Here at the PF, we pride ourselves first on having families, careers, and loving the game of golf outside of the computer. As you may have noticed, our intense love for the game of golf has left us little time for posting lately. We apologize if you were waiting for the next instruction post on how to repaint a club, or the next insightful course review. While we wish we could always jot down every thought on the page for all of you to digest, we have grown to a realization that our lives outside of this pursuit are becoming more difficult to manage, and the fringe (including the PF) has suffered.

That said, even in the worst of times, my (and LG’s) favorite segment of our endeavor here is the major predictions page–especially the Masters. It’s a signal that the golf season is truly starting (yea, I know, there’s been a lot of golf played already…but still). It’s a signal that Spring is fully upon us, and that the time for long rounds of golf after work and good times with friends are here. In commemoration of this, I give you our Masters Predictions [sic] 2014:
Correct answers in italics updated 4/13
Top 10:
1 Bubba Watson -8
T2 Jonas Blixt -5
T2 Jordan Spieth -5
4 Miguel Jimenez -4
T5 Rickie Fowler -2
T5 Matt Kuchar -2
7 Lee Westwood -1
T8 Bernhard Langer E
T8 Jimmy Walker E
T8 Rory McIlroy E
T8 John Senden E
T8 Kevin Stadler E
T8 Thomas Bjorn E

JK:
Winner: Jordan Spieth T-2. Not Bad. Congrats Bubba
Winning Score: -11 -8
Runner Up: Dustin Johnson MC *achem*
Low Amateur: Matthew Fitzpatrick Arthur Goss
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Thorbjorn Olesen T-44 at +9. Unknowns? Probably Jimmy Walker or John Senden, but no one, really. A bunch of people who you might not have heard of if you don’t follow the game closely, but most are well known
Most difficult hole vs. par? 11 correct, +0.480
Easiest hole vs. par? 13 correct, -0.301
Last Year’s Winner (Adam Scott) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut)? Just outside the Top10, so Make the Cut.correct. T-14, one shot from T-8
How many prior Masters winners will be in the Top 10? 1 2 – Bubba Watson & Bernhard Langer!
US Open Champion (Justin Rose) will …? Make the Cut correct, T-14 at +1, just outside the top 10
British Open Champion (Phil Mickelson) will …? Top10 incorrect, MC
PGA Champion (Jason Dufner) will …? Make the Cut – he doesn’t putt well enough to compete incorrect – MC. Let’s call him Mr. 9 from now on for his performance on the 13th hole
When will Sergio Garcia implode? Sergio finishes Top10. No implosion this year. MC. No chance to implode
Dustin Johnson will…? Runner up. MC….yea I missed it.
Bubba Watson will…? Miss the Cut or win the tournament
Rickie Fowler will…? Miss the Cut or finish in the top 10
Jordan Spieth will…? Win it.close–T-2
Jimmy Walker will…? Miss the Cut or finish in the top 10
Matt Jones (last qualifier for the tournament) will…? Miss the Cut. Sorry Matt. correct.
Ben Crenshaw, Larry Mize, and Sandy Lyle. Who wins? Certainly not the fans. Uhhh….Crenshaw misses the cut by the fewest? first off, crenshaw was the worst player in the entire field. Second off, Larry Mize AND Sandy Lyle both MADE THE CUT! Sandly Lyle wins this at +9, but still amazing.
What will be the major storyline of the tournament? Spieth reigniting shades of Tiger Woods circa 1997.Bubba winning his second green jacket, although Spieth had a chance at this story for awhile.
What is your Bold prediction? It’s a two-man chase for the jacket on the last day, no one else even close. this was pretty accurate, Jonas Blixt made a charge and finished T-2 but it was really all about Bubba and Spieth until about the 12th hole, and then it was all about Bubba.

LG:
Winner: Jason Day MC
Winning Score: -5 -8
Runner Up: Sergio Garcia MC
Low Amateur: Garrick Porteous MC
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Brandon de Jonge T-37, 2 shots ahead of my flop for this category, Thorbjorn Olesen
Most difficult hole vs. par? 10nope, 11. 10 was +0.24
Easiest hole vs. par? 13 correct
Last Year’s Winner (Adam Scott) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut)?  Make Cut correct
How many prior Masters winners will be in the Top 10? 2 correct
US Open Champion (Justin Rose) will …? Make Cut correct
British Open Champion (Phil Mickelson) will …? Top 10 MC
PGA Champion (Jason Dufner) will …? Make Cut MC
When will Sergio Garcia implode? Back 9 on Sunday. not even a chance for that to happen that way
Dustin Johnson will…? Play great until sunday.  Make Cut MC
Bubba Watson will…? Miss Cut win the tourney
Rickie Fowler will…? Miss Cut finish top10
Jordan Spieth will…? Top 10 correct
Jimmy Walker will…? Miss Cut finish top10
Matt Jones (last qualifier for the tournament) will…? First exit – Miss Cut.yeah
Ben Crenshaw, Larry Mize, and Sandy Lyle. Who wins? No one.  SNOOOOZE.  (I’ll take Crenshaw) correct…
What will be the major storyline of the tournament?  Tiger Not being there.  Also, Jason Day wins a Major (without Tiger there) Tiger wasn’t even mentioned
What is your Bold prediction?  Jim Nantz gets a cold and can’t call Sunday. oh how we wish…

