The tour heads to Greensboro this week for a REALLY nondescript event. To be real with you, I couldn’t pick Greensboro out of a lineup of Winston-Salem, Raleigh, Durham, or any other mid-sized Carolinas city you want to throw in there. Wikipedia tells us that the following hail either from Greensboro or are closely associated with the area:
- (Hot) Carl Pettersson (went to high school here)
- The Petty Family (of NASCAR fame)
- G.I. Joe (seriously, G.I. Joe spent his formative years here)
- Rick Dees (of “Weekly Top 40” radio fame)
- Donna Edmondson (Playboy Playmate of the Year ’87)
- Ricky Proehl (wide receiver/dirty little slot/BOMB THREAT for the St. Louis Rams of 90’s)
- a disproportionate amount of Survivor contestants
- outlet mall baron Stanley Tanger
- and then some other people who have actually been contributing members of society at large.
If that doesn’t tell you what you need to know about Greensboro, then I’m not sure what will.
But seriously, this tourney’s been around for 75 years, which is remarkable (especially considering the small market, constant shuffling on the schedule, former Chrysler and KMart sponsorships, and current spot in the dungeon of the TOUR schedule). In those 75 years, Sam Snead’s won EIGHT TIMES, including the inaugural tourney in 1938 and his last victory here in 1965, WHEN HE WAS 53 YEARS OLD.
Sedgefield Country Club
Sedgefield is the only Donald Ross course on the permanent schedule and is a prototypical example of the Scotsman’s work. False fronts, long par 4’s, and classic design features are the norm. It’s a handsome, no-frills par 71 playing only around 7,100 yards, so it’s a fair test for most of the field and allows for some hilarious scoring (even though last year’s scoring was seemingly down, the final rounds carded by some of these guys would’ve fooled me). Peep the list of winners since the event moved back to Sedgefield and you’ll notice a pattern: Ballstrikers. Reed, Webb, Serg, Ryan Moore, and Hot Carl Pettersson have all triumphed (in addition to Sneds and Arjun Freaking Atwal). Look for our picks to reflect that ballstriking fervor.
Fair or not, I picture a TON of Webb Simpson doppelgängers wandering around the premises all week, mixed with some rabid members of the NC State Wolfpack. That’s really it.
In a battle of good versus evil, Jordan Spieth was vanquished in a playoff by the indomitable Fatrick Reed. Here’s Sarson’s recap of what went down.
(all lines courtesy Ladbrokes.com, the Official Bookmaker of NoLayingUp.com)
Horses for Courses
Let’s be serious, I’m not going to waste your time. Don’t bet on this tournament. If you do, print out the odds sheet, pin it to the wall and throw some darts at it to figure out your selection. It’s a value WASTELAND out there. Michael Putnam is 50/1, Joe Durant is 66/1, Martin Laird (136th in FedEx Cup this year) is 50/1. These guys have no business being anything less than 100/1 (yes, even Durant who is in form right now). As such, everyone falls in the following category…
Honorable Mentions & Fantasy Fodder
Brian Harman (33/1) was T3 LY and on a roll right now – he’s listed at 33/1 and is literally the only value on the board in my estimation. He’s either exhausted and will hit the wall soon, or he’s about to be a total bomb threat heading into the playoffs.
Brooks Koepka (33/1) has to win this week in order to make the playoffs. He shot 66-67 last weekend at Valhalla. Obviously we love his form and his game in general.
Billy Horschel (40/1) is the apple of our eye once again. His 76 in the final round of the PGA overshadowed an otherwise solid performance. This would seem like a good set-up for his straight driving, GIR-happy habits. Just need a hot putter!
Brendon De Jonge (50/1) – lives right down the road in Charlotte and has a solid record here. He’s a paragon of consistency.
Kyle F’n Stanley (66/1) – Form has been very solid in his last two events, and he needs this event as much as anyone in the field. Even PGATour.com listed him as a sleeper for this week. If he can follow up on his positive-strokes-gained-putting extravaganza from the Canadian Open we could be in for a treat.
Snedeker is rounding into form but 12/1 is gross. For some reason I kinda like Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano this week at 80/1 . Big Bob Karlsson will be leading the charge on my fantasy squad this week. Perhaps I’ll even take a flier on Bud Cauley, who counts a 3rd place Wyndham finish in his possession.
Bottom line: don’t be a degenerate this week.
- Behold the list of alternates this week: Lee Janzen, Vaughn Taylor, Todd Hamilton, Steve Flesch, Jesper Parnevik, Marco Dawson, Scott McCarron, Stanko, Billy Mayfair, Brett Quigley, DJ Trahan. It’s a who’s who of guy’s who are prepping to menace the senior circuit. Tommy Tolles and Carlos Franco must feel left out!
- The TOUR announced a hilarious new event for next year – the Barbasol Championship – to be played opposite the British Open at the Lake Course at Grand National in Opelika, Alabama (right next to Auburn and pretty close to where they used to play the defunct Southern Open/Buick Challenge at Callaway Gardens across the border in GA). While I find it curious that they’d schedule an event in east Alabama at all (not sure who’s attending this), much less in mid-July (hot, hot, hot), they did pick a great venue. I played many a junior tournament at RTJ Grand National back in the day – it’s a strong track (as are most of the RTJ courses – definitely the best bang for your buck of any buddies golf trip you can make). Interestingly enough the TOUR will feature two 2014-2015 stops in Alabama and Mississippi. Dufner should skip the British and play this home-game.
- For those who missed it, Finchy appeared on Charlie Rose for a sit-down to talk primarily about Olympic golf.
- The Euro Tour stops in Denmark this week for a new event: Made in Denmark. Supposedly it’s a full field event, but visions of Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen battling a dozen guys named “Hansen” spring to mind. Of note, I had no clue how far the Muscles from Brussels, Nic Colsaerts plummeted in the OWGR over the last 18 months. Aside from a T2 at the Malaysian Open, he’s accomplished nothing of significance and moved from 35th in the world at the beginning of ’13 to 163rd at the conclusion of the Scottish Open, and he looks like he’s about to fall off a cliff if he doesn’t get it together soon. Looks like the 31 year old’s decision to come stateside for the first half of 2014 was an unmitigated disaster.
- While researching this event I got sucked down into a Sam Snead wikipedia wormhole, emerging an hour later dazed and astonished. Aside from being re-amazed by all of the stuff I already knew about him (actually reading through the list of his 82 official PGA Tour victories was jaw-dropping), I found out that Snead shot 60 at The Homestead at the age of 71 (!), and shot 78 at The Greenbrier at the age of 85 (!!!!). Also, he won the PGA Club Pro Championship in 1971, which is the least fair thing ever. As always, thank you Wikipedia.
The boys at NLU are probably going to take this week to get our minds right after the epic-ness that was the final round of the PGA (no joke, I haven’t been able to calm down since, and we couldn’t even muster up a recap of the event) and probably use the light week to get our lives in order a bit and put the finishing touches on our forthcoming merchandise shop. Good things are on the horizon. In the meantime, we’ll still be doing our normal hood-rat stuff on twitter @NoLayingUp.