Time for the third major of The Year Of The Links Major. This one, the purest form of links golf, the Open Championship at St. Andrews. In the last three contests at St. Andrews, the winner has waltzed to victory, with no margin of victory at St. Andrews being less than 5 shots since 1995. Many story lines pervade our senses–will Jordan Spieth take home the third major in a row? Will Tiger Woods find his game at a place that he has previously been a magician? Can Louis Oosthuizen relive his major championship form when it matters in his St. Andrews defense? Can Dustin Johnson bounce back from a terrible loss at the US Open?

Without further ado, here are our predictions:

Final Leaderboard:
1 Zach Johnson -15*
T2 Louis Oosthuizen -15*
T2 Marc Leishman -15*
T4 Jason Day -14
T4 Jordan Spieth -14
T6 Justin Rose -11
T6 Sergio Garcia -11
T6 Danny Willett -11
T6 Jordan Niebrugge (a) -11
T10 Adam Scott -10

*denotes playoff

LG:

WIN: Rickie Fowler (T30, -6)
PLACE: Victor Dubuisson (MC, 74-71)
SHOW: Tiger Woods (MC, 76-75)
Winning Score: -10 (-15)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Eddie Pepperell (T49, -4. Actual answers: Willett, Niebrugge)
Last Year’s Winner (Rors) Will … (Win, Top 10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Be discussed on TV, but will not tee it. (yah)
The Master’s Winner (Spieth) Will …: Make Cut (T4, one shot away from the playoff)
The US Open Win….nevermind
The current PGA Champ….nevermind
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 2 (1-Oosthuizen)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Rickie will continue his stellar play from last week and close wire to wire. (I’d say ZJ won it…big putt on 18, great score in the playoff)
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Rory isn’t there, Tiger shows solid form, and Victor Dubuisson holes a miracle bunker shot on Friday from the Road Hole bunker. (ZJ, Spieth ALMOST doing it)
Will you watch on Sunday? Probably not live, but I’ll watch the replay. (I watched a ton. Great tourney)
Tiger Woods will: Top 10 – he could play this place blindfolded. (I wish)
Dustin Johnson will: Miss Cut. (leader at the cut line…fall away on the weekend. yikes DJ)
Bubba Watson will: probably not even show up. (wouldn’t that be nice? MC)
Philefty will: Make Cut. (T20, -7)
Horschel (Current Fedex Cup champion) will: Miss Cut. (T30, -6)
Jimmy Walker (second to Spieth in Fedex Cup points) will: Make Cut. (T30, -6)
Zach Johnson (LG’s favorite player) will: lol. (lol indeed)
Miguel Angel Jimenez (LG’s ACTUAL favorite player) will: Make Cut. (MC, 75-73)
Nick Faldo (1990 winner at St. Andrews) will: probably break a club during missing the cut. (83 on the first day. yeah)
John Daly (1995 winner at St. Andrews) will: sell T-shirts out of his van in the parking lot. (first outside the cut line)
Tiger Woods (2000 and 2005 winner at St. Andrews) will: Top 10.  Come on TIGER! (yeah..right)
Louis Oosthuizen (2010 winner at St. Andrews) will: Top 10. (my second of two prior champions in the top 10) (good call. T-2 in playoff)
Rickie Fowler (2015 Scottish Open Champion) will: WIN! (Dear God)
What will be the margin of victory: 2 (0.0–playoff)
Will Rory McIlroy make an appearance? Probably in some Nike commercial about overcoming adversity (adversity here being an injury during a pickup soccer game…) (yup)

JK

WIN: Tommy Fleetwood (one shot outside the cut.)
PLACE: Paul Casey (T74 at E)
SHOW: Jason Day (T4, -14–one shot out)
Winning Score: -18 (-15)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: uhm….Tommy Fleetwood (right….not exactly)
Last Year’s Winner (Rors) Will … (Win, Top 10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): count his money (indeed)
The Master’s Winner (Spieth) Will …: Top 10 (yup)
The US Open Win….nevermind
The current PGA Champ….nevermind
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 3 (1)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Fleetwood wins running away (ZJ won it)
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Tommy Fking Fleetwood
Will you watch on Sunday? Tune in to watch Tommy Fleetwood run laps around the field? no thanks
Tiger Woods will: Top10. Probably T-4. (nope)
Dustin Johnson will: Top10. Probably T-6 (close enough.)
Bubba Watson will: storm off the course, proclaiming that “Scottish golf is stupid–bubba golf is rad.” (yes!)
Philefty will: Top10. The British Open is always good to philly (close)
Horschel (Current Fedex Cup champion) will: gator champ at a patron, causing said patron to throw beer at him.
Jimmy Walker (second to Spieth in Fedex Cup points) will: Top10.
Zach Johnson (LG’s favorite player) will: Top10