Updated with actual 8/11/2013

1 — -10 — Jason Dufner
2 — -8 — Jim Furyk
3 — -7 — Henrik Stenson
4 — -6 — Jonas Blixt
T5 — -5 — Scott Piercy
T5 — -5 — Adam Scott
7 — -4 — David Toms
T8 — -3 — Jason Day
T8 — -3 — Zach Johnson
T8 — -3 — Dustin Johnson
T8 — -3 — Rory McIlroy
T12 — -2 — Graeme McDowell
T12 — -2 — Boo Weekley
T12 — -2 — Marc Leishman
T12 — -2 — Roberto Castro
T12 — -2 — Marc Warren
T12 — -2 — Kevin Streelman
T12 — -2 — Steve Stricker

Yep, that’s right. Tiger’s return to the winner’s circle. JK takes the title for the Open Championship, but let’s see him top these picks. Here they are, folks:

LG:
Winner: Tiger Woods -Nope, DUFNER!
Winning Score: -10, Dead on! 
Runner Up: Jason Dufner, Jim Furyk, close though! 
Low PGA Professional: Bob Sowards, nope, but none of them made the cut, and my guy beat JK’s by a shot, so I’m calling it a win.
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Jason Kokrak, nope.  Only person that would have qualified would be Jonas Blixt
Last Year’s Winner (Rory) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Make the Cut, correct, but also Top 10.
The Master’s Winner (Scott) Will: Make the Cut, correct, but also Top 5.
The US Open Winner (Rose) Will: Top 10, incorrect – T33
The Open Champion (Philly) Will: Make Cut, Correct – T72
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 2, Correct!  David Toms and Rory
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Tiger dominates. Possible 63 watch. 1/2 right, 63 watch was correct, and Dufner definitely won it.
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Duh.. , #dufnering
Tiger Woods will: Win. wrong – Duf!
Zach Johnson will: Top 10, Correct! T8
Steve Stricker will: Miss Cut, sadly., incorrect – T12
Dustin Johnson will: Make Cut, correct, but also T8
Woody Austin will: Miss Cut, correct – 4 strokes for having 15 clubs didn’t help much either…
Gary Woodland will: Make Cut, CORRECT, Taking down solo 74th.
Shaun Micheel (last PGA winner at Oak Hill) will: [[LG to supply answer before tournament starts]] I didn’t see this one earlier, but definitely would have said MC.
Who is most likely to “Jason Dufner” it on the 17th hole on Sunday? Jason Dufner, well we’re going to have to redefine this term, but Dufner was the only person who had a chance to blow it today.  Well done, Jason.

JK:
Winner: Hunter Mahan, Incorrect – T57
Winning Score: -6, Incorrect – -10.
Runner Up: Tiger Woods, Incorrect – Furyk.
Low PGA Professional: Rod Perry, see above.  LG takes down the W here.
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Rod Perry (a la Mark Brooks, maybe?), Definitely not.  
Last Year’s Winner (Rory) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Miss the cut, Incorrect – T8.
The Master’s Winner (Scott) Will: Top 10, Correct! 
The US Open Winner (Rose) Will: Make the Cut, Correct! 
The Open Champion (Philly) Will: Make the Cut, Correct! 
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 4, Incorrect – 2.
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Mahan plays solid while everyone else falls away, Definitely not. 
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Mahan gave away victory for his baby–he wins the big one, Definitely not. 
Tiger Woods will: T-2, Incorrect.
Zach Johnson will: Miss cut, Incorrect – T10.
Steve Stricker will: Miss Cut, Incorrect – T12.
Dustin Johnson will: Top 15, I’m not sure this is a valid category, but correct! 
Woody Austin will: Miss Cut, Correct! 
Gary Woodland will: Make Cut, Correct! 
Shaun Micheel (last PGA winner at Oak Hill) will: Not even sniff the cut., Correct! 
Who is most likely to “Jason Dufner” it on the 17th hole on Sunday? Jason Dufner, See above.

From the PowerFade team, Congrats, Jason.  Though your winning reaction was not as great as your grabbing your wife’s rear end after the win, we’re still amazed by the ball-striking display you put on.  

