Don’t forget the Aussies!

    • I admit I didn’t go too far out on a limb this week Gary. I have in the past, with very mixed results, but this week there just weren’t any “out there” guys who screamed out to me like these 4 did. As for the Aussies, I did mention in the column I started off with a not-so-short-list of 16…and there was vegamite-snacker in the bunch; Adam Scott.

      Thanks for reading…and taking the time to write in!

      Derek

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