Play of the Week 30

April 30, 2012

This week’s POTW goes to none other than Jason Dufner.

Now, I know what you’re saying. Dufner just looks…bleugh. And until this week, I probably would’ve said that there isn’t much to be excited about with this guy. But watching him play yesterday, I found myself rooting his way, and, for what reason, I don’t know. To look at the guy, you wouldn’t think he was an athlete of any kind. To watch him play, he certainly doesn’t inspire confidence in American golfers.

But what Dufner loses with a shy, internalizing personality he makes up for with amazing ballstriking, short game, and a remarkably good overall game. Dufner played his college ball at Auburn, mastering the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. He finished runner-up to Trevor Immelman in the 1998 US Amateur Public Links. And, more recently, he finished second at the PGA Championship to Keegan Bradley, who practically knifed him right there on the golf course. Few people could come back from that.

Even though Dufner hadn’t come through the ranks for a win, his game is clearly tremendous. A guy who can shoot -19 in a tournament while posting a final round 70…that’s pretty amazing. While he might not have that striking and shining personality that we love to see from guys like Phil and Tiger, he also isn’t faking it. This guy is who he is, and who is he is…well, that’s one heck of a golfer.

To you, Jason Dunfer, many congratulations.

Also, a mini-POTW shout out to Ernie Els. Although Big Easy didn’t break through at the Zurich Classic and ended up falling in the playoff to Dufner, this is the first time we’ve seen him in contention in a long, long time. It’s good to see one of the classic swings of the game back in contention. Maybe we’ll harken back to the good ole Tiger/Phil/Vijay/Ernie days, back when golf was really, really exciting.

Here’s to you, Big E.

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Happy National Golf Day!

April 18, 2012

If the weather near you is anything like the weather is near me, you should be outside enjoying National Golf day!  

Cheers! 

Where to begin, where to begin?  First, we sincerely apologize for falling off the map.  JK and I are both junior attorneys at law firms, and JK has an army of little munchkins to corral.  it is easy for us to fall off the wagon.  But, we are back!  Let’s do this awards show style (the Power Fadeys):

Best Original Screenplay: Tiger Woods

It wouldn’t be the Power Fade without a shout out to our boy, TW.  While Bay Hill always provides an amazing venue and great host, the tournament becomes electric when Tiger is in contention.  He absolutely owns the place.  With an air tight tee to green performance and outstanding putting.  Tiger showed a true return to what we remembered.  79.2% of GIRs and a 1.8 putting average will win a LOT of golf tournaments.  More importantly, he only made 5 bogeys on the week.  Grueling conditions appear to be the norm for Mr. Woods.  The moment that I thought he was “back” was when I realized he was the only player under par in the last four groupings.  Ring a bell?  (2000 U.S. Open at Pebble, anyone?).   Here’s to you, Mr. Woods.

Best Crybaby: Sergio Garcia

JK and I have gone back and forth on Sergio.  JK doesn’t like him.  I used to.  Sure his mental game needs work, but he hits the ball so pure.  Surely it was only a matter of time before he made the breakthrough?!  Well, now, if you talk to Sergio, even he will say it’s not going to happen:

“I’m not good enough, and today I know it,” he said. “I’ve been trying for 13 years, and I don’t feel capable of winning. I don’t know what happened to me. Maybe it’s something psychological. … I’m not good enough for the majors.”

For that, Mr. Garcia, you win the Fadey for “best crybaby”.

Worst Timing: Dustin Johnson

Quick shout out to DJ.  How are you going to go and miss the masters?  fail.

At least he has a sense of humor about the whole Whistling Straits thing…

Best Supporting Actor: Louis Oosthuizen

Oostie put on one hell of a show.  The sweet-swinging South African put on a clinic for knocking in pressure putt after pressure putt on the back nine on Sunday.  He really did look like he had “ice water in his veins.”  Cool as a cucumber, as JK might say.  There isn’t much for me to say that his swing didn’t say on Sunday.  For some reason, we forget that he won the Open Championship at the home of golf by an outstanding 7 strokes.  Oostie, you are a brilliant golfer.  After you performance on Sunday, I consider it only a matter of time before the past champions are looking down at their plates the year after you win saying “what the hell is this?”

By the way, nice double eagle, guy.

Best Picture/Best Actor: Bubba Watson

This is an obvious choice, but we here at the PF love the Masters.  We love everything about it.  It’s our favorite week of the year.  You wrote the perfect story.  The second playoff hole is the reason we play golf.  Crush the ball dead right into the trees…no shot…dead.  Unless you’re Bubba.  150-odd yards to the green, but you have to make the ball take a screeching right turn off of some pine straw.  That sounds like Bubba golf to me.  There’s really nothing I can say that Bubba can’t say for himself:

“I get down there, saw it was a perfect draw,” Watson said. “Even though the tower was in my way, I didn’t want to ask if I could get relief or anything, because it just set up for a perfect draw – well, hook. That’s what we did. We just kept talking about you never know what’s going to happen out here. Anything can happen.”

Way to make it happen, Bubba.  You deserve it.