 

 

Updated with actual 7/23/2013

Ahh… Time for the Open Championship.  If you’re like me at all, you’ve probably stopped watching professional golf and have been trying to play as much as possible.  I honestly forgot the Open was coming up, but am very excited to see another playing of the oldest major!

ACTUAL (basically, just look at JK’s):
Winner: Phil Mickelson
Winning Score: -3
Runner Up: Henrik Stenson
“Unknown” in the Top 10: There really wasn’t one, closest was Hideki Matsuyama, but if you watch any golf you’ve seen this guy.
Last Year’s Winner (Ernie Else) Will … (Win, Top 10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): T-26, +8
The Master’s Winner (Scott) Will …: T3, +1
The US Open Winner (Rose) Will …: MC
The current PGA Champion (Rory) will …: MC
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 1 (Tiger Woods)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Both
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Phil’s comeback from Merion
Who is most likely to “Sergio Garcia at Carnoustie” it? No one
Jason Dufner will: T26, +8
Tiger Woods will: T6, +2
Sergio Garcia will: T21, +7
Paul Casey will: Not in the field, LG
Ian Poulter will: T3, +1
Dustin Johnson will: T32, +9

Top 15:
1 — -3 — MICKELSON, Phil
2 — E — STENSON, Henrik
T3 — +1 — POULTER, Ian
T3 — +1 — SCOTT, Adam
T3 — +1 — WESTWOOD, Lee
T6 — +2 — MATSUYAMA, Hideki
T6 — +2 — JOHNSON, Zach
T6 — +2 — WOODS, Tiger
T9 — +3 — MOLINARI, Francesco
T9 — +3 — MAHAN, Hunter
T11 — +4 — SNEDEKER, Brandt
T11 — +4 — CABRERA, Angel
T13 — +5 — LEONARD, Justin
T13 — +5 — JIMENEZ, Miguel Angel
T15 — +6 — DE LA RIVA, Eduardo
T15 — +6 — ENGLISH, Harris
T15 — +6 — SCHWARTZEL, Charl
T15 — +6 — WILLETT, Danny
T15 — +6 — KUCHAR, Matt
T15 — +6 — BRADLEY, Keegan

LG:
Winner: Graeme McDowell (Mickelson)
Winning Score: -8 (-3)
Runner Up: Sergio Garcia (Stenson)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Bud Cauley (Close, T-32 at +9. Good call, though, LG)
Last Year’s Winner (Ernie Else) Will … (Win, Top 10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Top 10 (T26, +8)
The Master’s Winner (Scott) Will …: MC (T3, +1)
The US Open Winner (Rose) Will …: Make cut (MC)
The current PGA Champion (Rory) will …: MC (MC)
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 3 (1 – Tiger Woods)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? GMAC gets it done. (both)
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Tiger doesn’t win another major. (Phil’s return from Merion)
Who is most likely to “Sergio Garcia at Carnoustie” it?  …Sergio. (No one–maybe Dustin Johnson, 76-77 on the weekend, but that wasn’t uncommon…or maybe snedeker, who shot 79 on day 2. He wins if he shoots E on Friday)
Will you watch on Sunday? Yes.  Live? no.  (?)
Jason Dufner will: MC (T26, +8)
Tiger Woods will: Top 10 (T3, +2)
Sergio Garcia will: runner up – Top 10 (T21, +7)
Paul Casey will: Make Cut (uhhhhhh….not in the field)
Ian Poulter will: Make Cut (T3, +1)
Dustin Johnson will: MC (T32, +9)

JK: wait…before we get started….are you really not picking Tiger, LG?
Winner: Phil Mickelson (YES)
Winning Score: +1 (-3)
Runner Up: Luke Donald (MC)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Bud Cauley was a nice call LG. I’ll go with Josh Teater (solo 82nd at +17)
Last Year’s Winner (Ernie Else) Will … (Win, Top 10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Make the Cut (YES, T26)
The Master’s Winner (Scott) Will …: Top 10 (YES, T-3)
The US Open Winner (Rose) Will …:  BE AWESOME AT EVERYTHING but still miss the cut (YES)
The current PGA Champion (Rory) will …: top 10 (MC)
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 1 (YES, Tiger Woods)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? This is usually one that is a combination of both–a guy who plays OK, but not lights out, while everyone else gets thrashed by the conditions. I’m going with Phil coming back from Merion to win it. (YES)
What will be the biggest story of the tournament?  Phil Rebounds from Merion (YES) 
Who is most likely to “Sergio Garcia at Carnoustie” it? We could also call this “Phil Mickelson at Merion,” but…I’ll go Jim Furyk (MC)
Will you watch on Sunday? Unlikely Live? if it’s happening then it’s live, so unlikely (yes, actually…while on a plane. Third time I’ve watched a major championship on a plane this year).
Jason Dufner will: choke on his dip. MC (T26)
Tiger Woods will: probably pull out with injury, but if not, top 10–in the running all week, but unable to close. (YES, exactly right, actually…except the injury part)
Sergio Garcia will: show up well but never be in the discussion. Make the cut, likely top 15. (YES, almost exactly right–one shot from top 15, but T21 at +7)
Paul Casey will: who? MC (well, he wasn’t even in the field)
Ian Poulter will: sad to say, he’ll make a run, but he’ll just make the cut. Likely top 20. (YES, exactly…except T3 is better than top 20 for sure)
Dustin Johnson will: (meh)

Answers added 6/19/2013 in BOLD

In preparation for this year’s second major, we boldly offer our US Open Predictions 2013.

