PGA Championship Wednesday Blog...Unlikely Success Stories In 2007
Forget the club pros. They are our connection to great golf, they teach us, they sell us stuff, they compete when the cameras are off. No doubt one of them will certainly challenge on day one or even to the weekend. For a club pro to finish in the top 25, however, is a bet that our punter would not like to back. Picking the one to do it is an even greater longshot, for if you believe that tour-pro form varies from week to week, imagine how much club-pro form differs from day to day!
No, this blog is not about them, but instead, focuses on touring pros with an unlikely chance to win (therefore showing that they will contend) and why. To begin, Robert Allenby. He’s playing the majors very poorly, something he usually doesn’t do. The king of the playoffs (uncanny ability to win if he gets to extra holes) usually shows up for the PGA Championship. In addition, I didn’t pick him in my tournament pool, which gives him added incentive to show me up.
Hansen…no, not the band, but rather, Soren and Anders (who spell it with an ‘e’) and Peter (who spells it with an ‘o.’) I just feel like singing “m-bop” again (another Hansen Band reference). Actually, I have no idea how well they play, though I have a feeling that at least one of them has triumphed on the Euro tour this season.
Tom Lehman…had a solid showing in the 2001 US Open, and tends to slip in unnoticed, under the radar, you get the picture. He has been fairly quiet in majors this year, although solid. I just have a feeling about him and another old coot, Mark Calcavecchia, Hord Hardin’s favorite pro from Italy. Calc is close to making the Prez Cup team, and a top five would probably get him there in points.
Mike Weir…This guy really wants to play for the World team in the Presidents Cup in 2007. To be held in Canada (Royal Montreal GC) and not have a Canadian representative would be shameful not for the selectors, but for the freaking Canadian pros (Weir and Ames, basically) who couldn’t play well enough to separate themselves from Andres Romero, Jyoti Randhawa and Yong-Eun Yang. So, with a win, Weir makes the team. With a second, Weir makes the team. Anything less, no team. Same goes for Ames.
Charl Schwartzel…This afrikaaner has a beastly record overseas, but has yet to break through a la countryman Retief Goosen in the USA. Perhaps lightning can strike twice at Southern Hills, but only if, say, Shaun Micheel (the Mark Brooks of 2007) or Stewart Cink (the Stewart Cink of 2007…sorry, Wendy, I couldn’t resist) miss two-feet putts on the 72nd green. It all has to line up, you see.
Billy Mayfair…I think that he and I are the same age, although my hair isn’t quite as spectral; my bank account, not so fat; my swing, not so grooved. He’s been around for a long time, can hit driver on every hole without going through fairways, and loves his 3-metal off the ground off the tee (sometimes he won’t even peg it, just drops it, rolls it, and hits.)
Glover, Rollins, Wetterich…not quite Tinker to Evans to Chance, but each of these guys seems to have found his way into the mix for Cup teams of late. Wetterich has played Ryder Cup, while Glover and Rollins just missed. Each of them would like to get a Cap in 2007, and currently find themselves 10th, 11th and 12th, respectively, on the US list, and I sincerely doubt that Jack and Jeff will consider any of the three for Captain’s Picks. With double points at the PGA, probably only Scott Verplank (#7) on up are safe, so Stew Cink and Stevie Stricker need to turn in top-20 performances to cement their positions.
DiMarco and Love…not a 900 number, so relax. Both of these guys are in the top 25 for points, both are somewhat on the rise in terms of results, so top-six finishes will not only move them up the charts, but give the Captains serious pause about whether to spend Cap Choices on them. After all, Zach Johnson, Thurston Howell 3 and David Toms don’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of the rest of the world, so perhaps some veteran represUNtation is just what the US needs.
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If I could only get him to take out the same mindset he had on Sunday at the Ryder Cup (my fellow countrymen are (were) unaware that I was supporting him v. Sergio. I am planning to take out a contract on Shanks re his comment on your earlier blog. As I am 5'o" and 105 lbs I cannot take him on personally but am fortunately wealthy enough to get someone else to do it. Do you have any contacts pls. on your side of the pond as difficult to get my hitmen over? Promise not to take you out at the same time. Wendy
And Wendy, if we have to scrap, you'll have a decided advantage in speed & qucikness to exploit. I'm a lumbering 6'4" 240 pounder.
yet. There are a couple of players I am thinking of putting a hex on, but am scared will rebound on me - rather like hoping an opponent misses a shot and then duffing one's own next shot. Enjoy the tournament (both of you) - I'm off to follow on-line until I can watch it live. Wendy
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