I’m on the road right now, so this week’s column will be uncharacteristically short and to the point…or as close to coming to the point as I can.  For the both of you who read this column on a regular basis, that will come as a great shocker…and probably a very welcome one.  If not, sorry to disappoint. 

It’s actually a great pity that my writing time is so limited, because I would have loved to have devoted a few paragraphs to the odds-defying selection my daughter made this week with her darts…and how she ended up thumping my picks.  Father’s pride deserves a few paragraphs of prose.

With hammerhead in hand, my little girl finally managed to hit pay dirt last week; lobbying one of her darts into Ben Crane’s name and scoring her first win of the season!  She also caromed another tungsten terror into Kris Blanks’ name, to add to her margin of victory over the old man…almost doubling my meticulously researched (and hugely disappointing) predictions. 

And I couldn’t be happier for her.  It does a dad’s heart good to be exceeded by the bairn.

Here are the results from the weekend, so you can see for yourself:

Results – The McGladreys Classic

Derek’s Picks D&D (Daughter & Dartboard)
Webb Simpson


 $         432,000 Kris Blanks


 $              88,000
Rickie Fowler


Ben Crane


 $            720,000
David Toms


Ben Martin


 $               8,160
Matt Kuchar


 $          43,333 Tim Petrovic


This Week’s Total  $         475,333 This Week’s Total  $            816,160
Season Total  $    20,571,828 Season Total  $         7,762,035

At least I was smart enough to take Webb Simpson; hitching my wagon to his effort to grab enough cash to re-take the Money List lead.  As far as Crane goes, some of you might recall I took him to win the week before this tourney in the Open.  Seven damned days too soon.  Same goes for Angel Cabrera, whom I also picked last week (he finished 6th at the McGladreys).  Thanks for showing up guys!

Another debilitating case of Predictus Prematurus.

I’m guessing there’s probably a pill for that…and you can bet somebody is working on an app.

The Children’s Miracle Network Classic – Derek’s Picks

For a lot of people who are in a golf pool, this is the final week of the season.  The pool I belong to extends to the WGC HSBC Champions…and, because of the strengths of the fields, all WGC events are worth extra points, so the final winner for the year will be determined in a nail-biter of an ending.

Luke Donald – How do you motivate a guy who has earned more money this year than a quarter of the countries on earth?  You give him a chance to make some history, that`s how.

This week, Donald has a chance to regain and secure the top spot on the PGA Tour`s American Money List.  He did have that honour, coming into the McGladrey`s…but only by $100k and change (or as Luke probably calls it, “beer money.”)  Donald passed on the event, Simpson (trailing Luke by that $100k or so) didn`t…and Simpson`s $432,000 payday was enough to pass Donald with a pretty comfortable lead heading into the final stretch.

The really compelling part of this story, of course, is that Donald also leads the European PGA Tour`s Order of Merit; “The Race to Dubai.”  And that`s where the history angle comes into the picture.  Donald has a chance to become the first player in the annuals of golf accomplishments to finish the season(s) on both sides of the Atlantic with the Money Title…and I couldn`t be pulling any harder for him to do it.  

This year Luke has been the clutchest of clutch players.  No matter how tough the field, no matter how big the prize, how daunting the pressure or how prestigious the trophy, he`s consistently managed to put himself in a position to win on Sunday.  Sometimes he comes up a bit short, but most of the time, he’s right there.  And, I`m counting on him to finish his North American dominance in a blaze of glory this week.

Tommy Gainey – Three years ago, not too long after he graj-ee-ated from The Big Break, Tommy Two-Gloves played in this tournament…and damned if he didn’t end up finishing in second place with a score of -24, just one stroke shy of winner Davis Love! 

Now that Tommy has his full-time debut season on Tour under his belt…and has done so well along the way, I’m going to take him one last time to hoist some hardware and complete this fairy tale story.

Jeff Overton – I’m finding it incredibly difficult to make picks this week…and after staring at the field to fill this spot for way longer than I was hoping to take to write this entire column, I’ve finally thrown my hands up in the air in frustration and I am going with Overton.

This is what happens when you don’t get enough sleep…or eat your vegetables kids!

I can’t offer a great deal to back the Overton pick up, other than a strong showing last week (6th place)…and three top 20 finishes here in the past 4 years (two of them in the top 11).

Webb Simpson – It might strike you as an odd thing for me to say this, but in the days heading into this event, I was pretty adamant that I wasn’t going to pick Webb Simpson.  The reason for my reticence was the way in which he played the last time the stakes were so high; at The Tour Championship.

Going into that event, and holding a firm grip on the FedEx Cup lead, Simpson didn’t have to do very much to seal the deal and take home the $10 million first prize.  And that’s exactly what he did…not very much.

As the 30 best golfers of the year were jockeying furiously for position and a bigger chunk of the enormous FedEx cash grab, Simpson could be seen hacking up huge fur balls all over the course in Atlanta.  His game went farther south that week than the host city.  Terra Del Fuego south…to put a fine point on it.

So, the big questions are; did last week’s second-place finish re-fill him with enough golfing mojo to really contend this week…and did he learn enough in Atlanta to how he responds under the extra pressure of a sealing a big win to pull a “Rory” and really go for the gusto this week?

I’m really not sure…my confidence levels are low.  But after looking at the rest of the guys in the field, for a really loooooong, painful amount of time, Simpson is the guy I ended up feeling best about.

D&D’s Picks (Daughter & Dartboard)

  • ·         Chris Couch
  • ·         Zack Miller
  • ·         Aron Price
  • ·         Will Strickler

And that’s it for this week folks.  Thanks for reading and enjoy the tourney.



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