Carebear’s Tour Championship Preview

September 24, 2009

The Tour Championship’s claim to fame used to be that it was the only PGA tournament named after a fictitious tournament from the Academy Award winning film, “Happy Gilmore,” but since the start of the FedEx Cup a few years ago, the tournament has taken on the role of being…well, the Tour Championship.  Sort of.

If the winner here is in the Top 5 in the FedEx Cup standings as of today, they will get the big check, and the Cup.  If the winner comes from outside the top 5, any number of things can happen.  Bob Harig wrote a good article about possible outcomes here.

The FedEx Cup system is obviously flawed, but the PGA has made progress with it since its inception, and they are praying for a win from either Tiger, Stricker, Furyk, Zach Johnson, or even Heath Slocum as this would make the system look good.

29 Nobodies, and a Tiger

Its fair to say Villegas is somewhere lifting weights this week, and Kim is somewhere lifting 12oz, but doing far more reps than Camilo

Its fair to say Villegas is somewhere lifting weights this week, and Kim is somewhere lifting 12oz, but doing far more reps than Camilo

Moving on, the final will consist of only a 30 golfer field.  Unfortunately, a lot of the big names in golf have not made the cut for the final event. You won’t see last year’s champion Camilo Villegas out there, or everyone’s favorite Spaniard, Sergio.  Ian Poulter’s bubble popped two weeks ago, and Adam Scott’s bubble popped when Kate Hudson dumped him.  Anthony Kim won’t grace the fairways of Eastlake, and even last year’s FedEx man, Vijay did not qualify to vie for the coveted Gold Jacket.

Its a shame we wont see what Poulter wouldve worn this week.

Its a shame we won't see what Poulter would've worn this week(Getty Images).

So who is in the tournament you ask? Well, a lot of boring guys who hit fairways and greens.  Apparently, that is how you win golf tournaments.  Monsters of the sport like: Jerry Senden, Kevin Na, Marc Leishman, and Jason Dufner are all gonna be there to get those ratings up (all solid players, but not exactly Arnie Palmer clones).  Phil made it, Tiger will be in Atlanta, and Paddy and Geoff fill out the list of interesting players.  It is a group of good players, but it is also a field boring enough to know that TV cameras will follow Tiger, and only Tiger this weekend.

So, without further ado, my predictions.

My Four Horsemen:

With a name like Eldrick, it has to be good.

With a name like Eldrick, it has to be good.

Tiger Woods
Tiger did not win a major this year so you have to think this becomes a major for the winningest player this season.  If he won Eastlake, no one could consider this a disappointing year for Woods.  It would be his 7th win in 17 events, pretty ridiculous.  Also, he dominated two weeks ago at the BMW.  Tiger has two wins and three runners up finishes in this tourney. It hasn’t been his most consistent year, but Tiger is the clear favorite.

Jim Furyk
Jimmy played very well in the battle for 2nd place at the BMW two weeks ago.  Furyk is making a case for big changes in the FedEx Cup by having a chance to win the thing without winning a single tournament this season.  The very bald, 39-year old has turned it on of late, and has shown that the FedEx Cup is really about winning late.  He really was in no position to contend until a 15th place finish in New York, 8th in Boston, and T-2nd last week at Cog Hill. If he stays hot, he could easily take the Cup.

John Senden
This guy led the tour in Greens in Regulation this season, and can strike it off the tee, as well.  Senden has no wins this season, but has made it to the weekend twenty times.  The Aussie is one of those guys that could play spoiler in Atlanta.

Zach still hasnt taken this jacket off.

Zach still hasn't taken this jacket off.

Zach Johnson
Eastlake is a solid course, but not necessarily one for the longer hitters.  At 7,154 yards, this is a course where this field could put up low scores. Also, Atlanta has been ravaged by rain of late, so the greens should be a little softer at least for the first couple days.  So guys like Johnson who pound fairways and greens, but don’t boom it off the tee can contend.  Johnson could finally prove hes a legitimate, albeit boring, star on the PGA tour with a victory and FedEx Cup.

With only 30 guys in the field at least I can be assured that my guys will be playing on the weekend.  I got about a 13% chance of actually getting the winner this week.

Even though the field is a bit depleted, this should be a good battle, and with there being a good chance that the winner at Eastlake will take home the $10 Million FedEx check, look for nerves, and Tiger intimidation to be in full effect.

Heres a free lesson.

"Here's a free lesson."

