The Win Should Not Make Him A Captain’s Pick
Chris Kirk shot 73 in round one of the Deutsche Bank on Friday and probably looked into changing his flight out of Logan to Saturday afternoon thinking he’d miss the cut. Then he bettered his opening round by 7 shots and found himself full of confidence trending up the leaderboard throughout the rest of the weekend. He played his last 37 holes 14 under par without carding a single bogey. That’s a minor miracle considering some of the awkward shots he struck in round four, but a few good breaks and made putts go a long ways in hiding your flaws.
Kirk played his last two rounds in Boston with world number 1, Rory McIlroy. He beat Rory by 4 shots playing head to head (though Rory did site mental fatigue has the cause of his average play). If you watched the action you saw Kirk go through much of the front nine unnoticed and somewhat unspectacular, but a birdie on the difficult 9th hole seemed to be a springboard for him into being a serious contender. Things got weird for Kirk on holes 12 through 18. On paper you’ll see that he played said holes at 2 under. If you watched the NBC broadcast you know that he dropped his club on every other shot, missed shots that bounced back in play or found the green via dumb luck, and even missed a short birdie putt on the final hole.
Kirk looked like the guy about to lose the tournament. Meanwhile Billy Horschel was hitting fairways and greens behind him (the group and also trailing Kirk by one shot), which is exactly what you’d expect a tour pro to do when challenging down the stretch. When Kirk made par on 18 and Billy Ho was sitting in the fairway a mere 5 or 6 iron away for his 2nd shot a playoff seemed inevitable. That is until Billy puked on his shoes while hitting what he described as the worst shot he hit all week. No shit. That’d also be the worst shot I hit all week. His ball found the hazard 50 yards or more short of the green. How a tour pro does that on firm fairways with that short of a club in their hands can only be described as a choke.
With the victory, his 2nd of the 2013-2014 wrap around season by the way, Kirk is now being put on the short list of candidates to be picked for Tom Watson’s United States Ryder Cup team. Ummm…….really? Get the fuck out of here. A win doesn’t put you on the map that easily. Kirk has had a decent year, but he hasn’t had a top 10 since the Memorial which was basically in May. His play today under pressure wasn’t exactly the stuff you would see out of a bonafide killer. And his two wins this ‘season’ were handed to him by Billy Horschel (today) and Briny Baird in November. Kirk told the Golf Channel and NBC before the round that he essentially felt the same way. He wants to earn his way on the team and he also has plans to be at the Georgia/Tennessee football game the same weekend as the Ryder Cup. I doubt he would turn down an invite, but I don’t think he should be expecting one either.
But Mrs. Kirk Would Help The US WAG Squad
If Kirk does somehow get picked, his wife Tahnee would greatly improve the eye candy provided by the WAGs attending the event. I’m a big fan of Mrs. Kirk, but I’m not going to sit here and get all pervee talking about her in his victory post. Why not you ask?
Mostly because I already did that in the post that discussed his win at the McGladrey. The other reason being that there’s no new pictures of Mrs. Kirk out there worth looking at.
Making The Cut
The tournament within the tournament at TPC Boston was the coverage of which players would make the cut into the top 70 of the current Fed Ex point standings. Top 70 and up and you’re on to Denver playing Cherry Hills in the BMW Championship next week. Number 71 or higher and your season is done. That’s part of the fun of the Fed Ex playoffs. This side story also helps to fill some time for the broadcast before shit gets real for the leaders on the back nine. On Monday in Boston Jerry Kelly and Ben Crane were under NBC’s microscope for making the BMW field.
Kelly came to 18 first, just as the Golf Channel and NBC transitioned the action to network TV. He thinned a fairway wood from 248 yards out and the shot hit the slope short of the green perfectly to allow Kelly’s ball to snuggle up to 6 feet for an eagle 3. Kelly was now in the BMW field as the 70th ranked player. An hour later Ben Crane came to 18 and made double, which dropped him from 60th to right on the edge of next week’s field. Somehow Crane’s position held, meanwhile Kelly dropped to the 71st spot until Jason Day’s late birdie somehow bumped the player in front of Kelly low enough in the current event to jump Jerry back to 70 on the nose.
I don’t usually care about this shit, but NBC did a decent job of presenting it so viewers knew what was going on and why. I could have given a shit about the outcome for either player, but for some reason (at the time Kelly was on the outside looking in) I found myself pissed at the fact that Kelly could eagle 18 and get bumped while Crane could make 7 and still move on.
Picking The Picks
If you’re still too boozed up from a long holiday weekend to know that Tom Watson is making his captain’s picks tomorrow, all you need to know is that Golf Channel’s ‘Golf Central’ program will air the announcement live from New York around 6:30 Eastern. I’ve made the case against Kirk as a pick. I think Mahan punched his ticket last week. Keegan has been in for a month. Now its down to Snedeker, Simpson, Kirk, and Bill Haas for the last spot. I can’t justify any other pick at this point.
One man's Ryder picks: Poulter, Gallacher, Donald for McGinley; Bradley, Mahan, Haas for Watson. Nice win by Chris Kirk, but …—
Golfweek Forecaddie (@4caddie) September 02, 2014
I’m starting to agree with the Forecaddie for the U.S. picks, but I can’t get passed the whole Mastercard relationship Sneeeeedeker and Watson have. Haas has played too well the last few weeks to ignore him. As for Europe, I’m on a different page than the Man Out Front. There’s no way Westwood isn’t on that team. Who gets left off instead? My gut says Luke Donald. He’s been fucking awful save his last two rounds in Boston. Plus, aren’t McGinley and Gallacher fellow countrymen? I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
WAG of the Month
September is here, and that means a new WAG of the Month must be crowned. Tim Clark’s wife had a good run, but its time to get serious. Chris Kirk’s wife could have got the nod, but he won in September. Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy won a WGC event at Firestone and the PGA Championship at Valhalla. So his girl, Sasha Gale, is getting the nod.
There wasn’t much else to choose from. Mrs. Mahan isn’t herself right now. Camilo’s girl isn’t hot. And the rest of the month belonged to Rory. This was a slam dunk. Now the only question is, is Rors still banging her and who’s going to hack his iCloud account?