The Players Championship

This is my fourth year handicapping golf for SpreadExperts.com. Last weekend for the first time in those four years, my two head-to-head picks both missed the cut with identical scores. Dick Cheney has a better chance at heaven than the likelihood that will happen again.

They both shot 73 on Thursday, they both shot 75 on Friday. I swear, one of these days I’m going to hit a 150-1 ...

I wasn’t complaining with the push, given my recent struggles with the H2H. But it made the whole week ride on the outright, which, in golf betting, is not a good spot to be in (I’ve gotta get into Nascar … ).

Fortunately, one of my picks won. Unfortunately, his name is Tiger. My other top contender, Vijay, had a disastrous back nine, going four over on the last five holes. I think I’ve been wrong about Singh with respect to Tiger. He sets up as one of the few out there who doesn’t let Tiger get in his head, who can take Tiger one-on-one. More often than not, though, that’s not the case. More often than not, Vijay’s score cards look like Mickelson’s: up and down, maddening inconsistency.

Speaking of Lefty, I don’t see a whole lot of change in his swing but then minor adjustments can go a long way. A friend once told me, for example, to move the ball one ball length forward at address. I did, let ‘er rip and drove it straight and far ... for two holes ... before I compensated for the overcompensating correction (if you know what I mean) and got back to my wayward ways.

TPC has had a full make-over, looks like Finchem wants the company tournament to be a major. They can’t call it a major because that would mess with the history books but for all intents and purposes this is a major. It tends to bring out the best like all majors do. Accordingly, with the exceptions of recent winners Fred Funk and Stephen Ames, I’m thinking top dogs this week. Except Singh. And Mickelson. No on the Els. No way on Sergio. A little down on Goosen, too. Who does that leave? First, the tally:

Last week: With the push and Tiger’s win at 5-2, 1/6 unit, I netted $416 or .4 units. The season total is – 6.9 units.

At this week’s The Players Championship, take Tiger Woods in the outright (5-2), 1/6 unit: Tiger hasn’t much been intimidated by Tiger-proofing courses.

Take Adam Scott (25-1), 1/6 unit: He has a win this year, which was his problem last year: way too many near misses. Perhaps the win (at the Shell Houston Open) is still fresh. The Aussies seem intent on making a mark in the major tournaments this year.

Take David Toms (80-1), 1/6 unit: Four top 10s this year, a nice sleeper pick. Has not played Sawgrass well over the years but the course is reportedly speedier, which might help a smooth putter like Toms.

In the head-to-head, take Woods over Mickelson (8-15), 1 unit: So it will be a max of 1 unit for the week if Tiger wins and a push for the week if he beats Mickelson but doesn’t win. I’m breaking my rule of betting on or against Mickelson but I don’t see as to how he has a chance with all the potential for problems and a potentially fast course.

by: Staci Richards - theSpread.com - Email Us

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