by Aaron "1-iron" Garry - 07/11/2005
J.L. Lewis (50/1 at the Deere) ruined my weekend. I have nothing more to say on the topic, but if I did - you can find it here British Open preview.
This Week at the B.C. Open:
Like the opening bars of Steve Winwood's "Back in the High Life" the PGA Tour rolls into Endicott, NY for the less heralded B.C. Open at En-Joie Country Club. We here at Doc's Sports offer you the finest golf coverage available, and thus forge ahead with a B.C. Open preview in addition to the British Open column this week. While it goes up against the British Open, the B.C. has featured a stunning past champions list that includes the likes of Hubert Green, Tom Kite, Jeff Sluman, Fred Couples, John Daly and Nolan Henke. While the B.C. is the red-headed stepchild to the British Open, "1-iron" doesn't place any less importance on it. Big Jason Gore, who gained nationwide acclaim during his miraculous run at the U.S. Open this year once said "Whatever tournament you are playing in at the time is a very important tournament -- whether it is the U.S. Open or the National Mining Association Pete Dye Classic." Profound words that I want my readers to ponder for several hours in silent meditation.
I'm not going to put him in the 18 shots for fear it might jinx him, but "1-iron" wishes Kelly Gibson a great tournament at the BC. Kelly's a friend of the column and wrote a tremendous piece for PGATOUR.COM this week. Go get em' Gib!
18 Shots for the B.C. Open
6 Who Will:1. Jonathan Byrd (16/1): 2004 Champion with 2 PGA Tour wins to his credit. Finished T13 last week at the John Deere with a closing 64. Put the "Byrd Man" in your nest this week.
2. Ryan Moore (33/1): Ryan Moore gets 7 sponsors exemptions this year in hopes to earn enough money (or a win) to gain exempt status onto the 2006 PGA Tour. Sly move entering the B.C. Open to try and backdoor a win against the lower tier of PGA Tour competition. By turning pro for the Barclays Classic a few weeks ago, Moore gave up his spot in the British Open and thus found sanctuary in Endicott for the B.C. He's won every Amateur title known to man, and he's got a Top 15 to his name at the Masters. The kid can play.
3. Hank Kuehne (40/1): T2 at the John Deere and the man's game is coming back. He's 4th on tour in driving distance, but that won't necessarily make a big difference this week, as En Joie is a shotmaker's paradise. Henry has 12 missed cuts this year, but he found consistency at the Deere.
4. DJ Trahan (28/1): 10th place finish at the Deere was as solid as they come. Got a boost from "1-iron's" love the week before. His Clemson teammate Byrd won the B.C. last year, could it be a Clemson sweep this year? Last 2 starts have been T16 at Western, T10 at Deere. Comin' in hot!
5. Carlos Franco (25/1): "The Flyin' Paraguayan" will be a force to be reckon with in Endicott. If it's a lower-tier tournament, Franco is sure to shine. He's won the Zurich Classic and Milwaukee Open twice each. Finished T5 at Wachovia and T13 this past week at the Deere.
6. Matt Davidson (250/1): This is why they pay the "1-iron" the big bucks - to bring you picks like this. This 2004 Furman University Poli-Sci major can play some golf. He's made 2 cuts and has broken 70 once all year - including 2 Nationwide events. There's something the "1-iron" saw in his game this past week in Silvis that has us thinking - he can do it. Remember the name.
6 Who Can:7. John Huston (125/1): Has struggled this year, and "1-iron" thinks it's time to get back to the Corey Pavin-esque mustachioed look. Has missed 9 of 14 cuts and withdrawn twice. However, he's a 7-time winner on the PGA Tour who thrives in these lower-tier events.
8. Hunter Mahan (28/1): 1st round leader of the John Deere last week en route to a T7, Hunter comes in playing some good golf. Has a scary resemblance to Napoleon Dynamite, but we won't hold it against him. "GOD. It's a Liger" 3 Top 25's this year.
9. Esteban Toledo (33/1): There may not be a hotter golfer in the world right now. Yep, you read that right. "The Man from Mexicali" comes in to Endicott on a serious hot streak. He finished T21 last week at the Deere and won the previous week at the Lake Erie Nationwide event. He also finished 2nd in the 2000 edition of the B.C. - keep an eye on him.
10. Harrison Frazar (80/1): "1-iron" used to know a guy named Aaron Frazar who once did some sort of a quasi-ballroom dance to Seal's "Kiss From a Rose" at a local college watering hole. Has nothing to do with Harrison, but thought I'd lay it out there. Frazar gets the nod here because he's the best player left on the board. 48th on the 2004 money list and T24 at the Memorial. Cut at the Deere, not good.
11. Kevin Stadler (100/1): Papa Stadler won the B.C. in 2003, and baby Kev hopes to put some Waterford on his own mantle soon. Finished T40 here last year, but a T10 at the Deere this past week (2nd round 63) could have him shinin' the crystal on Sunday.
12. Vaughn Taylor (29/1): "Vodka Tonic" prepares to forget the John Deere Missed Cut, and re-live the T7 he had at the B.C. last year. V&T has been stellar this year, and it's been highlighted with 2 Top 10's (T8 Mercedes, T5 Wachovia). Didn't Snoop sing..."Sipping on Vodka Tonic" - Nope!
6 Who Won't:13. Arjun Atwal (33/1): T58 at the Deere, and 2 Top 10's this year, and not 1 missed cut. However, the string of 50th place finishes is getting exhausting.
14. Frank Lickliter II (80/1): Does the II stand for "Missed a II foot putt to miss the cut at the John Deere on national tv last week?" Such a painful moment during the Michelle Wie saga was watching Lickliter miss a bunny to stay the weekend. 7 Missed Cuts, a WD, and a DQ cement his position here this week.
15. Robin Freeman (175/1): Thanks again for not letting me on your bag Mr. Freeman. "1-iron" could've steered you around the TPC of Deere Run just fine, but you never responded to the offer that was made. Then you missed the cut at the Deere. But you come to En-Joie off a 2004 T3, and that might be good - but not good enough this week.
16. Michael Clark II (200/1): Has earned $9,469 this year.....in 9 events......on the Nationwide Tour. Missed cut last week at the Deere in his only start on the big tour this year. I'm going to stop writing now.
17. Larry Mize (150/1): Mize looks like a million bucks when you see him in person. Always has a nice trouser goin, with that trademark visor, and sleek frame. Alas however, the game is pretty much gone. He doesn't play much anymore and shouldn't be a threat to challenge.
18. Spike McCroy (150/1): The 2002 champion has been downright awful on the PGA Tour this year, and he's cost "1-iron" some money more times that I'd care to discuss. Missed 6 of 7 cuts this year and has spent quite a bit of time on the Nationwide tour getting his game back. Missed 20 cuts last year to use up his winners exemption. May not be pretty this week.
Fantasy Salary Cap Value Pick: They're all pretty cheap, so go with Byrd.
"1-iron" will be appearing on WFIN 1330AM in Findlay, Ohio and 980AM Homer The Sports Animal in Dayton, Ohio this week to preview the British Open.
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