Everyone loves the Waste Management Open. FACT. Not so much because WM is incredibly efficient or its prompt disposal method has created extreme brand loyalty, but because of the location silly: TPC Scottsdale – THE STADIUM COURSE!!!
And really, it’s just the unruly drunk patrons that migrate to the 16th hole that make this event special. There are more scenic par-3s, and definitely far tougher ones, but the college football-like atmosphere created in the bowl surrounding the hole make it awesome. It’s really great, and actually worth streaming the 16-Only cam all weekend just to catch all the shenanigans first hand. Shenanigans like…
Era Specific Busting of Moves
NFL Kicker Tryouts
Earthquake Inducing Roars. Complete with Awkward Attempts of Raising the Roof
Who knows what may transpire this year?
HIT THE LINKS
Phil Mickelson withdrew from Wednesday’s Pro-Am because of lingering back problems. He’s flown to Georgia to consult with back specialist Tom Boers in the hopes he can tee off Thursday with no issues. This is all a smoke screen though, Phil’s actually suffering from some sort of man-boob related arthritis, he’s just too ashamed to admit it. Even if he does play, I’m too worried he’ll end up withdrawing.
Apparently people are enlisting to work on their games. Not only does The Pentagon operate 194 courses around the world, but they created a two-hole set up in Iraq which instantly got dubbed the, “World’s Most Dangerous Golf Course.”
Ian Poulter decided to shave half his chest, and then posted a picture of it. The “Half Man, Half Rug” is what you think is the best part of the selfie, but that wouldn’t be true. It’s the revelation that Poulter looks like Don Draper, if Don Draper was wacked on goofballs.
More injuries: Jordan Spieth hurt his ankle coming in Friday leading to back-to-back 75s on the weekend at the Farmers.
Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy are all playing in Dubai this week, with Rory being the betting favorite. And if you’re a fan of wagering, you’re rarely going to get the chance to take Tiger at 6-to-1.
If anyone can ace the 324-yard, par-4 17th at the Emirates Golf Club, they’ll be handed a fresh $2.5m, presumably in cash, or potentially Rolexes – this is Dubai.
Does anything say “affluence” more than golf and chandeliers? Maybe a gold plated pet lynx… but just maybe.
Want to improve you swing? Time to start working, “the gluteus maximus more famously known as (your butt).”
MDFs = Thee worst.
Look, it’s Eminem Tiger and his best pal, A-Rod!
Graham DeLaet – Zee Canadian doesn’t exactly boast a regal lineage in Phoenix (55th in ’12, MC in 2013), but DeLaet was a different player even this time last year. Actually, it was his missed cut on this site 12-months ago that was the catalyst propelling his game to the next level. OK, that’s just a coincidence, but the improvement in his play was remarkable after being forced to catch an early Saturday flight out of PHX. At that moment last January, DeLaet sat 150th in the World Rankings. Since, he’s entered 26 events, failing to play the weekend just four times, notching 14 Top 25s – eight of which were ninth or better. Now comfortably resting No. 34th in the world he’s playing the best golf of his career. He’s strung together three consecutive Top 10s and seems primed to finally break through and capture his first title.
Chris Kirk – The Captain has yielded some less-than-impressive results in his two previous starts here (41st in 2011, 24th 2013), but anytime you can qualify for weekend play it’s not a complete disaster. And much like DeLaet, Kirk is simply a lot better now than he was a year ago. He collected his second career win at the McGladrey Classic on the PGA fall schedule and has impressed in 2014 so far with a 16th at the Tournament of Championship and a runner up finish at the Sony.
Webb Simpson – Webly took a breather skipping the Farmers last week, but don’t let that erase his superb play to date from your memory. Simpson’s played five PGA events; posting four Top 10s. Crazily, his worst finish was his most recent outing at the Humana – a tie for 23rd. I’ll take that downside. And it’s not like Webb doesn’t have experience in Scottsdale. He sat out last year’s event but churned out matching eighth place showings in 2012 and 2011. Plus, his confidence never wavers; at least by Moneyball, hot girlfriend/wife logic! What a babe.
Ryan Palmer – Leland’s long lost son has been pacing himself in terms of play, lacing up the spikes in just two of four events in 2014, but it been working – so who are we to argue? Palmer’s complied a pair of Tops 10s in his two starts and rattled off a Sunday 62 here last year to earn a solo fifth.
Marc Leishman – The Aussie is a juxtaposition of what we consider relevant predictors in Fantasy Golf: Recent play or career success at a course? Since I’m a flip-flopper, I like to play both sides when it’s convenient. Lifetime, Leishman’s made two of four cuts at the Stadium Course and has never finished better than a T19. Conversely, he comes in spitting Dylan levels of HOT FIYA. Over his past five events worldwide, Marc (Too afraid to spell your name with “k”, like a man?) has improved his result every time, posting three straight Top 10s capped off with a T2 last week at the Farmers.
Brandt Snedeker – It’s a light week for strong “A-List” players so go with the best available option. I get Snedeker’s off to a crummy start in 2014, cracking 70 in only four of 14 rounds since injuring his knee in China last fall – this is what mulligans are for, though. Sneds is still second highest ranked player is in the field (No. 15, Ian Poulter is No. 12) and did earn a silver medal on this site in 52-weeks in the past.
Hunter Mahan – Putting. That’s what it comes down to for Mahan. The pins at TPC Scottsdale are very inviting, and few players can attack the sticks quite like Hunter. Last week at Torrey Pines he was all over the greens, hitting two of every three in regulation. Unfortunately, it took him an average of 1.77 putts to return the ball to its home. Not a strategy overly conducive to low scoring. There is good news however, the greens in Phoenix, not nearly as tough as Torrey. Mahan’s fairly streaky, and you’ll know almost instantly how his tournament’s going to unfold based on his early returns, but history’s on his side in the desert. He hasn’t missed the cut here since 2008 and claimed victory in 2010.
Harris English – Many will be off the English train after his T33 in La Qunita (or because they think they could be boarding the Orient Express and don’t want to succumb to an untimely MURDER), but I’m sticking with him. Is it because he’s been inside the Top 10 in every second event on the 2014 schedule? Doesn’t hurt. But it’s mainly because he’s really damn good.
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