San Antonio, home of my predicted NBA champion Spurs, over the Cavs in 7, hosts the PGA players this week at the 7,435 yard Par 72 TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course.
Charlie Hoffman was victorious here last year shooting -12 and birdieing the 72nd hole from 18 feet with a major league clutch birdie to overcome Patrick Reed by a shot. Hoffman is quite a player. He put forth a super effort at Augusta National shooting 66 on day 1 in impossible cold, windy conditions with saturated grounds, and had a shot going into Sunday, but shot 78 and fell off at the end. He'll be back to defend.
Last week, Mike "Brownie" Brown made a spec-tacular prediction as he picked Wesley Bryan to win at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head and sure enough the rookie from South Carolina was the first South Carolinian in 49 years to capture the plaid jacket. Super pick by Brownie. Bama Golf had a nice pick going with another native South Carolinian in Wofford graduate William McGirt, Bama's alma mater. William finished T-3. McGirt won the Memorial last year, Jack's tourney, and one of the big time non-major events on tour. McGirt was also in contention at Augusta a couple of weeks ago. Nice pick by Bama.
Walter Pittman and I have two victories this year. Walt and I won at the Genesis with Dustin Johnson, Walt won with DJ at WGC-Mexico in Mexico City and I won myself at Pebble with Spieth. Bama has a victory as he picked Spieth at Pebble. Brownie got on the board last week and Spike is still working on it, but I like who I think is his pick this week in Kevin Chappell. Chappell is trending very well.
Spike and Bama have had their own success on the golf course already this season with a 6-5 smashing of their opponents in their match play event last week at Birmingham Country Club. They are defending champions and also won it in 2012. Bama had a huge year last season with wins with Spike at the match play, a win with Walter in the Memorial Day Club team at BCC, and a win with Walter in the Hombre, he and Walter's dogfight. Good stuff from Walter, too. Brownie can play as well. Good talent and knowledge on this site.
Thursday Friday: Golf Channel 2:30-5:30 PM CT/3:30-6:30 PM ET;
Saturday: Golf 12-1:30 PM CT/1-2:30 PM ET, CBS 2-5 PM CT/3-6 PM ET
Sunday: Golf: 12-1:30 PM CT/1-2:30 PM ET; CBS: 2-5 PM CT/3-6 PM ET
Very nice weekend: Today: 87, Sunny, wind 9-13 MPH; Friday: 87, sunny, 10-15 MPH; Saturday: 76, sunny, 10-16 MPH; Sunday: 80, sunny, 6-10 MPH
There are two 600 yard par 5's, one 591 par 5 and one 570 yard par 5. It's a long course with tight tee shots with rocks and trees causing problems all over the course and usually wind issues. It's course that was the 2nd toughest non-major course on tour two years ago and has been in the top 10 four times in the last nine years. It's not supposed to be as windy this weekend, but there will be some issues with it at some point.
The 18th is a 591 yard long uphill par 5. The tee shot should be shaped left to right, the second shot should be played up the right side, though the larger hitters may take a go, but it's very risky with a creek running in front. The third shot, if the player lays up, which most will, is a short iron executed to a green that is broken up into 3 levels and is protected by the creek in front and 3 bunkers. Challenging finishing hole, but definite shots at birdies in what should be a riveting 72nd hole on Sunday.
Like the 40 year old from San Diego to once again do well here, and have a good shot of going back to back. He's clutch, and has all the shots. Great talent.
Spike brought him up to me in an email yesterday and I agreed with him. He finished T-4 here last year and finished T-7 at Augusta National two weeks ago. Very good talent. The 30 year old from Fresno, California is ready to break through and grab a victory. Spike could be on target here.
Kuch shot 64 on Sunday last week at the RBC Heritage to finish T-11. Walter and I picked him. I thought he was going to get it done last week. The 38 year old Georgia Tech alum and star player on tour could get the job done this week.
Like the 34 year old Idyllwild, California native to be in the mix this weekend. Brendan won here in 2011, and finished T-13th here last year. I like Brendan to do well. I actually interviewed Brendan on the Golden State tour out in Beaumont, California in 2009 for my novel, A Stroke of Genius, when he was just starting to climb the ladder and paying his dues in his quest to reach the tour. It's been a successful journey for him. He won that tournament in Beaumont by the way and looked like a real talent.
I'm going with the 40 year old from Amarillo, Texas to get the job done here. He finished T-4 here last year, and last week at the RBC Heritage, he finished T-11th shooting 67-68 on the final two days. Like the aggressive, free swinger from Amarillo to get the job done at TPC San Antonio.
1. On Golf Central on Tuesday, John Feinstein and Geoff Shackelford, major Golf Channel contributors, were talking about Rory's upcoming wedding in June and that Cold Play would be playing at the reception. Moderator Lisa Cornwell asked John and Geoff who they would have at their respective receptions. John said Billy Joel. Come'on John, you can do better than that. Might as well take a sleeping pill and call it a night after John's dream wedding-reception with Joel on the vocals. Geoff picked Van Morrison, which I thought was a good choice. Caravan would be exceptional at a reception. My college senior daughter would like Cold Play, my junior in high school daughter might lean toward Taylor Swift. I'd have to go with Eric Clapton, with an appearance by the Boss. Of course, I might need a loan from Bill Gates to cover that. I'll just keep it at a regional soul band for my daughters..
2. Tom Lovelady, Bama Golf's nephew, is doing really well on the Web.com tour this year. Tom, from Mountain Brook, is 36th on the money list on the Web tour. The top 25 finishers on the money list automatically qualify for the PGA Tour next season. Tom is right in the thick of things. He's playing this week at the United Leasing & Finance Championship in Newburgh, Indiana. He's teeing off in 30 minutes. Jimmy Gunn leads at -5 through 12. I will keep you apprised of Tom's progress throughout the season, including this weekend. This Web tour is highly competitive, and Tom is faring quite well and has a shot to get into the 25 and qualify for the tour. Tom was a key part of the 2014 national championship team at Alabama. He's quite a player and a courageous young man, as he lost his father a couple of years ago. Really pulling for Tom and his family including Bama..
3. I picked the Spurs over the Warriors in 7, and the Cavs over the Celtics in 6 in the semifinals, and the Spurs over the Cavs in 7 for the Lawrence O'Brien Trophy and the NBA Championship. Golden State looks good, but sticking with Kawhi Leonard and my Spurs.
4. My Chicago Blackhawks are down 3-0 to the Nashville Preds right now and in danger of losing in a colossal upset. It's going to take a herculean effort by the Hawks to get this done. I picked them over the Pittsburgh Pens in the Stanley Cup finals. Hopeful things start changing tonight in game 4.