Reminder, If you haven’t sent in contest picks, you have until 7:10 am tomorrow to get them in my inbox.
Predicting this tournament comes down to one thing for me. Tiger Woods. If I can conclusively say, that Tiger is overvalued coming in, it may be worth stretching out and finding a valued Golfer. If not, then it is probably worth a pass.
Tiger Woods at +185 to win the tournament is obviously the big story. To take Tiger you have to say the he is better than a 36% chance of winning the tournament. Is that true?
It’s possible. For one thing Tiger has under performed based on his play last year. Obviously, that can be attributed to rust coming off a knee surgery. That still leaves the question of whether Tiger can be expected to keep up that level of play from last year. At 34 years old, he should be in the prime of his career and while a small drop off could be expected, it is not entirely unreasonable to think that Tiger could get better for the rest of the season. If that’s the case, I want no part in fading Tiger.
In addition, Tiger’s actual play(US Open crappy draw, final two rounds at Memorial) has probably been better than the results show, Phil seems to be more popular(Sobel’s power rankings) and there never seems to be evidence that people are jumping on the Tiger outright bandwagon quite like they jump on the I want to watch every Tiger shot during the Masters bandwagon.
To be clear, there are way too many doubts in my mind to actually make the bet, but enough proof to keep me away from lukewarm opinions on other players in the field.
Tough to believe a defending champion rising American star could actually be undervalued coming into a tournament. Again, Kim has not been as good as last year, which is somewhat to be expected, but he has shown signs of coming back to life of late. Like Tiger, this seems to be another Tweener. No value, but not terribly overrated either.
Matthew is my not-so-out-of-leftfield pick for the week. Goggin is a great ball-striker, although Congressional, as an old style NE bent grass course doesn’t immediately stand out as fitting his game. It’s been a few weeks since Goggin has shown up at the top of the leaderboard, and he is too good of a player not to do so soon.
I’m not making any outrights, though, this week. Too many questions with Tiger’s potential level of play combined with no really solid feelings.
MATCHUPS(with best line):
Furyk +350 v. Tiger
Casey +125 v. Mahan
Sean O’Hair -120 v. Anthony Kim
Pat Perez +170 v. John Senden
Bryce Molder -140 v. Stuart Appleby-WTF? This seems really random.
Bubba Watson +105 v. Ryan Moore
Casey -120 v. Kim
Wow. Good thing I really didn’t feel too strongly about a lot of these. O’Hair, Molder and Casey(v. Kim) must have gotten steamed pretty hard, so they are easy to throw of the list. Molder -140!!!! Seriously? He was a great talent as an amateur but hasn’t really parlayed that into any PGA Tour success until, apparently, his last three starts. That line is just weird.
Pat Perez +170 is pretty hard to pass up for the reason that they are similarly skilled players and I’m getting +170. However, I’m just going to admit I was wrong on PP last week coming off injury and move on. No need to keep digging that hole.
I think Bubba might be a solid selection as he hits the ball so far and has a lot of natural talent working the ball anyway he wants. Plus, he played well on similar Quail Hollow. The problem here is that Bubba isn’t exact unknown or underrated and whats the upside fading Ryan Moore. Moore has probably played over his head of late and gotten too much attention for it, but again a guy that had a lot of talent as an amateur could finally be playing up to that potential.
That leaves me with Furyk and Casey v. Mahan. Tiger continues to confuse me. Based on my numbers I see the potential that he is overrated in match-ups but underrated in outrights. +250 is apparently uglier to win a tournament for most people than -400 to win a match-up. Even adjusting my numbers to favor Tiger, Furyk still shows some value, but again I’m not sure. Furyk has played exceptionally well this season and gotten some(although not as much as he deserves) attention. Tiger has no success at Congressional, Furyk was 3rd last year, enough question marks for me to pass.
Finally, Casey against Mahan. Both players have played extremely well this season and are at similar stages in their career. Casey is getting no credit for his wins in Europe, which is fine with me. As much as I like Hunter and think this course could be really good for his game, 3 straight top-15 is making him a little too popular. It pains me to do this, but I think it is the right thing to do.