PODS Championship


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Bo Jackson knew baseball, Bo knew basketball, but Bo, you don’t know Weekley. Boo Weekley, that is.

Maybe Bo does know Boo, or can speak to the shared experience of growing up in the rural south. We’ve been refreshed by other professional athletes from rural backgrounds who tend to speak their minds and shun the memorized sound bite, people like Charles Barkley and another golfer, John Daly. Never did I see Barkley or Daly plying his trade with dip spittle on his lower lip, though, which is what I’m pretty sure I saw on Weekley during last Sunday’s final round of the Honda Classic.

Daly and Barkley have their own peccadilloes, to be sure, and I’m not about to go trumpeting chew, but there was Weekley in one moment on camera checking golf’s image as a sport for the rich played by whiners who sometimes hurt themselves with their swings, like Daly, who apparently wrenched himself in the first round last week when a camera went off during his swing. He had to withdraw from the tournament.

Can you imagine if Weekley makes it into the top-10 on the money list and qualifies for The Masters? Picture him getting caught spitting on camera. Nantz wouldn’t know what to say. The cameraman would be fired.

A quick comment to counter any previous suggestion that golf could use a little dip on its lip every now and then: I watched several long chunks of the European Tour’s coverage last weekend (I don’t remember the name of the tournament, but it was in Thailand and the prize for a hole-in-one on one of the par-3s was a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue) and was refreshed by the commentary, which is to say there was hardly any. It wasn’t the first time I’ve checked in on European Tour coverage. But this one was more sedating than others for some reason. Let me put it to you like this: I’ve been to the opera once in my life and had a deeper sleep in those three hours than any other chunk of sleep I’d ever had. In chunks of twenty minutes all weekend the European Tour got me there. I say this as a high compliment. I wanted to mention it now because I plan on checking in with their coverage for the rest of the year, and of course reporting my findings.

Anyway, for all you do, this Boo’s for you.

Last week: Allenby seems to be having problems on Sunday, particularly on the back nine on Sunday. I felt good with him in the outright all week, especially going into the final round. He blew it with back-to-back bogeys on 15 and 16 and ended up T5. If he makes par on those two late holes he wins at -6. Allenby’s still a good head-to-head pick, though, and I’m glad I picked him over Luke Donald. That win, at 9-10, 1 unit, yielded $900.

In this week’s PODS Championship, take Joe Durant (40-1), 1/6 unit: Durant loves the Copperhead Course, which makes sense as this is considered a ball-striker's course. Durant is always one of the best hitters of greens on Tour. It’s when he gets on the greens that there’s a problem. His game is like K. J. Choi’s-nothing flashy but consistently good-and Choi has won on this course twice.

Take Arron Oberholser (50-1), 1/6 unit: Oberholser withdrew from the season-opening Mercedes because of a bad back. He came back two weeks ago at the Match Play and last week surprised (me, anyway) with a T10 at the Honda Classic. Oberholser is another good ball striker. We might be seeing him in start-of-the-season form given the layoff. Meaning, a quick start last year ended in his first win, at Pebble, just four tournaments into the season. In fact, he’s been good out of the gate for the last several years. The question mark is the injury. Who can say on that front? We’re talking golfers here. Daly's bow out was not exactly like a hockey player having his face sewn up between periods then coming out for more. All I can say is I like Oberholser’s chances if he’s OK.

Take Daniel Chopra (66-1), 1/6 unit: Chopra had an outside chance to get into a playoff last week but a birdie on the last hole wouldn’t have mattered anyway as the playoff number was -5. He finished -3 for a T8, but I thought back to consecutive top-10s toward the end of last year, particularly a T2 at the Frys.com, and his comments that he likes playing for contention on Sundays. He likes the pressure. It showed in Vegas and it showed, albeit to a lesser degree, last Sunday as he carded two birdies and no bogeys on the back nine. He can be streaky and his temper might still be a lingering issue, but he’s certainly got the talent.

Brian Gabrielle is a documented member of the Professional Handicappers League. Read all of his articles at http://www.procappers.com/Brian_Gabrielle.htm


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