And if Shooter beats Happy, Happy quits golf, and Shooter turns Happy’s old room into a trophy room.  Anything can happen at The Tour Championship.

Carebear’s Top Five Sports Movies

April 8, 2009

#5 The Big Lebowski

Walter Sobchak: I told those fucks down at the league office a thousand times that I don’t roll on Shabbos!
Donny: What’s Shabbos?
Walter Sobchak: Saturday, Donny, is Shabbos, the Jewish day of rest. That means that I don’t work, I don’t get in a car, I don’t fucking ride in a car, I don’t pick up the phone, I don’t turn on the oven, and I sure as shit
Walter Sobchak: don’t fucking roll! Shomer shabbos!

You may not call this a sports movie, but this film revolves around bowling.  The Big L is a cult classic.  The people that own it have seen it literally, thousands of times.  It is one of those films that always seemed to be on in my college dorm room.  John Torturro plays one of the greatest bit roles in any movie as the Jesus, the pedophile, flamboyant dancing bowler, who’s partner Liam and him will fuck you in the ass on wednesday instead.  John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Jeff Bridges are all perfectly cast.  I don’t even know if Tara Reid (pre boob job) knows she was acting in this film.  Anyways, great film.  The grown up Sandlot of bowling.

#4 Rocky 4

[Addressing the Soviet Union]
Rocky: I guess what I’m trying to say is, if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change.

Some will argue that this movie is awful and not even the best Rocky film.  I agree completely, but its entertaining as hell, and so stupidly inspiring that I had to include it.   The workout montage in the foot deep snow of Siberia is maybe the most motivating scene in movie history.  The fact that a boxing match pretty much ends the Cold War made it an irresistible choice.  You disagree, but change the channel next time it comes on FX at 3 am.  You can’t do it.

#3 A League of their Own

[Jimmy has just signed a baseball for a little boy]
Little Boy: [reading] Avoid the clap, Jimmy Dugan.
Jimmy Dugan: Hey, that’s good advice!

People argue with me about this one all the time.  Tom Hanks, as Jimmy Duggan (Foxx) makes this film.  He plays a drunken retired ballplayer who is forced to manage a women’s team.  Despite the fact that its a comedy, this movie got baseball right, and without looking like they were trying too hard.  The ending still pisses me off a little, but its one of few sports movies with kind of an unhappy ending.  Geena Davis drops the ball, on purpose? we don’t know, and then quits baseball.  Its like the Empire Strikes Back of comedy sports films except without Darth Vader cutting Davis’ hand off.  This film also marks the last time Rosie O’Donnel and Madonna were tolerable, and the last time Geena Davis was remotely attractive.

#2 Happy Gilmore

Chubbs: They wouldn’t let me play on the Pro Tour anymore.
Happy Gilmore: Ah, I’m sorry. Because you’re black?
Chubbs: Hell no! Damned alligator BIT my hand off!

Happy Gilmore did not try to get golf right.  There are no cut lines, the tourneys are one day long, and Happy’s gotta approach Subway for sponsorship money.  Despite the fact that its a horribly reviewed, far from factual film, I know every line from beginning to end.  I could watch it four times today and still giggle when Virginia Vennet yells, “Happy. look ooout!,” and he gets hit by a Volkswagen on the fairway.  Shooter McGavin is the ultimate sports movie villain.  He buys Happy’s grandma’s house to get back at him.  Its all so stupid, but so great.   Also, Bob Barker (vampire) beats the shit out of happy in a pro-am.  Spectacular film.

#1 The Sandlot

Ham Porter: Is that your sister out there in left field, naked? She’s naked?
Phillips: [swings and misses again] SHUT UP PORTER!
Ham Porter: Hey, hey, hey, I’m just trying to start a friendly conversation, come on.
Ham Porter: [two seconds later] Think she’ll go out with me?

The Sandlot is more about growing up than baseball.  There is no championship.  They actually only play one real game, but everybody can relate to this kids playing with their friends pretending they’re Babe Ruth. Its really a coming of age story.  Every scene is classic: the tobacco at the carnival, the hunt for the lost ball, and the public swimming pool.   This is another film that gets baseball right.  For most people, baseball is about growing up and this movie captures that better than any other.  Agree or disagree, Sandlot is #1.

Honorable Mention: Caddyshack, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Miracle, Mystery Alaska, Field of Dreams, Major League, Kingpin, Little Giants, Shaolin Soccer (added), The Natural (added).