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2007 Nissan Open Preview and Predictions

2007 Nissan Open Preview and Predictions

The gloried Riviera Country Club will host the 2007 Nissan Open this year. This marks the 81st time the Nissan Open has been played and even without Tiger Woods in the line-up it will still be the best field of the year so far. The FBR Open drew over 500,000 fans two weeks ago without Woods playing in their tournament. Pebble Beach stayed packed last week without Woods as Phil Mickelson got his first win in many weeks. The 2007 Nissan Open received some fine news this week as Phil Mickelson announced he will be playing for the first time in this event since 2001.

Would Tiger Woods draw more attention to the 2007 Nissan Open? Of course he would but for the true golf fans out there it really doesn’t matter. These guys on the PGA Tour are unbelievable and are head and shoulders better than the players on other tours out there. So to say that you aren’t going to watch this tournament because Tiger isn’t playing would be absurd. This field has 8 out of the top 9 players in the world along with 15 of the top 20 as well. These numbers are high because the Accenture Match Play Tournament is coming up next weekend and players are getting geared up. Even Ernie Else is playing in the States for the first time this season. He, along with Retief Goosen and Sergio Garcia are three crowd favorites that we will be sure to watch.

When you look at the 2007 Nissan Open Predictions you might want to know a little bit about past history at the tournament and recent success of certain players. Since Phil Mickelson won last week at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am he has opened at a 17/2 favorite to win. Ernie Els is right behind him at 10/1 because he has been a perennial contender in the States for years. Adam Scott is next in line as an 11/1 favorite to win the Nissan Open this year. He won the 2005 Nissan Open and you would get good value in this guy with a wager. He is over the hump now and we believe he will shock some people this year by getting multiple wins. He also placed 2nd in the 2006 Nissan Open, falling one stroke short. Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh, and Retief Goosen are the next three in line respectively. Any of these guys can win this prestigious tournament.

You want to look at underdogs when you make your 2007 Nissan Open Predictions because these guys will give you your best value. A good place to start in this tournament would be Mike Weir. He won this event in back-to-back years from 2003-04 and his accuracy fits this course filled with natural hazards all over the place. In 2003, he overcame a 7-shot deficit to beat Charles Howell III after he birdied the second playoff hole. He is confident and has the tools that it takes to come out on top again in 2007. Somehow Rory Sabbatini, the 2006 Nissan Open Champion, opens with 70/1 odds to win the tournament. He came out on top of Adam Scott by one stroke after blowing the lead halfway through the tournament only to regain it in the last few holes. These two guys have great value for your buck as you will cash in a lot of chips if either of these two guys win the thing. We are taking Adam Scott here after having the most success at the Nissan Open in recent years and we believe his mindset is that of a champion.

Michael Cash
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Re: 2007 Nissan Open Preview and Predictions

My plan was to wait until Sunday to tune in to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am because by then even the TV people have tired of seeing George Lopez’s act, there are less celebrities on the course, and so we actually get to see some tournament golf played by professionals.

I thought I could hack it, though, so I tuned in a little each day. There was Huey Lewis, Kevin Costner, Kenny G, Carson Daly, and Bill Murray, who is starting to undermine his persona by continuing to appear in this suck job of a professional, er, pro-am golf tournament. By Sunday I’d lost hope that they would actually show golf.

Murray isn’t funny on the course anymore. It’s sad. He doesn’t do Carl Spackler, so what we got instead was silly headwear and when he made a good shot he unbuttoned his shirt to reveal a t-shirt. This is funny? This is worth seeing for five minutes when professionals on the leaderboard are making moves somewhere off camera? Even Murray, who I’ve always said is funny just because---look at him and you laugh---can’t make this tournament remotely enjoyable to watch for anyone with any interest in professional tournament golf. (It might be an age thing: I wonder if Will Ferrell did the unbutton shirt thing it would be hysterical.) And Murray’s the best chance for entertainment among the likes of Costner, Huey Lewis, Carson Daly … and George Lopez.

