We’re back! No more tumor in my brain, and starting to feel better from the surgery, so time for more weekly previews. Though the fourth tournament of the year, this southern California event is by far the best full field tournament thus far and is on our first NFL-less weekend since September 2016 (we don’t count preseason or Pro-Bowl). A tournament with a lot to watch for coinciding with our first football-free weekend makes for an extra fun preview. But first, music:
Yes, Tiger Woods is playing. And if you didn’t know that before reading this, then you really need to follow golf more because everyone’s been talking about him playing this week. This is his first tournament in 17 months! So get excited.
It’s really going to be interesting watching him and seeing how he plays. Back a few weeks ago when he played in the Hero World Challenge, Tiger had the most number of birdies, but still finished T15 (30 players total).
Basically he’s like Brett Favre. Brett really was a great quarterback when he played in the NFL, tons of touchdowns, tons of great passes, but anytime he had the lead going into the 4th quarter, all us Packer fans would sit there worried that he was going to mess up, throw an interception, and we’d lose the game because of it. Oh Brett.
Oh yeah, the other thing about Tiger is his new clubs selection! Nike’s decision to get rid of making clubs meant two things. First, they decided to increase the number of clothes they’re going to make with the Nike swoosh, so Tiger, Rory, and now Jason Day will all be wearing that. Second, all the Nike sponsored players need to find a new brand for all their golf clubs! For example, Rory switched over to Callaway equipment a while ago before his injury. Tiger however, hadn’t told people what clubs he was switching to until this (Wednesday) morning! Drumroll please….
TaylorMade!!!!!! What’s interesting is what he claims to have done to determine which club brand to go with. Apparently he tested all different brands for several months and eventually chose TaylorMade because those clubs were “better” for him. But why did he actually choose TaylorMade? Like was it the quality of the their clubs that really made him decide to use those from now on? Or did it also have to do with the amount of money and advertising that they’re going to give to him?
Fresh off another dominant Spieth performance, we move over an island, and to Waialae Country Club.
We’re also trying out a new style for the tournament previews here at GOTM. Where last year had snippets about the sponsor, what happened last year, and the course, this year will feature one section: Why you should care.
I’ll be honest, the PGA Tour season is a slog, and it can be tough, even as a big fan, to care every week. So that’s what I’m going to do each week for you readers — give you list of reasons to care every week. Leggo.
Adam Scott putting with a short putter
Former world number one golfer Adam Scott hasn’t exactly been keeping his form over the last year or so. And this year is going to even tougher on the Aussie with the ban on long putters.
His play and the putter rule change also allowed Scott to drop all the way past the 14th spot in our recent year long fantasy draft, so I snagged him with my 15th pick. Talk about value drafting. #moneygolfball
Prime time Golf!
Not necessarily what to watch for, but when to watch for, and I’m talking Prime Time! Nothing beats being able to get home after work and have live golf on the docket. On the Thursday and Friday telecasts, expect to see the top players coming down the stretch at a tough 17th hole (see below for more information). When the weekend rolls around, look for the Tour to schedule the golf to finish around the NFL playoff schedule. Gotta say I was really impressed on last Sunday how right after the Pack crushed the Redskins, the final round of the Hyundai was just heating up. Expect this week to be no different with scheduling around the NFL divisional games.
So this past Friday, thanks to a boss with a mini cooper and too busy of a schedule, I was able to head out to Conway Farms and check out second round action at the BMW Championship. What follows is an account of the happenings interspersed with observations from the first Tour event I’ve been to in person in a surprisingly long time. Also note the lack of clickbait in the title of this. I easily could have called it “15 Observations from the BMW Championship You Won’t Believe”. But I didn’t and I should get credit for that.
Observation 1 — There are an impressive amount of brand new BMWs parked in spots you wouldn’t really expect to see parked BMWs
I’m really just realizing this out now, and wish I had made a pictorial account of all the cars on the property. When walking into the tournament grounds, you’re greeted with a couple BMWs on this track with a giant hill in the middle that’s supposed show how versatile a BMW is even though, let’s face it, these things are only going to be used to drive around the suburbs after dropping off the kids to private school.
Then there was the BMW in a glass cage in the main area near the practice facility like it was an animal in a zoo. Then there’s the BMW (or two I can’t remember) on the platform of the BMW owner’s box. The only thing that was missing was a giant lake with a car floating in the middle. Though since I didn’t see the whole course, there very well could have been.
Observation 2 — It’s probably a good idea to check if the tee times have been moved up because of possible weather.
Dumb me only looked on Tuesday and saw that tee times started at about 10:30 (since it’s only a field of 70) and planned the day around that. Well because of possible storms later, they bumped the times up a couple hours and everyone was off by the time we got there. Not the end of the world, but range and warm ups are fun to watch cause the swings are so damn pretty.
Observation 3 — The percentage of people in the BMW Owners Area who actually owned a BMW had to be about 41%
Since I work for a prediction market company, and deal with making forecasts on a daily basis, I figure I’ll go through my analysis in coming to this decently precise number.
First, the only thing that you need to get in that area is a BMW key, and with that you’re allowed to bring one guest with you. So right there, the prior probability is 50% in that one of those people actually owns the BMW, and the other is probably related, but not on the title.
Every year since Quicken Loans took over as sponsor of the QL National, I loved the irony of loans and the US government being so close to one another considering how much in debt we are as a nation. Golf time again.
About the Sponsor
Watching the Canadian Open the other day, and there was a commercial for Quicken Loans. Apparently they’re the official mortgage company for the PGA Tour! Wonder how much they had to pay to be able to say that. If I wanted to say I’m the official “preview writer” for the PGA Tour, how much would I have to dish out?
Back to the regularly scheduled section. They might as well call this the Dan Gilbert National, cause dude loves putting his name and the name of his company all over the sports world. He owns the Cleveland Cavilers, the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters, the Arena Football League’s Cleveland Gladiators and the NBA D League’s Canton Charge.
Despite owning all these sports franchises, according to Google, Dan Gilbert is most well known for his stupid letter after LeBron left Cleveland.
In it, he cries about how terrible it is that LeBron is leaving his hometown and how the Cavs will win a championship before LeBron does. Yeah right. A few first round picks later, LeBron comes back and the Cavs are relevant again, no thanks to Gilbert.