Major Championship Golf is Must See TV

Yesterday was quite simply an awesome day of professional golf. High scores, low scores, impossible lies, insane putts and constant reminders that even these guys on Tour are still human. Below are some highlights from the afternoon wave during the first round of the 121st US Open from Torrey Pines in San Diego.

Louis Oosthuizen eats up Torrey Pines

Fresh off a T2 finish with Brooks at the PGA Championship, the South African is back contending and he is four-under through 16 holes and will finish his round this morning. When he gets back to it this am, he’ll have a 21-footer for birdie on the par-3 eighth and then have the par-5 ninth hole to finish before heading back out for his second round.

He’s got a nice-looking scorecard with five birds and just one bogey. He has the major pedigree having won the 2010 Open Championship and finishing second in FIVE other majors. He lost playoffs at both the Masters and The Open.

He’s got a smooth swing and is a quirky dude. Plus, he’s a walking billboard for UPS. I never understood why UPS had to advertise with these guys. Big fan of players just rocking logos all over the place and looking like NASCAR drivers. But why UPS? Seriously…

Kevin Na hits an insane flop shot

That was sick! Not sure how else to explain it. Golf is awesome. If I attempted to hit that shot, I would have skulled my 64-degree wedge 40 yards past the green. Not all pars look the same and sometimes you wish there were pictures on the scorecard.

Rory chips in from the junk on 7

WHAT A GOLF SHOT! That was just plain old silly. What a rollercoaster ride the seventh was for Rory. He pushed his drive WAY right (barely missing the penalty area), flew the green with his approach and chipped in to get to two-under.

It was a big day for Rory as he has struggled recently during the first round of majors. He birdied his last hole of the day to get to one under and he’s off early this morning.

Playing alongside DJ and Justin Rose they had a wild finish. Sitting on the 17th green with the sky getting darker, Rose played out of turn to finish and sprint to the 18th tee. Because, if one player in your group tees off you are allowed to finish the hole even if the horn blows to stop the round due to darkness.

Rose drove into Sergio Garcia. It was an awesome video and for sure rattled Sergio. I’ve scoured the internet and I could not find the video, but I have this picture for you.

A picture really is worth a thousand words or at least a handful of cuss words in Spanish.  

Bubba takes driver off the deck on the par-5 9th

That might be the coolest thing that happens all week at this tournament. Taking a driver off the deck is one of the hardest things to do in golf, let along in major championship when the margin for error is so small. With gnarly tough surrounding each and every green and some tough bunkers well below the green on nine, Bubba did Bubba things. His reaction was great and that led to a tap-in birdie and we said birdies were hard to come by on Day one.

Speaking of gnarly rough, here is a GIF of our sweet prince Jordan struggling in the “gunch” around the 12th green.

Bryson and Brooks LOVE each other

You cannot make this stuff up. These two are obsessed with one another. GET A ROOM! Bryson found a way to crash Brooks’ post-round interview. Bryson did this while he walking to a hole. He was in the midst of a competing in a MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP and he took the time to do the most unathletic jump in the history of civilization. That slow-mo of the jump was INCREDIBLE. If you watch that video and don’t laugh, then I have no idea why you’re still reading this.

Check out Chuck’s piece on some items of note during the morning wave here!

Excited for what the rest of the week brings!

FORE!

Day 1: Takeaways from the Early Groupings

Turned out to be a pretty predictable day in San Diego for the opening round of the 121st U.S. Open. It was a beautiful morning with the winds starting to play a factor as the day progressed into the afternoon, which combined with the ridiculous rough, Torrey Pines turned out to be an animal from the start.

Oh.. and California is open now and crowds are back at full capacity. COVID is apparently gone and I’m feeling it.

Capacity crowd
  1. Russell Henley, Rafa Cabrera Bello, and Francisco Molinari were impressive.

We haven’t heard from Russell in a while but he’s actually having a sneaky good 2021 season with only 5 missed cuts in 18 events played with 4 top 10’s. There really isn’t anything to interesting about Russell Henley. He’s pretty much a stereo typical southern Georgia boy with a perfect blond comb over that’s bordering on a bowl cut…that was until I saw his twitter intro.

Expert in housing and consumer economics? What? You’re a pro golfer, you have to hit like 1,000 golf balls a day, where do you find the time? We’re going to have to dig into this one some more and get back to you, but for now, he’s and expert at golf carding a solid 67 today and making a STATEMENT on a golf course that’s playing really difficult. Not sure if he can hold it out, but only time will tell.