ACTUAL:
Winner: Justin Rose
Winning Score: +1
Runner Up: Jason Day and Phil Mickelson
Low Amateur: Michael Kim
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Billy Horschel (T-4), Hideki Matsuyama (T-10), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (T-10)
Last Year’s Winner (Webb) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Made the cut
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 1 (Ernie Els)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it?: Phil lost it, but Rose won it too.

Best finish:
Phil, Kuchar, or Stricker?: Phil (T-2 +3)
Els, Vijay , or ZJ?: Els (T-4, +5)
Rory, Luke, or Westwood?: Luke Donald (T-8, +6)
Furyk, Tiger, or GMAC?: Woods (T-32, both others MC)
Sergio, Bubba, or DJ?: Watson (T-32, +13)


JK:
Winner: Steve Stricker (Rose, Stricker T-8 and had a good chance but tripled #2)
Winning Score: E (+1)
Runner Up: Tiger Woods (Phil and Day, Tiger was T-32)
Low Amateur: Steven Fox (MC, Michael Kim, T-17 at +10)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Scott Stallings (T-53)
Last Year’s Winner (Webb) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Make the cut (true)
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 3 (1)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it?: likely Stricker barely hangs on, but everyone else will lose it (you decide)

Best finish:
Phil, Kuchar, or Stricker?: Stricker (T-8, but Phil T-2)
Els, Vijay , or ZJ?: Els (Yes)
Rory, Luke, or Westwood?: Rory (T-41; Luke T-8)
Furyk, Tiger, or GMAC?: Can’t go against GMac at the US. He just has magic there. (Furyk and GMac MC’d, so Tiger won by default)
Sergio, Bubba, or DJ?: DJ (Bubba, but DJ was not far behind)

BOLD prediction? Tiger gets into another controversy that keeps him from winning (partially true–his elbow became an issue)

LG:
Winner: Tiger Woods (Not even close)
Winning Score: -6 (not even close)
Runner Up: Steve Stricker (T-8, not bad)
Low Amateur: Michael Weaver (solo 64th. Good job picking a guy who made the cut though)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Charley Hoffman (sectional qualifier has to be an unknown, right?) (MC, and, no, he’s one of the most recognizable players on tour, and a prior PGA TOUR winner)
Last Year’s Winner (Webb) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Miss the Cut (made the cut)
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 2 (just els)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it?: Tiger wins by 3. (Tiger won the second hole by 3 when he tripled it)

Best finish:
Phil, Kuchar, or Stricker?: Striks (Phil)
Els, Vijay , or ZJ?: ZJ (yes, JK, ZJ). (MC)
Rory, Luke, or Westwood?: All three MC. (Luke was top 10, all 3 made the cut)
Furyk, Tiger, or GMAC?: Tiger (by default)
Sergio, Bubba, or DJ?: Sergio (Mr. Quad did not win this group)

BOLD prediction? Americans take the top 5 spots. (Too bold. An englishman won it)

Masters Predictions 2013

April 8, 2013

The best week of golf all year. The Masters. A tradition unlike any other. Hello Friends. Are you excited yet?

Our predictions are below. As always, take them for what they are, but if you win money, we get 1/2.

So, without further ado, here’s our predictions:

LG:
Winner: Tiger Woods (T4; ADAM SCOTT)
If you had to pick someone other than Tiger…: Louis Oosthuizen.  Man, he was so close last year. (MC)
Winning Score: -14 (-9)
Runner Up: Jason Dufner (T20)
Low Amateur: Micheal Weaver (MC, Tianlang Guan)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Kevin Streelman (Marc Lieshman or Thorbjorn Olesen)
Last Year’s Winner (Bubba Watson) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): make a strong showing – Top 10 (T50 at +7)
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 4 (2, Tiger Woods, Angel Cabrera)
Dustin Johnson will… Make the cut (T13, -1)
Fred Couples will … Top 10. (T13)
US Open Champion (Webb Simpson) will … Miss Cut (MC)
British Open Champion (Ernie Els) will … Miss Cut (T13)
PGA Champion (Rory McIlroy) will … Miss Cut (T25, +2)
Guan Tianlang (14 year old from China) will … Miss Cut (low amateur, solo 58th, +12)
Will there be a hole in one? Yes, obviously. (i don’t think there was)
What will be the major storyline of the tournament? one of the following: 1) the weather, 2) Tiger’s 5th, and/or 3) Fred Couples turning back the clock. (Scott v. Cabrera, no doubt; or, Tianlang Guan)
What is your Bold prediction? None of the current major champions make the cut. (wrong)
Number of times “dufnering” is referenced on Sunday: 6 (0, thank God)

