BEWARE: The Killer Hamsters are Coming!!!

As I was watching the third round play out at Colonial on Saturday, one thought kept tugging away at me from the dark recesses of my imagination.

As David Toms stumbled his way around the course, painfully parlaying a 7-stroke lead into a one-stroke deficit, I couldn’t help but wonder if, somewhere in the dark recesses of his imagination, a very small part of him might be wishing that the world really would end at 6pm…and put him out of his misery.

Rapture on the 18th fairway.

No crappy scorecard to sign.  No gaping wound-probing questions from the swarm of media sharks to answer.  No disappointed fans to face.  Fade to black…bellying up to the bar to spend eternity at the 19th hole.

Of course, the world didn’t end at 6pm Saturday (gee, whodathunkit?).  Toms shook the bad Saturday round off his psyche like a rotten old sweatshirt and came out clubs a-blazin’ on Sunday to regain the lead and hold on to it and take down the trophy.

Mind you, having to wear that cheesy tartan winner’s jacket might have made him long for a momentary Armageddon (on polyester)…but hey, the trophy and the huge cheque are really nice, so what’s a 15-minute fashion faux-pas between friends?

And what a great win it was.  Very inspiring stuff!

Toms, at 44, is now one of the older geezers on the Tour.  I’m not saying 44 is old, because it isn’t…but you know, he’s almost definitely looking at his playing prime in the rear-view mirror now.  And after last week’s crushingly disappointing sudden-death loss at the Player’s Championship, there probably aren’t very many people out there who would have guessed that David could shake off the experience and get back into contention, let alone win, the very next week.  In fact, I bet a bunch of people figured that his next legitimate chance for a win might have to wait until he could kick some wrinkled old butts on the Senior’s Tour.

Good on you David.  Well done man!

I’m having major prognosticator’s remorse that I didn’t pick you to win last week.  I guess that “whole world is coming to an end” crap must have thrown me out of whack.

So then, let’s see how I did do, sans Toms, with my picks…and of course, how my daughter fared with her random dartboard selections:

Derek’s Picks D&D (Daughter & Dartboard)
Jason Day T31 $         33,687 Angel Cabrera Cut $                    –
Steve Marino T16 $         67,787 Stewart Cink T16 $             67,787
Zach Johnson 4 $       297,600 John Mallinger T40 $             24,800
Ben Crane Cut $                – Bo Van Pelt 3 $           421,600
This Week’s Total $       399,074 This Week’s Total $           514,187
Season Total $    9,868,939 Season Total $        3,342,029

For those of you keeping track at home (yeah…right!), you’ll know that this is the third time this season that my little girl has thumped me with her picks on the dartboard.  Last year, she nailed me on a regular basis…so either the universe has realigned to the way it really ought to be (studied selections winning over random chance) or she’s been having an abnormally bad time with the darts.  For the sake of my fragile ego, I’m going with the former.

The Byron Nelson Championship

There are 156 golfers in the field this week at the Nelson…with another 10 alternates ready to step in if one of those guys bails out.  By “regular” standards, that’s a really huge field.

Going through the list to try to suss out some potential winners is quite an interesting experience.  There are definitely a few superstar names in the field…but you have to wade past a lot of “whatever happened to him’s” and “who is he’s???” to find them.  I mean absolutely no disrespect here…but this year’s Byron Nelson isn’t exactly jammed with heavyweight golf stars or shaping up like a US Open warm-up tourney.

I think that’s a real shame too…given the history of this event and the remarkable golf legend that it honours I would have hoped that more of the game’s best would come out to pay homage to “Lord Byron” and his incredible legacy.

Derek’s Picks…PLUS one Non-Golf Prognostication You Can’t Afford to Miss

K.J. Choi – Choi is one of the highest-ranking players in the field this week…and picking him seems to me like a very good way to start things off.

It’s not because he’s done anything particularly spectacular at this tournament in past years, because he hasn’t.  K.J. has Zero top 20 finishes at the Nelson since 2006 (as far back as I search).   In fact, Choi hasn’t played at this tournament since 2007…when it was held on a different course.

No, the reason I’m taking K.J. this week is all about his recent form.  His win two weeks ago at The Player’s Championship was a thing of beauty….vaulting him to 3rd on the money list, 7th in the FedEx Cup standings and 16th on the World Golf rankings (make sure to wave bye bye to Tiger on the way up K.J.!).

Toss in an 8th at Augusta, 7th at Phoenix, 6th at Arnie’s and a 3rd in New Orleans and he’s had a hell of a good year so far!  So, based on his recent form, I really like his chances of winning here this week.  The relatively weak field should make it just that much easier for him to rise to the top in Texas.

Dustin Johnson – Unlike the K.J. pick above, this one has a lot to do with past successes at this event….plus some pretty good current form, naturally.

Johnson’s record at the Nelson the past two years is almost as good as you can find…T7 in 2010, T4 in 2009.  Each of those years he finished a mere 4 strokes off the lead.   The only other guys who has done better in that time frame is D.A Points, who finished T7 and 3rd.

Johnson is also putting together a really solid 2011 campaign which helps justify this pick.  He finished 2nd at the WGC Cadillac Championships, T3 at the Farmer’s and fought the trade winds to finish T9 at the Tournament of Champions at the start of the season.

He’s had 4 Tour wins in the past 3 years…but none so far in 2011.  I think this might just be the weekend he fixes that.

