Tiger at Torrey
The first “Big” tournament of the year is upon us at Torrey Pines. The Big Cat will surface from his den for the first time this season, kicking off his much-anticipated 2019 season. 2018 obviously was better than any of us could imagine but now it’s all business. The win at the Tour Championship and being in legit contention at the Open and PGA have made the point of focus for this year crystal clear . It’s Augusta.
Tiger is playing with 2x winner this season and World #6 Xander Schauffele and Ryder Cup teammate and World #10 Tony Finau in the first two rounds. This will be comfortable grouping for Tiger in my opinion. Xander is a calm, quiet guy and Finau is all smiles so I like this way more than some of the “super groups” he played in last season. For the 7-time winner in this event, throw in another for the ’08 US Open, there is an unmatched familiarity and comfort here. There is probably some nostalgia that comes to the surface every time he returns to the place he won his last major nearly 11 years ago. Do I expect Tiger to win this week? I’d be lying if I said no, but if he doesn’t,I feel comfortable in knowing that 3-4 events he plays over the next few months is preparation for “…the one in April”
Now that the season is in full swing and a lot of the big guns are making their 1st or 2nd appearance of the year, the equipment that they are playing is the talk of the town. There were the obvious big splashes in the off-season like that of Justin Rose switching to the Japanese club maker Honma but there are some other switches to keep an eye on.
Defending US Open and PGA Champion Brooks Koepka has tweaked a few things since last season. He has made the move to the new M5/M6 line of drivers from the M3/M4 he was using last year as well as putting in the new Mizuno JPX 919 irons. Brooks has the flexibility with his equipment due to the fact that he is a free agent. Last year was the year of the free agent, large in part to the success of Ol’ Meat Koepka, but we will see if the trend continues this year.
Rickie announced this week that he has signed a multi-year deal to play the Taylormade TP5-X. Some have down played this but I think it is pretty significant. Rick has played Titleist for his entire career, won 4 times on Tour with the ball but has struggled the last couple of years. Now he makes the switch to the ball of DJ, Rose, Rahm, JDay and Rory. Not bad company to join, but will this make the difference for him? I sure hope so because now that he has turned over the calendar to his 30’s, these next 10 years are critical.
Other than those we’ve seen Tiger testing some new prototype irons from Taylormade which is funny because Tommy Fleetwood put Tiger’s prototypes in his bag in Dubai this past week. One thing that I will be looking at is how many guys are playing the new Scotty Cameron Fastback 2 and Squareback 2. These are nasty looking and come in a black finish that has me wanting to run to Edwin Watts when they release to the public in February. I’m sure more will come out this week as we get our first real look at a top flight field for the season.
Webb’s Bad Bets
For those of you who have known me for some time know my history with sports betting, it was like that of a person who just bought a bike entering the Tour de France. I got smacked in the face pretty good in college, learned a little, had some success but ultimately stayed in a place between even and down $100. Notorious for the “blood bank bet” that ultimately led to my friends shading whatever I picked, my better half gave me the ultimatum quit betting or say see ya. I quit betting, and now live in a happy place of Daily Fantasy Sports and Leagues with friends. This keeps me between the navigational beacons and still lets me have a little fun. I digress.
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With some recent success on DraftKings for the Sony and Desert Classic, I’m looking to keep the ball rolling. I’m going to do a Blue Chip, 3 Star Recruit, and Un-drafted Free Agent, because I don’t want to give all of my cards away nor do I want the twitter haters coming at me when they use my line up and the off-chance happens that they don’t make any money.
Blue Chip: Rickie Fowler ($9,300)
Yep, I did it, I think Rickie is going to show out in his home state of Cali and do his sponsors right by being there with a chance to win on Sunday. In his 3 events this season he has made all three cuts, has 2- Top 10’s and is averaging 109.8 FFPG and scoring average of 67.7. Throw in there that he is 16th in SG Putting and its a recipe for a lot of points.
3 Star Recruit: Abraham Ancer ( $8,200)
I’m breaking my SG Putting formula for AA but I’ve been riding him hard this winter and it has led to success. The man can go low, there is no doubt about that, he showed that this past week having three rounds sub 67. I love the irons that he’s rocking these days since he put in those sick Miuras so I’m going to stay steady with my man from south of the border.
Un-drafted Free Agent: Dominic Bozzelli ($6,900)
Dominic Bozzelli, aka The Boz, tore up PGA West on Sunday moving him into solo 5th place. At under 7k he’s a steal this week. Currently Bozzelli is 15th in SG Putting on the year picking up 1.064 shots a round on the greens. He’s also made 5/6 cuts on the year so his play has been consistent. Picking up a guy that is hot right now at that price opens up your line up to litter with guys in that $8,000 range who could sneak up and win the golf tournament.
May the odds be ever in your favor.