The final round of the Northern Trust Open was so exciting. The leaders going into the final round were Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley. No one really took control of the round and by the time they hit the 18th hole both of them needed to shoot a birdie to get in a playoff with Bill Hass (who had already finished his round). It was amazing that both Mickelson and Bradley got their birdies and they went into a sudden-death playoff with Hass.
It was Hass who got a birdie on the 2nd playoff hole to win. Great drama! By the way, Bradley had his own drama with criticism of his slow play and spitting on the course. You can read my opinion in the post “Why Spit on a Golf Course?”
Now on to my results — Each week at least one of my player picks really surprises me (and it is not always a happy surprise.)
This time I was shocked that Jason Day missed the cut. Jeff Maggert also missed the cut but it wasn’t as big a surprise to me. Kevin Na was also a major disappointment with a 6 over par and ranked 76.
My only shining star was Jimmy Walker and he was my “what the heck pick” and he tied for 4th at 5 under par.
Maybe the “golf gods” are teaching me a lesson for not staying with my favorite player, Mickelson, whenever he is playing. If I had picked Lefty in his last two outings I’d be much higher in my fantasy golf rank. But he was playing horribly and so I felt I had to bench him.
Of course the thing I like about Mickelson is you never know what he will do. Actually his risk taking on the course is what makes him exciting to watch but it also makes him inconsistent. Even if I don’t have him as a pick I will always be happy when he plays well because that means he is “putting on a show” for all of his fans.
There are a lot of big names playing, from both the PGA tour and the European tour, at the Northern Trust Open this week. And some notable players making their season debut (like Adam Scott and Jim Furyk). I have not picked any of the notable players this week because I want to see how they play before adding them to my roster. So here are my picks:
(1) Jason Day — He was been a bit up and down in his performance in Dhabi and Qatar but Day is ranked 7th in the world and so I am hoping he does well in the USA this week.
(2) Kevin Na — He was a fantasy golf pick in the first event (the Hyundai) and he ranked 16th — not great. But the last two events (in Phoenix and at Pebble Beach) he was tied for 5th. Na has said he likes the Northern Trust Open so I am putting him back in to the mix.
(3) Jimmy Walker — My “what the heck” pick. He was in the top 10 last week and last year he tied for 4th at the Northern Trust Open.
(4) Jeff Maggert — I picked Maggert for fantasy golf in week two (the Sony Open) and he only tied for 18th. Again, not great but for some reason I just felt like picking him. It might be the last time depending on how he performs.
Those are my picks this week and I’ll have my eye on Adam Scott and Jim Furyk.
Professional Golfer, Matt Every, is leading the Sony open after the third round but unfortunately that is not the big story hovering over Every. The big story is how he handled himself and what he said in an interview with Kelly Tilghman of the Golf Channel.
To make a long story short, back in 2010 Every was at the John Deere Classic and was suspended for 3 months. He was suspended because he was arrested for possession of marijuana (he pleaded no contest and charges were later dropped). So as part of her interview, Tilghman, asked about that time. Instead of just saying something like it was a learning experience and I’ve moved on, Every just went on and on saying some really stupid (for lack of a better term) things. For example, “Honestly, man, I know more people who smoke marijuana than who don’t smoke marijuana. I know that’s probably not the politically correct thing to say, but it’s the truth.”
When I saw this interview, I felt sorry for Every because I assumed his “management” had done him a dis-service by not giving him any PR training on how to answer questions. Some online chatter blamed Tilghman for asking a personal question but what many may not have realized is that Matt Every was on a Golf Channel “reality” show called The Big Break and they ask lots of personal questions to get the back story on the contestants. Tilghman did her job and Every should have known how to answer quickly and move on.
He lost my sympathy vote the next day during the press conference. When asked about the interview with Tilghman, Every went on and on again and at one point he said ” I’m not running for president; I’m a golfer. So I’m really not trying to, you know, piss anyone off.” The word that he excluded in his statement was “just” (I’m just a golfer) but it was implied (in my opinion).
When someone says (with all seriousness/not joking) “I’m just a [fill in the blank]” it is a cop-out. They are basically removing any ownership or responsibility for their own words and actions. That just doesn’t cut it for me; especially with professional athletes because they are role models and so at a minimum should think before they speak.
Hopefully Every will learn from this experience but I will not be cheering for him to win the Sony open. I’m cheering for Jeff Maggert, the co-leader after the third round, not just because I am not a fan of Every’s but because I am a fan of Maggert’s. After all, he is one of my golf fantasy picks.