JK:
Winner: Tiger Woods
If you had to pick someone other than Tiger…: Justin Rose (T25, +2)
Winning Score: -6 (-9)
Runner Up: Dustin Johnson (T13)
Low Amateur: Steven Fox (MC)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Matteo Manassero (MC)
Last Year’s Winner (Bubba Watson) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Make the cut but that’s about it (MC)
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 3 (2)
Dustin Johnson will… Top 10 (T13)
Fred Couples will … Make the Cut, just outside the top 10. (T13 – nice!)
US Open Champion (Webb Simpson) will … Make the cut (MC)
British Open Champion (Ernie Els) will … Make the cut (T13)
PGA Champion (Rory McIlroy) will … Top 10 (T25)
Guan Tianlang (14 year old from China) will … Miss Cut (Made cut, low amateur)
Will there be a hole in one? I’m guessing 16th. That’s the most likely.
What will be the major storyline of the tournament? Probably will be Tiger winning wire-to-wire. Also, an amateur pushes for a top 10 spot (a la Beau Hossler at the US Open last year).
What is your Bold prediction? Phil Mickelson visits the hospital with a Kevin Ware compound fracture after slipping on a pimento cheese sandwich.
Number of times “dufnering” is referenced on Sunday: I hope none…. the announcer that brings it up should get the Gary McCord treatment.

Predictions: Ryder Cup

September 25, 2012

This year, Team USA and Team Europe converge at Medinah to play in one of golf’s greatest traditions: The Ryder Cup.  Team USA is captained by Davis Love III, while Team Europe is led by Jose-Maria Olazabel.

The teams:

USA

Keegan Bradley
Jason Dufner
Jim Furyk
Dustin Johnson
Phil Mickelson
Matt Kuchar
Zach Johnson
Webb Simpson
Brandt Snedeker
Steve Stricker
Bubba Watson
Tiger Woods

Europe:

Nicolas Colsaerts
Luke Donald
Sergio Garcia
Peter Hanson
Martin Kaymer
Paul Lawrie
Graeme McDowell
Rory McIlroy
Francesco Molinari
Ian Poulter
Justin Rose
Lee Westwood

It should come as no surprise that given the depth of the US’s team and the recent success that they have had including Snedeker’s capture of the FedEx Cup, The PowerFade predicts that Team USA will be victorious! 

USA! USA! USA!

 

UPDATED 9/24 in bold

After watching Bill Haas stun Hunter Mahan last year with his Jesus shot (see http://thepowerfade.com/2011/09/26/play-of-the-week-24/), it became apparent to me that the Tour Championship is every bit as important (maybe more) than most majors, if for no other reason than what it pays. So, without further ado, LG and I predict the future below:

JK:
Who wins the Tour Championship: Louis Oosthuizen T-23. Congrats Sneds
Who win the Fedex Cup: Louis Oosthuizen
Rory McIlroy (1) will: Finish 15th T-10, two shots from T-15
Tiger Woods (2) will: finish 2nd T-8, five shots from T-2
Nick Watney (3) will: finish <20th 28th
Phil Mickelson (4) will: T-2 with Tiger. T-15
Brandt Snedeker (5) will: finish where he started, 5. won it
Story of the tournament will be: Rory falling while Oosthuizen putts his way to victory. Sneds solid play on the back 9
Tiger Woods will be: upset he didn’t win because his putter let him down yah
Phil Mickelson will be: happy he just got a chance to play in it this year yah
Dustin Johnson will: double-hit a ball chipping out of the bermuda. finish <20 T-10, better than i thought
Will you watch? Maybe parts of it over the weekend and the end on Sunday. exactly
Who is most likely to Hunter Mahan it? Tiger. no one really did
Will the weather hold out? It will rain all weekend. it was awesome all weekend
Number of references to Bobby Jones during the telecast on Sunday? I’m putting the over/under at 5. no idea, due to the answer three question above