Rafa…

Only thing we have to say about Rafa, is that he is the best dressed dude on tour. Every week this guy comes out dressed to the absolute 9’s. Anyway, he’s a seasoned vet not only on the PGA tour, but the European as well and it showed today, Rafa put together a solid round of 68 sitting in a tie for 2nd, with … drumroll…

Francisco Molinari! This guy has been Mr. Irrelevant since he looked like a 30 hdcp mashing his opening tee shot 70 yards at Pebble. Love this guy though, maybe we will see a repeat of 2019 when he made a run in the Masters?

Bomb

2. Brooksy doing what Brooksy does in Majors

Say what you will about Brooks Koepka with this ongoing fued with Bryson, you may hate him, think he is a child, or say Bryson is living rent free in his head. Whatever. One thing is for sure when a Major rolls around this dude shows up. Living rent free my ass, Brooks gives zero F’s and I love it. Dude is cold as ice and he showed it again today finishing the round on 8 and 9 with two clutch saves. The lie Brooks had on 8 with the ball sitting down in that 5 inch rough and the ball at his tits was basically as bad as it gets. The fact that he was able to chip that ball out to about 5 feet is just outrageous and just shows why this guy is a madman in majors. He’ll keep it rolling and we will 100 percent see him in the mix again on Sunday.

Image

3. Xander is quiet, but dangerous

Not sure why Xander doesn’t get all the media attention like JT, Spieth, Dechambeau, etc? Maybe because he hasn’t racked up a ton of wins yet, but he’s seemingly always in the hunt. He has 4 US Open top 10’s and is now in a position to try again in his hometown. He played a really solid round of golf today and managed the course well coming in with a 69. I expect Xander to make some moves going into the weekend and seems to be a really solid contender to take down the tournament given it’s a home game for him.

4. Torrey Pines looks hard but gettable.

As the rest of the field finishes up today, Louie Oosthuizen has a chance to take the outright lead with an 18th that gives e guys a chance to get some strokes, but all in all the leaderboard is crowded and that’s what we like! Let’s see who makes some moves on day 2.

Matthew Wolff had 8 birdies on the round and finished -1! That is bananas. Just goes to show you can score on this golf course, but the key is consistency. One small mistake will cost the guys big and lead to a lot of bogeys throughout the rest of the week. We saw lightening fast greens, steady winds up around 15 mph, and unforgiving rough that just eats up golf clubs. As the weather for the remainder of the week should be pretty identical to day 1, we should continue to expect to see some roller coaster rounds.

FORE!

Quick Hit: Rough, bombs, and beauty at Torrey Pines

The Insta below pretty much explains it all. The rough set up at Torrey Pines this week for the US Open is looking absolutely treacherous . It looks like it will pay to be straight this week. Our assumption here at FTH, is that anyone this week looking to take down the championship will need precision off the tee. I know, really had to dig for that prediction, but really, with the the rough playing this fierce, even a well hit ball that just trickles in the rough will basically look like a penalty. While these guys are REALLY good and will be able to manage it for the most part, it’s inevitably going to be a problem. Avoiding the tall stuff in all tournaments is ideal, this week it’s even more imperative to keep the FIR % up.

The field will be looking at 2 par 5’s over 600 yards and the par 4 12th playing over 500! Although, its shaping up to be a nice 4 days in La Jolla with sunny weather in the low 70’s all 4 days, you still need to remember Torrey Pines sits directly on the Pacific Ocean.

While Bryson historically hasn’t been great in Majors, there is 1 obvious exception, last years US Open. So, it’s safe to say he certainly has the advantage at Torrey Pines, which is playing at 7802 yards. If he can keep the ball straight off the tee, with his length, there is absolutely no reason he won’t be in the mix come the weekend. However, there are a lot of guys who can absolutely mash and their ability to hit consistent drives over 320, the distances shouldn’t be that big of a deal compared to the average bum heading out and tackling this course.

According to PGAtour.com, the average tour driving average is 295.7, so it’s hard to argue that distance is going to be an actual factor this week.

Torrey Pines Card

So before we get into any of the picks, superlatives, or other nonsense we write about this week, check out the odds from CBS below to get your mind churning heading into the week.