Miguel Angel Jimenez (LG’s ACTUAL favorite player) will: Make Cut.
Nick Faldo (1990 winner at St. Andrews) will: cheat on his wife or girlfriend. Again.
John Daly (1995 winner at St. Andrews) will: shirtless JD at St. Andrews? Can it be true?
Tiger Woods (2000 and 2005 winner at St. Andrews) will: Top10. Great showing, can’t quite get it done.
Louis Oosthuizen (2010 winner at St. Andrews) will: Just outside the Top 10. He’s doing good right now.

Rickie Fowler (2015 Scottish Open Champion) will: wear orange on sunday?
What will be the margin of victory: 8 shots
Will Rory McIlroy make an appearance? Nike, Omega, the PGA of America….yeah, he’ll be there…in recording at least.

Updated 6/20
Yikes. Once again, our prowess for picking tournaments is pretty poor. See correct answers below:

Overall:
Winner: Webb Simpson
Winning Score: +1.
Runner Up: GMac and Michael Thompson.
Low Amateur: Jordan Speith.
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Michael Thompson, John Peterson. THIS IS WHAT I MEAN BY “UKNOWN”–AS IN, NO ONE KNOWS WHO THE F THEY ARE!
Most difficult hole vs. par: 6, but I contend it would have been 16 if they hadn’t moved the tees up on Sunday.
Easiest hole vs. par: 17.
Last Year’s Winner (Rory) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Missed the cut.
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 4 – Furyk, GMac, Els, Goosen
Will there be an ace?: Yes.
…(assume there is) Which hole: 13.
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it?: Furyk definitely lost it

First Round Three balls:
Tiger, Phil, or Bubba?: Tiger
Goosen, Vijay , or ZJ?: Goosen and Vijay shot 75; ZJ shot 77. no one won.
Rory, Luke, or Westwood?: Westwood
Furyk, Sergio, or GMAC?: 69 for GMac on day 1
Fowler, Ryo, or DJ?: Ryo shot 71 on day 1 (followed by 78 and MC on day 2)

Second Round Three balls:
Tiger, Phil, or Bubba?: Tiger shot 70. Phil and Bubba shot 71. Close.
Goosen, Vijay , or ZJ?: Goosen and ZJ shoot 70
Rory, Luke, or Westwood?: Westwood and Donald shoot 72; Rory shoots 73.
Furyk, Sergio, or GMAC?: Furyk with the 69
Fowler, Ryo, or DJ?: Johnson shoots 74 FTW. WTF?

Original 6/13:
Alright Ladies and Gents, this week marks the 112th playing of our National Championship.  The tournament will take place in LG’s backyard – the Lake Course at the Olympic Club.  Given LG’s inside knowledge of the course, clearly he should win (and already has because he has inside knowledge).

Without further distraction, our predictions:

LG:

Overall:
Winner: TW.
Winning Score: -3.
Runner Up: Sergio Garcia.
Low Amateur: Patrick Cantlay.
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Aaron Baddeley.
Most difficult hole vs. par: par-3 Third.
Easiest hole vs. par: Par-4 Seventh.
Last Year’s Winner (Rory) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Make the Cut.
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 3.
Will there be an ace?: No.
…(assume there is) Which hole: 15.
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it?: TW will win it.

First Round Three balls:
Tiger, Phil, or Bubba?: TW gets off to a rocky start.  Bubba takes the win on day 1.
Goosen, Vijay , or ZJ?: Hate to say it, but probably ZJ.
Rory, Luke, or Westwood?: Luke shoots even for the win.
Furyk, Sergio, or GMAC?: Sergio.
Fowler, Ryo, or DJ?: Fowler with the win on day 1.

Second Round Three balls:
Tiger, Phil, or Bubba?: Tiger makes a charge.
Goosen, Vijay , or ZJ?: ZJ again, unfortunately.  probably with a +3
Rory, Luke, or Westwood?: Rory comes back to make the cut.
Furyk, Sergio, or GMAC?: Sergio gives a couple back.  Furyk pulls out the win.
Fowler, Ryo, or DJ?:  DJ.  Did you see him at the St. Jude?

