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.
Golf is often given the bad rap of being a traditional “old boys” sport so I am not surprised by that the fact the big story today is that Jason Gore was given a sponsors exemption because of Twitter — Golf fans are not so old school after all. No surprise to a fan like me!
If you don’t know the score…back on January 6, Jason Gore sent out a tweet that he was signing up for the Northern Trust Open (Feb 14 to 19) qualifying event and tweeted he’d be “stoked” to get a sponsor’s invitation. His fans delivered with a twitter campaign that filled the Northern Trust Twitter page with support for Gore. Just 6 days later, Northern Trust sent out a tweet that Jason Gore is awarded an exemption.
Why I am writing about it? Because my profession is online marketing and it was fun to see how all this played out. By the way, it didn’t hurt to have media outlets like the Golf Channel commentators talking about the twitter campaign on TV over the last few days (before Northern Golf make a decision) and giving it even more exposure. Northern Trust got it right — They listened to the golf fans and gave them what they wanted — an exemption for Gore. Now, Northern Trust also got what every company loves — lots of free press! And, it’s good press.
But the most important outcome is that a guy who is ranked 643 in the world and did not qualify for the PGA Tour this year got his wish thanks to his fans and twitter.