While Rory and Troy Merritt had themselves wild days on Sunday at the API, Card of the Week is going down under today to bring you what is most likely the most disappointing 61 in recorded history. It’s a stretch to call it a bad round, because a 61 is… well, it’s 61 – an incredible round and a tremendous feat of golf that is truly the 1% of the 1% for even the best players in the world. Unfortunately, it’s the way that Tim Hart’s score came about that makes it dreadful.
To begin with, the sides at City Golf Club Toowoomba are pretty interesting with a front nine par of just 33 and an overall par of 70. Course quirkiness aside, the numbers Tim Hart was writing on that card were astounding. Going into his 18th hole of the final round of the Coca Cola QLD PGA Championchip, the Queenslander had taken just 54 strokes. For those keeping score at home, that is a stunning average of 3.17 shots per hole. This is good. This put him on pace for a 58 with a par at the last, and a place amongst professional golfs greatest ever rounds. Unfortunately, Hart poked one OB en route to a triple bogey 7 to close his round, leaving him in a playoff for the championship… which he lost. I’ve got a sick feeling in my gut just thinking about it, but just take a look at his back 9. This is sick:
Tim… Tim. Tim. I mean, Tim. Please, Tim, no. Oh God no. Tim.
Another week, another Tour event, and the last event of the Sunshine Slate. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to convince the rest of the golf media that “Florida Swing” is the dumbest nickname for a stretch of tournaments in Florida. Always next year to preach the goodness of the Sunshine Slate.
Here’s some music, followed by things to watch for this week. The song’s called “Never Seen You Get So Low” which is what everyone is hoping their golfing buddies will be saying about your score after the round this weekend.
Top 10 Foreigners
Of the 5 players in the top 10 in the world playing this week, none hail from the USA. Adam “Wears really good looking Uniqlo polos every time he plays” Scott, looking for his 3rd win in last three starts, world number 2 Rory “I wish I could have a decent final round” McIlroy, world number 3 Jason “When did Rory and I switch spots in OWGR?” Day, Henrik “What’s a driver?” Stenson, and Justin “Loves using emojis on twitter” Rose all headline the field.
On another note, the PGA Tour’s preview of the event forgets that Jason Day is playing! I tweeted at them but no change has been made. Let’s see if they notice and change that “Field Watch” section before for the event starts.
I downloaded this amazing picture of the five players just in case the PGA Tour’s tweet featuring the group gets deleted in the future. We need to preserve the amazingness of Stenson’s outfit.
Arnold Palmer is old. Like 86 years old, turns out. I knew he was up there compared to Jack Nicklaus, but 86 is old old. And according to comments made by his grandson Sam Saunders, he’s rumored to have a limited role.
We’re back for the first Card of the Week of the year. Each week I’ll be back with the most unusual, best, worst, overall greatest score card from the proceeding week on Tour. It may be a full round,nine holes, or simply a stretch of holes. Unusual is key. If you see a worthy card, don’t hesitate to send in a submission or tweet at us!
To make this comeback (please don’t call it that) extra special I’ve selected two cards this week, mainly because they have something in common: The Almighty Albatross (aka the double eagle for some odd reason). The most prized of single hole accomplishments, and this week we had two of them, both on the weekend. Daniel Berger had the first one on Saturday with a long iron from the fairway on the 6th hole. On Sunday, Zach Johnson carded his own with a slightly shorter iron on the much shorter 16th. Both players managed to play the par 5’s in a stupid six under par for their respective rounds. Which is helpful.
I didn’t even notice until now, but apparently the PGA leaderboard doesn’t put the proper color around the Albatrosses (Albatri?). “We’ll just show it as a par,” love it.
It’s time for the Arnold Palmer Invitational (application programming interface isn’t the only API in town), and this can only mean that it’s time to watch our favorite video of Tiger and the King because everybody likes hat throws and awkward old man hugs!
About the Sponsor
One of my favorite parts of the API is that the name doesn’t include the biggest sponsor of the tournament — MasterCard. The full name of the event is the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard, but nobody includes the MasterCard portion of the name, not even the tournament website url — arnoldpalmerinvitational.com.
The most interesting thing about MasterCard is their logo and that it isn’t that nice clean symbol that we’re all used to seeing on the credit cards and in their ads.
The Valspar proved to be another winning week for GOTM picks, including 10 / 10 in player picks who are going to make the cut (key in 50/50s). The API is the last of 4 in a row in the flat state of Florida, so who knows which players are going to do well? WE do. Or at least claim to.
With the fourth week in a row of picking 50/50 winners, I was flying high. I’m batting 1.000, and in my mind, if you haven’t lost, then you’re the best. Until Mike rolled in and starts claiming that a sample size of 4 isn’t statistically significant to prove that I’m the best golf fantasy picker in the world. I’m choosing to ignore his Debbie Downer attitude and made these picks with the full knowledge that I can’t be beat.
Note that these are initial picks, subject to change. And unlike last week, I’ll make sure to update if I make a substitution.
Overall strategy this week is to pick players who 1) Make a lot of cuts and 2) Are playing well recently. I’m thinking I should try to do a little more in depth analysis for this. Like analytically find players who’s percentage of cuts made recently is better than their overall record for the year or something like that. Maybe further on in the season.
Keegan Bradley ($9,700) — First thing to note is that Keegs is my highest salaried player here. I’m playing in 50/50s, and don’t really want to spend a lot on the overpriced guys. Keegan has history at Bay Hill and is solid overall. I’m expecting him to get lots of play this week.
Charles Howell III ($7,600) — Lots of cuts made.
Ok, normally the card of the week goes to something extremely unique. Funny cards are best cards. My goal every week is to find someone with the perfect 6-6-6 even par round (birdies, pars, bogeys). Barring that I look for huge numbers, wildly erratic play, and interesting number sequences. Anything to set the card apart from boring par-fests. That said, I just can’t go with Bubba’s Thursday round. Other than that number, it was a boring round and he wd’d right after his round. Overall, not fun.
Michael Putnam’s round on Sunday was always going to be a humdinger. Eight over after his first six, he was making Tommy Gainey look like a legitimate professional golfer. Then, after a couple pars, some switch was flipped and Putnam went -5 over his last ten holes with no bogeys. While it might be not be the most erratic card of all time, this dramatic turn-around gives one hope. You have to be playing some bad golf to start off like that, and great golf to finish like that. No idea what happened to turn it around, but I love it. Excellent card Mr. Putnam, maybe try to not hit so many golf shots prior to playing like a flu-stricken Adam Scott next time, huh?
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.
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.