LG:
Who wins the Tour Championship: Dustin Johnson T-10
Who win the Fedex Cup: Dustin Johnson
Rory McIlroy (1) will: Make Cut there is no cut. LG FAIL
Tiger Woods (2) will: Top 10 T-8, so yes
Nick Watney (3) will: Make Cut
Phil Mickelson (4) will: Top 10 T-15, so no
Brandt Snedeker (5) will: Make Cut I’ll say
Story of the tournament will be: Phil giving it away…again.
Tiger Woods will be: contending Saturday, forgotten by Sunday. how did you know????
Phil Mickelson will be: 2 stroke lead going into Sunday, giving it away on the back. not even close
Dustin Johnson will: WIN
Will you watch? If I’m not at the office
Who is most likely to Hunter Mahan it? Phil.
Will the weather hold out? I’m not even sure what this question means.
Number of references to Bobby Jones during the telecast on Sunday?  25.

updated Monday, 8/13

Alright, JK.  It’s our last shot of the year to call ‘em.  The course: The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island.

LG:

Winner: Dustin Johnson T-48, +5 – winner, Rory Mcilroy
Winning Score: +2 -13
Runner Up: Tiger Woods David Lynn (who?)
Low PGA Professional: Mitch Lowe No idea
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Branden Grace M/c – how about David Lynn?
Last Year’s Winner (Keegan Bradley) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut):  Top 10 Correct, T-3, -4
The Master’s Winner (Bubba) Will: MC T-11, -2
The US Open Winner (Webb) Will: MC correct
The Open Champion (Ernie Els) Will: MC T-48, +5
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 2 1, Keegan Bradley

1 Rory McIlroy -13 67 75 67 66 275 $1,445,000 600
2 David Lynn -5 73 74 68 68 283 $865,000 0
T3 Justin Rose -4 69 79 70 66 284 $384,500 147
T3 Keegan Bradley -4 68 77 71 68 284 $384,500 147
T3 Ian Poulter -4 70 71 74 69 284 $384,500 147
T3 Carl Pettersson -4 66 74 72 72 284 $384,500 147
T7 Blake Adams -3 71 72 75 67 285 $226,000 91
T7 Jamie Donaldson -3 69 73 73 70 285 $226,000 0
T7 Peter Hanson -3 69 75 70 71 285 $226,000 0
T7 Steve Stricker -3 74 73 67 71 285 $226,000 91
T11 Ben Curtis -2 69 77 73 67 286 $143,286 65
T11 Bubba Watson -2 73 75 70 68 286 $143,286 65
T11 Tim Clark -2 71 73 73 69 286 $143,286 65
T11 Geoff Ogilvy -2 68 78 70 70 286 $143,286 65
T11 Graeme McDowell -2 68 76 71 71 286 $143,286 65
T11 Tiger Woods -2 69 71 74 72 286 $143,286 65
T11 Adam Scott -2 68 75 70 73 286 $143,286 65

Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? DJ Wins it.  No more bunker issues. Rory won it…period
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? John Daly making the cut. 8-shot win by Rory, although Daly was a nice story for a little while
Jason Dufner will: Top 10 T-27, +1
Tiger Woods will: Top 10 T-11, -2
Rory McIlroy will: Make cut HA!
Zach Johnson will: MC Solo 70th at +12
Steve Stricker will: Make cut T-7, -3
Dustin Johnson will: WIN!! T-48, +5
Who is most likely to “Jason Dufner” it on the 17th hole on Sunday? Jason Dufner. it didn’t matter
Adam Scott will: Go home early – MC. T-11, -2

JK
Winner: Matt Kuchar Cut with an 82 on Friday!
Winning Score: -7 -13
Runner Up: Zach Johnson took down solo 70th.
Low PGA Professional: Mitch Lowe again, no clue, but congrats to mitch for making the field
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Brenden de Jonge T-54, +6
Last Year’s Winner (Keegan Bradley) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Make the Cut T-3, -4
The Master’s Winner (Bubba) Will: Make the Cut Correct, T-11, -2
The US Open Winner (Webb) Will: Make the Cut nope..MC
The Open Champion (Ernie Els) Will: MC T-48, +5
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 2 just keegan
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Kuchar putts his way to a championship Rory does everything on his way to the championship
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Should we ban the arm-putter? record-breaking rory
Jason Dufner will: Top 10 T-27, +1
Tiger Woods will: Top 10 close, T-11, -2
Rory McIlroy will: MC lol
Zach Johnson will: Runner up lol
Steve Stricker will: Make the Cut T-7, -3. Good showing for Strick
Dustin Johnson will: Top 10 no
Who is most likely to “Jason Dufner” it on the 17th hole on Sunday? Jason Dufner who cares?
Adam Scott will: MC. And take the long putter home with him. fail

JK: 7/24/2012 at 10:37 AM EST

Alright LG, time to put it out there.