2021 U.S. Open odds

Jon Rahm 10-1
Justin Thomas 14-1
Dustin Johnson 14-1
Rory McIlroy 14-1
Jordan Spieth 14-1
Bryson DeChambeau 14-1
Brooks Koepka 14-1
Collin Morikawa 18-1
Xander Schauffele 18-1
Patrick Cantlay 22-1
Viktor Hovland 25-1
Hideki Matsuyama 28-1
Webb Simpson 33-1
Patrick Reed 33-1
Daniel Berger 33-1
Tony Finau 33-1
Will Zalatoris 33-1
Tyrrell Hatton 40-1
Louis Oosthuizen 40-1
Justin Rose 40-1
Scottie Scheffler 40-1
Tommy Fleetwood 40-1
Paul Casey 50-1
Matthew Fitzpatrick 50-1
Shane Lowry 50-1
Sung-Jae Im 50-1
Cameron Smith 50-1
Phil Mickelson 50-1
Rickie Fowler 50-1
Abraham Ancer 60-1
Corey Conners 60-1
Joaquin Niemann 60-1
Marc Leishman 66-1
Sam Burns 66-1
Adam Scott 66-1
Lee Westwood 66-1
Jason Day 66-1
Sergio Garcia 66-1
Gary Woodland 70-1
Jason Kokrak 70-1
Harris English 80-1
Branden Grace 90-1
Max Homa 100-1
Brandt Snedeker 100-1
Bubba Watson 100-1
Matthew Wolff 100-1
Christiaan Bezuidenhout 100-1
Si-Woo Kim 100-1
Robert Macintyre 125-1
Brian Harman 125-1
Sebastian Munoz 125-1
Billy Horschel 125-1
Cameron Champ 125-1
Carlos Ortiz 125-1
Garrick Higgo 125-1
Kevin Streelman 125-1
Russell Henley 125-1
Matt Wallace 125-1
Stewart Cink 125-1
Kevin Na 150-1
Victor Perez 150-1
Ryan Palmer 150-1
Zach Johnson 150-1
Alex Noren 150-1
Kevin Kisner 150-1
Thomas Pieters 150-1
Brendon Todd 150-1
Matt Kuchar 150-1
Francesco Molinari 150-1
Bernd Wiesberger 150-1
Ian Poulter 150-1
Matt Jones 150-1
Mackenzie Hughes 200-1
Ryo Ishikawa 200-1
Henrik Stenson 200-1
Chez Reavie 200-1
Lanto Griffin 200-1
Kyoung-Hoon Lee 200-1
Erik Van Rooyen 200-1
Martin Kaymer 200-1
Wade Ormsby 250-1
Johannes Veerman 250-1
Wilco Nienaber 250-1
Paul Barjon 300-1
Jimmy Walker 300-1
Graeme McDowell 300-1
Brad Kennedy 300-1
Yosuke Asaji 300-1
Eric Cole 300-1
Joe Long 500-1
Ty Strafaci 500-1

Torrey Pines: A U.S. Open host course anyone can play | California Golf
Twilight Rounds: Twilight at Torrey Pines
2021 Golf U.S. Open at Torrey Pines: What To Know

FORE!

Kokrak takes down the Chuck, albeit not that pretty.

What an absolute roller coaster of a last 4 holes yesterday at the Chuck! I honestly can’t remember the last time 2 professional golfers who were leading a tournament played that poorly through the finishing holes. Sure, you see one guy implode, but to have 2 guys have the door WIDE open on so many occasions and neither one capitalizing is just bananas. However, with that being said, Kokrak did make 2 clutch par putts when they mattered to keep Jordan at bay. So maybe that’s capitalizing? I don’t know, didn’t really feel like it.

Before we go any further, I think we all just need to agree that Jason Kokrak looks like a giant baby? Look, I am not saying he is a baby, the dude clearly mashes, but I mean, look…

Dude looks like a baby
This is a real baby

For real though, kudos for Kokrak for battling out this win, especially against Jordan Spieth who has been absolutely RED HOT and was clearly the crowd favorite. Both of this guys played FANTASTIC golf all week long, but we can honestly boil this tournament down to 4 golf holes. Lets start with 15.

