FBR Open Free Picks

Brian Gabrielle from spreadexperts.com has the lowdown on the FBR Open, which runs from January 28th to February 3rd. He also hands out some free picks – suggestion to put units on Phil Mickelson, Rory Sabbatini and Justin Leonard.

There’s a house for rent this week in Scottsdale for five nights, five grand. I wonder if they’ll get a taker. During the Atlanta Olympics in ’96 the town was mad with housing speculation that never panned out.This is only a weekend of fanfare, though, (I can’timagine many Super Bowl people will show up Thursday who wouldn’t have otherwise showed up for the golf tournament) not the two weeks of the Olympics. Andthere are worse places to be than Arizona at the end of January.

Whether houses will be rented, one can assume the attendance at this week’s FBR Open will be up considerably. You’ll probably see a lot of corporates lobs among the always raucous locals who bring a lot of beer and circuses to this tournament.

Too bad there’s no Tiger, man who moves markets. He’ll be in Dubai making Ian Poulter look sillier than he already does for the latest round ofI’m-a-second-tier-golfer-who-has-no-chance-EVER-to-beat-Tiger-but-I’m-going-to-say-I-can-beat-him-and-take-over-No.1-in-the-world-anyway-because-I-feel-like-it-so-there comments.

Mr. 30% rolls on. I was going to put it all on him last week but balked because I’ve done that a few times over the years and always seem to do it during the 60% of tournaments he doesn’t win. As I said,though, even money on Tiger is a deal. One of the Golf Channel guys said Tiger’s winning 30% of his tournaments in his career is like a baseball player averaging .400 for a career. Agreed.

At this week’s FBR Open, take Phil Mickelson (6-1),1/6 unit: You have to take Lefty. He looked terrible for the first two rounds last year and missed the cut.I mean, he was missing everything on the greens and made a mess of some approaches, normally the best partof his game. But he loves the desert and the locals love him. He played well last week, finishing on page one of the leader board—seven shots behind Woods.Tiger’s absence this week gives Mickelson a great chance.

Take Rory Sabbatini (12-1), 1/6 unit: You have to take Sabbatini, too. He’s not showing any signs ofsuccumbing to the pressure from many fans and media who think he’s a petulant turd. He’s finished 17, 2and T3 in three tourneys this year. And like Mickelson he usually plays well in Arizona and has fan support(he went to the University of Arizona).

Take Justin Leonard (20-1), 1/6 unit: Any talk about players off to hot starts has to include Leonard with his three top-10s in three tournaments. He blew it in Palm Springs but rebounded nicely last week with a fifth place finish in La Jolla. It’s been feast or famine for him in recent years at Scottsdale: since 2004, he’s finished in the top-10 twice and missed the cut twice. Considering that he’s been hot since September of last year, I think we’re going to see the top-10 version and maybe he can eke out a win.


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