Is fantasy golf for the nerds or does it just mean you’re obsessed and need some action on what you’re watching? Probably a bit of both, but I find it to be a shitload of fun to play. I’m not into the format that requires different picks from player pools, rosters, etc. That’s kinda gay. The format my group uses makes you pick one guy per week, you get that player’s winnings as your points, and you can only use the player once for the year. We go from Sony through the Tour Championship. There’s a decent buy-in and we have 20 guys which means you’re playing for legit cash. I think I’ve finished 4th in the two years we’ve done it, out of the money, so fuck me with a pineapple.
I’m never going to reveal my weekly picks on here prior to Thursday because who knows what evil lurks in the blogosphere that would steal such info and use it against me. At the Sony this week I took Chuck Howell, and so did almost half my pool. He has a great history at the Sony on Waialae CC and there aren’t a whole heckuva lotta events you’d want to use him for down the road. Thru 2 rounds he’s playing great and is just two shots behind Langley and Piercy, 4 shots behind uber-rookie Russell Henley. Popular picks like DJ, Keegan, and Zach Johnson have mostly faltered so far. In fact DJ just WD’d due to the flu bug that is going around Hawaii and the rest of the country (or Ms. Gretzky gave him chlamydia).
Back to Chuck. CH3 has a great swing and all the talent in the world which leaves you to believe the guy doesn’t have it between the ears. He also struggles far too often on the greens, which might be more telling as to why his career hasn’t lived up to the hype. Yes, he has a pile of money, but Howell was the number 1 ranked junior golfer in the mid 90’s after Tiger moved on. Golf gurus talked about him as a possible rival to Tiger (Tiger nicknamed Chuck “Bandpants” due to the striped trousers he wore). He was labeled a can’t miss kid. Now a decade into his professional career he has only two wins in fairly pedestrian tour events to show for himself. Golf is a funny game and owes no one anything. I give him credit for continuing to grind, but who wouldn’t do so when you’re playing for a million clams every week?
As for the Sony itself, I have no idea why they play Waialae. My guess is that Sony picks it so they can get the best possible crowds as it is near the most heavily populated area within a few thousand miles. It’s also become a tradition as they’ve played some form of the Hawaiian (now Sony) Open there since 1928. Other than that, it’s the worst Seth Raynor course I’ve ever laid eyes on and it bores me to tears.
Tradition clearly doesn’t matter to the tour as they’ve moved the Western Open and renamed it, as well as dropped the Buick Open completely off the schedule after years of being played at Warwick Hills in Michigan. Maybe Waialae just looks like a fat chick after you see the visually spectacular Kapalua track the week before. I like that they play two events in Hawaii to start the year, but I’d like to see some of the other great courses Hawaii has to offer and think the event would make a bigger splash if they moved it from course to course around the islands.