ANSWERS IN BOLD – YIKES! This is probably our worst job yet. Thanks LG for helping us achieve a new low here at the PF.

The Tiger Woods edition was fun but (thankfully) is now over. It’s time to load your predictions for this year’s final major. Did you hear the fairways at AAC are running 9 on the stimp! Unbelievable! The course is in tremendous shape and I’m looking forward to going out and seeing the best of the best.

It’s hard to believe it’s already the time of year for the final major, but, alas, the golf season must end sometime. I’m looking forward to some September and October baseball, when my Braves crush LG’s Giants. However, first things first. Without further ado, our PGA predictions.

Response from LG – I love the Braves as well, sir. My first professional team ever when I moved to Atlanta. Last year when my Giants had to crush the Braves during the playoffs, I was torn. Care to wager?

RE re from JK – I’m not even sure the Giants will make the playoffs this year, but assuming they do–yes.


Winner: Dustin Johnson Cut, +7
Runner Up: Jason Day Cut, +5
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Larry Nelson Cut, +13. Let’s go with…Keegan Bradley
Last Year’s Winner (Martin Kaymer) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Make the Cut Cut, +5
Tiger Woods will: finally show up for an event. T-3 Cut, +10
Phil Mickelson will: Top10 T-19, E
Bubba Watson will: hit some big drives, but otherwise not do much. Barely make the cut. T-26, +1
How many prior winners in the Top 10: 2 1, David Toms
How many prior major winners in the Top 10: 4 1. David Toms
The Master’s Champion (Schwartzel) will: Make the Cut Correct, T-12
The US Open Champion (McIlroy) will: miss the cut T-64, +11
The Open Champion (Clarke) will: miss the cut CORRECT. +14
Will the winner lay up on the 72nd hole? Since I’ve picked DJ, definitely not. Bradley didn’t lay up on either try. Played it beautifully both times. Hybrid 5i to go par-par for regulation and playoff. Pretty awesome stuff
David Toms (winner of the last PGA Championship at AAC) will: Make the Cut T-4, -5. so, not wrong, but not right either
Who is most likely to Dustin Johnson it? Phickelson Definitely Jason Dufner. Although Phickelson had his own little meltdown after a few birdies on the front side.
Will Dustin Johnson do a line of coke off his driver face? Not while the cameras are on him i didn’t see it, but he wasn’t there on the weekend…so….
Will Tiger shave? I hope so. He looks like he dipped his chin in a bowl of poop sadly, no. he still looks evil.
Will someone win it or will everyone else lose it? The PGA is normally won, not lost. Phil did lose it once, and DJ and Bubba each “lost it” last year, but there is a long history of guys winning it–even Kaymer came up and got it when DJ and Bubba choked. I’m going with win. Bradley definitely came up and won it. He played awesome, dunked a chip on the par 3 15th then had the stones to birdie 16 on a great shot from the fairway, birdie 17 on a tiger-esque 35 footer, and par 18, which is no easy feat. Congrats Keegan
Will Rickie Fowler wear all orange on Sunday? I hope not. Atlanta has enough pollution. It doesn’t need nuclear radiation along with it. yes, and my eyes will never heal from the pain they experienced at seeing him live. I’m just waiting for that kid to paste a Home Depot logo on the back of that thing.
Will JK be on TV on Sunday? Hopefully not, although I will be there =). I don’t think so. LG thought he saw me, but alas, it was only Tony Romo
Will LG be jealous of JK’s Sunday ticket to the PGA Championship? He already is =).CORRECT. I had a blast. 11 hours at a golf course, worth every ounce of pain I’ve endured this morning.

LG (from INDIA!)
Winner: Rory McIlroy No, T-64
Runner Up: Dustin Johnson No, Cut
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Kevin Na Na was in the Top 10 (T-10, -2), but once again LG picks an “unknown” that everyone knows. You picking Sergio Garcia for the Masters, LG?
Last Year’s Winner (Martin Kaymer) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): make cut no
Tiger Woods will: make cut no
Phil Mickelson will: make cut yes
Bubba Watson will: make cut, possibly top 10 yes
How many prior winners in the Top 10: 1 correct
How many prior major winners in the Top 10: 0 this makes no sense. you picked 1 prior winner in the top 10 and 0 prior major winners in the 10 top. this is a fail
The Master’s Champion (Schwartzel) will: Top 10 no, T-12
The US Open Champion (McIlroy) will: Win! not even close
The Open Champion (Clarke) will: miss cut correct
Will the winner lay up on the 72nd hole? hell no correct
David Toms (winner of the last PGA Championship at AAC) will: miss cut uh, no. top 10 bud
Who is most likely to Dustin Johnson it? DJ himself nope. duffner. johnson wasn’t there to choke
Will Dustin Johnson do a line of coke off his driver face? Driver face? If that’s what you call some chick in the crowd, sure. probably was doing this in myrtle beach
Will Tiger shave? I hope not. Beards rule! It’s okay, JK, not everyone is man enough to grow a beard. sadly, correct.
Will someone win it or will everyone else lose it? Rory will win going awaywrong on rory, wrong on “going away.”
Will Rickie Fowler wear all orange on Sunday? obviously. yah
Will JK be on TV on Sunday? Hopefully falling into a lake. almost, but no
Will LG be jealous of JK’s Sunday ticket to the PGA Championship? I Already am. I’ll hopefully be using a telecast of the PGA to get over jet lag on Sunday. Let’s hope for some red in contention so I can stay awake!

