Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 Predictions on Predictions

Credit to Cameron Morfit for doing all the heavy lifting, but I've assessed the likelihood of his predictions below.

1. Tiger’s first official PGA Tour victory in more than two years will come at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. 40% - Good course for scoring, and a good track record. TW is the 'whelming' (vice overwhelming) favorite.

2. Jim Furyk, who dropped from fifth to 50th in the World Ranking in 2011, will go the other direction in 2012. 100% - Furyk had a terrible 2011, hard to see him not playing better in 2012.

3. Rickie Fowler will win on the PGA Tour. 90% - Like the prediction, but I wouldn't bet the house. If I had in 2011, I'd be homeless.

4. We will all slap our foreheads and lament having overlooked 2011 super-rookie Brendan Steele. 100% - Steele has got ridiculous game, and will win multiple times in 2012.

5. Hunter Mahan will win again. 100% - He's got too much talent, and has won on a variety of courses. He'll kiss a cup in 2012. I wouldn't be surprised if it is the Wells Fargo at Quail Creek.

6. Yani Tseng will finally pop up on the radar of the American sports fan. 0% - She could win all four (five?) Women's Majors and outdraw a September Bengals/Chiefs afternoon game.

7. John Daly’s sponsor exemptions will dry up as “Daly fatigue” outweighs “Daly curiosity.” 0% - JD will find a way to do something outrageous, draw attention, and undeserved sponsor exemptions.

8. Martin Kaymer will miss the cut, again, at the Masters. 0% - MK tooled his game for Augusta in 2011, to no avail. He goes a different route in 2012, trusts his talent, and makes the weekend easily.

9. Leading the Par-3 Contest the day before the start of the Masters, McIlroy will have his caddie, girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki, hit his tee shot on nine. Who cares? - I watch the Par-3 for the needling between Nicklaus/Palmer/Player. Winner is always an afterthought.

10. Ernie Els will play his way back to Augusta despite finishing 2011 outside the top 50, which jeopardized his streak of Masters starts that dates to 1994. 20% - as much as I love the Big Easy, who is one of my favorite professional golfers, he needs to rid himself of the belly putter and find confidence on the greens before reascending the OWGR. I don't see it happening in early 2012.

11. Ian Poulter, coming off a victory at the Australian Masters in December, will bounce back after a poor 2011. 90% - Poulter wins on tour(s), both PGA and European in (calendar year) 2012, which qualifies as a bounce back.

12. Caddie Joe LaCava will look like the second biggest genius in golf after having left reliable money-maker Dustin Johnson to work for the retooling and fragile-looking Tiger Woods last fall. 100% - I've never been fond of DJ's putting stroke, or short game. He played abysmally in the President's Cup, and his win at the Barclay's was more on account of Kuchar faltering (has he ever won on slick greens?).

Overall, Morfit hits on more than 50% (discarding #9) which is commendable.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011/2012 Washington Wizards

Great new uniform, same old team.

I watched portions of last night's loss, at home, to the New Jersey Nets, and, while I have no optimism for this season, see a core group of players around which the team can grow.

John Wall, Jordan Crawford, and JaVale McGee have talent. Nick Young is a 15 ppg scorer. Shelvin Mack is a rookie who can contribute backup minutes to Wall, and is a team-oriented player. Roger Mason Jr. provides veteran leadership, and Jan Vesley is a wild card.

Unfortunately, the team doesn't have the concentrated talent to rely on the skills of a few star players, any shot at success will be based on cohesion and defense. I can't speak to cohesion, but defense is tough to learn in an abbreviated camp, and has never being a strength for the Wizards. They need to commit to taking risks on defense, pushing the game tempo, and building around speed (Wall) and shooters (Crawford and Young).

Thursday, December 15, 2011


A comparison of Bowl games to PGA Tournaments.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2012 PGA Tour - Quick Wins

The 2012 PGA Tour season is shaping up to be both competitive and wide open. Tiger Woods's game is rounding into form (or did he just experience three good weeks of golf?), Luke Donald is a Top Ten machine, and Rory McIlroy has the talent to cruise to tournament wins, evidenced by his victory at the 2011 US Open.

Aside from the headlines, two golfers I'd like to see win post haste are Erik Compton and JB Holmes.

Compton's story is nothing short of a miracle. A professional golfer, on the PGA Tour, on his third heart. A PGA victory would be the golf story of the year.

To quote from JB Holmes' website, "JB had a successful brain decompression surgery on September 1 at Johns Hopkins for chiari malformation. JB has been released and is back home starting his recovery process. His plans are to start chipping and putting in a month, full swings in two months and return to competition in 3 months. JB is looking forward to a full recovery and returning to the tour in 2012. JB is very appreciative of all the emails, thoughts and prayers during this time."

There is no such thing as minor surgery, let alone brain surgery. He deserves all the best in health and a speedy return to the upper echelon of competitive golf.