Just got back from the three practice rounds at Bethpage so I figured why not make some picks.
But first, a few things I noticed.
-The European guys were way more fun to follow. They were less popular, more friendly and had what appeared to be a lot of cash on the line as they were quite serious in holing out putts.
-Alvaro Quiros is an absolute beast. He crushed a drive off the first hole that carried the trees on the right of one and found the fairway with less than 100 yards into the green. The sound the ball made coming off the club face was unbelievable. JB Holmes hits it a long way too.
-The course was really soggy and I overheard or had several players tell me it was very wet. That should make it harder for short hitters and easier for long hitters.
-Paul Casey and Rory Sabbatini were really nice guys. Both of them spent a lot of time talking to fans during the practice rounds.
-The Phil Gallery is going to be nuts this week. He went off today at about 9:30 on the back nine, which is on the complete opposite side of the course and the gallery was huge. Most of them were annoying, though and I definitely won’t be rooting for Phil.
-I ran into Martin Kaymer…coming out of the Port-a-John on the 5th hole. I wished him luck and he seemed like a nice guy.
-Sergio went off a few groups behind Tiger on Tuesday and there was a much smaller gallery, but it seemed to be largely positive compared to the last time he was at Bethpage.
-If you’re going to Bethpage over the weekend. Behind the 6th tee, is the most underrated place to watch on the course. You can get right behind the players as they tee off and you can see the fifth green as well as the second shots and greens from 12. If you want to get another good view without many people, behind the 9th tee is a good look although it is a bit of a hike to get out there.
-The three most impressive things about watching the pros. The sound when they hit the ball. Loud and crisp. How high they hit the ball. Watching them on the range. They literally sit there and hit the same club for half an hour.
-Tiger Woods looked Phenomenal in the 10 or so shots I saw him hit on Tuesday morning. No way I’m playing it, but I’m certainly leaning towards Tiger to win actually having value. If it is any indication,with the fans at Bethpage Phil was way more popular.
Sergio Garcia +4800(.2)
Sergio Garcia +1000(.9)
After watching Sergio play about 10 holes this week I’m not convinced he is on top of his game yet and his results so far this year would certainly do nothing to prove otherwise. However, this is a generous price and the course is so wet and will get wetter that it will be a huge advantage for the longer hitters. Also looked at Mahan, but +700 was too much. Luke Donald and Alvaro Quiros to have the lowest round of the tournament were others I briefly considered, but I really didn’t want to go crazy with these considering I put a lot less thought into it than normal.
The match-ups really struck me the wrong way with this tournament. I have a bunch of half leans that aren’t strong enough for a play. There will definitely be much better options Friday/over the weekend.
Still have a few hours to enter the contests if you want. May be live blogging tomorrow in some form.