LG – F
JK – F-

so much for our predicting skills

Play of the Week 15

May 24, 2011

This week’s play of the week goes to the great David Toms.

After 5 years of virtual anonymity, David Toms gathered a win on the PGA tour. The 44-year-old Toms won the 2001 PGA Championship (at Atlanta Athletic Club), but has been a non-factor for years. Last week, we gave a mention to Toms in POTW 14, where he played brilliantly but ultimately lost the Players Championship with a poor decision on the 70th hole and a 3-putt in a playoff with KJ Choi. Disappointing as it could have been, Toms didn’t shy away, but came right back this week to capture another championship.

The story was in the works last week. Announcers at The Players started building it up, speaking of how David Toms had lost his love for the game of golf; the described how his son, Carter, had inspired his comeback by just wanting to spend time on the golf course with his dad. The 3-putt deflated that balloon.

But Toms proved his metal, playing beautifully at Colonial. And, just as he did in the final round of the 2001 PGA Championship, Toms holed-out for eagle in the final round, garnering a 1-shot victory. As so rarely happens in sports, Toms was redeemed, and he shared the moment with his inspiration, his son.

So here’s to you, David Toms, champion of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. You did what so few can do–you came back from a heartbreaking disappointment to win the next week. We at the PowerFade salute your courage.

It’s just too bad you had to wear that awful jacket.


In a side note, we at the PF would also like to salute KJ Choi, the subject of last week’s POTW 14. After winning The Players Championship, Choi did what no one expected and donated $200,000 of his winnings to aid in tornado relief in response to the devastating tornadoes in the southeast US. “While winning the Players Championship was a defining point in my life, there were those who were going through their low point,” Choi stated. “I want the victims of the tornadoes to know that their misfortunes will not be ignored.” A classy move from one of the class acts of the PGA Tour. Here’s to you, KJ.


Play of the Week 14

May 16, 2011

This week’s POTW goes twofold, in that we recognize not only the player, but also the venue.

First, hats off to KJ Choi, champion of The Players Championship. KJ played solidly as ever, never wavering even when under extreme pressure of the field chasing him and trying to keep up with weeklong leader, David Toms. At -12, the leaders approached the tee of what is perhaps the most famous–and the most treacherous–par 3 in golf. With it all on the line, KJ Choi, cool as ice, struck a perfect ball to the island green within 12 feet, then sank the putt to go to -13, eventually winning the tournament.

I’ve always liked KJ. He’s a consistent player that doesn’t get caught up in the emotions of the moment. Although his stroke isn’t anything to emulate, he gets the job done year after year. At 40 years old, KJ showed the young guys how to do it. Here’s to you, KJ.

However, I have to give a nod, as well, to the tournament itself. The Players Championship this year gave us what golf has been missing for awhile: a true chase for a championship. Striking to me was the number of experienced golfers who were at the top of the field–Toms, Choi, Stricker, Goydos, and DLIII all had a legitimate shot of contending. Moreover, at the end of Saturday, there were 12 players within 2 shots of the leader (Toms). Perhaps its the course setup–with water on 14 of 18 holes–that prevents the younger “bomb and gouge” type players from overpowering the course. Perhaps its the severely undulating greens where the older players have better feel. Perhaps its the true risk/reward nature of the course, with so many pins hanging over water, where stronger iron players can gain an advantage over long hitters. Whatever the cause, the tightened field inherently leads to drama, and this year was no exception.

Moreover, what we saw–for the first time since Tiger and Phil went at it at Doral a few years back–was a true duel to the finish. Toms, leading by 1, decided to try to put the dagger on 16, coming out of a hybrid and leaving it well-short, leading to bogey and a tie with Choi going to 17. Choi responded with the aforementioned man-up shot of the year that eventually earned him the crystal. With the tournament on the line, Toms, one-down to Choi, stood on the 18th tee (which I have always contended is a more difficult hole than 17 and perhaps the best finishing hole in all of golf) pondering what he had to do. Lesser men would fold to this pressure. Toms striped the drive of his life down the middle. His shot was not rewarded: his ball found a sand-filled divot. Again, lesser men would fold, but Toms placed his approach to 15 feet. Then, with the tournament on the line, he rolled a beautiful 15-footer for birdie on the last to pull even with Choi. It was just the fourth birdie of the day at 18. Choi, faced with his own pressure, rolled a tricky 5-footer for to save par and force the playoff.

Although Toms 3-putted from 15 feet on the playoff, the drama of the event was the best we’ve seen this year. Players on all ends of the course had a chance to win. By Sunday, no one even acknowledged that Tiger Woods, the marquee player at any event, had pulled out of the first 9 holes on Thursday and was absent from the tournament. It’s hard to envision a tournament that is so exciting of itself that everyone forgets about Tiger; this was the one.

At the end of the Sunday, Choi walked away with the crystal, but the true champion was The Players Championship. Once again, here’s to you KJ Choi. But also, here’s to The Players Championship, and to Sawgrass and Pete Dye for a course that can host this type of event. We’ve been waiting for this for awhile. Thanks for providing it.