Both Jordan and Jason hit decent tee shots giving themselves less than 140 in with the advantage given to Kokrak with a lie in the short stuff. Speith had a 133 yard look from the right hand rough and hit a terrible approach missing the green right followed by Kokrack sticking it 64 feet, which while not ideal was in a great spot with already a 2 shot cushion. If Jason 2 putts here, its a commanding 3 stoke lead with 3 to play seeing as Jordan makes 5 here. Unfortunately, he missies a 13 footer to keep it at a 2 stoke lead. At this point the crowd is going wild with everyone screaming for Jordan, which is a straight kick in the balls to Kokrak.

The par 3 16th, Kokrak lead off hitting it in the greenside bunker leaving it WIDE open for Jordan to make a move, but what happens? Jordan does the same exact thing and puts it in the opposite green side bunker, yikes. Jordan however, hits a great sandy and saves a 3 with Kokrak missing a 10 footer to make his second bogey in a row. 1 shot lead. What is happening? Let the nail biting begin.

You cannot makes this stuff up, on 17 Jordan hits it dead left and just when you think he’s blown it, his ball hits a tree and kicks back towards the fairway in the rough giving him a look. With Kokrak still in a great position to capitalize with a good tee shot, hits sort of a slice, but manages to catch a piece of the right fairway, but ugh oh, there’s tree trouble there. Here we go again with neither managing to hit the green on the approach and Kokrak left with a tricky 35 yard chip from below the green and Jordan just off the back but with a BURIED lie. Gotta give Kokrak some serious credit here though, he hit a decent chip up, but still left himself with a 7 foot tester to make par and he buried it putting pressure on Jordan to make a 6 foot slider to keep it at 1. He does… Wow.

Not gonna lie, this was lining up to be one of the better finishes this year, but a poor tee shot to the right by Jordan put a damper on it quick. He did have a look, but was in the deep rough looking into 18. This was the type of shot though that if he hit it close, we would talk about for years, but it wouldn’t be so, Jordan hit it long and put it in the drink opening the door for Kokrak who safely knocked it on and 2 putt to close out the tournament. While it wasn’t the dramatic finish we were looking for, it sure was a heartbreaker for Spieth.

This hurts

It sure was a roller coaster with Kokrak pulling down his second win of the season, and probably knocking a few years off his life in the process. But, I’m sure he’s pretty relaxed now with his winnings and this is exactly why golf is the shit, you get a paycheck for a smooth 1.35 mil, but oh, here’s a dope ass tricked out Texas power wagon too. Love it, need to get me one of these.

FORE!

Waste Management Phoenix Open Gambling Picks

We are back! Another week where we split our winners and losers. Rory and Rickie’s Sunday blues cost of us some, but Francesco Molinari and Marc Leishman delivered.

There’s another strong field in Phoenix. Usually, the WMPO is the biggest party in golf with the par-3 16th being tabbed as the loudest hole in golf. This year it will be much quieter. The tourney also serves as an excellent pregame for the Super Bowl. Who needs 12 hours of pregame shows for the big game. Tune in to some golf this weekend!  

Last Week: 4-4
2021 Year To Date:
9-15

All Odds are taken from DraftKings.

Finishing Position
Max Homa Top 30 (+163)

Max Homa has played his way into the broadcast the last few weekends. He finished T21 at the American Express (playing in the final group on Sunday) and he holed out for eagle on 18 last Saturday en route to T18 finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. It is a home game for Homa as he lives in Scottsdale area. He finished in sixth-place at the event last year and 26th in 2019.

Finishing Position
Jordan Spieth Top 40 (+138)

Jordan Spieth. Our sweet prince. I am ALL IN on following the three-time major winner in his struggles to make a weekend. He has missed two of his last three cuts. His last finish inside the top-40 was back in October. He has not won since July of 2017! Jordan has two top 10s and two missed cuts at the WMPO. He has missed his last two cuts here. Let’s get our swing and swagger back, Jordan! It is a rollercoaster following Spieth and I am ready.            

Finishing Position
Gary Woodland Top 20
(+225)

Gary Woodland made everyone smile a few years ago when he played the 16th hole with Amy Bockerstette of the Special Olympics. The video is below. It is awesome. Woodland has top-10 finishes here in two of the last three years. He won the event in 2018. Nine of his last 12 rounds at TPC Scottsdale have been 69 (two-under-par) or better. Use Gary’s good vibes and root for that sweet stinger.