Nick Faldo and David Feherty still can’t get enough of Lopez and Jim Nantz was right there with them, laughing along, ho ho, ha ha, that is one funny man, indeed, he’s a riot ... He’s not funny. He’s clean and safe for CBS, but he is most definitely not funny. Maybe he's funny on his show, but clowning around in these pro-ams he’s no funnier than the uncle at the family barbecue who everyone has been programmed to think is funny, but he’s really not. He’s just an attention monger.

Nantz is impossible. There’s a connection with his voice and the Masters that will always be there for me, but he’s more of a company man with each passing year. Listening to Nantz point out this CEO or that CEO playing with this pro or that pro---he even tells us the home country club of the CEO---reinforces the exclusivity stereotype that continues to be golf’s m.o. Rich, connected old boys like Rush Limbaugh chumming it up, smoking a stogie and chasing the ball around the course.

About the only positive thing I can say about last week’s golf on TV is that the ocean shots were nice, as always. CBS was liberal in its cutaways and for the most part Faldo, Nantz and Co. were smart enough to shut up and let the pictures speak for themselves.

Anyway, as always, this hideous stretch of Hollywood golf has just about turned me off. Augusta can’t come soon enough. The aforementioned exclusivity stereotype permeates the old nursery, of course, but at least there are no clowns taking up camera time when we could be watching golf. And the mostly commercial-free thing continues to make the Masters a more enjoyable sporting event to watch on TV than almost any other major game in sport, including the Super Bowl.

Last week: I took a bath on Mickelson. I’m done with him. I mean it this time. In the past I’ve written him off as far as betting on him to win. Now I’m not going to bet on him to lose either, as I did in the head-to-head. There’s only one other golfer to whom I apply this self-imposed off-limits restriction, Chris DiMarco, and I have to tell you that since I swore him off my life’s been better. Anyway, I lost $1,500 on the Mickelson win at Clownfest. That brings my season total to $-413.

Tiger will not be playing Riviera Country Club for this week’s Nissan Open outside La La Land. A shame, because we would have seen the first real field of the year: most of the world’s top 20 will be there, save a handful of Europeans and Davis Love. In ten years Tiger’s going to have his schedule down to four: the majors. I wouldn’t blame him. He doesn’t owe the Tour anything. In that debate, if there’s any owing to be done it’s the Tour to Tiger. The most recognizable athlete in the world is a golfer. Nuff said.

I’m tempted to take Jeff Quinney at 100-1 given his hot start, but he’s yet to play in a big field on a real shot maker’s course like Riviera. So …

At this week’s Nissan Open take David Toms (40-1) in the outright, 1/6 unit: Toms is a quick starter and this year is no different: T8 (Mercedes), T13 (Sony, where he defended) and T8 (FBR). Smooth strokes from tee-to-green, especially on the green.

Take Jim Furyk (12-1), 1/6 unit: Did you see him answering questions about Clownfest with clenched teeth? His look summed up my frustration. At least I could turn off the TV or turn to something else. He had to play 7-hour rounds of golf with clowns and hacks. That may be the last time we see Furyk at Pebble until the U.S. Open.

Take John Rollins (66-1), 1/6 unit: The question is whether or not the week off is going to slow him down. A veteran unknown, he’s one of the hottest golfers going now. I liked that he hung tough in Phoenix and, except for a tough break hitting the flag stick on the final hole that could have helped him to a playoff, he rebounded nicely from a poorly played playoff hole at the Bob Hope. He was firing at pins Sunday at the FBR---you have to like that from a guy coming off a playoff second. Is Rollins 2007’s Bart Bryant? (Probably not now that I’ve suggested it.)

In the head-to-head, take Rollins (21-20) to finish higher than Robert Allenby, 1 unit: I like Allenby in a strong field and generally consider him as a dark horse in the majors. This is a tough call. Rollins finished T5 at Riviera last year, but this pick is about the fight he showed in Phoenix (63 on Sunday).

Michael Cash
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