by Aaron "1-iron" Garry - 05/17/2005
In a tournament where "1-iron" thought it was a foregone conclusion that Tiger Woods would walk away with the hardware - he misses his first cut in 142 starts. On the flip side, Ted Purdy blistered the TPC at Las Colinas with a final round 65 to top Sean O'Hair for his first ever PGA Tour win. In a season where cookie cutter finishes from the "Big 5" are the norm, this week turned out to be a change-of-pace. Aside from Vijay Singh's T3, no other member of the "Big 5" finished in the top nine, as names like Barron, Uresti and O'Hair dominated the landscape. If you need some rhyme or reason, "1-iron" offers the following: Day two of the tournament, wind gusts of up to 30mph at the Cottonwood Valley course. This pedestrian course was transformed into "Shinnecottonwood" for this particular day, and notables like Woods and Goosen couldn't adjust.
Incidentally, was anyone besides me fascinated with the story of Sean O'Hair this week? Quick refresher, Marc O'Pierce....I mean O'Hair tried to whip, prod and pressure his son into being a championship golfer. The theory taught by the father was so warped that young Sean was forced to run miles for each Bogey he made during the round. I've only seen this type of teaching from Ohio University Golf Coach Bob Cooley, who has won exactly 0 tournaments during his tenure at the university. Golf is not a game where corporal punishment can help coaches get the most out of pupils. Golf is about exacting confidence and patience out of the pupil and people like O'Hair and Cooley simply don't get it. On Sunday, it was O'Hair's father-in-law who kept him loose and calm by chomping on a cigar and taking his mind off the pressure cooker that he was involved in.
This Week - the Bank of America Colonial:
The tour stays in Texas for the Bank of America Colonial, as Steve Flesch defends his title. "1-iron" considers this field to be one of the weaker fields of the year, as Woods, Els, Goosen and Singh are sitting it out. Only Phil Mickelson represents the best in the world this week. It's safe to say Kenny Perry will have a big week at the Bank of America Colonial, as he won the event in 2003 and was runner up in 2002. Look for high finishes from the likes of Cink, Love III, and Garcia as each have had prior success at the Bank of America Colonial. "1-iron" sees nothing from Ted Purdy this week, as he could be feeling the effects of his "Nelson Hangover." Look for decent weeks from Justin Leonard and Glen "All" Day as neither has been cut at the Bank of America Colonial.
18 Shots for the Bank of America Colonial:
6 Who Will:
1. Phil Mickelson (11/2): The course is made for veterans and Lefty may give us one of his patented eight shot wins this week. 65-70-64-66 anyone? Won here in 2000. Runner up in 2001. Fort Worth hath Mr. Gatti's Pizza and Lefty hath a Championship.
2. Scott Verplank (20/1): Playing as well as anyone right now. T6 at Byron's Clam-Bake with four very solid rounds.
3. Kenny Perry (25/1): T48 at the Nizzle with a final round 66 to pull himself up 18 spots. See the aforementioned paragraph regarding his performance at the Bank of America Colonial in the past. Gets it done.
4. Justin Leonard (30/1): T14 here last year, before missing the cut at Memorial, The US Open, and The Booz Allen Hamilton. I've never been a big Leonard fan, but something tells me this is a big bounce before another lull - like last year.
5. Davis Love III (20/1): Runner up to Lefty in 2000. Gone are the days when hecklers scream out "NO LOVE." Some people think DL III is a stiff, I think he's just a good putter.
6. Sergio Garcia (20/1): Who knows what this guy is going to do week to week? One week he's hitting every note at the Wachovia singing "Mustang Sally" the next he's battling "One Bourbon, One Shot, and One Beer" at the Nelson and finishing T35. All I know is that he won here in '01, and his game is relatively sound these days. I'd have hung onto Hingis however.
6 Who Can:
7. Stewart Cink (25/1): Back from his layoff, always plays well here. Runner up in 2000, T14 last year. He's Stew Cink and that's worth the Kitchen Sink.
8. Chad Campbell (40/1): I thought he was one step away from working a Sbarro at some West Texas truck stop, but he's made a few cuts lately. So many young lions have passed him by - but he finished second here last year, so I give him a shot at redemption.
9. Tom Lehman (40/1): Captain Lehman. The 1995 winner has had a resurgence of sorts as he scouts his team for the Ryder Cup next year. Ranks 53rd in Driving Accuracy this year and is 5/8 on Top 25 finishes.
10. Andrew Magee (Field 11/4): T7 at Sony, three Top 25s off a medical exemption. I'm feelin' something special this week out of Mags.
11. Stephen Leaney (75/1): Had such a nice year in the states last year, but hasn't had it going until the last two weeks. T11 at Wachovia and T27 at the Niz should be a nice way to vault him to a high finish.
12. John Senden (Field 11/4): The ultimate longshot. Trust me. Final round 66 at the Niz and has made nine cuts this year. T6 against a great field at the Hope. Senden a letter is ready to break on through.
6 Who Won't:
13. David Toms (20/1): "1-iron" is harboring a great deal of animosity against Toms right now. The LSU Bengal Tiger is playing more like pussy-wussy the scared stray cat right now. Get it together Toms, or you stay with the 6 who won't. I haven't been wrong yet about you!
14. Ted Purdy (75/1): He played so well on Sunday, but if you follow "1-iron's" columns, you see that I don't put much stock in first timers repeating the following week. Props on the Nellie, but Flops in Fort Worth.
15. Shaun Micheel (Field 11/4): Is almost a lost cause.
16. Joe Durant (Field 11/4): Aside from his T5 at the Players Championship, nothing to write home about this year for Durant. That was his only top 10 and he's missed three of his last five cuts.
17. Alex Cejka (Field 11/4): Missed cut at the Nelson. Last four finishes have been DQ, Cut, Cut, Cut. SVEIKS!!! Not pretty.
18. Chris DiMarco (15/1): Golf is such a streaky game, and he rode his hot streak to it's fullest. It will come around again but the Claw won't be a force until Pinehurst time.