There’s a lot of discussion lately about belly putters. More appropriately, there’s a lot of discussion about what to do about them. After going decades without single mid-length putter or long-putter winnings on Tour, now the belly putter is taking the Tour by storm. Three out of four of the current major champions used belly putters to win (Keegan Bradley, 2011 PGA; Webb Simpson, 2012 US Open; Ernie Els, 2012 British Open). Bubba Watson (2012 Masters) is the only current major champion who did not use a belly putter to win.

So there are many questions to answer here, but to me, the main point boils down to: 1) is it an advantage? if so, 2) what should be done?

Some people are just antithetical to belly putters and long putters in general. While neither you nor I use them–and I personally find them to be a bit distasteful–I do see a need in golf for them. Many amateur-level players need a way to make the game fun. Poor putting can often thwart someone’s progress as a golfer, and a long or belly putter may give them the stability they need to get over the hump. For example, when my wife’s grandfather played, he wasn’t in good enough health to lean over a putt, so he got a long putter and stopped 3-putting EVERY green (he still did 3-5 times per round, but way less than previously).

I think the more important point, though, is that belly and long putters really don’t give a “better” player much of an advantage. No matter the golfer, the person must still read the putt, account for the speed, pick the line, and set up to it properly before any mechanics of the stroke happen. The ability to do this successfully comes after hours and hours of practice that a “good” player will put in regardless of the length of putter he/she uses. To put it another way, the belly putter didn’t read the 35-footer that Keegan Bradley hit on the 17th hole at Atlanta Athletic Club–the player did. The player read it, accounted for the speed, picked the line, and let the put go on that line.

Further, I don’t think a longer putter shaft REALLY makes it all that much more stable for the better golfer. Adam Scott bogeyed the final four holes at Royal Lytham & St. Annes largely because he picked poor targets and failed to execute the mental part of his putting routine, not because he was using a long putter instead of a belly putter.

Webb Simpson’s putter didn’t make Jim Furyk pull his fairway shot in the bunker on 18 at Olympic or make Greame McDowell miss his birdie attempt by a mile and a half. Am I missing something?

Opponents of longer-length putters say it helps stabilize the stroke. That may be true, but at the same point, it prevents someone from using his or her athleticism to correct in small variations, such as when precise speed is needed, or when the player plays from the edge of the green and needs to blade the putt a little bit. I’ve practiced with a belly putter before, and I do see some stability improvement. But the stability improvement is far outweighted by the inability to control the distance, for me at least.

In my view, there is little to no real advantage in belly putters. I see it more as a mental advantage that some people will find helps their own games. Maybe some people will play better with them, but I firmly believe that others (like me) won’t. Just like all of the other equipment tweaks one can make (shaft flex, various grips and sizes, cavities vs. blades, groove changes, ball changes, etc etc etc etc etc), I see the putter shaft length and stroke method as just another option that a player can choose to make his or her game better. That’s what it’s all about, right?

What say you LG?

LG: 7/25/2012

For two reasons, I don’t think long putters should be allowed.

First, we should look to the game itself.  For me, golf is about using using a club to move the ball closer to the hole.  While this might seem to leave some room for a belly putter or long putter, the image just seems to go against what golf is all about.  When I think “golf swing,” I can’t imagine an athletic motion taking place with an anchored club.  No other club is anchored to the body in “golf,” so it makes little sense to allow it for the putter, in my view.  For that reason, I don’t think it should be allowed in competition.

Second,I think there is advantage and long putters should probably not be allowed in competition.  Golf is a mental game.  Putting is the strongest mental test given that it requires the least athleticism.  It takes a lot of skill and nerve to make short putts that matter.  I am inclined to believe that long putters provide a mental crutch to players that use them on those kinds of putts because they have the knowledge that they will make a fluid stroke based upon their equipment, not their practiced routine.  In that way, they provide an advantage (whether real or not).  While you can pretty easily point to Adam Scott’s performance in the 2012 Open Championship to counter this, the point isn’t players with long putters can choke, but rather, he choked DESPITE having that mental advantage.  Read: double choke.  At the highest level in the game, the point is to test your mental fortitude, not your ability to make a 4 footer.  No one in the entire world would (or should) bet against Adam Scott on any given 4 foot putt, but that putt becomes harder when it means you win or lose the title of “Champion Golfer of the Year.”  For a player to have a mental advantage over another based upon the equipment they are playing rather than the time spent on the practice green is what bothers me about the long putter and why I think it should not be allowed in competition.

That being said, I think they can be great learning tools to learn a fluid putting stroke.  Often, players like Ernie will switch back and forth between a standard putter and a long putter to get a feel for a good putting stroke.  I’m all for using them in a practice round.  I’m all for using them on the putting green.  I think you and I agree on the fundamental point; Long putters just aren’t golf.