Finishing Position
Rickie Fowler Top 20 (+200)

Another week on the Rickie train. He played like Garbage on Sunday at Torrey, but he has a strong history here. Six of his last eight rounds have been in the 70s on tour. Not great, but the best remedy is returning to a place he has performed well. He won here in 2019 and has two other second-place finishes. Last year, he was sluggish out of the gates with an opening round 74, but he followed that up with rounds of 65, 69 and 69. One more week riding with Rick.

Finishing Position
Rory McIlroy Top 10 (+175)

It’s no secret that Rory is my favorite player. He has not been on his A-game, but his B-game has seen him rack up some solid results. He was in the top-10 all of last week until a double bogey down the stretch. He was never threatening on Sunday, but this layout plays into his strengths. The rough isn’t that thick. He can bomb driver around this place. The question with Rory is if he can put it all together. Putting, driving and wedge play. His irons are always locked in. He is in a featured group on Thursday with Xander and Daniel Berger. Should be a fun first two rounds.  

Better Finishing Position
Rory McIlroy higher finish than Xander Schauffele (+105)

I am not going to lie to you. I LOVED this pick on Monday and I hate it this morning. No takebacks. Xander finished T2 last week (higher than Rory). Rory is making his debut here. In all six of his starts this year, Xander is T17 or better. I think both guys will be in the mix. I don’t know. You might want to fade me on this one.

I love how Arizona doesn’t acknowledge daylight savings time. That is an absolute baller move.

FORE!

Farmers Insurance Open Monday Morning Superlatives

Well, that was an eventful weekend of golf. Paul Casey showed age is just a number as he held off a charging field in Dubai on the European Tour. Patrick Reed, like him or not, won the Farmers by five shots. We’ll get more into his weekend in a minute.

Reed and Casey weren’t the only winner this week. Let’s take a look at our Monday Morning Superlatives and all the oddities you might have missed last week in the golfing world.

Let’s dive right into Patrick Reed and his questionable play on Saturday.

Least Likely To Get The Benefit of the Doubt…
Patrick Reed

Unless you were living under a rock, you know all about what Patrick Reed did on Saturday. During the third round of the Farmers, Reed hit his approach into the deep rough. He told his playing partners he believed it was embedded. He picked the ball up and called over a rules official. I have no issue with any of that. I do have an issue with him pressing his ball into the ground (The video I had was taken down by Twitter) and then jamming his finger into the ground in the hole to make it deeper. The rules official was placed in an impossible situation. BUT STEVE, the same thing happened to Rory. No it did not. Rory called attention to his playing partners before picking the ball up. He felt as though his ball landed in his original pitch mark. Reed jamming his finger into the hole was wild. For some reason the PGA Tour went to bat HARDCORE to defend this guy. They had a string of tweets about it. Crazy Town to back this guy that everyone knows is a cheater. I think Reed does this to himself so that he can overcome some sort of adversity. He is a truly gifted golfer and a shame he does shit like this. Oh and because Karma is real here’s one of his birdie putts earlier in that round… file this under things you love to see

Most Surprising Statement…
Xander Schauffele

Below is the screen grab of some of his post-round comments. They are fire emoji. That last line…obviously talk amongst the boys isn’t great. The Ryder Cup locker room is going to be something. Who on Earth are they going to pair with Reed. He has played his way. It will AWKWARD for sure. Xander had himself a nice little Sunday despite not being shown until his final few holes. He was three-under for the day and finished T2. Schauffele is one of the quietest guys on tour and he is saying this. Imagine what Brooks or someone else might have to add. Speaking of Brooks.

Strongest Driver Shaft…
Brooks Koepka

Check out the GIF below. That was his reaction after an errant drive during the second round. Bend it like Brooks! His game is in a bit of a rough spot at the moment. He has missed three straight cuts. I expect a bounce back from him this week in Phoenix.

Most Unaware…
The CBS Golf Production

Guys, we need to figure this out. First of all there is a dead window of when live golf is shown each week from the Golf Channel crossing over to CBS. Then they opened up Sunday with 15 minutes of everyone on the broadcast giving their opinion on the Patrick Reed situation from Saturday. I get that it’s important, but can’t we do picture in picture. Something. We know it’s capable because we constantly get those eyes on the course during commercials. They went a solid 35 minutes without a live shot being shown on a Sunday with 15 guys within four shots of the lead. Crazy Town.

