02/4/14

Controversy doesn’t find golf often. The annual uproar, albeit slight, over the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro Am tells us as much. Some people just don’t like the idea of celebrities mucking up the course while professionals strive for victory.

I don’t identify with those people. It’s February, most of the country has battled through a brutal winter and an even more brutal Super Bowl. We need comic relief at times like these.

Some of the celebs set to tee off include ESPN personalities Herm Edwards and Chris Berman, The Great One, father-in-law-to-be of Dustin Johnson, Wayne Gretzky, actor Ray Romano, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and former Hootie and the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker.

They’ll be playing alongside a strong field that includes the likes of David Duval, Vijay Singh, and the less heralded, but brilliantly named, Dicky Pride.

This week, the pros will take on 3 different venues as Pebble Beach, Monterey Peninsula and Spyglass welcome golfers to the Pacific Ocean. Historically speaking, Spyglass plays the toughest and will be interesting to keep an eye on. Beautiful scenery everywhere, though.

Let’s get to the picks.

Last week: Billy Horshel MC- Ryan Moore T6- Charley Hoffman T61

Last year: Brandt Snedeker carried over his strong 2012 with a great start in 2013, finishing second at TPC Scottsdale before winning here a year ago.


Contenders

Nick Watney

Nick Watney

Call this a gut pick more than anything. Watney has started off about as average as you could in 2014: five events played, five made cuts. That’s the kind of player he is, though. Watney plays solid golf and won’t make a lot of noise but you’ll see his name on the leaderboard every weekend. Last week he posted his best finish of the season thus far, a T29 at the Waste Managemen Phoenix Open. I expect him to better that mark this week with a top ten.


Jordan Spieth

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Sophomore slump? It’s a little early to tell, but… yeah it’s a little too early to tell. Spieth finished second at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions to start 2014. He missed the cut the next week at the Sony Open. At Torrey Pines two weeks ago, Spieth fired 71-63 to jump out to a hot start but closed out 75-75 to finish a solid, but disappointing, T19. He’ll look to put that weekend collapse behind him this week. It’s been an up and down season so far. I say Spieth is up this week.


 Winner

Jason Day

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Jason Day wants to win every tournament he plays, which, I suppose, everyone does. But with the young Australian it’s different. You see the purpose in his performance. The better the field, the better Day plays. His record in Majors is as good as it gets (save for a win of course). Two weeks ago at the Farmer’s Insurance, Day snagged second place, his first PGA start of the season. Last year at this event, he finished in sixth place. He’ll jump five spots this year.

Dillon Friday

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