JK:

Overall:
Winner: Dustin Johnson
Winning Score: Even
Runner Up: Rickie Fowler
Low Amateur: LG, when he finds out he has to work instead of watch the open. But seriously, Cantlay
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Rooting for Tim Weinhart, local pro from Atlanta who made the field through qualifying.
Most difficult hole vs. par: Any of them could be. There isn’t an easy hole on the course. Let’s go with 16.
Easiest hole vs. par: 18
Last Year’s Winner (Rory) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): make the cut. He’s not in good form after choking at the St. Jude
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 0
Will there be an ace?: no
…(assume there is) Which hole: I said NO!
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it?: No one wins the US Open.

First Round Three balls:
Tiger, Phil, or Bubba?: Bubba
Goosen, Vijay , or ZJ?: ZJ
Rory, Luke, or Westwood?: Rors
Furyk, Sergio, or GMAC?: Sergio
Fowler, Ryo, or DJ?: Fowler

Second Round Three balls:
Tiger, Phil, or Bubba?: Phil
Goosen, Vijay , or ZJ?: Vijay
Rory, Luke, or Westwood?: Rors
Furyk, Sergio, or GMAC?: Furyk
Fowler, Ryo, or DJ?: DJ

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.

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.

BACK TO GOLF!

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!

Grades:
LG – F
JK – F-

so much for our predicting skills

Fail of the Week 6

July 19, 2011

This week’s FAIL goes to our American golfers at the British Open, Phickelson and DJ. American golf has been hurting for the last several years (since Tiger’s surgery and subsequent tree-driving incident). We count on the big hitters, and they continually let us down.

Dustin Johnson has had chances at last year’s US Open, last year’s PGA, and this year’s British Open. But last year, he choked away the US Open with a final-round 82. Then he failed to read the rules and incurred a 2-shot penalty for grounding his club, taking him out of a playoff with headcase Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer, eventual winner. And this year, for some reason he just couldn’t keep himself from jacking his second shot OB to the right on a par 5 at the Open Championship, again incurring a 2-shot penalty and again losing a major for it. Although Darren Clarke definitely won the championship, DJ had a shot to put pressure on him; when the ball went out of bounds, Clarke was looking at a 4-shot lead with 5 holes, which is doable even for a hacker like me.

However, the bigger disappointment had to be Phil “Phickelson” Mickelson. Mickelson shot a five under par front nine of 30 (see http://sports.yahoo.com/golf/pga/players/Phil+Mickelson/29/scorecard/2011/29). He had birdies on holes 2, 4, 6, and 10 and an eagle on 7. He sat at -6 for the round on the 11th tee box when the lights went out. For some reason, Phickelson rushed his 2-footer for par 3 on the 11th and bogeyed, sending him into a tailspin, thereafter bogeying 13, 15, and 16 and failing to make birdies on some of the easiest holes on the course (14 and 17). It was like he was a different golfer after the 3-putt–and, really, for no reason other than his own head got in the way. For all the tournaments Phil has won, the old choker is still lurking in there.

Once again, American golf comes up short. So, to you Phil and DJ, you are this week’s FAIL.

Play of the Week 8

January 13, 2011

DJ

This week’s POTW goes to DJ–my man! Dustin Johnson is reportedly dating darling of the LPGA Natalie Gulbis. Gulbis followed DJ at the back nine of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Gulbis, who apparently leaked the news, stated “I’ll let Dustin handle our PR” with a smile.

Johnson has purportedly denied a relationship with Gulbis. The big question: why! Come on dude! You landed the hottie of the LPGA. Brag about it a little. According to About.com (http://golf.about.com/b/2011/01/09/natalie-gulbis-dustin-johnson-a-couple.htm) “The only thing longer than Dustin Johnson’s drives are Natalie Gulbis’s legs.”

While some would say Paula Creamer is #1 hottie for the LPGA (a lot of people: http://thesandtrap.com/forum/thread/5426/paula-creamer-vs-natalie-gulbis) , DJ certainly could have done worse.

So here’s to you DJ! You may not have won the 2010 US Open at Pebble, which you should have. You may not have won the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which you should have. You may not have landed PF favorite Lauren Thompson. But you certainly didn’t disappoint when it came to landing a hottie. Here’s hoping you find the fairway.

And, just for good measure, let’s not forget about the darling of the PF… Lauren Thompson, official hottie of The Power Fade.

Here’s to you too. 8)