Craziest Line Off The Tee…
Sergio Garcia

Take a look at that line! He nearly took the heads off of those two kids. If there is a full gallery there is no way you could take that line. The dogleg goes to the left and the fairway runs straight towards the city. The full video is below. Sergio also made waves over in Dubai this week because he is putting with his eyes closed. I think that’s psychotic, but he finished T6. So good for him.

I’m sure I missed some stuff because the Reed controversy consumed most of my weekend and Twitter scrolling. Let me know your favorite thing on the links from this past weekend.

FORE!

Groups to watch: Farmers Insurance Open

San Diego, The Whales Vagina. Good ol’ Torrey Pines in the Golden State. Absolutely wild to think this is a municipal golf course and residents of San Diego can get out and tear this fine piece of real estate up for $63 American dollars, which is reason enough alone to move out to the area, never mind the fact that its 80 degrees and sunny literally the entire year with the exception of a few months where they have to fight the 60’s..tough

With alot of the big names in the golf world playing in the Abu Dhabi Championship, it leaves some room for some unknowns to step in and make a name for themselves. But, Don’t worry, plenty of firepower in the field this week. Lets take a look at some of the feature groupings kicking it off tomorrow:

10:30 AM features Jon Rahm, Marc Leishman, and Jason Day. Leishman won this thing last year with a TOT 273, -15 earning himself a cool $1.35 million, but was closely tailed by Rahm who finished just a stroke shy. With Leishman finishing T4 in his last outing at the Sony, there are no doubts he’ll be in the hunt this week.

10:40 AM features Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka, and Matthew Wolff. This should be a fun group to watch since all these guys do is just hit bombs and drop hellacious seeds all over the joint. If you’re not familiar with those terms, please allow our boy Phil to explain.

9:30 AM features the guy you just heard from, Philly Mick! Xander Schauffele, and Jordan Spieth. Now, we know Jordan has been less than stellar, but he’s just a likable guy. Realistically, Xander is the one with the real shot in this group, but personally, any group that includes Phil Mickelson, we’re watchin’. Plus his Insta is just pure fire..

If you’re looking to make some money this weekend be sure to check out our picks for the farmers. I’m pretty confident the Goose Egg that was dolled out for the Sony was a complete fluke, Steve is back on track.

Enjoy Torrey!

What a dump..

FORE!

Gambling Picks For The Farmer’s Insurance Open

We are back! Felt good to get back in the money last week. Taking our positive vibes and rolling it over this week.

We have big names and the deepest field of talent for a field in 2021, so naturally our picks are SUPER SIZED. We dug ourselves a big hole at the tournament that shall not be named (The Sony Open. I went 0-6 at the Sony Open). I believe there’s some sort of country music lyric that can apply.

Thanks, Miley.

Last Week: 3-3
2021 Year To Date: 5-11

All Odds are taken from DraftKings.

Finishing Position
Rory McIlroy Top 10 (+125)

Coming off a third-place finish in his first start of the year in Abu Dhabi, Rory looks to get back into the winner’s circle. He said he didn’t feel like his game was that strong last week and he still held the 54-hole lead and finished in the top-five. I won my bet on him last week. I’m rolling with him again. It’s his first start on the PGA Tour since his T5 finish at the Master’s. He has finished in the top five at this event each of the last two years. He was solo third last year. Let it ride on Rory.

Finishing Position
Francesco Molinari Top 20 (+275)

He’s back! After his meltdown at The Master’s in 2019 (shout out Tiger!), Molinari took much of last year off due to COVID 19 and moving his family to the United States. The Molinari’s have settled in California and it looks like he is enjoying the Golden State (that could be way off), as he finished T8 at The American Express. If we’re being honest I was torn on him for top 20 and top 30. The odds were too good to not take here.

Finishing Position
Jason Day Top 20 (+188)

Horses for courses! Jason Day has won at Torrey Pines twice in his career and he also has a second-place finish in San Diego. He has three straight top-16 finishes at the event. He finished 16th in 2020, .fifth in 2019 and won it in 2018. Look for Jason to harness the chill vibes of southern (?) California this week. He is making his first start since November, but he is comfortable here. Let’s hope for good Jason Day as opposed to back injuries every other round Jason Day.