Predictions: Masters 2012

April 10, 2012

This being one of our favorite posts to go through each year, we had to come out of hibernation to get our Masters predictions on board. I’m excited that the year is starting over again. Tiger has already won once at a real PGA event, and the excitement is back in the game.

On the wake of a pretty poor showing last year (see https://thepowerfade.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/conversation-masters-predictions/), LG and I look to fall far short of our mark set last year.

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

original predictions posted 4/3. updated answers in bold posted 4/10.

JK:
Winner: Tiger Woods —-> uh. no. bubba
Winning Score: -10 —-> YES! I GOT ONE!
Runner Up: Phil Mickelson —-> oosthuizen in the playoff. Phil T-3, though. Not bad
Low Amateur: I wish I could say Randall Lewis, but it will probably be Patrick Cantlay —-> YES! I GOT ANOTHER! WOO HOO!
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Chez Reavie —-> m/c. The only real “unknown” in the top 10 was Peter Hansen
Most difficult hole vs. par: 11 —-> i think this was it, but can’t confirm
Easiest hole vs. par: 13 —-> same as above
Last Year’s Winner (Charl Schwartzel) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): make the cut, but be outside of the Top 10. —-> correct – T50
Sandy Lyle Will…(Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): miss the cut, yet again —-> CORRECT!
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 3 —-> just 1 – PHIL
How many times will Hank Haney’s book be referenced on Sunday? twice —-> 0. sad
When will Sergio Garcia implode? Front 9 on Sunday —-> shot 40 on the front 9 on saturday, but started out with a double and two bogeys on sunday. I’m going to say this is correct, even though he finished T12
Dustin Johnson will… hit some golf balls really, really far, but he can’t chip well enough to compete. I’ll put him in the Top 10 at best, more likely 15th or so. —->uhg.
US Open Champion (Rory McIlroy) will … play better than he did on the back 9 last year. Made cut but outside of top 10. —->T40 shooting 77-76 on the weekend. CORRECT!
British Open Champion (Darren Clarke) will … show up drunk. MC. —-> also CORRECT. lift your pint Darren
PGA Champion (Keegan Bradley) will … MC. Belly putters don’t work at Augusta. —-> nope – T27. not bad for keegan. of course, now his winning percentage has been cut in half for majors, but whatever.
World #1 (Luke Donald) will … Top 10. Still no major for the world #1. Sad. —-> T32. why are we talking about luke donald?
What will be the major storyline of the tournament? Tiger playing just like he did in 1997. —-> Oosthuizen’s double-eagle, bubba winning dramatically, a bunch of guys in contention…great tourney this year. can’t wait for ‘013.

LG:
Winner: TW! —-> wrong
Winning Score: -14 —-> wrong. see JK answer above for the CORRECT answer
Runner Up:  Rory —-> wrong.
Low Amateur: Screw it.  Lewis.  Too good a story not to pick him. —-> wish it was right, but it’s still WRONG. however, see JK answer above for the CORRECT answer
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Jason Dufner. (I’m going to call him an unknown b/c he has no wins). —-> WRONG. although dufner was in it, 75-75 wont get it done on the weekend.
Most difficult hole vs. par: 10 —-> can’t confirm, but i’m pretty sure you’re wrong, just by the answers above
Easiest hole vs. par: 13 —->when you copy JK, you get the right answer. Imagine that.
Last Year’s Winner (Charl Schwartzel) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut):  fizzle out.  Make the cut, but then shoot even for the weekend. —-> pretty much yah. lots of fizzle.
Sandy Lyle Will…(Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut):  Who?  MC. —-> wrong. the correct answer was “solo last place.” nice try though.
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 4 —-> just one. phil the thrill.
How many times will Hank Haney’s book be referenced on Sunday? 0.  Tiger’s “Thanksgiving Fiasco,” on the other hand…. 18. —-> thank god, no.
When will Sergio Garcia implode? Saturday.  on 12. —-> he birdied 12 on saturday, so you’re completely WRONG
Dustin Johnson will… be eating ice cream on the couch.  Keep up with the news, JK. http://espn.go.com/golf/masters12/story/_/id/7770093/2012-masters-dustin-johnson-withdraws-unspecified-injury —->ice cream? didn’t you mean coke?
US Open Champion (Rory McIlroy) will … Lead the charge into the weekend and then watch Tiger walk right by him on the back 9. —-> uhh…i’m pretty sure he bested Tiger here. WRONG
British Open Champion (Darren Clarke) will … enjoy the first two days in the ropes and the last two outside the ropes.  MC. —-> yah. we all saw this coming. at least he enjoyed the beer.
PGA Champion (Keegan Bradley) will … Top 10. —->wrong again
World #1 (Luke Donald) will … not hit the ball far enough to matter – make the cut. —-> well…yah. pretty much
What will be the major storyline of the tournament?  Phil Michelson chokes on pimento and cheese sandwich…Or Tiger wins 5th green jacket.  Yeah.  That one. —-> Phil finishes T-3. that was a much bigger story.

as for your “bold prediction”….a little too bold buddy.

congrats to bubba–and to the guy who caught Oosthuizen’s ball in the stands…that lucky SOB.