Mongo Like Candy…and Golf

It’s a sad day in the world of entertainment today folks.

Alex Karras, the actor who played “Mongo” in Blazing Saddles, died this morning.

And in the spirit of the funniest movie ever made, I think they should serve up a 21-fart salute at his funeral…and then have one of the pallbearers punch out the horse that pulled his coffin into the cemetery!

And by the way, if there are any TV programmers out there reading this, who might be tempted to run Blazing Saddles sometime soon, as a tribute to Karras, I say “BRAVO!” …with one HUGE proviso;

If you’re going to run the movie, then have the decency and the nuts to run it uncensored…or don’t run it at all. 

The movie is a legendary piece of anti-racism social commentary that loses ALL meaning when you strip out the idiocy of the racism…especially the racist language. 

Pandering to the touchy-feely, warm-and-fuzzy crowd who insists on revising history at every turn, to make them feel better about their ancestor’s behaviour, serves absolutely no one. 

Every time I think about classic literature like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn being re-written with politically correct language to assuage modern temperaments, it makes my blood boil (almost as much as creationism being jammed into science classes). 

Mark Twain used those words and those situations for a very specific reason…just like Mel Brooks did (and yes, I do think Blazing Saddles belongs in the same company as those great pieces of literature!)


Okay, how about some golf?

Round one of the Fall Finish was played on the weekend; The Shriner’s Hospitals for Children Open. 

It might not be edge-of-your-seat drama like the FedEx Cup Playoffs or the Ryder Cup, but it was pretty damned compelling golf nonetheless…especially for the guys who are desperately struggling to keep their Tour Cards for next year.

And, as hard as it might be to believe (especially if you’ve ever read any of the inane crap that I’ve written here each week), I actually recorded my 13th (!!!) win of the season this weekend.  Yes, 13 winners out of 37 tournaments.

Thank you, Ryan Moore, for making me look like Norman Einstein.

Derek’s Picks D&D (Daughter & Dartboard)
Ryan Moore


 $      810,000 Miguel Angel Carballo


 $                 –
Nick Watney


 $      112,500 Rocco Mediate


 $                 –
Robert Garrigus


 $        39,488 Kyle Reifers


 $                 –
Scott Piercy


 $      156,375 Vaughn Taylor


 $          10,305
This Week’s Total  $   1,118,363 This Week’s Total  $          10,305
Season Total  $  37,561,962 Season Total  $    11,641,721

The Open

This week, the Tour heads off to CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California for the Open. 

It might sound weird to see the name of a golf tournament named for a website, but given the plethora of on-line businesses and tech companies that are now in the Fortune 100, it’s actually weirder that we have only one of them, don’t you think?

This week is also the second leg of the Fall Finish on the PGA Tour…a series of 4 tournaments that players can either afford to ignore entirely, OR absolutely must play well, in order to secure their playing privileges for the upcoming season.

This will be the last season where there is a “Fall Finish,” as the Tour is dropping Q School after this season and the new professional “golf year” will actually begin in October after the 2013 Playoffs wrap up (a pretty questionable decision in my opinion).

As we get deeper into this stretch of the PGA’s season, I admit I’m finding it harder to try to pick out some real favourites each week.  Last week wasn’t too bad, but this week it’s a bit of a bear!

There are a few reasons for that.  First, one of my favourite methods, the old “horses for courses” strategy, goes a little bit out the window.  The reason for that is that the players who have generally been successful, feel no need to show up at these events, because they’re already set for the next season.  On the other hand, the players who do play here on a regular basis are doing so for a pretty unattractive reason; they have been pretty consistently unsuccessful and are desperate to rack up some eleventh hour money while they still can.

The other reason that this tournament is harder to sift through is that there are fewer real stars in the field.  This is not meant to be disparaging toward these great golfing talents, but it is what it is.  How many names really leap off the page for you?

So then, here’s my best shot at sifting through the mix and trying to come up with some winners for you.

Derek’s Picks

Vijay Singh – After capturing the FedEx Cup Playoff Championship a few years ago, Vijay effectively fell off the face of the golfing earth.  In fact, he was the first guy to suffer from the “FedEx Cup Curse” I invented in my wee cranium.