Finishing Position
Rickie Fowler Top 30 (+188)

Rickie had a nice weekend at The American Express to end up T21. He was striking the ball great and if he made a couple more 10-15 footers he could have easily snuck into the top 10. He is ranked 61 in the Official World Golf Rankings and has some work to do to get into the field for the Master’s in April. He has top 30 finishes in two of his last three starts. Now for the bad news… Rickie has not finished in the Top 30 at this event since 2013! Yikes. He’s also missed the cut here four of the last five years. Ouch! But, he is sponsored by Farmer’s so the only way to make seeing all those commercials with him this weekend is going to be rooting for him. He needs to reinvigorate his season and career. This could be the week if he can build off Sunday’s finish.

Finishing Position
Marc Leishman Top 30 (+100)

Leishman won last year’s Farmer’s. He closed with a 65 in what turned out to be surreal day as Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash. Leishman has top 20 finishes at Torrey Pines in three of his last four starts. In his last start, he came in fourth at the Sony Open and before that he was T24 at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Easy money with the Aussie.

Better Finishing Position
Charley Hoffman (+100) over Joel Dahmen

Charley Hoffman has been around forever! I know he W/D last week, but before that he was sitting at eight-under-par heading into the weekend. He finished ninth at the tournament last year with a Sunday surge (65). Dahmen is coming off a missed cut at The American Express. Dahmen has made three starts at the Farmer’s insurance. He has a missed cut, top 10 and a 55th-place finish. He’s all over the place here. Root for the guy with maybe a mullet.  

To Make The Cut
Phil Mickelson (+100)

Listen, following Phil is addictive. He is an absolute lunatic in real life and a liability on the golf course. He is going to be pressing a little coming off last week’s missed cut. Phil has played 30 events at Torrey Pines. 30! He did miss the cut last year and three of the last five years. BUT, like I said last week. It’s also a thrill to root for Phil.

Let’s have a week, everyone! We’ll check back in with a mid-tournament update and possible plays for the weekend.

BONUS PICKS!

There are some big names in the field once again on the European Tour as they are in Dubai for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Here are a couple outside the box plays heading into the week over there.

Finishing Position
Bernd Wiesberger Top 20 (+175)

What a name that is. The 35-year-old Austrian owns seven European Tour wins and he is currently poised to make is his Ryder Cup Debut in September. He finished T25 last week in windy conditions in Abu Dhabi.

Finishing Position
Rafa Cabrera-Bello Top 20 (+175)

RCB is one of the coolest dudes on the planet. He is constantly rocking his shades during the round to block out the haters, much like Hideki Matsuyama. He is coming off a fourth-place finish in Abu Dhabi last week with three of his four rounds in the 60s. He finished second here in 2016, T11 in 2017 and T6 in 2018. He has missed the last two cuts at the event as he is looking to regain his form.  

Who are you taking this week?

FORE!

The American Express Monday Morning Superlatives

We are back! Si Woo Kim closed with a bogey-free eight-under 64 to win The American Express on the PGA Tour and Tyrrell Hatton boat raced the field in Abu Dhabi to move into the top-five in the Official World Golf Rankings with a win on the European Tour at the HSBC AD Golf Championship.

Kim and Hatton weren’t the only winners this week. Let’s take a look at our Monday Morning Superlatives and all the oddities you might have missed last week in the golfing world.

Best Weekend…
Patrick Cantlay

Listen, Cantlay is the slowest golfer on Earth. He literally stands over every putt for a minute and wiggles his feet 10 times to get into position. It is infuriating to watch. That being said, he was on another planet this weekend. After making the cut on the number, he shot a ridiculous 126 over the weekend. He was 11 under par on Sunday with 11 birdies! In his last 36 holes, he had 20 birdies, 14 pars and two bogies. That is insane. He almost birdied every hole on the course over the last two rounds. Truly impressive.

Coolest (Free) Car…
Alexander Levy

During the third round of the HSBC AD Golf Championship on the European Tour, Alexander Levy made a hole-in-one on the 177-yard par 3 15th. The shot and the celebration were both awesome. Check out the video below. Watch until the end for some DAD dance moves. If you were wondering why some people think golfers are socially awkward just watch this whole thing unfold.

Best Shot Trajectory…
Si Woo Kim

I’m a sucker for a good stinger. This is so simple and so awesome. Si Woo Kim is only 25! He feels older because he’s been playing professionally since he was 17! Been around eight years and he became just the second player currently on tour (Collin Morikawa) with three wins before turning 26. He won The Players a few years back. Good on you, Si Woo. Also, could he pull down his hat a little lower…

Most Likely to be back in the Win Column…
Me!

