Hat Throwing and Awkward Old Man Hugs

We’re 4 weeks out from the greatest event in American sports so that can only mean that it’s Bay Hill week! So who is ready for some hat throwing and awkward old man hugs? Off to Orlando we go.

What to look forward to

The best field you’re going to see in the next three weeks.  With Texas and Texas events coming up, neither of which having Colonial in the name, you’re not going to see too much in terms of talent in the next few weeks after the AP Invite. That’s really only partially true, since you’re likely to see the younger talent use the next few weeks to gain experience, but I’ve realized that I judge how good a field is solely by whether or not Tiger is playing. So yeah, my argument holds.

Drivable par 5s

Not very often do you run into a course with a drivable par 5. But with the correct wind, number 6 at Bay Hill can turn into just that.

Aim over the numbers

Rumor has it that Bubba Watson has taken on this challenge in a practice round by knocking it over the green with his drive. And by rumor I mean that I thought I hear that once, but can’t find anything else on the internet confirming it. Driving a par 5 is quite the risk reward shot: you’re either chipping for a double eagle, or hitting 3 from 600 yards away.

Arnold Palmer drinking Arnold Palmers!

The return of top 5 player in the world Patrick Reed

Even with Tiger in the field, I’ll put this forward as the most interesting storyline. We haven’t seen Reed since his decisive victory two weeks ago at the Cadillac, which vaulted him into the top 5 (*4 = 20) in the world rankings. Considering how these comments rustled many an old person’s jimmies, we have to root for him!

Best case scenario: he’s got a 5 shot lead going into the last hole. Goes pitching wedge, pitching wedge, pitching wedge to the front of the lake. Then putts around around said lake four times, and eventually sinks a three footer for the win. Throws hat on the ground in excitement all the while wearing his Sunday Re(e)d. Second best scenario, instead of putting with his now 3 shot lead, he tries to skip the ball across the lake and onto dry land across the way. Either situation seems like a win.

I feel like I’m forgetting something… oh yeah, Tiger Woods!

Bay Hill is Tiger’s second home. Tiger has won 8 out of the last 13 times this tournament has been played. So yeah, he knows this course. Over his lifetime, he’s probably played this course more than 75 times (conservatively) and I can only imagine what his yardage book looks like.

Storylines include will Tiger’s back hold up, will Tiger win his 3rd AP Invite in a row (still would be 1 behind his previous best streak), will the number of times that the Golf Channel / NBC mentions Tiger’s injured back outnumber the number of times they mention he’s won 2 AP Invites in a row?

NCAA Tournament Opening round games

Wait, so you mean that Thursday and Friday coverage isn’t too interesting, even with a field like this? Good thing you can fill your time with the most interesting day of sports in America (notice I said interesting, not greatest). The NCAA Men’s basketball tournament proves that betting really does make everything more fun.

Other Notes:

Tough luck for Scott Langley. Just one week after finishing second at the Valspar, Mr. Langley is currently sitting as 3rd alternate. Or maybe 7th alternate. With pgatour.com’s redesign, you’d think they would make it more obvious. Either way, he’s probably not looking forward to being on the sidelines after a great week.

Maybe the reason that Langley isn’t playing is because we have the likes of Matthew Fitzpatrick (2013 U.S. Amateur Champion), Rod Perry (current PGA Club Professional Champion) and Sam Saunders (champion of being Arnold Palmer’s grandson) in the field.

Jason Day withdrew again with his thumb injury. Incidentally, how the hell did he get to number 4 in the world? Dude has been around forever and has only won twice. If he were healthy, I was thinking of making him a sleeper pick for the Masters since he always seems to play well there. But now that I found out he’s the 4th best golfer in the world and has bum thumb, he is neither a sleeper pick, nor a good pick for that matter. Maybe it’s because he lives in Columbus, Ohio.

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