We may have caught a glimpse of what could be a very special year for a certain player. You may think that I mean Jonathan Byrd (who almost made last week’s six-pack by the way), yet it was his playoff counterpart, Robert Garrigus.
Garrigus has overcome some incredible addiction obstacles to turn his “put in front of me and I will do it” lifestyle around. He found God and a good woman at rehab. This offseason, he decided that he would “try practicing with his wedges for the first time in his pro career.” It’s truly amazing that this long bomber has never even TRIED to hone his wedge play to any degree.
Pick up any golf magazine, and you too can beat the dead horse. You will lower your score by being better on and around the green. The next time you’re thinking about going to range to pound some long irons and smash your driver, consider saving the $9 for the bucket of balls and going to your local course for free with your pitching, sand and lob wedges. Might as well bring that putter too. Not only will you be $9 richer, you will also significantly take the smartest steps towards a lower score.
The other really notable thing about last week had to be Bubba Watson’s driver off the deck on 18. Please tell me you saw that. If you didn’t, check out No. 5 through No. 2, then feast your eyes on No. 1 here:
Waialae has some of the hardest fairways to hit on tour. This will place a premium on driving accuracy. There are typically very few 300-plus yard drives at this course. That largely has to do with the fact that if you do miss the fairway, you get the agonizing punishment of dealing with very thick and difficult rough. Advantage: Accurate players with the ability to scramble from the rough.
Since there are only two par fives, everyone tries to get there in two. This can punish you if you miss. But if you know yourself and you know your game (Steve Stricker enters my mind), then take the birdie and move on. It’s not necessary to be on in two.
Waialae is not the place you want to stroll onto hungover from the night before. It is extremely tough to get going on this course as you have three very tough holes to start your day, with number one being a 480-yard par four. By the way, wind is always a factor on No. 1.
This should be a great event. Before I give out the six pack and my Yahoo picks, you should know that the top-four favorites are there for a reason. Stricker, Els, Furyk and Kuchar pretty much own this course. This place suits their games and they will be tough to beat here. Fear not friends, Bottom Line Jay is back in 2011 and ready to help you read between the lines to find that sports book value and fantasy success we have all grown so accustomed to having.
I am once again in my favorite Yahoo! group, "The Fans Of Hunter Mahan." Last week I earned 136 points, which is not a bad start. I am currently In the 65th percentile for my group and in the 71st percentile overall.
I lead only Eric Planer on the panel of Yahoo! experts, by 64 points. I trail Greg Vara by six points, Matt Romig by 18 points and the surprising Michael Arkush by a whopping 21 points. He must have his little brother doing his lineup this year!
Here is my Yahoo! Lineup for the Sony Open:
Start Ernie Els Sit Jim Furyk
Start Steve Stricker Sit Robert Allenby
Justin Rose Carl Pettersson
Start Jason Day Sit Charles Howell III
Anyone thirsty? I could use a six-pack…