Jason Day – Since joining the PGA Tour in 2008, the state of Texas has generally been pretty good to Jason Day.  He hasn’t played many events here, but he has done very well in some pretty good tourneys.  He finished 8th in his first Big Horn event in Houston and 4th at Colonial the year after that.  Of course, his BIG coming out party was in Texas too…when he won the 2010 Byron Nelson to claim his first PGA victory.

I’m not just picking him this week because he’s the defending champion.  Far from it.  His win at the Nelson last season was just the launching pad to set him up for a really magnificent 2011 run.  So far this year, he hasn’t scored any wins, but he has been a significant threat in some very big tournaments; T2 at Augusta, T6 at the Player’s Championship and T9 at the Tournament of Champions, the WGC World Match Play and the Heritage.

No matter which way you slice it, Day should do very well here this week.  The fact that he’s the current trophy holder is just icing on the cake in my books.  And I just really like everything about the kid.

Nick Watney – After coming out of the gates really strongly at the start of the season, Watney seemed to go into a bit of a funk for a few weeks, starting with his 46th place showing at The Masters.  After finishing a disappointing 20th in New Orleans as defending champ, then missing the cut at Quail Hollow, he might have starting getting a little antsy about his prospects for the remainder of the season.

Happily, his T4 result at the gruelling Player’s Championship two weeks ago seems to have righted the ship…and he should once again be having happy thoughts about his chances of success every time he steps onto a course.

And I think this week should be a good one for him.  Like my Choi selection, I’m not picking him because he’s played well here in the past.  He hasn’t.  It’s all about his current form…and that should be good enough to fuel him to a really good finish this week in Texas.

Bonus Prediction – the REAL End of the World!

As you know by now, Mr. Camping or Clamping or Clumping Cat Litter or whatever his name is, was waaaaaay wrong when he predicted the world would end last Saturday.

That is, unless it really did and I didn’t notice.  And if that’s the case, I’m having a tremendously boring hallucination in purgatory right now…when I specifically recall putting in an order for an eternity spent with Yvonne Strahovski or Heather Locklear, circa 1985.

But rather than accept defeat graciously and admit to the world what a complete asshat he’s been, the old fool has decided to blame the whole thing on bad math…and has reset the date for October 21st of this year.

Hey man…no take-backs on calling Armageddon!

The biggest travesty in all of this is the staggering amount of money the fearful have poured into his bank account in the past 4 years (the wonderful cynics among us would call them fearfully short on brains).

Since 2006, this guy has cashed cheques for an unbelievable $80 million!!!  Honest.  And, that’s AFTER he already predicted the end of the world for 1994…and got it wrong then too.  The problem that time around…was, once again, more bad math.  (Do you get the feeling that if we’re all walking around in Hallowe’en costumes on Oct. 31st he’s going to declare that it isn’t really his fault but that God actually can’t count?)

So…never one to miss out on an opportunity, I’m going to set my own date for the end of the planet.  And I’m not going to rely on someone else who can’t count to do the dirty work for me (either human or deity)…I’m going to cause it myself folks!

The magic date is going to be…hmmm, let’s see now…how about October 13th?  I would have picked a date after his prediction, so I could have a few days of gloating when I turn out to be wrong…but then that would totally ruin my chances of raising some serious funds.

So, October 13th it is.  And what’s going to happen on that date?  Glad you asked.

I’m going to unleash a plague of ravenous killer hamsters on the planet that will nibble your bums until you expire.

UNLESS, of course, you send me money right now…huge, unmarked, non-sequential gobs of cash in large denominations!

I figure if there are enough people on the planet to send this clown $80 million bucks after failing so spectacularly, I should at least be able to rake in a cool $10 or $12 million without breaking a sweat.  Especially with a completely clean record and the threat of vicious, man-eating hamsters thrown into the mix.  Oh, the horror!

So don’t send the math-challenged Mr. Camping Clumping Cat Litter Clodhopper another dime people.  Send me your money now, instead…and avoid the rush.  I promise, I do math and I can count!

Disregard this message at your own peril, non-believers.  The countdown has officially begun…NOW!

And now that I’ve had my say, let’s see what my daughter came up with on the dartboard and whether she can manage to whack her old man’s picks two weeks in a row.

D&D’s Picks (Daughter & Dartboard)

  • · Michael Connell
  • · Charley Hoffman
  • · Aron Price
  • · Charlie Wi

And that’s it for now folks.  Have a great week.  Enjoy the tournament and remember to send that cash NOW.  The world is counting on you.



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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Derek: Are you actually suggesting that the world is going to end AFTER your favorite tourney of the year? I’m speaking, of course about the Vegas event named after your favorite boy band member, Justin Timberlake (it’s so hard to pick just one, isn’t it!). Or maybe you just imagine those cute little hampsters tearing at Tinkertoys flesh as he tries unsuccessfully to get away. At any rate, the cheques in the mail even if you might be off by a month or so. If it doesn’t arrive, toss a hampster at that unbelieving mailman.

  • Nice one Gimme! Thanks very much for chiming in and playing along.

    As far as Justin Timberlake being the host of a PGA Tour event, I’m pretty sure that if we sat down and really thought it through (probably over some manly vitamin rum drinks) we’d come to the conclusion that that is actually one of the 7 signs of the Apocalypse.

    Which, of course, lends even more credibility to my premise (trust me…in my head, under the tinfoil hat, it does).

    I’ll look forward to getting your cheque in the mail…and saving you a premium spot on the Mothership (depending on how many zeros you added, of course).



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