JK, 7/26:

I agree that long putters and belly putters “just aren’t golf,” but I’m less opposed than you. The entirety of golf is about selecting equipment that maximizes your game. We do it with drivers; we do it with golf balls; heck, we do it with shoes. Every little thing to get an advantage makes sense. Some people had this “ban it” mentality when metal woods came out or when cavity-back irons were developed. Slowly, those things have become part of the fabric of the game to where no one would think of using a non-metal driver and cavity-back irons are almost universal. Even the classic “PING Anser” putter was looked at with shame originally but now is the most ubiquitous design available. While I see your point, I think it’s just part of the natural progression of the game. If you’re wanting to ban something, ban the way Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey swings a golf club. That’s way more offensive than a belly putter.


UPDATED 7/23/2012: Way to go Ernie!

I know they call it “The Open Championship,” but we’ve got one of those that’s pretty important too, so I’m going with what they used to call it. I looked back to last year’s predictions (here http://thepowerfade.com/2011/07/18/conversation-british-open-predictions/), and it’s a good thing LG and I have other careers to take besides predicting golf tournaments. Anyway, without further ado:

7/17/2012

JK:
Winner: Phil Mickelson m/c – Ernie Els
Winning Score: -3 -7
Runner Up: Lee Westwood T-45 at +6 – Adam Scott
Low Amateur: Are there really only two amateurs in the field? How about Alan Dunbar i think they both m/c
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Greg Chalmers T-45 – Nicholas Colsaerts was T-7, Alexander Noren was T-9, Thorbjorn Olessen was T-9. Other than that, actually a pretty strong Top 10:
1 Ernie Els -7
2 Adam Scott -6
T3 Tiger Woods -3
T3 Brandt Snedeker -3
T5 Luke Donald -2
T5 Graeme McDowell -2
T7 Thomas Aiken -1
T7 Nicolas Colsaerts -1
T9 Ian Poulter E
T9 Zach Johnson E
T9 Miguel Jimenez E
T9 Mark Calcavecchia E
T9 Matt Kuchar E
T9 Geoff Ogilvy E
T9 Vijay Singh E
T9 Dustin Johnson E
T9 Alexander Noren E
T9 Thorbjorn Olesen E

Last Year’s Winner (Darren Clarke) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Drink a lot of beer on Saturday and Sunday. M/c yah
The Master’s Winner (Bubba) Will …: wear pink socks on the plane home. M/c was in it for awhile; T-23
The US Open Winner (Webb) Will …: Stay home with his wife and potential new baby. Congrats Webb
The current PGA Champion (Keegan Bradley) will …: miss the cut. still learning how to do this thing T-34
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 3 YES! Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, and Marc Calcavecchia
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Someone will win it. Sans Carnoustie, the British Open is usually won by the most composed player. Els won it, but Scott defintely lost it as well
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Phil finally comes through at the British fail
Who is most likely to “Tom Watson At Turnberry” it? Tiger he kind of did, but it was clearly Adam Scott who choked it
Will you watch on Sunday? Probably about half of it yep
Jason Dufner will: Top 10 T-31
Tiger Woods will: Top 10 Correct, T-3
Rory McIlroy will: Make the cut Correct, T-60
Zach Johnson will: Make the cut (no hating, LG) Top 10, T-9
Steve Stricker will: miss the cut T-23. Stricker played pretty well considering
Dustin Johnson will: he’s actually playing? make the cut Top 10, T-9. Good job freak of nature

LG:
Winner: TW T-3
Winning Score: -3 -7
Runner Up: Justin Rose M/c
Low Amateur: Are there really only two amateurs in the field? The one JK didn’t pick. both m/c
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Does Kevin Na count?  If not, let’s go with Sam Walker. First, you know Kevin Na doesn’t count. Second, he shot 73-77 to m/c. Finally, Sam Walker shot 76-70 to m/c
Last Year’s Winner (Darren Clarke) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): MC sorry Clarkie
The Master’s Winner (Bubba) Will …: MC T-23
The US Open Winner (Webb) Will …: MC If by “MC” you mean “not show up because he was home with his wife waiting on their new baby to arrive,” you’d be correct, but I suspect that is not the case.
The current PGA Champion (Keegan Bradley) will …: Make the cut T-34
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 2 3
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Hard to say – depends on the weather.  Let’s go with Tiger wins it. Tiger won nothing
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Tiger’s 15th. do you just copy/paste this from one prediction to another?
Who is most likely to “Tom Watson At Turnberry” it? Lee Westwood. Go read a book, guy. I wish it were Westwood.
Will you watch on Sunday? Yes.  Live? no. did you?
Jason Dufner will: Make Cut T-31
Tiger Woods will: Win T-3
Rory McIlroy will: Top 10. T-60
Zach Johnson will: MC Top 10, T-9
Steve Stricker will: MC (sorry, Steve) T-23 (sorry, LG
Dustin Johnson will: Top 5. Top 5 isn’t a choice. He was close though. T-9

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