The Tiger effect is still very much in effect. It was everywhere you looked last weekend at the PGA Championship.
On Saturday, Luke Donald sported a red shirt and black pants. A year earlier, paired with Tiger in the final round of the season's last major, Donald wore red and was out of contention after two holes. He wasn't the only one wearing a red shirt and black pants on Saturday. Stuart Appleby, Phil Mickelson and Retief Goosen also got the red-black memo. Were they trying to make a statement on moving day?
On Sunday, Stephen Ames was paired with Woods. He started bogey-bogey and finished with eight total bogeys en route to a 76.
Also Sunday, announcer Gary McCord said, "What the hell was that?" after Ernie Els flew a short wedge 20 yards past the 16th hole. It was Els's last chance. He had a great round but, alas, it wasn't enough and the Big Easy finished third (usually he finishes runner-up to Woods).
But the ultimate example of the Tiger effect came in the post-tournament comments of Woody Austin. You would have thought he won, so proud he was of hearing a roar belonging to him and not Tiger, so proud he was of giving Tiger some competition even if he was the only person on the planet who thought he actually had a chance.
"He scored better than me, he played better than me," Austin said. "Does that mean he's better than me?"
Yes, Woody Austin. It does. The 13 majors, 56 Tour victories and 9 international victories have something to do with why he's better than you, too.
Last week: I thought about putting it all on Tiger. I've done it in the past he hasn't come through. So, the 1/6 unit at 7-4 yielded only .3 units. Now, what to do about Sergio? Thursday he was in the mix but by Friday he barely made the cut at +5. Then, on Saturday he was disqualified for an incorrect scorecard. That counts as a loss in the head-to-head and yet another lesson learned -- stay away from the hothead for a while.
At this week's Wyndham Championship, take Fredrik Jacobson (30-1), 1/6 unit: Fabulous Freddy J can play. A top-10 every month except May since he started his U.S. campaign in April, the most recent a T10 at the Buick Open in July. Just his second time playing the Greesnboro tournament, he finished T51 in 2004.
Take Jason Gore (100-1), 1/6 unit: Gore has looked too comfortable since his breakout 2005 season. He hasn't won since and has missed a lot of cuts. Just over a month ago he finished T2 at the Buick Open, though. He looked good. Smooth, compact, simple swing. Excellent iron player. The rub is the flat stick.
Take Will MacKenzie (80-1), 1/6 unit: This guy keeps hanging around. Whereas other young players got off to fast starts and have slowed as the long season has churned on (Jeff Quinney comes to mind), MacKenzie's aloha spirit keeps figuring into competitive finishes. He has two top-10s and five top-25s in 2007. His only win on Tour came last year in the similarly talent-challenged Reno-Tahoe Open.
by: Michael Cash - theSpread.com - Email Us
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