It’s taken Singh (and Furyk and Woods) a few years to recover, but Vijay showed us some real signs of his former brilliance over the course of the 2011 season.  He placed 8th a few weeks ago at the BMW Championship…just barely missing out on a trip to the Tour Championship with a mini blow-up on the closing holes.  He also finished T9 at The Open Championship, T7 at the Canadian Open and T8 at the Byron Nelson.  

Granted, these aren’t exactly the Singh-esque statistics that we’re used to seeing, but they are stronger results than many of the other guys in this week’s field…making Vijay one of the de facto alpha dogs in the tournament.

That, plus the fact that you know this seasoned, amazingly successful competitor is tremendously hungry to get another win, means he’s going on my roster this week.

Bud Cauley – Here’s a pick from the opposite end of the spectrum from Singh.  He’s not seasoned.  He’s not tremendously successful.  But he does have the elements I’m inclined to look for this week.

By anyone’s standards, Cauley has had a pretty hot year.  Considering he’s a PGA Tour rookie, he’s almost off the charts compared to the other newbies who made their debuts this season.

In 26 starts Cauley has missed the cut just 7 times.  Of the tourneys he has played into the weekend, he’s racked up 6 top 10 finishes, including a 3rd at The Wyndham, T10 at the Barclays, T4 at The Canadian Open, Arnie Invitational and True South Classic and T8 in Houston. 

Those are some pretty damned impressive results!

Cauley is showing all the signs of a guy who is poised to become a breakout superstar on the PGA Tour.  The only thing he needs to really get the party started now is a win…and I really like his chances of doing just that this weekend.

David Hearn – I can’t remember the last time I actually took a Canadian player to win on Tour, but I’m rectifying that situation this week.

Actually, if I recall correctly I think I took Mike Weir to win in my first two first articles for CanadianGolfer…and he tanked spectacularly in both.  I guess I’ve been a little gun-shy (or maybe that’s beaver-shy) ever since.

Anyway, given the strength of the field playing this week, I think Hearn has a pretty decent shot of doing something pretty good here to wrap up his season.

I wish I could offer you a wealth of stats to back up this pick, but the pickings are fairly scant.  To be honest, it’s more of a gut feel…and the last time my gut talked to me I went with Bud Cauley at the Canadian Open (where he finished T4).

As far as Hearn goes, he did put together a T7 finish at this event last year, which is a pretty decent stat.  In 26 starts this season he’s missed an unsettling 8 cuts, but did register 5 top 15 finishes in the events where he made it through to the weekend.  And those events were pretty impressive for the most part; the Sony (T10), Texas Open (T11), Colonial (T13), a heavily stacked Greenbrier (T12) and Barclays (T10).

Considering the other guys in the field this week, I think he has a pretty good shot of posting a very strong finish.

Ernie Els – I started with a “grizzled veteran” and I‘m going to wrap up with one too.

It’s been a topsy-turvy year full of near misses, heartbreak and chart-topping highs for the Big Easy…and through it all he’s remained the same calm, decent, soft-spoken, talented man he’s always been. 

No club throwing or swearing when he was down…no raucous celebrations when he was up.  There are a bunch of guys on Tour who could learn from him.

In my books, one of his greatest accomplishments of the season was in not pulling “An Elin” and wrapping a 9-iron around Steve Sands’ teeth, when the idiot asked Ernie if he actually had the heart to sink a critical putt (that he missed) on the 72nd hole at the Transitions to miss a playoff (and probably played his way out of a chance to go to Augusta).

Karma was on his side, of course, several weeks later when he took The Open Championship and hoisted the Claret Jug.

Even though he’s a lock for all the majors next year, you can bet that Els is still hungry for another win to cap off this year and finish with an exclamation point.  This week is a golden opportunity for him.

And now that I’ve had my say, let’s turn it over to daughter to see which horses she’s going with this week…

D&D’s Picks (Daughter & Dartboard):

Mark Anderson

Mathew Goggin

Nick O’Hern

Kyle Thompson

And that’s it for this week folks.  As always, thanks very much for reading and contributing your comments.  And most of all, thanks for putting up with my nonsense.  Enjoy the tourney!



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