I was awful with my picks at the Sony Open and went 0-for-the board. This week, I was a respectable 3-3. Rickie top-30 check, Finau top-20 check and McIlroy with a higher finish than JT check. I should have backed Cantlay instead of Reed. I WILL NEVER ROOT FOR PATRICK REED AGAIN. NEVER! Big week ahead with lots of big names in the field at the Farmer’s Insurance Open.

Best Sense of Humor…
Mark Hubbard

Mark Hubbard had a tough go of it last week at The American Express. He shot a four-over-par 76 on Friday to miss the cut. On his final hole of the day, the par-4 ninth, he unveiled what he dubs as “The Snail” putting grip.

What a WILD move that was. I guess if you’re not going to make the weekend then the par putt doesn’t really matter. He explained the putt…

“Like most things, the key aspect is really the presentation. You’ve really got to sell it, that you’re going in for a normal stroke. Really look focused and determined, and at the last second, shimmy in there. Reminiscent of a Jack Parkman from Major League 2, shimmying at home plate.”

I think I want to get a beer with Mark Hubbard.

Most Impressively Average Round…
Phil Mickelson

Phil did something he has never done before. When you get to type that it’s always exciting. During the second round of The American Express, he carded 18 straight pars. It was his 2,201st round on the PGA Tour and he had NEVER DONE THAT BEFORE. It didn’t help me (who took him top-30) or Phil as he ended up missing the cut. Been the story of Phil lately. Go a little viral on social without a strong performance.

What did I miss?

Let’s have a week, everyone.

FORE!

The European Tour is Awesome

While you were sleeping or getting ready for your day depending on when you wake up, some of the best golfers in the world were teeing it up in Abu Dhabi for the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

The European Tour’s social media team is SOOO much better than the PGA Tour’s. Give them a follow on Twitter and Instagram. This has nothing to do with the event this week just an observation.

The opening round saw fog delays, eagles, a strong leaderboard and lots of content.

The calendar year opened for the European Tour with the image below. How creepy is fog? I understand the science of it (I don’t really). Either way fog kind of rocks.

Rory McIlroy shot a bogey-free eight-under-par 64 to hold a one-stroke lead. Making his first start of the year, Rors looked confident on the greens. I couldn’t find the shots gained putting numbers, but he did make birdie putts of 12 feet, 13 feet, 13 feet, 28 feet, 15 feet, eight feet and 26 feet. Cannot remember a round where he made two birdies over 25 feet. He was rolling it PURE.

If you read my gambling picks post yesterday, hopefully you followed my advice and put some cash on Rory to finish higher than Justin Thomas. While McIlroy cruised to a 64, JT never really got comfortable and entered the clubhouse with a one-over-par 73. So yeah, that’s a nine-stroke advantage for Rory after day one as JT will have his work cut out for him to make the cut. Bad pun maybe, but it’s the truth nonetheless.

Tyrell Hatton sits just one shot back of McIlroy thanks to making not one, but two eagles. He opened his day and the 2021 season with an eagle three on the par 5 10th and he made another three for a big bird on his ninth hole of the day as well.

As always, it was not all rainbows and butterflies for Hatton as we got this incredible GIF following an errant tee shot (he still made par).

I have hit some bad tee shots in my day, but I never drop the driver on my follow through. Maybe I just expect three out of five drives to be bad. I might add this move to my arsenal on the links. There is nothing quite as funny as a sarcastic thumbs up. Truly the best in my book.

Also, how fun is it to be the volunteer that gets to yell FORE or give the directional miss with your hands. I aspire to do that someday.

Speaking of eagles, Matthew Wallace holed out for a double circles 2 on the first hole (his tenth of the day). He stuck an absolute dart in there and grabbed the putter with confidence. No need, bud. Already in for eagle. Have you ever played a round with someone that’s done the “Oh, maybe it’s in the hole!” act when you know they skulled it 30 yards over the green out of bounds? Because I have definitely done this.

I am a big fan of the green shot tracer (thanks to sponsor Rolex) that the European Tour uses. The juxtaposition of it in the sunny sky is awesome. Sometimes, I’m simple like that.

It always amazes me that these pristine courses exist in places like the desert. Check out this course.

The PGA Tour event in California is just getting underway.

Looking forward to another fun weekend of golf.

FOLLOW THE EUROPEAN TOUR.

FORE!

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