The Wynd Beneath My Pings

Okay then, I’m happy to report that the DeLorean is up on blocks in the garage, the Flux Capacitor has been disengaged and the space-time continuum has now been restored.  No longer will you have to worry about running into yourself twenty years ago or marrying your great-grandmother by mistake and creating a paradox that rips the universe apart.

Mind you, it was close there, for a while.

At the midway point of the PGA Championship, my Marty McFly selection, Matt Kuchar was leading the pack and showing no signs of letting up.  Yes, my incredibly lame, “Back to the Future” selection premise was still actually alive and well after the second round and it was starting to look like I was stuck with the damned thing.

Of course, Kuchar was a great pick, regardless of the reasons.  There were lots of excuses to select him 6 or 7 weeks ago…and plenty of reasons to justify going to that particular well again for the PGA Championship.

And so, with the silliness purged from my system, for a few more paragraphs anyway, it’s time to get back to reality and start making my picks the good old-fashioned way again…by reading gopher entrails.

Oh sure, it’s much less convenient…especially when you have to dodge all those cars buzzing by…but that’s one of the things that makes this so exciting every week!

Another thing that makes this so enjoyable is all the stuff I learn along the way.  I loves me some lernin’.

For example, this week I’ve learned that I should probably spend a LOT more time working on the titles of my articles..and maybe even make them more relevant to golf (what a concept!)  Last week’s article for the PGA Championships was entitled “Wetting Your Whistle for Wisconsin.”  Okay, I’ll admit it isn’t Pulitzer-calibre material, but I thought the fun word-play on Whistling Straights and the tournament venue wasn’t bad.

Then, just a day later I did a Google search on my article’s title…curious to see how many websites had already “borrowed” without permission, pilfered, linked to or otherwise hi-jacked my writing to draw surfers to their website, to drive up their page views and jack up advertising rates.  These people are constantly searching the Internet for new content, using a dizzying variety of automated programs like web-bots blog-bots, spam-bots, etc. to find popular keywords and use them or link to them for their own spurious reasons.   I can’t wait until they send a few Fem-Bots my way!  (By the way, in case you’re curious, the total number of websites using my column in one way or another after a mere 24 hours was over 750! Yup, I was blown away too.)

And what did I find in my Google search?  The top 3 “Paid” search results for “Wetting Your Whistle for Wisconsin” were for cures for bed wetting and adult diapers!!!   Apparently I should expect a sudden up-swing in readership from the incontinent.  The fan mail and reader comments should literally start pouring in (pun intended).

Now THERE’s targeting folks!!! Apparently, without even trying, I’m #1 with a bullet with weak-bladdered surfers (“Did someone say ‘surf?’  Damn it, now I have to go again!!!)

Before I reveal this week’s auguries, let’s do a quick re-cap to see how our teams actually did at the season’s final major:

The PGA Championship

Derek’s Picks D&D (Daughter & Dartboard)
Ernie Els T18 $           84,733 Simon Khan T24 $          58,600
Jim Furyk T24 $           58,600 George McNeill Cut
Rory McIlroy T3 $          435,000 Vaughn Taylor Cut
Matt Kuchar T10 $          175,800 Tiger Woods T28 $          46,700
This Week’s Total $          754,133 This Week’s Total $         105,300
Season Total $       6,611,293 Season Total $      4,153,421

After a painfully slow and incredibly embarrassing start, it seems that random chance (D&D) has finally taken a back seat to picks made with some research and thought…even from someone as hard of thinking as me.

Oh crap…why did I say that?   I obviously got in the wrong line when they were holding the classes in “How to Avoid Provoking the Golf Gods 101.”

Oh well, I guess I can’t un-ring that bell, so let’s press on and get to this week’s picks.  I’ll deal with the inevitable consequences later.

The Wyndham Championship

I have to admit, I find the field a bit of a snore-fest this weekend.  This isn’t meant to be disrespectful to the players who are in the tourney in ANY way…but to my way of looking at it, the pairings sheet is more notable for who is missing than for who is playing.

Doubtful?  Consider this: only ONE player who finished in the Top 10 at the PGA Championship is coming…Jason Dufner.  Only ONE player in the Money List top 25…Jason Day.

All the “cool kids” decided to take the week off to get ready for the Playoffs.  Meanwhile, all the journeymen and sufferers of bad breaks in 2010 are desperate to keep their card for next year and are looking at this as, perhaps, one of their last chances to avoid Q-School, or of using up a valuable one-time exemption.

The Canadian Open, with an identical purse ($5.1 million), had a MUCH better field than this, by a few orders of magnitude…and it was flamed relentlessly by Canadian fans on the golf forums.  I shudder to think what the complainers might say about this one.

And if they don’t say anything at all, then they should do us all a favour and stop whining about our National Championship.  Fair is fair.

Derek’s Picks

Ryan Moore – He is this year’s defending champion at the Wyndham…and I think he has a pretty good shot at keeping the trophy for another 12 months.

Moore has a really nice record going in 2010.  He’s registered 4 top tens and 8 top 25’s…making the cut in all but 4 of the events he’s entered.  He’s come close a few times to sealing the deal and scoring his second Tour win…finishing second at the AT&T, T5 at Jack’s tourney and T6 at the SBS.

Since he is going into this week with such great memories of his winning 2009 experience, Moore feels like a good pick to go far this weekend.

Carl Pettersson – His pedigree at this tournament over the past few years is quite impressive.  He won the event in 2008 and finished T5 the year before that.

Then there’s this year.  Pettersson has earned almost $1.9 million so far.  He’s made the cut in 18 of 23 events and has 4 top ten finishes this season.

Plus, who could forget his fantastic win at The Canadian Open, highlighted by his spectacular 60 in the third round…while nursing a 7-beer hangover (An old Max Webster fan perhaps?  I could see it).

Pettersson is definitely one of my picks to win this weekend.  In fact, I could almost guarantee that he wins this tourney, if he’d only let me act as his personal bartender for 4 days (I’d cripple him into winning form!)  Alas, my invitation to join his retinue must have been lost in the mail.

Brandt Snedeker – Here’s another guy who has performed very well over the past few years at the Sedgefield Country Club…and is well worth a pick this weekend.

Snedeker captured the Wyndham Championship back in 2007 and finished T5 two years later.  He’s also had a pretty decent 2010 season, finishing T8 at the US Open, T2 at the Farmer’s Insurance Open and racking up 3 other top 16’s.

Granted, he might not be quite living up to the expectations we had for him after his really great 2009 season…but I think he definitely has a chance to score a victory this weekend.

Jason BohnOne thing that has to be on Bohn’s mind this weekend is redemption.

He finished T2 last year…losing in a 3-man playoff to eventual winner Ryan Moore.  He also finished second in 2006, just two strokes off Davis Love III’s winning score.

Beyond his near-misses at Sedgefield, Bohn has many things going for him this season to justify my selection.  He scored his first Tour win at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans.  He’s also finished in the top 20 at four other events.

Can the bridesmaid finally become a bride this weekend?

Sure…why not.  I think Bohn is due.  His boustiere fitting is booked.

And now that I’ve rambled you into unconsciousness, let’s see how my daughter did with her picks this morning on the dartboard.

D&D Picks (Daughter & Dartboard)

  • Craig Bowden
  • Kent Jones
  • Steve Flesch
  • Troy Merritt

And that’s it for this edition folks.  Have a great week!



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