I was surprised to see that the PGA Tour has already played 17 events on its 2011 schedule. I mean, I guess if I looked at the calendar that would make complete sense, but it appears my brain isn't registering all of those tournaments and all of the very deserving winners.
Granted, without the Golf Channel I'm not able to watch some of those first few tournaments on TV, but I play fantasy golf for pete's sake, you'd think I'd remember my great losing streak so far this year.
So let's do a pop quiz...number your paper to 17 and then write down the 17 winners of the tournaments so far this year. You don't even have to match it to the tournament, just write down the winners. Okay...go!
(no, seriously, try it!! I know you want to...I'll just wait a few minutes while you write...)
Well, how did you do? Zip on over to www.pgatour.com/r/schedule and it will give you the list of winners so far this season. Here's what I remembered...
Mark Wilson has won 2 times this year, but I had no idea which tournaments he won (I remembered AFTER looking that he had won the Phoenix Open on the Monday finish).
I got Charl Schwarzel, Phil Mickelson, Nick Watney (my only fantasy golf winner so far this year!), Jhonattan Vegas (but I butchered the spelling of his first name!), Gary Woodland, and Bubba Watson (one of my 2011 predictions come true!) I also nailed last week's winner Brendan Steele (because once again I didn't pick him on my fantasy team!) This is not a good success rate for someone who loves golf as much as I do.
Who did I miss? Well, let's take a look...
Jonathan Byrd won the newly named Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He beat Robert Garrigus in a playoff...and I have no recollection of that. (FYI Steve Stricker T4 and Matt Kuchar T6!)
Mark Wilson won the Sony, Vegas won the Bob Hope, Bubba won the Farmers Insurance Trust, and Wilson won again at the Waste Mgt Phoenix Open. (I knew all of those guys!)
Then here's my bad stretch... DA Points won the AT&T, Aaron Baddeley won the Northern Trust, Johnson Wagner won the Mayakoba Classic opposite of Luke Donald winning the WGC Match Play (how did I forget that?), Rory Sabbatni won the Honda, and Michael Bradley won the Puerto Rico Open opposite of Nick Watney winning the WGC at Doral (at least I got Nick!)
I did vaguely remember Sabbatini winning because he's not one of my favorite players.
Gary Woodland winning the Transitions Championship marked the first time I had ever heard of him. Apparently he hits the ball a mile, but I remember him making a few clutch putts to win. I also remember putting him on my fantasy team the next week (you know, the "go with the hot guy" theory) and he fell off the map. Thanks, Gary.
I can't believe I had already forgotten Martin Laird winning the Arnold Palmer, but then I finish strong with Phil at the Shell Houston, Charl at the Masters, and finally our latest winner Brendan Steele, who I had never heard of until Saturday night, wondering if I should pick him as my waiver guy...which of course I didn't!
I found out by looking at his PGA Tour bio that Steele turned pro in 2005. He had played on the Nationwide Tour from 2008-2010, with a great 6th place on the money list (which included a win) last year which earned him a card on the PGA Tour. In 2011 he's played in 12 events, making 6 cuts. Besides his win last week, he had a nice T17 at the Farmer's, but otherwise 4 other ho-hum cashes. That million dollar plus paycheck had to have been awesome for him last week!
So did you do better than me? Are you on top of all this for 2011? I'd love to hear how many of the 17 you got right.
I'm blaming this 2011 memory lapse on my favorite players who have not stepped up to the plate to win yet this year! Have I really turned into one of those people that only cares about a certain group of players? Is my passion slipping?
The good news for me is that there are still almost 6 months of tournaments yet to be played and sooner or later "my guys" are going to step up and make me excited about golf! Maybe even this week at the Heritage being played at Harbour Town. Matt Kuchar is there (and of course he is on my Fantasy Team!), so is Luke Donald...I've decided to jump on the Jason Day fan bus, and our sleeper pick for the week is Mark Wilson. This would also be a great week for Ernie Els to jump back into the spotlight since he seems to be in a little funk lately.
The other thing I like is that once a month now we'll have either a Major or the Players...it brings out the best and I'm still waiting for Steve Stricker to win one so I'll be paying attention. And you know, maybe this is a lesson to me that there are tons of great players looking for fans to follow them...and every tournament is up for grabs now that king of winning has been on winless streak for over a year now. It guess it's time to branch out!
Enjoy the golf this week!