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FantasyGolf

Fantasy Golf: This Is The Dawning Of The Age Of Garrigus


Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank
Defending Champion: Luke Donald

The Fantasy Golf season only runs January through September, but with the passel of offseason and international events running yearlong, some of them start to, ahhhhhhh… blend together. And that doesn’t even include the crappy ones that pop up opposite the WGCs or Majors either – shout out Puerto Rico Open. So failing to remember where exactly The Greenbrier is situated on the calendar is excusable, even if it does make me think I may have been client of Lacuna Inc. at some point. These gaffes, I’m told, start to persist more frequently with age. Fortunately I’ll probably forget that too. But when I peeked at the upcoming schedule and saw the “Tampa Bay Championship” glaring back at me, with its dead eyes, I began to pray I hadn’t somehow stumbled into the twisted world of David Cronenberg, because I had never equated that combination words with golf before.

I’m going to give myself a pass on this one too, what can I say, I’m magnanimous, demure too; but we’ve become so predisposed to a corporate name LinkedIn a tournament’s title that it can be rather jarring to see one simply promoting the host city. Hence my initial bewilderment. Turns out, the event lost its underwriter when Transitions decided not to re-up for another year. Why? Presumably, because falling between Doral and Bay Hill makes Copperhead a rest week for most of the world’s elite, thus failing to generate the national exposure necessary to make that $7 million a wise investment. But I have it on good authority – not really – Transitions simply doesn’t have that capital to blow anymore. Sales are down, which is stunning, really. I assumed everyone who caught even a glimmer of its golf-centric commercials would presume Transitions were the Miles Davis of photochromic optics. I mean, who wouldn’t want, nay need, to rush out and buy a pair after witnessing this experiment in chique?

I remain flabbergasted.

The Tampa Bay Championship was actually sans sponsor until early last week when EverBank inked a one-year deal with the event. They probably did it out of sympathy, or possibly a perverted desire to lend its name to everything that will top a Google search for “Crappy Florida Sports”, but if the tournament can replicate its unbelievably entertaining 2012 climax, they may get a proper ROI.

PICKS

Robert Garrigus – There’s a really a lot to like about the paunchy long bomber. Whether it’s his ability to successfully navigate his way around a golf course blasted out of his mind, using a putter he stole from a local mini-putt, or finishing worse than 22nd just once in six starts this season; none of those compare to the real reason he’s a must start, his unwillingness to let the present decade affect his slang.

Sergio Garcia & Jason Dufner – If you’re thinking about going contrarian and talking yourself into Gary Woodland, know this; he’s played in 45 events since winning here in 2011, churning out just a trio of Top 10s. And don’t think of using Michael Thompson: No one with a name as generic as Michael Thompson is winning twice in one year. Sergio and Duff Man are your Paint By The Numbers picks for the “A” pool this week, they just outclass everyone other available option by a significant margin. Don’t get too clever, it’s unbecoming.

Luke Donald – Won last year’s Fatal Four Way playoff and is the top ranked golfer in the field, number three in the world. Solid credentials. Plus, he managed to finish even par at Doral despite double bogeying 18 all four rounds. Tres impressive.

Adam Scott – Scott made anyone who left him rotting on the pine pay dearly last week. Reeling off a final round 64, propelling him into third place. In fact, he’s cracked the Top 10 in both his non-Match Play events this year.

Jim Furyk & Matt Kuchar – In field that’s relatively top heavy, it’s prudent to add some consistency to your squad. These savvy vets have a combined eight tournaments between them and played the weekend every time. Also, Furyk was the 2010 champ at Copperhead, while not playing Kuchar disqualifies you from ever joining#KuchsKrew, at least I think that’s the case.

George Coetzee – I’m doubling-down on the South African. Coetzee was actually rolling at Doral before an 80 on Sunday made his scorecard resemble a psychedelic nightmare. Those muted colors really harshed his vibe.

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Photo via Getty



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